IN A CROWDED BUILDING MARKET, how do you make people remember your homes over the next guy's? For Denver-based Berkeley Homes, it all comes down to the “basketball room” in the Presidio plan, in the Reunion master planned community north of town. Tying into Reunion's spacious rec center, Berkeley combined two children's bedrooms into one shared bedroom for two little boys, making it a scale model of a basketball gymnasium, complete with bleachers and a three-point shooting line on the floor.
Barbara Decker, president of Denver-based Captivating Design Service, says the room was the result of a discussion on the meaning of the word “reunion” and how that played out in living spaces.
“Our job was to evoke those emotions as buyers go through the models,” Decker says. “We wanted to create a response and make [the models] memorable.”
The room succeeds because of the level of detail and attention to accuracy, Decker says. A mural on the wall is a slice of life, with parents watching, boys teasing girls, and a puppy negotiating its way down the steps.
“It draws people in,” Decker says. “They either think of their own childhood or what they see in their children. It's such a memory point.”
Of course, the room is fun and people remember it, but the most important thing is that it's helped Berkeley Homes sell houses. The Presidio plan was the first house to sell after the models were completed, and it's been the best-selling plan ever since.
“I think the merchandising is helping that out,” says Berkeley Homes president Rich Laws. “It's helping the entire product line. On the north side of Denver, there are 25 builders in a five-mile radius. Buyers are shopping for four to six months, visiting as many as a dozen model complexes. When you're visiting that many, something has to stand out. The more time we can have them spend in our model complex versus the other 20 guys up there, the better.”
Builder: Berkeley Homes, Denver
Interior design: Captivating Design Service, Denver
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Denver, CO.