custom home

What Makes a Great Room Great?

What Makes a Great Room Great?

There is no better time than the holiday season to really explore all of the elements that make a Great Room truly GREAT. Also known in many circles as the “Family Room”, it’s a room of the home where countless everyday moments happen AND where major milestones are marked. As the backdrop to all of these special occasions, special care should be given to the design and realization of this living space that sees an awful lot of living. Whether creating this space as part of a major renovation of your current home or placing an emphasis on this space in the design of your new custom home, Highlight Homes has some opinions on the matter of taking a Great Room to the Greatest Room you’ll ever know (and love!)…

The Hearth of the Home:  From the materials used to create the surround to the mantle itself, the fireplace in your Great Room should be a focal point – a veritable work of art. It should reflect your personality and sense of style, as well as complement the rest of your home. From stacked stone with a rough-hewn timber mantle to a marble surround with intricate woodwork, you can go as casual or as formal as you wish to set the tone for the rest of the room.

Raise the Roof: One component many builders use to make a Great Room feel GRAND is an open second story – opening the space up immeasurably. At Christmastime, just imagine how TALL your Christmas tree could be! If a two-story Great Room isn’t in the cards, there may still be a way to raise the ceilings to 10 feet for more of a sense of spaciousness.

The World Outside: Windows are an important element of your Great Room. If you have a particularly beautiful and PRIVATE backyard, a wall of windows may serve to make the room seem more expansive – connecting it to the world outside. If that is not the case, the addition of just a few windows to let the light shine in might be a better way to go – helping to keep the focus inside the room itself.

All the Trimmings: Woodwork can serve as the frame to the Great Room of your dreams. For a more rustic, cozy feel, you might elect to go with timber rafters. For a more traditional, formal feel, you might incorporate a coffered ceiling, crown molding and built-in bookcases.

Go with the Flow: If you always dreamed of having one of those enormous overstuffed sectionals where you and the entire family can lounge around eating popcorn and watching a Christmas movie marathon, it’s important to communicate this to your builder. The layout of the room should be designed in such a way to accommodate your vision – from the placement of the sectional to the location of the TV.

The Ground Beneath Your Feet: Choice of flooring can serve to enhance this space, as well. If you elect to go with hardwoods or tile, you’ll want to invest in throw rugs to soften the space and make it more inviting. The addition of carpet will make it more welcoming to bare feet, but be aware that spills in this popular space are a very real possibility – making the investment in stain-resistant carpet a wise one.

A Little Light on the Subject: Lighting is an oft overlooked design element that – when wielded properly – can result in a stunning transformation of any space. If your Great Room doesn’t get a lot of natural light, you’ll want to pay attention to the placement of your lighting. For a truly dramatic effect, invest in one showstopper fixture in the center of the room.

Color Me Happy: The choice of paint colors in this space can serve to open up the space further AND set the mood. You might want to keep it neutral and let your décor do the talking, or you may want to choose a paint and trim color that will enhance the ambiance. Gray is all the rage in home design. You might elect to paint the walls a pale gray and the trim a slightly darker gray. Gray exudes a sense of balance, formality and sophistication. Other emotions/sensations tied to color include: beige = calm, white = clean, black = edgy, brown = earthy and rustic, pink = innocent, red = passionate, yellow = happy, green = natural, blue = serene and inviting.

The team at Atlanta-based Highlight Homes welcomes the opportunity to help you transform the look of your current family room, add a Great Room onto your existing home or design a custom home on your behalf that includes the Great Room of your dreams. Getting started is easy! Simply call us at 678-873-9234 or email us at info@highlighthomesga.com to schedule your no obligation consultation. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form.

From all of us here at Highlight Homes, we wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday Season and all the very best in the New Year!

Dinner Theater: Spotlight on the Dining Room

Dinner Theater: Spotlight on the Dining Room

What better time to shine the spotlight on the subject of the dining room than the holidays? It’s a time when many of us flex our entertaining muscle and put the flow between our kitchen and dining room to the test. One of the MANY benefits of building a custom home or undergoing a luxury home renovation is that YOU get to call the shots where the design of your layout is concerned – often based on a blend of your wants, needs and tastes. Highlight Homes – a custom home builder and master renovator – has compiled the following list of considerations when designing the dining room of your dreams…

Occasions Take Shape: If you like to host a large group for the holidays or more intimate affairs any time of the year, the shape of your dining room is a major factor. A larger, rectangular room to accommodate a long dining room table with room enough for up to 10 to 12 guests may be on one end of the spectrum while a square space to accommodate a round table for up to 6 to 8 guests is on the other. This is your stage, so decide what shape and size works best for you and your family.

