Secrets to Creating a Welcoming Entryway

creating a welcoming entryway

Whether you’re hosting a graduation party, casual game night, open house, or formal dinner party, you’ll want to usher guests into your home with a warm reception. It starts with your entryway, a highly trafficked space that sets the tone for the entire home. Want to know the secret to creating a welcoming entryway? Read on to find out.

Provide Seating

If you have the space, you may want to add a bench, antique chair, simple stool, or comfortable settee in the entryway for guests to sit down while they take off their shoes or engage in a long Minnesota goodbye. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than craning your neck to continue a conversation as you kneel to untie your shoes or hop on one foot to put them on. Consider using an antique trunk for both seating and storage space.

Maximize Storage

Make sure you have somewhere to put your guests’ outerwear. Install hooks or a wall-mounted rack for coats, scarves, hats, and purses. You could also purchase a free-standing coat tree or slender hall table as a convenient and stylish addition to your entryway furniture. Other storage like wooden bins, a boot tray, or an umbrella holder may also be convenient.

Set the Mood

Light up your entryway with wall sconces on both sides of the door. For larger spaces with tall ceilings, invest in a beautiful chandelier. Use warm-glowing incandescent bulbs rather than harsh white fluorescent lighting. Make sure it smells pleasant, too, whether it’s the aroma of freshly-baked bread wafting from the kitchen or a lavender-scented air freshener.

Take It an Extra Step

Here are some more ideas to spruce up your entryway:

  • Hang a mirror for your guests to readjust their hair and clothing after removing outerwear.
  • Include fresh flowers or a bowl of mints on your entryway table.
  • Add some plants, natural wood accents, and brass décor to make an easy transition from outdoors.
  • Lay a colorful oriental or geometric-style rug or runner in the hallway for a bit of texture and depth.
  • Throw some small pillows on your furniture or wallpaper the walls to bring in more color.
  • Paint the entryway door a bold hue and install an ornate door knocker and handle.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint on trim and polish or re-stain stairway banisters for a finishing touch.

Iverson Homes can design a perfect specialty space for your entryway with handcrafted built-in lockers, shelving, cubbies, and custom bench seats. View our gallery and learn more about our custom homes and remodeling capabilities. Contact us today.

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Quick Ways to Declutter and Organize Your Home

quick ways to declutter and organize your home

Many of us stash things away in our home for a “someday” that never comes. When life gets hectic, clutter makes ordinary, everyday tasks more complicated. We’ve put together some quick ways to declutter and organize your home.

The Decluttering Process

Minimize the chaos space by space, day by day. Only tackle two- to three-hour projects at a time. Otherwise, you’ll get burned out and make poor choices about what to discard. Put like items together and assess what you need.
Unnecessary junk needs to go, but that doesn’t mean the items should go to waste. Donate old towels to the animal shelter and recycle torn socks, pillowcases, or other fabrics as cleaning rags. Fill a trash bag with things you can bring to a secondhand shop, or commit to getting rid of one possession each day.

Start brainstorming ways to store what you will keep. Don’t immediately shop for storage products. Instead, think creatively as you put things where they belong. Prioritize the items you use most when considering accessibility, then organize everything else around it.

It’s easy to step back, admire your work, and forget about the bags of donations sitting by your entryway door. Finish each task completely and then follow these tips for an orderly house so your efforts don’t go to waste:

  • Get in the habit of making your bed the moment you step out of it every morning. Challenge your kids to do the same. Pulling the covers up over your pillows can make a room appear tidier and encourage you to keep it clean.
  • Use labeled bins or baskets for storage under sinks.
  • Take cues from the grocery store. Stock your food pantry with oldest items in front and newest items in back.
  • Store your staple dry goods in airtight containers to save space.
  • Create a command center in your entryway with hooks, bins, and racks for coats, keys, hats, scarves, and shoes. If you have pets, hang hooks and place cubbies near the door for leashes, bowls, and toys.
  • Set up a cute, decorative box for all your papers, mail, receipts, and notes, and sort through it once a week.
  • Make use of the wall space in your garage. Hang ladders, rakes, shovels, and bikes out of the way so you have a clear path to park.
  • Create a go-away box so you can drop donation items in it anytime you come across them. Keep it by the entryway or garage door so you can quickly bring the items to the local thrift shop.

