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Blog Category - Home Design Trends

Features and Benefits of a Side Entry Garage

Categories: Customized homes, Floor Plans, Home Design Trends, New Homes in Bucks County | Posted: July 23, 2021

Modern home designs include a host of exciting characteristics that optimize exterior beauty and the use of interior space. One of the most popular of these innovations is the side entry garage. If you are looking into new residential properties, you may have seen floor plans that include this feature, which is quickly becoming a popular choice for today’s homebuyers.

What is a Side Entry Garage?

A side entry garage, like a traditional front entry garage, is a primary feature of the ground level of a home. It is easily accessible from the driveway yet is mostly hidden from the front view of the house. It offers the same accessibility and convenience while enhancing curb appeal and overall aesthetic value of a home.

Take a Practical Approach to New Homes

A side entry garage, while an attractive design, can be an expensive remodel on an existing home. However, if you like this design and you happen to be shopping for new homes in Bucks County, PA, Hallmark Homes Group is well known for building gorgeous properties with side-entry garages. This option allows you to enjoy all the benefits of the side entry option without having to consider remodeling a previously-owned home or redesigning an existing floor plan that does not already include this feature.

Enhance The Curb Appeal of Your Home

A side entry garage allows the front facade of a home to present a continuous design theme without being interrupted by a large, retractable metal door. Front entry garages can be a distraction to what would otherwise be a symmetrical appearance. The side-entry option allows the garage to serve its purpose while allowing the front of the home to present a cleaner, more visually pleasing character with maximum curb appeal. This design also has a “lengthening” effect to the front of a home, which makes more of the property’s width apparent from the street.

Enjoy Functionality with Fashion

A side entry garage, while not visible from the front of the house, is still very much a primary feature of the ground floor. Rather than being accessed by a front driveway, however, it is accented by a driveway to the side of the house where cars enter from a lateral position rather than from straight ahead. At the front of the home where the garage door would normally be, are instead bay windows, stylish siding, complimentary trim and other features which match the other side of the front of the home for a more balanced presentation. Once inside the garage, the interior of the home can be accessed in the same way as with a front-entry garage while all the other features of convenience, security and protection from the elements are intact.

Does Hallmark Offer Floor Plans That Have Side Entry Garages?

As the premier new home builder in Bucks County, Hallmark has created four distinctive designs which are currently available in the Mill Ridge community.

The Roosevelt

This floor plan features a two-car side entry garage. It is positioned just off the dining room which is adjacent to the front porch entrance. The interior of the home is accessed from the garage through a side room with a closet that leads into the kitchen.

The Jackson

The side entry garage on this astute, majestic, two-story design sits behind the front facade which features three large windows that blend in with the opposite side of the house. The garage opens into the home through a mud room which leads into the family room, kitchen open-concept design area.

The Jefferson

This stately design features a two-car side entry garage option to be upgraded to a three car capacity. The garage space features a nook for additional storage and opens into the home through an entryway which leads into the breakfast/kitchen area just off the two-story family room.

The Harrison

This design features a side entry two-car garage that sits at the front of the floor plan opposite of the study with the front entrance stylishly offset in between. The garage sits behind a well-balanced facade featuring two large decorative widows. The interior space opens into the kitchen through a short hallway placed between the bathroom and the laundry.

Homes with side entry garages offer outstanding aesthetic appeal while maintaining all the functionality of traditional designs. Contact us to learn more about home designs with garages that enhance the overall appeal of the property.

Should I Have an Island in My Kitchen?

Categories: Home Design Trends, Kitchen Design | Posted: March 26, 2021

In many households, the kitchen is the central hub of the home. Similar to fireplaces in house designs of the previous century, modern kitchens have many functions beyond meal preparation. Parents and children gather here at the beginning and end of their days, guests are entertained here during parties & celebrations and important decisions are made here during family meetings.

This is why the kitchen island was invented; to enhance the function of the area and to supply valuable countertop space for everyday use and special occasions. These features are especially popular in open concept floor plans such as the many designs created by the Hallmark Homes Group.

What is a Kitchen Island?

A kitchen island is a piece of multi-purpose furniture — sort of like a dining room table, only taller. As it is meant to be used in conjunction with countertops, the island is at the same height as most of the other kitchen surfaces. Some can include a prep sink for washing produce and rinsing dishes while others can hold a dishwasher and/or provide additional cabinet space for storing cookware. Some islands which do not include plumbing can be moved about the kitchen for extended countertop food preparation space, cleaning or extra seating for guests.

