Uncategorized Updates On House & Home Plans

NAHB Federation Honors America’s Military Heroes

Monday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, and the NAHB federation salutes the sacrifices made by our nation’s military heroes as they risk their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy as American citizens.

NAHB’s members and HBAs around the country are making sure that these military heroes have homes to come back to by working with military support groups such as Homes for Our TroopsOperation Finally Home, theMilitary Warriors Support FoundationOperation Coming Home and other organizations. They are helping these military heroes realize their own American Dream of homeownership by renovating, building and donating accessible homes designed specifically for the needs of a combat veteran. Two new videos show how NAHB members provide homes for injured veterans and how the Building Systems Council provided one veteran with a mortgage-free home. Contact: Gwyn Donohue (800-368-5242 x8447).

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Market Continues to Improve

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market showed continued improvement in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter of last year, according to the most recent NAHB 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) analysis, which was released on Nov. 7. All segments of the market – single-family homes, multifamily condos and multifamily rental – recorded strong increases.

There are separate 55+ HMIs for two of the three market segments. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, traffic of prospective buyers and anticipated sales for the next six months are good, fair or poor. An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good.

The single-family 55+ HMI increased 14 points to a level of 50, the highest third-quarter number since the inception of the index in 2008 and the eighth consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. The multifamily condo 55+ HMI rose 14 points to 37, also the highest level since the inception of the index. Additionally, all of the 55+ multifamily rental components showed strong gains in the third quarter.

“We have seen steady improvement in the 55+ housing sector as buyers and renters are attracted to new homes and communities that offer the lifestyle they desire,” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “Although the market is significantly stronger than it has been in recent years, we still have a ways to go to get back to full production.”

According to NAHB Chief Economist Dave Crowe, “right now, the positive year over year increase in confidence by builders for the 55+ market is tracking right along with other segments of the home building industry. And like other segments of the industry, the 55+ market is improving in part because consumers are more likely to be able to sell their current homes, which allows them to buy a new home or move into an apartment that suits their specific needs.

Today’s photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Luxury Estate Plan, Essex House.

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Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 to 14,814 sf, and Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house desgins offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!

Fab Fall Centerpieces

September 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

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Today’s two interior home photos are those of Archival Designs’ Luxury House Plan, Monclay. These two photos worked seemlessly with the harvest colors and tone to today’s blog.

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Give your table a festive look with a pretty centerpiece that’s perfect for fall gatherings – large or small. Our tips for fall centerpieces help you incorporate natural and faux elements into your decor for a festive and bright fall table.

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Dress Up Fall Fruits

Add a bit of sparkle to the rich palette of autumn with this simple idea for fallcenterpieces. Choose a few complementary pears or apples and adorn in a variety of patterns with adhesive decals in shimmering silver, bronze, and gold tones. Group together in a bowl or place a few along the length of a table runner.

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Cover Pumpkins in Flowers

For pretty and quick fall centerpieces, create this beautiful autumn centerpiece with a small pumpkin, a grocery-store bouquet, and hot glue. Choose a bouquet of mums in harvest colors, and cut each flower just below the flower head. Attach each blossom to an uncut pumpkin with a dab of hot glue. Sprinkle colorful leaves and small gourds around the pumpkins for added interest.

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Repurpose Old Globes as Fall Centerpieces

This arrangement is as attractive as it is easy. Turn old globes into a distinctive fall centerpieces for a unique spin on seasonal decorations. Separate the globe’s hemispheres and fill each one with colorful leaves, seedpods, small pumpkins and gourds, pinecones, and bittersweet.

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Paint a Pumpkin for the Focal Point

This humble cornucopia takes a glamorous turn with a single mini pumpkin dressed in shining gold. Arrange pears, apples, and gourds in a cornucopia. Brush silver Luster Dust (available at a crafts store) onto the tops and stems of white mini pumpkins that are clean, dry, and at room temperature; scatter several at different spots around the house for stunning fall centerpieces and place at the center of the cornucopia.

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Create a Gilded Fall Centerpiece

To add instant color to your fallcenterpieces, fill a gilded pitcher with a brilliant bouquet of roses, dahlias, and rose hips. Lightly spray flower petals and rose hips with gold paint to echo the glint of the pitcher.

