(BPT) - Whether renovating a new home or remodeling your longtime family dwelling, there is no shortage of options when it comes to design that will make a lasting impact. If you’re wondering where to splurge and what you should hold back on — look no further. From Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, to elevated entertaining areas, here are five smart design decisions to make in your home that will stand the test of time.

Select smart features

Once considered a concept of the future, the smart home is here today — and here to stay. With groundbreaking home technology on the rise, homeowners have begun to transform their living spaces into state-of-the-art sanctuaries that can be monitored and accessed from virtually anywhere. And with the kitchen holding strong as the heart of the home, it’s no surprise that these features are taking over the area in a big way.

As the luxury homeowner often leads an all-encompassing lifestyle, innovative, Wi-Fi-enabled appliances seamlessly streamline the day-to-day. The Thermador Connected Experience by Home Connect™ remote starts your oven for preheating and sends recipes directly to your appliance — all via a single app — especially ideal for today’s modern professional. As you’re wrapping up your morning workout, simply “Ask Alexa” to prepare you a latte on your Wi-Fi-enabled coffee machine. With the ability to integrate with other smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa and Josh.ai, the voice-controlled home automated system, you can enjoy a fully integrated smart home experience.

Throughout the house, smart technology can assist with everything from thermostat controls, to wireless music systems. When it comes to making a thoughtful design decision, it doesn’t get any smarter than this.

Maximize scaled-down spaces with multi-functional design elements

From versatile storage solutions, to dynamic room dividers, maximizing your living space, no matter how petite, will serve you well — whether you’re designing your forever home or making a short-term purchase. With smaller bedrooms or multipurpose rooms, you can ensure every inch is put to good use by installing innovative nooks in areas with extra space. A tidy workstation or built-in desk with wall shelves is a great way to add function without compromising your square footage. The built-in elements will take up little room, leaving a clear and open pathway.

Must-have materials

One of the smartest design decisions you can make as a homeowner concerns your home’s materials — from crisp countertops, to natural flooring.

While marble has long been a standout surface in the kitchen, it’s also one of the priciest. And for adventurous cooks who count exotic recipes as part of their portfolio, it turns out it might not be your best bet. Though striking patterns and veining make it one of the most beautiful options, the sensitive style is also prone to staining — making daring dishes with inky sauces and seasonings something to watch out for. Instead, go for a more industrial look with concrete countertops or mid-century Terrazzo, which are not only ever on-trend but also financially friendlier. Quartz has also proven to be a top pick among design professionals, offering a delightfully modern motif that holds its own next to flashy marble, while still being equipped to handle heavy-duty cooking.

More and more interior decorators are also integrating natural materials such as wood, stone and copper into their home designs. Classic features never go out of style and can deliver a large return on investment. With recent studies showing many homebuyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors when purchasing a house, it’s a surefire way to increase your home’s value if you ever decide to sell. Timeless and versatile, authentic wood also provides a durable surface that will last for years to come.

Enhanced curb appeal

It’s important to provide a good first impression — and what better way to do so for your home than by enhancing your front yard? After all, it is the first thing your visitors see.

For a showstopping look that will leave neighbors staring, consider a bold paint color for your front door. The added brightness makes a grand statement, and it can work wonders to revive a home that is due for a remodel. Make sure to include an eye-catching doorknob for the perfect finishing touch.

Greenery also brings color and adds appeal to any home. From charming door wreaths that can be switched out from season to season, to meandering stone walkways lined with fresh florals, to potted plants perfectly positioned on the porch, this earthy element can dramatically enhance the look and feel of your home. Topping off your design with landscape lighting will add an extra oomph and will prove to be both stylish and functional — and particularly useful when hosting evening guests.

Elevated entertaining areas

With entertaining often taking place beyond the traditional confines of the kitchen, it’s no wonder that luxury homeowners are seeking unique features that help them enhance their celebratory lifestyles. No matter the size or style of your space, a bold bar area is a smart addition to your home. Striking appliances will complete the look, and store the bevy of beverages and hors d’oeuvres, so this area would be one where you want to go all out. Under Counter Refrigeration options from Thermador boast revolutionary features to keep contents cool at all times and can be custom paneled to integrate fully with virtually any design. For the coffee and tea aficionado, a Built-In Coffee unit also makes for a nice addition, storing up to eight personalized beverages for complete customization. As well, for homeowners who count themselves as ultimate wine connoisseurs, a Built-In Wine Preservation Column may be the way to go to truly enhance the space, with three-zone temperature control and the ability to monitor your collection whether you’re at home or away.

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