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

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? [Closet Pictures with Dimensions]

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 20:07 PM

How large should a Master Closet be?

Most new home plans include one - or even two - walk in closets in the master suite. Custom home walk in closets can range anywhere from 25 sq ft to a the size of a bedroom (100 sq ft or more).

Here are some examples of custom home master closet designs and layouts (with pictures of walk in closet storage):

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

This custom home master closet is about 14.5 x 11.5 ft (with a square center island cabinet).

What is the average size of a walk in closet?

The standard width of a walk in closet can range from 5 to 12 feet or more. This maintains a 3-foot hallway into the closet, even after you store or hang items along the walls.

The standard depth of a walk in closet can range from 5 feet (for a square room) to 17 feet (or more for a bonus-room-style closet).

Here is an example of an extra long closet, which makes great use of upstairs storage space:

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

This custom home master closet is about 10 x 17 ft (with 9' island). 

What is the distance between clothing rods?

Most walk in closets combine a variety of storage types, including cabinets with drawers, open shelving, and hanging rods.

Double rods are typically placed at 40 and 80 inches from the floor. Rods designed for tall garments are typically placed at least 72 inches from the floor.

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

This custom home master closet is about 13.5 x 7 ft (and is designed to include a washer and dryer).

When does a walk in closet need a window?

Walk in closets sometimes incorporate windows when they are located on exterior walls, typically past the bathroom. Here is an example floor plan with a bedroom - bathroom - closet layout:

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

This custom home - design by Stanton Homes - features a downstairs master bedroom with his and hers style closet.

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

Here is the completed walk in closet. The window wall shelving was extended outwards to create more storage space and a separated his and hers design.

This custom home master closet is about 14 x 9 ft.

Windows are not necessary for closets, but are sometimes added in order to keep balance and visual appeal on the exterior of the home, especially when the closet is located on the front face of the home.

What are the minimum dimensions for an accessible walk in closet?

Accessible closets must allow enough space for a full wheelchair turning radius.

What is the Average Walk in Closet Size? Closet Pictures with Dimensions

This custom home master closet is about 14.5 x 11.5 ft (with a square center island cabinet).   It includes a 36" door and plenty of turning radius.

Space-Saving Tips

Store bulky items - like winter coats - in designated coat closets in the foyer, mudroom, or upstairs. These items can take up significant space, if you're focused on minimizing the master walk in closet size. 

Looking for ways to add closet storage to your new home floor plan? Ask the builder for easy floor plan modification ideas.

Custom Home Builder in Raleigh, North Carolina:

When you build a custom home, the "standard" size of any room - including a closet - is very flexible. As your considering floor plan options, contact custom home builder Stanton Homes. We'll help you find the right floor plan - even if it means modifying room sizes and layouts.



Tags: raleigh custom builders, walk in closet, master closet size, walk in closet size, master suite closet

Floor Plans with a Great Room (and Open Kitchen) | Raleigh Custom Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 15:07 PM

Great Room Floor Plans:

Typically located beside the kitchen, great rooms have become essential for "casual living" new home floor plans.

Great rooms serve a variety of functions, combining the uses of traditional rooms like the family room, living room, and study into one central location.

See all the ways you can use your great room, in the floor plan layouts below. Contact Stanton Homes, Raleigh custom home builder, for more info on building your next home.

Great Rooms Are...

Learn about great room floor plans, with example photos, here:

1. Flexible Spaces

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Great rooms are large, open, and ready for anything. Study time. Meals. Storage with custom built-ins.

The great room photo above shows a set of built-ins designed to fit a piano in the center, for at-home practice time.

2. Large Spaces

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Great rooms can take up to 15% of the total square footage of a home. Remember, this one room often accounts for the square footage of at least two others.

3. Spacious

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Many great rooms feature specialty ceilings, such as vaulted rooflines (pictured above) or cathedral ceilings.

The foyer often leads directly into the great room -- with the opportunity for grand two story spaces.


4. Shared Spaces

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Great rooms are also commonly adjoined to the kitchen with only a half wall, counter, or island separating the two.

In the Stanton Home pictured above, an expanded island welcomes shared kitchen and great room traffic.

