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Home Decor Lifestyle Tips

Tips on How to Hang Those Family Photos

A new home means plenty of blank walls to adorn. Gallery walls are an easy solution to display beloved family portraits and add a chic element to your home.

Make a Statement: Mix personal photos, prints and paintings to express your personality through your gallery.

photo gallery1

Experiment with Layouts: Arrange different layouts on the floor to visualize what your gallery will look like before hanging the pieces.

photo gallery2

Stick to a Theme: Try to maintain the same palette and theme when collecting pieces for your gallery wall. This ensures one piece doesn’t draw more attention than others or the group collectively.

photo gallery3

 

 

 

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Design Home Decor Lifestyle Tips

Sizzling Summer Decor Ideas

Changing seasons always inspire fresh home décor ideas and now that summer is officially upon us, we’re eager to try some of these hot interior design trends.

Flowers

Sunny yellow, nautical navy and flirty pink are just a few of the vibrant colors interior designer Tobi Fairley recommends to give a traditional space a colorful twist. Keep it simple and add pillows, throws and other home accents in these hues or go big and paint an accent wall to enjoy a slice of summer year-round.

Sunny Yellow

When it comes to adjusting your interior for summer think old and new. Use this as an opportunity to give old furniture new life with a coat of high-gloss paint in a bright color or buy new accent dishes to add a festive summer pattern to your table setting.

Like what you see? Take a look at this article to see more interiors decorated to perfection with this summer’s latest design trends.

 

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At Home Community Darling Difference Lifestyle Tips

Rainy Day Make it a Movie Day

Summer days aren’t always clear skies and sunshine and with kids at home. Finding ways to entertain on rainy days is a must. One easy solution is to host a family movie marathon. Take a look at these ways to jazz up your movie watching experience:

1. Build a comfy fort to watch your movies in, it takes extra time and helps expend any energy the kids might have pent-up.

build a fort

2. Spice up your popcorn– literally! Garlic-parmesan, a dash of ranch seasoning or a spoonful of candy, playing with popcorn toppings is fun for both kids and adults

popcorn

3. Finally, if you can’t decide on a good movie to watch, here is a list of 100 of the best family movies of all time with options for all ages.

Movie theater

Home Decor Lifestyle Tips

Create Your Own Outdoor Oasis

The rising temperatures are a cue; summer is nearly here. What better way to celebrate summer than to create a private oasis in your own backyard? Here are some tips:

Embrace Luxury: Plush pillows and rugs aren’t just for creating a welcoming atmosphere indoors. Chic, yet durable designs of these home accents are available for outdoor spaces as well.

Embrace Luxury

Make it Exclusive: Use plants rather than walls to close in extra space and give even the most spacious of backyards a secluded feel.

Make it Exclusive

Don’t Sacrifice Function: Keep your family’s needs in mind when designing and decorating outdoors. Think about what you will most enjoy when spending time together outside, whether it’s tossing a baseball or lounging in the sun.

Don't Sacrifice Function

 

Design Home Decor Lifestyle Tips

Top Ten Design Trends for 2015

Curious about what interior design trends will be in this year? We asked Lee Crowder, our resident architectural colorist and model home coordinator, what she thought the 10 most important trends would be in 2015. Here’s what she said:

1. Patterned Carpets are here to stay. We’re seeing larger pattern repeats in tonal color palettes. This type of carpet can make a master bedroom, media room or study feel sophisticated.

Patterned Carpet2

2. Homebuyers are showing a preference for Quartz products for high impact countertops such as kitchens and master bedrooms. While granite has dominated the landscape for many years, homebuyers are looking to Quartz, an engineered product, for a simple look with less maintenance.

Quartz Accents

3. Plumbing is staying true to the simple finishes of nickel and stainless. Plumbing styles can not only help define a style (modern or traditional) but can also add convenience to your everyday life, like adding a pot filler in the kitchen or dual showerheads in the master bath

4. Painted cabinets in white were everywhere in 2014. Painted cabinets are here to stay in 2015 but we see the trend moving toward a soft gray tone.

