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Details Matter: Light Up Your Home and Light Up Your Life | Pictured: Model home at The Woodlands, Waterbridge-80' Homesites in The Woodlands, TX 77375
Design

Details Matter: How to Bring Light to Every Room in Your Home

Guest Contributor Lee K. Crowder, Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager for Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes

Darling Homes builds in the metro areas of Dallas and Houston. However, no matter where you live, sooner or later the sun goes down (or the clouds come out) and Mother Nature needs an assist. That’s where smart lighting choices come in. Lee Crowder, our Design Gallery and Home Branding Manager, offers illuminating insights about home lighting in our Details Matter series.

Let the Sunshine In!

Lee Crowder says home lighting begins with the floorplan’s design and how the home is situated on the homesite.

Whether you get sun exposure throughout the day or only during certain times of day depends on whether you home has an East/West or North/South orientation. Pay attention to the site plan when you’re shopping for a new home. If you love waking up to morning sunshine, you’ll want your owner’s suite facing east. If you savor watching sunsets, pick a home with a balcony or picture window facing west.

Lee K. Crowder

The thought and attention that goes into details like site orientation are part of the Darling Homes Experience.  

Obviously, the more windows in your home, the more natural light you’ll enjoy throughout the day. If that’s your vision of perfection, then look for homes with volume ceilings and windows that soar the full two stories, typically offered in great rooms, living rooms and owners suites.

Home design 6734 at The Woodlands, Smooth Stream - 65' Patio Homesites | 3,415 Sq. Ft. | 3 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2 Half Baths | 3 Garage | 2 Stories

By contrast, rooms with lower ceilings (9 feet of height vs 11 feet or more) reduce the amount of natural light and make the space feel darker at times.

Dealing with Shade

Family rooms that open onto covered patios tend to be darker. In that case, Lee suggests adding extra LED flush-mounted lighting. This may also be a solution for brightening up a secondary bedroom where there’s only one window.

Perhaps your foyer could use some brightening during the day.  Add glass panel insert windows to your front door and let natural light flow into your home.  If you have a small or narrow entry, you might want to borrow this trick.

Landscaping is another consideration that can impact natural light. “Trees and tall shrubbery can cut down significantly on the amount of sunshine your home receives,” says Lee.

Finally, don’t overlook window coverings that provide privacy (and protect upholstery) without blocking natural light. “Your Design Consultant at the Taylor Morrison Design Studio can show you a variety of suitable window treatments for this purpose that will complement your overall design scheme.”

Brighten Up and Lighten Up

Okay, you’ve made the most of the available sunshine. Let’s see what design tips and tricks Lee advises for creating the illusion of light. Paint, especially white paint, can be your best friend, according to Lee.

“A neutral base color for your rooms will make your home look brighter, while also giving you greater flexibility with the rest of your color palette. Off-set the neutral walls with crisp, white trim for a bright, sophisticated look. And don’t overlook the power white ceilings have to create the illusion of height and spaciousness, even in small rooms.”

24/7 Daylight at Your Fingertips

Lucky us. We can flip a switch (or punch a smartphone app) and light up the darkest space, creating everything from the brilliance of sunlight to the soft ambient glow of moonlight. Best of all, we can do it without generating the harsh shadows or excessive heat of the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

“At Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes we use LED ceiling flush-mounted lights instead of traditional can lights. These are thin disks that affix easily to the ceiling and let you add LED lighting to any room in the house. They have the added advantages of lasting longer than incandescent can lights and, because they collect no dust, you won’t need to open the fixture to clean them. That’s a big plus!”

Lee recommends reviewing your various spaces and ceiling heights to determine where to add more LED disks.

“If you spend a lot of time in the room doing things like reading, crafts, office or homework and other tasks that require good light, you’ll want additional disks. If the ceilings are low, adding more disks is a clever way to make the room appear larger. They make it a snap to find clothing, especially in a deep walk-in closet. And they are ideal over vanities where you want good light for applying makeup and grooming.”

In bedrooms or family rooms, especially in warmer climates, you should consider adding a light kit to your ceiling fans to get the benefit of cooling and illumination in one package.

Designing with Light and Light Fixtures

Explore the lighting design in person by taking a tour of our 5031 Model Plan at Lakewood at Brookhollow in Prosper, TX | Models open daily.

