Natelli Homes Blog

changing-the-architectural-design-of-your-home-to-include-a-second-floor-great-falls-vaHome additions create space where there is none. When your family has outgrown the home but you cannot see leaving the area where the children are growing up and going to school just to buy a new house, adding on to the structure makes sense.

While some folks build out, we have found that changing the architectural design of your home to include a second floor instead actually has quite a few benefits.

  • Double your square footage (almost). When you build out, the square footage you have left on your property limits you. When you build up, you place another floor on top of the existing one.
  • Add multiple rooms. When you need additional bedrooms, bathrooms, a home office and a laundry room, it makes sense to go for the increase in square footage the second floor provides. Building out usually only allows you to increase the size of some of your rooms or maybe add one or two.
  • Keep your backyard. The kids love to play soccer on the lawn. You enjoy the well-deserved glass of ice-cold lemonade on a Saturday afternoon in the backyard. When you build out, you lose a great amount of yard space. Whereas in the past you may have had a nice backyard, a ground-level room addition may cut this down to a patio-sized space.
  • Avoid problems with the zoning department. Depending on your area, the zoning department regulates the set backs you must maintain on the sides and the space you must keep between your structure and the property line. In some cases, this may interfere with your need for additional space when choosing the ground floor addition.
  • Keep your options open. When you leave your backyard space untouched, you have the future option of adding a pool or a guest cottage.

The experts at Natelli Homes know that changing the architectural design of your home is something that takes careful planning and a lot of consideration. We work with you to help you make the decision that is right for you and your family now – and in the future. Contact us today for more information on second floor home additions and other remodeling projects.


5-ways-of-saving-money-on-your-kitchen-remodel-arlington-vaAs the new year pushes on, warmer weather means more people will be beginning spring and summer kitchen remodeling jobs, hoping to increase the value of their property, and increase functionality for themselves.

But when it comes to kitchen remodeling, you can take either of two paths: very expensive or penny pincher. 

So while many people don't have the funds to take on a full job, tearing down and building up, many do have the money to take on the job without going bankrupt. Don't believe us? Here are 5 ways you can save money on your kitchen remodel.

1. Counters don't have to be granite. That is, they can still be solid, while maintaining charm and use, and not be expensive. Solid surface veneer (SSV) is a great way to get that solid look and feel without sacrificing your entire budget.

2. Install granite tiles instead. Or other solid surface tiles. Slabs cost about $75 per square foot, whereas tiles only run $20 per square foot. Plus, after install, no one will be able to tell the difference.

3. No reconfiguring necessary. Save tons of money by leaving your kitchen in its current configuration. Then you won't have to pay a plumber, an electrician, and so on, and you can simply replace old appliances with new ones. Generally, half of a homeowner's budget is tied up in reconfiguration. 

4. Do the shopping on your own. There's no harm in hiring a designer and a contractor to do the work your can't, but sometimes that means letting them do the shopping, which can kill your budget. So to save money, take matters into your own hands and buy all the materials yourself. You'll save 15 to 20% doing it yourself.

5. Closeout appliances abide. You can have all of that special newness in a brand new appliance without a second mortgage. Simply buy closeout models. What's a closeout model? Usually, it's a discontinued version of a newer model. There is rarely nothing wrong with them, except they didn't sell well. They usually carry a regular warranty too. Ask around, you'll find considerable savings using this method.

Interested in remodeling your kitchen? Please contact us for more information.




architectural-design-makes-a-huge-difference-in-garage-over-builds-mclean-vaThe typical garage over-build creates a bonus room that offers a wide variety of added functions to your home. Whether you are thinking of adding a game room for the teens, a mother-in-law suite that allows you to welcome an elderly parent into your home while preserving their independence, or the opportunity to finally have that home theater setting complete with theater seating and sound, the right architectural design makes all the difference.