Painted Cabinets

5. Speaking of gray, it’s the popular neutral of the day. It creates a perfect backdrop to personalize your home in warm or cool tones.

6. Marsala is the 2015 Color of the Year (think a rich red wine tone). Paint is the best way to keep your home current without a lot of expense. Marsala is a natural fit for a warm and elegant dining room.

Marsala Shutters

7. We’re seeing glass tile being used as an entire backsplash, as opposed to just a liner. The tile reflects light and can make a space appear bigger and brighter. It’s also a great way to create a focal point in a backsplash without breaking the bank.

Glass Tile Backsplash

8. Our favorite way to create interest on a budget is to use a simple 6×6 tile in a unique pattern or add a unique grout color. This application creates interest and helps keep you within your budget.

9. Luxury outdoor spaces that bring in living room outdoors are big. In Texas, we’re lucky to be able to spend so many months outdoors. This is why we see more and more customers extending their back patio to include outdoor kitchens and fireplaces.

Outdoor Living

10. Adding a special touch to any room doesn’t have to stop at the countertop, go the extra step with a farm sink in the kitchen, a pedestal sink in the master bath (or even the powder room) or add an integral wave bowl in the guest bath.

Community Darling Difference Lifestyle Travel

Darling Homes Community Halloween Events

Grab your trick-or-treat bags, you’re invited to fun family Halloween festivities at our communities in Prosper and McKinney this year!

Windsong Ranch

Looking for something fun to do on Halloween? Dress up and bring the kids to Windsong Ranch’s Spooktacular from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 31.

Parents will enjoy a live band and delicious food vendors while kids will have the time of their lives on hayrides, getting their faces painted, trick-or-treating for candy, decorating Halloween pumpkins and more!

Windsong ranch

Windsong Ranch is a 2,030-acre master-planned community located west of the Dallas North Tollway on Highway 380 in Prosper. While you’re there, be sure to check out the community’s new amenities like the information center, café and fitness center, a resort-style pool, lap pool, fire pit and outdoor eating area with fireplace. We’ll see you there!

Tucker Hill

What better place to enjoy Halloween than at Tucker Hill in McKinney, the city recently voted the best place to live in America by Money magazine. The falling leaves and spicy pumpkin aroma will surround you, enticing you to fall in love with the Halloween season all over again.

Join the Darling Homes family as we welcome the fall season during Southern Land Company’s third annual “Tucker Hill Pumpkinville…Your Patch-to-Porch Destination” event, running from October 17-31.

pumpkin patch

Rows of pumpkins will enchant kids as they attempt to find the biggest pumpkin to craft the perfect jack-o-lantern. The tractor-pulled hayride, pumpkin painting and carving stations will surely keep kids entertained while adults dance to a DJ and enjoy comfort foods, including delicious dishes from Pynk Pit BBQ’s food truck.

Make new memories with family and friends at Pumpkinville with free admission at the door and many free activities during the event, including a toddler-sized maze and balloon artist. All proceeds will be donated to non-profit event partner McKinney Christian Academy.

In keeping with tradition, there will be an opportunity to win a $500 shopping spree at Allen Premium Outlets with a tour of Tucker Hill’s model homes, including beautiful Darling Homes’ floor plans. To register for the shopping spree, homebuyers must visit Tucker Hill between October 17 and December 31.

Pumpkinville festivities run Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, including a list of activities, please visit www.tuckerhilltx.com.

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25 Things to Know about the Shell Houston Open

Attention all PGA Tour fans, clear your calendars for the Shell Houston Open, teeing off March 31st to April 6th at the Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course in Humble, Texas. Formerly known as the Redstone Golf Club, this challenging course with picturesque scenery welcomes many of your favorite golf stars.

5 Things to Know About the SHO

  • The Shell Houston Open has raised more than $50 million for children and families in need through charities and scholarships in the Greater Houston area.
  • The Houston Golf Association has been conducting PGA Tour events since 1946, making Houston’s tournament the 10th oldest on the schedule.
  • The youngest player to win the Houston Open was Hubert Green at age 24 in 1984.
  • The oldest player to win the Houston Open was Gene Littler at age 46 in 1977.
  • Since 1949, there have been 22 holes-in-one at the Shell Houston Open.

