Modern Comforts: Kay Builders

By Rick Koze
Photo by Frank Mitman

As lives become busier than ever before and technology has us plugged in more hours each day, home becomes our haven, a place to unwind and enjoy time with family and friends. With more “at home” entertaining – both indoors and out – home designs reflect this approach. Architects and builders are creating spaces to accommodate the way we now want to live.  This doesn’t mean houses are getting bigger. In fact, houses are designed more efficiently with quality trumping quantity. Quality means features that make us feel good with unique and tailored areas in the house for work, relaxation and entertainment.

Designing a house to please everyone in the home is an exciting challenge. Kay Builders of Allentown has been building in the area for 50 years. Here are some of the trends that are hot in home building – trends that are offered at Kay Builders’ communities.


New model homes feature a “man cave” with a home theater, game table, bar, sofa and entertainment unit. One Kay Builders client, who has taken cues from that room, is adding standard cabinetry in unique and creative ways to build an entertainment center, complete with space for a large screen TV, storage for games and files for movies, discs and videos.  The builder also provides wiring for home theaters and surround-sound speaker systems, as well as all components of the home theater.


Bookcases and cabinetry are more important than ever. Homeowners want places for all of their items and that can mean a loft computer station, a pocket office, entertainment centers, wet bars, pantries, and storage cabinets.


Everything has a place in today’s home designs. When you walk in the door from a day at work, you want a place to put items where they can easily be found.   Even in twin homes, space can be maximized so briefcases, backpacks, purses, shoes and keys can be stored for easy access while electronic devices can be recharged for when they are needed. These zones, either off the garage entrance or unobtrusively tucked away near the front door, feature counter space and storage space to relieve clutter. We know an organized house makes for a more peaceful environment.


Whether it’s because more children are returning home after college or more parents are moving in with the family, multigenerational homes are increasing in popularity. Today’s families are anything but average. Kay Builders reintroduced the first floor master concept to the Lehigh Valley two decades ago. Today it is a standard. Now many homeowners are requesting two master suites and it is important that new home designs incorporate flexible designs to meet the needs of the entire family.  Grandparents can live on the first floor of the home and other adults  in their own suite on the second, giving privacy to all.  When adult children return to the nest, 2nd floor spaces are converted to bedroom suites with separate relaxation areas, while parents enjoy the privacy of their first floor master suite.


With multiple generations often living under one roof, smaller out of the way areas for children to do homework, use computers or watch TV without interruption have become very important.  Others in the home find them suitable for their special interests as well.    Alternatives may include a pocket office off the kitchen for paying bills and working, a crafts station in a loft which can double as a laundry area or a game room in a converted upstairs bedroom.


While walk-in closets are standard in many new homes, when Joan Perose of Kay Builders Olympic Ridge community in Emmaus wanted a customized closet and dressing room she removed a bedroom wall to make the conversion. Located just off the master bath the area features lots of hanging space plus an island for storage and folding.  In the additional master bedroom closet, she replaced the clothes bar with special shelving for shoes and folded items. According to Joan, “I was able to get exactly what I wanted and we even framed out behind the wall opening in case we ever wanted to convert the area back to a bedroom.”


Innovations in technology for the home are transforming the way we do everything from monitoring lights to turning on security cameras to controlling heating and cooling from a central in-home console or from a remote location. These home automation systems, called “Smart Homes,” help save money by turning up the AC while we are away and by turning lights off from a control panel instead of walking through the house to do so.

A functional and beautiful home can be affordable – and your best investment.

Rick Koze is the president and owner of Kay Builders, Inc. ( a leading homebuilder and developer operating exclusively in the Lehigh Valley.  The company has four active communities locally.  A graduate of Emmaus High School, Koze holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.  He has more than15 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies (in addition to his construction business expertise).

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