  • Customization. Do not make do with a second-hand design plan that may or may not bring the functionality to your home that you crave. Rather, work with an expert in the field who us adept at designing custom homes, home additions or garage over-builds. Working with this type of professional allows you to tailor the amenities and setup of the space to cater to your vision of its future use.
  • Integration. Although it may not sound like as big a deal as a full home-remodeling contract, remember that the addition of a second story above your garage not only adds much-needed space but also makes a dramatic alteration to your home’s appearance, the flow of its roof line and the proportions of your structure with respect to the landscaping. This is where the right architectural design will include the small touches that integrate the new living space into the look and feel of the existing home. Examples include a floor alignment to an already existing second story or the seamless integration of the new space to the current structure, which involves movement of bricks, siding, shingles and other design elements.
  • Modernization. It is tricky to add a new space that feels modern against an older structure. That said, architectural design specialists have the power to affect a flow from a garage over-build into a farmer’s kitchen or other portion of the structure without creating a sudden transition.

The experts at Natelli Homes are well versed in the art and science that is architectural design. Rely on our professionals to sketch out the most functional, visually attractive and versatile living space that fits perfectly above your current garage setup. Contact us today for more information on garage build-overs, kitchen or bathroom remodeling as well as the design of custom homes.




whats-trending-with-master-bedrooms-in-custom-homes-potomac-mdWhile the kitchen and bathrooms receive a lot of attention in Maryland or Virginia custom homes, the master bedroom is also trending as one of the most beloved rooms in a home. Whether you are renovating or in the process of building a custom home, it’s important to consider the look and feel of your master bedroom. Many homeowners today see the need for dual master bedrooms, especially with so many long-term guests. According to an article by Freshome, the bedroom is often a private space that is custom designed for your taste. Of course, with a guest master bedroom, you can decorate and design it with a more universal appeal in mind. Freshome points out that a bedroom is a private sanctuary. Your builder can incorporate recessed ceilings, bay or bow windows and other architectural features. Ask your builder about ideas such as an adjoining sitting area, extra-large walk-in closet with organizers and the doorway between the bedroom and master bathroom.

  • Choosing a color palette

One of the decisions for you to make when envisioning a bathroom remodel or a new home is the color palette of your master bedroom. Experts say some of the most popular colors in the past year included gray, soft blacks and whites.

  • Taking a cue from a hotel

Another thing that’s trending with master bedrooms is the glitz and glamour of a hotel. In essence, it’s all about elegance, extravagance and spaciousness. You can ask your builder about having a wall of windows or sliding glass doors that overlook your backyard, but also include hotel-style drapes that you can close for total privacy.

  • Using natural materials

Whether it’s the bedroom or the kitchen, more people are using eco-friendly and natural materials. For flooring, consider bamboo floors. One idea is to use a brick accent wall where the headboard would go. Natural materials and natural tones create a restful area. Also trending is the rustic look, especially for people with Maryland or Virginia country homes or homes with an Adirondack influence.

At Natelli Homes, we take pride in building beautiful custom homes such as the four-square home, cottage design and modern split-levels. We can also renovate your home to include a second master bedroom to accommodating aging parents or young adult children. For more information on our custom homes and architectural services, please contact us.

Our custom home service is one of the finest in the entire country. We have built many custom homes in the Chevy Chase area for our clients which range from lobbyists to even an astronaut.

We proudly offer our custom home services to the Chevy Chase area. 

Feel free to contact us today if you would like a personal consultation for our custom home services.  

Our custom home serviced clients in the Chevy Chase area 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. Interested for a custom home in the Chevy Chase area? If so, please visit www.natellihomes.com and contact us today.

Offering the best custom home service in the surrounding Chevy Chase area!

ca5cdc8d-aa08-4b8b-a114-1cc1478a2f3d-thumbWhen it comes to architectural design, one of the factors to consider is the ceiling height desired. Cathedral ceilings have seen a rise and fall in popularity, with the 2-story ceilings in family rooms and entryways becoming less important to Maryland and Virginia homebuyers. According to an article by The Chicago Tribune, ceilings used to soar but now homeowners are choosing the cozy feel offered by lower ceilings. One of the hidden drawbacks of having vaulted and cathedral ceilings is the fact that artwork, lighting and other features have to be large and loud to be noticed. During the holiday time, even a Christmas tree needs to be the largest one on the lot to make a statement under a cathedral ceiling. Whether you want to renovate an existing home to add or remove drop ceilings or are thinking about the architectural design of a new custom home, consider the trends as well as your own preferences.

Following the down-to-earth trend

Lately, the trend in architectural design and interior design has been leaning toward organic, natural and “green.” Experts say it takes more energy to cool and heat up a home with cathedral ceilings. Also, high ceilings don’t provide the feeling of coziness and warmth some people desire. Some larger homes with two-story entryways and Great Rooms also have Juliet balconies and second-story bridges that look down to the living area below, which is appealing even today to some homeowners.

