8 Ways to Make Your Home Baby Friendly

Bringing a baby into your new home can be both exciting and scary. You are excited to start this new chapter in your life and bring your baby from the hospital into your new Stanley Martin home, but you also want them to be as safe as possible. Here are some simple steps to take to protect your baby and keep them safe in your new home.


1. Keep cleaning products and anything harmful if swallowed in a locked cabinet or out of reach

2. Cover your electrically outlets


3. Install safety latches on toilets and cabinets

4. Cover sharp corners of furniture

5. Set up baby gates on certain rooms such as your kitchen and your stairs


6. Secure bookshelves and heavy furniture to the wall

7. Keep the blind cords out of reach to prevent kids getting tangled up in them

8. Put electrical cords out of reach so your baby cannot play with them or chew them


For more ideas on baby proofing click the following articles:
- http://www.parents.com/baby/safety/babyproofing/babyproofing-basics/
- http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/841905/baby-proofing-vs-baby-friendly-how-to-make-your-house-both

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Q and A with our Northern Virginia Design Studio Team

We took the time to interview our Design Studio Team in Northern Virginia to see what they had to say about current trends in the interior design industry and what they love about their job. Here is a sneak peak in a day of the life of a Design Studio Consultant!


• What is your favorite part about your job?

We love working with our homebuyers, and sharing in their excitement of building a new home. We get to help them create one of the most memorable and exciting things that they may do in their lifetime, with one of the most important purchases they will ever make, and that makes us feel content in the job we do each day. Working with a happy new homebuyer as they embark on the journey of crafting their brand new dream home makes us feel like we are the lucky ones – watching them leave with a smile on their faces makes it even better!


•What kind of pendant lights would you recommend in a kitchen with light cabinets?

If the kitchen has a warmer cream or antiqued cabinet we tend to lean towards a darker bronze pendant light selection, particularly if it is a more traditional style. If the kitchen has a more modern feel with a bright white cabinet and cleaner lines, than the silver tone pendant in a brushed nickel or chrome finish works best. The Northern Virginia design studio offers so many different styles of pendant lights with various glass and metal finishes, that there is definitely a style and color that will fit the overall theme of our customers’ homes.

•How do you pair back splash with cabinet color? Do you have a system you use to choose?

When composing a kitchen palette, the first thing we start with is the cabinetry, then we move on to choose the flooring and the counter tops. The backsplash and cabinet hardware are the finishing touches that tie everything together. When we work with our customers, we identify the characteristics of the granite that they have selected and use that to guide our recommendations on selecting a backsplash. It is important to ensure that a backsplash doesn’t compete with the other parts and pieces of your kitchen, especially your counter tops. We have many different backsplash options to choose from, from classic marbles and tumbled stones, to neutral and clean subway tiles that accent busier granite patterns, to backsplashes that are bold statement pieces made up of patterned mosaics, blends of marble, glass and metal or stone.


•Would you say you help customer choose their finishes based on their personalities?

Absolutely! The most important thing we do is to first determine what our customers want to see in the “finished product” once their home is complete. We have found that the best way to do that is to have our customers browse the Stanley Martin gallery of homes on our website, or Stanley Martin’s Pinterest or Houzz pages where they can compare the photography from our model homes to see what they are drawn to. Once we determine what they like and what they don’t like, we can select the parts and pieces that fit together to match their desired outcome as well as fit within their budget.


•Would you say helping customers design their homes is a passion of yours?

We have all worked in the housing industry for over 10 years (over 45 years combined!) and we can all undeniably say that we love what we do and that this is a passion of ours that we enjoy during our personal time at home. Unfortunately for our spouses we bring our work home with us on a regular basis in the form of wanting to redecorate, re-accessorize or repaint a room, and coming up with weekend warrior projects in our own homes! One of the best rewards is when we have the opportunity to walk a customer’s home before they go to settlement to see the finished product that we had a hand in creating, or get to visit our beautiful model homes and see what we’ve crafted first hand.

SM Design Studio_005_forblog

•What are the most popular trends you are seeing in home finishes now?

Most customers are still drawn to the classic finishes that stand the test of time; light colored cabinets, bronze and brushed nickel metal finishes, marble accents in bathrooms and kitchen backsplashes, soft carpeting and rich hues in hardwood floors. We try to avoid adding really trendy finish options to our design portfolio – but if there is a new style that we think would be popular, we are on top of it. On the other hand, if we find that an option doesn’t really work, we don’t offer it. Our goal is to help our Stanley Martin homebuyers create a fun and memorable space to call home and to be thrilled with it when they move in, and continue to love coming back to that beautiful home every day.

Manor Ridge lo res_03

Click here to take a tour of our Design Studio!

Click here to see how our Design Studio is involved in our pre-construction process.

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10 Reasons to Buy New!

You are buying a home in which you will live for many years. Everyone has their own style and with a new home you can select the floorplan and exterior which best reflect yours, but in a resale home you have to make compromises to make the existing work for you.

Manor Ridge lo res_03

Why renovate, when you can get exactly what you want now? Do you want to a sunroom? First-floor master bedroom? Big walk-in closets? Extra fireplace? Patio? Get it all done from the get-go. Build your home the way you desire and personalize it with architectural options to reflect your taste.

Westgate lo res_07

Brand-new means under warranty, which assures your appliances, fixtures and utility equipment are protected – as well as safe, sophisticated and far more energy efficient than what you will find in re-sale homes.

A new home is more environmentally friendly and can save money every month on utilities – especially when built by one of the industry’s leading Green builders. Windows are higher quality, insulation practices are state-of-the-art, and heating and cooling units are high performance and more efficient than ever.


New homes feature environmentally-friendly coolants in the systems and fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paints, carpets and cabinets.

New Stanley Martin homes meet or exceed strict codes and energy standards of air filtration and ventilation, ensuring year-round indoor air quality for you and your family.

Homes today require far less care and maintenance. Stanley Martin’s systems and components are engineered for compatibility, so major maintenance and repairs won’t be on your to-do List for years to come.

Take pride in the details which give your new neighborhood its character! Enjoy entrances that provide a sense of arrival, gorgeous streetscapes comprised of well-designed homes and beautiful landscaping, and green spaces and pocket parks which add beauty for years to come.


9. IT’S NEW!
Isn’t new always more fun? Clean and pristine, with curb appeal built in! Exactly how you like it – never lived-in by anyone but you and your own family!


Why try to fit into someone else’s house when you can have your very own?


If you’re looking for a new home in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Richmond, or Raleigh, we invite you to experience the Stanley Martin Difference.

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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!


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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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


8. Harvest fruits and vegetables regularly

For more gardening tips read the full articles below:


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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.


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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