New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

6 Two Story Foyers [Near One Story Living Rooms]

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

Two story foyer designs: WorthingtonIIFoyer

When creating your new home wish list, one of the biggest architectural trade-offs can be choosing between two story rooms and additional square footage upstairs.

Downstairs rooms that stretch to the second story ceiling - including living room and great rooms - can eat up second floor space.

Limiting your two story space to the foyer can give you the best of both worlds.

Foyers are smaller spaces that can go big with a much lower cost impact.








Here are some examples of Raleigh new home floor plans with a two story foyer (and one story great room or living room):

Tall Foyers "How to":

The photos below show examples of Raleigh new home plans that include two story foyers that lead to "standard" height rooms (8' or 9' tall ceilings).

These foyers are great examples of how to build a home with a two story entrance without giving up square footage upstairs.

1. Tall Foyer #1: How to Add an Upstairs Overlook

This staircase is located at the center of the first floor, just inside the foyer. To the left, an arched opening leads to the formal dining room. The door to the right leads to the garage. Straight ahead, the hallway leads to the open concept kitchen and living room.


This floor plan - a version of The Gershwin - leaves space for a two story foyer and overlook. Upstairs, there's still ample space for three bedrooms and a bonus room

2. Tall Foyer #2: How to Avoid a Turn in the Staircase

In this version of The Shelby, Stanton Homes added a bonus room on the second floor, above the living room. The foyer is the only two story room on the first floor, making the entrance more dramatic.

The long foyer layout avoids the need for a landing half way up the staircase.


3. Tall Foyer #3: How to Create an Open Concept Entry

Tall ceiling - and windows in every room - keep this entry feeling open and bright. The foyer is the only two story room in this version of The Summerlyn. A second story bonus room - with overlook to the foyer - adds square footage to the home plan. 


4. Tall Foyer #4: How to Add a Curved Staircase

This version of The Avonstone Manor balances ceiling heights by spreading out two story rooms.

The large foyer opens to a curved staircase and custom overlook. The dining room add productive contrast with a lower ceiling.

Ceiling height variations emphasize high and low spaces to make a more dramatic impact.

Two Story Foyers | Two Story Foyer Lighting

5. Tall Foyer #5: How to Make Small Foyers Feel Bigger

From the living room, this two story foyer feels small and utilitarian.


Take another look, from the front door. A custom barrel vault ceiling tops the two story foyer to make the entry feel bigger - without using square footage. The two story design - when paired with a one story living room - makes a more dynamic impact. 



6. Tall Foyer #6: How to Fit Your Staircase into the Foyer

In this version of The Penelope, the foyer is the only two story room. Home plans that wrap the staircase into a two story foyer also create space for open railing and an overlook.



Custom home design tip: You can use architectural details to create the feel of a taller foyer, without adding the full height of a second story. 

Here are examples of Raleigh new homes with one story foyers that feel bigger - with a barrel vault ceiling:

What is a barrel vault foyer? Get more ceiling design ideas for your next home and find photos of two story overlooks here.

Home Plans with a Two Story Foyer:

Foyers and entry ways are typically smaller spaces. Adding height can create an open concept feel without eating into second floor square footage.

Tell us your home plan layout priorities, and we'll help you get started on building your North Carolina custom home.

Tags: Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, raleigh new home, Raleigh New Home Builder, raleigh two story homes

10 Popular Exterior Styles [Craftsman House Plans]

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 09:05 AM


Popular Craftsman Home Design in Raleigh NC

Craftsman home exteriors continue to be one of the most popular requests for new Raleigh custom homes. Some signature details can include combinations of:

  • Architecture that emphasizes simple lines
  • Stone accents, especially on front porches
  • Decorative cross hatches on eaves
  • Built-in storage including bookshelves, cabinets, or niches
  • Staircases with (wood) square balusters and newell posts
  • Square or horizontal rectangular windows
  • Limited hallways in the floor plan
  • 1x4, 1x6, and 1x8 interior trim treatments

See 10 ways to build a craftsman home exterior in the photo examples below.

10 Ways to Build a Craftsman Home:

From traditional designs to exteriors with contemporary modifications, these Raleigh custom homes emphasize craftsman design and building techniques. 

Exterior Style #1: Country Craftsman Estate

Although craftsman home exterior colors have historically emphasized complementary earth tones (you'll see several examples below), many contemporary Raleigh custom homes are starting to incorporate brighter and bolder exterior paint colors.