Using space for practical purposes

Experts say having cathedral ceilings can be wasted space for people who want to use space on the second floor for bedrooms, offices or lofts. After buying a home with cathedral ceilings, it’s not impossible to renovate to add drop ceilings or additions on the second floor. When budgeting for a new custom home, think about whether you rather spend money on high ceilings versus a gourmet kitchen or upgraded flooring.

Even though 18-feet ceilings in the Great Room may feel too cold and austere for some, having slightly higher ceilings in bedrooms can make people feel less claustrophobic. Experts say many homebuyers are asking for 9 feet ceilings instead of the standard 8 feet ceilings for many rooms of the home.

At Natelli Homes, we build spectacular custom homes in Maryland and Virginia. For more information about ceiling heights as well as options for custom homes, remodeling, renovations and new home additions, please contact us.

6798da32-466f-46fb-b524-6eb2c72a4665Building custom homes is an art that requires the skill and innovation of a reputable builder as well as the vision of a homebuyer bubbling over with excitement. Eventually, you may need to sell your dream home. Some people wonder whether it’s possible for a home to have too much personality or be too unique for resale purposes. According to a recent article by Yahoo Homes, custom dream homes can end up being a hard sell. When working with a builder on plans for your custom home, consider whether you are taking risks when tailoring a home to your tastes. Many Maryland and Virginia homeowners don’t like cookie-cutter type homes, but some architectural styles are more popular than others. An experienced builder can guide you whether you choose a four-square home, split level, cottage design or custom estate. An article by Custom Homes points out some of the home design trends that can help rather than hurt your chances of selling at a profit in the future.

A home that’s impossible for aging in place

Even though open-space homes with soaring ceilings are great, they can be difficult to maintain. When having a custom home built, think about how your needs will change as you grow older. Experts say older homeowners appreciate matte finishes because highly reflective surfaces are hard on the eyes. Consider using non-reflective granite and tile in the kitchen. Acoustics are also important since many older homeowners want a quiet home. Builders can use construction products with sound-deadening properties. Also, think about whether you can manage the upkeep of a home with walls of windows.

A home that’s more of an artistic statement

Even though you may want your home to be somewhat of an artistic statement, it also has to be a place where you can live. Some of the bizarre and notable “artistic” homes across the country include the “spaceship house” in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the “Teapot home” in Zillah, Washington, the Boeing 727 house” in Benoit, Mississippi, the “shoe house” in Hellam, Pennsylvania and the “mushroom house” in Cincinnati, Ohio. Instead of making a statement with the architecture of your home, it’s best to take risks with a guest bathroom or a game room. The “wow factor” can also be achieved with outdoor living space and landscaping, especially with the rolling hills of Maryland and Virginia.

At Natelli Homes, we build beautiful and classic custom homes in Maryland and Virginia. For more information about custom homes, remodeling, renovations and new home additions, please contact us.

6bccd565-592d-4e9d-e867-ff095d2db089-thumbHomeowners who want to build custom homes on their small lots in the Maryland and Virginia area often gravitate to modern-day versions of the American Four Square. Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright is making a reappearance as homeowners desire the luxury of a new construction home but the space offered by the four-square design. According to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, custom home building recorded growth this year. Many homebuyers today want homes that have the character of the past. The American Four Square or Prairie Box was popular in the mid-1890s to the late 1930s as a reaction to the ornate Victorian style.

Going beyond four rooms

The old four-square homes typically had four large boxy rooms to each floor. Today’s four-square custom homes may open to a foyer with a dining room on one side and an office on the other side. The middle of the home often has a stair hall that leads up to the second level as well as breakfast room and open kitchen. The other section of the main floor often has a covered terrace and family room. On the upper level, homeowners may have two smaller bedrooms on one side and a master suite with walk-in closets on the other side. Going beyond the “four squares,” custom homes today may include a mudroom on the lower level and an upstairs loft and additional bedroom over the garage.

Enjoying the outdoors

Being outside was important to people who owned an American Four Square before the advent of air-conditioning. Today, custom homes often come with covered flagstone porches and other outdoor amenities. While most four square homes are built on smaller lots, it’s also fun to build a Four Square custom home on a larger lot to allow for an outdoor kitchen area, pool, gazebo, gardens and other landscaping.