5. Useful

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Great rooms make fantastic gathering spaces with: entertainment centers, fireplaces, and study areas all contained in the same space - making cooking, entertaining, informal dining, and family interaction easier than many traditional floor plans that encase the kitchen or kitchen/breakfast space. 

6. Open with Overlooks

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

In addition to featuring vaulted or cathedral ceilings, great rooms often feature second story overlooks -- for an even more open concept appeal.

7. Filled with Windows

Floor Plans with a Great Room | Raleigh Custom Homes

Windows will add expense to any room of your home. Great rooms -- and connected kitchens -- are the most used rooms of your home, making them highly-valued spaces to splurge on windows.

Adding full walls of windows -- or even carefully placed pairs of windows -- can make an incredible difference in your great room design.

Raleigh Custom Homes:

Floor plans with a great room continue to be a top home buyer request in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

What do you like best about the great room photos above? Tell us what matters most in your custom home design, and we'll show you what it takes to build custom in North Carolina.



Tags: great room floor plans, what is a great room, raleigh custom homes, raleigh custom home builder

Why do smaller homes cost more? [Top 12 Reasons]

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 12:07 PM

Why is it more expensive to build a smaller home?

Home buyers often wonder why it costs more per square foot to build a small home. 

Below are 12 reasons why small homes cost more to build, along with cost-cutting suggestions from a Raleigh custom home builder.  Each of these factors contributes to the overall cost per sq ft of your new home.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #1

"Footprint" space is expensive.

Build up, not out - bonus room space is often the cheapest sq ft in the house. 

See how your builder can add a bonus room to a one story plan, here.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

There are two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, across from this bonus room - an example from a version of The Scottsdale.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #2

Size of kitchen.

Kitchens are the most expensive room of the home - with cabinets, counter tops, hardwood or tile flooring, plumbing, faucets, appliances, and so much more - that makes your kitchen also the most useful room of the home.

If your floor plan has an oversized kitchen, consider balancing out your square footage allocation to reduce the overall cost per sq ft.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Peninsula kitchens are generally smaller than island kitchens, but packed full of usable space - like the efficient kitchen design in this version of The Gershwin.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #3

Size and layout of baths.

Do you need a separate tub shower in the master, or is it better to have a shower in the master and a tub/shower in the secondary bath?  (See pictures of master bathrooms without a tub, here.)

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

More home buyers are requesting shower-only bathrooms, like in this version of The Smokey Ridge.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #4


We're seeing more home buyers opt out of the living room fireplace. If a fireplace is on your must-have list, ask your builder to locate it on an outside wall.  

Exterior wall fireplaces are more cost effective to build than interior wall fireplaces.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #5

2 baths vs. 2.5 or 3 baths.

Bathrooms cost more per square foot than any other room in your home (besides the kitchen).

Depending on the sq ft and selections, a powder room can start in the $2K range. A full bath with tile and nice fixtures generally starts closer to $4K.  

To reduce the cost of your home, make sure you're getting the right number of bathrooms. How many bathrooms do I need? Find out here.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

There are many ways to build small, efficient bathrooms. Get more ideas from these 10 powder rooms for small spaces.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #6

Stay angular.  Cut those corners. 

The more corners on the exterior, the higher the cost. To get a visual example, compare these two floor plans:

The rectangle footprint of The Silverwood makes it a more cost effective plan to build. With only a 200 sq ft difference in size, each plan has three bedrooms, two baths, and a two car garage.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

The Silverwood is copyright Plans, Inc.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #7

Keep the roofline a little simpler.  Soaring rooflines can add expense without necessarily adding livable space.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #8

Specialty windows and rooms filled with windows.

Large window designs are a top custom home request. To reduce the cost of your home, ask your builder how to cut out specialty windows, and plan windows carefully throughout the home.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

This version of The Bostwick has the best of both worlds - the design incorporates lots of windows for tons of natural light, but with lower-cost standard window sizes and shapes.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #9

Size of laundry room.

Similar to bathrooms and kitchens, laundry rooms are more costly to build than other rooms, especially when a larger laundry is filled with cabinetry and countertops.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

See 10 small laundry room layouts, with completed home pictures, here.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #10

Add built ins later.

Popular floor plans often include built ins throughout the home. Adding built ins down the road can save cost up front, and give your family weekend projects to complete together.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #11

Two car, not three car.

When finding ways to cut the cost of your home, one of the first things to consider is removing the third car garage.