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Use Indian Corn in Fall Centerpieces

Nestle colorful ears of corn on a bed of wheat for a feast of earthy color and texture that’s distinctly fall. Fit a shallow bowl with dry florist’s foam, leaving the foam an inch or two taller than the bowl. Insert wheat stalks into the foam, parallel to the table top. Partially remove the husks from several ears of Indian corn and arrange them on top of the wheat.

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Create Bountiful Fall Centerpieces with Vegetables

What better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving harvest than by creating fallcenterpieces using a feast of gorgeous green vegetables? To make, stretch two sturdy rubber bands around a white pillar candle, then tuck green beans or asparagus under the bands. Cover the rubber bands with satin ribbon. To make the artichoke candleholder, cut the top off and a bit of the center out of the artichoke. Set the candle in the hole. Decorate the platter with a few white mums and hypericum berry sprigs.

Note: For safety reasons, do not let candles burn unattended. Only let candles burn for an hour or two at a time, and do not burn them down to the rubber band.

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Get Creative with Candles

Garnish plain pillar candles with leaves for elegant and understated fall centerpieces. Choose a few favorite leaves from your lawn. Determine placement of leaves on each candle. Coat the backs of the leaves with decoupage medium and smooth in place on the outside of the candle. If necessary, use tacky white crafts glue to hold the stems down. Cover the sides of the candle and the leaves with one or more coats of decoupage medium.

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Add Personalized Messages

Show your guests that you’re thankful for them this fall with a tabletop tree full of leaves and personal messages, which offer an inspirational way to personalize fall centerpieces. Arrange twigs vertically in an urn, and anchor the arrangement with decorative rocks. Write short messages on decorative paper, punch a hole in one corner of each piece, and tie the notes to the twigs using skinny ribbon. Fill in spaces with colorful faux leaves, available at crafts stores. For added fun, sprinkle blank cards and writing utensils on the table for guests to write their own messages to add to the tree or other fall centerpieces.

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Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 to 14,814 sf, and Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!

Aspen Creek – Archival Designs’ Plan of the Month in Review

April 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Archival Designs’ highlighted luxury house plan for the month of April is Aspen Creek. Whether the grandparents are coming for avisit or college students coming home to roost for awhile, this one story 3584 square foot luxury plan will fill all your needs and dreams!

I like to call these homes, tri-homes, as they can be occupied by three generations. From 2005 to 2009, family households added about 3.8 million extended family members, from adult siblings and in-laws to cousins and nephews. Extended family members now make up 8.2% of family households, up from 6.9% in 2005, according to Census data out this week. The economic downtown over the last several years has caused families to move in together. There are also signs of a shift from family households. For the first time in more than a century, more than half of people aged 25 to 34 have never been married.

So having said all that, let’s take a look at Archival Designs‘ Luxury House Plan, Aspen Creek.

As you enter the luxurious foyer, you’ll notice it is flanked by a cozy study with coffered ceiling and built-ins; and a guest bedroom, complete with a full bath and walk-in closet. This first floor guest bedroom is a wonderful choice for elderly parents, with no steps to go up and down, offering a well-lit area for reading, relaxing and enjoying the view through the doors to the private patio. The quiet study can be entered through the master suite or the foyer, while double doors lead to a private front patio.

Centrally located in the main living area are the family room, kitchen, and keeping room, separated only by the breakfast bar in the gourmet kitchen. While the pantry and desk are built into the kitchen, you’ll love the corner fireplace, hutch and shelves built into the keeping room. Outside the keeping room, enjoy barbequing on the cooking patio. The 12 foot ceiling in the family room affords a feeling of openness, while the windows in the family room, offer well lit rooms with scenic views onto the outdoor lounge, cooking area and (concept) pool.

To the right of the central living area are two family bedrooms, each with walk-in closets and full baths. One of the bedrooms is in close proximity to the one-car garage, with access to the vaulted-ceiling game room. This would be great for that college student or older teen. Access to the garage can also be obtained via the lanai from the pool area.

On the left side of this floor plan is the elegant master suite, boasting a luxurious bath with his and hers vanities, separate shower, corner garden tub and huge wardrobe area with built-ins. Private entrances from the master suite lead to the study and the outdoor lounge. A utility room completes this luxury floor plan.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.  Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 14,814 sf. Our Newport classsic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs offered.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one could be just for you!

Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5?