Some of the popular interior characteristics and materials used in custom homes with historical character include solid hardwood flooring and solid staircases. Coffered beamed ceilings may be constructed in the family room on the main level.

Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services is an experienced builder who builds an enhanced version of the basic four square as well as other custom homes. For more information about having an American Four Square home built for your family in the Washington DC area as well as Northern Virginia and Maryland, please contact us.

c6c3736e-fe3b-4efc-c04c-379807d83c77Upper-end new homes are increasing in size, while home additions increase livable space in homes. According to an article by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), some of the architectural design trends include bigger, more accessible homes as well as property enhancements such as decks and porches. When house hunting in Maryland and Virginia, you may feel claustrophobic in older bungalow and ranch-style homes. Most Marylanders and Virginians want larger homes with decks, porches or windows overlooking the landscape that changes with each of the four seasons.
  • Living in larger homes

As reported by the AIA, the size of homes has been trending up since 2010. Residential architects say there is a demand for two-story entryways and high ceilings as well as more square footage. Upper-end homes are much more likely to be spacious compared to the starter homes. Benefits of living in larger homes include the fact that the home can accommodate a growing family and more guests.

  • Creating accessible living

Another architectural design trend is accessibility. With baby boomers retiring, more people want wider hallways, fewer steps, ramps and door handles instead of knobs that are difficult to grab. People from the younger generations like “flex rooms” and other spaces that can be defined as they wish. The open-space concept layout continues to be popular with family rooms and kitchens that flow. Casual eat-in kitchen areas, dens and niche flex rooms replace the old formal living and dining rooms.

  • Blending indoor and outdoor spaces

From decks, porches, sunrooms to outdoor kitchens, gazebos and pools, more people are making outdoor improvements a priority. Seven out of 10 residential architects surveyed for a Home Design Trends Survey by the AIA said outdoor living is increasing in popularity. Some architectural design ideas include building a stone paver patio with decorative stone fence and stairs leading up to a steep backyard. A new pool and patio or porch and lanai can bring stylish architectural to the back of a home.

Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services offers unparalleled service. For help in learning about the latest architectural design choices available to you when having a custom home built or when renovating your existing home in Virginia or Maryland, please contact us.

9a8f9260-a0fe-48f9-e941-4d96e1609108We've been working in homes for over 30 years, so we've seen many trends come and go. One architectural design trend that's really hot right now is the tiny house movement. These houses are less than 300 square feet and are often built on trailers to make them transportable. Builders use smart storage ideas to utilize every square inch of space in these tiny houses, and owners like that they can have a home that's eco-friendly and affordable. Tiny house builders can be found all over the country, and each one is putting their own unique twist on these micro-homes. 

Can't imagine living with your family in 150 square feet? We can't blame you. But there are several important lessons we can learn from the tiny house movement and apply to nearly every home: 

  1. Smaller doesn't mean less fabulous. Small bathrooms don't have to feel cramped, and small kitchens don't have to be cluttered. By really looking at the space you have and making design decisions that work with your room, even the tiniest room can look well put-together and useful. 
  2. Going green can be easy. Taking small steps to help ensure your home isn't being a drain on your resources doesn't have to be difficult, and it can even save you money. Do little things like integrate recycling bins alongside your trash cans, install new energy-efficient appliances, and use eco-friendly products in your home renovation projects. 
  3. Running out of space? Look up. Something that tiny homes do incredibly well is use the space that they have, and often that space is up high. They put shelves along ceiling lines or a bed in the attic space. If your home is feeling cluttered, look up for additional storage space. Hang storage cubes at the ceiling and add baskets for things you don't use often, or consider finishing your attic and giving your family a bonus room. 
  4. Sometimes rethinking your current space is a better option than getting a bigger space. More space means more room for clutter. Instead of moving your family into a bigger home, maybe you just need to rethink your current space and make better use of it. Contacting a design firm to help you rethink your space can give you a fresh perspective on your home's potential. 

We can help you see your home with fresh eyes! Let's talk about the home renovation project that will help your home function more efficiently, give you the space you need, and update its look. We love helping people fall in love with their homes all over again, and the tiny house movement is a great place to find big inspiration! 

Contact us