6 Ways to Brighten Up Your Home for Summer

The sun is out, the weather is hot and summer is here! You will want to start breaking out all of the fun, bright décor for your house and pack away the winter blues.

Your home should have more energy and liveliness about it. You will want the inside of your home to match the weather and vibes outside of your home.

Below are 6 ways to brighten up your home for summer:

1. Colors: Add bright, bold colors to your home. You can add bright greens, blues, and yellows by swapping out your couch pillows and adding fun colored ones.

Westover at Callaway

Westover at Callaway

2. De-clutter: Put away your heavy blankets and candles lying around your family room.

3. Beach Your house: Include beach-y decorations to different rooms in your home. You could add a shell picture frame in your bathroom or a beach centerpiece to your kitchen table.

4. Fresh: Use lemons and flowers to decorate your home to make it feel fresh and clean.

Westover at Callaway

Westover at Callaway

5. Mirrors: Mirrors can often give the illusion of a window and will reflect the light coming into the room which will literally brighten up your home.

6. White: Swap out your colorful towels for white ones and paint a white accent wall! White walls make a room feel more spacious and choose the wall with the biggest windows – it will project the light coming in through the windows on the other walls making it brighter.

For more amazing tips check out the articles below!

http://www.momtastic.com/life/172859-7-easy-ways-to-brighten-up-your-home-for-summer/
http://blissfullydomestic.com/home-bliss/12-ways-to-brighten-your-home-for-summer/124292//
http://betterdecoratingbible.com/2013/08/12/try-this-5-easy-tricks-to-brighten-up-a-room-for-summer//

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Being an Eye Witness to the Transformation at Bradley Square

It wasn’t that long ago when we were discussing how to tackle the demolition of an operating racetrack at our brand new town home neighborhood, Bradley Square. We considered different means and methods for dismantling the grand stands, the demolition and disposal of the existing pavement and the racetrack infrastructure.

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A few weeks after breaking ground in early 2014 the transformation was already visible.

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While our land development team was making progress with the demolition and the installation of the necessary infrastructure, we were busy planning our vision of what we wanted this neighborhood to be like: a community with lots of green space, with amenities that include a splash park, tot lots, a 1 ½ acre central green and numerous pocket parks with walking trails.

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Last fall the first roads were paved and we started building the first homes.

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I visited the site a few weeks ago and wanted to share how the vision is turning into a reality!

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Bradley Square is coming alive and quickly transforming into the vibrant neighborhood we envisioned. Soon our first homeowners will move in and start calling Bradley Square home!

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Stanley Martin Homes’ “Right Sized” HVAC Systems: Saving You Money Everyday

Today’s Green Living spotlight: Why Stanley Martin Homes’ “Right Sized” Heating and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC) are one of the best in the industry.

Right Sizing is an exact science that takes into consideration factors other than size, specifically, the home’s energy efficiency features to provide balanced temperature control, mechanical ventilation, clean air and thermal comfort.

The HVAC System is designed as a separate part of the home that functions in conditioned living space that has minimal air leakage to the outside environment. Conversely, many builders still apply reverse engineering which accounts for poor construction practices such as systems located in unconditioned crawl or attic spaces.

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Each Stanley Martin home is engineered specifically for what the home will feature such as structural options like a rear extension, side sunroom or an attic loft. Right Sizing takes into consideration efficient building practices and accurate calculations of heating and cooling loads.

It also results in a system that operates efficiently, with the right amount of capacity, air flow and level of humidity to keep homeowners consistently comfortable. This system will experience fewer drafts, while their rooms maintain temperature better. The more oversized the HVAC system, the more it costs to operate day-to-day, which means you could be wasting your money without the most efficient HVAC system.

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One of the primary reasons HVAC designers cite for overestimating the size of the HVAC system is concern about customer comfort. An “Over-Sized” HVAC System will perform on that one super-hot day of the year when the homeowner has 20 of his closest friends over, but what about its performance the other 364 days of the year?

In summary, Stanley Martin Home’s Green Living HVAC “Right Sizing” means:
-Less wasted energy
-Less maintenance.
-Less component failure as the temperatures reach extreme numbers in the attic throughout the year.
-Better indoor air quality.
-Less utility bills.
-Less cost to replace.
-Less short cycling Less noise while sleeping.

Stop by one of our neighborhoods in your area, and learn more about how Stanley Martin Homes is a leader in building environmentally friendly and energy efficient homes.

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An Amazing Home Design You Won’t Want to Miss Out On: The Travis

The long awaited Travis home design is now available in all five of Stanley Martin Homes’ neighborhoods in the Richmond area. The Travis is a 2-story home with a 1st floor master bedroom offering homeowners 2,715 – 3,547 finished square feet.

