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Heritage Homes melds vision, reality: Builder unveils updated, women-centric design studio

Tyrone Leslie, President of Heritage Homes,shows off the latests trends in LED lighting at the new showroom in south Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

By Angie Wieck


Heritage Homes recently unveiled a renovated design studio that displays some of the latest trends in home design.

This is the second renovation since the home builder opened its current location in 2009.

“We take this business very, very seriously,” said owner and President Tyrone Leslie. “If we’re not keeping ahead of the curve to help clients make better decisions, then we shouldn’t be in the business.”

The new showroom allows clients to see, feel and compare building materials such as windows, doors, cabinets, light fixtures, sinks, flooring, siding and more.

Leslie takes it a step farther by providing clients a three-dimensional tour of their home once selections have been made. Clients are able to walk through the home to see how selections work together and what it looks like to switch out different items.

Leslie said the tour allows clients to see their home come to life and it takes a lot of stress out of the building process.

The new design studio was also allows Heritage Homes to showcase its woman-centric approach.

Leslie said 91 percent of home purchase decisions are made by women, yet most are designed solely by men.

That knowledge prompted him to turn Heritage Homes into the area’s exclusive licensed Woman-Centric Homebuilder.

“It’s all about us being able to better understand our homeowners’ lifestyle,” Leslie said. “Women are the ones that know what the family needs to be able to live, function and work. The better we understand the family, the more livable the plan.”

Design is centered on the following concepts:

  • De-stressing. People want a place they can go to relax, whether it’s a reading room, a deck or a whirlpool tub. The team wants to know what provides that experience for their clients.
  • Storage and organization. Nine out of 10 people move because their current home does not meet their storage needs. They want to make sure clients’ needs are addressed in the design process.
  • Entertaining preferences. Clients are asked where they entertain, how often and for how many people in order to design the best kitchen, dining and livingroom plan.
  • Flexible living. The design includes areas that can be adapted for different needs. For example, a bedroom could be made into an exercise room, office or craft room if desired.

Leslie said the woman-centric design concept also focuses upon what he described as four distinct personality types.

Clients are asked to complete a 16-question online survey that categorizes them as an Elise, Maggie, Margo or Claire.

Elise is more traditional and family-oriented and sees her home as her haven. Maggie is casual and free spirited and wants her home to be carefree.

Margo has a contemporary style and values individuality. She wants her home to be unique. Claire is sophisticated and quality driven. She wants her home to make a statement.

To illustrate the difference in design approach, Leslie said while Claire would appreciate a light fixture many people had purchased and loved, Margot would be turned off by that.

He said the approach has taken the company’s customer service to a whole new level.

He said they build homes to be livable. Rather than buyers having to change their lifestyle to accommodate the house plan, Heritage Homes designs a house around a clients’ lifestyle.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501