Most families find ample space in more standard two car garages, especially when nailing down true "must-haves" versus "really wants."

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

For this version of The Dinsmore, the home owners reduced their home's footprint - and saved on building costs - by removing the third car garage.

Small Home Cost Per Square Foot Factor #12

Limit the size and quantity of covered porches.

The cost of porches and other outdoor living areas adds up quickly. 

Consider a front OR back porch, but not both, if you're looking to save money by building a smaller home. Which would you use more? That's the one you should build.

Often, homebuyers decide on outdoor living spaces after buying a lot - to maximize the use of their land.

Why do smaller homes cost more per square foot?

Remember - patios and decks are much more cost expensive than porches, and offer great outdoor living options.

How to Build a Custom Home:

These cost-cutting tips should help your family stay on-budget when narrowing down your favorite floor plans.

Ultimately, building a custom home is about quality, creativity, and personality. Ask Stanton Homes how we build custom homes - in budget - without sacrificing what matters most to YOU.



Tags: new home cost, custom home builder, cost to build, custom home cost, cost per sq ft, new home prices

Tile Tub Surround Cost (with 8 blue bathroom tile ideas)

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 @ 12:07 PM

How Much Does it Cost to Add a Tile Tub Surround?

A custom tile shower/tub combination can make a big difference in your guest or master bath. When you build a custom home in the Raleigh North Carolina area, custom tile treatments can be cost effective, or well worth the splurge.

Looking for blue bathroom tile ideas? The images below feature contemporary blue bathrooms -- with cost saving tips on how to surround your tub in tile.

Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas:

Photos and ideas for your custom tile bathroom...

1. Tile Tub Surround with Built-in Plant Shelf

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

This master bathroom uses a mini-mosaic accent of clear blue tiles, embedded in a soft, neutral tub surround. With light blue painted walls, this tub called for a more subtle touch of blue.

The built-in tile shelf below the window offers a place to decorate or store bath time essentials. A tile shelf can be a fairly cost effective add.  You'll need some extra framing, and an additional 6-7 sq ft of tile installed.   Adding a bench also requires about an extra foot of width at the tub. 

Although light blue can be a more traditional bathroom shade, the no-door archway opening between the master bedroom and bath keeps this space feeling contemporary.

2. Blue, White, and Gray Tile Bath

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas


This master bathroom blends shades of blue and slate to create a relaxing spa atmosphere. The pebble tile across the floor adds to the spa ambiance.

Although ceiling-height tile in the shower adds a bit of cost, the recurring mini-mosaic pattern works to pull the room together.

Mini-mosaic tile generally starts at about $18/sq ft for materials, as compared to about $2/sq ft for a typical 12"x12" tile.

3. Light Blue Shower Tile

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

A guest or secondary bathroom is a great place to add floor-to-ceiling tile. The blue subway tile color pattern gives visual texture to the bath.

A tile shower, rather than one-piece tub/shower insert, can add in the range of $1500 to the cost of your bathroom.

Many homebuyers opt to integrate tile upgrades in the most visible bathrooms, such as a guest suite bath or shared downstairs bath.

4. Blue Tile Frames

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

Mini subway tile outlines the bathroom window, mirror, and accent areas in this kid's bathroom.

A small touch of tile can make a big impact -- and the cost is comparable to choosing a decorator mirror.

5. White Field Tile and Blue Mini Mosaic Bath

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

This specially adapted shower room - with tub inside - features 8 x 10 white field tile from floor to ceiling.

A blue mini mosaic tile accent runs in a stripe around the room. A typical listello accent (the mosaic tile) usually runs a few hundred dollars.

6. Slate Blue Tile Bathroom

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

This master bathroom -- with a tile tub inside the shower -- uses a mixture of tile sizes to create contrast.

The slate blue blends smoothly with faux wood tile tones.

7. Earth Blue Tile Tub Surround

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

Using slate blue tile -- mixed with grays, browns, and other earth tones -- is a great way to create a neutral bathroom without the popular integration of high contrasts of white, black, and gray patterns.

Angled tub surrounds can increase your tile cost by 15-30%, compared to a typical rectangular tub deck.