This version of The Horse Country Estate blends natural earth-colored stone accents with brown garage doors and trim, alongside earthy orange/brown tone siding.


Exterior Style #2: Urban Craftsman

Craftsman exteriors often incorporate natural materials, including stone siding and exposed wood details.

Historically, rafter tails were literally rafters that extended past the roof for structural support. Today, rafter tails are often added as decorative pieces designed to increase curb appeal by "exposing" more of the home structure. 

Below is an example of a subtle use of exposed rafter tails (added to accentuate the front porch roofline): 



Exterior Style #3: Traditional Craftsman

Complementary vertical and horizonal lines -- particularly in the roof peaks -- are common craftsman touches found in traditional exteriors.


Exterior Style #4: Craftsman Ranch

This ranch style (single level) craftsman home features a blend of earthy tones that reflect shades akin to fields and forests.


Exterior Style #5: Contemporary Mountain Craftsman

Check out the windows on this contemporary craftsman exterior. Square windows are more common on craftsman homes, as well as linear rectangle windows (like the ones located above the garage).

Note how wide and short -- rather than thin and tall -- several of these windows are:


Exterior Style #6: Contemporary Craftsman

White and grey exteriors are popular contemporary color combinations. This home is equal parts urban contemporary and craftsman.

While round columns replace square tapered columns, stone bases blend in a touch of traditional craftsmanship.

Take a look inside this home to see more craftman details in the floor plan layout, staircase design, and efficient use of space.


Exterior Style #7: Country Craftsman

Tapered square wood columns paired with stone bases are a staple for many traditional craftsman home exteriors. 

Deep eaves are another common arts and crafts touch.


Exterior Style #8: Cottage Craftsman

As a bungalow style home, this exterior emphasizes a contrast between dark brown finishes and neutral green siding. Stone column bases and steps lighten up the front porch.

A low pitch roof stands out as a common craftsman exterior design.


Exterior Style #9: French Country Craftsman

Dark red, a bold choice for a craftsman home, follows the French design of this craftsman home.

Another traditional French country home design addition is the non-symmetrical front with a single curved roofline accent.


Exterior Style #10: Hillside Craftsman

This Raleigh custom home highlights the craftsman trend of incorporating windows arranged in groups, often with a simple geometrical design. 


Raleigh, North Carolina Craftsman Homes:

When building a custom home in North Carolina, you can choose which craftsman details you love, and which to leave out.

What do you love about these popular home exterior styles, and what would you change? Tell us about your new home ideas -- click here to get started on building your new home.


Tags: Craftsman House Plans, Home Builders North Carolina, craftsman style homes, craftsman floor plans, craftsman home builders, raleigh custom homes

10 Small Laundry Room Ideas [With Answers to Common Home Building Questions]

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 18, 2015 @ 11:05 AM

Laundry Room Layouts for Small Spaces:

Functional laundry rooms are essential for daily (or weekly) routines. Although we're seeing more new home plans that expand laundry rooms into multi-purpose mud room spaces, many home buyers also prefer to keep laundry spaces compact (and uncluttered). 

We've compiled photos of our most popular small laundry rooms -- typically 6'x6', 6'x8', or 6'x9' to give you layout options and storage samples that work well in compact areas.

Here are some examples of Raleigh custom homes with large laundry rooms or mud room combinations:

Compact Laundry Room Layouts:

These Raleigh custom homes contain compact laundry rooms -- usually placed near the garage -- that pack a lot of utility into relatively small spaces. See photos of small laundry rooms, with answers to some of the most common questions we hear about building efficient laundry rooms.

Popular layout and storage questions include:

Small Laundry Room #1: How big should my laundry room be to fit a sink?

The laundry room should be at least 6'x8' to comfortably fit a free-standing sink. Here is an example of a small 6'x8' laundry room that comfortably fits a base cabinet with drop in sink. 


The built-in tile step raises the height of the side-by-side washer and dryer, making them a bit easier to load and unload. A small walkway allows you to reach the washing machines.

The sink offers under-cabinet space; two upper cabinets provide additional storage space, without taking up precious floor space. A window keeps the room feeling more open.

Small Laundry Room #2: How can I fit more storage into a small laundry room?

Here is a great example of a small corridor style laundry room with well-integrated storage space.

Built in shelves line the back wall, for out-of-the-way storage.

A utility sink -- slightly more compact than a cabinet sink -- fits between the washing machines and shelves. And a built in ironing board folds out of the wall. (See examples of master bedroom closets with built in ironing boards, here.)


