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

Top 5 Beige Shades for the Great Room

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

Best Paint Colors to use in a Great Room:

Beige and gray are the two most popular paint colors for great rooms in NC new homes.

Here are some examples of popular great room layouts, in recently constructed NC custom homes:

Most Popular Paint Colors for a Great Room:

Great rooms are generally large spaces with open layouts, windows, and a fireplace. These key features will help determine the best paint color schemes.

Get ideas for your new home paint colors from these beige great rooms. And see why beige is not boring!

Beige Paint Color #1: "SW 6106 Kilim Beige"

Beige paint colors are popular for many reasons, including their neutrality and flexibility.

Beige walls will serve as a backdrop, rather than focal point, allowing you to show off architectural features such as columns, fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and window designs.

SW 6106 Kilim Beige | Best Beige Paint Colors for the Great Room

This great room - photo from a version of the Country Farmhouse - is painted in SW 6106 Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams.

Beige Paint Color #2: "SW 7036 Accessible Beige"

A neutral beige paint highlights the hand-stained wood, stone archway, and stone fireplace in this custom home great room design.

SW 7036 Accessible Beige  | Best Beige Paint Colors for the Great Room

This great room - photo from a version of the Coquery Cottage - is painted in SW 7036 Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams.

Beige Paint Color #3: "SW 7527 Nantucket Dune"

Beige tends to work equally well in large, vaulted and small, open great room layouts. In this great room, the beige walls let the black fireplace and fixtures stand out above the hardwood floors.

SW 7527 Nantucket Dune | Best Beige Paint Colors for the Great Room

This great room is painted in SW 7527 Nantucket Dune by Sherwin Williams.

Beige Paint Color #4: "SW 7714 Oak Barrel"

The finishes and features within a room work together with the paint color to create the overall palatte.

For confidence when choosing a paint color, make sure to compare large samples, on-site, with other features within the room.

SW 7714 Oak Barrel | Best Beige Paint Colors for the Great Room

This great room - photo from a version of the Lakehouse - is painted in SW 7714 Oak Barrel by Sherwin Williams.

Beige Paint Color #5: "SW 7687 August Moon"

White trim and wainscoting panels are a great design technique to break up any paint color, including beige.

SW 7687 August Moon | Best Beige Paint Colors for the Great Room

This great room - photo from a version of the Remington - is painted in SW 7687 August Moon by Sherwin Williams.


More Popular Great Room Paint Colors

Here are links to other great rooms painted in blue, green, yellow, and other hues:

  1. SW 6207 Retreat - in a version of the Chalet Vert
  2. Benjamin Moore AF-670 Nightingale - in a version of the Shoal Creek
  3. SW 6687 Lantern Light - in a version of the Blackhawk

Contact Stanton Homes at 919-278-8070 or visit to learn more about building an NC custom home - with the help of an interior design expert throughout the selection process.


Tags: home builders NC, how to choose paint colors, Best Paint Colors, nc custom homes, beige great rooms, beige paint color ideas

7 Keys to Open Concept Floor Plans | Custom Home Builder Tips and Tricks

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Aug 06, 2013 @ 07:08 AM

How to design an open concept floor plan

The term "open concept floor plan" can refer to many different architectural design features. 

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home builders

In this article, we've put together a few tips on how to maximize the openness of your new home.

Search for these key features in online floor plan guides, or make a list of all your favorites from this list, and we'll show you what we can design and build just for you.





1. Minimize hallways. Get inspiration from floor plan designs that minimize wasted space by eliminating unnecessary hallways. Many craftsman style homes are considered open concept designs because they minimize hallways and maximize the functionality of each home space.

For example, many craftsman homes add benches, open shelving, or storage nooks inside hallways to increase their usability. Click here for ten craftsman style home features - and learn common techniques for building an open concept craftsman home.

In this example, a craftsman style home plan, see how to design an open concept floor plan, with a few simple modifications:

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home buildersThese changes - made to a Frank Betz floor plan concept - center on removing half walls and adding archways. The original floor plan already minimized hallways, limiting wasted space.

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home builders2. Orient rooms. The rooms you use most often should flow into each other.

When designing an open concept floor plan, a key trick is to keep the kitchen open to the family room and breakfast nook.

