Natelli Homes Blog


People who are nearing retirement often contemplate whether they should downsize to a smaller home with aging-in-place features or remodel. By working with an architectural and design service company in Maryland and Virginia, you can decide whether it’s better to build a custom home for retirement or pay for home remodeling projects that matter the most to your qualify of life. According to a recent article by usatoday.com, whether or not to renovate is a common conundrum for pre-retirees. If it’s a high priority for you to have a modern, updated kitchen or bathroom, consider working a few more years. Some Maryland and Virginia homeowners have already paid off their homes or have enough equity to justify home remodeling improvements.

  • Considering your resale value

As part of the decision process, think about which home remodeling projects will improve the value of your home. A Merrill Lynch-Age Wave survey revealed the most popular home remodeling projects for retirees included upgrading kitchens and baths, adding a home office and improving curb appeal.

  • Using long-lasting materials

Although resale value is important, especially for your beneficiaries, it's also to think about what you need. Quality matters in terms of materials if you plan to stay put in your home for the rest of your life. Experts recommend using long-lasting materials as well as energy-efficient windows. Solid hardwood floors will last a lifetime compared to less expensive laminate woods.

  • Making safety a priority

Any retiree who can afford it should remodel their home with universal design features in mind. Falling just one time without a grab bar in the shower can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you time your renovation project for a few years before you retire, think of elder-friendly features even though you don't feel older. Still, grab the opportunity to replace garden tubs with low-curb showers that have seating areas and non-slip flooring.

When you remodel your home before you retire or when you first start retirement, you make it easier to budget and plan for the rest of your retirement years. You are less likely to worry about maintenance issues since you’ll have new appliances, lighting fixtures, flooring and other features that will last. Most important, your home will be safer and easier to navigate.

At Natelli Homes, we commit ourselves to our Maryland and Virginia clients who want to build a custom home or renovate their existing house. For more information and tips on remodeling in retirement, please contact us.



Whether you are drawing up architectural designs for a new staircase or have been thinking of a kitchen remodel, working with an expert in the field has its advantages. Not only do you get hands-on assistance with respect to the planning, but you also avoid costly home remodeling budget mistakes that are very easy to make. Five such mistakes in particular stand out.

  1. The wishful budget. You intend to not spend a mint on remodeling the kitchen. In fact, you are estimating conservatively and vow to stay within your budget. Yet a few hiccups and the must-have seven-bottle mirrored wine cooler later, you have already blown your budget without being halfway through the remodel. The lesson here is simple: Set a realistic budget that allows for surprises and the little extras.
  2. Broad ideas vs. detailed visions. Kitchen remodeling is not for the faint of heart. It is also not for those who do not have a detailed vision for what they want to see. Be specific! The more detailed you are in your instructions to the contractor, the easier it is for the professional to find you the right materials and hardware that suits your need. Plenty of additional expenses can be avoided by being detailed from the start.
  3. Pinching pennies on materials. Lasagna is only as tasty as the high-quality ingredients that you put into it. Even the best builder will have a difficult time constructing you a dream porch for your home when you buy cut-rate lumber and pinch pennies on quality materials. Although it is always best to aim for inexpensive materials, going cheap is not the answer for a quality construction project.
  4. Keeping mum. Your contractor needs to hear from you. When you see something you want to incorporate into the design, find that beautiful customized tub for your bathroom remodeling or want to add anything else that may affect the plans already made, it is crucial that you let your contractor know right away. The further along the project proceeds without you mentioning any changes, the costlier it is to make these very changes later on.
  5. Changing your mind. Every time you change your mind, there will be additional expenses. It is that simple. While there is nothing wrong with changing your mind on a color or design detail here and there, consistently revamping plans and asking for changes to customized building components is costly.

At Natelli Homes, we know that you have plenty of questions about starting your home remodeling project and staying on track. Contact us today for more information on the best remodel budgeting practices and to find out how we can help you with your next project.

adding-the-final-touches-to-your-home-remodeling-job-consider-french-revival-arlington-vaWhen the home remodeling job is finished, and you are left with a beautiful new space to spend your time in, the job doesn't stop there. 

Sure, the walls are up, your old stuff is sitting at ready, but isn't it time that you change a few more things up? 

