Home Tours

8 Model Home Design Ideas

Model Home Design Idea #1 - siting the house well.

Never underestimate curb appeal.  The landscaping and siting of this home is awesome--very homey and modest but deluxe at the same time (there's a small lake in the backyard, which is pretty deluxe to me!).

Model Home Design Idea #2 - a great garage door detail.

Pay attention to the garage. This one's got it goin' on.  Love the barn door style and LOVE the transoms.  


Model Home Design Idea #3 - pay attention to the hallways.

It's all about having a pleasant view, no matter where you are in the house.  Large scale artwork, a bench that feels sculptural and a pretty textile dressed up as a pillow creates a very nice place to perch!


Model Home Design Idea #4 - bring back charm.

When I entered the foyer and turned to the right, this room knocked my socks off. The colors are lovely, the sunshine is pouring in, the chandelier that adds sparkle--but really  because of the built in china cabinet.  I thought to myself, "yes! That charming, wonderful, old-fashioned detail is finally coming back!"  Later, when looking at the photo, I spotted that silly swan at the top.  Hey!  It's not a built-in china cabinet, it's a slide in china cabinet that's not nearly tall enough, so leaves this big gaping hole that someone felt had to be filled with that dopey swan.  I'm sorry, you know I don't usually complain like this, but I was really disappointed.  Those old built-ins really need to come back into favor.  They were brilliant.  But the width of the piece is lovely.


Model Home Design Idea #5 - include pets in the design.

A mudroom equipped for dogs is a brilliant idea!  Here in North Carolina, our soil tends to be clay.  Clay is a devil to get out of carpeting, so getting it off the paws is a priority after walks and romps.  This home really gave the pooches their own pads.  A place for a shower, hooks for leashes and even dining facilities were included.


Model Home Design Idea #6 - a spacious pantry.

Oh baby, I really loved this one.  Instead of a wide, shallow closet in the kitchen, as many pantries tend to be, this one is a long, think room.  WITH A WINDOW!  All kinds of shelves!  There was also a little nook over there to the right, but I can't remember anything about it.  I think more shelves.  I would love to have a pantry like this.  Even if you don't cook much, it would be Entertainment Supply Central!

Model Home Design Idea #7 - clean lines paired with glamorous finishes.

I'm not a fancy girl, but I love the small details that add up in this bathroom.  The white cabinets are almost Shaker, but have a little more flair (I am tired of Shaker cabinets--they're often too darn flimsy).   The hardware has a bit of pattern on it, the rounded edge of the granite counters feels yummy and the antiqued silver finish on the  mirrors is just perfect.  

Same goes for this master bathroom.  Gray has been done to death, but this room shows how timeless it can be.  I'm a fan of the cabinet on top of the counter, dividing the two sinks.   Same mirrors - great proportions.

And I'm crazy for these door pulls.  Yes, I'm always crazy for anything acrylic.  Need to find these and hope they come with more of a pewter accent--but I'll take the chrome quite happily if need be.


Model Home Design Ideas #8 - views.

This should go with #1 (siting the house well).  Looking out at trees and water from the back made this gorgeous home a showstopper.  Nothing lowers the blood pressure, calms the frazzled or puts life in perspective like looking at Mother Earth doing her thing.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!



A Stunning Living Room Update!

  During a 2 hour design consultation, we can often tackle two rooms.  So after talking through the Family Room I shared in the last post, we moved on to the Living Room. I looked things over, made recommendations and left the Homeowner with a plan (and about a week later I sent her a Resource List to help narrow down her shopping search).  She really ran with it.  I was thrilled with the chance to come back and see the wonderful results.   First off, let me show you the entry:


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Many interior floor plans suffer from no separate foyer.  So visitors walk right into a room, which can be a bit jarring to my delicate sensibilities.  But with the simple addition of a mat at the door and a substantial plant atop a pedestal, a transition space has been created here.  There's also a pretty desk over on the left  (you can't see it, sorry), which adds to the welcoming vibe. And I want you to notice the beautiful drapery panels, which Talented Homeowner made herself.


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As I turned to enter this freshly furnished Living Room, I first noticed those matching velvety soft club chairs, upholstered in a neutral fabric. What a nice choice.  And the new wool rug, in a Tree Of Life pattern, is exquisite.  I'm not exaggerating--my iPhone photo does not do it justice.  It came from NOA Living, a wonderful rug and decor store in Raleigh.


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The custom built in bookcase is a showstopper.  Previously it was a little haphazard and now it's thoughtfully arranged.  It doesn't look like a store display--it looks like people who love books and travels and special mementos live here.  The new sofa has a tight back, single seat cushion (never looks messy) and pretty legs.  I'll bet you're wondering where the coffee table is - they didn't want one.  Isn't that awesome?  Now I love (and need) a coffee table to be happy.  But these clients did what felt best to them.  Fabulous!


