5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Summer

With the summer on its way, it’s time to get your home prepped for warmer weather. From spending time outside to keeping your yard healthy, there are a few things to consider when transitioning from spring to summer.

1. Take care of the flower beds

Get rid of weeds and fertilize your greenery. Purchase new summer plants to spruce up your garden. Make it a fun activity to do with the family on a nice day. The prettier your outdoor space, the more you will want to spend time in it there this summer.

2. Check your irrigation system

Sprinklers may have some damage from the winter freezing or may just need a little TLC after inactive months. Make sure all are in working order and make repairs or replacements as needed.

3. Fill in grass

Remove debris and mow the lawn to find any spots that are a little bare. Purchase seeds and dethatch the brown grass that needs to be replaced. Apply the new seeds and fertilizer and watch it grow this summer!

4. Move winter clothes into storage

Aside from a sweatshirt on the porch, you probably won’t need your winter gear this summer. Swap out your sweaters for swimsuits and flannels for flip flops.

5. Prep the grill

Clean all the residue of last summer’s barbecues off your grill before you fire it up! To do so, close the hood and let the grill heat up all the way. Wait for at least 20 minutes before turning it off. Disconnect the gas line, and, once it’s completely cooled, remove the grates and burners and let them soak in warm, soapy water. Scrub down the whole grill and all its pieces before reassembling. For cleaning instructions, be sure to check your grill’s specific manual.

 

Enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine this summer!

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Often when starting a new year, we make resolutions. The universal goal is to make this year better than the last. Here are a few resolutions you can make for your home to create a more calming, organized, and family-friendly space to love.

 

Create a Cleaning Schedule

There are things you do every week and every day, like laundry and dishes. Make a cleaning schedule for your home, from a monthly or quarterly closet declutter all the way down to sweeping. Assign a date for each item and who will be responsible for completing it.  Sticking to the schedule means tasks do not go unnoticed and nothing piles up on you.

 

Complete a Home Safety Check

Change the batteries in your smoke detector. Test your home for harmful chemicals. Do a safety check throughout the home to protect your family for the whole year. Consider having a home security system or a smart doorbell installed to keep your home and family even safer!

 

Cut Energy Use and Costs

Consider keeping the house a degree warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. Make sure you turn off lights and appliances that aren’t in use. Install eco-friendly LED bulbs and check for Energy Saver ratings when investing in appliances. Saving on energy won’t just help the planet, it will help save you money.

 

Revamp and Refresh Your Space

Start the New Year with a fresh start by revamping your space! Spruce up by having walls repainted or updating the décor in an area of your home. Rearrange the furniture or change out your throw pillows to make a big impact easily.  Check out this article on refreshing your space with the 2022 Colors of the Year.

2022 Colors of the Year

A new year offers the promise of a fresh start, and that doesn’t just apply to your resolutions. The new year can bring a sense of refreshment for you and your home. Now that the holidays are over, you can refocus your energy and update your living space.

HGTV-Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have each given us a head start on refreshing our homes in the new year by selecting a Color of the Year for 2022.

Meet Aleutian

HGTV-Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year is Aleutian, an earthy, blue-toned stone color. Neutral enough to ground a space, but with a hint of color to add depth and contrast. It is cozy and serene and works in almost any room of the home.

 

Meet October Mist

Benjamin Moore’s 2022 Color of the Year is October Mist, a calming, soft sage hue. This shade was inspired by the stem of a flower and evokes subtle botanical themes. October Mist is whimsical but sophisticated and can bring a hint of nature to any space. Like Aleutian, October Mist is a neutral hue, and can complement a variety of spaces and other colors.

 

Both Benjamin Moore and HGTV-Sherwin Williams have compiled color palettes for further inspiration on using their Color of the Year.

Using these colors in your home can inspire a large project or a small one. Here are a few ways to consider using a Color of the Year in your home.

 

Add an Accent

An easy way to dip your toes into a pool of new color is to start small. Paint a piece of furniture, find throw pillows in the color, or add small accents of Aleutian or October Mist. If you love the color and want to update your curb appeal, try painting the front door. These projects are small in scale, but can add a lot of impact in your home.

 

Embrace the Color

For a larger project and larger impact, embrace the color on a larger scale. Have your painter repaint an accent wall, ceiling, or entire room in a color of the year. Explore furnishings and wall art that feature the color.  Try flooring or an area rug with the 2022 hue of your choice.

 

Get Creative

Create a custom masterpiece in your home. Add an accent wall of a hand-painted, stamped, or stenciled pattern to explore your creativity. DIY it or have a quilt or custom piece of art made that includes the color you want to feature in your refreshed space. The options are as endless as your imagination.