Elevation G

Elevation G

Perhaps the greatest feature of this home is the full-sized master suite on the main level with a large bedroom area and master bath plus a sizable walk-in-closet. If you would like this space to be extra luxurious – you are able to enlarge the master suite and have an extended bedroom, master bathroom, and much larger walk-in-closet.

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The main level of this home features a spacious and airy open concept with the Great Room open to the kitchen, a large pantry off of the kitchen, a mudroom for extra convenience, and first floor laundry. The options do not end there! The rear of this home offers homeowners a chance to extend their living space inside or out with the options to include a morning room, a screened porch, or a covered porch.

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Upstairs you will find 3 bedrooms and a large unfinished space that can be finished into a large flex space – perfect for a kids play area, a man or woman cave, or you can convert it into a 5th bedroom and bath. The most exciting option for this space, of course, is the ability to add another master suite on the upper level of this home.

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There is so much to explore in The Travis and we invite you to tour our new Travis model home when it opens later this summer at Fox Creek located in Midlothian. Call 804.901.3177 for more information about The Travis and our new homes throughout Richmond!

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8 Tips for Gardening in the Summer Time

We all have hobbies. Some people love collecting things, others like sports or reading, and some people love gardening. Gardening can be a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy your hard work for the whole season!

The weather changes immensely from spring to summer and temperatures can get pretty hot therefore potentially hurting your plants growth. Here are some great gardening tips you can use in your new backyard summer to keep your plants safe from the heat of the summer.

1. Fertilize well: you can either fertilize the ground before planting or use a liquid fertilizer a few weeks after but be careful not to go overboard on either.

2. Choose perennials, heat resistant crops or plants with an extensive root system: Annual plants tend to have shallow roots and dry out easily. Perennials can withstand hot weather and you don’t have to water them as often.

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3. Mulch: Mulch can help keep moisture in your soil and protect from UV light as well as the heat of the sun which will be safer for your plants.

4. Create a Mote: A mote will channel water towards the roots when the plant is watered or when it rains.

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5. Water Early in the Morning

6. Weed Once a week: so that the weeds do not use the nutrients meant for your other plants and vegetables.

7. Remove spent or dead blooms from annuals and perennials once a week: This encourages re-blooming and keeps the garden looking fresh and tidy.

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8. Harvest fruits and vegetables regularly

For more gardening tips read the full articles below:

1.http://gentleworld.org/gardening-tips-for-summer/
2.http://www.harlowgardens.com/summer-gardening-tips/
3.http://www.southernstates.com/articles/summer-garden-tips.aspx

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5 Reasons to Move to Ambrose Hills

There are five reasons to move to Ambrose Hills: 5 brand new home designs! Our new neighborhood of townhomes, Ambrose Hills, is located in Falls Church and opened for sale just a few weeks ago. This neighborhood is a rare inside-the-Beltway opportunity to buy a brand-new townhome close in to the Nation’s Capital.

All five home designs feature rooftop terraces with lofts on the fourth level which will be perfect for summertime entertaining! Homeowners will be able to invite their guests onto the terrace, as well as read, relax, or enjoy a romantic meal. Some of the floor plans even have the option to add a wet bar in the loft, which is great for parties!

The Ladysmith

In addition to the rooftop terrace, all floor plans have the option of adding a deck off of your kitchen (size varies). All of this outdoor space will be perfect for having a few friends over, drinking your morning coffee, or simply using it as an extension of your living space on your main level.

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The new townhomes at Ambrose Hills all come with garages and are in a prime Falls Church location which is very convenient for those commuting to the city for work.

The Ladysmith floorplan is currently available but there are more floor plans to come, so stay tuned!

Contact Rhonda Shapiro for more information at 571-266-9172.

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Wildewood: Trails, Pools, Beauty and More

Summer is right around the corner here in Wildewood! The weather is warming up, the trees budding, flowers are blooming, and our miles of running trails welcome more busy feet on the asphalt. As the seasons change from spring to summer our community is preparing the opening of our pool and recreation areas. Our beautiful water park with two Olympic sized pools will be ready for residents on May 31st, 2015.

Pool at Wildewood

Pool at Wildewood

Pool at Wildewood

Pool at Wildewood

Our tennis courts are perfect for the tennis enthusiast or expert and our miles of running trails throughout Wildewood are perfect for your biking, walking, or jogging needs.