Take a look at the Treehouse kitchen, breakfast room, and family room layout: the island was moved closer to the breakfast room and rotated to face directly into the family room to maximize the open design (and keep the wall of windows in sight while working at the prep sink).

As you browse floor plans, reference this guide to kitchen floor plan design - and learn more about how to read kitchen floor plans.

If you prefer island kitchen designs, find out more about how to orient the room based on a kitchen work triangle.

3. Create focal points, with clear lines of sight. A fireplace is often the focal point of a room - and it should be visible from every angle to maximize the feeling of free-flow.

For instance, in this version of the Remington, a three-sided glass fireplace was carefully placed in the master bedroom with clear lines of sight from the bedroom entry, sitting area, and bathroom.

Tip: when designing a floor plan around clear lines of sight, the Stanton Homes interior design team takes into account all the details - down to kitchen pendant lighting placement. (For instance, large pendant lights hanging over the island could block the view between rooms. We'll give you guidance on light fixture size, number, and placement.)

4. Designate a center point. Plan your home around one room - most often the kitchen becomes the hub of the home - and focus on that space, first.

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home builders

Inevitably, the kitchen island serves as a cooking bar, homework station, and conversation area.

So take advantage of this space by including the most useful features to you.

Tip: when choosing a central space to base your open concept floor plan on, brainstorm about what types of storage matter most to your lifestyle. Open shelving for cookbooks? Outward-facing cubbies for kid's homework? Glass-faced cabinets for displaying fine china? Built-in wine racks? An island can serve as a storage space for more than just pots, pans, and baking dishes.

5. Open upwards. Don't forget the possibilities that open up with ceiling design.

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home builders

Two story ceilings, arched openings, barrel vaults, ceiling vaults, and other specialty ceilings will draw the eye upward, even in smaller floor plans - making them feel much larger on the inside.

Tip: varying the height of your ceilings will ALWAYS have a dramatic effect - making a home feel larger inside.

Instead of including 9 foot ceilings throughout the first floor, consider raising your living room ceiling or master bedroom ceiling to 11 feet tall. You'll be amazed at the difference this can make. (This is not a feature you can change later on, so talk to your builder about what ceiling heights they offer, at what cost.)

6. Add architectural details. Consider adding columns, rather than full walls, between rooms.

The Summerlyn, a Frank Betz floor plan, and the Carwile, a Stanton Homes custom design, are two great example of what columns add to an open concept floor plan.

See photos of custom homes that incorporate decorative columns:

The Maple Lane

The Mastrosimone (take a look at the master bedroom and the kitchen)

How to design an open concept floor plan | Custom home builders

7. Include fewer formal spaces. And less separation of living areas.

If you have a formal living room or formal dining room in your current home, how often do you use those rooms?

If the answer is "hardly ever," you may want to eliminate these space in your new home.

In this version of the Peay, the formal dining room is completely open to the kitchen. Wainscoting panneling keeps the area formal, whle minimized walls maintain the open concept.


Ask us how to design an open concept floor plan

If you don't see a plan that meets your needs, let us know, and we'll help you find or design the perfect floor plan.

Stanton Homes is not limited by a set few homes – we can modify and build virtually any floor plan from any architect or online home plan source.

Tags: open concept design, nc custom homes, new home design trends

5 Least Popular Raleigh New Home Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Oct 01, 2012 @ 08:10 AM

Least Popular Raleigh New Home Features

We love to show off photos of NC custom homes that include all your favorite features. What design trends are we NOT showing you? Here are our top 5 LEAST favorite design features - with some good reasons why they are no longer popular in Raleigh, NC new homes. 


1. Brass FixturesDesign Trends to Avoid! | Least Popular New Home Features

In 2012 new homes, brass is out and brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze are contending for the number one seat. 

Stainless steel fixtures, particularly in the kitchen, are also very popular in Raleigh new homes.




2. Carpet Throughout

Design Trends to Avoid! | Least Popular New Home FeaturesMany new homes are trending towards incorporating hardwood flooring throughout the entire home (or throughout the entire first floor of a home). But that can be expensive, depending on the type of hardwood.

A more popular (and money savvy) alternative is to include carpet in all bedrooms, hallways, staircases, and bonus rooms, with tile in wet areas and hardwoods in the main living areas.