Small Laundry Room #3: A drop zone won't fit in my laundry room. How can I modify my floor plan to get the storage I want?

If you love a floor plan as-is, but want additional mudroom style storage, consider re-locating your drop zone into a hallway.

In this version of The Heatherfield, the compact laundry room can't accommodate a large drop zone. Instead of expanding the laundry room, the home owner asked for a drop zone in the hallway.

This hallway connects the garage to the laundry room and kitchen -- placing the drop zone in a location central to all three high traffic rooms.


Small Laundry Room #4: I want storage in my (small) laundry room -- in addition to wall cabinets. What options do I have?

Here is another small laundry room with flexible storage options. Cabinets hide cleaning supplies, while wire shelves double as open storage and a clothes handing racks:


Don't forget to take advantage of wall spaces -- you'll find lots of ways to add fixtures and racks to make a compact laundry more usable.

Small Laundry Room #5: What layouts do you recommend for very small laundry rooms?

In this version of The Smokey Ridge, the powder room and laundry room wrap around each other, allowing each enough space for a sink. 


In this custom floor plan, see how the powder room and laundry are each "L shaped":


What's another benefit of this layout? The powder room toilet is hidden, even if the door is left open. From the living room, you and your guests will see straight to the formal sink.



Small Laundry Room #6: What's the smallest laundry room you've built?

Every custom home we build is unique -- and many feature small laundry rooms.

This version of The Worthington II takes the cake, however, for our smallest laundry space. There is no door on this laundry room -- it is completely open, located in a hallway beside the kitchen.


From another angle, you can see the "butler's pantry" style laundry sink. This sink is separated from the washer and dryer by a small hallway.


See the floor plan for this Raleigh custom home, here, to get a better idea of the laundry layout.


Small Laundry Room #7: What will make my small laundry room feel bigger than it really is?

Two tricks can help any room feel bigger: windows and white or light colored finishes.

If you're laundry room is located on an exterior wall, consider adding or enlarging a window. In this version of The Cannon, an arched transom window and formal white trim give the room a more open feel.

White upper cabinets (paired with a white washer and dryer) keep the room feeling fresh.


Small Laundry Room #8: How does a custom home builder modify a floor plan to adjust room sizes?

In this version of The Bryson, the home owners asked for a mud room style laundry -- complete with a dog shower and indoor dog house -- in addition to adding enough space to the garage for two cars and a motorcycle.

To save costs (and avoid expanding the foot print of the home), Stanton Homes made a few floor plan adjustments. We:

  • Custom built the dog shower on-site to fit beside the washer and dryer.
  • Added a dog house under the staircase (to avoid taking up floor space).
  • Moved the garage wall inward to create an alley style, single wall laundry.

Overall, this laundry room is on the small side -- but it maximizes efficiency and incorporates a few floor plan modifications and architectural tricks that make it feel much bigger.


Get a better idea of the laundry room layout in this floor plan:


Small Laundry Room #9: I want to save costs in the laundry room. Where do you recommend cutting costs?

While most home buyers choose to include upper cabinets in the laundry room, you can always choose to save costs with the storage, flooring, and layout you choose.

The lower cost of simple shelving -- rather than full cabinets -- will save you a chunk of money.

Alternatively, by installing vinyl -- rather than tile -- floors, you can cover the cost of additional cabinetry or custom built-ins. (The photo below is an example of vinyl flooring.)

The finishes you select should reflect your lifestyle. Will your next laundry room service as a "home hub" or will it be a quick stop on your way to other activities?


Small Laundry Room #10: How else can I save money in my laundry room design?

If you plan on using your laundry room for daily chores, you won't regret adding a folding counter top.

Another great way to save money in your counter top laundry room is by adding the counter WITHOUT also paying for cabinets below.

Here is an example:


The home owners left an opening below the counter top to save money -- while also leaving a space for laundry hampers. Do you own pets? This is also a great, usable space for a cat litter box or dog bed.


Laundry Room Tips - From a Raleigh New Home Builder:

Whether you're looking for a full mudroom design or a small laundry space, the functional laundry rooms pictured in this blog contain a range of floor plan layouts and ideas to consider for your next home.

What's updates is your family looking for in your next home? Tell us what you're looking for, and we'll show you how to built it - with recommendations for floor plan features and selections that fit your budget.


