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

What Does the Perfect Home Look Like?  Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 12:10 PM

Houzz offers an easy way to plan your Raleigh new custom home - with seemingly limitless photos to add to your personal "Ideabooks."

Want to know what Houzz users see as the "Perfect House?"  We've compiled a list of the most popular Stanton Homes photos (based on the number of "Saves" to Ideabooks) - below.

New Home Design Ideas:

See the most popular custom home exterior, kitchen, master bathroom, mother in law suite, powder room, mud room, and pet room photos from our Houzz projects:

1. The Perfect Exterior Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

Homes that combine traditional and craftsman elements continue to rise in popularity. This Raleigh custom home blends traditional white columns with craftsman style trim and contemporary grey metal roof accents above the garage and sides.   Each eave and peak is carefully balanced in this design so that no matter what angle the home is viewed from, the eye tracks the angles and curves.

The portico entrance opens to a vault, with a dark stained wood door and lots of glass for natural light. 

2. The Perfect Kitchen Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

White, grey, and black kitchens continue to top home trend charts.

Not all new home kitchens are scaling up in size. Many kitchen floor plans, like this popular Houzz kitchen photo, center on efficient layouts that offer ample storage and counter space without breaking the bank. 

3. The Perfect Master Bath Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz 

Master bathrooms with only a shower - and no tub - are also a common request for Raleigh new homes.

This two person shower features separate his and hers shower heads, open concept glass panels, and a roll-in (wheelchair accessible) threshold.

4. The Perfect Great Room Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

While the jury is still out on two versus one story great rooms, this great room photo boasts the most Ideabook "Saves."

This two story great room includes two window rows, dark hardwood flooring, light grey paint, a tall built-in bookcase, full-height white wainscoting above the fireplace, walls sconces, and a wrap-around walkway to the sun room. To top it off, the fireplace is see-through.

5. The Perfect "Mother in Law Suite" Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

Mother in law homes, that is, homes designed with a private living area for long term guests or extended family, are difficult to find in existing home markets - making them a top request in custom new home construction.

This MIL suite takes the cake for one of our most-saved photos on Houzz. This floor plan - a version of the Maple Lane - includes a mother in law bedroom with private bathroom and sitting room with French door entry (and faux transom windows above). The sitting room has private access to outdoor living.

6. The Perfect Powder Room Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

Metallic accents have grown in popularity, often used to off-set white, black, grey, and even golden brown rooms. This powder room design - a simple yet elegant design with painted wainscoting, framed mirror, and pedestal sink - is hugely popular on Houzz - even compared to Stanton Homes powder rooms with more complex (and expensive) layouts and design selections. 

7. The Perfect Mud Room Design:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

With the recent trend towards incorporating indoor-outdoor space comes a need for convenient mud room amenities.

This mud room - our most popular on Houzz - features two closets, a built in bench with storage cubbies, and upper cabinets, sink, and countertop (on the other wall). The coat hooks spell "FAMILY."

8. The Perfect Place for Pets:

Raleigh New Home Design | Most Popular Photos on Houzz

Want to know where homebuyers would love to splurge in their next home? This pet room features a large dog shower and tucked-in dog house.  These pet room accommodations are located under the staircase - designed to take advantage of otherwise unused square footage inside the combination mud room / laundry room. 

Collaborate with the Stanton Homes Team to Design Your New Home:

No two Stanton Homes are alike because we create every home with exquisite details and layouts that fit the personality of its people – beginning with the flexibility to choose a design from nearly any architect or have us create something new, just for you.

Our design team will collaborate with you to create the perfect home for your lifestyle. Share your ideas with us - email us your favorite Houzz photos (and tell us what you love about the most popular photos in this post). 

Reach us at 919-278-8070 or


Tags: Raleigh new home trends, Raleigh New Home Builder, Raleigh new home design

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 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. See more photos of this home.

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

Redefining What it Means to Bring In the Outdoors | Raleigh New Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 12:12 PM

Indoor - Outdoor Home Design Trends

Raleigh New Homes

More Raleigh new homes are emphasizing interior design that combines indoor spaces and outdoor features.

See how Raleigh new home buyers are borrowing outdoor details - and materials - to punctuate the most visible rooms in their homes.

Outdoor detail #1: Exterior Siding

From cedar wrapped windows to a wall covered in exterior siding material, this custom home great room epitomizes indoor-outdoor home design.