3. Closed Floor PlansDesign Trends to Avoid! | Least Popular New Home Features

It will be difficult to find a 2012 new custom home in the Raleigh, NC area with a closed floor plan design.

Homeowners are trending towards kitchens open to the great room, vaulted ceiling styles, and more open areas throughout.

Second story overlooks are also a popular way to keep floor plans open.


4. Popcorn Ceiling Styles

Design Trends to Avoid! | Least Popular New Home Features

New homeowners opt to include smooth ceilings over popcorn ceilings - and for good reason.

Popcorn ceilings look out-of-date, cannot easily be repainted, can be expensive to remove down the road, and can distract attention away from the specialty crafted barrel, vaulted, and trey ceiling designs in NC custom homes.


5. Formal Living Rooms

Design Trends to Avoid! | Least Popular New Home FeaturesIn line with the trend towards more open living is more casual living styles. Floor plans are eliminating formal living rooms, which serve as underused and unnecessary space in the modern home.

Instead, new homeowners are expanding the square footage of the single great room, and often adding a first floor office or computer nook.



Designing your custom home with all the right features can be EASY - when you work with the experts at Stanton Homes. From floor plan design down to kitchen knob selections, you’ll know just what you’re getting, up front, when you build a Stanton Home.

Want to get back to the design trends that ARE popular? Read about North Carolina custom homes.

Kitchen and bathroom design trends in NC new homes:

Top 10 Master Bath Trends

Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Ideas

Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen Cabinet Trends

Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

Tags: least popular design ideas, raleigh nc new homes, nc custom homes, custom home design trends

Kitchen Color Design Tips | Ask Andrea

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 @ 08:02 AM

Kitchen Design Help

Kitchen Color Design Tips 


We were recently asked this interior design question, through "Ask Andrea":

I have cream colored painted kitchen cabinets, dark blue corian counter tops (Yuck), Yellow painted walls (not too dark or bright) and ugly blue tile floors. What is a good color for tile backsplash on the walls?


And here's what Stanton Homes' on staff interior design expert Andrea has to say:

"Thank you for your very "colorful" description of your colorful kitchen--it was rather entertaining to read!

I focus on design tips for new homes, but this is an interesting question and quite a challenge. 

I understand that you were wanting suggestions for a back splash tile that would pull together cream painted cabinets, "yucky" dark blue Corian countertops that you don't seem to like, yellow painted walls, and some apparently ugly blue tiled floor. Wow!

Someone at one point obviously liked this combination but it is quite simply dated for today's styles.

You didn't ask about changing floors so I am going to assume that the option of doing that is out of your budget at the moment--no problem--we all deal with budget constraints everyday and yet we would like to come home to pleasing surroundings. I am going to throw quite a few suggestions your way aside from getting to the back splash.

First of all, when the weather is nice, I think you need to give strong consideration to painting your blue tiled floors. What? Yes, I said paint your tiled floors. Please go to this link and follow her step by step instructions--one of the most concise set of instructions for painted tiled floors that I have ever read.

 - Consider painting the tile floors white

 - While your in the mood to paint, go ahead and apply a coat of warm white to your cabinets

 - Then, paint your walls in a medium khaki shade

 - Now add a white subway tile back splash and some updated 6" wide brushed nickel bow handles to your cabinets.


At this point your kitchen has now been neutralized to a combination of khaki, white, and navy--a classic combination yes,  but compared to the old colors, this should give you a much more clean-lined and modern feel.

This Stanton Home custom kitchen pictured below is an example of a classic color combination:

Custom Home Kitchen Design Tips


 - White subway tile back splash

 - Khaki walls

 - Absolute black granite

 - Painted white maple cabinets




With these kitchen design tips, your dark blue counter-tops are still there but we are complimenting them now. To keep the clean lines going, be very very choosy about what stays on your counter.

With everything spruced up I would suggest going through your cabinets and clearing away un-used items so that you can make room for removing clutter from your counter.

Once you have completed this you need to look for a large dark blue glass bowl. Fill it with lemons or Granny Smith apples and you're done! You didn't replace floors or counter-tops but everything should look completely updated anyway.

