Ball Homes

Favorite Kitchens
There's a lot to love in today's new home kitchens.  Here are some of our favorites!  Click the pic to see more about the…

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Favorite Kitchens

There's a lot to love in today's new home kitchens.  Here are some of our favorites! 

Click the pic to see more about the home, including photo galleries and floor plans!

The Wakefield Model

Most of us spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so we need them to be functional and we want them to look great.  We want them to be a fun, welcoming, busy but peaceful space where we can get lots done and feel good about where we are.  Plus, all of our guests end up in the kitchen sooner or later, right?  The Wakefield, shown above, is one of our favorites for open design and colorful backsplash accents.
 
Today's kitchens have tons of personality in the color schemes available, particularly the backsplash designs.  They are better than ever in terms of design functionality and use of space, especially for busy families.  The general trend toward natural materials is key in the kitchen, with granite remaining the most popular countertop choice with new home buyers. 




Organization continues to be a top priority for busy families who are multi-tasking, and the roles of technology and the home office continue to evolve.  For those who need 'just a little' office to keep home paperwork handy and neat, the pocket office is a great option.  Located adjacent to the kitchen, within a little nook for privacy, it blends seamlessly by using the same cabinet, tile, and countertop materials as the rest of the kitchen.  Pocket offices are typically optional features, so if your lifestyle calls for a bigger pantry instead, that's probably possible, too.  Floor plans with pocket office options include the Inglewood, Glenstone, Waverly, and Rutherford.



Another popular built-in feature in new home kitchens is the butler's pantry.  Nothing adds an upscale touch to a kitchen like a butler's pantry, which can be furnished as a china cabinet like the one below, with solid cabinet doors for storage, or with as a wine center, complete with wine rack and wine fridge.  The extra space it provides when entertaining or feeding a crowd makes it a winner. 

Butlers Pantry in the Cavanaugh II plan

In many floorplans, like the Hartford II and the Waverly, the butler's pantry functions as a transition from kitchen to formal dining room, making it even more useful as a serving station.  Again, the kitchen's color scheme, countertops, and backsplash pattern are repeated in the butler's pantry. 



Notice the role that undercabinet lighting plays in adding interest in both of these butler's pantries.

The Hartford II kitchen

Islands are still a favorite feature in new home kitchens, adding work space, storage, and a feeling of substance to a kitchen.  There's going to be some serious cooking going on in a kitchen with an island, right?

The Arlington II model home in Glasford

This Arlington II Expanded plan features a traditional rectangular island, with wine storage and lots of work space, ideal for families and friends who like to cook together without getting in one another's way. Matching the cabinets and countertop to the rest of the kitchen is a popular choice, but contrasting countertops and cabinets are also on the wish list of some homebuyers.  Pendant lights over the bar add both task lighting and aesthetic effect.


Notice the taller wall cabinets and glass doors shown above.  Opting for the 42" height wall cabinets gives this kitchen extra storage space and makes good use of the nine-foot ceilings that are so popular in today's designs, especially with buyers looking to add volume without loss of energy efficiency.  Glass doors in key locations let you showcase some favorite dishes, without revealing too much.

The gold-toned backsplash (this one is glass block lucente honey, 3X6, in a running bond with cornsilk grout) is a perfect companion to the gold tones in the Venetian Ice granite countertops.  A backsplash is a great way to add intensity to the color scheme in the kitchen, while still getting the soft, subtle effect of the pale cabinets, like these Classic 2 Maple Cabinets in Cashmere with an Auburn glaze. 

Busy families, especially those who sometimes can't sit down meals together at the same time, enjoy the convenience and closeness of a breakfast bar.  Island style can be traditional rectangles, or feature barrel-style curves that seat more people at the bar while taking up less floor space.  Curved island layouts also add visual appeal.

The Inglewood

Above, this Inglewood plan's optional elliptical island throws us a visual curve and softens the angle of the bar as it opens to the breakfast area and family room.  We love the extra, casual seating and the pendant lights, and the view of the back yard and the bay window option.  But our favorite thing about the Inglewood kitchen is the flexible layout choices: it comes with a walk-in pantry that can be optioned as a pocket office and smaller pantry, or even with a pocket office, pantry, and drop zone with built in storage in the adjacent hall to the garage, as shown in the Paynes Landing model home.  Who says you can't have it all?

The Talbot plan shown below has room for a curved island with eating counter, plus a breakfast area table and chairs.  This Talbot uses variable height wall cabinets (notice the stair step effect of the top cabinets) to create visual interest and add storage space.  Glass doors on selected cabinets create a showcase for dishes.

 The Talbot model in the Paynes Landing Gallery of Homes

This Livingston plan, below, also offers a curved island counter, and generous space for casual dining in addition to the home's formal dining room.  The built-in buffet at the left of the photos is a plan option that replaces a large pantry.  Again, the built in kitchen features add convenience and a custom feel to these spacious kitchens, tying together all the color and material selections in a unified and pleasing way.