 

Enjoy the colors of the year.  We hope they refresh you and your home in 2022.

Closet and Pantry Organization Hacks

Organization is key to a functional home. Spaces like closets and pantries can easily become overcrowded and hard to navigate. How can you maximize your closet and pantry space to make your day-to-day life easier?  Here are a few clever hacks to help.

 

Drawers

Putting a small dresser or drawer unit in your pantry or closet is a great way to put your floor space to use. In a closet, they make so much sense under your hanging clothes. Use the drawers to store pants or folded tops in your closet, or to store snacks in your pantry.

 

Lazy Susan

A Lazy Susan in your pantry is a quick way to easily see everything in the space. Instead of pulling out cans and bottles one by one to view what’s tucked in the back of the shelf, place the items onto a Lazy Susan and simply rotate to find what you need.

 

Hanging Organizers

Use hanging organizers in your closet or your pantry!  In closets, use them to store shoes, accessories, or winter gear. Add a hanging organizer on the back of your pantry door to make spices, snacks or bottled drinks easy to access.

 

Hooks

Hooks are your friend! Hang belts, scarves, jewelry, and hats on small hooks in your closet, and use larger hooks to hang hoodies or jackets. Hooks can be added to wall space or the back of doors for easy access.  In the pantry, hang pots, lids, and utensils from hooks. You can even hang a caddy with hooks and fill it with spices, condiments, or other items.

 

Drawer Organizers

In the kitchen, place dividers and smaller bins into your drawers to separate your utensils, lids, or spices. In closets, use drawer organizers to separate underwear and socks.

 

Clear Containers and Bins

Investing in uniform containers for storage will make your life easier. Instead of trying to fit boxes and cartons that are all different sizes into your pantry space, invest in clear containers that are all the same size, which will stack easily and line up perfectly. This also makes it easier to tell when you’re running low on any pantry staples! Airtight storage containers will also keep your food fresher for longer.

Clear bins and containers can be helpful in closets, too.  Use them for easy viewing of supplies or to rotate seasonal clothing or other items. They make it easy to grab what you need quickly.

Meet the Magnolia Ridge

The Magnolia Ridge is a split floorplan offering both privacy for living quarters and abundant open space for family time and entertaining friends.  Upon entering the home from the covered porch, you find yourself in a large, open concept living space. This great family and entertainment space includes a large living room, dining room and kitchen combination.  Windows and doorways allow for ample natural lighting in addition to lighting fixtures throughout. The open kitchen features stainless steel appliances, countertop space and room for an island.

 

 

The floorplan offers a large master suite at the rear of the home that includes a spacious walk-in closet. You’ll also find a luxurious master suite featuring double vanities, a linen closet, and both a bathtub and shower.

 

 

 

A two-car garage and mudroom/laundry complete the lower level of this end of the house, giving you ample space for vehicles and storage.  Over the garage, an option for a generously sized utility space gives you space for a man-cave, playroom, office or guest room.

 

At the opposite end of the lower floor, two bedrooms flank a bath with a tub/shower, double vanities and linen closet.  Perfect for the kids or grandkids, this arrangement provides privacy for the master suite and space for the entire family.  With lots of upgrade options, you can truly make it your own!

 

View the floorplan rendering here                  Virtual Walkthrough of Magnolia Ridge

Simple Ways to Decorate Your Front Doorstep

Are you ready for holiday parties and welcoming your loved ones to your home? Decorate your front door with some festive embellishments to offer a warm welcome. Even the simplest decorations can go a long way and will only take a few moments to hang!  Here are a few ideas to inspire your holiday door and front porch décor!

 

Recycle a Wreath


https://imagesvc.meredithcorp.io/v3/mm/image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.onecms.io%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F24%2F2020%2F11%2F05%2F2640101_Chris_-Outside-003-F-2000.jpg

Repurpose old Christmas decorations for your front porch. Old ornaments, strips of ribbon, pine cones, and more, can be fastened to a wreath and hung on your front door. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and be merry while you do it! We do not recommend over-the-door wreath hangers as they can throw doors out of alignment.

 

 

Swap Out Your Doormat

https://candieanderson.com/images/2018/11/Baby-its-cold-outside-doormat-Cotton-Mill-Shop-holiday-doormats-snowflakes-christmas-song.jpg

 

Replacing your doormat with a seasonal one is another fun way to decorate your front doorstep. Choose a wintery message or a cute Christmas icon to get into the holiday spirit!