How Big Should a Kitchen Island Be?

The size of your island should be determined in relation to the overall dimensions of the kitchen and any adjacent areas connected by open space. As long as the space is at least 10 feet wide and 12 feet long, you can comfortably fit a kitchen island. Some are minimal, measuring just four by two feet and others can be significantly bigger to accommodate multiple family members, several dinner guests and large projects for work and play. The average size is 80 x 40 inches (6.6ft x 3.3ft) with at least 42 inches of clearance on all sides. Some islands, however, can be as big as 18ft long and 5ft wide, depending on the size of the area.

What Can I Use a Kitchen Island For?

Your kitchen island is the perfect place for doing homework, putting together puzzles and playing games. Since it is in one of the most-used rooms in the home, it should be accommodating to everyone in the house at some point during the day. Breakfast at the kitchen island is a standard for many families, and some new homes by Hallmark are designed with an island that is meant to function as the dining room or family room table. This is the perfect place for fresh fruit and other snacks for when the kids come in the door hungry. Additionally, the kitchen island makes a great office, especially for a work-from-home parent who needs to keep an eye on dinner while speaking on a conference call.

Kitchen islands are an attractive and versatile feature of modern home designs — especially those with open-concept floor plans. Contact us to learn more about homes with multi-purpose spaces for everyday use and how we can make your kitchen island dreams a reality in your new home.

Top Interior Design Trends for 2021

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Hallmark Homes Group, Home Design Trends | Posted: February 12, 2021

As a future homeowner, a great way to start 2021 is to consider some of the latest design trends for indoor spaces. As you start to imagine the layout and floor plan of your new house, it is helpful to take note of all the ways in which different areas are being used to meet the needs of modern lifestyles.

Today, homes are so much more than just a place of rest at night and on weekends. They are dynamic, multi-functional environments for working, playing, living, learning and so much more. By working with a builder like Hallmark Homes Group, you can maximize the personal and professional value of your residential property by creating unique settings for specific purposes.

Create A Dynamic Workspace

Working from home and learning online are becoming increasingly common, so it makes sense to designate an entire bedroom, basement or owner’s suite “retreat” area as a home office or remote classroom. These spaces can be painted in neutral tones and minimally decorated to avoid distraction. Plus, you can request to your builder that they be wired with additional electrical outlets to accommodate computers, charging stations, printers, modems and perhaps a conveniently-located coffee maker.

Workout in the Comfort Your New Home

Exercising at home has been one of the hottest new trends of the past year, and you can get the most out of your home gym by designating the space during the design phase of your new home in Bucks County. The expert home builders at Hallmark can make sure that your workout room has the exact type of hardwood, tile or heavy duty carpet of your choice as well as ample power outlets for equipment, large mirrors on the walls and abundant lighting. You can choose wall coverings with inspirational images or sayings to keep you motivated towards your fitness goals.

Choose Warmer Colors & Tones

Your cozy, shared spaces may see lots of daily use during family time. Choosing warm, earthy tones can help maximize the relaxing quality of the living room and the family room. Furniture with deep wood hues and finishing trim of natural materials like wicker and rattan are excellent ways to warm up an area. You can wrap it all up with rich color schemes on the wall and decor that welcomes such as amber lighting and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Entertainment is Essential

Investing in a bigger screen TV, a bolder sound system and a more dynamic lighting scheme will provide you with home entertainment, which is possibly more popular than ever. Imagine a recreational area that matches the excitement of your favorite theater or venue. You can choose dark tones for the walls like a movie theater and super-soft, relaxed seating that welcomes visitors for a nice, long stay.

Modern homes are becoming dynamic places for a wide variety of important activities. Contact us to learn more about a new home layout that can be designed to meet all of your family’s daily needs.

In-Law Suites – The Most Popular New Home Customization Trend for 2020

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Home Design Trends | Posted: October 5, 2020

Hallmark Homes Group differs from many builders because we work with each buyer individually to customize their new home to fit their exact lifestyle. Our goal is to not only meet but exceed the expectations of our clients. This is why buyers can create the perfect home that will last for generations to come.

The most popular customization that Hallmark buyers have wanted in 2020 is adding or turning extra space into an in-law suite. Also known as multi-generational homes, they provide a wide range of benefits for all family members living under the same roof. Read on to learn more about in-law suites and how to determine if they’re right for you.