Playground and Trails at Wildewood

Playground and Trails at Wildewood

Wildewood’s proximity to the best shopping, restaurants, and entertainment is what makes it the perfect location for all types and sizes of families. We are just minutes from Solomons Island, where you can stroll the Riverwalk, charter a boat for a day of Chesapeake fishing, or a sailboat for a luxury cruise or sailing lesson. You could hop on a jet ski, go kayaking, or rent a boat and try your luck catching dinner! At the Calvert Marine Museum you can explore fossils from millions of years ago and tour the Drum Point Lighthouse.

Solomon's Island

Solomons Island

Down the road we have the historic Sotterly Plantation where, in addition to its year-round house tours, exhibits, beautiful grounds, Colonial Revival gardens, and other things to do, Sotterley hosts many unique events and programs throughout the year. If you enjoy wine, there are a couple of southern Maryland’s best wineries right at your fingertips! Slack Winery boasts beautiful scenic views and wines that have won over two dozen medals in state, national and international competitions.

Slack Winery - from visitstmarysmd.com

Slack Winery – from visitstmarysmd.com

Wildewood is just 58 miles south of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.. With so many museums, tours, parks, night life, cuisine, and events it’s sure to be a great day or weekend trip with something for the whole family. You can find many more activities surrounding St. Mary’s County at these links below:

- Visit St. Mary’s
- Breton Bay Golf
- Wildewood Shopping Center

So come relax, unwind and live your life in Wildewood, a community that has uncommon charm and unspoiled beauty.

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Sudley Farm: A Great Escape in the Perfect Location

So many of those living in Fairfax County love the lifestyle but hate the noise and congestion that comes with this thriving area. Thankfully, now there is an option in Fairfax that offers homeowners the same lifestyle but without all of the hustle and bustle of the city. Stanley Martin Homes at Sudley Farm offers peace and serenity in an estate community with gorgeous, wooded 5+ acre homesites – perfect to find that balance of great location and tranquility while at home.

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

Sudley Farm is located off of Bull Run Post Office Road and features:
• A picturesque exclusive Fairfax County neighborhood
• Sought after schools
• Close proximity to commuter routes such as Route 50, Route 28, Route 236 and I-66

With Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax, and Stone Ridge close by, you won’t have to look far to find fun and exciting things to do with your family, great restaurants, and popular grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s and Wegmans.

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Shops at Arcola Town Center is a retail center serving the Dulles South area which is less than 5 miles from the neighborhood. Within walking distance to the Arcola Town Center is a Main Street town center with a custom-designed fountain and outdoor restaurant seating. This will feature approximately 145,000 square feet of boutique- style shops and restaurants.

Arcola Town Center: Photo from KLNB Retail

Arcola Town Center: Photo from KLNB Retail

For the golf enthusiasts – we’ve got something for you too! The Chantilly National Country Golf and Country Club is just 7 miles from Sudley Farm offering exceptional amenities including a beautifully maintained Ed-Ault-designed golf course, tennis facilities with three recently resurfaced hard courts and three clay courts, an Olympic-size pool, children’s pool, and so much more.

Chantilly National Golf and Country Club: Photo from their website

Chantilly National Golf and Country Club: Photo from their website

Sudley Farm has everything you are looking for in a community that your family can enjoy and homes that are built to fit your lifestyle. Choose from 5 of Stanley Martin’s most desired, unique and spacious floor plans with new options – some created by our architects specifically for owners at Sudley Farm; a 5 car garage option, 4th level lofts, gourmet kitchens with plenty of storage.

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

Our Green Living Program was built to be sure that each home meets high energy efficient performance standards, and makes sure that your home is saving you money for the life of your home. To ensure each homeowner knows just how energy efficient their home is – every home is inspected and tested by a certified 3rd party Home Energy Rater and given a HERS rating. The lower your HERS score, the more money you save!

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

Visit Sudley Farm and take a look for yourself – you will absolutely love the gorgeous green and spacious neighborhood and maybe even find the home that you have been searching for to fit your family’s needs.

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

The Winslow at Sudley Farm

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Blount Street Commons – Part of Downtown Raleigh’s Historic District

Live, work, play is the slogan used for Downtown Raleigh and the new home community of Blount Street Commons is no exception. At Blount Street, homeowners will not only live within walking distance to amazing dining, shopping and entertainment venues but will enjoy the convenience of having 1-3 car garages in an area where parking is a premium!

The Hampstead Model Home Family Room

The Hampstead Model Home Family Room

Homeowners at Blount Street will enjoy a community park setting in the center of all that Historic Downtown Raleigh has to offer. The Pearson Street area was listed by USA Today as one of the top 10 up and coming neighborhoods and in The Walter Magazine’s article “Person-Street-Comes-Alive”.