How to Get Your Tickets

You can purchase your tickets at the tournament gate of the Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course or buy and print them online at Extreme Tix. General parking is available Thursday through Sunday at ecopark at the Bush Intercontinental Airport, with round-trip bus rides to get you to and from the course.

Top 5 Restaurants in the Houston Area

CINQ – Located in the La Colombe d’Or Hotel, CINQ indulges diners with a modern European cuisine. Try CIA-trained chef German Mosquera’s bold menu, (713) 524-7999 or online.

Da Marco – Satisfy your craving at the intimate Italian restaurant, Da Marco. Chef Marco Wiles has his fish jet-flown to Houston directly from Italy. Call (713) 807-8857 or reserve online.

Pappas Bros Steakhouse – Pappas Bros offers private dining for the luxurious VIP experience you’ve been searching for. Known for its selection of wine and steaks, it’ll be a night to remember. Call (713) 780-7352 or reserve online at OpenTable.

Américas River Oaks – Spice up your night with Latin food at Américas at River Oaks. Enjoy a private dining experience and indulge in dishes like the grilled swordfish churrasco or the achiote rubbed pork tenderloin stuffed with cilantro tamalito and topped with jumbo lump crab meat. Call (832) 200-1492 or reserve online at OpenTable.

Uchi – Dine luxuriously at this contemporary Japanese restaurant. Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole’s signature menu offers hot and cool tastings, makimono, yakimono, tempura and of course, sushi and sashimi. The dishes draw from his style of combining unexpected textures and flavors that push the boundaries of Japanese cuisine so that each guest at the table may enjoy and share the experience of dining at Uchi together. Call (713) 522-4808 or reserve online at Uchi.

Top 5 Things You Need to See

The Downtown Tunnels – Six miles of mazes connects many of Houston’s downtown buildings and offers a unique dining and shopping experience. Check out the tunnel’s map to find a coffee shop, deli or a gift boutique while you explore miles of underground entertainment.

Discovery Green – Known as Houston’s version of Central Park and located right in the middle of Downtown Houston, Discovery Green is home to great cafés and a stage featuring free entertainment. From kayaking to jogging trails to yoga classes in the park, there is something for everyone at Discovery Green.

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center – Enjoy wine tastings while you explore the 5 mile, pet-friendly nature trail at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. Try out tai chi, yoga or learn which plants are edible during your wander through the lush woods.

Bayou Place – Home to countless theaters, bars, lounges and nightclubs, Bayou Place is the place to be if you’re looking for a fun night out. Located in the heart of Houston’s Downtown Theater District, this 130,000 square foot entertainment megaplex is the premier destination for great food and good times.

Downtown Aquarium – Dine alongside a 150,000 gallon, two-story tank with over 400 species of beautiful, intriguing marine life, pet and feed a stingray or enjoy a train ride through the Shark Voyage. Downtown Aquarium offers many exhibits, games and rides for a fun experience that caters to all ages.

Top 5 Golf Courses in the Houston Area

Memorial Park Golf Course – A Houston golf fan favorite, this historic course has hosted some of the most famous golf pros including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Ranked best course to walk by the Houston Chron, the Memorial Park Golf Course is beautifully framed by huge trees and occasionally you can spot a deer prancing through the course. Call (713) 559-2000 to reserve your tee time today!

BlackHorse Golf Club – Perfect for a corporate event or client outing, the BlackHorse Golf Club welcomes seasoned golfers looking for a challenge. Refuel after a round at Jake’s Grill, a bar and grill in the clubhouse that offers outdoor seating with a fantastic view of the course. Call (281) 304-1747 to reserve your tee time today!

Tour 18 Golf Club – Have time for just one round? This course is perfect for anyone, from novice players to golf pros, so bring a friend along and experience the Tour 18 Golf Club with its replicas of the 18 most famous holes on the PGA golf tour. Call (281) 540-1818 to reserve your tee time today!