Tags: how to save money, laundry room design trends, raleigh new homes, laundry room design, Raleigh New Home Builder

Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Showers

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 15:05 PM

Accessible, Universal and Ageless Homes with Wheelchair Friendly Showers: JudsonMasterShower2

As more families decide to build multigenerational homes - with floor plans designed to accommodate extended-stay guests - we're seeing a strong increase in requests for home plans that integrate potentially wheelchair accessible spaces.

When balancing the needs of multiple generations, bathrooms are one of first spaces you'll want to add accessible design components to. 

Here are some examples of recently completed Raleigh custom homes with mobile device accessible bathrooms:

Wheechair Accessible Bathroom Features:

Accessible baths come in all shapes and sizes, with a range of features designed to suite your exact needs. Some features are required, while others are optional benefits you'll want to consider when bulding a custom home. 

Take a look at the wheelchair accessible features in these Raleigh custom homes, and see how easily they can blend in: 

1. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Feature #1: 5'x5' turning radius inside the shower

A full 5x5 turning radius inside the shower enables a mobile device such as a wheelchair to turn around within the space, for ease of use. Here's an example:


In this photo, grab bars are positioned along the tile walls. A hand-held shower head supplements a rain shower head.   

2. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Feature #2: Attached or detached shower seat or bench

A universal design shower seat can be constructed of wood, plastic, or metal, with cushion, plastic, or wood seats.

A fold down shower seat attached to the wall of the accessible shower can come in different widths and lengths for comfort. Most seats are either 18" or 23" in width.



A built-in shower seat or bench (like the one pictured here) can be a great accessory even in a standard shower, particularly with aging in place (or ageless home design) in mind.


3. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Feature #3: Hand held shower head

A hand held shower head can be much easier to use than a standard shower head.  There are many different varieties of shower heads to match different styles and budgets. Hand held shower heads and glide bars can be found in chrome, brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, and other finishes.

A yoga glide bar allows the shower held to be held in place at adjustable heights. The showerhead can also be removed from the glide bar and used by hand.


This master bathroom - from a version of The Judson - a corner bench offers a planned transfer space from the wheelchair or other vehicle to a built-in shower seat.

Beyond the tile shower, you can get a glimpse of a handicap accessible bathroom vanity. To allow roll-under space, the vanity cabinets are located on the counter top, still within easy reach.

4. Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Feature #4: Grab bars

Shower grab bars can be installed vertically or horizontally, depending on the specific needs and requirements. Often, you may see a combination of vertical and horizontal bars (horizonal along the walls, and vertical near the shower head). 

Grab bars should always support at least 250 pounds of weight.  The diameter of a grab bar should be 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.

In order for grab bars to provide correct support, they should be installed into studs and not unsupported walls. 

If you're building a universal design or wheelchair accessible home, make sure your custom home builder provides additional blocking and framing in the shower and bath area to support any necessary grab bars.  Even if you're planning to install grab bars later, this will allow easy future installation. 

Grab bars can be white, chrome, brightly colored, or finished in alternate finishes, depending on taste and budget.


In this master bathroom - from a version of The Firebird - you'll find an example of universal design door hardware. Instead of door knobs, which require greater hand strength and the ability to grasp and twist, this closet features "sliding closet door pulls." 



How To Build a Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom:

Click here for a Houzz Photo Gallery of wheelchair accessible showers

From the convenience of a one story ranch to an elevator to a second floor mother in law suite, Stanton Homes will create the accessible custom home you’re looking for.  

In addition to wider hallways and entries, non-slip flooring, ramps, and other basic requirements, we’ll work with you to build-in accessible and universal elements that meet your needs.

Tell us what new home features you're looking for, to get started on your North Carolina custom home.


Tags: accessible builders, Wheelchair Accessible Home Builders, accessible home requirements, accessible shower, Accessible Home Builders

How Many Seats Will Fit At The Island? [Raleigh New Homes]

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

Kitchen Islands with Built-In Seating:

Raleigh new homes often include at least two dining spaces: a formal dining room, breakfast room, and /or casual dining at a kitchen island.

Looking for ways to add seating to your next kitchen? Use these kitchen layout questions -- below -- to determine how many seats you can add based on your kitchen floor plan and layout.

Here are some Raleigh new homes with seating built into the kitchen island:

Kitchen Layout Questions:

Kitchens with dining space - either nearby or integrated - are a popular Raleigh new home request. Here are some kithen island layout questions, to help you decide on a kitchen-dining configuration:

Kitchen Layout Question #1: Where is your kitchen located, relative to other rooms?

