We asked our design contributors to share their must-haves when building a custom home. Here is what they had to say! (As seen in Canadian Home Trends Condo/New Build Issue 2018)

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Beautifully Hidden: When designing a kitchen for a new home, I love to include panel ready appliances! Many appliance brands now offer refrigerators and dishwashers in a panel ready format that allows you to cover the front in panels to match your cabinetry. This creates a seamless look in the kitchen and works with any design style. – Designer Negar Reihani (Space designed by Space Harmony, Photography by Colin Perry)

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Full Steam Ahead: A high quality, steam shower is my must-have for a new home! It is a great place to relax and relieve stress and offers a number of other health benefits as well! You’ll enjoy improved blood circulation and healthier skin. Plus, it’s great for soothing sore muscles after a workout or helping relieve nasal and sinus issues! – Designer Jamie Banfield (Photo Source: Kohler Co.)

Royal Flush: Smart toilets are definitely a must-have for a new home. Though there are many types, most have a few basic features in common including sensor flushing, overflow protection, water use reduction, heated seats, self-deodorizer, nightlights, slow close lids, and Bluetooth capabilities.  – Designer Kendall Ansell (Photo Source: Kohler Co.)

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On Top of Things: My custom home build must-have is Quartz countertops. What I like about this product is the durability, minimal maintenance, and no seal/wax surface. Also, they have a variety of colors to choose from to suit any design style. – Designer Jacklynn Little (Photo Source: Caeserstone)

Final Touch: When I am designing for a new build, my go to must-have is architectural details such as high-end trim and moldings. Adding trim and moldings to a space can transform a room, adding luxury, drama and personality. This is a great way to accent a feature wall or add interest to an otherwise boring space like the side of a staircase. – Designer Christine Da Costa (Photo Source: Metrie)

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Looking Up: When planning a new custom home build, one of my must-haves is custom ceiling details. A ceiling is a blank canvas offering plenty of space for artistic details that reflect the vibe of the room and set the tone for the design. The options are endless, ranging from fine detailing to bold statements. – Designer Gabriele Pizzale (Space Designed by Pizzale Design Inc; Photography by Mike Chajecki Photography)

A Place for Everything: When planning a new custom home build, don’t underestimate the importance of storage. When cabinetry is intelligently designed, beautifully finished, and thoughtfully illuminated, it keeps your home organized while looking stylish. – Designer Lisa Stevens (Photo Source: California Closets)

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Barefoot Comfort: Once considered a luxury, underfloor heating systems have become the norm for any new build. Thanks to advances in installation, this kind of “smart” technology has become affordable and practical due to its long-term economic value. Efficient systems offer technology through which homeowners can monitor, control, and program their heating systems from anywhere via a smartphone app. – Designer Kim Bartley (Photo Source: Nuheat)

Seamless Details: A must-have for a new build would be seamless vents for heat registers. These can be produced in wood or stone for a very seamless look. If you are investing in beautiful floors, go the extra distance and invest in these. – Designer Yvonne Whelan (Photo Source: AOD Stone, Manufactured by DMG Enterprises)


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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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