Take the virtual tour of our 5031 Model Plan at Lakewood at Brookhollow in Prosper, TX and you’ll notice dramatic pendant lights over the kitchen island as well as flush-mounted disk lights in the ceiling. “Your kitchen is certainly someplace where you don’t want to skimp on lighting, and this model demonstrates how you can have the design element of pendants combined with highly functional but inconspicuous ceiling lights.”

Sparkle and Shine Your Way

A major perk of buying a new Darling home is your visit to the Design Gallery. “You’ll see a dazzling selection of lighting fixtures for task lighting and mood-setting, along with hardware, flooring, wall and window treatment options, appliances and much more,” says Lee. “It’s your opportunity to make your home reflect your taste with the expert help of a professional design consultant.”

Here’s a Bright Idea

It’s a great time to visit a Darling Home community near you. Touring a few model homes is an excellent way to understand how much details matter when they’re thoughtfully combined. It’s a fun way to spark your imagination and turn on a few creative lightbulbs, too! Explore all our Darling Homes communities online, find the one that’s absolutely YOU and plan a visit today.

Design

Design Trends for 2019

Each new year brings home design trends that are meant to refresh and reimagine the home. Darling Homes has a long history of making sure its homes lead the way in both style and design. The builder accomplishes this by incorporating design trends that will add to a home’s authenticity while further elevating its innovation. Take a look at a few favorite design trends for 2019.

High Contrast

This year, the use of high contrast is a huge trend that will be incorporated into home design. With Darling Homes, you’ll begin to notice dark countertops paired with white cabinets and light gray flooring paired with black cabinets. This trend will also be incorporated into plumbing with the use of black or dark hardware, plumbing and light fixtures against bright white countertops and walls to create a look that is striking and distinctive.

Neutral Color Palette

Neutral color palettes will be incorporated into homes in 2019. When introducing a neutral palette, the focus is more on layering textures and patterns. Rather than incorporating bright colors to decorate the home, the Hygge cozy decorating trend is gaining acceptance through the use of fluffy rugs, oversized woven throws and lots of pillows to create a cozy and relaxed feel.

Exterior color palettes will feature soft whites for painted brick and trim/siding as well as various warm charcoal colors that pair extremely well with Darling Homes brick and stone elevations. Stucco elevations have moved into a more modern feel by using less colors and an updated palette.

This year’s color of the year is Classic French Gray by Sherwin Williams. This color is not only a gorgeous gray but is a deep, rich and warm color that is very versatile. It is timeless and richer than previous popular grays that gave off a colder tone. The color can add elegance to a study or bedroom and is even a great way to update your exterior trim or garage door. Darling Homes’ color of the year will also speak to color popularity but be timeless and thoughtful of creating a lasting color palette.

Healthy Living Design Elements

Healthy living is another element that both home builders and owners are more concerned with this year. Darling Homes is considering healthy living from decorations to flooring. The use of real plants like succulents, fiddle leaf figs and air plants as well as swapping soft surfaces like carpet with wood flooring will be incorporated this year.

Replacing carpet with wood will not only remove added dust and dirt but also eliminates additional chemicals that could affect those living in the home. Additionally, wood flooring requires less upkeep and adds a natural element to the home, which will help combat allergies and skin sensitivity issues. Other elements that aide in creating a healthier home are well-made healthy mattresses, rugs made from natural material, less draperies and more plantation shutters.

Material Design Trends      

2019 brings a number of trends in materials that will be incorporated into the home. This includes:

  • Concrete Finish Tiles – These tiles create a more industrial look.
  • Pattern Tiles – These are an exciting addition to the market that allows buyers to add a bit of personality to a backsplash or a small area like a powder bath or utility room.
  • Large Format Tiles -These large tiles (24” x 28” in many cases) will create an overall sleek look for a backsplash. These are a great option for buyers who want that more modern simple look of a stone backsplash.
  • Light washed wood -Woods available in grays, whites and taupes are still very big design trends that create an open and spacious feel in the home

Lighting     

This year, lighting can be used to create a unique personality for the home. Exposed bulbs are still very important in terms of design of lighting. Exposed bulbs paired with brass, black and warm wood accents are creating lighting that will not only serve as a source of lighting but also a focal point in a room. Incorporating a great fixture in the powder bath or a show stopping fixture in the entry way will allow the home’s distinct personality to shine through.

