Painted woodwork? Flex rooms? ‘Life proof’ materials?

Fresh, invigorating new home designs and the latest construction products and techniques will take center stage during this year’s Rochester Fall Showcase of Homes (Sept. 18-19 and 25-26) and Remodelers Tour (Sept. 18-19). The events give the public an opportunity to view the latest in new home building design and renovation trends. The event also gives area builders and suppliers a venue to display their talents and services.

This year’s showcase is the epitome of sophisticated and stylish cosmopolitan living. These elegantly appointed homes are graced with inspiring decor and accentuated with distinctive touches throughout. From meticulously designed and crafted interiors to lushly landscaped lawns and gardens, no detail has been spared. You’ll discover new designs, the latest in high-tech systems, decorating ideas and conveniences as well as all of the latest styles available.

One such company is DeWitz Home Builders, a family-run business that Jean DeWitz’s father, Robert, started 65 years ago. All five of Robert’s children have been involved in the business. In fact, they now have third-generation family members working for the company, which is a land developer as well as a builder and has developed numerous subdivisions in Rochester.

This DeWitz design feathures an open floor plan with a kitchen center island sink.

This DeWitz design feathures an open floor plan with a kitchen center island sink.

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“Our passion is workforce housing. Our company has built thousands of affordable homes for Rochester’s workforce,” Jean DeWitz says. For the Fall Showcase of Homes, DeWitz will be showing one of their affordable compact single family homes in Pebble Creek. This two-story home has an open floor plan with a kitchen center island sink.

“I chose white painted trim with white cabinets on the perimeter and a dark navy island with neutral paint color throughout, DeWitz says. “It’s stunning. We will have luxury vinyl plank floors throughout the main floor. And there is a private bath and walk-in closet off the owner’s suite. The second floor laundry is located near all the bedrooms and a front porch and rear patio are perfect for entertaining.”

Of course, today’s homeowners are very different from clients in the past. The Internet and apps like Pinterest and Houzz have allowed buyers to more easily search products and styles they are interested in.

“They come to me with design ideas as well as certain features they would like incorporated into their homes,” DeWitz says.

Today’s buyers like painted woodwork and hard surface flooring with LVP being the most popular for buyers. “We do very little stained trim today. If the budget allows, they are also selecting solid surface countertops,” DeWitz says.

Exterior finishes have also evolved for today’s consumers. Building affordable housing used to mean the exterior of homes were always various shades of tan or grays. Today’s buyer has many color choices in exterior vinyl siding.

“We are also seeing more buyers who now work from home,” DeWitz says. “They are incorporating quiet spaces for working. They are also choosing to stay home more often and are looking for spaces to entertain guests.”

This clean and simple design is from Countryside Builders, who will be showing a “large open ranch-style home concept” at this year’s even.

This clean and simple design is from Countryside Builders, who will be showing a “large open ranch-style home concept” at this year’s even.

Flex room?

Countryside Builders has been building homes in the Rochester area since 1976. Tammy Sternberg, daughter of the original founders of Countryside, says they are seeing consumers’ interest focusing on a designated home office.

“We put a main floor flex room in most of our designs,” Sternberg says. “It’s used for an office, play room, or study. In our current environment, families love it as people are spending a great deal of time at home now. In addition to a home office, many homeowners are setting their sights on convenience features such as a second kitchen prep sink, walk-in pantry, cabinetry pullouts for easier access, and a second smaller refrigerator, or wine cooler.”

In this year’s Fall Showcase of Homes, Countryside Builders is featuring a large open ranch-style home concept with the kitchen, dining, and great room in one open area. Other unique features include a designated drop center, which includes a small countertop and cabinet located in the mudroom.

“Drop the mail, plug in your cell phone, set down your bag,” Sternberg says. “This concept keeps the kitchen island free from clutter. It is great!”

A Natural Focus

Meier Companies is a second-generation home builder in Rochester that strives for only the best client experiences in the home-building process.

“If they can dream it, we can help them design and build it. We are unique in that we have in-house designers to bring only the best ideas in to your home,” says Paul Meier, president of Meier Companies. “We specialize in custom homes, designer homes, and model homes.

In the Fall Showcase of Homes & Remodelers Tour, Meier Companies is incorporating a modern take on monochromatic and neutral design.

“We love putting natural accents, stains, and finishes in our homes. Beige, white, sealed raw wood, and metal finishes are still our customers’ favorites, so we will continue to find fresh creative ways to incorporate them in our homes,” Meier says. “We are focusing on putting ‘life proof’ materials with optimal design so families don’t have to be afraid to let life happen in their new home.”

The Meier Companies team is still seeing somewhat of a demand for the modern farmhouse design. They are also seeing this scale back to more of a chic style with a less distressed look.

“Along with that, we are seeing a bigger demand for minimalistic and natural design, as well as bold color design and unexpected materials. Grays are still very popular, but we are seeing a shift to the warmer neutrals and believe this will carry for a few years to come,” Meier says. “Design trends change each year as the new year brings new concepts and ideas.”

In addition, quality is at the forefront of today’s home designs.

“We feel that an element that has always been popular and at the forefront of all our designs is the level of quality and finish detail that goes into any client’s home, whether it be a smaller villa in which a client may be downsizing to or a large estate home,” says Ryan Ruskell, builder/developer with R&M Development. “In today’s environment in which building materials and supplies are at a premium, the clients want to know that the quality of their dream home is never going to be sacrificed.”

R&M Development and RyMark Homes is a design build construction firm that designs and develops high-quality subdivisions in mainly southwest Rochester catering to everything from villa town home lots to city utility single family options to small acreage estate lots. RyMark Homes, in partnership with R&M Development, builds model and custom homes in the aforementioned subdivisions.

According to Mark Hanson, builder/developer, the home designs trends the teams at R&M Development and RyMark Homes have noticed include unique or distinct grill patterns and accentuating paint for windows, and keeping interior walls a soft or “barely there” color in order for the windows to be showcased.

Industry experts foresee a lot of industrial style mixing in with modern natural elements. As Meier explains, elements like exposed stonework, high ceilings, wood, and metal elements could very well become more popular. They also can see more sustainable and organic materials being used, an increase in multifunctional spaces, as well as bolder patterns and shapes.

“We believe that consumers today are honing in on their true style and being unique,” Meier says. “With so many working from home, and the major changes that have happened in the last few years, we see more and more clients creating a home that is actually a space they want to be in, rather than something pretty that doesn’t fit them, their style or needs.”

The Rochester Area Builders 2021 Fall Showcase of Homes runs Sept. 18-19 and 25-26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Remodelors Tour is the first weekend only. For info, visit