Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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!

Dressing Up The Food We Love On Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day from all of us at Archival Designs.  Today’s photos (other than the hot dogs), are those of Archival Designs’ Luxury House Plan, Aspen Creek.


In accordance with today’s holiday, I thought it might be appropriate to share some hot ideas to do with your dogs! Love hot dogs?  You’ll find them dressed up with creative toppers like crunchy slaw and sweet relish, then stacked high with amazing toppings like mac and cheese and creamy avocado.  These kickin’ hot dogs will be the life of your Labor Day Cookout.

  • BBQ Potato Chip Crunch Dog

Try this perfect pairing of crunchy potato chips and a right-off-the-grill hot dog. This BBQ-tastic hot dog is amazing with a sweet slathering of barbecue sauce and icy shreds of lettuce.

  • Farm-Stand Slaw Dog

Go from garden to grill in two easy steps. Toss radishes, corn, carrots, and peppers in a quick lemon and olive oil dressing to make colorful slaw that’s suitable for any hot dog.

  • Tube Steaks with Pickled Onion Topper

Sure, ketchup and mustard are great go-to toppers, but perfectly charred dogs taste even better when piled high with the bold flavor of tangy pickled onions. Toss them in red pepper flakes to turn up the heat.

  • Chicago-Style Dogs

Create a Chicago-style dog right in your backyard. Our version features an all-beef frankfurter stacked with sport peppers, mustard, and fresh veggies?all coated in tangy pickle juice and nutty poppy seeds.

  • Chili-Mac Dog

Perfect for any party, this hot dog is a crowd-pleaser. Loaded with store-bought macaroni salad, corn chips, chili, and cilantro, it’s got everything but the kitchen sink.

  • Classic Dogs with Tangy-Sweet Relish

Batter up and get ready for a dog that’ll bring you back to those baseball days of summer. Featuring snappy mustard, crunchy relish, smooth ketchup, and a juicy kosher pickle, this all-star hot dog is a surefire winner.

  • Dogs with Avocado and Chips

A simple scoop of lime-infused avocado puts a fresh spin on an ordinary hot dog. Crunchy potato chips, slivered onions, and plum tomatoes provide the tasty finale.

  • Chipotle Chili-Cheese Dogs

Chipotle, chili powder, and poppin’ jalapeno peppers make this chili-cheese dog the hottest on the block. Don’t forget to include bacon for some extra sizzling flavor.

  • Lime Beer-Braised Salsa Dog

It’s no surprise that juicy hot dogs, zesty salsa, and a chilly bottle of beer are the stuff summer parties are made of. Our 3-in-1 summer hot dog features all of these flavors, plus spicy jalapenos and a touch of crumbled queso blanco.

  • Hawaiian Dogs

Say “aloha” to a perky island-style dog, complete with a new wave of fresh toppings: caramelized onions, sweet teriyaki sauce, sesame seeds, and grilled pineapple.

  • Pickled Peach and Bacon Dogs with Arugula Mayo

Pretty peaches make a deliciously sweet statement in this bacon-packed hot dog. We quick-pickle the peaches to enhance their bright flavor and add a little tang, then finish off with a savory slathering of our homemade arugula mayo.

  • Mac and Cheese Dog

Mac and cheese on a hot dog? Oh, we went there. First, make your mac and cheese, then pile it on your hot dog. Add a pinch of chili powder, and you’ll love this nostalgic combo of two favorite childhood foods.

  • Chilean-Style Hot Dog with Avocado-Chili Relish

Classic American frankfurters go South of the Border when embellished with avocado, cilantro, chile peppers, and zippy garlic sauce. Serve on a toasty hoagie bun.

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!

How About Lobster Pot Pie for the Fourth?

This week my laptop was compromised, and as a result, I have not been able to complete the blog I set out to broadcast today. Instead, I have decided to put a real twist on today’s Thursday blog.  Here’s a subject I haven’t touched on; food.  I found this wonderful lobster pot pie recipe, and had to share it with you. Next week we’ll be back with our normal Monday morning economic housing briefing.

Have a Wonderful Fourth of July! Today’s photo is Archival Designs’ Award Winning Sussex House Plan.

Tropical Lobster Pot Pie Recipe Rejuvenates a Classic

This interesting lobster take on the pot pie classic is from Grace Bay Club’s internationally recognized Executive Chef Wolfgang von Weiser. With white truffle oil and succulent lobster, this seafood dish is bound to become a favorite during lobster season!

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
•12 oz cleaned lobster tails, cut into bite-size pieces
•16 oz lobster bisque
•Sheet of puff pastry
•White Truffle oil
•Tinned black truffle shavings
•8oz Orzo Pasta
•Carrots and Asparagus spears
Directions:

Partially poach the Lobster pieces in vegetable stock.

Place the pieces into oven safe ceramic bowls and cover the pieces with lobster bisque, taking care not to overfill (if the pastry touches the bisque it will not cook through). Cover with the puff pastry, brushing the pastry lightly with egg yolk.

Place the pies into a preheated oven, set at 350 Fahrenheit for 12 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Cook the Orzo pasta in a light vegetable stock, strain and stir in a teaspoon of olive oil.

Blanch the carrots and asparagus in the same stock and arrange the pasta in a deep soup bowl with the vegetables around the edge.

Once the pastry on the pies is golden brown, remove the pies from the oven and set to the side.

Take 2 teaspoons of truffle shavings, mixed with half a teaspoon of white truffle oil and spread on top of the pies. The oil is very strong, so be sparing.

Presentation of dish:

At the table, cut the pastry cover off the pie, placing it to the side in the bowl of Orzo pasta.

Transfer the pieces of the lobster into the same bowl and drizzle with the bisque from the pie.

Garnish with a lemon wedge.

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

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!