The Livingston model in the Abbey at Old Oxford

The Livingston kitchen is also a great example of an open layout design.  Extra guests are no problem with a dining area this large and open.  The Hartford II is also popular with homebuyers in search of an open layout, as the kitchen and breakfast area open to the family room.

The Hartford II kitchen and view of the two story family room

Conventional wisdom says that kitchen design should have a window over the kitchen sink, but a beautiful view like this one in the Hartford II plan, with its two story family room and stone fireplace, is hard to resist.


See more homes at ballhomes.com

Whether your kitchen must-haves list includes granite, stone, colorful backsplash designs, glass door cabinets, dining counters, a pocket office, or butler's pantry, we invite you to check out our photo galleries on houzz, and to visit some of these floor plans during open house.



Visit Ball Homes on Houzz for more photos and idea galleries

Have You Been on Houzz?

Have you been on Houzz yet? It's incredible, and you should definitely check it out. It's the new way to design your home, and you can browse 9 million interior design photos, home decor, decorating ideas and home professionals online.

When you visit our profile on Houzz, you can browse through pictures of our model homes, ask us questions, and save things to your idea books!

Grand Opening! Gallery of Homes

Thank you to everyone that came out on Tuesday to help us celebrate our new Gallery of Homes and Sales Center in Georgetown.



We kicked it all off with a beautiful ribbon cutting ceremony!


Lisa Ball Cutting the Ribbon!


Look at at spread! Catering by Miss Stephanie’s in Georgetown!

Super delicious cookies by Leanne’s Cake Creations!










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For more information on the Gallery of Homes and Sales Center and when you can visit them click here!

Orchard Exploration

It's now officially Fall, which means it's also officially apple picking season! Pumpkins seem to be the top runner in fall produce these days, but don't you think apples should get just as much spotlight too? Here in the Lexington area there's not only one great, local orchard -- but two! Have you ever been to Evans Orchard or Boyds Orchard? They're both absolutely fantastic and so much fun!




The Evans Orchard Farm Market opens in May with beautiful hanging baskets and fresh, homegrown strawberries within just a matter of days. Throughout the summer and fall, you’ll find our Farm Market & Gift Store packed with tasty, locally grown fruits and vegetables, picked at the peak of perfection for the best flavor and nutritional value.

We grow over 20 acres of peaches, apples, and pears and more than 20 acres of farm-fresh vegetable.

While you are in the Gift Store, be sure to sample our delicious, creamy homemade fudge, and try the apple cider donuts or perhaps a fried apple pie, along with a special glass of our own yummy apple cider! We also have lots of jams and jellies, honey, gifts, candles, and toys!

Plan to stay awhile and include a visit to the Sweet Apple Café and Bakery for a hamburger, hot dog, grilled chicken sandwich, rib-eye sandwich, pulled pork cooked with our own apples, ice cream, apple dumplings, or something else from our tasty menu!

For more information click here to visit their website!



The Boyd's of Boyd Orchards, 5th generation fruit growers hailing from Southern Illinois, bring their many years of experience in growing delicious produce and agri-entertainment.  Come on out and experience family fun at its finest on our neatly kept farm in Versailles, KY!

Children of all ages love our large and unique playground - big slides, a pirate ship, and even a hay castle!  There is so much to do the little ones never want to leave!  We offer high quality fruits and vegetables of the season including U-Pick Strawberries, Blackberries, and Apples!  During the fall we also have hayrides, pick your own apples and pumpkins, an animal center, corn maze and bonfire areas for group events.  Our Apple Blossom Cafe offers seasonal treats and our Gift Shop has unique products for all occasions.

For more information and hours click here to visit their website!

It's so exciting to go apple picking! The weather will be perfect for it this weekend!

Pass the Salt!

We all know that salt is essential to life and goes great on fries, but did you guys know all the great uses it has in your home? Bust that salt out of your kitchen and see the good it can do throughout the house! Did you know salt has the capability to do all of these things?

It can make your coffee taste better. If your morning cup of coffee is tasting a little bitter, salt can fix your problem. Fill the pot with water and then add four tablespoons of salt. Run the salt water through the coffee pot without adding any grounds and then rinse out the pot. Your next cup of joe should be a lot less bitter.

It can remove soap scum from your glass shower doors. Ever get that really unattractive layer of film on your glass shower doors? That no matter how hard you scrub and with what cleaning solutions, it just won't come off? Use salt! Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt and add water until it forms a paste. With a sponge, rub the paste into the door, let it sit for about half an hour, and then rinse the paste away with water!

It can clean a sponge. To clean a dirty sponge, soak it overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt per quart of warm water.

It can remove wine stains. Spill wine on your carpet? Sop up as much liquid as possible and then sprinkle the affected area with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then vacuum the area.