Design Themes

A home’s aesthetic adds theme, personality and feeling to the home. Darling Homes is focusing on six curated design aesthetics in the models to create aspirational homes that will help homebuyers with designing their own authentic home. These themes are DHModern, Southern Charm, Practical Glamour, Seaside Coastal, Global View and Iconic. DHModern will be front and center as the team is designing more and more of the models and exterior streetscapes to relate to that modern look that buyers are asking for.

Each Darling home is designed to be striking and distinctive from the inside out so that each homeowner and guests never forget the first step into a Darling home as it is an experience that reveals a story of purpose, comfort and sophistication. Distinctive design and new home dreams can come true with a beautiful new Darling home in Dallas or Houston.

Design

Tips for Building a New Home with Darling

Your home is a reflection of who you are and what your life means to you. A new home is your chance to create the perfect space for you and your family. It’s a chance to create a lasting memory for all who visit or live in it. But getting to that point can sometimes seem daunting. Where do you start? What are your choices?

If you’re building your new home with one of Texas’ most recognized brands, Darling Homes, then you’re in good hands. With more than three decades of building experience and some of the industry’s most innovative plans, a Darling home can be everything you long for your dream home to be.

Thoughtful Designs Abound

Darling has carefully crafted collections of home designs that cater to the needs and desires of homebuyers. Their style is unforgettable, and the features offered demonstrate the care and thought that’s gone into each plan.

The building professionals at Darling have taken the time to get to know what homebuyers are looking for in their next home and they’ve taken the time to incorporate those design attributes that set their homes apart.

Getting Started

There are several things to think about when buying a new home: Where do you spend most of your time in your home? Where do you want to live? How important is entertaining space? Are you looking for a move-in ready, showcase home or do you want to personalize it with your own design selections?

Each Darling Homes community in Dallas and Houston is staffed by experienced community sales managers that can help you pour over those decisions and arrive at the best plan of action for your new home purchase.

They can help you select the best homesite, point out available structural options for your new home and guide you through the build process to make sure your needs are met each step of the way.

Designing Your Dream Home

The Darling team of design professionals help make your dream a reality, by assisting you with options for finishes, fixtures, paint colors and more. They’re available to guide your selections and help you arrive at a cohesive design plan for your home. Will that wood flooring look best in the kitchen? What color should the cabinets be? Does the main living space mesh with the colors and finishes chosen for the master suite? Darling’s design team can answer those questions and many more. They’re available to give your home the look you’ve dreamt of owning.

What About Home Construction?

If you’ve chosen to build a new home from the ground up with Darling, you’ll have a front-row seat to the level of professionalism and coordination that the builder employs to make each new home build as smooth as possible.

Home construction begins once all selections have been made and a personalized meeting with the construction superintendent has been completed. Once construction starts, your community sales manager and construction superintendent will communicate often to ensure that your home meets expectation.

Bringing it Home

Darling strives to provide the best customer service possible. Communicating on a regular basis with your community sales manager helps ensure that your expectations are understood, and the building schedule is met. The Darling Homes team prides itself on being available to answer your questions – and all of your questions – throughout the build and beyond.

Whatever home or community you choose, rest assured that members of the Darling Homes team are available every step of the way. After all, you’ve chosen a homebuilder with a legacy of creating homes that offer the utmost in quality and design. There’s a reason it’s called the Darling Difference.

Design

Unique Features Available in Darling Homes

Darling Homes is known for leaving a lasting impression in Dallas and Houston communities with highly rated locations, sophisticated plan designs and a commitment to providing the best in customer service. Whether you tour a model, purchase a home or are involved in the real estate business, Darling homes are simply unforgettable.

The high level of architectural authenticity and thoughtfully-designed transitions throughout make these distinctive designs easy to personalize and a pleasure to call home.