Custom Home Kitchen Design Tips

The thing you want to remember is that although it may not seem as exciting to create neutral back-drops, time and time again we have seen how well this works for our customers at Stanton Homes.

Although every one of our homes is custom-built home, we do try to help guide the decision-making process so that you do not end up in five years feeling like you have 'yucky" counter-tops and "ugly" floors!

Leave the funky color selections for things like cabinet hardware and light fixtures since they are the items that should be providing a little accent to the room and they are the items that you will find easiest and least expensive to have to change down the road.

I hope you will find these suggestions helpful. Good luck with your kitchen!"

Have a kitchen or interior design trend question for your new home?  Ask Andrea, and she'll let you know all the latest in custom home and design/build trends!   Andrea works closely with each Stanton Homes client to help design homes that fit every lifestyle and taste.  

New Home Kitchen Design Articles 
Kitchen Design Trends

Granite Countertop and Tile Backsplash Ideas

Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Ideas

Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends

Countertop Cleaning Tips

Cabinet Wood Types

Best Kitchen Countertop Ideas 

Click Here for More Answers to "Ask Andrea"



Tags: nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, ask andrea, color trends

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer? Pictures of Barrel Vault Foyers by Custom Home Builders

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:04 PM

What, exactly, is a Barrel Vault Foyer?

Custom Home Builder Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers

A barrel vault foyer offers a unique, arched ceiling treatment and can be used to accentuate many different styles of architecture.

In this Arts and Crafts custom home, a barrel vault foyer draws the eye upwards, and adds a dramatic touch to the first room in the home.

What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders


Height doesn't matter.  Barrel vault foyers can be either one story or two story foyers.

In this photo, the barrel vault foyer is even more impressive with the addition of an inset plant shelf on both sides of the upper foyer.

The arched picture window with prairie style grids perfectly follows the signature curve of the ceiling.




What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders

A home with a full height, two story foyer feels grand and luxurious when completed with a barrel vault ceiling.

This is a great example of how a typical rectangular window can add appealing contrast to a barrel vault foyer ceiling.  The window helps emphasize the clean, crisp lines of the built-in plant shelf and decorative columns. 

The barrel vault ceiling coordinates perfectly with the arched opening to the Formal Dining.



What is a Barrel Vault Foyer, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, NC Custom Home Builders


A shallow barrel vault ceiling can even add interest to a lower ceiling in a more typical foyer. 

The barrel vault foyer in this Craftsman/traditional home brings more attention to the marvelous arches and cut out openings throughout the first floor.

No matter what type of custom home you're considering, a barrel vault foyer may be just right - and as you can see, the foyer can be charming, impressive, or somewhere perfectly in between!

More Custom Home Ideas, Photos, and Tips:

Top 5 Trey Ceiling Treatments

How Tall Should Ceilings Be?

What is a Craftsman style home like?

Formal Dining Rooms - Going Away, or Here to Stay?

Five Ways to Save Money in the Family Room

Built In Bookcase Styles and Ideas

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Tags: raleigh craftsman homes, Photos of Barrel Vault Foyers, Raleigh Custom Home Builders, nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, raleigh custom homes, What is a Barrel Vault Foyer

Interest Rate Trends - What Will a 3 Point Increase Do?

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Mar 22, 2011 @ 08:03 AM

Interest Rate Trends

Historically low interest rates - we keep hearing the words, but what do they mean? Is there really that big of a difference? Where are interest rates now?

Interest Rate Trends 1963 to 2010

This chart shows just how compelling interest rates have been over the past year.

Rates really are the lowest they've been in half a century – just look at this graph showing interest rate trends over the past 47 years .

National Average Contract Mortgage Rate 1963 to 2010

Interest Rate Trends | Buying a New Custom Home

Copyright © 2010
Reprinted with permission

How Much More Home Can a Lower Rate Buy?

The exact same home costs less when interest rates are lower. Here’s the bottom line:

Sample principle and interest payments for the same $250,000 loan, at four different interest rates.

Interest Rate Trends | More House for Less Money

    • The same $250,000 home will cost $175,289 more at a 7.75% interest rate than at a 4.75% interest rate, over a 30 year period.
  • The same $250,000 home will cost $479 more per month, or $5748 more per year, at a 7.75% interest rate than at a 4.75% interest rate.