8. Curved Slate Blue Tile Tub Surround

Tile Tub Surround Ideas | Blue Bathroom Tile Ideas

A vertical tile pattern -- with a range of slate blue tones -- shows off the curved front of this tile tub surround.

Curving the edge of your tub has a cost that can start at about $600 and go up from there.

More photos of tile tub surrounds in new custom homes by Stanton Homes:


When selecting your new home, first find out what your builder means by a tile surround. A full tile surround should cover the tub base deck, extend downwards to the floor, and extend up the walls by a foot or so.

Some builders refer to a "tile surround" but only include a small tile border around the upper part of a full fiberglass tub.

A full tile master bath is standard in nearly every Stanton Home. Tell us what floor plan you love, and we'll show you what it costs to build in central North Carolina.

Tags: tile tub ideas, tile tub surrounds, Raleigh Custom Home Builders, raleigh custom homes, blue bathrooms

Which is cheaper quartz or granite?

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jul 15, 2015 @ 07:07 AM

What's the difference between granite and quartz countertops?

Granite and quartz are both popular choices for countertops in custom home kitchens and master bathrooms.

Granite and quartz are both natural stone materials. But while granite is 100% stone, quartz can vary in composition: Quartz countertops are made of a manufactured stone, composed of crushed quartz that is mixed with pigment and resin.

Compare the pros and cons of granite and quartz -- with photos from Raleigh custom homes built by Stanton Homes. Contact us with your new home building questions, and we'll show you what it takes to build a custom home.


Which is cheaper quartz or granite?

Granite and quartz countertops are purchased by size in square feet. Manufactuers often group stone countertops into levels. Each level indicates a price range.

Differences in price per square foot are based on the availability of a stone (how rare is it?), as well as its location (how far must it be shipped?), among other criteria.

In general, granite countertops are much less expensive than quartz, especially in recent years.  A granite countertop will generally start in the $45-50/sq ft range, while depending on the manufacturer and type, quartz can easily start $20-30/sq ft higher. 

Photos of Stanton Homes with granite countertops in the master bathroom:

1. Black Granite Countertops

Black granite - with hits of earthy tones - are popular in larger bathrooms, which can balance darker tones in wider spaces. 


How do I know if the counter tops I find in photos are granite?

A quick way to spot whether or not counter tops are made of granite (rather than composite materials) is the integration of an undermount sink.

Granite counter top installers cut holes for the sink and faucet, which are installed separately. Composite countertops often come as single pieces, with a built-in sink basin.

2. Tones of Red and Brown in Granite Countertops

This single his and hers vanity extends between the tile shower and tub. An archway accent keeps the space open, and serves as a useful shelf.


How long can a granite counter top extend?

The maximum length of a granite countertop before a seam is required varies, based on the length of the slab that the granite is to be cut from.  Many pieces are 6', 8', or 10' in length.  When a countertop is longer than that, it will generally have a seam.

3. Contemporary White Granite Countertops

Dark cabinets with light - often gray or white - countertops are popular contemporary home combinations for the granite bathroom.


Which is more cost effective, a single, long vanity or two short, separate vanities?

Cost per vanity depends on a lot more factors than just the countertop!  A standard size vanity, such as 30" or 48", is more cost effective than a custom vanity.  A shorter vanity (or pair of shorter vanities) also may be able to use "remnants" of granite rather than a full sheet, which many installers will offer a special price on.  A longer piece of granite is more likely to need to be cut from a full sheet.

4. Traditional White Granite Countertops

In this his and hers style bathroom, the "his" vanity (pictured below) is located on the opposite wall from the "her" vanity.



Here are answers to other common new home countertop questions:

Which is More Popular, Granite or Quartz Countertops?

While granite and quartz are both great choices for natural stone counter tops, more home buyers choose to include granite in the kitchen and bathroom

Which do you like better? When you build a custom home in the Raleigh North Carolina area, your selections are nearly endless. At Stanton Homes, your personal design consultant will meet you at vast showrooms and help with extensive selections. Learn more by contacting us here.


Tags: Custom Home Kitchen Design, Cost of Granite, Granite Counter Tops, granite vs quartz, Countertop Cost

How many bathrooms do I need? Raleigh New Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Jul 02, 2015 @ 14:07 PM

How many bathrooms do you need in a new home? 

Not long ago, homes were built with a single, shared bathroom.

