Designing the details

By Brandon Salisbury, Craig Sharp designer

Homeowners in the Midwest are not known for being on the cutting edge of home design or innovation, but thanks to many forward-thinking builders in our area, Wichita and surrounding communities enjoy a multitude of architectural details and styles that complement a variety of individual tastes. One may not find the next big thing here in the heartland, but there is plenty to celebrate and appreciate within our homes.

Paying attention to the details and design nuances of a home takes additional time from design all the way through construction, but also has perhaps the greatest impact on prospective homeowners and all who tour the home. Too often a great space or well-intentioned design is critiqued for overlooking the details that separate good from great.

One trend that has continued to in our area is the attention to detail in the new custom homes being built. These innovative builders are among the top in our area year after year and are regularly featured in the biannual Parade of Homes.

No matter the price point of the home, our builders each have a distinctive way of blending national trends with client ideas that work with the overall theme of the neighborhood and superior building practices.

While most of the focus in new home design is on the floor plan, some Wichita builders are going beyond the layout to enhance high-priority spaces such as the kitchen or great room with spectacular ceiling details. Often in the form of barrel ceilings or groin vaults, these details are highlighted with beams and are regularly faux painted. The benefit is a unique and customizable addition that is picture perfect.

Faux painting is a trend locally that continues to gain interest and spawn creativity in its use. From ceilings and vaults to cabinetry and accent walls, faux painting is used to highlight architectural details throughout a home. It is also more cost effective than expensive tile or other coverings and can create a metal or weathered look for a unique touch as well.

Keeping on the leading edge of home design can be a tall task for any builder, but our Wichita area builders have found success by engaging social media sites like Pinterest or Houzz, attending international building shows, and subscribing to national magazines and other publications for inspiration. Great ideas also come from homeowners who bring in pictures and thoughts of their own during the design process. The key for all of our local builders is to keep innovating. Keep creating. Keep pushing boundaries. This mentality is what continues to push our homes to new heights.

Brandon Salisbury has his master's degree in Interior Architecture and Product Design from Kansas State University and has been designing at Craig Sharp Homes for a year. Sharp Homes has been building high-quality custom homes for 50 years and continues to be one of the area's top builders. Sharp Homes is known for innovative design and a high level of craftsmanship.

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