Tag Archives: contractors

CUSTOM HOMES AND POWDER ROOM TRENDS

The New Powder Room Vanity… Forget the Pedestal Sink!

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Tired of the pedestal sink often found in standard powder rooms?  Why not consider the wide variety of alternative sink options?  These include antique pieces of furniture transformed into vanities.  There are also many reproduction pieces including a vanity sink.  Glass or stone bowls that can sit atop a vanity have recently become popular.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, some of our custom homebuyers have scoured antique shops looking for just the right piece to transform into a vanity.  Others have designed the powder room vanity around a specific glass bowl.  With a bit of imagination a powder room can reflect a custom homebuyer’s personality and chic. 

 Many of these newer style sinks are not expensive yet add a high-end flare to any powder room.  The stand-alone furniture vanity shown in photo 1, fit perfectly in the niche designed for the sink.  The color and details of the vanity’s base went well in this Spanish Colonial home.  The vanity included a small brass sink and surface-mounted fixtures.  The mirror, lighting and accessories enhanced the vanity and created the complete old-world look.

In photo 2, these custom homebuyers found a glass bowl they treasured.  Finding the stand-alone piece became part of the fun creating the powder room.  The vanity is actually a piece of furniture modified to hold the sink.  Modified to hold and hide the plumbing fixtures underneath the sink, in some cases, the top drawer becomes unusable, though the bottom drawers remain functional.  The additional storage space these stand-alone furniture pieces offer is one of the reasons why customers appreciate these pieces so much, a pedestal sink, on the other hand, offers no additional storage.  As both of these photos show, the furniture pieces are larger than a pedestal sink, but offer counter space and under-counter storage, storage always at a premium. The fixtures in this home were installed on the wall to extend over the sink as opposed to the first photo where the fixtures were also installed on the furniture’s deck.  These are typical options the custom home buyer makes when creating the desired look.

Other trendy vanities include a sink placed on custom-made counter surfaces with wall-mounted fixtures.  In this Tuscan style home shown in photo 3, the homeowners had this vanity custom made to hold the glass bowl they had found.  The material is strong yet opaque enough to reveal the under-counter lighting.  The wrought-iron support system complements the Tuscan style of the home and the wall-mounted fixtures extend over the beautiful glass bowl.

There are so many new styles for stone and glass bowls that opportunities for creating the perfect powder room are endless.  Cheryl Koteita at Westar Kitchen and Bath, assists our customers at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC’s, to select the perfect bowl and fixtures.  Westar carries a wide variety of manufacturers, yet Cheryl Koteita’s expertise helps our customers simplify this, sometimes overwhelming, process ( ). www.westar-sw.com

 For a short video on powder room trends click here…  Powder Room Trends YouTube VideoTo enlarge the photos below, click on each photo and use the ‘back’ key to return.

 

 
 
 

 

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MANY USES OF THE UNDER-COUNTER REFRIGERATOR IN CUSTOM HOMES!

Chilled to Perfection!

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Under-counter refrigerators seem to be showing up everywhere lately.  In the custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have placed them in kitchens, wet bar areas, coffee bars, home offices, garages, and guesthouses.  Woodridge has also placed them in the master suite.

Popular brands for these refrigerators include U-line, Sub-Zero, GE, Viking, and Kitchen-Aid.  Some of these units have pull out drawers, and glass doors.  The glass doors can be switched to an endless number of alternatives from the standard appliance look to matching kitchen cabinets. Continue reading

BUILDING AN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOME… SHOULD IT INCLUDE RV STORAGE?

RV Storage at a Premium, Some Custom Home Buyers Build in Storage Space

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For owners of recreational vehicles, (RV) storage is an important issue.  For RV owners, storage is as important as its use.  Many Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) in place today prohibit RV storage on a homeowner’s property for more than a couple of days, unless enclosed in a garage.  A standard car garage isn’t remotely close to the size required by most recreational vehicles.  Storing an RV off-site becomes a necessity without a property large enough for enclosed storage in an HOA regulated area.  If  one is fortunate enough to live in an area that is not regulated by an HOA, you may be able to store the RV in the driveway or side yard area, but this doesn’t mean your neighbors like it.  Storing an RV off-site is typically an inconvenience when preparing for a trip, and unpacking from a trip.  Most RV owners would agree that the ease of loading and unloading for a vacation, camping trip, or other adventure is much more convenient when it can be done at home over a few days without rushing to get the RV off the property before the HOA jumps down your throat.  Storing an RV off-site at a local storage company may cost anywhere from $30 to $90 a month depending on where you live.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, as custom home builders some of our customers have experienced these RV storage issues.   If at all possible, RV storage was constructed with their custom home if the lot was large enough and allowed by their HOA.  Aside from the difficulty with adequate RV storage space on the lot, incorporating such a large garage into the architecture of a house that meets with HOA approval is sometimes challenging.  In many custom homes subdivisions, all garages must have side-entries.  Difficult for a large RV, a lot must be extremely large to allow for any kind of side-entry.  RV garages must be higher than a standard car garage and this too can create an architectural challenge.  Most HOAs will not approve a custom home design and floor plan if the RV garage is an unsightly large box better fitting in an industrial park than a residential custom home neighborhood.  