What is an In-Law Suite?

An in-law suite is an apartment-like living space that offers both guests and aging family members the ability to live independently under the same roof as the rest of the family. They’re often located on the first floor and have easy access for individuals with mobility issues.

Some new home buyers take the concept one step further and add a dedicated bathroom, mini-kitchen, and living area. Others are even adding a private entrance that turns it into a fully functional apartment that will allow family members to have a completely independent lifestyle.

Benefits of an In-Law Suite

There are many benefits of adding an in-law suite to your new house in Bucks County. Some people do it for the cost-savings aspect, while others see the immense value of having grandparents living under the same roof. Here are a few benefits that you can expect:

Cost Savings

While the upfront cost of adding an in-law suite may be higher initially, it will actually help save money in the long run. Retirement homes and assisted care living centers in the greater Philadelphia area can cost upwards of $50k per year for a single individual.

Many retirement homes may not meet the personal standards of both the elderly parents and their children. The rooms can be cramped and have a clinical feel to them which can have a negative mental and emotional effect on the residents.

Holiday Celebrations

Getting the entire family together for the holidays can be a logistical challenge, especially if they live out-of-town. An in-law suite allows your extended family members to stay with you right under your roof for the entire duration of their stay—versus having to pick them up and drop them off at a hotel room or the airport.

Guest Space

Many new home buyers who are planning for the future are opting to add in-law suites despite their elderly family members not requiring it just yet. Instead, they’re using them as fully functional guest suites that provide a much higher quality of life than a hotel room.

With the rising costs of tuition and on-campus apartments, many college students are choosing to live at home with mom and dad. An in-law suite offers them a level of comfort and privacy without the added costs and hassles of living in a dormitory.

Comfort

There’s a considerable comfort element for those who live in in-law suites versus the hospital-esque atmosphere of a retirement community. Your aging relatives will be much happier being around their beloved family members versus other older adults whom they barely know.

Elderly relatives will also have quick and easy access to all of the creature comforts that they need to maintain a high quality of life. A big part of that comfort is ease of access, so be sure to keep that in mind when designing the space.

Child-Raising Support

It takes a village to raise a child, and there’s sometimes no better people to help out than grandparents. They can give emotional support and advice while positively influencing the growth and development of your children.

If you and your significant other would like to head out for a night on the town or take a vacation, your elderly relatives are a trustworthy option for service. When the kids get sick, grandparents can offer assistance to nurse them back to health, helping you avoid lost days at work.

Independent Lifestyle

Retirement homes don’t provide as much independence as living at home would, which can impact your loved ones’ quality of life. An in-law suite gives your aging relatives the opportunity to live a completely independent lifestyle

Many new home buyers are opting to create a self-sufficient in-law suite that comes complete with mini-kitchen, bathroom, and living room. A private entryway will help ensure that they can come and go as they please without disturbing the rest of the family.

Having loved ones close-by as they age and eventually may need more care, an in-law suite attached to your home provides you with an easier environment for you when it comes time for their extra care. Planning ahead for this stage in their lives while building your new house can save the hassle of construction down the road.

Is an In-Law Suite Right for You?

Consider the current and future needs of all older adults within your family. Will everyone coexist peacefully? If your elderly relatives aren’t quite ready for it, can you use it for other reasons such as housing for your college-aged kids?

Many people who add in-law suites won’t need them for several years and instead use them as a spare bedroom, music room, or even a home office. There are plenty of benefits of adding a dedicated space that will allow your family members to quickly adapt to any future changes in your lifestyle.

Learn More About In-Law Suites

At Hallmark, we’ve helped countless buyers customize the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. We look forward to answering any questions that you might have and working closely with you to build the home of your dreams. If you have any questions about in-law suites or other potential customization ideas, contact us today or stop by our offices to learn more about the advantages of Hallmark.

Spice Up Your Bathroom with These 2020 Trends

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Custom Homes, Home Design Trends, Luxury homes | Posted: April 15, 2020

The modern bathroom is starting to become less of a utilitarian room and more of an area of tranquility and peace. When designing the bathroom for your new home in Bucks County, there are several things you can do that will help transform it into a place where you can relax and unwind.

Dual themes are prominent in the latest design trends for 2020. The first of these creates a sophisticated, elegant look with the striking contrast of black and white. The second takes a different direction, exuding calmness with the usage of natural tones that can be used alone or with accents of bold color.

