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

Best Open Kitchen and Great Room Floor Plans

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 05:05 AM

Kitchens that Open up to the Great Room:

Get ideas for how to divide your space efficiently and elegantly, with an open kitchen/great room layout.

These kitchen photos show examples of homes that combine the kitchen with nearby living, eating, and multi-purpose spaces into a single, large gathering area.  Here are some examples of popular floor plans with a completely open kitchen:

Open Layouts for Raleigh New Homes:

Floor plans with an open layout are designed to maximize the utility of kitchens, great rooms, and surrounding spaces.

1. Kitchens Designed for Casual Dining

This open concept kitchen offers casual dining at the island and the tucked-in breakfast nook. While many traditional floor plans place the breakfast area between the kitchen and living room, this open plan flow directly from kitchen to great room.


2. Kitchens Designed for Entertaining

This open concept layout includes three separate countertop centers - two islands and a separate living room wet bar. The completely open plan makes this a fantastic entertaining space - designed to keep guests moving between hubs. 


3. Kitchens Designed for Families with Kids

A full-length seating bar at the island was added so that kids could do their homework in the kitchen during meal prep times. 

The great room built ins are designed for a piano to fit inside, for at home lessons. 



See an ideabook of Raleigh new homes that feature an open concept layout with integrated kitchen and great room - click here. 


Raleigh New Homes:

What Raleigh new home floor plan elements are most important to you? Tell us what you're looking for, and we'll show you how to build it - with recommendations for floor plan features and selections that fit your budget.


Tags: open floor plans, raleigh custom homes, raleigh custom home builder, open concept homes, kitchen open to great room, open great room

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Choose a New Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value - How to Choose a New Home that will Sell

Building a Home with Resale in Mind

When building a custom home, keep in mind how many years you plan to live in it. It may be important to balance your wish list with features that will gain you the highest resale value.

Here are the five best ways to increase the resale value of your new home, when custom building in central North Carolina:

1. Main Floor Master or One Story Floor Plans

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market

The most sought-after type of floor plan is a main floor master or one story home.

Main floor master homes are perfect for retirees with future mobility in mind, or empty nesters who no longer need to be next door to small children.

One story homes cost more per square foot than two story homes, but adding a basement or room or two upstairs (like a game room for the kids to hang out in) can help with the cost difference.

2. Open Island Kitchens and Homes with an Open Layout

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market

Open floor plan designs are extremely popular among homebuyers - and open kitchens with an island and eating bar can be a must for many families.

"Open floor plans" can mean different things to different homebuyers. 

A home with the kitchen open to breakfast and great room, 9 foot ceilings, archways, and fewer formal spaces can have a higher market value.


3. Plans with 3 or 4 bedrooms5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market

Floor plans with three or four bedrooms are some of our most commonly searched for homes.

Two bedroom homes are hard to appraise, and hard to sell.  A four bedroom home is most often the starting point for home searches.



5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market




With home offices becoming more common, a fourth bedroom gives homebuyers the flexibility they need as families grow and needs change.




4. Green Homes with Energy Saving Features

The new ENERGY STAR 3.0 requirements are now in place, and have placed ENERGY STAR homes at the front lines of energy efficiency, again.  

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market

ENERGY STAR and Green Certified Homes were found to have a statistically significant market advantage, compared to similar code-built, uncertified homes, in each of these categories:

 - Selling for a higher sale price

 - Selling for a higher price per square foot

 - Having spent fewer days on the market prior to sale


5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing Market

The greater up-front cost of "going green" also pays off with:

 - Reduced energy bills

 - Reduced reliance on natural resources and greenhouse gas output

 - Savings through government incentives and energy company discounts

 - Healthier indoor air


5. Homes with Two Master Bedrooms

5 Ways to Increase Resale Value | How to Beat the Housing MarketA second master suite can add value to your investment.

Two master bedroom homes in high demand can contain:

 - A 2nd master bedroom

 - An in-law suite 

- A guest bedroom with attached private bathroom (especially a guest bedroom on first floor)

Each of these second master bedroom types will add instant resale value to your new home. And each can be designed to be very different, in reflection of lifestyles and preferences.

Read more about adding value to an NC custom home, in each of these related articles:

How Tall Should Ceilings Be for Best Resale Value?  

Open Concept Floor Plans - What does an "open floor plan" look like?

Main Floor Master Homes - Floor Plan Ideas

One Story Homes - Floor Plan Options 

Built-in Home Offices - What Features are Important to Homebuyers?