For custom home buyers interested in incorporating RV storage with the construction of their custom home, a well-planned home design and floor plan can save time later with HOA and city code approvals.  Waiting to construct an RV storage garage until after the home is completed is not recommended unless it has been initially incorporated into the house plans.  In most municipalities, homes constructed on residential lots are permitted to cover a certain percentage of the lot.  Failing to let the architect know that an RV storage garage is planned for later, the architect may design the house and standard garages without leaving enough room for RV storage as required by designated zoning.  Exceeding lot coverage may require a variance by the municipality and approval by neighbors prior to construction.

At first glance it doesn’t seem as though the custom home in the photo below includes an RV storage area.  In fact, this large lot included RV storage in the back of the home.  As shown in the second photo, although large enough for a 36 foot RV, this garage is located in the back of the house and not overbearing and overpowering to the architecture of the house. 

 

ARIZONA CUSTOM HOMES AND THE ‘KID ZONE’

Floorplans Designed with Kids in Mind!

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Designing a custom for home for exactly how a family plans to use the home is one of the most rewarding benefits of building custom homes.  Many families that have the opportunity to design and build their dream home; do just that.  The floor plans selected or created can be very specific to a family’s needs.  One of the great features recently included in custom homes is the ‘kid zone’.  The ‘kids zone’ is not necessarily a playroom, although it can be for very young children, but an area of the house where kids can have a television, use computers in a supervised area, play video related game, and just hang out with their friends.  At Woodridge Custom BuildersLLC we have built these kid friendly areas adjacent to the children’s bedrooms using the popular split floor plan.  It is very popular in Arizona to build a house with a split floor plan, this means that the master suite is located on one side of the home, while secondary bedrooms such as children’s rooms or guest rooms are built on the other side of the home. 

Having the children’s bedrooms on one side of the house and designing a separate playroom or children’s family room near their bedrooms, offers a terrific way for kids to play video games, watch television, play loud music, play on a computer or just hang out with friends without isolating themselves in their bedroom.  Depending on the age of the children, these rooms can evolve as a child grows.  These rooms can begin with the Little Tyke type toys, walkers, kitchen sets, tents and other large toys familiar to parents of very young children.  As the children grow, the room transitions to an area where kids can hang out after school with friends, and play video games for example.  When things settle down for the day it can be a great study or reading area.  Eventually when the kids move out, it may be possible to convert this area to a home theatre, craft room, work-out room, or other area just for the parents.

At Woodridge Custom BuildersLLC we have seen these kid zones become much more popular, not only popular, but much more useful and lived-in areas of a custom home.  Initially, we used to see these kid areas located adjacent to the kitchen as study areas for kids.  Honestly, some of those areas just became cluttered cubicles for the kids to throw their stuff when they got home from school.  This newer trend to have a designated children’s area adjacent to the secondary bedrooms seems to be much more kid-friendly and useful living space.

COLUMNS… AND THEIR TIMELESS BEAUTY IN ARIZONA CUSTOM HOMES

Architectural Columns Work In Many Custom Home Styles

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Working well with nearly every architectural style, architectural columns popular in Arizona custom homes offer timeless beauty and a classic look.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, we have installed columns in Santa Barbara style homes, and Tuscan style homes, and everything in between.  Outlined below are examples of these timeless towers of beauty that we have installed in homes of our custom home buyers.  The columns outlined in these photos were made of pre-cast concrete and then painted.  Columns can also be constructed of cantera stone and assembled.  Cantera stone columns are not usually painted, but rather used in it natural stone color.

A Santa Barbara style home is named after those homes in the southern California city of Santa Barbara.  These homes derive their origins from the Mediterranean region of Spain, Italy and Greece.  Popular features of a Santa Barbara style home include red roof tiles, smooth white stucco, huge white columns on the exterior as well as interior of the home, and wrought iron accents.  In the photos below of this Santa Barbara style home, majestic white columns support the large formal entry.  Inside the home, the white columns define the entrance to the living and dining rooms.  The rear of the home also includes exterior columns as they support the covered patio of this home.  In Arizona, the Santa Barbara style has been around for years, and because of its classic style will likely remain so for many years to come.