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Please don't ever forget to pay attention to lighting in a room.  Great lighting makes a lovely room useful, friendly, warm and inviting.  Go for 3 way switches, go for pretty lampshades, go for finials.  Do it up right.  These gourd lamps are perfect for the space.  Talented Homeowner made the custom accent pillows in the room.  They are squishy delights.  The framed art on the wall are hung at eye level - perfect.

I'm so glad that my 2 hour design consultation gave this client the right amount of ideas and resources to go full steam ahead and make the changes she did.  The other day she contacted me to report that she had used one of my suggestions in her daughter's apartment - the ripple effect!  Great job!



Designer Showhouses--always worth a visit!

  The Junior League of High Point partnered with Traditional Home magazine and put together one fabulous Showhouse.   I visited with my friend, Carole, and took lots of photos.  It will be featured in the October issue of Traditional Home--I'll remind you when it hits the stands.  I took the pics (hence the hint of fuzziness) in this entire post, except the first one and the last one.  Please don't use them without my permission.




The foyer set the tone for the entire home.  Blue was a predominant color, gorgeous grass cloth wall coverings were used throughout and the primary metal finish color was matte gold.  There was even a consistent shape found everywhere--the Greek key.



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A close-up.  The Greek key shape on the matte gold mirror frame and a gray grass cloth wall covering.  These elements bring a classic foundation to any decor.  They can look modern or traditional.



Design by Leslie Moore.




Grass Cloth wallcoverings Sunny yellow grass cloth wall coverings were in the Artist's Retreat.  The yellow is kind of unexpected--it was my favorite (but I liked them all)!



Design by Jennifer Hutton & Mickey Sharpe



This tiny ceiling was papered with a beefy grass cloth illuminated by the perfect light fixture.  Ohhhh!  Ahhh!



Design by Lisa Mende Design



This rich blue grass cloth was in the Breakfast Room, right off the kitchen.  You will want to see the whole room when the magazine hits the stands.  It's incredible.


One more:


Design by Jennifer Hutton & Mickey Sharpe


Grass cloth even backed the shelving along the upstairs hallway.  I often suggest this to my design clients.  It's so much more interesting than a white background!




Design by Madcap Cottage


A vignette in interior design is a masterstroke.  It makes you stop and say "Oh!" or maybe "Aww!"  A vignette gives a message, whether it's telling you that this is the place to party or the place to relax--or it might evoke a memory.  The picture above shows a sweet vignette in the Dining Room that brings a smile because of the well named pillow.  It's Marvelous!


Design by Madcap Cottage


Also in the Dining Room was this floral vignette.  So pretty.  The designers of Madcap Cottage have the sweet vibe down pat.



The Library was  a gorgeous room full of dark paneling.   This vignette lightened things up considerably.


Design by Michelle Workman Interiors


Above is also in the Library.  Wouldn't you love to work at that desk?  I'd have to turn it around (but then would I get any work done--there's a pool out there)!


Design by Jennifer Hutton & Mickey Sharple


In another part of the house, this desk has a more modern look.  I would use the iPad to read Facebook posts here.  :-D


Design by L. Moore Designs


This vignette says "Sit down and have a cocktail!"  It's a great example of proportion.  I asked Carole to stand right there to give you a sense of scale (don't you love her booties?). Those are TALL lamps, but the ceiling is HIGH and the starburst mirror is BIG.  They work together beautifully to command attention.


Design by Parker Kennedy Living


Oh lordy, this room made me a little dizzy, but in a good way!  It was fun, fun, fun.  Imagine that pattern on the walls, the lampshades AND the ceilings?!?!  Even though that's a lot of black and white, the emerald green grounded the space.


Design by Parker Kennedy Living


Same room - Office/Guest Room.  The fabrics on the chair and the drapes makes my heart beat wildly.  The soft gray soothes all the pattern.  Yeah, the room is crazy, but there are a lot of great design elements and ideas in it.


Design by L. Moore Designs


We're back in the Artist's Retreat.  I supposed I wouldn't really put cream upholstery next to works-in-progress, but a Showhouse has an element of fantasy about it, so we get to suspend our everyday concerns about spills and stains.  Can you see the Greek key on the pillow trim? And everything else


Design by Catherine M. Austin interior Design


This settee was in the Daughter's Bedroom.  I'm a big fan of the color raspberry.  Come to think of it, I love the fruit raspberry, too.  Raspberry pancakes, raspberry muffins, raspberry pie (the queen of pies)!  But I digress.


Design by Catherine M. Austin Interior Design


Same room.  Took this photo because the custom details are endless.  They obviously have a great workroom!


The kitchen, as I mentioned, was a showstopper, but my photos of that space aren't great, so I'll let the Traditional Home folks show it off in October.  But here's a detail in the kitchen that made me swoon:


Lisa Mende Designs


I'm a sucker for shelves and I love anything clear--glass, lucite, acrylic, plastic.