Decorating a home is just as integral to the look and feel as is the remodeling job. The style you choose matters to how the home functions in its aesthetic. 

So while we don't think that one style is ever better than another, we do think that French revival is elegant enough to suit your style. Here are some tips on decorating for the Francophile hidden inside you.

- Buckets designed for purposes other than Champagne set off a room's look, giving a rustic appearance without obvious overtones.

- Bring the bistro in by adding a simple set of table and chairs that scream patio dining. Take a look at the Left Bank on Paris, and you'll see why French Revival design is entering dining areas all over the U.S.

- Trunks and cases work well for hiding things away, but work just as well as focal pieces for design and room structure. Stack them with style, and add a lovely throw of cloth to bring in the Old World.

- Replace that old sofa or love seat with a new chaise lounge. The long-used seat works well in any room where relaxation is on the agenda, and lets your guests envy your refined taste.

- Bring in classic china for sophistication, and add a certain "je ne sais quas," as the French say, to your formal dining area. Quaint and pretty matching cups and saucers invite and delight when it's time for tea.

Redecorating a room after a remodel is like working with a blank slate. The world you imagine is up to you. The only limitation is how far you can dream.

For more information on home remodeling, please contact us any time.

3-home-remodeling-tips-for-your-laundry-room-bethesda-mdLaundry rooms are often over-looked when people begin considering home remodeling jobs. So much focus is placed on living rooms, kitchens, and baths that laundry rooms never get the love that they deserve.

Well, we think it's time for that to change...

If there ever was a room that needs a makeover, it's the laundry room. A place that conjures up pictures of, well, not too much for most people. Perhaps that's why it needs the love we think it does!

Here are 3 tips on turning your laundry room into a place you will want to spend more time in.

Home Integration: It's becoming more and more common for homeowners to integrate laundry rooms into other rooms of their home, saying goodbye to tucked away, drab rooms designed for one thing. In fact, in new architecture, laundry rooms resemble kitchens in placement, form and function, and some even have islands and built-ins.

Space Efficiency: In smaller homes attempting to be more energy and space conscious, laundry rooms have worked themselves into some of the more functional rooms. It's not at all uncommon to see laundry centers worked into bathrooms and kitchens, leaving what would have been the laundry room open for more square footage, like a guest bedroom.

Make it Pop: For homes where laundry is still its own function, separated into its own part of the home, seek design opportunities that turn normal laundry rooms in beacons of luxury. Consider it a necessary room in your home; paint it rich, inspiring colors; redesign parts that don't work for you and your family. Also, if your appliances are outdated, work new, modern washers and dryers into your budget, and enjoy the laundry room you always wanted. 

Isn't it about time you turned your laundry room into the space you've always wanted? If the answer is yes, then contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr 



home-remodeling-how-to-prioritize-bethesda-mdBefore you meet with a home remodeling company to get work started to update and improve the look of your Maryland or Virginia home, sit down to hammer out a budget and priority list. According to an article by Houzz, a major home project often feels overwhelming. Taking a DIY approach causes a lot of marital friction, according to experts. Much of the stress associated with hiring a professional is simply not knowing where to begin or what you really want. Experts suggest examining your home and whether it still functions the way your family needs it to function.

  • Getting the money together

Some people take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay for home remodeling projects. A HELOC can work well if you aren’t sure how much money you want or need to spend on improving your home. You can start with a kitchen remodeling project, tapping your HELOC as needed. Other people rather pay cash and stick to a definite budget. Your builder can inform on the costs of different projects based on the type of finishes, cabinetry, countertops and design choices.

  • Walking through your own home

In order to define your home remodeling priorities, you need to get a detached perspective on your home. Walk through your home with a notebook and pen as if you are a stranger looking at it for the first time. Some people as a Realtor to walk through and recommend which areas need the most improvement for resale value. Pay attention to how you feel when you are in each room of the home. Do you feel claustrophobic? Is there enough light coming in? Identify the problems so you can hear suggestions from a builder about how to remedy the situation.

