Brittany Exterior

Meet the Brittany

The Brittany Floorplan is a comfortable 1,587 heated square foot home, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. With a spacious two-car garage, an inviting front porch, and a cozy eat-in kitchen, it’s perfect for an active couple or a growing family. 

 

The living room and kitchen flow into each other, making entertaining seamless. In the kitchen, there’s a dining space for your family to share a meal together or for kids to do homework. For an elevated look, the ceiling in the living room is vaulted, making the already large space feel even more grand. In the summer, dinner or a cup of coffee on the optional back porch, right outside of the kitchen. 

        

 

On one side of the living room is the master suite, which has a roomy bathroom and a walk-in closet. It’s separated from all of the other bedrooms to give a couple privacy and a little space from children or guests. On the opposite side of the house, are three more bedrooms and a second bath.  

 

 

Whether you have children for those rooms, or use them for office space, crafting or guests, they are just the space for your life to grow. Make one a gym or studio—the possibilities are limitless. As your family grows, the Brittany Floorplan allows for the whole family to gather and to have their own space.  

How Home Décor Can Reduce Holiday Stress

The holiday season is always busy.  It can cause extra stress and wintery weather can mess with your mood. Even though the holidays should be a time of joy, making plans and preparing for the many different activities with family can make it a not-so-jolly time some days.

To help reduce the stress of the season, consider decorating your home for the holidays.  That’s right – decorating for the holidays can reduce stress.

Whether it’s Fall, Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, you have fond memories of celebrating the holidays over the years. Nostalgia from holiday home decor can improve your mood. Put up decorations that remind you of your favorite holiday memories. Rekindle a bit of holiday magic from when you were younger and enjoy the warm feelings this season.

Decorating your home for the holidays can also improve joy. Acting cheerful actually will make you feel more cheerful. The old adage, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” kicks in here. Spruce up your home with festive furnishings that make you smile.  Put on a funny movie or favorite seasonal songs to lift your spirits, and you’ll be feeling more joyful during the season.

Once your home is decorated for the winter season, you’ll have created the perfect environment to make more happy holiday memories with the ones you love. You may want to host your loved ones for holiday festivities to show off your decorating skills. Spending time with those you love most in your home will create lasting memories for years to come.

 

If you’re decorating for the holidays this year, try some of these ideas:
  1. Use throw pillows to decorate quickly and interchangeably. Invest in a few different festive pillows and toss them around the house on beds and couches. Save space by using pillow covers to easily swap out your decor for different holidays!
  2. Hang garlands around the house. Trailing greenery (faux or fresh), twinkling lights, and more can add miles of holiday spirit quickly.
  3. Opt for festive hand towels. These are functional and can go in bathrooms and the kitchen. Just like throw pillows, you can easily change them out for different holidays.
  4. Hang a wreath on your door. If decorating inside isn’t your thing, but you still want to do something to decorate, a wreath is a quick and easy way to spread some holiday cheer. They aren’t just for Christmas, either!  Shop around to get a fun wreath for every fun occasion on the calendar this year.

Don’t Overlook a Room’s Fifth Wall

When you’re decorating your new home, you fill the space with things that bring you joy. You adorn the walls with art, paint, and family photos. You roll out functional and fashionable rugs and hang curtains to soften windows. An empty space is brought to life with furnishings you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

That sounds like everything, right?

Maybe not. Have you forgotten a key feature in that room?  The fifth wall. Your ceiling!

Ceilings can open up a new playground for interior design. They don’t have to be left white. You can decorate a ceiling much like any other wall — just think about the masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! You may not want to go that far, but there are options that can make the fifth wall a fun, appealing addition to your decor.

 

Here are some ways to spice up ceilings in your home.

  1. Match the walls. While many leave the ceiling white, consider painting it the same color as your walls. This can create an extra-cozy, more intimate space.
  2. Install fun lighting. Whether a chandelier, an ornate ceiling fan, or recessed accent lights… choosing a stylish lighting fixture will add spice to a white ceiling.
  3. Wallpaper. Instead of wallpapering an accent wall, place a statement wallpaper on your ceiling. It’s more subtle when overhead, but can add a lot of visual interest to the room.
  4. Add a wooden texture. Wooden ceilings are versatile features in your home, since wood comes in so many different shades, grains, and can be painted any color. Use any kind of wood, from wooden slats to wainscoting for a little extra interest on your fifth wall!

 

Remember to look up and add a new dimension to your home decor!

Fireman with extinguisher

Fire Safety & Prevention in Your Home

This year we’ll celebrate the 100th annual Fire Prevention Week from October 9th to 15th. This occasion provides you and your family the perfect opportunity to address fire safety in your home ahead of the holiday season.    