Is your kitchen separate from living and dining areas, or does it have an open concept layout?

If your kitchen is located beside main living and dining areas, you'll probably need fewer seats. If your kitchen is separate, you may want additional seating.

Kitchen Island Seating | Raleigh New Homes

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, they recommend that 36 inch high islands should allow a 24-inch-wide seating space with an 15-inch-deep knee space.

They also recommend that 42 inch high islands should allow a 24-inch-wide seating space with a 12-inch-deep knee space. 

In a seating area where no traffic passes behind a seated diner, they recommend that you allow 32 inches of clearance from the counter/table edge to any wall or other obstruction behind the seating area. If traffic passes behind the seated diner, allow at least 36 inches to edge past or at least 44 inches to walk past.

These depths and widths can vary based on your layout, but are good to keep in mind.

Kitchen Layout Question #2: How large is your island?

And how much space is left in the kitchen? If your kitchen is rectangular, you may be able to extend the length of the island to incorporate a built-in bench. (And you can keep your storage space maximized, with drawers below.)



Kitchen Layout Question  #3: Should your chairs be hidden or visible seating?

This Hickory curved island is designed to store stools underneath for hidden seating.  The design is enhanced with base cabinets on both ends of the islands, as well as on the back side.

Kitchen Island Seating | Raleigh New Homes

Kitchen Layout Question  #4: Do you prefer counter-height or bar-height seating?

Kitchen islands are taller than dining room or breakfast room tables, so you'll typically use stools to sit in the kitchen.

The difference between counter-height and bar-height seating can range from six to twelve inches, depending on the home plan.


Use these kitchen layout questions as a way to start thinking about design options in your new home. 

Here are some pointers to make the best of your next kitchen:

  • Prioritize your space. Do you need a larger (or second) island, or would you rather integrate a breakfast room table in the same space?
  • Determine how ofter you'll cook for the family - and how often you might host a larger get-togethers. While double ovens look beautiful and balanced, you may find that the space is better saved for more cabinets or a larger microwave.
  • Decide what you're willing to upgrade, and where you're willing to save on cost. While kitchens are one of the most important rooms of the home, they are also the most expensive, generally followed by the Master Bath.

Custom Home Kitchen Design in North Carolina:

How many dining spaces does your family use? Do you want to combine or separate eating areas in your next home? Tell us which home designs stand out.

Click here to contact Stanton Homes or call 919-278-8070 to talk about the custom home you want to design and build.


Tags: kitchen island ideas, 2015 home design trends, Raleigh custom home kitchen, types of kitchen islands, raleigh custom home builder

Dream Home Updates [What MUST be in your Next Home?]

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, May 04, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

Must-have new home features:

Whether you’re looking for upscale artistry or country style basics, there’s nothing like a truly custom home to say, “This is us.”

Here are 3 examples of creative touches in Raleigh floor plans, handcrafted with our design team for clients looking for special spaces:

Most important home design updates:

What do you like best about the home you're living in right now - and what would you like to change?

One of the top reasons for building a custom home is the ability to create kitchens, bathrooms, offices and play rooms with the kind of working space and flow you need. 

Here are some common 'must-have' updates our North Carolina homebuyers ask about. Get tips on how to make cost-effective updates, too.

Top home updates include:

1. Large kitchen with island and seating

Large kitchens with an island and casual dining space continue to rank #1 on home buyer must-have lists.

The kitchen serves as the "hub" of many family homes. When you’ve got a crowd in the kitchen, what could make it a better place to cook, work and interact?

Bigger island? More cabinetry? Built-in seating? Often, the answer is, "all of the above!"


2. More storage in the laundry room, mud room, or garage

What’s the best place to tuck in storage space? Let’s build it in now, while you’re still thinking through your floor plan. Adding just a couple of feet to a laundry room, mud room or garage can help stack in extra cabinetry, shelving, or cubbies. And with some plans, there’s already space to move things around without adding extra cost.



3. Indoor-outdoor living spaces with winter and summer options

Where do you want to spend your time outdoors, when you’re hanging around the house? It all depends on how the deck is stacked.



4. Master bedroom and/or guest suite on the first floor

First floor living is one of the most important topics for many of today’s homebuyers. Whether your home is a popular place for guests or you’re thinking ahead to no-step living, you’ll be amazed by how many ways you can frame your master suite on the ground floor.