 

String or Garland Lighting

https://cdn.christmaslightsetc.com/images/CategoryDetail/69388/garland-lights-christmas-porch-decorations-8739.jpg

Add joy by lighting up your entryway with string or garland lights. Frame the door, wrap columns and railings, or even the walkway leading up to your door. Try finding energy efficient lighting options so your energy bill doesn’t skyrocket and to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

Jingle Bells


https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/christmas-door-decorations-1604369742.jpg?crop=1.00xw:0.967xh;0,0&resize=980:*

Greet your guests with a holiday jingle by adding a strand of Christmas bells around your door handle.

 

Natural Greenery

https://www.modern-glam.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/scandinavian-christmas-porch-decor1-3-of-13.jpg

Keep things simple with greenery, whether man-made or fresh. Drape it around your door frame, along the banisters, and add a small tree to the stoop. It’s festive throughout the winter season. Elevate it with some ornaments, bows, or with white fairy lights for nighttime.

Get Your NC Home Ready for Winter

While winter doesn’t hit coastal North Carolina as hard as northern states, it’s still important to winterize your home and perform seasonal maintenance. Preparing your home for winter before temperatures reach a freezing point prevents damage and helps keep your family comfortably warm. 

Clean Gutters 

Regularly cleaning out gutters is always a good idea.  Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your house. But in winter, a clogged gutter can freeze.  If it does, it becomes very heavy and can break or fall. Make sure to clean your gutters before it freezes! 

 

Check for and Fill Cracks and Gaps 

Ensure that there are no cracks in your molding, foundation, or around windows/doors. Fill the holes in molding or foundation with caulk, and install weatherstripping for any gaps around doors and windows. Most doors have adjustable thresholds that can easily be adjusted with a screwdriver, this is a good practice to ensure proper seal of the sweep to the threshold. Doing so will prevent pests from entering your home and save on heating costs by keeping warm air inside your home. Also, check all windows to make sure they are fully closed and properly latched to prevent energy loss from cold air slowly getting in. 

 

Trim Tree Limbs 

Like gutters, freezing rain and temperatures can make tree limbs heavier, causing weakened branches to fall or break. Trim limbs that are close to windows or over your gutters or roof to prevent costly damages to your home.  Trimming shrubs and trees away from the house is also a great pest prevention tactic. 

 

Drain Hose Pipes 

When freezing weather is approaching, draining your pipes is a simple but effective prevention technique. Shut off the valve – labeled hose bib valve – inside your home, and then turn the hose on to let all the water run out of the pipes. This step is not needed frequently but is very helpful to know when we get a hard freeze in eastern North Carolina. 

 

Clean Vents 

Wiping down your vents before turning them on for the first time will prevent an unpleasant “burnt dust” smell.  

 

Replace Air Filters 

Make sure that the money you’re spending for hot air inside is being used efficiently! Dirty air filters prevent proper airflow. Replace air filters regularly as recommended by your heating/cooling unit manufacturer. Be sure to use the correct size to properly filter the air and not leave gaps for dust and debris to be pumped into the air return. 

 

These helpful tips will help keep your home cozy this winter and prevent damage to your property, and will also help save a few dollars on energy. 

Meet the Brookstone

 

We’d like to introduce you to The Brookstone. This floorplan is one of our most popular customizable home plans in eastern North Carolina.  Families enjoy the flexibility, space and amenities it offers. Let’s take a little tour of its features and amenities.

The Brookstone is a spacious, customizable home featuring four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms and lots of light. It’s got over 2800 square feet to explore! Let’s start from the front porch entering the first floor.

 

The foyer is open and full of light, reaching all the way to the second floor. It will welcome friends into your home in the warmest way. Enter a wide living space that’s inviting and can easily extend into an optional back porch.  A formal dining room is at the front of the house, perfect for entertaining friends and family.

Moving from the living room, you enter a kitchen that’s open and features a cozy breakfast nook surrounded by windows. It’s easy to picture bright mornings sipping a cup of coffee with the family in this space.

The first floor is completed by an “in-law suite” or guest suite, equipped with a full bath, a space that could be used as an office or den, and a half bath.

On the second floor, you’ll find two bedrooms and a generous master suite. The master suite includes a large master bath with a garden tub and an extra-large closet. A full bath and your laundry room are also on the second floor.

This floor plan comes with a two-car garage, but you have the option to expand it to a three car garage if that will suit your family’s needs. There are options to customize the entry from the garage with a built-in mudroom.

 

The Brookstone is the perfectly customizable home.  There are so many ways to make it your own.  Explore it and see it has plenty of space for your whole family.