Fires are incredibly dangerous and can ignite and spread quickly. From the time a fire alarm sounds, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely. Because time is so limited, your family should have fire prevention strategies in place and an evacuation plan that everyone knows and can execute when smoke detectors go off.  

Here are some ways to prepare your family for fire safety and emergency responses.

  1. Install smoke detectors in every bedroom, hallways outside bedrooms, stairwells, and living areas on every level of the home, including basements. Test monthly to ensure they are all working properly and change batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.  
  2. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher. For small fires that may start in the home, using a fire extinguisher may be all the fire-fighting that is needed. Educate yourself, your spouse, and any older children on using one safely. 
  3. Plan your escapes. Find the safest and quickest route to get out of every room. Set up a family meeting spot that everyone will go to in case of an emergency so you know everyone’s out and safe from fire. Practice evacuating and meeting. 
  4. Make sure everyone knows to call 911. Explain to your children why a smoke detector could go off and teach them about different reasons that warrant a call.   
  5. Practice stop, drop, and roll.  
  6. Monitor children and pets around any open flames, like a candle or a gas stove.  
  7. Keep space heaters, curling irons, wax warmers, etc. away from other objects. Make sure they have cooled off before storing them. 
  8. Store lighters and matches out of reach of children.  
  9. Practice fire safety in the kitchen: Keep stoves clean. When using the stove, keep the handles on your pans pushed back.  
  10. Never overload electrical outlets or power strips.
Man drilling hole in wood

DIY Don’ts to Avoid at Home

Making sure your home uniquely reflects your own style is part of what makes it YOU. Your budget or your passion for projects may leave you wanting to attempt DIY projects. How hard can it be, right? Well, some projects are best left to professionals. Between safety concerns, retail materials costs, and the potential to have to pay to correct a mistake, it can be wiser and more budget-friendly to hire a trusted expert. These are a few DIY projects you should definitely leave to professionals.  

 

Electric 

Electrical projects can be both difficult and dangerous. Wiring is not always easily accessible and may require you to go into crawlspaces or remove drywall. Permits or inspections may be needed for some projects and it can be dangerous if electrical repairs or installations are done incorrectly. Electrical issues are the third biggest cause of fires in the home. Without expert knowledge, you can accidentally lose power to your whole home, too! Unless you have the training and experience, leave this type of project to the experts to ensure things are safely and correctly installed. 

 

Plumbing  

Big plumbing projects should also be left to experts. You may be able to replace your shower head or a faucet, but for anything more significant it’s recommended to call a licensed plumber. Water damage from incorrectly completed projects is expensive.  A weekend project gone wrong can turn into a costly, long-term problem.  

 

Tiling 

Laying tile in any part of your home is another project that may seem simple, but may be best left in the hands of professionals. From cutting the tiles to perfectly fit nooks and crannies to ensuring the correct consistency of grout, there is room for error. Without the proper saws and tools, the project becomes more difficult. And depending on your skill level, it’s possible the whole project may have to be redone. Consult an expert to get the job done right the first time. 

 

Roofing 

Even on a single-story, small home, replacing or repairing your roofing can be dangerous due to the risk of falls or other injuries. Roofs have a slope for runoff and can be slippery if wet or covered with loose materials. It’s also easy to be distracted by a task or misplace heavy materials and lose your balance. Beyond the obvious danger, potential errors could leave you with a leaking roof and water damage.  

Aspen Exterior

Meet the Aspen

The Aspen floorplan is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath home with 1,977 heated square feet and a bonus room. It also comes with a spacious two-car garage, offering ample storage space for the whole family.  

 

Starting on the covered front porch, you enter the home’s foyer that contains a conveniently placed coat closet. Immediately to your left is the dining room. The dining room features a large window to offer plenty of natural light for family meals and more.   

 


Aspen-dinning-kitchen-area

 

The living room is just a few steps away and has an option to include a cozy fireplace to provide a lovely focal point in the open floorplan. The kitchen is spacious, featuring an island for additional storage and counter space. You can also entertain guests on the optional covered patio!  

 

   

 

To the right of the living space is the master bedroom. With three windows, an ensuite bathroom with a bathtub and double vanity, and an extremely spacious walk-in closet, it is the perfect escape from the busier shared spaces in the home.  

 

The other two bedrooms are on the opposite side of the house, allowing space for family while preserving the master suite’s privacy. These two bedrooms shared an unattached bathroom and are similar in size. They’re also near a laundry room and linen closet.  

 

Up the stairs, you’ll find another bathroom, a walk-in closet, and a bonus room. This room is perfect for a home office, game room, gym, or even as a guest bedroom! The Aspen is a wonderful option for families and has just enough space for room to grow.  

 

The Aspen Floorplan Rendering

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.