Table Setting: The dining room will serve as the backdrop to a treasure trove of occasions – from gatherings with neighbors to memorable family events to countless holiday celebrations. The décor of your dining room will set the tone. Your woodwork and lighting choices can add a sense of comfort or air of elegance. A stately chandelier and coffered ceiling paired with traditional chair rail, wainscoting and crown molding serve to make the room feel more formal while shiplap walls and industrial or farmhouse-themed lighting may make the space seem more casual and inviting.

Go with the Flow: You could have the most beautiful dining room in the world, but the MEAL and the company who shares it will always be central to any occasion.  Just as you would in any successful restaurant, to aid in making each meal a success, you want a seamless flow between your kitchen and the dining space. If entertaining is one of your favorite pastimes, you’ll want to place a major emphasis on flow with your architect or designer when creating your custom home or undergoing a renovation. You might want to consider the incorporation of a butler’s pantry between the kitchen and dining room to shorten the length of travel when refreshing drinks during the meal or for guests who demand seconds.

Location, Location, Location: The placement of your dining room within the home is also key. If you crave privacy, you may want to place it towards the rear of the home, overlooking your private backyard. This placement will also prove most helpful if you are a grill master and need to have easy access to your outdoor living space.  If you want to advertise to your neighbors what an AWESOME entertainer you are, you may want to place your dining room towards the front of the home – with a large picture or bay window to frame the scene inside.

Whether an element of your custom home design or part of your luxury renovation, Highlight Homes welcomes the chance to help you realize the dining room you’ve always dreamed of having. Getting started is easy! Simply call us at 678-873-9234 or email us at info@highlighthomesga.com to schedule your no obligation consultation. You can also elect to complete our convenient online contact form.

From all of us here at Highlight Homes, we wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!

4 Treatments That Will Take Your Walls From Drab to Fab

4 Treatments That Will Take Your Walls From Drab to Fab

When we were kids, we all basically drew a house the same way… a square with a triangle roof, a rectangular chimney with a wisp of smoke coming out of it, a few windows and a door with a circle for a door knob. While our artistic skills may have been a bit limited at 5, just think what our imaginations could have done with the interior of that little square house. Now that we’re adults with more refined tastes, it’s still important to use our imaginations when designing a home. A room is basically four walls with a couple of windows thrown in to let in the light. In order to take that living space from drab to FAB, let your imagination run wild!

The greatest thing about interior design today is that there are no rules. There may be trends and style dictates, but the growth of the eclectic movement means that virtually anything goes. Let’s take a blank wall to treat as our canvas. Where – in the past – you may have a variety of colors for your wall, offset by a different color for the trim OR you may elect to hang some old school wallpaper for a little added excitement. If you were feeling particularly daring, you may have elected to paint ONE accent wall in a different shade than the other three walls in the room. For an air of luxury, you might have added some special woodworking, such as a chair rail, crown moulding or wainscoting. While all of those options are still not only perfectly acceptable, but downright delightful when done properly – there are a wealth of other possibilities open to you to make a room feel exciting and inviting at the same time…

Shiplap and other Wood Wall Treatments

Wood walls – like the wildly popular shiplap treatment – add texture to a space. Depending on the color of the wood you choose, whether stained or painted, you can also add warmth. Shiplap, often seen on the exterior of homes and barns, has become increasingly trendy for use INSIDE the home. The wood could be sanded smooth and painted for a more sophisticated feel or rough-hewn and weathered for a more rustic sense. Consider the bedroom for this wall treatment – if you have an eye-catching wood wall against which you can set your bed, there’s not really a need for a headboard. The entire wall – with a pair of equally stunning mounted wall lamps – may give the appearance of one massive headboard.

Tile

Initially introduced to protect walls in the kitchen and bathroom from water damage, tile is now used to enhance these spaces beautifully. From sleek and shiny subway tile in the master bath to an eye-catching and elegant mosaic tile in the kitchen, tile can really help you DEFINE the look and feel of the space. No longer limited to the bathroom and kitchen, it’s not uncommon to find tile – now available in a variety of materials and textures – in the living room and dining room.

Brick

With the ever-increasing popularity of the industrial look in interior design, the use of brick walls – whether real or faux – have really taken off. There’s something lasting, solid and somewhat masculine about brick that lends those same qualities to a space, making it a great fit for a man cave or accent wall in an intown home. Still, it’s a classic that can be used virtually anywhere. Imagine it in a KITCHEN – wouldn’t that be gorgeous!?