The Art of Living

Before construction begins, an entire team of homebuilding experts goes to work to ensure the home is built with the architectural touches that make Darling Homes unique. Design elements that demonstrate the art of living inside Darling homes include:

  • Terminating views, where carefully designed rooms ensure privacy outside of the main living areas
  • Thoughtful transition spaces, leaving room to breathe and move between rooms comfortably
  • Understanding the homebuyer. Darling homes are built in a wide variety of designs to meet the needs and desires of customers, no matter what their stage of life
  • Intimate volume, where varying ceiling heights create a peaceful, quiet atmosphere

Innovative Product

Darling Homes is consistently adding new communities, floor plan designs and flexible options to meet the needs of homebuyers in Texas. In every home that Darling builds, the design is executed with intentional care to help build the next chapter of the owner’s life.

Innovative Darling Homes’ designs include features such as:

  • The Darling Loop: This signature piece connects the master closet to the utility room in select homes, giving you unparalleled access to laundry for ease of housekeeping.
  • Views of the backyard, open living spaces in the heart of the home and lofty living areas in many two-story designs create connected and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Flexibility and functionality. Darling Design Galleries allow homebuyers to choose their ideal finishes.
  • Kitchens that make use of the work triangle in the kitchen between the sink, pantry and fridge boost maximum productivity.
  • Mud lockers available in select homes for extra organization.

Each Darling home design offers unique options from outdoor fireplaces and three-car garages to bay windows and downstairs media rooms. Ask us how you can personalize your dream home!

Uniquely Yours

Darling Homes puts an emphasis on personalization to create a home that is uniquely yours. Every step of the way, from your first model home tour to receiving the keys to your dream home, there are homebuilding experts available to help create the home you’ve always wanted. Each home helps resident connect to each other and to the community, molding an atmosphere that feels comfortable from the moment you walk through the door.

Want more information on how to create your personalized dream home with Darling Homes? Please visit https://www.darlinghomes.com/experience to learn more about the Darling Difference.

Design

Prepping your Texas Home for the Holidays

Darling Homes are created with distinctive dining areas, perfect for hosting elegant dinner parties or gathering loved ones for special occasions. Now that the holiday season is just around the corner, it’s time to get your Darling home in Dallas or Houston ready to host the holidays!

Decorating

No matter which holidays you celebrate – or if you just enjoy reuniting with loved ones as the year winds down – decorations can bring in hints of the season and make your home feel cozy and warm. From door wreaths to wall hangings and tablescapes to throw pillows, it’s simple to change out décor to reflect the holidays from Halloween to the New Year.

Need ideas for inspiration? Check out the Darling Homes’ Pinterest board for all things holiday-related, including ideas for:

  • Themed wreaths
  • Mantle decorations
  • Centerpieces
  • Front porch decorations
  • Candle holders and more!

Guest Rooms

If you’re hosting your loved ones this holiday season, don’t worry – Darling Homes’ designs incorporate ample room in the common spaces for entertainment, while simultaneously providing homeowners with intentional privacy in master suites, guest suites and other bedrooms.

To make sure your guests are comfortable, take advice from Lee Crowder, Darling Homes’ Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager, on what creates the ideal guest space. Consider building a coffee or tea bar, giving visitors easy access and instructions to the WiFi and TV, and adding a basket filled with toiletries and other small necessities to ensure guests feel well-taken care of during their stay.

Set the Menu

When you’re preparing to host a holiday meal, consider asking guests for their dietary needs. Incorporating vegetarian or gluten-free options for guests with restricted diets can help everyone enjoy their holiday. Each holiday occasion is defined by different specialties, such as turkey or pie on Thanksgiving, but creating the ideal menu has never been easier. Darling Homes has compiled Pinterest boards for Delicious Dining and Thanksgiving Recipes to help you prepare to whip up a feast!

Some favorite recipe ideas include:

  • Maple Dijon roasted carrots
  • Savory pumpkin soup with chopped pecans
  • Roasted fall vegetables
  • Garlic green beans
  • Bacon wrapped asparagus… and many more!

Seasonal décor, thoughtful menu selections and everything in between can help create a cozy and welcoming atmosphere while you host the holidays and build treasured memories with loved ones year after year.

Design

Creating a Child’s Dream Room

A child’s bedroom is a place to play, imagine new worlds, explore creativity and grow. With Darling Homes, it’s easy to help your child create their own sanctuary in Houston or Dallas.

