Homearama in Macomb Twp. features fun specialty rooms

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

When it comes to making a house a home, sometimes it’s all about the extras.

Yes, we spend the bulk of our time in living rooms, kitchens or bedrooms, but it’s those special rooms or nooks that can really make your heart sing. A functional, but fantastic playroom, mudroom or office can be the space that makes you the happiest or makes your life work better.

And sometimes it isn’t even a room; it’s a special nook.

This year’s Homearama, a showcase of eight brand-new homes at Christenbury Creek off Card Road in Macomb Township that shows off the latest home-building and design trends, has some seriously fun specialty rooms.

There’s a first-floor office, or command center, in a home built by Arteva Homes that’s the perfect place to keep a home perfectly running with dual desks. There’s also a super fun den, or flex room, with a showstopping custom-made United States bookshelf, a basement speakeasy and a mudroom for tucking away family clutter (every mom’s dream).

Two of the eight homes on this year’s Homearama – which opens today (see box for details) – were fully furnished by Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design. Unlike two years ago, which showcased some very high-end homes, this year’s homes fit a wider range of budgets. But they’re still “very today,” says Tom Lias, Gorman’s president and chief operating officer.

So what does “today” mean in terms of design? It means furniture with what Lias describes as an urban modern look. Urban modern is traditionally based, but with cleaner lines and more rustic woods, heavier grains, “almost an unfinished look,” Lias says.

It “gives you a very comfortable, easy living feel,” he says. “There’s nothing fussy about it at all.”

The scale also is a little smaller. Lias says as homes downsize – the average home is 2,400 square feet today for new builds – it makes scale that much important because homeowners don’t have room for big, bulky furniture.

Vito Terracciano, chief executive officer of Arteva Homes, which built the two homes Gorman’s decorated, says one of the homes was inspired by a larger home in California with a unique raised study just off the foyer and a formal dining room up front. Arteva has built versions of the California home, ranging in size from 4,000 to 10,000 square feet, but for Homeorama, they wanted to make it even smaller. It’s about taking high-end concepts and putting them into a house more customers can afford, Terracciano says.

“We came from building really ultra high end and we said, ‘OK, everybody would love to be in a home like that, but how do we make it more affordable?’” says Terracciano.

Another memorable space at this year’s Homearama is the finished basement in one of the homes built by Sunset Homes. In the bar area is a very cool all-glass backsplash, created by Imagio Glass, with a lovely image of the Renaissance Center.

“We print on the backside of one-quarter-inch crystal clear, tempered glass,” says Laura Fergle, vice president of sales at Imagio Glass.

Here you’ll find some of my favorite new ideas for fun nooks and rooms from this year’s Homearama. If you don’t have space for your version, take an idea and make it your own (a command center could always be a command nook).

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Twitter: @mfeighan

Homearama 2016

Eight brand new custom homes in Christenbury Creek in Macomb Township will open their doors for this year’s Homearama, which officially opens Friday. Presented by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan, it continues on weekends through Oct. 9; it runs from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tickets are $10 online in advance or $12 at the gate. The homes were built by four builders: Arteva Homes, Vitale, Sunset, and Lassale. Go to

New trends

Homearama, once called a “Disneyland” of new homes, is a great way for builders to show off the latest building trends. And this year is no exception:

Dining rooms: Once on their way out, formal dining rooms are “in” again. Both model units by Arteva Homes feature open concept dining rooms. Vito Terracciano, chief executive officer of Arteva Homes, says more customers are forgoing the formal living room, but requesting dining rooms again, especially those who like to entertain. “I’ve built several houses where the customer got rid of the living room but wanted the formal dining room,” he says.

Energy efficiency: As green building surges in popularity, options abound for sustainable living. Terracciano says Arteva works with a Lake Orion company called DR Nelson & Associates to ensure homes are built efficiently and meet certain energy standards. Each house gets an energy seal. “If you take a house built prior to 2009, we can (now) save a customer about 50 percent” on energy costs, Terracciano says.