5. Personal get-away spaces - from a home gym to a media room to separate 'his and hers' offices

Take five, and you’ll want to linger longer when you see all the ways you can create home office space or design a work out room that fits all your gym equipment.


6. Shared kid spaces - like a Jack and Jill or Buddy bath

Including a Jack and Jill or 'buddy bath' in your next home can help kids share common spaces, with the added benefit of dual access.

This kid's bathroom has two bedroom entrances. One entrance leads to the vanity room; the other leads to the shower room. A third door allows kids to share the bathroom space, an essential feature for last minute mornings.


How would you modify your current home? Get more ideas from recently constructed Raleigh, NC custom homes. 

Here are links to home buying trends, with photos of popular design features:


Cost-effective ways to add features in your next home:

A touch of colorful tile can make all the difference in a kids bathroom or kitchen – and it doesn’t take much out of the budget to add all that personality.

Tuck in cubbies help kids learn to be organized – and help keep what they’re doing for fun from tracking all over the house.

Fanciful faucets in the guest bath or kitchen can make family and friends smile, while they’re washing up.

You might be surprised at how little it takes to add something special to each room of your home.

Click here to contact us now or call 919-278-8070 to talk about the custom home you want to design and build.


Tags: 2015 home design trends, Raleigh custom home kitchen, Raleigh Custom Home Builders, raleigh custom homes

10 Top Shower Designs Without a Door [From North Carolina Custom Homes]

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 13:05 PM

10 Showers without a door:

Open concept designs have spread into the master ensuite bath -- with doorless entry tile showers. See photos of 10 walk-in shower designs inside recently completed new homes in the Chapel Hill, NC area.

Here are some popular features you'll see inside these open concept master bathrooms:

  • Archways, alcoves, and vaulted ceilings
  • Built-in seating and storage cubbies
  • Floor-to-ceiling tile
  • Wheelchair accessible features
  • Aging in place design

Open Concept Showers:

Each en suite master shower has no door. Some designs reflect recent trends towards contemporary home design; others are deceptively utilitarian. Can you tell which doorless showers are wheelchair accessible, and which are not?

Showers Without a Door # 1: Place your Tub Inside the Shower

A freestanding tile tub is integrated into the base of this open concept his and hers shower. 

Doorless Showers | Showers without a Door

Showers Without a Door #2:

A doorless shower and freestanding copper tub alcove rest side-by-side in this luxury craftsman custom home.


Showers Without a Door #3: Wainscot Wall Divider

A white wainscoting wall plays peek-a-book with this contemporary tile shower without a door.

Walk in Shower | No Door Shower

Showers Without a Door #4

This doorless shower stretches across the entire bathroom wall - with his and hers shower heads on each end.

Two Person Shower Design | Master Showers Built for Two

Showers Without a Door #5

This shower offers a bit more privacy, with an arched doorway that leads to a corridor-style shower interior (which also features his and hers shower heads).

Doorless Showers | Showers without a Door

Showers Without a Door #6

Compact bathrooms can save space - without sacrificing an open concept feel - with a doorless shower desgin.

Showers without a Door | No Door Shower Design

Showers Without a Door #7

A corner shower has no door in this contemporary master en suite bath.


Showers Without a Door #8

The shower and tub layout make efficient use of space in this master bath. The shower is wide open, soaking up the reflected natural light.

Two Person Shower Design | Master Showers Built for Two

Showers Without a Door #9

A rain shower head unfolds from the ceiling, and a hand-held shower head extends from the tile shower walls.


Showers Without a Door #10

The tub and shower have their own alcoves -- with archway openings -- in this master suite bath.


What do you love about these master en suite baths, and what would you modify?

Here are more Raleigh custom homes with large showers in the master bath:

Showers Without a Door - and Other Open Concept Ideas:

Are massive showers a must-have, or would you rather use that square footage somewhere else? Do you love open concept plans or prefer homes with more traditional aspects?

Click here to contact Stanton Homes or call 919-278-8070 to talk about the custom home you want to design and build.


Tags: Master Bath Trends, shower design ideas, Master Showers Built for Two

Mountain Home Designs [With Window Walls]

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 14:04 PM

Raleigh, NC Mountain Homes:

These mountain home designs are some of the most popular plans for custom home buyers. Take a look inside - these homes offer large great rooms, island kitchens, and basement options. See what floor plan features are must-haves in a rustic modern Mountain Home.