When it comes to creating the ideal space for children of any age, Lee Crowder, Darling Homes’ Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager, recommends letting kids express themselves in their bedroom.

“Let them get involved!” Crowder said. “Take them to pick out paint colors, wall art, bedding. Make it a fun adventure that lets them show off their style.”

Crowder said the key to designing any child’s room is to start with a well-crafted, high-quality bed that can last through the child’s years living at home – and beyond.

“Buy a bed that stands the test of time, something that has a simple, pleasing design,” Crowder said. “Buy a bed that is a nice, beautiful piece of furniture so that the child can then take it as part of their furniture when they move out.”

Crowder advises parents and guardians to let kids have fun with colorful paint, wallpaper, bedding and decor. Focal points such as an accent wall, gallery of photos, trophy collections, monogrammed names and more can help transform a normal bedroom into a child’s dream room.

“Let the kids have rooms that don’t match the rest of the house, to be their place and their safe haven. Wallpaper, paint and decor is all easy to redecorate later,” Crowder said.

When it comes to furniture, Crowder has some recommendations of what make the ideal bedroom. Her list of must-haves includes:

  • Bed with a high-quality mattress
  • Desk
  • Large dresser
  • Nightstands
  • Comfortable chair

The comfortable chair and desk can be used for a reading nook, homework space or a place to relax, unwind and play games.

The way furniture is positioned in a room can open it up as well. Getting a full-size bed or a day bed and pushing it up against the wall opens up floor space for an active child and placing a dresser inside a closet can offer opportunities for desks and other items in a bedroom without making the room feel crowded.

“Focus on personalization,” Crowder said. “That’s the most important part of designing a child’s bedroom. From there, it’s easy to adapt as the kids change and grow.”

At Home Design

Creating the Perfect Guest Space in your Home

Now that you’ve found your Darling Homes dream home in Houston or Dallas, it’s time to create a space for visitors. From selecting a room to choosing decor and accessories, creating the ideal guest space takes careful selection and thoughtful touches.

Lee Crowder, Design Gallery and Model Home Branding Manager for Darling Homes, offered her advice to help create an impeccable space for visitors. In Darling Homes’ designs, certain plans include guest casitas or secondary suites, providing a set space for guests to reside.

In homes without a space created specifically for guests, Crowder recommends selecting a room for visitors away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home. Choosing a bedroom away from children’s rooms or media and flex rooms can help to create a feeling of privacy within the home.

Crowder recommends putting in a queen size bed. “Make sure it’s soft and comfortable, with good linens and a beautiful throw available – prepare for a range of temperatures so your guests always feels at ease in the room,” Crowder said.

Key furniture pieces must include a place for storage – chairs, nightstands, dressers or benches can create space for guests to place their luggage or clothing to make themselves feel more comfortable.

“Know your guests’ needs. Do they take coffee or tea? Adding a coffee bar or an electric kettle can go a long way,” Crowder said, noting that leaving a basket of important items is a key element to crafting the perfect guest room.

A basket with snacks, small toiletries, spare toothbrushes, fresh towels and other items you think guests may need is a way to help them settle into the space and ensure they will be taken care of during their stay.

“It’s about creating a welcoming environment,” Crowder said. “Fresh flowers are a nice touch, and make sure to include the information for the WiFi, how to work the TV, and any other information your visitors may need.”

Crowder also recommends continuing the themes, color and decor that exist throughout the rest of your home. Consider the guest suite to be additional space to display your personality in your Darling home.

What makes you feel at home? When planning a space for visitors, think about what makes you feel at ease and incorporate those elements into your guest room.

 

Darling Difference Design

Organizing your Darling Homes Kitchen

With Darling Homes, your kitchen is built for efficiency from the start with a distinctively designed work triangle comprised of the fridge, sink and cooktop. This ensures everything is within reach from preparation, to cooking and cleaning.

This leading Texas homebuilder helps homeowners create a kitchen meant for everyday use by offering upgrades that help with organization, including silverware and knife drawers, trash pull-outs, wine glass and bottle storage and the choice to have pull-out drawers instead of shelves in bottom cabinets.  

After purchasing and personalizing your Darling Homes gourmet kitchen, it’s time to start filling your space with cooking gadgets, cookbooks, pots and pans.