Don’t be afraid to change the system if it isn’t working. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to work for your lifestyle. Organization is not a one-time task—it’s a process you use to maintain your space. Once you’ve taken a step in the right direction, keep walking.

If you find that your changing lifestyle needs more space, consider a room addition with Iverson Homes. We offer remodeling services as well as custom home building. Contact us today to learn more about our hands-on process.

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Simple Guide to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

boost your home’s curb appeal

Exterior upgrades can go a long way in shaping your home’s character and your reputation as a homeowner, whether you are looking to sell, impress your guests, or inspire neighborhood pride. Along with proper yard maintenance, a variety of easy upgrades will instantly boost your home’s curb appeal.

Welcoming Details

Every visitor sees your front door, so paint it a bold color that complements the exterior of your home. Add a non-seasonal front door wreath, a cheerful doormat, a classic door knocker, or wall mount mailbox for decorative charm. All of these options are relatively inexpensive and will revive your home’s exterior where it matters most.

Install new, stylish light fixtures or clean your old ones of dirt and cobwebs to make the entryway more inviting. You can also add solar lights (no wiring required) for your walkway and landscape or stringed lights for the porch.

Natural Enhancements

It doesn’t have to be drastic, but a little spruce of color and greenery can bring natural beauty to your home and hide the ugly:

  • Plant some bushes to cover your home’s foundation.
  • Add window boxes with flowers.
  • Place planters on your porch.
  • Install a flower bed to hide your AC unit.

Polished Exterior

Cleaning isn’t just for the inside of your home. Clear debris and scrub grime off your gutters. If your gutters are sagging from the weight of snow and ice this past winter, refasten them. Spread a fresh layer of mulch in your gardens. Powerwash your siding, porch, walkway, and driveway. You can easily rent a powerwasher from your local home improvement store. Clean your windows inside and out for added sparkle.

Routine Maintenance

Keep up with basic lawn care. The University of Minnesota Extention recommends grass be maintained at a height of three inches. In the Midwest, that means mowing about once a week. Make sure to weed, rake, water, and pick up pet waste and trash from your yard regularly. After garbage collection each week, store your trash and recycling containers on the side of the house or in the garage so they aren’t visible from the road.

In real estate, finishing touches make all the difference. Iverson Homes offers exterior renovations so you can spruce up your curb appeal and maximize your outdoor space. We also provide stucco remediation for homeowners facing structural damage or stucco defects. If you are looking to sell, consult with our real estate professionals for help putting your home on the market. Contact us today to learn more.

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11 Reasons Ramblers Are Rising in Popularity

reasons ramblers are rising in popularity

Constructed in a “U” or “L” shape, ramblers (also called ranch style homes) were the first one-story houses to incorporate an attached garage. Ramblers became popular in the early- to mid-twentieth century, as automobiles allowed families to live outside of metropolitan areas and suburbs began appearing. In the 80s and 90s, ramblers fell out of the spotlight, but they’re a hot item on the real estate market now because of their multifaceted benefits. We’ve outlined 11 reasons ramblers are rising in popularity:

  1. They perfectly accommodate open floor plans—a design concept that’s at the forefront of today’s real estate market.
  2. Ramblers don’t need stairways, which can use up to 100 square feet of space.
  3. A one-story home makes it easier to age in place because they are accessible to children, the elderly, and the mobility-challenged.
  4. An accessible design could raise the value of your home if you ever choose to sell.
  5. A rambler is easy to clean and organize because you don’t have to climb stairs.
  6. A one-level home is quieter, with no noise of footsteps traversing the second floor.
  7. Ramblers incorporate the outdoors into everyday life, with patios, long, expansive windows, skylights, and sliding glass or french doors.
  8. With natural light streaming through open spaces, skylights, and expansive windows, you can save energy on lighting and heating in the winter daytime.
  9. Room temperatures in ramblers are often more even because the heat doesn’t all rise to the upper level, so you can live comfortably.
  10. The exterior of a one-story home is more accessible for maintenance, like painting, gutter upkeep, and window cleaning.
  11. One-level homes are typically easier to expand or remodel, should you choose to do so.

