Natelli Homes Blog


If you are dreaming about transforming the smallest rooms in your Maryland or Virginia home, it’s likely you are ready for a bathroom remodeling plan. Just because most bathrooms are small doesn’t mean they don’t make a big impact on your lifestyle and design statement. According to an article by bankrate.com, you need a bathroom remodeling plan when hiring a professional. Because you have limited space in a bathroom, it’s critical to have a comprehensive plan that includes lighting and storage.

  • Should you enlarge your bathroom?

One of the great advantages of hiring a builder is that you can find out how much it would cost to enlarge a bathroom. A builder that specializes in bathroom remodeling will often advise you to enlarge the space by using space from a nearby closet or hallway or bedroom. Most people only enlarge master bathrooms or bathrooms adjacent to a guest suite. A powder room near the kitchen or laundry area is often fine as a small space.

  • Is it best to remove a tub?

In order to install over-sized showers that are so popular now, many architects advise removing tubs in at least one of the bathrooms. Typically, people want a large shower and garden tub in the master bathroom suite. However, a tub that isn’t used in a second or third bathroom is space that's simply wasted.

  • How do you prioritize?

Other factors to consider when prioritizing a bathroom remodeling job include storage and lighting. For the most part, lighting is a fairly inexpensive part of the equation although it’s good to invest in quality decorative lighting and task lighting. The cabinets' configuration plays into the storage equation. Some of the other decision to make include whether or not to spend more money on upgraded vanities, sinks and flooring.

If aging-in-place is something you worry about, talk to your builder about universal design features. Whether it’s a grab bar in the shower, a shower that you won’t trip getting into or out of or a toilet at the right height, universal design appeals to older homeowners as well as people taking care of aging relatives. But even if you are decades away from retirement, universal design elements help boost resale value.

At Natelli Homes, we can help you transform your bathrooms. We provide architectural and design services in Maryland and Virginia. For more ideas for a bathroom remodeling project, please contact us.

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.




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.

f8565e4d-3c57-4ab5-a4d9-4fcc6bde3273-thumbYour home is your sanctuary, your kingdom, and your safe place. During a home remodeling project it might not feel like that, though. We've been remodeling homes in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland for decades, and we know how difficult it can be to live in a house that's undergoing a remodel. Here are the tips that we give our clients when the remodeling work begins:

  • Keep the other areas of your home as peaceful as possible. Remodeling work can be messy and noisy. By keeping the other areas of your home as peaceful as possible, you'll be able to retreat from the chaos and enjoy the parts of your home that aren't a part of the remodel. For instance, if we're working on your kitchen remodeling project, make your bedroom your go-to location to unwind. 
  • Focus on the progress that happens everyday. We encourage families to take pictures of the progress happening each day on their home renovation. That way you can look back at photos from just a few days ago and see that really, a lot of progress has been made on your bathroom renovation in a short amount of time. Plus, this is a great way to capture memories of your remodel and create an amazing before and after shot.  
  • Keep your mind focused on the big picture. The little bit of hassle that comes from a home remodeling project will be more than worth it when the work is over and you have the room in your home that you've always dreamed about. The beauty of your home will greatly outweigh any inconvenience you went through, and you'll be ready to move on to the next project right away. 

Of course, working with an experienced company like Natelli Homes can make a home remodeling project much easier! Our teams treat you and your home with respect, and they'll work hard to keep noise, mess, and inconvenience to an absolute minimum. We love creating beautiful new spaces for our clients, and we'll make sure you love having our teams in your home. If you are considering a home remodeling project, contact us and learn more about how we help you make the dreams you have for your home come true. 

de3c1082-3c45-4211-c839-f42cd84552b9-thumbKitchen remodeling is hot. With so many options, it’s important to distinguish between what’s a fleeting trend and what’s going to make you happy for decades to come. According to a recent Forbes article, there are several kitchen remodel trends that homeowners should avoid. Of course, embrace a trend if you personally love a particular style or kitchen design feature for your Virginia or Maryland home. Not everyone is concerned about resale value, but about having the kitchen of their dreams. According to Forbes, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is now more than $50,000.

Parking your appliances

People used to park their appliances in appliance garages, but appliance garages take up a lot of counter space. A design expert can help you choose cabinets that open up to store pots and pans, spices and fine china. Illuminated kitchen cupboards are especially helpful. Cabinet drawers may be used to file papers. Trash and recycling cans can slide in and out of cabinetry as well.

Using updated backsplashes

Another important kitchen remodeling tip is to select a backsplash that fits the overall style of your home whether it’s country, contemporary or transitional. According to Forbes, the 4-inch backsplash trend has been replaced by porcelain, ceramic or glass tile that covers walls instead of just a few inches.

A kitchen island as a focal point

Kitchen islands are both practical and attractive. Ceiling-mounted racks to hang pots used to be popular, but can also be an eyesore. Many kitchen islands have built-in storage and see-through compartments. In a smaller kitchen, you may opt for a mobile kitchen cart to dress up your kitchen.

Other kitchen remodeling considerations include whether to choose stainless steel or the new colorful appliances. Should you pick the popular granite or choose something else? According to a piece by Houzz, popular countertop materials includes soapstone, copper, engineered quartz, tile, recycled glass, marble, concrete and stainless steel. A professional designer can help you with a kitchen palette that matches the overall style of your home.

At Natelli Homes Architectural Design and Construction Services, we help homeowners transform their kitchens. For help in renovating your kitchen or any other space in your Virginia or Maryland home, please contact us.

.wp-caption { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #F1F1F1; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 4px; text-align: center;} .wp-caption p.wp-caption-text { color: #888888; font-size: 12px; margin: 5px;}

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.









.wp-caption { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #F1F1F1; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 4px; text-align: center;} .wp-caption p.wp-caption-text { color: #888888; font-size: 12px; margin: 5px;}

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.

.wp-caption { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #F1F1F1; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 4px; text-align: center;} .wp-caption p.wp-caption-text { color: #888888; font-size: 12px; margin: 5px;}

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.