October 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Luxury Items, Uncategorized

Now we’re not suggesting one phone over another, but  I’ve noticed a lot of buzz trending on the battle between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5.  These two tech smart devices can confuse any savvy shopper.  So let’s compare:

The iPhone 5 launched to mixed reviews – some were mad happy about the iPhone 5, and some others found it lackluster and pedestrian. The Samsung Galaxy S3 came out this summer and met with glowing reviews worldwide – its only real criticism was the cheap plastic back. So, which phone is the daddy at the moment? Let’s take a look at the specs and features to find the answer.

The iPhone 5 is a beautiful piece of work – it’s thin and made of glass and metal. The back of the iPhone 5 is in three columns, which makes it look intricate and delicate. It weighs just 112g, so is lighter than the 4S.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes in six colour variants, and is curvy and chunky compared to the iPhone 5. It’s wider, fatter and heavier, at 133g. Design wise it is no contest, Apple takes the cake. Winner: iPhone 5

Apple has slightly redesigned the iPhone 5 display – it is now 4” with a 1,136x640p. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is also benefitting from a larger SuperAMOLED display – 4.8”. Both screens are HD and have 16:9 ratios, so size is the clincher in this case. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3

The Samsung Galaxy S3 also has an 8MP camera, as well as a burst mode, smile detection, blurring and contrast choices, blink detection. These add-ons are great, but they still don’t help it to catch up to the BSI sensor on the iPhone 5. It just can’t take low light photos as well as the iPhone 5, so the 5 wins this round. Winner: iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 has the latest Apple OS – iOS 6, as well as an updated App Store and better iCloud support. Siri has also had a revamp. The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with Ice Cream Sandwich, but is waiting for Jelly Bean. The OS choice is tough. To sum up; if you’re after something that leaps out of the box and gets to work, go for iOS 6. If you prefer tinkering a bit to get your phone how you want – launchers, default apps and so on – then go for Android. Winner: It’s up to you!

The iPhone 5 has an A6 chip, which gives better and faster processing. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 1.4GHz Exynos quad-core chip, as well as 1GB of RAM. These two phones are almost on the same level, despite clock speeds and extra cores, if you look at the Geekbench test scores. There’s very little difference in ops too since both platforms work buttery smooth. Heavy multitasking, watching HD movies, and general UI performance when loading apps all show smooth performance. Winner: Draw.

The iPhone 5 battery is 1,440mAh, which gives you around eight hours to talk or 10 hours on Wi-Fi. The Samsung Galaxy S3 battery is bigger, and promises to give around twice the usage, but in real life it doesn’t. Tests with a looped video and WiFi on showed that both phones gave up at around 7.5 hours. Winner: Draw.

Both phones have 16, 32 and 64GB options, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 can be expanded up to 64GB with a microSD card. The winner is clear. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3.

Connectivity: The Samsung Galaxy S3 uses a generic microUSB cable like most other smartphones on any platform. The iPhone 5 has a specific, proprietary new connector that only works with the iPhone 5 – it doesn’t work even with any other iOS 6 gadgets on the market at the moment. The iPhone 5 lacks NFC, wireless charging and MHL. So the S3 wins out in this respect. Winner: Samsung Galaxy S3

Both of these phones are market leaders – they have drawn in four categories and scored three points each. As the phones are evenly matched with just the OS platform depending on your personal preference, your choice will be based on whether you like using iOS 6 or Android ICS.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes.   Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and Palladian homes, English Manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian Villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 14,814 sf.  Our Newport Classic house plan designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf.  Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs or browse our photo gallery to get a sense of the many styles and types of house designs we offer.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one plan could be just for you!

Pictured: Archival Designs Luxury Storybook Castle, Corrineaux Estate.

Vacation Time!

September 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Archival Designs News, Uncategorized

There will not be a blog this Thursday, as I am on vacation at the Ravenwood Castle in Ohio, where there is no cell service, internet or television.

Ravenwood offers a wide array of accommodations, from castle guest rooms and medieval cottages to rustic Fairy Tale Cabins and gypsy wagons.

I’ll be staying in Rapunzel’s Tower, and will be back next week to report on my adventure. Have a great week!

Interested in your own castle?  Visit our website at www.archivaldesigns.com where you can choose from more than 400 house designs and house plans. We offer house designs in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and Palladian homes, English Manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and Colonial house plans. Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 13,600 sf. Our Newport Classics house designs are gentrified New England-style cottages that range from 1500 to 5000 square feet. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world. Please feel free to search our house designs or browse our photo gallery to get a sense of the many styles and types of house designs we offer. Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubai, and one plan could be just for you!

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