Here are a few ideas to jump start your creativity for the perfect escape in your new Bucks County home.

 

Black is Back

In the past, shades of grey had taken over as the popular color scheme of bathrooms. However, a new color is taking the lead this year. The color black has been making appearances in many upscale bathrooms throughout the country. For some, it may be easier to incorporate this dramatic color in simple ways, such as black cabinet hardware, faucets, and accent pieces. To take this new trend a bit further, you can add black accent walls, plumbing fixtures, and deep-hued vanities to your newest Bucks County residence.

The use of black can really make your bathroom pop in terms of and contrast and color. For example, by combining white marble or granite vanity countertops with dark wood grain black cabinetry and white accent hardware, you can create an elegant space filled with complimentary light and dark tones.

 

Natural Tones

If your goal is to create a calming space, subtle natural hues will gently take you there. Another popular trend for 2020 is to add shades of color that remind you of the calming effects of air and water. Think back to the last spa you visited and the feeling of “floating on air”. That relaxed feeling is the reason for the growing popularity in natural tones because you can continuously feel that when you enter your new bathroom.

Neutral shades can also serve to accent the existing shades of the features in your new home. Marble and wood tend to blend very well with a wide spectrum of color palettes. If you wish to add a more modern splash that will help ground the overall look, add a few pops of black throughout the area.

 

Brass and Gold

Gold and brass are beginning to become more commonplace in today’s modern bathrooms, serving as a vintage comeback. These metallics are being used in various areas of the bathroom including mirrors, faucets, handles and cabinetry fixtures. Their warm, glowing tones give dimension and richness to the space. Available in a wide variety of finishes such as matte, satin, and spun gold, brass and gold accents add an upscale touch to any style bathroom.

 

Wood Accents

With warmer tones veering their way through, wooden accents are slowly popping up. Many different shades provide a variety of options that can complement both light and dark color palettes. Even if you envision a modern and trendy bathroom, adding wood will create a hint of traditional style to top it off. With the many different avenues you can take, something as simple as a wooden shelving unit can transform your bathroom.

 

Freestanding Vanities

Free-standing vanities are taking center stage in newly designed bathrooms. They visually open up the look of the overall area by extending the line of sight as the flooring continues underneath. They offer the look and feel of standalone furniture but provide the same storage space and plumbing options of a more traditional one.

You can accent this look and feel with eye-catching tile patterns and shapes or add non-standard sized mirrors and backsplashes made out of recycled wood. In place of large-format or subway tiles, patterns such as Moroccan fish scales, diamond, and even arabesque will help create a bold look when paired with a larger sized vanity.

 

Hidden and Compact Storage Spaces

In this form-follows-function design trend, many people are adding compact or hidden storage spaces to the bathroom that will integrate seamlessly into your new residence. Since bathrooms in 2020 are showing to be spaces of tranquility, messy cabinets and clutter can take away from the relaxed feeling. With hidden storage spaces, your bathroom can maintain the feel of a simpler way of life.

Hidden cabinets and vanity under-space storage areas can help present a sense of organization while visually removing the clutter. This serves to create a clean, open, and relaxing atmosphere that beckons you to enter and unwind.

 

A Splash of Color

As trends are now shifting, a sprinkle of color will pair nicely with any bathroom style. The color you would like to see throughout the bathroom should be consistent with the feel you envision for the space. For example, pops of blue and green can create feelings of balance and harmony. If you’re looking to create a more luxurious feel, the color purple can help promote deep contemplation and feelings of spirituality.

Unique ways to incorporate the color include serene landscape paintings on the wall, multi-colored tiled mosaics, plants, and unique wall fixtures.

 

New Bathroom Trends for 2020

2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for those people looking to include modern design trends while simultaneously creating a luxurious and tranquil refuge for relaxation after a long day.

If you’re in the market for a new home, Hallmark Homes Group provides buyers with the option to completely customize their new home — including the bathrooms. While we include a high level of luxury features already, if you want to take your new bathroom to the next level, we can add those custom choices that will make it truly personal. Give us a call at (215) 416-0036 to learn how we can help you design and build the home of your dreams!

2020 Home Design Trends

Categories: Bucks County Homes, Home Design Trends | Posted: February 24, 2020

With a new year comes new trends, and this especially holds true for those who are thinking about buying a new home in Bucks County. 2020 brings several new and exciting home design trends that will create captivating spaces to fit every lifestyle.

