Natelli Homes Blog

10-tips-to-help-you-save-on-building-your-custom-home-potomac-mdSo you've finally done it. You made an investment in your future, purchased a lot of your very own, and are now in the early stages of building your first custom home. A job that, and we know, is both difficult and incredibly stressful.

With that, here are 10 tips to help you get ready for the ride of a lifetime, as you build your custom home.

1. Have an emergency plan in place. Why? Because even in spite of all of your hard work and planning, bad things can still happen. So have a contingency plan in place for some peace of mind.

2. A little bit of research can carry you very far. We're talking books, home and garden TV, talking to experts, and so on. Do it all now, and you'll be prepared for anything.

3. Scout other homes for ideas on what you want. If doing it in person is not in the cards, consider using the Internet to do most of the heavy-lifting. 

4. Hire an architect that you can not only trust, but also rely on to give you what you want. Look at portfolios, and never simply hire the first one that you talk to.

5. Similarly, hire the right company to help you complete the work. A qualified professional who is well-versed in building custom homes will make the whole process run smooth and easy.

6. Speak candidly with all of those helping you. Let them know what you want, what you don't want, and things that are deal-breakers. It's important to getting the most out of the process.

7. Don't be afraid to negotiate payments and costs. It is, after all, your dream home, so pick your battles carefully and save whenever you can.

8. When furnishing or buying supplies, look online for suppliers that offer free shipping. There are many great deals to be had if you're savvy enough.

9. Take discounts and deals whenever possible; buy wholesale instead of retail. Building a custom home from the ground up is expensive. So it's OK to cut costs at first. Worry about larger items a few years down the road.

10. Don't be afraid to pitch-in when needed! The work you complete on your own is like putting money back into your pocket. It's worth it to get your hands dirty from time to time. 

Interested in learning more about how we can help you build your dream home? Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your options.


energy-efficient-features-to-insist-on-when-planning-for-home-additions-potomac-mdPlanning for an addition to your home may be as a result of needing more space for a new baby, your senior parent moving in, or to make some extra money by renting out. Whatever the reason may be for home additions, it’s crucial that you look into how to keep your home energy-efficient and increase property value at the same time. The following features are all great examples of features that will keep the home addition as energy-efficient as possible.

Dual-Pane Windows

Older windows can be the source of a heating and cooling loss throughout the year, resulting in disappointment with your energy usage. Luckily, newer dual-pane windows solve this problem entirely. By opting for these types of windows with the home addition, you can ensure that no air is being loss through the windows.

Modern Heating and Cooling

Keeping your home comfortable throughout the year is as easy as ensuring that the addition to your home has a quality heating and cooling system hooked up.

Upgraded Plumbing Fixtures

If the new addition is going to have a kitchen or bathroom space, it’s important that it has plumbing fixtures which have modern water usage features included.

Solar Panels for Extra Savings  

To reduce the amount of energy that heating your home costs, you can get solar panels installed on the roof. This will help provide extra heating to your home without the need of reworking any of the existing roofing.

For more ideas on making your new home addition energy-efficient, contact us.

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.

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.

e6b0d800-4991-48bf-d209-096dc568138f-thumbHaving a mother-in-law suite in your Maryland or Virginia home doesn’t mean your mother-in-law has to move in tomorrow. Home additions that can be used as separate living spaces can dramatically increase the value of your home. According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, space for aging parents or young adult children is one of the hottest real estate amenities affecting resale value. Experts say the demand for separate living quarters within a home or as a guest house is coming from domestic and foreign homebuyers.

  • Changing trends in America

Although the idea of multi-generational living has been a longtime custom in many countries, it’s now becoming more typical for American families. From an economic perspective, American families realize they can save not just a few thousand dollars on rent when junior moves back in for a few months after college, but hundreds of thousands of dollars on assisted-living and nursing homes for aging parents. The Wall Street reports that real-estate listings that include in-law units or “accessory-dwelling units” are priced about 60 percent higher than those without the home additions. A survey of homeowners found an astounding 32 percent expect with living parents said they expect to take care of an aging relative in the future.

  • Deciding on the layout

With the help of an experienced builder that provides architectural design services, such as Natelli Homes, you can decide where to expand living space. Some options include adding a second floor to a single-story home. Younger members of the family can move to the second floor, while the lower level may be easier for older people who can’t navigate stairs. A garage over-build that uses space above a garage can also be turned into extra space for teenagers or college-age children, freeing up areas of the home that are more accessible. A new home addition on the main floor that includes a kitchenette, private living room, elder-friendly bathroom and bedroom is another way route to take.

Other improvements you can make include having a private entrance and garage built as part of the in-law suite renovation. Including universal design renovations or elder-friendly upgrades can also tie into your goals.

At Natelli Homes, we build custom homes and renovate existing homes in Maryland and Virginia. For more information about home additions and any help with remodeling or renovations, please contact us.


“Outdated” is the enemy when it comes to a home that is prized for being a reflection of the homeowner’s marvelous sense of style. When undergoing a home remodeling project, it’s helpful to be aware of what’s on trend. According to a recent article by D Home Magazine, the entire point of a home remodeling project or custom home building is to create wholly personal spaces. At the same time, knowing the latest trends in home renovation can make the decision process a little less daunting for those who aren’t already committed to a particular look or style.

  • Keeping it light and natural

According to design experts, porcelain tiles that have a wood look are extremely on trend. Dark, hand-scraped floors are being replaced by more natural and lighter finishes such as gray and white. Natural stone floors are showing up in today’s homes that are newly built or newly remodeled.