While moving in, it’s important to consider which items are most useful in your everyday life, from pots and pans, to dishware and food storage containers. These heavily-used objects are best kept within the cabinets closest to the work triangle.

Use this method throughout the kitchen, with frequently used items close at hand and lesser used objects further away to help create a natural flow for cooking new recipes and cleaning up. For example, keep plates, cups, mugs, utensils and other everyday tableware near the stovetop, fridge and dishwasher.

For essentials, such as coffee, tea, sugar and flour, find chic countertop or pantry containers with easy-access lids to help cut down on prep time and provide stylish storage space.

For larger utensils, such as spatulas, whisks and more, a countertop storage unit or designated drawer can provide ample space and store various sizes of items conveniently. Shelf organizers, spice racks and knife blocks help keep different kitchen necessities separate but easy to access for food preparation.

Real Simple magazine lists other tips and tricks to adopt for kitchen organization, like dividing drawers, using trendy baskets for additional storage, and keeping your countertops clear by hanging paper lists and calendars on the wall.

After moving in to your Darling dream home, how will you organize your kitchen for culinary success?

Design

New Elevations Bring Fresh Charm to Darling Homes

Darling Homes continually strives to bring its customers the best in quality-crafted houses in Dallas and Houston. Over the last 30 years, offering fresh home designs in a variety of new communities has allowed Darling Homes to continually meet the needs of today’s discerning homebuyers.

Elevations are key elements to providing customers with distinctive curb appeal that leaves a lingering impression before you walk through the door. This year, new exterior design styles will be incorporated into Darling Homes communities in Houston and Dallas. The styles will broaden curb appeal for Texas homebuyers. A range of exterior styles gives customers the ability to truly craft their dream home with Darling Homes, inside and out.

Recently, several elevations have been introduced in Houston to bring a wider range of exterior options. One of these styles stepping up the curb appeal is a new modern elevation, and it can be found at The Woodlands Cassena Grove and Avalon at Sienna Plantation in the Villa Collection opening in early 2018. Both of these are in the Houston area, bringing in an alternative front for shoppers to select.

In Dallas, several up-and-coming communities are adding fresh elevations. Estates at Shaddock Park in Frisco just debuted its first Darling Homes models, complete with range of choices for elevations like Traditional and Mediterranean. Stonegate, which will open later this year in Irving, will offer selections for a varied curb appeal as well.

In each Darling Homes community, a variety of exterior designs creates unique streetscapes filled with sophisticated, timeless style. Varying elevation styles and incorporating timeless designs provides customers with the home of their dreams in the location that best fits their lifestyle and desires.

*Artist rendering, not actual photograph.

Design

Put Spring Into Your Home

Spring is in the air, and Darling Homes is ready to leap into the season with home decor and color palettes that include bright tones. Follow Darling Homes Houston or Darling Homes DFW on Pinterest for idea boards and inspiration to help decorate your home this spring.

Simple, sophisticated design can be found in every Darling home, and adding in a splash of energetic colors and patterns can help bring the feeling of spring into your home. Layering textures with a range of neutral tones, with color added in small doses, creates timeless design throughout the house.

Throw pillows, wall art and other home accent pieces such as vases or lamps provide the perfect opportunity to inject bold patterns, rich color and trendy decor. In addition to fun patterns, varied textures are popular in home decor this spring, and incorporating natural patterns in wallpapers is a positive way to bring texture to the walls in your home.

Spring color palettes are utilizing bold tones, ranging from happy yellows and exotic reds to energized blues and olive green. For a temporary change of scenery, you can add in these seasonal colors by accenting your existing furniture with a blanket or decorative pillow, using high-end materials and fabrics to create the best design possible. For a unique piece of art that pulls together your decor, add in a piece of canvas artwork curated to match your home’s color and design.

Metallics are also trending this spring, so don’t forget to utilize accent items with various metallic materials. Copper, brass and other metal tones make a great addition to any room in furniture or hardware and create good elements in a focal wall or a powder bath.

When thinking about the best way to style your Darling home, it’s time to think big. Having a few, larger furniture pieces and accessories is better for the interior design than adding in numerous small pieces.

No matter how you choose to express your personal style this spring, Darling Homes has a community and floorplan to help create you the perfect home that’s uniquely yours.