These days, it's considered standard for a two story home to have at least two and a half baths, including:

  • Master Bathroom
  • Kid's Bath / Guest Bath
  • Powder Room

How many bathrooms do you need? Raleigh New Homes

In a recent report by Trulia, the Raleigh - Cary, North Carolina metro area showed the highest bathroom-to-bedroom ratio in homes for sale -- at 1.07 bathrooms per bedroom. See the details here.

Find out how to choose the number of bathrooms in your Raleigh new home builder tips and trends below. 

What determines the number of bathrooms you need?

The number of occupants -- and total square footage - are the top two indicators of the number of bathrooms you need in a home. Therefore, when looking at floor plans, you'll want to coordinate the number of bathrooms with the number of bedrooms.

What are other factors to consider when deciding how many bathrooms you need?

1. How much does a bathroom cost?

Bathrooms cost more per square foot than any other room in your home (besides the kitchen).

Depending on the sq ft and selections, a powder room can start in the $2K range.

A full bath with tile and nice fixtures generally starts closer to $4K.   Custom home master bathrooms range more widely in size and complexity, and thus cost.


What makes the cost of a bathroom add up?

  • Bringing and removing water from up to four different fixtures, ie plumbing rough-ins
  • Obtaining and installing plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, sinks, and cabinetry - the cost will depend on taste, finish, and features
  • A water-rated flooring, such as tile, costs a lot more per sq ft than carpeting does.

How many bathrooms do you need? Raleigh New Homes

Where can I save on costs in a bathroom?

  • Fiberglass tub/shower combinations are much less expensive than tile.
  • Do you need dual vanities, or will a single sink work just as well?
  • How big is the bath?  A 5'x9' bath can be just as effective (and beautiful) as a 6'x12' bath.
  • Limit the number of cabinets and size of vanities.  Plan for a cost-effective layout with your designer
  • It's more common to splurge on finishes in the Powder and Master baths, but a secondary bath can include cost effective but appealing fixtures

2. How many bedrooms are for long-term use?

Many Raleigh home buyers are looking for floor plans with a private bathroom in the guest suite

How many bathrooms do you need? Raleigh New Homes


A great way to save costs is by maximizing the day-to-day use of a bathroom (and eliminating the need for a separate bath or powder room).

If your guest suite is designed for short-term guests, consider converting the attached bathroom into a Jack and Jill or Buddy bath.

  • A Jack and Jill bathroom connects between two bedrooms
  • A Buddy bathroom opens to a bedroom and hallway

How many bathrooms do you need? Raleigh New Homes 

Each bathroom style is designed for shared use.

Even a nearby powder room (with or without a shower) can serve as an excellent overnight or short-term guest bath.

3. Where are your bathrooms located?

An efficient, centrally located bathroom can make a big difference in number of bathrooms needed to keep your family functioning. 

If a common squabble is bathroom-hogging, for instance, consider adding a door between the vanity area and shower/toilet. This will allow dual use of the same high-demand space.

How many bathrooms do you need? Raleigh New Homes

4. Does your floor plan have specialty rooms, such as a basement or pool house?

A basement can be a great place for a second powder room -- with just enough space for a simple toilet and vanity.

A powder room -- or simple, space-efficient tub/shower combination bathroom with a 30" vanity -- will increase the flexibility of your basement space as a:

  • Long-term guest area
  • Mother in law suite
  • Distinct game room or man cave, separate from main living areas


New Homes in Raleigh, North Carolina:

While many new homes are incorporating 3+ bathrooms, everyone's needs and routines are different. Use the tips above to help you in your floor plan search.

Looking for a home builder in North Carolina?  Tell us what you'd like in your Raleigh custom home floor plan -- including bathroom requirements -- and Stanton Homes will show you what it costs.


Tags: how many bathrooms, number of bathrooms

What's New in Eat-In Kitchens | Raleigh New Custom Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 08:06 AM

Custom Home Eat-In Kitchens:

What's new in eat-in kitchens? Floor plan designs (and custom modification requests) are getting more creative with how to incorporate eat-in spaces.

You will see a wider variety in the type, location, size, number, and configuration of eat-in kitchen spaces than ever before.

Below are eat-in kitchen photos, to give you modern home design ideas.