This is the perfect time to buy a new house and incorporate with these latest designs. We want to share four of our favorite modern decorating trends for this year that will leave you and your family with a breathtaking place to call home:

 

Pantone Color of the Year

At the beginning of each year, Pantone, a color company that provides a universal language of color for brands across a variety of industries, selects a “Color of the Year” that often sets the trend for home decorating. This year, the Pantone color of the year is Classic Blue (Pantone 19-4052).

According to Pantone, this color: “Instills calm, confidence, and connection. The enduring blue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

There are many different ways that you can incorporate the Pantone Color of the Year into the design scheme of your new home in Bucks County. For example, painting interior walls of your living room or bedroom in Classic Blue, or custom ordering furniture in this bold trendy color.

If you prefer to use the color more subtly as an accent, there are many cost-effective ways to include smaller touches such as table lamps, candleholders, throw rugs, spray-painted picture frames, throw pillows or blankets for your couch.

Incorporating light touches of Classic Blue into your interior can pull an entire room together and add the perfect pop of color and excitement to your living space.

 

Spice Up the Kitchen

A kitchen is not just a space to store food. It is where you begin your day with a hot cup of coffee, prepare meals for your family, and gather with guests. Follow these trends from color to finishes for a new home that stands out.

 

Incorporating the Color of the Year

The color blue has has been known to have a calming effect, and why it’s an excellent choice of color to paint kitchen island and cabinets. When you consider how much time you spend in your kitchen, it makes sense for it to be a calm spot in the house that instills a good mood.

 

Brass Accents

Brass accents are another emerging kitchen trend for 2020. Faucets, cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and drawer pulls are an excellent choice as you make selections for your new home. Brass is a timeless material that offers a classic and contemporary look all at once. It blends nicely with most kitchen designs, regardless of their color. When brass hardware is contrasted with Classic Blue cabinetry or kitchen islands, it acts as a focal point that radiates light.

 

Integrated Appliances

Integrated appliances are another popular trend for homeowners in their new home in Bucks County. These appliances fit flush with the kitchen cabinetry and offer a sleek, luxurious, and modern look as they disappear into the kitchen area.

This minimalist design philosophy has given rise to such new appliances as under-counter dishwashers, cooling drawers, and column cooling units. One way to achieve this effect is to place the refrigerator behind custom wall paneling. You can also build a wall oven and other larger appliances into the cabinetry itself.

 

Wood Grain

Finally, warm wood grains in the kitchen area are making a huge comeback. They add warmth and beauty to any space they grace. When combined with a calming color, such as Classic Blue, they enhance the appeal and create a comfortable effect. The best thing about natural wood is that it pairs very well with a wide variety of decorating styles.

In terms of design, all-white kitchens are rapidly being replaced with ones that offer soft hues, such as blues and light grays. For those who prefer an all-white kitchen, adding warm wood tones and brass fixtures will add tone and balance.  Also adding subtle pops of wood on countertops, drawers, pull-outs, and even open shelving areas will add that up-to-date touch.

 

The Laundry Room

Once viewed as a utilitarian area to quickly get in, wash clothes, and get out, many homeowners are opting to rethink their laundry room and transform it by using quirky design ideas, playful colors, and exciting wallpapers.

There are many different ways to make the most of your laundry room in your new home in Bucks County. Ideas such as a dog washing area, creative storage solutions, or even a chalkboard wall can transform this normally drab work area into a lively, fun place to wash and iron your clothes—or perform a wide variety of other activities.

 

Antiques and Vintage Décor

The Grandmillennial style is an up-and-coming design trend for 2020. It was aptly named due to millennials in their 20s and 30s adding antique pieces to their apartments or homes. Think back to the various décor items that Grandma or Great-Grandma used to decorate her house with. Select a few and then blend them in with your personal ideas and items.

A great example are the Hummel figurines or plates that hung on walls years back.

If you don’t have or can’t afford antiques, a quick trip to a thrift store might score you some neat stuff. Also, home goods stores will sometimes carry brand new, but antique-looking furniture, paintings, and posters, that you can incorporate into the design of your new home in Bucks County.

 

Let Us Help

At Hallmark Homes Group, we offer a wide variety of new and move-in ready homes waiting for your personal touches. From kitchen finishes to creative color accents, when making selections for your new home, keep in mind these design trends for 2020.

We allow our buyers the option to completely customize their new home—including moving walls, staircases, and anything else you need. Contact us today to start building your dream home.

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