Inviting family and friends into your home has always been an important part of making lifelong memories and enjoying the company of those you love.

In today’s market, homes that take advantage of certain features and design elements have great appeal to potential buyers and can add considerable value to the residence.

At Heritage Harbor, a premier waterfront resort community along the Illinois River in Ottawa, a curated selection of homes is offered. Some homes feature a custom entertainment oasis perfect for large family gatherings while other homes provide a cozy space for inviting the neighbors over for dinner.

Here are some of the key new home features that can add value to your parties AND your property.

Go With the Flow – One of the key features of a home best suited for entertaining is an open floor plan that allows guests to flow easily within the home and from inside to outside. Thirty years ago, homes were designed with separate formal living rooms and family rooms. The idea was that guests would be received in the living room while the family room was meant for watching television with the family. The newest models at Heritage Harbor feature open floor plans to make transitioning from the interior space to the outdoors inviting and easy. Interior walls have given way to open spaces where furniture and other design components delineate one space from another.

The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home – A well-designed and thoughtful kitchen layout can make a big difference in your ease of entertaining. A center island or bar-height dining counter will be a favorite place for you and your guests to gather while preparing refreshments and dinner or sharing appetizers, providing a warm, social spot for the perfect evening. Ample storage is important to reduce kitchen clutter. The positioning of your appliances, sink and food preparation areas must be considered when allowing for the best traffic flow in and near your kitchen. Whether preparing a holiday turkey with the fixings or prepping for a casual gathering, organizing your kitchen for prep, cooking and dining is key. Don’t forget the right lighting, which is important for providing optimum illumination along with setting the right mood.

The Great Outdoors – Taking full advantage of the waterfront access and ambiance of your home’s outdoor space is a primary feature of many of Heritage Harbor’s neighborhoods. Design outdoor spaces to allow for traffic flow for family and friends while sitting on your patio or deck, and up the ante with a firepit or mix-up cocktails from an outside bar. The design of your home should incorporate the best of both the interior and outdoor living spaces to make your guests feel at home.

Don’t Forget the Basement – Many of the homes offered in Heritage Harbor feature finished basements with 8-foot high ceilings, providing the ideal space for the visiting grandkids to play video games or for the neighbors to enjoy sports on your big-screen TV. Adding a wet bar with counter space, a small refrigerator, and a sink makes this a valuable part of homes for those who love to entertain.

“Our Builders Guild of premium custom home builders, CL Design-Build, Inc., Cedar Key Development, LLC, and Heritage Harbor Homes, offer many custom home plans perfect for entertaining,” said Tammy Barry, VP of Sales and Marketing. “We work closely with all of our residents to create their dream home with a focus on welcoming guests and families to their new residence.”

Heritage Harbor is located at 111 Harbor View Drive in Ottawa. Please call (815) 433-5000 or visit to check out all of the real estate opportunities in the beautiful heart of Starved Rock Country.