The World’s Most Expensive Buildings’



How Much Room Do You Need for a Kitchen Island?

island thumbInstalling an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and, with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit

Kitchen islands are a much-sought-after feature — almost nine out of 10 of our kitchen design and installation firm’s clients ask about them in their first design meeting. A well-planned island layout can allow a smooth workflow and provide a comfortable space for preparing and cooking food. Islands also frequently provide space for dining, working and storage.

But while a well-planned layout offers much enjoyment, a poorly planned island can be frustrating. This is particularly true if there is insufficient space for an island to begin with. If you’re considering a kitchen island, follow these tips to help you decide whether you have enough space to make an island work for you. And if you don’t, discover what else you can try.

The Custom Home Process

In our over 39 years as custom home design-builders, we’ve seen it happen more often than we like, and more frequently than it needs to. The somber truth is that over 50% of custom builds never get off the ground, including those where the client has already purchased their lot, and may even had plans drawn. The number one reason for this vision deferred is that so many people do not, before anything else, prepare a realistic, comprehensive budget.

New home construction is never a smooth-sailing venture in the best of circumstances. Along the way you encounter bumps and surprises in the form of changes and unexpected costs, but careful planning with your builder from day one will greatly increase your odds of living in your dream home. To avoid future disappointments, discuss with your builder budget line items like site work costs, surveys, engineering, septic recommendations, house plans and builder permits and fees. Here is a step-by-step guide that dives deeper into the the elements to consider when budgeting for a custom home.

Early consultation with an experienced and professional design-build firm significantly reduces costs. From walking the potential lot to final fixtures, your design builder is a valuable partner in avoiding obvious pitfalls, can offer plan alternatives that keep your costs in line, and helps bring whatever you imagine to life.

It’s the relationship between a client and their design-builder, along with the support of talented tradespeople and suppliers, that makes for a successful project. Take advantage of their expert advice and you’ll find that the home of your dreams, in the area you desire, with the style, quality and features you envision, is all within reach.

This infographic will help you gain a broader perspective of where your budget is allocated throughout the process of building a custom home.

Check it out:


This is a guest post written by Kyle Foley, Managing Member of Foley Development Group, LLC. Located in Great Falls, Virginia, he operates a family-owned design build firm with real-world tested experience in building new homes, additions, and remodeling existing homes.


The Greatest Buildings of World History



15 Creative Kitchen Backsplashes for the Adventurous

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 4.05.03 PMConsider using snow skis, mirrors, bottle caps and other unusual materials for your next kitchen backsplash

Not a fan of white subway tile? Don’t fret. Look to custom and DIY options for creative backsplashes that are only limited by your imagination and budget. Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration your cooking habits, too. Those who fancy themselves amateur chefs and tend to have multiple splattering pans going at once might not be keen on a custom photography backsplash. But for the pop-it-in-the-microwave types, the more decorative options might make sense.

Here are 15 adventurous options that you — or your designer — may want to consider for your next kitchen backsplash.

Long-Lasting Roofing Material Works With Many Styles

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 3.59.49 PMWith their durability and wide range of colors and molded shapes, concrete roof tiles are worth a look

Concrete tile roofs are masters of disguise. From an architectural standpoint, they can play many parts. Molded styles are made to mimic natural clay, slate and shake roofs. Concrete roof tiles are as well, which helps make this material one of the most universally popular roof selections around the world.

Iconic TV Living Rooms



Make the Most of Your Hallway [infographic]

12-tips-and-tricks-to-make-the-most-of-your-hallwayprovided by:


Home Is Where The Hearth Is: A Brief History

Home is where

Throughout human existence, homes have varied drastically in scope, size, and design. Cob houses originated in the eleventh century, are made from straw and earth, and last for hundreds of years. In fact, people still make them today. We’ve come a long way from our cave-dwelling ancestors, however:  This year, a house was printed for the first time. For around $160,000 you could print your own mansion in 2015.