Monday, March 30, 2015
If your home is your safehaven, then your Master bedroom is your command center. It's the place where you can recharge and refresh from the busy-ness of our everyday lives. It's essential to create an atmosphere for yourself that is warm and inviting and comforting. Here's some Master bedroom ideas to transform your bedroom into a serene oasis.
Start your transformation with color. Whether you decide to paint your Master retreat, or incorporate new bedding, soothing colors like greens, soft creams, or purples create a feeling of rest and relaxation.
You spend a third of your life sleeping, so it’s important to choose a mattress, pillows and bedding that are the most comfortable for you. Bedding is also important. You have a variety of fabrics and finishes to choose from. Whatever you choose, make sure you feel most comfortable with it.
Maximize functionality by incorporating a space in your master bedroom for an elegant chaise lounge or a pair of overstuffed armchairs. Having any form of additional seating in your master creates a more dynamic sense of space where you can enjoy alone time away from the main social areas in your home and instantly creates a peaceful spot to unwind at the end of the day.
Lastly, incorporate personal touches, like family photos or keepsakes on nightstands or bookshelves. Try not to over-accessorize, but just include items that are important or sentimental to you. Banish electronics, like TVs, laptops, or cellphones to another room or hallway to keep your Master retreat a serene spot, without distractions.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The entryway or foyer is your home's first impression on visitors. Make sure it's a good one. If you're looking for ways to add some life to your vestibule, here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Your entryway floors take a beating from all the traffic and weather. Make sure your flooring can take the beating by choosing the correct flooring for your home. Consider adding an area rug or runner down to combat some of the foot traffic. Keep your rugs clear of the furniture so the space has a feeling of openness. And don’t let it extend the entire length of the hallway: You want to be sure that the front door can open freely.
The easiest way to liven up your foyer is to paint the walls. Choose a color that is in the same palette as the other rooms close to it for continuity. If painting isn't in the budget, pieces of art can work wonders. Hanging artwork, mirrors or other decorations engage your visitors eyes immediately and gives your foyer the lift it was missing. Art doesn't have to be expensive either. You can use swatches of wallpaper in clean frames to create an eclectic grouping, or try ornamental mirrors as well.
Your entryway should not only be appealing to the eye, but it should also be functional. Consider adding a few pieces of furniture, like a small dresser and chair to give your foyer a cozy feeling. Put a basket or bowl there to be a catch-all for keys or mial, but make sure it doesn't become too cluttered. A drop-zone is another great piece to add to your entryway to corrall all of the coats and shoes.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
The results are in, and the best-selling plans of last year were the ever-popular Cavanaugh II, the elegant and spacious Hudson and Hartford II plans, and the new Preston and Jackson II. Based on homes closed in 2014, those five plans topped the list, followed by several upscale ranch plans and classic traditional two-stories.
- The Cavanaugh II was a clear favorite, and remains one of our most loved plans for its bang-for-the-buck value and family-friendly layout. At 3262sf, this two story plan can be configured with four bedrooms and a loft, or five bedrooms. The huge master suite includes a double tray ceiling in the bedroom, a wrap-around closet with direct access to the utility room, and luxury bath options like oversized tiled showers and his-and-hers vanities and closets. The plan's wide appeal across a variety of communities is evident in the starting price range, from just under $200K in Masterson Station to just under $300K in the Enclave at Chilesburg. Part of its value and flexibility comes from the narrow footprint design that allows it to be built on smaller or larger home sites. Four different front elevations are available. We predict the Cavanaugh II Expanded, the next generation of the current plan, will be a top choice in 2015.
- The Hudson plan was our second most popular plan, attracting those who love traditional two story styling with lots and lots of space, starting at 3371sf and with up to six bedrooms and four baths possible. The base plan includes four bedroom, loft, study, and upstairs master suite with sitting room. Available plan options include a fifth upstairs bedroom and full bath, a first floor guest suite, and sunroom. Base prices range from the $230's to the $310's.
- The Hartford IIwas also a big seller in the traditional two-story category, and at 3322sf reflects recent trends toward larger family homes, with flexible upstairs spaces and guest suite capabilities. This plan has a first floor master suite, a two-story family room, and three bedrooms upstairs plus a large bonus room option. Bedroom 2 has an option for a private bath. Base prices from the $220's to the $310's.
- The Preston, a new plan in the Villa category, was our fourth best seller, with 2810sf and an elegant exterior design featuring a front porch with arches and columns, hip roof, arched opening garage door, and decorative gables. Upstairs are three bedrooms and a loft; downstairs are a combination formal living/dining room and a large corner kitchen and spacious family room. Starting prices range from the upper $180's to the $240's.
- The Jackson II plan, also new, rounds out our top five with another two-story, upstairs master plan. This 2646sf plan continues the trend of flexible spaces, boasting a first floor office/study that can also be configured as a first floor guest suite. The first floor layout is very open in the main living spaces, with a large family room that opens to the kitchen/breakfast area. The upstairs master suite offers a variety of luxury bath configurations. Base prices from the upper $180's to the $270's.
Also among our best sellers were upscale ranch plans in varying sizes, like the Manhattan and Manhattan Expanded, the Monroe, the Dalton, and Carolina.
Ranch plans like the Baldwin and Baldwin Expanded, Ramsay that offer an option for a flex room or finished bonus room above the garage were popular with buyers, again showing the preference among today's buyers for flexible spaces that can meet a variety of needs, and offer some privacy and separation from the rest of the home.
Other top sellers in the larger two-story group were the Charleston II, Arlington II Expanded, Alexander II, and Livingston.
The new Brooklyn, the re-imagined Sierra II, and the popular story and a half Rockwood Expanded continued to be strong sellers in the mid-sized home category.
We predict the new Wakefield, Hawthorne, Canterbury, Livingston, and Hemingway plans will be strong sellers in the traditional two story category. These larger homes offer between 3000 and 4000sf and will appeal to those looking for lots of bedrooms, flexible loft or media space, and features like walk-in kitchen pantries, drop zone options in mudrooms or hallway, pocket offices, first floor guest suite options, and generous storage space. The Hemingway and Livingston feature third car tandem garages, a clever solution for families looking for more storage or vehicle space without the full expense of a three-car wide garage and a home site that will accommodate it.
The new Talbot plan, a four bedroom two-story home reminiscent of the Anderson II and Arlington II Expanded, is expected to a hot seller with those looking for a well-priced home between 2500 and 3000sf, with a starting price from the $190's to the high $280's, and offered in a variety of locations.
The Talbot model in The Village at Lanes Run in Georgetown won a 2014 Sales and Marketing Award for Best New Home Design.
Fans of large ranch homes with bonus room options will appreciate the Glenstone, a new ranch model with three bedrooms and 2349 square feet on the main floor. The bonus room option can be configured with extra storage, a powder room, and wet bar.