Does a lower interest rate mean I can buy a different home than I could a few years ago?

Yes!  Here's an example.

Interest Rate Trends

At 4.75%, a $1300 monthly principle and interest payment can apply towards a home with a 20% higher price tag than a $1300 payment with a 6.75% interest rate.

The same $1800 monthly payment can apply towards a $250,000 or a $345,000 home, depending on the interest rate.

Will we see interest rates this low again in our lifetime?

Interest Rates


Copyright © 2010
Reprinted with permission

Interest rates are still incredibly low right now, but they are creeping back upwards from recent historical lows. 

Will we see rates this low again in our lifetime? Probably not. In fact, based on these graphs, we’ll probably be paying a lot more, very soon.

Check with your lender for today's rate, and learn how you can take advantage of this historical opportunity before rates continue to rise. 

*Stanton Homes is not a lender, and is not affiliated with a lender.  Calculations generated by online mortgage calculators, for principle and interest only.  Check with your lender for rates and payments specific to your situation.  Interest rates, payments, and other details will be verified with your lender.

Tags: interest rate trends, buying a house, interest rates, nc custom homes

Custom Home Bathroom Trends: Relax, Refresh, Renew

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 @ 12:02 PM

The strongest trends for bathrooms

Expect More from Your Bathroom

Even though they are becoming increasingly larger, today’s bathrooms are still most often the smallest rooms in the house. Yet we tend to demand a lot of these spaces.

We expect the bathroom to stand up to heavy traffic, water, mildew, soap build up, and cosmetics, razors, toothpaste and creams.

We expect the bathroom to provide convenience that will enable us to get on with our busy day, standing up to even the most demanding members of our household. 

And yet we look to these same spaces to provide a respite at the end of a hectic day or even a place to heal.

Custom Home Bathroom Trends - Spending Wisely

Master Bathroom Trends | Custom Home Bathroom DesignIt is no wonder that trends for today’s bathrooms are of great interest to those building a new home or even remodeling.

Kitchens and bathrooms are rooms on which homeowners are spending greater portions of their budget dollars than ever before.  

Second only to kitchens, the real estate market tells us that giving thoughtful consideration to bathroom upgrades during the construction of your new home, is not only a safe, but wise investment.

Custom Home Bathroom Trends - Soothing and Tranquil

Bathtub Ideas | Master Bathroom TubIn review of the strongest trends for bathrooms, keep in mind the words “soothing” and “tranquil”.

Designers are seeing a strong continuation of the “spa look” bathroom which is the very epitome of soothing and tranquil. 

To create that effect homeowners are considering air jetted tubs instead of the older model water jetted tubs. 



Custom Home Bathroom Trends: Air Jetted Tubs

Air Jetted Tub | Jet TubEven though they are a little pricier than their water jetted cousins, air jetted tubs are very popular due to the fact that you can use soothing aromatherapy oils and bath salts in these tubs.  

Since the air jets are expelling air into the tub, they therefore keep themselves clean and free of any trapped bath products that are known to interfere with the functioning of water jetted tubs.

However, the market has also recently introduced a combination air and water jetted tub and the use of these tubs is often even prescribed in treatment for sports injuries and even arthritis.

Custom Home Bathroom Trends: Larger Showers with Spa Shower Heads

Rain Head Shower | Rain Shower DesignAlong those lines, showers are becoming larger and the addition of body sprayers, hand sprayers, and rain-shower heads, previously most commonly seen only in luxury homes, are growing in popularity for use by everyday folks as manufacturers are coming out with more and more affordable models.

If you haven’t been to a plumbing showroom lately, its time you went and had a look at some fantastic products. Kohler offers a combination rain-shower head and hand held sprayer that is affordable and user-friendly.

Not only can it help to massage tired muscles, but the practical hand sprayer is a great help when you actually have to clean the shower!

After weighing all of the available options and making your final decisions you will be able to look forward to finally relaxing in your private retreat—your new spa-look bathroom.  


Article by Andrea Enns at Stanton Homes.


Raleigh New Home Trends

New Home Exterior Styles from Craftsman to Contemporary

7 Ways to Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Space

Questions to ask before building a Multi Generational home

2014 Kitchen Design Trends - Is Stainless Steel on its Way Out?

90 Photos of Custom Home Kitchen

Tags: nc custom home builders, nc custom homes, nc new home builders, custom design trends, custom home trends

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Feb 22, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

New Home Trends - Are Fireplaces Disappearing?