Iverson Homes will be showcasing our own one-story home during the Parade of Homes spring tour. Look for Parade of Homes #167, a four-bedroom, four bath, 4,212 square foot custom-built rambler with a three-car garage, located at 18200 79th Place North in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

We offer a variety of rambler floor plans including

Our skilled architects will work with you to decide if a one-story or two-story home is right for you. In addition to custom home building, Iverson Homes also provides real estate services. Contact us today to learn more about our neighborhoods or our hands-on process.

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What Comes First: Home Design or Builder?

home design in mind

Building your own home is an expensive yet rewarding process. You may know what you want, but not know how you’ll ever turn the dream home concept into a detailed blueprint. That’s what an architect and builder are for. But do you need have to have a home design in mind before finding a builder?

In short, no, you don’t need to have a design in mind. But you may want to think about what you’d want in a new home. Plus, if you hire a builder early in the process, they can help monitor the cost of the project. It costs more to change the layout during the construction phase than it does during the project planning phase. The more involved you are in the design and build, the more satisfied you will likely be with the result.

Take time to consider what types of living space you’ll need. You likely plan on settling into your new home for a while, so make sure it’s customized to your changing needs. Do your research and come up with a list of features you want included. Ask yourself how much you would entertain or work from home when considering the floor plan and amenities.
Thinking about what you need to share with your builder to make the most of this exciting process can be overwhelming. Start here:

  • How much land do you want to build on?
  • Do you want flat or sloping acreage?
  • How much space do you want to leave for a yard?
  • Which way do you want your windows to face to make the most of the rising or setting sun?
  • How many levels and rooms do you need?

Iverson Homes can turn your dreams into a beautifully crafted custom home. Throughout our hands-on process, our skilled architects will offer design solutions and floor plan options. We’ll listen closely to your ideas and discuss the project budget and timeline. Then, our architects will draw up detailed blueprints so you can see your concepts on paper before they come to life. From there, you can customize and revise it before approving the design for build. Contact us today to get started on your custom built home.

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Kitchen Trends of 2018

kitchen trends

Before the modern era, kitchens were hidden in the back of homes, and guests rarely, if ever, entered them. These days, the kitchen is a focal point—a place where family, friends, and guests gather to eat and enjoy each other’s company. Some of the biggest design trends have risen to popularity because they allow the kitchen to remain in the spotlight. Read on to discover the kitchen trends we saw in 2018.

Open kitchens

Many homeowners favor an open kitchen, where the kitchen, dining, and living room are all connected with no dividing walls. It makes the home seem bigger and more inviting. People who are cooking or washing dishes in the kitchen can also socialize with the rest of their guests in the main living area or great room.

Technology

Technology-integrated kitchens are on the rise. Refrigerators are made with touch screens for grocery lists and can tell you when you’re running low on milk or the eggs are going bad. Automatic lights can turn on or dim with the clap of a hand. Motion-sensor sinks allow you to wash flour-dusted hands without touching the faucet.

Cabinetry

This year, many trendy kitchen styles have eliminated upper wall cabinets. A kitchen with only lower cabinets can feel more open, allow more natural light, and open up counter space. Instead of the traditional and classic (though still trending) white cabinets, some homeowners have chosen to go with navy or black cabinets with matte finishes for a more modern look.

Countertops and Sinks

Farmhouse sinks, though still popular, are a dying trend. Composite or built-in sinks are on the rise because they are easy to clean and have a sleek look. Many homeowners choose quartz countertops instead of granite or marble because they are easier to maintain. Backsplash tiles are a popular feature in many kitchens with upper wall cabinets.