Energy Star Homes Sell for More

How Two Master Bedroom Homes are Worth More in the Market


Tags: mother in law suite homes, open floor plans, new home trends, dual master suites, energy efficient homes

Open Floor Plan Design Ideas - How to Use Overlooks to Add Appeal

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 06:11 AM

Homebuilder Tips - How to Make a Floor Plan Feel More Open

Foyers with Overlooks, Two-Story Living Rooms with Overlooks


Want more ways to make your new home feel more spacious and open? Consider floor plans that include a two-story foyer or two-story living room, with an overlook above.

Open Floor Plan Ideas

Other custom design and decorating features that can add elegance to your foyer overlook are:

  • Built-in plant shelves
  • Barrel vault, vault, or trey ceiling treatments
  • Large and/or specialty windows for plenty of natural light



Looking for an open concept floor plan?

"Open floor plans" can mean different things to different homebuyers.  Usually it's a home with fewer "formal" spaces and walls.  Rather than a formal dining room, an informal dining room may be found off the kitchen.  A first floor office may be essential, but most of the family's time is likely to be spent in the Great Room, which may or may not have a high or vaulted ceiling.

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


More Design Trend Ideas for NC Custom Homes:

Open Concept Floor Plans – What does an “open floor plan” look like?

Fireplace Design Ideas for Your New Custom Home

Fireplace Trends in New Homes: Disappearing Act

Trey Ceiling Ideas | Top 5 Trey Ceilings by NC Custom Home Builders

Click here to view Master Suite Bathroom Video

 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: open floor plans, raleigh new home builders, new home trends, custom homes raleigh nc, design trends

How to Create an Open Floor Plan - When to Remove or Add a Wall

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 @ 06:10 AM

Can a floor plan be too open?

Open floor plan concepts - should there be a wall between the kitchen and living room?


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

"We were wondering if we should keep a wall up or take it down so that the living room and kitchen are completely open."

According to Andrea Enns, Stanton Homes' Interior Design Expert, most new homes DO keep the kitchen partially or fully open to the living or great room. With existing home renovations, however, there is more room to debate. Here's what Andrea has to say:

Thank you for your question regarding your dilemma of whether or nKitchen Open to Great Roomot to keep a wall in between your kitchen and living room.

That is a good question because there is not a hard and fast rule to this design question.

It all depends on your needs:

  • How you plan to arrange furniture
  • Whether or not you want to look at the kitchen when you are in the living room
  • Whether or not the two rooms coordinate together

Yikes! That's a lot to think about--no wonder you asked the question! 

We have worked on countless floor plans here at Stanton Homes and sometimes we are taking walls down but sometimes we add them back in

In very large floorplans, you can get away with not having walls in between rooms as there exists plenty of space to create natural separations and walk ways/traffic flow patterns from room to room that are "understood" but not necessarily physically there.

Kitchen Wall

Ironically, when spaces become smaller and you would automatically think that you can make them look larger by tearing down walls--you may want to consider your furniture placement needs before you do that and ultimately keep the wall. (The image to the left is an example of a wall between the kitchen and family room in a home just over 2,000sq ft).

If you have a wall, then you can go ahead and back a piece of furniture up to it without issue. However, in the absence of a wall when the space is limited, you may not feel that you can place the backs of your living room chairs for example, that close to the dining area of the kitchen as it will look like they are crowding each other.

However, in that same scenario and square footage, with a wall in between the two, you can have furniture against the wall on both sides if you have to, and in either room it will look fine.

So, what if space and furniture placement are worked out? Do you then automatically take down the wall?

Kitchen Open to Great Room

In new construction this is what we would do nine times out of ten because we have the opportunity to plan the two spaces to harmonize and coordinate with each other. We have an ultimate plan for everything to flow well together.

In a renovation, if you are not planning to re-do both rooms, you may be disappointed with taking the wall down and it may lead to yet another renovation in order to properly coordinate the two spaces.

If it is in your budget to cover all of these considerations, then your floor plan will tend look newer and more up to date if you take the wall down.

Kitchen Open to Living Room

The idea of transitional home plans with common area rooms open to one another is to firstly, reinforce the modern family as a group that functions together as a unit (as in, everyone is in the kitchen and working together--although, in my home they are indeed all in the kitchen but they would rather just keep me company and inquire as to what time we will be eating for dinner rather than actually doing anything--but its the encouragement that counts!) and secondly, to create spaces that are designed to serve more than one function.

If you have your kitchen coordinated with your living room or great room and they are open to one another, then you will have more room for things such as family or school projects, as well as having more room to entertain the entire soccer team after they win the big game, or as I often hear our clients say: "This is a great space for a Superbowl party!"....followed by a brand new dilemma: what size flat screen TV is best?

Hope this helps you decide--good luck with your project!"

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.

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Tags: kitchen, open floor plans, kitchen design, kitchen trends, custom home design trends