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Islands in the desert


If home is where the heart is and the kitchen is where the warmth is, a kitchen island is where the conversation is.

The six hottest trends for 2015 will bring the party into the kitchen, keep the host involved in the fun and make daily life a little easier with great function.

As Erika Geiser, vice president of marketing for Christopher Homes, said, the biggest trend in kitchen islands is having them: “They want them. They want them to use and entertain. And they want something creative, different and unique.”

Gone are the days of the small butcher block islands that offered a place for a cutting board. Islands now dominate the room and offer a focal point with a pop of color, a different texture or an irregular shape.

“Island designs that are asymmetrical, or arch, help facilitate conversation around the kitchen island,” said Elicia Trujillo, architectural product manager at Beazer Homes.

The bigger the island, the more function and grandeur it can bring.

“Color, under-cabinet lighting, storage, deep overhangs with dramatic decorative posts and tile insets … can become the calling card for the home,” Trujillo said.

Feeding the children and keeping the kitchen clean are parenthood’s ultimate feats. Separate refrigerator drawers in a kitchen island stocked with kid-friendly snacks, drinks and leftovers will give those children freedom to feed themselves. Bonus? It will also keep their hands off your ice cream in the main refrigerator and minimize the floor space they can coat with a juice box.

No kids? Still keep those drawers in mind. You can set the individual temperature on a drawer to keep vegetables crisp or beer cold. And they are handy for separating the food you need for tonight’s dinner party.

“It’s a great convenience to have that appliance in the island and at your fingertips,” Geiser said.

By bringing appliances into the island, the host can be the center of the party, mom or dad can keep one eye on the meal and the other on those rambunctious kids and the tired 9-to-5er can come home and cook with a clear sightline to primetime TV.

“Having the appliances in the island enables the cook to interact with the family or entertain the guests rather than having their back turned as they get things done in the kitchen,” Trujillo said.

Think prep sink, wine coolers, cooktops, pull-out spice racks, trash compactor and, perhaps most importantly, an extra dishwasher.

“The kitchen island is critical. It is the place to gather, converse and prepare the food and drinks for family and guests,” said Joe Whatley, owner of Liberty Homes.

Ditch the breakfast nook and traditional dining space inside your kitchen for a single, multilevel island that offers functional eating space differentiated from the food prep area.

“Even just a raised glass countertop area for seating offers another level,” Geiser said.

Traditional, single-level, bar-style seating at an island leaves guests sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. A shaped, multilevel design, helps engage guests and incorporates conversation into the kitchen.

“An island should serve as a workspace and a gathering area. Seating is important for quick meals, breakfast, coffee bar, work station for your laptop and seated guest while you are preparing for entertaining,” Whatley said.

Islands are incorporating three and four levels and even extend to a lower level to incorporate a full table with standard dining room chairs.

Forget sweeping through your kitchen and hiding all the unmentionables in the kitchen island just before the guests come over. Functional cabinetry keeps a kitchen organized, easy to use and accessible. Tucking the recycling bin into the cabinets allows the cook to rinse the cans in the prep sink and drop them straight into the recycling.

Add a Kitchen Aid mixer stand straight into the cabinetry for easy baking. Geiser said the mixer stand has been met with great interest. The mixer remains on the stand and plugged in under the cabinet and pops up on a shelf for easy use, cleanup and storage. Or just upgrade standard cabinetry to add more function: lights that come on when you open the drawer, inlaid cutting boards and silverware trays.

“A properly designed island should have access to storage from at least three sides,” Whatley said.

Waterfall granite on the side of the island is popular, said John McDonough of Canyon Creek Custom Homes and Remodeling. It creates a slab that extends from floor to floor across the top of the island and looks seamless.

Pop-up outlets that are inlaid under the granite offer the functionality, but don’t interrupt the design space, Geiser said.

“A new detail that’s kind of exciting, but not limited to islands, is a phone charger built into the faceplate of an outlet. You literally plug your phone into the outlet without a cord,” she said. “Who doesn’t need to charge their phone these days?”