Wildcat Golf Club – Impress your friends and co-workers by inviting them to the Wildcat Golf Club, the preferred golf club of Houston’s professional sports teams. The Highlands Course elevates you high enough to offer stunning views of Reliant Stadium and downtown Houston. With its strategically placed bunkers, elevation changes and blind shots, the courses at Wildcat Golf Club are sure to keep you entertained. Call (713) 413-3400 to reserve your tee time today!

Sienna Plantation Golf Club – Experience one of the more upscale courses in the Greater Houston area. The Sienna Plantation Golf Club gives you a sense of community with its country club atmosphere and offers the highest quality of golf you can find. Tee off in a naturally wooded setting with beautiful winding creeks throughout the course and finish off the day by treating yourself to a gourmet meal at the Sienna Grille. Call (281) 778-4653 to reserve your tee time today!

Love the Area? 5 Darling Homes Communities to Tour

Aliana – Aliana is a beautiful master-planned community located west of Houston in Richmond, Texas. Aliana offers a variety of gorgeous Darling Homes set amidst numerous parks with miles of hiking and biking trails. Aliana residents enjoy access to a 24-hour fitness center, tennis courts and a video game center for the kids, and the Club at Aliana Swim Center offers activities year round, with everything from swim lessons to cooking classes in the Clubhouse’s gourmet kitchen.

Creekside Park – The idyllic community at Creekside Park offers one and two-story homes with several different floor plans, each with eclectic architecture and inspired design. The master design of the interior, family-friendly environment and luxurious amenities offered make this new community a perfect fit for every lifestyle.

Riverstone – Darling Homes introduces a new, gated section of larger home sites in Fort Bend’s award winning development of Riverstone. This new neighborhood encompasses creek side, lake view and cul-de-sac lots for buyers to choose from. Darling Homes brings a new series of luxury homes with distinctive designs offering living spaces with up to approximately 5,200 square feet.

Sienna Plantation – Conveniently located just minutes from downtown Houston, this 7,000-acre master-planned community is nestled adjacent to the Sienna Plantation Golf Club and the 160-acre Camp Sienna sports park. Sienna Plantation’s community amenities include walking trails, neighborhood parks and playgrounds, resort-style water parks, community center, amphitheater, fishing pier, tennis courts and a 6,000 square foot fitness center.

Woodforest – Woodforest, one of Houston’s newest and most innovative master-planned communities, features a championship golf course, parks, trails and pools. Darling Homes offers a unique collection of designs and floor plans with up to approximately 4,000 square feet. Design features throughout the series include generously sized rooms, high ceilings, open concept kitchen/breakfast and family rooms, first floor guest suites, large covered rear patios, optional media rooms, three and four car garages and more.

Lifestyle Tips

Energy Efficiency of New Homes Today

Do you live in an energy efficient home?  In today’s market there are many programs that strive to ensure new homes are energy efficient for the environment.   And, most TX home builders employ “green” programs to provide efficiency in new homes to the consumer.

Darling’s Green Built program is truly top of the line because it allows for regionally specific green building construction protocols. The homes under this program are constructed on standards specifically modified to fit climate zones for the Dallas/Fort Worth area as well as the Gulf Coast climate that Houston homeowners feel.

So….what does that mean for you, the home buyer, when shopping for new homes in Texas?  Here are just a few benefits of living in a Green Built, energy efficient home.
1. Energy and Resource Efficiency
• Reduce utility bills and keep a consistently balanced temperature
• Low-E windows reduce outdoor noise and help control the outside temperature inside your home
• Ability to control the temperature in your home more efficiently – to suit your comfort level

2. Durability and Moisture Management
• Enjoy a tightly sealed home for a more efficient air conditioning system
• Protect your home (inside and out) from extreme temperatures
• Minimize maintenance typically associated with weather elements

3. Improved Air Quality
• Breathe clean indoor air
• Increase your comfort with even temperatures and air flow
• Proper ventilation reduces moisture and humidity in your home
• Return air in all bedrooms aid in balanced room pressure

4. Enhanced Water Conservation
• Lower your utility bill
• Enjoy landscaping designed to last longer and reduce maintenance

So whether you are looking for a new home in Houston or a new home in Dallas, we take the art and science of building a home seriously and you’ll notice the Darling difference from the moment you walk through the door!