The Hampstead Model Home Kitchen

The Hampstead Model Home Kitchen

A USA Today article quoted: “Raleigh: The North Person Street Business District, about 5-10 minute walk from downtown Raleigh, was once home to boarded-up store fronts and struggling businesses. Within the past year it has begun a transformation into a vibrant area that appeals to both residents and visitors. Highlights include the Raleigh City Farm, an urban farm with the goal of transforming unexpected downtown spaces into nourishing farmland; Pie Bird, serving homemade savory and sweet pies; Oak City Cycling Project, a local, independent cycling project; and Slingshot Coffee, which sells hand-bottled, cold-brewed iced-coffee.”

To read the full article Click here!

The Hampstead Model Home Breakfast Area

The Hampstead Model Home Breakfast Area

With Raleigh being one of the most up and coming cities, there is never a shortage of activities and events happening in the area. The link below will take you to the events in Downtown Raleigh! There is so much to do right around the corner from the Historic District!

For a calendar of events at the Historic District Click here!

Walter Magazine says “It’s just amazing to be a part of the synergy that’s happening around Person,” says Mordecai resident Philip Bernard, who formed the Person Street Partnership, a group of business owners and civic leaders fostering the positive development of the area. As phase one of a three-phase facelift funded by bond referendum, Person Street will be re-striped to include bike lanes on either side, and restored to two-way traffic between Delway and Peace. “Two-way streets slow cars down and promote pedestrian and bike traffic,” Bernard says.

To read the full article Click here!

The Hampstead Model Home Master Bedroom

The Hampstead Model Home Master Bedroom

One of the most hotly anticipated new businesses to join the group is Standard Foods. When Umstead chef Scott Crawford announced plans to partner with John Holmes of Hobby Properties to open the restaurant/grocery store in Person Street Plaza, the neighborhood got more than a five-star stamp of approval; it caught the attention of food lovers all over the region.”

The Hampstead Model Home Recreation Room

The Hampstead Model Home Recreation Room

Stanley Martin Homes is excited to offer homes to those who want the downtown lifestyle. Join us for our Model Home Grand Opening 2-28-15 from 11-3:00! Enjoy Model Home Tour, Food From Pie Birds, Live Music and Prizes! Model address is 500 John Haywood Way Unit #101, Raleigh, NC 27604.

Blount Street Commons Website: Click here!

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At Stanley Martin Homes It’s Easy Being Green

Stanley Martin Homes’ Green Living Program means lower utility costs, healthy indoor air and ventilation systems and a whole house integrated systems approach to achieve high home performance. Every home we build embraces green building practices in every phase of the homebuilding process. Advanced Building Systems and resource efficient designs and materials are selected to maximize function and use of natural resources. For example, the application of engineered wood products enables us to use products that consume considerably less material than dimensional lumber or plywood, which is better for the environment. Advanced Framing Techniques improve building efficiencies, eliminate materials waste and provide thermal barriers to minimize air leakage within the building envelope, which means more savings for you!

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We continue to work on improving energy performance that evaluates and drives the best practices. This approach measures the building envelope and mechanical system performance, evaluates wall assembly insulation values, selects high efficiency windows and doors based on climate zone criteria, and integrates energy efficient products such as energy saving appliances, lighting and heating and air conditioning systems. This ensures you have the best products for each season to seal in your savings.

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We select finish materials that are environmentally friendly, such as carpet and organic paint, natural stone countertops (granite) and recycled products. Other material specifications include low maintenance exterior products that don’t require paint or stain on finished surfaces. These products are more durable than their wood counterparts, requiring fewer resources for replacement and repairs which lower your maintenance costs and help the environment at the same time.

At Stanley Martin Homes, we pay close attention to where a product is manufactured and the materials used for packaging. This sustainability practice not only lowers transportation and fuel consumption, it fosters the practice of re-using or recycling packaging and waste materials.

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To ensure we meet high energy efficient performance standards, every home is inspected and tested multiple times throughout the construction process by a certified 3rd party Home Energy Rater.

Since the fall of 2012, Stanley Martin Homes has received Home Energy Rating testing/scores for over 1,400 Homes under its Green Living Program. This is notable since many new homebuilders measure energy efficiency through sampling vs. measuring every homes for energy efficiency. The average Stanley Martin Homes Home Energy Rating score (HERS) for Single Family Homes is 56 and for Townhomes/Condominiums is 67, exceeding industry performance standards, position Stanley Martin Homes as a leader in building environmentally friendly and energy efficient Homes.

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Stop by our Neighborhoods and learn more about Stanley Martin Homes and our Energy Monitoring Incentive promotion. Take your energy savings to the next level!

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