Most important, design for the function you need (Are you an entertainer, a weekday cook or a baker?) and add a little flair just for you.

“Not every woman wants the same black dress that all the other women on the block have,” Trujillo said.

Home Technology & Integration

Big companies are starting to invest in ‘smart’ home technology companies. So, what does this mean for the future of home technology and integration? It means remote control and monitoring of home appliances, lights, doors, security, entertainment systems and more is here to stay and we think will become more mainstream over the next few years. We see integration leading to smarter, more efficient and safer homes.

Smart Home option 2Integration offers many conveniences and can also create vastly new experiences. Today, what were once complex home systems can be integrated – allowing a homeowner to access everything all at once, from one device. Control lights, heating, security systems & cameras, gate access, audio systems and much more. Instead of having a variety of controls, keep it simple, pair it down and utilize the technology within your reach.

With big companies investing in and taking over smart home technology companies, further integration is just around the corner – any labor-saving task will likely have a solution. Today, you can take advantage of your mobile and tablet devices and take your integration to the next level – on the go. Many manufacturers now offer a variety of options including web-based or cloud-based solutions for: home thermostat, security systems, locks, power control for various amenities (pools, hot tubs, entertainment systems), lighting and more. Have you ever left home wondering if you turned something on or off? Worry no longer, as this as well as information when “things” (such as doors, drawers, or even objects) are opened, closed, moved or even change angles. This will not only help you detect an intruder but when kids are home from school or activities. With a variety of tools and alerts, you can monitor when and if kids are home or if a door or window has been opened.

Here are some movers and shakers:

  • We are excited about the new developments in home automation and look forward to working with clients to integrate these into their homes. SmartThings – Rumors that it will be purchased for a reported $200 million by Samsung.
  • Belkin – Offering a variety of products utilizing your current WiFi network
  • Wink – Sold at Home Depot
  • Nest – Purchased by Google earlier this year for $3.2 billion
  • Home Kit, by Apple

How To Add Your Own Unique Personality & Style To Your Kitchen

Adding your own unique personality and style to your kitchen can be challenging – the elements are all the same: cabinets, refrigerator, range, flooring and countertops so how do you make this space your own. We wanted to share how we worked with one of our recent clients to incorporate their personal style in their kitchen makeover. They wanted to convert their very tradition, Tuscan-style kitchen into something that was more contemporary that reflected their unique tastes.  We love how this kitchen was transformed and although we know it can be difficult remodeling your kitchen – incorporate your personal style and make it yours. Here is how we made it work beautifully:

How To Add Personality To Your Kitchen - option 1Unique Layout

We enlarged the kitchen by removing the butler’s pantry and converting it into a walk-in pantry and moving the refrigerator wall back. This opened up the entire kitchen making it feel much larger. We removed all the existing cabinets and fixtures and install all new items. 

Mix Textures and Surfaces

The combination of textures from the backsplash to the countertops and flooring give life to your design and depth to the room. Keeping textures and surfaces the same throughout your kitchen can create a monotone look.  When looking at finishes, consider different tile selections, woods and color to help add a personal touch. 

A Punch of Color

The cabinets are Karman’s Artisan Inset cabinets with the Brookfield door style in maple wood with a Benjamin Moore paint color. The room is dominated, but not overpowered by the white cabinets. To make the room pop we added gray touches in the backsplash, as well as the beautiful La Cornue range. The color selected for the range is carried out through selected accessories but sparse so as it is not overwhelm the space. 

Create a Focal Point that Adds Both Function And Style

We replaced all existing appliances and new stainless steel appliances with the exception of the beautiful La Cornue range. The range is perfectly appointed, center stage, on the back wall to create a focal point. We just love the color – so fun, yet elegant! Our clients could have gone with a more standard selection here, but they really wanted to incorporate color on this enlarged wall. This is a fun and functional way to add color to your kitchen – consider color options for your appliances. 

Quality Construction Requires Experience and Expertise

Building a custom home or remodeling is a complex process involving many different parties such as architects, engineers, designers, various subcontractors, homeowner associations, municipalities, and neighbors just to name a few. You need an experienced construction partner on your side that has a thorough understanding of how the entire process works.