The Tuscan style home is also very popular in Arizona.  Columns work just as well in this home style.  The first photo below highlights an exterior column on the rear patio of a Tuscan style home.  This column has been faux finished to complement the earthy colors of this home.  The second photo emphasizes how smaller columns work well with the Tuscan style.  These small columns support the entrance gate to this home and harmonize with the stone, wood, and wrought iron gate of this home.  Highlighted in the third photo are columns used in an exterior Ramada of this Tuscan style home.  These columns, in a faux finish complement the Ramada’s arhitecture.  Click on each photo to enlarge.

CREATING LUXURIOUS OUTDOOR LIVING AREAS…

Outdoor Living… Changing Styles

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Outdoor furniture has gone through a revolution in the past few years.  Outdated is the PVC furniture and vinyl strap seating.  Frosted glass patio tabletops now have a certain “retro” look. Not only has outdoor furniture changed in the past several years, outdoor spaces have evolved beyond dining patios and poolside lounging areas.  Welcome are seating arrangements that are not just designed for outside dining, but outside living.  Many popular outdoor furnishings include sofas, oversized chairs, end tables and cocktail tables designed for comfort and relaxation.  Add large potted plants, accent pillows, area rugs, and outdoor lighting and a patio suddenly becomes a true outdoor living area.

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, helping a customer design and build a custom home doesn’t end with the house and the interior elements.  The outside of the home, its courtyards, patios, yard and landscape are all design elements that pull the custom home project together in the end.  It is important to know how an outdoor space will be used.  Will the family primarily use the space for private family gatherings?  Will the patio be used to host barbecues and neighborhood gatherings?  How much dining area will be necessary for its intended purpose?  Is there an area where a luxurious seating arrangement can be established, covered and protected from the harsh Arizona sun and elements?  There are many other questions to ask regarding patio lighting, ceiling fans, music systems, and camera systems over the pool area, for example.  Whatever a custom home buyer selects for their patio, courtyard, backyard or outdoor living space, planning for the space is best done during the house plan and home design stage.  How wide should a patio extend from the house?  Should it be completely covered, or should some of the patio extend past the roofline of the house?  These are all questions a custom home buyer might ask in the planning phase of their custom home.  

Decisions made in the floor plan stage of a custom home truly pay off in the end.  Enjoying the family pool, lounging on an outdoor sofa, sitting back appreciating a mountain view, or sitting quietly reading the newspaper with a morning cup of joe; planning pays off. 

In the first set of photos, this custom home owner designed the back yard with kids in mind.  The pool area is great for pool parties.  The trampoline in the back of the yard has been built into the ground to minimize fall injuries.  Most fall injuries occur from falling from one level to another, in this case the trampoline is flush with the ground.  The yard is large enough for activities so when the kids are not in the pool, or on the trampoline, setting up the lacrosse cage for a little one-on-one, or a game of volleyball are always other options.

In the second set of photos, this custom homeowner designed the patio area as a relaxing outdoor living area.  Outdoor sofa, love seat, and a side chair just beckon one to settle in and relax.  The end tables and cocktail table accented with candles, plants and accessories further enhances the feel of outdoor living.  Cllick on each photo below to enlarge.

The Magic of COLOR… Example from One of Our Custom Homes

Bold Statements of Color Truly Personalize a Home!

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Less intimidated by color than ever before, more and more home owners are adding much more color to their homes.  In some cases, not just a painted entry foyer or bold powder room, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have seen customers exhibit absolute fearlessness when it comes to color.

An easy and inexpensive way to add color is to use paint.  Besides its price and relative ease of use, colors can be easily erased and restored to basic neutrals as styles and tastes change.  Emotion, ambience and attitude can all be conveyed through the use of color. Many of us associate certain emotions or feelings with colors, blue is known for its calming effects, while greens may give us the feeling of nature and natural surroundings. 

The cost of painting is generally reasonable as opposed to plaster or faux finishes created by professionals.  Some of our custom homebuyers like to add finishing touches themselves after the home is completed while others prefer to have everything done prior to move-in.  Yet if a person is willing, a little bit of sweat equity and a $20 gallon of paint can make a bold colorful statement in a home.

In Arizona, the desert palette often serves as a starting point for the colors of a custom home.  The pale roses, yellows, and lavenders can be seen almost nightly in an Arizona sunset and offer ideas for a soft and light color scheme.  While the intense reds, oranges, and browns of the Red Mountains created the idea for the rich, passionate color this homeowner used on the kitchen hood of this custom home.  The hood now stands out for complete recognition against the neutral wall color.  Before the paint and faux finish, the same beautiful hood is barely visible against the neutral wall.  Whether it is the vivid persimmon and dazzling yellows of an Arizona sunrise, or the subtle greens of a desert sage, brittlebush, or a Palo Verde tree, the desert palette is a great starting place for interior and exterior colors.

If you’ve been thinking of adding color to your home, GO FOR IT!  Woodridge Custom Builders LLC has helped many of our custom home buyers with great color choices making visual impacts and personal statements in their homes. Hood After