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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
A new twist on a popular floor plan is now available.
The Westmont II Expanded plays off the popular Westmont II floor plan, adding an additional 45 square feet of living space, revamping the master suite, and adding several plan enhancements. It offers the convenience of one-story living, with a split bedroom ranch design, plus an optional media room with unfinished storage area and full bath on the second floor.
Nine-foot ceilings are included throughout the main living areas, and tray ceilings in the master bedroom and dining room and a vault in bedroom 2 add visual interest. The Westmont II Expanded features a bay window in the master bedroom and a garden tub, separate shower in the master bath. The family room overlooks the rear yard and can include an optional fireplace and recessed built-in bookcases. The kitchen's wrap-around bartop offers casual eating space, while the window-lined breakfast area and formal dining room offer more dining options.
A model is currently under construction in our Middleton Park subdivision in Knoxville. For more information on the communities available for the Westmont II Expanded, contact a Ball Homes Specialist today.