  • Making a master plan

Having a master plan makes it easier for yourself and the builder. Your master plan can include details about how you plan to finance or pay for the remodeling work. Have a list of priorities in case you can’t afford every item on your home remodeling wish list. Make sure you discuss your master plan with our spouse or other decision-makers in the home. Collect samples of flooring, paint colors, fabric, cabinetry and countertops to keep with your written plan. You can always change out colors and finishes, but make those decisions before your builder starts the ordering process.

At Natelli Homes, we work with clients in Maryland and Virginia who want to improve their quality of life with cost-effective home improvements with a high-end look. For more information on our architectural, remodeling and renovation services, please contact us.

home remodeling project is a wonderful idea for a homeowner looking to give their home a new look.

We offer our home remodeling services to the surrounding McLean, VA area. 

Feel free to contact us today if you would like to pursue a home remodeling project for your home.  

Our McLean, VA home remodeling clients have been thrilled with the work we have completed for them.

Our number one priority is the customer.

We love doing what we do. We thoroughly plan out all the proper steps clearly so the homeowner knows exactly what is going on. Does a home remodeling project interest you? If so, please visit www.natellihomes.com and contact us today.

Offering high quality home remodeling projects to the McLean, VA area!

5-ways-to-remodel-your-home-like-the-pros-potomac-mdIf you're a home remodeling junky like we are, you likely spend a great deal of your free-time glued to television shows on DIY networks. Shows that provide tips on creating your perfect living environment, sometimes on a dime, and sometimes extravagantly. Both are good.

Trust us... we know the feeling. We love decorating and remodeling, too. We love exploring the ins and outs of how to make a bathroom more functional; ways to create a comfy, cozy den; and paints, colors, and accessories to make any room pop. 

In this post, we'll give you 5 decorating ideas to help you create your dream home. So sit back, grab a pen and paper, and read on!

1. Open Floor Plans: They aren't the right fit for every home, but an open floor plan touches many people right in their heart. An open floor plan is perfect for entertaining, decorating, designing, and experimenting with colors, contrast, and contentment. We recommend looking into an open floor if your home allows for it. 

2. Utility Room Functionality: The utility room, or if you prefer, the laundry room, is just one of those rooms people often forget. Yet it serves great purpose. We think that a functional space has potential for coziness, while still being inviting. Consider that when you are re-designing your next room.

3. Guest Room of "Shoulds": If you have a guest room, maybe it's time to rethink its purpose, its design, and its feel. A guest room should be formal yet comfortable. It should have a great theme while exuding cleanliness. Similar to a hotel, a guest room should invite your guests in for the night, and relax their senses.

4. Lighting Everywhere: No one likes a drab or dull living area (or any area). Lighting in all the right places is illuminating for everyone who lives in your home. If you're really looking to make an impact, consider installing skylights to let every inch of light possible in.

5. Bathroom Elegance: Bathrooms are sometimes small, but they are no less important. A well-designed bathroom is something of beauty. Marble counter tops, muted eggshell colors, gold and silver fixtures, and various lighting choices for the user are all excellent ways of turning a normal bathroom into a magazine cover.

For more information on how we can help you create the home you've always dreamed of, please contact us any time.

c6c3736e-fe3b-4efc-c04c-379807d83c77-thumbOur home is our castle, but making it appear that way without cleaning out our wallets is tough.

So while home remodeling projects are a priority for many homeowners looking to make their house a home, some shy away for fear of unwanted debt. But this doesn't have to be the case.

Looking for some easy ways to make your home your castle without breaking the bank? Then read on!

Here are 5 easy home renovations you can do that cost less than $100.

1. Entryway Pizazz: If the front of your home is lacking true curb appeal, try sprucing it up. Apply some new paint to your door (think bright and welcoming), buy some simple flower planters for a flanked, tasteful entry, and throw down a welcome mat. It's that easy.

2. Apply Furniture Covers: For those who are looking for nominal yet financially sound ways of adding a new look to their living areas, consider covered chairs and couches in new material. Vibrant colors and fabrics can turn shabby into chic in a hurry.

3. Bulbs Burning Bright: Under lit is underwhelming. Whereas over lit is too dramatic. So find the middle ground. Install some track lighting instead of using traditional overhead lights, and change out incandescent bulbs for highly efficient fluorescent. Not only will you save money, your home will feel more welcoming and relaxing.