The Brookstone Floorplan Rendering

5 Reasons to Build a Home in Eastern North Carolina

There are lots of reasons to call Eastern North Carolina home. Commonly rated one of the best places to live, North Carolinians experience higher quality of life. For starters, neighborhoods are safer, people are friendlier, the pace is more relaxed, and commutes are shorter.  If you’re coming from an urban area, you’ll see benefits in the cost of living, too. Let’s look at 5 key reasons to build in coastal North Carolina and make this beautiful place your home!

1. Moderate Climate

The climate in eastern North Carolina is mild and you can enjoy time outdoors in all four seasons. Summer months are warm, but when living on the coast, you can visit one of the beaches or spend your days by the pool. You won’t have to worry about ice storms or much snow in the winter, and you can enjoy outdoor living spaces most of the year.

2. Waterways & Beaches

With rivers flowing throughout most of the region and intercoastal waterways and beaches nearby, anyone who loves spending time on the water will love to be in ENC. Boating, kayaking, swimming, and walking on the beach are favorite pastimes.  Freshwater and saltwater fishing are readily available, and fresh seafood will have you feeling right at home in coastal North Carolina.

3. History to Explore

New Bern is the original capital of North Carolina and is home to several historical attractions like Tryon Palace and the original Pepsi store. The first English settlement was on Roanoke Island, and North Carolina’s oldest continuous settlement is in Bath. Tour the USS North Carolina in Wilmington and the Lejeune Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville.  Take a Quilt-Square tour and visit local art spots.  Eastern North Carolina has artisans and quaint history in many of its towns that are sure to charm.

4. Nature & Wildlife

In addition to the waterways and beaches, there’s plenty in ENC for those who love hiking, exploring parks, and enjoying nature. You can experience wildlife up close at aquariums, go horseback riding or visit wild horses on Shackleford Banks.

5. Cost of living

North Carolina is below average in cost of living, with higher ratings of quality of life! In coastal North Carolina, you will enjoy less urban congestion, lower crime rates, cleaner water, safer neighborhoods, and a more relaxed pace. You’ll see the people are friendlier and life is good in the coastal communities of Eastern North Carolina.

 

If you’re looking for a great place to raise a family, relax, or retire, welcome.  We’re sure you’ll see why we love calling this “down east” coastal area our home.

Details to Include on Your Deck or Patio

Moderate weather in Eastern North Carolina, makes it easy to spend time outside in spring, summer and fall. Designing the perfect patio will keep you enjoying the extended living space of your home. There are many ways to make your deck or patio a favorite spot for your family.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

Add a Fireplace or Fire Pit

Adding a fireplace or fire pit to your outdoor living space will keep you spending time on your patio or deck in the evenings or during cooler weather in spring and fall. Kids will love the opportunity to make s’mores whenever you have a fire going! Be sure to check your fire pit or fireplaces manufacturer requirements, and your city’s code before adding any flame producing items to your deck.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill and an outdoor sink… or a completely built-in gourmet set up! In either case, it reduces trips in and out of the house while cooking outdoors.  If you’re entertaining, you can converse with your guests and they’ll feel more included in the process. Be sure to speak with your builder about your options!

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting.

Lights can define your space and set an atmosphere.  You’ll need some lighting to make the space functional, but lighting can do more than make it safe to move about.  String lights can frame your outdoor living space in soft light.  Fairy lights can create a starry night effect overhead.  There are many creative ways to use lighting to set the mood for your space.

Overhead Cover

Roof extensions, awnings or sun shades provide cover for your deck or patio and in some cases can easily be installed after your build in complete.  This will protect you, your outdoor furniture and your deck from sunlight, heat or even a light rain. An overhead covering can also be helpful in blocking falling leaves or bird droppings. If you plan to use your outdoor living space frequently, an overhead covering will make it more enjoyable.

Multilevel Decks

Create a dynamic deck with distinct seating areas, space for games or levels that step down to a pool or other feature.  Think about movement to and from different high-interest areas.  If a multi-level deck isn’t right for you, add a stone path to a fire pit area from your main deck to achieve a similar effect.

Built-in Seating

Instead of buying patio furniture, build in a bench or booth for permanent seating. You won’t have to worry about it blowing away in a storm, and as your style changes with the seasons, you can change out cushions to keep your deck or patio inviting and unique.

 

 

Items in this segment that would fall under our Classic or Classic + packages would be:

  • Lighting Upgrades
  • Roof Extensions

 

Items in this segment that would fall under our Signature or Signature+ packages would be:

  • Awning or Sun Shades
  • Multilevel Decking
  • Built-In Seating
  • Outdoor Kitchen Areas
  • Outdoor Fireplaces