Number of New Homes with Fireplaces Hits 23 Year Low

Wondering if fireplaces are going the way of the formal dining room?

The number of new homes that include fireplaces is decreasing.   According to the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace reached 49% in 2009, the highest percentage since 1975. 

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

According to data from the Census Bureau, the number of new homes built without a fireplace in 2009 hit 49%, following a steady trend over the past 15 years.NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

The year 1990 saw the most new homes with fireplaces since the Census Bureau started tracking in 1973 - only 34% of new homes built in 1990 did not include a fireplace.  Since then, the number of homes with fireplaces has been on the decline. 

The years 1980-1983 saw another increase in the number of homes without fireplaces, after which the number homes with  fireplaces steadily grew until to their peak in 1990.

NC Custom Home Builders | New Home Fireplace Trends

What could be causing the decline in the number of fireplaces?

Just a few factors that could be impacting the "fireplace decision" could include:

- Cost effectiveness

- Fireplaces no longer used as a heat source

- Entertainment centers as focal points instead of fireplace

- Changing restrictions on woodburning fireplaces

- Low maintanence lifestyle choices

Will your new home include a fireplace? 

As an NC custom home builder, we'll work with you to make the decision that's right for you, and can design a home that includes the features that will make your lifestyle exceptional. 

Want to get started?

Browse Floor Plans

More Custom Home Tips and Trends:

NC Custom Home Builders | Build on Your Lot | How Many Bathrooms

Fireplace Surround Ideas

Craftsman Floor Plans: Our Favorite Craftsman Architects

Small Changes Make Big Differences - Floor Plan Modifications

Tile Tub Surround Design Trends and Ideas

Cabinet Wood Types: Compare and Contrast


Tags: fireplace trends, nc custom homes, building a home, certified green home builders, nc custom homebuilders, build on your lot, custom home builder

Best Kitchen Countertop Ideas For New Homes | Kitchen Design Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

Kitchen Countertops - What Kind of Countertops Work Best?

Kitchen Design Trends for New Custom Homes 

Stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – compare and contrast today's most popular kitchen countertop selections.

Granite Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersGranite is a natural product harvested from quarries. Colors and patterns vary depending on the geological processes in the region where they are quarried.

Granite is a more expensive countertop option, with prices starting at about 3-4 times the cost of laminate. Because this is a natural material, selections are not made from a color chart. Buyers can select from samples representative of a type of granite, or choose a unique individual slab from which their countertop will be carefully cut. There are a variety of edges – including bullnose, radius, straight, and bevel – are available at no additional charge, while upgraded edges can include a full bullnose and ogee (graceful serpentine curve).  

Granite is fairly resistant to heat and scratches. If damaged, it may be possible to polish the countertop, since it is made of the same material throughout. The material must be resealed about every five years to protect it from stains, and careful attention must be paid to the natural stone seams. 

Marble Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Marble is another 100% natural product. It is not as popular as other kitchen countertop materials, because it’s lime-stone base makes it less resistant to stains from oils and acids.

Like granite, marble comes in slabs that are always different because they come from a natural source.  

The cost of marble is a little higher than granite, and the seam and sealing processes are identical. 

Quartz, or Engineered Stone – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersThis is one of the newest countertop products, and is becoming increasingly popular. Quartz is actually a quartz composite, made of quartz, colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy. About 97% of the composite is quartz. The other 7% is pigments and resins. Natural granite is only about 50% quartz, which is very high on the hardness scale – only diamonds, topaz and sapphires are harder!  

Quartz comes in many more colors than natural stone and has a more even pattern.  

The cost is very similar to granite. It doesn’t need to be sealed, and is more resistant to stains, scratches, and other damage. Seams are less noticeable due to the consistency of the pattern.  

Stainless Steel – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Stainless steel is also becoming a popular option in higher-end homes. It is one of only a few countertop materials that can be safely bleached, and heat will not hurt it.  

Brushed and/or textured finishes are available to help hide scratches. In some cases, the sink can be created with the countertop for a totally seamless one-piece installation. All this comes with a price tag – steel countertops cost about twice as much as granite.  

