Bobby Berk, founder of growing design firm Bobby Berk Home, is joining the team of innovative brands that will bring the 2016 Responsive Home to life. Berk will serve as design director for the two-home concept project, which BUILDER is developing with TRI Pointe Group's Pardee Homes and Bassenian Lagoni Architects. Berk's affinity for clean and modern design will complement the homes' flexible spaces, and help attract the millennial buyers for whom they are designed.
"I love taking design cues from midcentury to modern to industrial modern, and making homes livable as well," Berk says. "There are brands out there right now that are a literal translation of my grandmother's home, and others where the home feels like a museum and you can't kick back and enjoy it. Millennials are all about entertaining and having people over. We try to think about all of that and the way design helps makes a home livable."
Berk adds that millennials are drawn to brands with a story behind them, making Bobby Berk Home an ideal brand for the Responsive Home project. Berk came to New York City from Texas in 2003, working retail while fostering his dream of creating a new design brand. "Millennials really related to brands that have a name behind them, something they can put a face to," he says. "Martha Stewart was really the pioneer of that concept and when you were putting your home together with Martha Stewart's collections, it's like she's helping you. It all comes back to having a story. When people have friends over to their house and it comes up that their sofa was designed by a 33-year-old guy, it becomes relatable."
Berk's "affordable luxury" positioning is another aspect of the brand that millennials will appreciate. The first Bobby Berk Home retail store opened in 2007, followed by a market crash in 2008. "In that situation, we made the decision to make great design with products your grandchildren will fight over, and do it at an affordable price," Berk says. The concept matches Pardee Homes' positioning in the market as a premium brand at every price point, making higher-quality amenities and finishes standards compared to what builders offer in the same price point.
Berk will address all the interior design and outdoor furniture for both homes in the Responsive Home project, and will also consult on the project's landscaping. He says he look forward to bringing his brand of personalization to the concept homes.
"One of the things we try to do with product in our stores is to offer tailored choices to gives customers an element of customization without worry about making the wrong choice," Berk says. "To me, a responsive home is one that interacts with you, and it's important to a millennial that their home adapts to them, responding to your lifestyle and where you live."
Unique features of the Responsive Home will be revealed this spring, followed by a goal of breaking ground in June 2015 in the Inspirada master-planned community. The Responsive Home will debut during at the 2016 International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Visit Builder Online, or find the Responsive Home on Facebook to follow the project's progress.