Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. ( has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Todd welcomes your feedback at or 248.446.1960.

The goods for today’s move-up buyer

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December 10, 2013

Move-up buyers are a fickle bunch, and this blog entry focuses on a Lean Design for that group. It is actually an excerpt from a future House Review article that will appear in next February’s Professional Builder. Let’s take a closer look at this 3,700-square-foot home.

A. Large, functional kitchen that is open to the dining/great room creates a great space for entertaining. The living/kitchen/dining arrangement is incredibly popular. The spaces are often delineated by ceiling treatments.
B. Fussy butler’s pantries are on the way out. Instead, the space has become more casual and becomes an area for wine storage, glasses, etc.
C. The family entrance works well as a drop zone and a great area to keep the family organized.
D. Large walk-in closet for bulky athletic equipment—golf, hockey, you name it.
E. This stair leads to a private apartment on the second floor.
F. Flex room provides an opportunity for a formal dining room or this space—in combination with the den—can be used for the increasingly popular his/hers office.
G. Curving the back wall of the switchback staircase is a great way to dress it up without breaking the bank.
H. Having the flex space available allows this space to be either a very large nook or the one dining area of the home.

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