Stone

Not just for exteriors and fireplaces anymore, stacked stone is becoming all the rage on interior walls. A cool blend of rusticity and refinement, a stacked stone wall can add texture and warmth to a space. Because stone is so heavy, many designers elect to incorporate faux stacked stone veneer panels. You can still achieve the same look at a fraction of the cost. Imagine a stone wall in a room that leads to the outdoors, suggesting a fusion of the interior and outdoor living spaces for gorgeous results.

Highlight Homes is an award-winning Atlanta-based custom home builder and master renovator. To learn more about how Highlight Homes can help you infuse any of the suggested looks above into your own home, visit www.highlighthomesga.com or call 678-873-9234.

Celebrate National Home Ownership Month with a Custom Home

“For generations of Americans, owning a home has been an essential element in achieving the American Dream.  Homeownership is often the foundation of security and prosperity for families and communities and an enduring symbol of American freedom.” ~ President Donald J. Trump

welcome home - shutterstock_216379063In his proclamation declaring June 2017 as National Home Ownership Month, the President of the United States reaffirmed the many benefits of home ownership – not just to the family who lives there, but also to the community where they live and the Nation as a whole. Beyond the proclamation, conditions appear to support the concept of increasing the number of home owners. According to the National Home Builders Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), builder confidence continues to climb – a very good sign in light of the housing market crash less than a decade ago. As a matter of fact, May 2017 marked the second highest HMI on record since the downturn. The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that measures current sales conditions, as well as 6-month projections. Even though single-family new home inventories are at some of their highest levels witnessed since July 2009, spec home builders still struggle to keep up with consumer demand. However, there’s an excellent “work-around” for buyers who seek a beautiful new home but don’t want to contend with low inventories and the hassle of being outbid or beat to the chase by other buyers… a custom home.

A custom home affords its owners with the knowledge that their house has been designed and constructed to fit their family’s unique needs, tastes, personalities and interests. Based in Atlanta, Highlight Homes is strategically positioned to aid in the construction of custom homes in some of the city’s most distinctive and highly sought-after neighborhoods – including Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell and beyond. We can even help you locate the ideal lot for your custom home in the perfect area of town to suit your family. To begin YOUR personal celebration of National Home Ownership Month by breaking ground on a custom home crafted by the experts at Highlight Homes, contact us TODAY at 678-873-9234, info@highlighthomesga.com or via our convenient online contact form. To learn more about Highlight Homes, sneak a peek inside our gallery and peruse our current inventory of homes for sale, be sure to visit us at www.highlighthomesga.com.

Hearth and Home: Highlight Spotlight on Today’s Fireplace

Hearth and Home: Highlight Spotlight on Today’s Fireplace

Keeping Room Fireplace 1 - HLH 2016

Since the beginning of man, fire has been central to the home. A necessity from the start, it can stave off the cold, serve as a light in the darkness and aid in the preparation of countless meals. Used mainly now to create a sense of ambiance, the fireplace – or hearth – remains at the heart of most major living spaces today. The mantle often sets the tone for the décor in the room – many now dominated by flat screen TVs in place of artwork. From ornately carved woodwork and marble to repurposed rough-hewn timber and stacked stone, the hearth is also central to the feeling of the space that surrounds it. One home may feature a traditional fireplace adorned with beloved family photos, while another may boast a floor-to-ceiling stone hearth with a minimalistic slant towards interior design. And with many homes extending their living spaces outside, the outdoor hearth continues to gain steam as a popular addition to exterior “rooms” of the home.

 

Keeping Room Fireplace 2 - HLH 2016

When constructing a semi-custom or custom home, bear in mind that your fireplace should fit the overall aesthetic of your home. For example, a more traditional Craftsman-style home might prove a great fit for a rustic stone fireplace with timber mantle whereas a Contemporary-style home might call for a more modern firebox with clean lines and smooth, sleek finishes. Functionality is also a major consideration. Traditionalists may prefer a wood-burning fireplace, but gas logs continue to dominate the market for their convenience and affordability. As many homes become more technologically connected, some gas logs can be controlled via wireless remotes – plus there’s no need to sweep up ashes at the end of the day. Outdoor hearths should also be a major consideration – whether a firepit at the center of a brick patio under the stars on a crisp, cool Spring night or a true showplace hearth set inside a covered deck for countless Autumn evenings spent watching the embers glow.

 

Outdoor Hearth - Highlight Homes 2015No matter what your vision of the ideal hearth to fit your home might be – a breathtaking addition to a two-story great room or a romantic enhancement to a master bedroom (or BOTH), Highlight Homes welcomes the opportunity to help you make that vision a vibrant reality. To schedule a consultation with a member of our custom construction team, call 678-873-9234, e-mail info@highlighthomesga.com or fill out our convenient online contact form. To learn more about Highlight Homes and view some of our work, please visit us at www.highlighthomesga.com.