Eat-In Kitchen Photos and Ideas:

Each of these North Carolina new custom homes, built in or near Raleigh, will give you ideas for how to choose your eat-in style kitchen features.

Some popular eat-in kitchen layouts include:

1. Transitional Island Eating Bar


This transitional gourmet kitchen is open to the vaulted great room (with wood beam ceiling - see it here), filled with family-ready features - including the eat-in island.

Contrasting cabinet styles are paired with natural stone counter tops and a blend of traditional and contemporary lighting bring a transitional touch.

The island seating overhang and next-door breakfast nook make this a great eat-in kitchen design.

What is a transitional home? Read more here.

2. Built-in Island Bench for Eating In the Kitchen


A built-in bench (with storage below) is attached to the center island - designed as seating for a breakfast-sized table.

Copper pendant lights run along the far-side island for a bit of metallic contrast against the stainless steel appliances.

3. Contemporary Eat-In Kitchen Island


 Bar top eating is handy in this contemporary white and black kitchen - with gray hardwood floors.

The nearby wine bar (with refrigerator space below) makes this an all-seasons kitchen.

4. Three Eat-In Areas


This kitchen has three eat-in spaces:

1. A raised eating bar on the great room side of the second island

2. An island-height eating space on the far end of the first island

3. A tucked-in breakfast room, open to the kitchen

5. Built In Bench for an Eat-In Kitchen / Breakfast


An extra long bench spans the length of the breakfast room, for a joint kitchen-breakfast eat-in layout.

6. Cantilever Island


This cantilever style island overhang offers space to tuck away kitchen stools. Hidden stools leave more space for a walkway in the kitchen.

A wrap-around bench in the breakfast room opens up more seating, for this eat-in kitchen design.

7. Curved Island with Seating


A cantilever style island can incorporate a curved side, for extra knee space below.

8. Eat-In Kitchen Island


It's easier to hold a conversation when all seats are not on the same side of the island. 

Rather than extending the length of this island to accommodate more chairs, a corner seat was added.

9. Two-Sided Eat-In Island


Here is another example of an eat-in island with seating on two sides.

10. Small Galley Kitchen with Eat-in Bar


Even a small L-shaped or galley kitchen can accommodate efficient eat-in space. The raised bar can be used for casual meals as well as a serving space for large gatherings.

Build an Eat-In Kitchen:

Which kitchen layout do you like best, from these Raleigh new custom homes? Tell us what you'd like in your Raleigh custom home, and we'll show you what it costs.


More Kitchen Ideas...

Types of Kitchen Pantries (Corner, Walk-In)

6 Hidden Storage Ideas in Your Kitchen

Ten Creative Breakfast Room Design Ideas

Kitchen Counter Tops - Which Work Best?


Tags: kitchen design tips, kitchen design ideas, eat-in kitchen, kitchen eating bar

Raleigh Modern New Home Trends [What is a Transitional Home?]

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

Raleigh New Home Trends:

When it comes to home design trends, modern home buyers want it all -- contemporary designs with timeless style -- and they're finding it in "transitional" home plans.

What's a transitional home?

Transitional homes blend two or more styles, often using traditional and contemporary elements. A transitional home could include a balance of:
  • Granite countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Clean lines, with subtle ornate details in the kitchen or bathrooms
  • Contemporary light fixtures and faucets
  • Contrasting colors: from white, black, and gray, to bright blues, reds, greens, and even pinks

While transitional homes emphasize open concept spaces (with kitchens open to the living room), they can also include private retreats (such as a downstairs home office or basement "man cave"). See photos of Raleigh new homes with transitional elements.

Transitional Homes in Raleigh, NC:

While the term "transitional" can refer to a wide range of new home layouts, features, finishes, and details, these examples will give you a good idea of popular home design trends.

Some popular transitional elements include:

#1: Long, Clean Lines with Pops of Color

The light blue island is the centerpiece of this transitional kitchen, filled with classic concepts and contemporary finishes.

The long lines -- along the upstairs overlook, hanging from the ceiling, and across the hardwood floor -- create a consistent flow throughout the open concept kitchen / living room.


#2: Classic White and Black Kitchen with Contemporary Lights and Backsplash

This kitchen pairs several traditional elements: white cabinets and tile backsplash with a black and gray island. The pendant lights, mini-mosaic accent behind the range, and stainless steel appliances draw contemporary style back in.