What’s the bottom line on countertop costs?

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersAll countertop pricing is determined by square footage. Most standard countertops are 2 ¼ feet wide. To find out how much countertop you need, take the length of the countertop and multiply by the width. Then multiply the total square footage by the cost per square foot for the desired material. This will give you the starting point. 

But there are additional considerations as well.  

The cost of backsplashes depends on material and style, as does the edge of the countertop – which can all be customized in different materials.

Even the type of sink makes a difference in countertop cost. An under-counter mount requires a more finished edge around the sink, which raises the cost for some materials. Additional sinks or other cut outs can add to labor and installation expenses, as well.

Custom home builders like Stanton Homes can walk you through the costs when you plan your home, so you can decide what kind of countertop you want to live with.

Read Best Kitchen Countertops Part I Here

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder Trends

More Kitchen Trends and Ideas - Building Your New Custom Home:

Kitchen Color Schemes for 2011 - This Year's Color Trends

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas - Behind the Cooktop

Storage Solutions: Top 5 Options for Kitchen Base Cabinets





Get ideas from these kitchen floor plan transformations, designed by Stanton Homes to fit the lifestyles of our homebuyers. 


We can redesign your kitchen floor plan to put everything just where you need it – BEFORE you build.

Choosing to build your new home with exceptional NC custom home builders like Stanton Homes allows more creativity, within your budget, than you ever thought possible! Find out more today – here’s how to get started:

Custom Home Floor Plans | NC Custom Home Builders | Floor Plan Options Floor Plan Price | Raleigh New Home Cost | Custom Home Cost Estimate Floor Plan Ideas | Floor Plan Styles | Custom Home Floor Plans Raleigh New Home Lots | Custom Home Lots for Sale | New Home Lots Raleigh NC


Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes, new home trends, kitchen trends, kitchen tile ideas

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best? | Kitchen Design Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

How to choose the best Kitchen Countertops for your lifestyle

Kitchen Design Trends for New Custom Homes 

Stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – here’s what you need to know before you tell your NC custom home builder what kind of kitchen countertops to install: 

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsLaminate Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Modern laminate is durable and stain resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and textures, including a look that imitates more expensive materials like granite and marble. 

Laminate is one of the least expensive countertops because it can be shaped and molded fairly easily to match the dimensions of your kitchen cupboards. Laminate can also be customized, with hardwood for the backsplash and front edge, without a lot of additional cost.

One downside to laminate is that it can be scratched or burned, and the colors may fade with time. However, mold or bacteria growth isn’t a problem with laminate, so bleach and harsh cleansers aren’t needed for cleanup. 

Ceramic Tile Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Ceramic tile costs more than laminate, but just how much you pay depends on type of tile, pattern, and decorative accents.

The versatility of tile can add personality to countertops, but the way the tiles are laid out can also make a difference in terms of how much labor is involved. A horizontal pattern is standard, but other patterns require extra cutting and skill. 

Another aspect of tile that makes it stand out is the grout that is used to hold the tile in place. Grout is available in a wide variety of colors that can accent the tiles, and is more stable and longer lasting than in the past. 

Tile is scratch and heat resistant, but grout must be sealed regularly to protect it from stains. Grout seal comes in aerosol cans and dries quickly, so it’s easy to apply. When properly sealed, the grout is almost as easy to clean as the tiles, which require only soap and water.

Solid Surface Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsSolid surface countertops are made of materials like resin, an acrylic or modified polyester, color pigments, a fire rating filler, and added particles to give the appearance of veins or textures. Corian is a good example of a solid surface countertop.  One nice feature of Corian is an option for an integrated, seamless sink.

These kinds of countertops are a mid-priced option, lately higher than granite but lower than quartz, and come in hundreds of colors and finishes that have varying rates of glossiness. Although they are generally resistant to scratching and are typically heat and stain resistant, solid surface countertops such as Corian can be scorched. 

Solid surface countertops can be wiped down with a soft cloth. Special cleaners are available that can restore glossiness, and many of these materials can be lightly sanded when scratches appear.

Read Best Kitchen Countertops Part II Here


What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder Trends

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Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes, new home trends, kitchen trends, kitchen tile ideas