Shake siding spans to the ceiling, on this two story wall. A contemporary black open sphere light hangs from above.

Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes

Add a soft sandstone fireplace surround, and natural colors and textures abound.


Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes



Inside the powder room - located across from the great room - a lantern light and rustic wooden mirror compliment the exterior siding wall.


A granite vanity top features a custom, rounded back splash.









Outdoor detail #2: Brick

The brick fireplace surround extends across an entire wall in this open concept Raleigh new home, filled with contemporary touches. 

Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes

Classic red brick contrasts against the contemporary light blue island - for a play of masculine and feminine design details.

Outdoor detail #3: Wood 

As ceiling beams, fireplace mantels, and window surrounds, wood is making its way into more Raleigh new homes.

The height of wood beams can be used to visually lower a vaulted ceiling, especially if you want to create warmth in a vast room.

Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes

In this living room, the wood beams run horizontal, with decorative trusses rising to the ceiling vault.

Read the 7 myths about two story living rooms, here.

Outdoor detail #4: Stone

Stone fireplace surrounds are sure to make a statement, especially in a two story room.

This ceiling-height stone fireplace design, framed by built-in cabinets and linear windows, gives depth to a generously sized keeping room.

Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes

See more photos of stone fireplaces here: Stone Fireplace Ideas - Photos and Tips for Stone Fireplace Surrounds

Outdoor detail #5: Natural light

Natural light is a must-have indoor-outdoor detail.

Raleigh new homes are built with the physical surroundings in mind, with rooms that emphasize ideal placement of natural lighting - with sunrooms, two story great rooms, full walls of windows, and even sky lights.

Indoor Outdoor Home Design | Raleigh New Homes

More Raleigh New Home Design Trends: 

Hidden Storage Ideas for your Kitchen

10 Creative Breakfast Rooms

5 Underrated Tile Design Strategies

Freestanding Tubs in the Master Bath

Floor Plans with the Laundry Room Next to the Master


Tags: indoor outdoor design, Raleigh Home Design Trends, raleigh new homes, Raleigh New Home Builder

Window Design Ideas for Custom Homes | North Carolina

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 01, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

Large Window Design Ideas

Raleigh Custom Floor Plans

Statement-making windows come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Take a look at these North Carolina New Home photos to see window designs that craft sophisticated great rooms, elegant eating areas, and cozy master bedrooms

Great Room Windows with Cedar Framing

These oversized great room windows - wrapped in "raw" cedar - accentuate mountain-home views in a modern home design.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Grey wall paint contrasts against the natural wood tones in the window frames and hardwood flooring stain.

Bay Window Design

A bay style breakfast room is the perfect place to catch morning rays with tons windows - topped with transom accents - on all sides.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

More new home windows are going gridless - especially in modern design motifs.

Triangle Window Design

Triangular angled windows highlight the height of the vaulted ceiling in this two story great room.

A contemporary ball light with curved lines adds contrasting elements to this large space.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Geometrical Window Design

A series of rectangular picture windows opens up this great room - with a full wall of natural light.

Transom or accent windows will make a room feel taller and more open, a great design technique used in one story rooms.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Two Levels of Windows

Two stories of windows wrap around this curved great room. Grids punctuate each window, for a more traditional feel.

Each design element, from the wainscoting fireplace mantel to the built-in bookcase, adds altitude.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Curved Window Design

Curved or arched window designs form unique architectural accents that will stand out in any room. 

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Half Round or Elliptical Arch windows can offer a more delicate feel - and are great for more formal rooms such as formal dining rooms, grand rooms, and two story foyers.

Eyebrow Arched Window Design

The window pattern in this version of The Cove - made of half (or "eyebrow") and full arches - forms a frame around the fireplace.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Master Bedroom Curved Window Layout

Prairie grid windows wrap this master bedroom in natural light, with a curved design along the sitting room.

Window Ideas for New Homes | Raleigh New Home Builder

Cozy up to a good book (or movie), in this large master suite filled with windows.

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

More North Carolina New Home Design Ideas:

Do New Homes Have More Windows?

Most Popular Types of Window Grids | Prairie, Colonial, Craftsman

Must See Window Styles - Guide to Different Window Types

Window Benches with Storage | Chapel Hill Custom Homes

Tags: window styles, new home design ideas, North Carolina new homes, window ideas, Raleigh New Home Builder