#3: Farmhouse Sink in a Contemporary Material

This kitchen incorporates farmhouse style -- the apron front sink -- with contemporary materials (stainless steel).


#4: Transitional Layout: Home Entertainment Space

This transitional floor plan features a large, two island kitchen, stone archway, open living room with full bar, and tile flooring throughout the first floor.


#5: Transitional Kitchen of Natural Elements

Rustic cedar wraps around the deco stone wall, lines above the kitchen range, and outlines the great room windows (out of view). Bringing "outdoor" elements inside can be another indication of transitional style homes.


#6: Wood Ceiling for a "Ship's Prow" Look

While you might find a fieldstone fireplace in a mountain home, this lake house lodge style plan also features a hardwood ceiling in the living room. This ceiling is a great example of a contemporary take on old-world tendencies.


#7: Cable Railing Along a Second Story Overlook

Cable railing makes a strong statement in this transitional home, which contrasts a traditional kitchen against a contemporary, open concept mountain home layout. 



Custom Home Builders:

Your custom home builder can work with you to incorporate the right blend of styles to craft a transitional home.

What do you like best about these Raleigh new homes? Tell us what you'd like in your Raleigh custom home, and we'll show you what it costs.


On-Trend Dining Room Lighting [Ideas for Raleigh NC Custom Homes]

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 13:06 PM

Dining Room Lighting Ideas:

Dining rooms can be very flexible spaces -- transforming into work areas, play zones, or multi-purpose rooms -- depending on the features you choose.


For instance, repainting the dining room to suit your changing needs can be a relatively easy task:

Dining rooms are often painted in an accent color, different from the rest of your home. When it's time to repaint your dining room, you won't need to update the surrounding areas.

Updating your lighting fixtures, however, can take a bit more experience and expertise. 

Use the lighting guide below to help narrow down the type, size, and style of lighting fixtures for your dining room. And consider these new home questions, to help determine the style that's right for you:

  • How often will I use my dining room -- daily, weekly, or for major events? (If you want to get more use out of your dining room, consider going casual -- and making the space more inviting to a range of activities.)
  • Will I display large dining furniture (china cabinet, captain chairs)? (You'll want to consider not only the size of your table, but the space you'll need for "extras.")
  • Does my floor plan include a breakfast room and island kitchen with seating? (If your home has multiple dining spaces, one is generally kept more formal than the others.)

Types of Lighting for the Formal Dining Room:

From casual eating areas to formal dinner party spaces, these dining room lighting motifs will spark ideas for your Raleigh new home:

Formal Dining Room Light Fixtures

What are some of the more formal -- and traditional -- features you'll find in a new home dining room? Here are a few popular traditional dining room photos - with lighting fixture ideas:

1. Contemporary Glass Lighting

This version of the Dinsmore shows a truly contemporary take on formal dining:

  • Cedar trim -- to match the wall of windows in the great room (visible just past the kitchen)
  • Stone accent walls -- perfect for a china cabinet display wall
  • Contemporary light fixtures -- a separated pair of candle lights inside a glass encasement
  • Trey ceiling with a touch of gray accent paint



2. Hanging Lights

This version of the Maple Lane features a five-light hanging fixture with simple, curved lines and candle lights.

The white wainscoting, chair rail, crown molding, and trey ceiling increase the formality of this space. This dining room is designed for large gatherings. There is ample space for a large dining set, and a butler's pantry just around the corner supplements serving space.


3. Recess Lighting

This version of the Chapel Ridge includes a small wall alcove, designed to emphasize the tall windows.
Have an extendable dining table? Place spare chairs on each side of the alcove. 

Recess can lighting offers mood lighting in this dining room.


Casual Dining Room Light Fixtures

These dining rooms serve as dedicated eating spaces, with less emphasis on maintaining traditional home design.

1. Ceiling Fan Light Fixture

Selecting a ceiling fan light fixture is a great way to make your dining room more casual and flexible. 

While chair rail trim is most often found in dining rooms, the trim in this version of the Dunston is so subtle that it could easily be used as a home office.


Design Tip: Consider adding glass French doors to your formal dining room. These doors will keep the space open, but they also allow for privacy if you convert the room into a home office or lounge space.