Custom Aspects

The ideal kitchen is as much about fashion as it is about functionality. Much of the focus in 2018 has been in storage solutions—not wasting counter or cabinet space. Cabinetry customized for spices, pots, pans, and stand mixers, and other equipment has become a popular aspect of many kitchens. Many homeowners choose to add unique custom spaces in their kitchen, like booths or breakfast nooks to save space and keep a cozy feel.

Mix and Match

Though gray, taupe, cream, and white have remained timeless choices, some homeowners have added pops of color and mixing and matching textures for variety. Many kitchen islands feature darker cabinetry that makes the island stand out from the rest of the kitchen like an independent piece of furniture. The modern kitchen often combines rustic, industrial, and modern tastes, with stainless steel appliances, brass fixtures, wood tables, and cement backsplashes or countertops.

Iverson Homes can remodel your kitchen and help you choose a design that works for you. With our hands-on process, we build the kitchen of your dreams, fully functional to your unique lifestyle and timelessly designed with quality craftsmanship. Contact us today to learn about our kitchen remodeling services and custom built homes.

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3 Important Features for a Bathroom Makeover

bathroom makeover

The average person spends almost 90 days in a bathroom over their lifetime. It’s no wonder bathroom styles and trends are a big deal for many homeowners looking to remodel. Because a bathroom is such a small, defined space, the little details go a long way. If you’re dreaming of renovating your bathroom, know your options. You can maximize space and incorporate fashionable, affordable conveniences just by considering these three features when planning your bathroom makeover:

Design

From tile pattern to sink styles, each choice can drastically change the look and feel of your bathroom. The way you use space and accessorize your bathroom can make it feel small and confined, versus large and open. Simply replacing a shower curtain with a glass shower wall can open up your bathroom and make it feel more spacious. Elongated fixtures like floor-to-ceiling cabinets may make it seem taller. Subtle shapes are hidden in each bathroom fixture. You could choose rounded faucets for an elegant style or square shower heads and drains for a modern look. Low lighting creates a calming, warm ambience, while bright, white lighting could make your bathroom feel clean and crisp.

Functionality

Functionality often goes hand in hand with design. Think about strategic storage, like cabinetry and shelving for towels and toiletries. What materials would require little maintenance? For example, you could purchase a glass shower door treated with water repellent that prevents soap scum or hard water deposit from sticking to the glass. That way, you don’t have to clean it as much.

Energy efficiency & technology

Technology may seem out of place in the bathroom, but some convenient features could save you money. If you choose the right appliances and fixtures, you can make your bathroom more energy efficient. Install LED lights, a high efficiency toilet, or a low-flow, water-saving showerhead. Some homeowners install a small fireplace, sound system, or water resistant television for their convenience and luxury.

Iverson Homes can fulfill all your bathroom remodeling needs. We are home building professionals with experience in budget management, design, and remodeling. View recent remodeling projects to see how we can add value and quality to your home. Contact us today to learn more.

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Custom Home Builder vs. National Home Builder

custom home builder vs national home builder

Building your own home can be a complicated and time-consuming project. The professionals you hire will be instrumental in the flow of the construction, as well as intricately involved in the design of the space that you will enjoy for years to come. Who should you trust to handle the details of your project and design a home that fits your lifestyle? We’ve outlined the main differences between a national home builder and a custom home builder:

The similarities and differences

A custom home builder constructs small-volume, single family homes with custom designs and details. A national home builder works on anything from residential homes to townhome developments and rental properties. A national home builder provides limited options of floor plans, exterior designs, and interior finishes. A custom home builder focuses on the high-end finishes, while a national home builder’s goal is to drive profits and produce homes efficiently for their bottom line. A national home builder is often referred to as a volume dealer or production home builder, and is most often associated with cookie-cutter homes and tract housing.