Christopher Homes stands apart from other builders for many important reasons. First, you enjoy the luxury of having every aspect of the design and construction handled through one reputable company. We have partnered with some of the most acclaimed architects and interior designers to offer you the utmost in cutting edge design. Step-by-step our team of design and construction experts will guide you through each phase of the process, enduring that only the finest architectural features, building materials and craftsmanship are incorporated into your home.

Over the past three decades, we have designed, built and renovated some of the most elegant and prestigious homes located in the finest communities in Southern Nevada.  We have been honored with multiple awards for Home of the Year, Best Community in the Nation, Best Kitchen Design, America’s Best Builder and over 150 more. 

As one of the nation’s leading luxury builders, we can ensure that your home or remodel is constructed timely, at a great value and with the unsurpassed quality we have guilt our reputation.

Whether you are considering building a custom home, semi-custom home in Boulder Ridge in The Ridges or remodeling your existing home, let Christopher Homes be your partner in creating your personal masterpiece, and elegant home that will be a source of pride and satisfaction for years to come.  

Steps To Create An Ideal Outdoor Living Room

Today many homeowners see their patios, decks, yards and outdoor spaces as an extension of the inside of their home. Outdoor livings areas can unify space between the inside and outside so you can’t tell where one space ends and the other begins. When you extend your living space outside, you open up a world of possibilities and allow yourself more living space in general. Transform your deck or patio to the ultimate outdoor living room.

Determine The Purpose Of The Room

An outdoor living room provides a utilitarian space, one that is more like the indoors. Determine wants and needs, then prioritize. How will the space be used? An outdoor kitchen, a cozy nook for two, al fresco dining, a place to gather and entertain with family and friends, a quiet place to getaway, an outdoor theatre - the possibilities are endless.

See It As A Room

Outdoor Living Room

Don’t limit yourself or your imagination. This is room without walls, literally – well, initially at least. Sometimes people have difficulty seeing how such a room can be decorated but there are many options – simple pillars, structural walls, walls created from landscape elements or privacy walls. The choice is yours and be sure to consider your climate and the purpose of the room to help guide you.

Entertain Outdoors

Outdoor areas continue to grow in popularity as they are seen as a true extensions of your home. If it fits the purpose of the room consider a adding a bar or outdoor kitchen. These features are becoming more sought after as in-home entertaining becomes more prevalent. Incorporating outdoor cooking and entertaining allows you the convenience of hosting and serving your company in comfort while remaining in the mix of conversation.

Light Up The Night

People are naturally attracted to flame. Think of fire either as an anchor or centerpiece for the room. Setting a fire pit in the middle of the space creates a cozy focal point, while a fireplace just outside the perimeter brings natural warmth to the whole room and allows you to  maximum use of square footage. Lanterns, solar lights, heaters or hanging lights add ambiance and warmth. And, don’t forget outdoor ceiling fans for the warmer climates – to help circulate air.

Pay Attention To Design & Detail

Pull in colors, textures and fabrics from the interior of your home to create a seamless transition. When choosing fabrics, fixtures and finishes consider all-weather materials that will stand up to the environment – moisture, dirt and extreme temperature ranges. Add to the aesthetics and ambiance of your new living space with hanging plants, outdoor rugs, art, potted plants, candles, wall or counter art, etc. The extension or addition of an outdoor living room is an investment – a relaxing and enjoyable one! Bring the outside in and turn your dream into reality.

Christopher Homes Announces Semi-Custom Homes

Christopher Homes announces semi-custom homes in Boulder Ridge, located within The Ridges of Las Vegas, Nevada. We are very excited to offer semi-custom homes as an option to our potential customers in the most prestigious neighborhood of Summerlin – The Ridges. With semi-custom homes, we offer a selection of home designs and layouts from which you can choose from and then customize to make your dream a reality. To learn more about our semi-custom home offerings call Kathy Foley at (702) 838-3000.

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10161 Park Run Drive, Suite 150
Las Vegas, NV 89145
Office: (702) 360-3200
Fax: (702) 233-8094

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