Here are links to a few of our most requested Raleigh Mountain Homes - custom design/build homes by Stanton Homes:


Mountain Home Features:

From mountain side home sites to lake front lots, central North Carolina offers beautiful spaces to build your custom home. Mountain style home plans - like the ones pictured below - are growing in popularity among NC home buyers (whether they build in countryside areas or city lots).

Some common floor plan features include:

1. Mountain Home Feature #1: Great Room Filled with Windows

You'll want to take advantage of your mountain home views (hill sides, forests, or even the community golf course), with windows walls like these:


This is a view of The Smokey Ridge great room - see more photos of this transitional (rustic and modern) Stanton Home, here.

2. Mountain Home Feature #2: Island Kitchen with a View

Your open concept mountain floor plan would not be complete without view from the kitchen island to the great room window wall.


This is a view of The Worthington II kitchen - see more photos of this contemporary colonial style Stanton Home, here.

3. Mountain Home Feature #3: Basement Level Option

Raleigh homes with a basement offer space for:

  • Multigenerational suites with a private kitchenette, living room, and outdoor living access
  • Kid's play room
  • Man cave with pool table, big screen TV, workshop, or all three


How to Build a Mountain Home:

These are just a few Mountain Home must-haves, popular among North Carolina custom home buyers. What home style is your favorite - rustic, contemporary, or a mixture of the two?

Get started - request more information about building a Stanton Home, here.


Raleigh Custom Kitchen Color Trends: Light Cabinets, Dark Countertops

Posted by Penny Hull on Sun, Mar 29, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

New Home Kitchen Trends: Most Popular Color Combinations

White Cabinets and Black Countertops


We're starting to see another shift in North Carolina new home kitchen design trends. 

While many kitchens opt for dark espresso cabinets and light cream-toned backsplashes and granite countertops, more home buyers are requesting the opposite: light cabinets and dark countertops

See this kitchen trend reversal in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham custom homes by Stanton Homes.

Kitchen Color Trend Example 1: White Cabinets and Black Countertops

White and black kitchens will always be a classic home design choice.

See how Raleigh home owners are mixing things up, though, with these contemporary two-tone selections.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

We're seeing more kitchens like this - from a version of The Rossi - that feature white cabinets and black granite countertops. These mix-and-match designs alternate tones in the main wall cabinets and island.  In this case, the island cabinets and granite contrast the traditional perimeter.

What's a good rule of thumb for where to add light and dark tones?

We think balance is key. Remember that your floors and walls can also make a big impact on the overall feel of your kitchen. So if you love dark cabinets in a large kitchen, don't feel restricted to white countertops. You can also lighten things up with a creamy paint and light flooring

Kitchen Color Trend Example 2: Light Cabinets and Dark Countertops

The extra long island topped with black granite offers a casual dining space perfect for morning breakfast and afternoon homework.

This black and white kitchen photo is from a version of The Carwile near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Columns wrapped in white wainscoting and a neutral tone hardwood floor keep the room light - and prevent the black granite from dominating the room. 

Kitchen Color Trend Example 3: Natural Maple Cabinets and Dark Countertops

Kitchens with natural maple cabinets (and custom natural tone maple flooring) keep the room light and bright.

Touches of white in the dark granite countertops prompt the black backsplash tiles to align with the welcoming tone of this kitchen.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Kitchen Color Trend Example 4: Light Oak Cabinets and Black Medley Countertops

This kitchen is centrally located, tucked between the breakfast, dining, and family room. An angled eating bar offers twice the seating in the casual dining area.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Are dark counter tops harder to clean?  The natural pattern, rather than color, of your granite counter tops will more likely impact how visible kitchen spills are.

Kitchen Color Trend Example 5: Light Cabinets and Dark Countertops

In addition to kitchens that mix white and black or black and brown elements, we're also seeing home buyers opt for different appliance colors. 

While stainless steel appliances are still the most popular choice in new home kitchens, don't be surprised if you start seeing more white and black refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Kitchen Color Trend Example 6: Brown and Black Kitchen

While we've seen a trend towards contemporary style kitchens with a heavy contrast between features in the past few years, we're starting to see a resurgence in designs that focus on the use of tans and browns - with medium wood cabinetry (including some oaks). 

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Raleigh kitchens often pair these tans and browns with white, black, or grey elements.

An example is this version of the Azalea Park - popular on Houzz - which features a finish in the middle of the natural range cabinetry and black granite.





Kitchen Color Trend Example 7: Brown Cabinets and Black  Countertops

This version of the Gershwin is another example of kitchen designs that incorporate strong browns and blacks.