Lisa Mende Designs


Look at these shelves. And the brackets.  Perfection.  I can't type because I'm busy swooning.


Marsh Kitchens



I enjoyed this kitchen detail as well.  Simple cabinet pulls in matte gold.  Last Fall at Market, when gold finshes had a strong introduction, I wondered how it was going to play out.  It's everywhere and looks fabulous.


Design by Jack Fhillips and Sally Altizer


You didn't think I would skip the windows, did you?  They were in every room, the use of great trims was nice to see--I touched every single one.


Design by Parker Kennedy Living


This was my favorite one and all because of the clear rods.  I'm crazy for the clear.  I've got these rods in my own house--I'll show them to you soon.




We stumbled upon this place for lunch. It was fantastic!  Kind of like a Friendly's, which is my all time favorite lunch spot in the world.  While we ate, Carole broke the news to me that Friendly's has closed all of it's locations.  That was a bitter pill to swallow.  I'm still a little shaken and can only hope that she can be proven wrong.  But again, I digress.


Every good show needs a gift shop, and this one was no different.  The gents at Madcap Cottage set up shop in a sunroom and had something for everyone to buy.  This is what I chose:
















Lovin' the Model Home Tour--Part Duex!

In the previous post, I showed my photos from the "Greenest Open House" tour at Briar Chapel right outside Chapel Hill, NC.   We covered bedrooms and interesting accents. Today I'll finish up with other rooms--offices, family rooms.  


accent wall



chaise, glamorous chandelier, tufted seating, upholstered seating



entertaining spaces, retreat



decorative accents, feminine spaces, flat screen tv, personal space



bookcasess, built ins, fireplace, small windows, family room, light fixtures




coordinating fabric, drapery panels, custom curtains, open concept living space, mirror, fireplace



beige sectional, bonus room, accent pillows, throw pillow




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siding, reading nook, front room, casual living, foyer, carpet, flooring



Modular Arts, textured wall, modern design, guest room

Mary Leigh McDonald is an up and coming interior designer in Raleigh!



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teen hangout, bonus room, cafe style




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Done!  Don't you feel like you came along with us?




Lovin' model home tours!

My friend Carole Marcotte, of Form & Function fame here in Raleigh, suggested a fun outing a couple of weeks ago--hitting up the "Greenest Open House" at Briar Chapel.  Located right outside of Chapel Hill, NC, it's in a great location with guaranteed pretty model homes--and it did not disappoint.  

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That's me with Carole and Mary Leigh McDonald (another fab designer and also of Form & Function).


raleigh interior designer


Lisa Stewart, of Lisa Stewart Design, was in our happy group as well.  Here she is, pleased to see a beautiful modern kitchen with vibrant colors!

As designers, we go through home tours with a critical eye--this tour was billed as "greenest," so we quizzed every builder in every house about green and sustainable features.  They had great answers!  And the interior designers who had worked on the models were present in many, so we bonded with them and gave them high fives for their beautiful work.


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I think the most common decorating theme was the use of color to make neutral rooms sparkle with life. It's easy to change out accent pieces, but not so much the sectional!  Also very noticeable was that there were beautiful window treatments in almost every room.  Bringing the eye up, polishing the room, softening the edges, doing their job.  I took a LOT of photos, (I'm a designer with an iPhone, not a phototgrapher, that's for sure) so I'm just going to line them up for you.  Enjoy!


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marsala lamp base, colorful lamp shade



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bedroom lighting, guitar decor, music theme



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blue master bedroom, small windows, tufted bench, ceiling fan



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traditional master bedroom, wood poster bed, curtains, framed art, bedside tables, lamps



shaggy green accent pillow, decorative throws, tufted upholstered headboard, valance



modern master bedroom, baby boomer headboard



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Ok, enough bedrooms.  On to Accents!


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ceiling light, lighting, pendant light fixture, chandelier, bedroom lighting


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rystal knobs, glass door knobs, contrasting paint colors, painted interior doors



More glass. I do love glass. These are by Kichler. Edison bulbs are a nice touch, but they don't shed a lot of light on the counters.


pipes, book shelves, reclaimed boards, industrial chic, boys room shelving




framed mirrors, transitional style, bedroom mirror



mirror framed mirrors


banded shower curtain, transitional bathroom, updated traditional shower curtain



botanical prints, table lamp, chest, bureau, foyer furniture, bedroom furniture, interior design help, design consultation, decocco drapes, custom window treatments, guest room



message pillows, throw pillows, accent pillows, lumbar, guest bedroom


I TOLD you I took a lot of pictures!  Let's take a break. There are a few more rooms to show you, so we'll reconvene back here in a couple of days and I'll get them up.  Cogratulations to the builders and designers of the homes we toured:   Homes by Dickerson, Lennar, Beazer Homes, Saussy Burbank and David Weekly Homes!