It can clean a flower vase. To remove mineral deposits from a glass flower vase, rub the stains with a mix of equal parts of salt and water. Then rinse with warm water!

It can erase lipstick stains from your glasses. Rub the stained edges of your glassware with a paste of salt and water until the lipstick disappears. Then wash the glassware as usual!

It can clean yellowed wicker furniture. Is your white wicker not very white anymore? Salt can fix it! Scrub the furniture with warm salt water with a stiff-bristled brush. Let the furniture dry in the sun. No rinsing required!

It can remove sweat stains. Remove sweat stains from your favorite shirts with a mixture of four tablespoons of salt per one quart of hot water. While the mixture is still hot, sponge it directly onto the stains until they disappear. Then just pop in the wash as you normally would!

It can clear out your garbage disposal.
To dislodge stuck waste in your disposal, pour a half a cup of salt down the drain, run cold water, and then turn the disposal on. The salt will also help neutralize those not so pleasant sink odors!

It can keep ants away. By sprinkling a line of salt at your home's entry points (like doors and windows), ants will stay out. They generally won't cross the barrier!

It can polish brass and copper.
To remove tarnish from copper and brass, mix a paste of equal parts salt, flour, and water. Rub the paste into the tarnished item with a soft cloth and then rinse away with warm, soapy water.

It can remove a tub ring. Mix one tablespoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste, and then coat the ring with it. After 2-3 minutes, scrub the ring and then rinse the paste away. If you ring is stubborn, you may need to repeat this several times before it's completely gone.

It can clean your wok. While your wok is still hot, pour in two or three tablespoons of salt and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe away the salt and then coat the wok with vegetable oil. In general, avoid cleaning your wok with water. It can cause the surface to rust.

It can remove grease stains. To remove grease stains from carpets and cloth furniture, mix one-part salt with four-parts rubbing alcohol. Rub this mixture into the grease stain. No need to rinse. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate.

It can erase drink rings. To erase ugly rings left by drinks and hot dishes on wooden furniture, mix a handful of salt with a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it's the consistency of paste. Gently rub the past into the ring until it disappears.

It can clean the refrigerator.
In a bowl, mix salt and soda water equally until it forms a thick paste. Using a soft cloth, wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and then rinse away with water.

It can stop suds.
If you're been too heavy-handed with the laundry or dish detergent, stop suds from forming by sprinkling salt on them immediately.

It can brighten colors in the wash.
If your reds look a little more like pink these days, rinse them in a saltwater solution in the sink before running them through the wash. The key to brightening your colors is to vigorously rub the salt into the clothing.

It can remove bloodstains from clothing.
Soak the stained garment in a saltwater bath as soon as you can. After about four hours, check to see if the blood is gone. Once it's gone - or at least faded - wash the clothes in a normal, hot cycle.

It can clean your iron. Over time, your iron may develop a gunky film. Remove it with salt! Sprinkle salt directly on a piece of paper and then run the hot iron over the salt. This will remove any residue and gunk.

It can deter weeds from growing.
If cracks in your driveway or walkway invite weeds to grow, spread salt between the cracks and then pour water over the salt to form a paste. This concoction will block the sun and prevent weeds.

It can prolong the life of your candles. To prevent candles from dripping away, soak them in a saltwater bath for a few hours when they're brand new. This will prevent them from dripping as quickly when you burn them. Just make sure they're completely dry before you burn the wick!

It can fill nail holes in the wall.
If you're ready to move a painting but aren't pumped about having a nail hole in your wall, grab the salt! Mix two tablespoons of salt, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and enough water to make a thick paste. Use the paste and a knife to fill the hole.

It can extend the life of your toothbrush.
To keep the bristles on your toothbrush firm a little longer, soak it in a saltwater bath for about an hour before your first use.

It can clean your broom.
To clean all that muck off a straw broom, soak its bristles in a 50/50 mixture of salt and hot water for about 20 minutes. Let the broom completely dry before you use it again!

It can sweeten your fruit.
Salt decreases your taste buds' perception of acidity and allows you to better taste the sugar compounds. If you usually reach for the sugar, try adding a little salt to your morning grapefruit instead.

It can add some flavor to your pasta.
It's a myth that adding salt to simmering water will make it boil faster. Salt does make water boil at a high temperature, but you'd have to add a huge amount to make the different noticeable. But, myths aside, a few sprinkles of salt will make your noodles taste better!

It can instantly chill champagne.
Put your champagne bottle into a bucket or tall container. Add a layer of ice and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer ice and salt until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add enough cold water to cover everything. The science: Salt on ice decreases the freezing temperature, and water increases the cold surface area touching your bottle. This trick also works for wine!

It can clean a stained coffee pot.
Put salt and ice cubes directly into an empty coffee pot, shake it, and then rinse. The salt and the ice will scour the coffee stains on the bottom. No sponge needed!