A beige tile backsplash and soft walls even out the color contrast in this kitchen.

Kitchen Design Trends | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

What design elements will we continue to see most in 2015 kitchens? Follow Stanton Homes on Houzz, and see all the latest in custom home design.

New Home Kitchen Design Trends

Choosing between a wall oven and kitchen range - why the trend is moving towards wall ovens

Kitchen oven styles - how to choose the right one

Why choose a gas cooktop? Top reasons homebuyers think gas powered ranges are better

What is a kitchen "work triangle" - How to design a kitchen floor plan

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best?

Kitchen Design Trends - Is Stainless Steel on its Way Out?

Tags: kitchen design trends, raleigh custom home builder, light cabinets, dark countertops, white and black kitchen design

Modern Chimney Styles | Fireplace Chimneys on Raleigh New Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Sun, Mar 29, 2015 @ 07:03 AM

What Does a Modern Chimney Look Like?

Raleigh New Homes with Chimney Fireplaces

Modern Chimney Styles | Fireplace Chimneys on Raleigh New Homes

See photos of 7 modern chimney styles, and learn how new home chimneys are different than you might expect.

Why do some fireplaces require a full chimney while other only need a small vent?

Where do most floor plans place the chimney?

Find out, below.  



Modern Chimney Style #1: Gas Fireplace Framed Chimney

This new Stanton Home in Apex features a framed chimney box directly above the two-sided interior gas fireplace.  

Modern Fireplace Chimneys | Raleigh New Homes

Compare this framed vent - located on the front of this home - to a more standard vent in The Avonstone Manor, pictured below. 

Modern Chimney Style #2: Gas Fireplace Roof Vent

This version of The Avonstone Manor features a standard gas fireplace vent, located on the back side of the home. 

Modern Fireplace Chimneys | Raleigh New Homes

This new home fireplace vent is small and unobtrusive.  Look above the rounded great room wall (with two stories of windows), and you'll see the silver pipe vent. 

Modern Chimney Style #3: Wood Fireplace Framed Chimney

On this version of The Penelope, an exterior wall hosts the woodburning framed chimney. 

Modern Fireplace Chimneys | Raleigh New Homes

This modern chimney is a typical venting "box" on the outside of the house. This vent is the same width as the wood burning fireplace, with height proportional to the roofline.  

Modern Chimney Style #4: Rear Wall Framed Chimney

A framed chimney lines the rear wall on this version of The Chalet Vert.

Modern Fireplace Chimney Design | Raleigh New Homes

This chimney vents the two story wood burning fireplace inside the great room. Because the fireplace is flush against the rear wall, you can see the chimney box follow the entire height of the home. 

Modern Chimney Style #5: Rear Wall Fireplace Vent

Why is the gas fireplace vent on the back side of this home - a version of The Kelley - much taller? 

Modern Chimney Styles | Fireplace Chimneys on Raleigh New Homes

Fireplace vents must stretch two feet taller than anything within a ten foot radius. If your roofline is complex with tall pitches, your fireplace vent will follow suit. 

Modern Chimney Style #6: Gas (versus Wood Fireplace) Vents

While gas fireplaces can vent out the side of your home, wood burning fireplaces must vent through the roof.  

Modern Fireplace Chimney | Raleigh New Homes

This gas fireplace home - a version of The Thurman - features a small box on one side, which serves as the fireplace vent. 

Modern Chimney Style #7: Wood (versus Gas Fireplace) Vents

This home - a version of The Bostwick - requires a side chimney for the wood burning fireplace to vent through the roof. 

Modern Chimney Styles | Fireplace Chimneys on Raleigh New Homes 

More about Raleigh new home fireplaces...

Traditional masonry fireplaces and chimneys have become extremely rare in Raleigh new home construction.  The seven examples above represent most of typical modern home construction.

If you're curious about how your fireplace venting will look from the outside of your home, ask your builder for a full description or rendering. Your home builder can tell you all about the placement, size, and composition of the venting and chimney required for the exact fireplace(s) in your floor plan. 

Raleigh New Home Design Ideas...

Woodburning Fireplaces for North Carolina Custom Homes

Fireplaces with Wainscoting Accents

85 Fireplace Design Photos

Types of fireplaces for new home design

Contact Stanton Homes to learn more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

Tags: raleigh new homes, chimney design, Modern Chimney Styles, Fireplace Chimneys