4. Bathroom Luxury: It's 2015, what does your bathroom look like? Change out those old, drab switch plates for new and fancy styles. Follow our lighting advice from above. Replace old toilet seats and simple bathroom hardware, and throw down some new bath mats and rugs. Top it off with some new, clean paint and enjoy your bathroom once again.

5. Drapes Add Special Flair: Take a walk around your home and count the windows where the drapes have lived for a year or more. Now head to your home improvement store and do some pricing. A simple drapery change, like adding a valance or swag, or even changing curtains all together, will add creative flair and whimsy to those windows we have forgotten.

Interested in discussing how we can help you with your home improvement process? Feel free to contact us to discuss your options.

b69efdd5-a831-4bb4-94bc-2b60ac8057ff-thumbYour Maryland or Virginia home may have vintage stained glass, surrealistic art pieces or interesting architectural features, but they could all be missed without proper accent lighting. Accent lighting shines a spotlight on the best features of your home as part of an overall interior decorating and home remodeling plan. With lighting, you can direct your family member and guests’ attention on the best features of the home. Lighting can make your art work, sculptures and decorative accents more noticeable. When working on home remodeling ideas with an architect, you may also decide to include art niches or recessed areas to hang special pieces of art.

  • Using track and recessed lighting

One of the benefits of using track lighting as your accent lighting is the fact that the direction of the light can be changed. Some people use small lighting fixtures for accent lighting. Recessed lighting can also be adjusted to point in a certain direction. Recession lighting blends in well with any décor and doesn’t steal the spotlight as decorative lighting fixtures do.

  • Highlighting art work

Accent lighting can be used to showcase art on walls or on shelving. Accent lighting commands attention by illuminating architectural features such as trayed ceilings, beamed ceilings or rotundas. When renovating your home, consider chair railing, crown molding and other features.

  • Grabbing attention

The reason accent lighting works is because people’s eyes tend to focus on the brightest spots. Ambient lighting does draw attention to a particular place because it evenly illuminates so a painting, sculpture or decorative accent gets lost by blending into the woodwork.

Accent lighting doesn’t take the place of task lighting or lighting geared for safety or security issues, but it can make a visual impact. You can also use accent lighting outdoors to highlight particular trees, pergolas, flowers or night-blooming bushes and vines.

At Natelli Homes, we build custom homes in Maryland and Virginia for clients with refined tastes. For more information about lighting as well as other design options for custom homes, remodeling, renovations and new home additions, please contact us.

9a6cea39-c77c-46bc-f611-cb23ba3bf151-thumbWith cooler weather on the horizon, many homeowners will begin to move indoors to tackles some home remodeling projects that have been waiting all summer to be completed. But before you dive-in, lock up, and starting swinging that hammer, have you considered which projects have the highest cost-value ratio for the time in the future when you decide to sell? Indoors and out? Don't worry! We've got you covered.

Here are 5 remodeling projects that have the highest cost-value ratio and won't break the bank to complete.

1. Steel Entry Door

Changing out your front door is a very wise decision. Not only does it have a high cost-value ratio (96.6-percent), its advantages are numerous compared to its wood counterparts. Overall durability, high insulative properties, and energy efficiency are just a few perks.

2. Add-on a Deck 

With a return of almost 87.4-percent of the initial cost, a deck is the perfect investment for your home. A deck adds a livable space to the exterior of your home, and many people looking to buy a new home include it on their must list.

3. Garage Door Replacement

How old is your garage door? If you don't know the answer, chances are it's time to replace it. And with a return of almost 84-percent (for mid- and high-range models) it should top your list.

4. Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

For both of these projects, the return is quite high. For the homeowner completing the task, however, which you decide to do should be based purely on which needs it most. If you're unsure which to take on, ask your family for a consensus and start there.

5. Backup Power Generator

We know it's not necessarily a "project" in the strictest sense of the word, but adding a backup generator to your home is a huge cost-value ratio and, according to experts, is the "biggest gainer" this year. 

Backup Power Generator, increased 28% nationally to its all-time high of 67.5% in percentage of cost recouped, and jumped to 25th in the overall ranking.

Not sure where to begin with your fall project? Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions and for more information on how we can help.