Thursday, May 12, 2016
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, September 11, 2014
There's a new addition to the Ball Homes collection of floor plans. The Livingston is a traditionally styled two-story plan with a three car tandem garage.
The first floor includes a formal dining and a study, a spacious family room, and a large open kitchen with an elliptical island, corner pantry, and breakfast area with additional cabinets and built-in buffet option. The formal dining room is open to the foyer, and also via a pass-through from the kitchen. Keep the family organized with a mudroom with an optional built in bench and storage off the garage entry.
Upstairs, the master suite and three roomy bedrooms with spacious closets surround a central loft area.
The master suite overlooks the rear yard with a triple window, and double doors connect to the luxury master bath. A spacious shower and garden tub are included, and can be customized from several available options. The room-sized master closet has direct access to the utility room, which includes a folding counter.
For more photos and information on the Livingston floor plan, visit the model home in The Abbey at Old Oxford, or contact a Ball Homes Specialist today.