  • Sticking with open spaces

Open spaces and clean lines are the norm in contemporary and modern homes, but experts say they are now happening in traditional homes as well. People who own homes with traditional exteriors are choosing to remodel the inside of their homes with open concepts. Homeowners today like open kitchens and more usable space.

  • Taking limited risks

Homeowners who take the bold leap by choosing an avant-garde or experimental design look often find themselves stuck with a trendy rather than on-trend home. When remodeling a home, take smaller risks by creating an unusual guest bathroom or selecting a floating staircase or bold entryway door.

Other home remodeling trends include reworking the spaces that were once designated as formal living and dining rooms. Many people want to use formal dining rooms as space to entertain during the holidays, but have the ability to quickly convert it into an office or study room the rest of the year. Experts say formal living rooms are now used as a retreat or library that houses the more old-fashioned furniture that doesn’t blend well with the modern tech toys and gadgets.

At Natelli Homes, we take pride in providing experienced architectural design services for clients in Maryland and Virginia. For more information on the latest home remodeling trends, please contact us.

b6c9a815-72a7-4a44-8137-6e3255cf7e1dYour home’s entryway or foyer is not just what your guests first see when they enter your home, but it’s the space that greets you at the end of a hard day. When planning a home renovation, the foyer is a key area of the home that can make you feel excited about where you live. Before hiring an architectural design firm for a home remodeling project, consider the statement you want to make with your foyer. Lighting, flooring, art niches, the doorway and a staircase are a few of the design elements to include. According to a recent article by HouseBeautiful, a foyer can be dramatic with the right choices for paint, furniture and art. But whether you want design touches such as wainscoting, tone-on-tone striped wallpaper or a new front door with translucent glass, a foyer renovation can improve first impressions.

Fabulous flooring

One of the major considerations when home remodeling is the flooring. Some people use a different flooring material for the foyer so it stands out. One option is to put down a mosaic floor medallion in either marble or ceramic. Another possibility is to select custom oval, round, square or other custom wood medallions or borders for hardwood flooring.

A stunning staircase

A stunning staircase is another major component of a home remodeling  project if you have a two-story home. Some creative ideas include installing a water feature with plants at the base of the stairways using a decorative stone surround. Different styles of staircases today include contemporary, traditional, modern, eclectic and Asian.

Other home remodeling possibilities for a gorgeous foyer include art niches in which you can hang favorite art pieces. Lighting is also a major consideration. Hanging a contemporary chandelier versus a traditional lighting fixture will foreshadow what’s in store for the rest of the home. Replace the existing door with a new one that is crafted with safety and style in mind.

At Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services, we can help you renovate your entire home, construct additions or redesign or renovate your foyer, entrances, porches, kitchens, bathrooms or other zones in the home. We provide construction and design services to the Washington DC area as well as Northern Virginia and Maryland. For more information, please contact us.

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Custom Millwork
For those with an eye for the details of a custom built home you begin to find the flaws fairly early in the process of investigation. Aspects of interior construction that frequently fall short of perfection are ceiling treatments and molding, also known as millwork. Whether its crown, dental, coffered ceilings, or even the lowly shoe molding, one always finds places that weren’t done as perfectly as they could have been. But when you find the right craftsmen, millwork nirvana may be close at hand.

The custom millwork in this home provides many examples of how attention to detail makes all the difference in the world. The drywall corners have all been rounded, except at the base and the top, where they join the millwork. This provides for tight-fitting corners where the millwork wraps with full returns, completely enclosing the corner.


The formal spaces feature columns, coffered ceilings and crown molding. All of the molding is made from solid poplar. The geothermal heating system has been running for weeks to keep the millwork at a constant temperature and humidity to prevent cracking and warping.

Where ceilings and walls meet at odd angles, soffits have been added to the trim work to create a seamless edge.

Where you notice imperfections in the featured photos, it’s simply because you’re viewing a work in progress and the final finish has not been applied. Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments. I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.









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There is nothing prefabricated about the carpentry in this home, right down to the lowliest of all considerations, the shelving in the closet and storage spaces.  Each closet has shelving specifically designed to maximize storage within the space and to facilitate the ease of placement and recovery.  There is a custom made cedar closet where the finest clothes will be stored, and numerous closets that use MDF, as the shelving material.  But every closet’s shelving has rounded outer edges.  The shelves are then primed, sanded and painted with the final finish. 

The kitchen pantry offers a great example of custom made shelving.




The cedar closet is a work of art, if you have a hankering for cedar closets.




Other closets throughout the house are designed to maximize form and function.




Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments.  I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.

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The architectural design of this home employs many Old World creative elements.  From the older stucco finish of exterior walls, to distressed bathroom vanities, to fireplace hearths and wrought-iron railings, the finished produce will transport you in time.  The great room floor and kitchen ceiling exemplify these design details in the use of wooden beams.

The ceiling contains hand-made wooden faux beams, distressed and stained to look decades old.  The parallel alignment of beams across the ceiling contrast large wooden squares on the great room floor, arranged in a diamond pattern, that will be filled with stone tile.  When the crossbeams are added above, the look is one of a somewhat coffered ceiling juxtaposing a coffered floor.  The overall effect will be striking.  BOB, DON’T KNOW IF I’M USING THE RIGHT TERMS THERE.







The same style hand-made wooden faux beams are used in the master bedroom.  Here they complement a fireplace of lovely vintage design, distressed vanities and other elements.



The home uses stone, rich woods and stucco in both the exterior and interior designs.  The wooden faux beams find application on all three levels and appear one last time in the wine cellar.  Here they complete an aesthetic of stone, stucco and vintage wrought-iron and solid wood doors.   

Feel free to e-mail me with your questions and comments.  I can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website www.natellihomes.com.