Here is another angle of the Dunston dining room, with dual French doors:


Here is another example of a dining room with door access. The contemporary geometrical light fixture keep the room flexible, as well:


2. Wall Sconces - and No Hanging Light

Wall sconces are a great alternative of overhead lighting. Wall sconces can be subtle (like in this version of the McAlvany) or they can be larger and more formal.

The complex trim work and transom windows keep the room feeling formal, overall.



3. Tile Floors in the Dining Room

While the six-light hanging light fixture, chair rail, and triple windows lend formality to the dining room in this version of the Coquery Cottage, the tile floors are an unexpected touch.

This room could easily convert into a home office, craft room, or kid's play area -- there are enough elements found in each to keep things flexible (including the lamp shade lights).



Here are more examples of custom home formal dining rooms:

Floor Plans with a Formal Dining Room

Open Concept Dining Rooms

Formal Dining Room Vs. Home Office -- How to Modify Your Floor Plan

Dining Room Architecture -- Design Ideas for Your Raleigh New Home

Raleigh NC Custom Homes:

Tell us what you like best about these formal dining rooms, and we'll tell you what it costs to build in North Carolina.

We'll help you think about versatility, and work with you to incorporate the functions that you need most - without reducing the ability to sell your home in the future.



Tags: raleigh custom home builder

Top 5 Downstairs Master Bedroom Floor Plans [with Photos]

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 13:06 PM

Floor Plans for First Floor Master Bedroom Homes:

Master suite layout ideas continue to be a top request. Here are 5 of our most interesting (and fun!) new home master suite designs. Layout themes include:

  • Open concept floor plan designs
  • Elegant sitting rooms with angled walls and arched windows
  • Separate closets and vanities that maximize the his-and-hers style
  • Oversized soaking tubs, especially those with a romantic, tucked-away feeling
  • Doorless showers

Most Popular Floor Plans with a Downstairs Master:

These master bedroom floor plans range from layouts that maximize efficiency to those centered on spreading out.

Here are 5 new first floor master bedroom floor plans (with master bedroom and bath photos):

1st Floor Master Floor Plan #1

The McAlvany -- a Frank Betz and Stanton Homes floor plan -- features a first floor master suite with laundry room inside the master closet.

The master bedroom and bath each feature a unique ceiling vault and contemporary square light fixture. Large windows and French doors provide natural light.

In the master bathroom, the upper transom windows can remain uncovered, even with blinds or curtains over the picture window.



See more homes with the laundry room by the master bedroom.

1st Floor Master Floor Plan #2

The Worthington II -- a Stanton Homes floor plan -- is a contemporary home with the master bedroom on the first floor.


Gray hues, straight lines, and bright white touches flow throughout the contemporary interior design:


A white wainscot backdrop frames the freestanding tub and doorless shower:



1st Floor Master Floor Plan #3:

The Mastrosimone -- a Stanton Homes floor plan -- is a first floor master floor plan.

This version of the Mastrosimone features a unique sitting room style - with half-walls dividing it from the master suite. Cut-out openings serve as art/plant shelves.




The his-and-hers walk in closets sit opposite each other, leading to the master bath.

A centerpiece soaking tub pulls together the parallel design.  For a more open concept between the master suite and bath, consider an archway rather than a door:


1st Floor Master Floor Plan #4:

The Peay -- a Stanton Homes floor plan -- has 6 bedrooms split between the first and second floor.

The master bath leads into the walk in closet with center island.


A trey ceiling tops this large master suite:


Check out the his and hers vanities, with center cabinets:


1st Floor Master Floor Plan #5:

The Remington -- a Stanton Homes floor plan -- offers a downstairs master suite with sitting area, three sided fireplace, and his and hers bath with private closets.


 The master bedroom and bath feature ceilings with multiple heights, designed to emphasize the depth of large spaces.


A barrel vault above the tub rounds out the his and her space:


Floor Plans with a Master Bedroom on the First Floor:

Homes with a downstairs master continue to be a top home buyer request.  Get ideas for your next home, from these first floor master bedroom home plans.  Then, tell us what kind of home you want to build in North Carolina.

Need more help finding a floor plan? Check out these photo tours. Or browse main floor master floor plans here


Tags: first floor master suite homes, first floor master bedroom homes, new home builders in nc, floor plan guide, raleigh custom homes