National Home Builders

National home builders build production homes on land they have purchased for a development. When you hire a national home builder, you’ll likely communicate with a realtor and project manager. The architect does not personally interact with you, as they are working with a specific set of pre-determined construction plans given by the building firm.
What does a national home builder do? A national home builder offers buyers a floor plan menu to choose from. Then, they present the buyer with a limited list of design choices or material selections, but the buyer has little negotiation power. A national home builder oversees the day-to-day operations by managing vendors and subcontractors and obtaining the necessary material and equipment, often in bulk as they construct multiple homes in one area.
Benefits of a national home builder. Having fewer options means that you don’t have to make as many decisions when choosing floor plans, light fixtures, and siding, but you’ll likely interface with multiple people who aren’t even on the construction site on a day-to-day basis—an impersonal alternative to a custom home builder.

Custom Home Builders

Custom home builders oversee the project from plan development to completion, working with the client and design team or architect. While a custom home builder is likely on-site every day, hammer and nails in hand, they may not have special licenses for mechanical work like plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. However, a custom home builder has trusted partners they hire to get the job done.

What does a custom home builder do?

    • Designs custom built homes specifically for clients with close attention to detail and craft.
    • Acts as a go-between for you and your building inspectors, city and county offices, and design team.
    • Establishes a budget and monitors the cost and scope through the design and construction processes.
    • Works with the bank or mortgage company to track costs and process lien requests.
    • Helps you obtain your certificate of occupancy.
    • Inspects the home prior to completion and hires subcontractors for revisions.
    • Educates you on the maintenance, warranty, and operation of your new home.

Benefits of a custom home builder. A custom home builder does everything from start to finish. As the client, you would interact with one person who personally employs people to work on the job site.

A custom home builder:

  • Acts as an advocate for the homeowner.
  • Takes the work to heart because it reflects their craft.
  • May recommend ways to improve a design or save you money in the process, whereas a national home builder will look at the plan you choose and build it to specifications without question.
  • Offers information about the materials used to build your house.

Iverson Homes can fulfill all your custom residential construction needs. We are home building professionals with experience in real estate, land development, building standards, budget management, and architectural design. Contact us today to learn about our quality craftsmanship and custom built homes.

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Fall Parade of Homes 2018 – Iverson Homes Model #282

The Fall Parade of Homes is right around the corner. Stop in and visit our two-story elegant design with farmhouse touches. Stonegate at Rush Creek is an upscale neighborhood directly across from Rush Creek Golf Course in Maple Grove, MN.

Fall Parade of Homes Hours:

Saturday, September 8th – Sunday, September 30th
Thursday-Sunday 12-6pm

#282 – 7911 Shadyview Lane N, Maple Grove MN 55311

Build your custom home on our lot or yours. Be sure to add our Stonegate at Rush Creek Development in Maple Grove to your Parade Homes list of homes to view!
Check out our Parade of Homes Model HERE

Fall Parade of Homes 2018

 

 

 

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Fall Favorites 2017

Today feels like a fall day – crisp air, cloudy, and raining a bit. I would love nothing more than to curl up on my couch, light my pumpkin & apple scented candles, and binge on my latest Netflix series, BUT instead I’m here in the office thinking about all things Fall (and getting some work done).

Friday, September 22nd is the First Day of Fall – I can’t believe we’re here…It’s a little hard to accept every year – with our MN summers being so short. So, I’d like to embrace it with open arms and all things FALL! Here are a few of my favorite fall things:

CANDLES
The most popular scents of the season are my favorite year round! I love Woodwick Candles because they fill my ears with the sound of a cozy fire.

FAUX FUR BLANKETS
Nothing beats wrapping yourself up in the warmth of a (faux) fur blanket. It also helps that they’re beautiful.

COMFORT FOOD
Get in my belly. Whether it’s spaghetti, chili, or homemade chicken noodle soup, my soul (and stomach) craves these delicious meals in the Fall!

DECOR
I always enjoy seeing my neighbor’s front porches change over the seasons, but especially in Fall. The warm colors & cute phrases are so inviting. You can really embrace the season throughout your home – inside & out!

While there are so many other reasons I love Fall (Football, Holidays, Pumpkin Carving, Halloween, Etc) these are some of my favorite! What are your favorite things about Fall? Share in the comments below!

– Iverson Homes Team –
Written By: Megan Schwartz, Office Manager/Client Services Coordinator

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