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In our view, understanding of client's needs and focusing on how they want to live is the essence of a successful design. Over the years, we have used our team’s skills to redesign homes so that people can really enjoy. The following 6 concepts will help you take the mystery out of building or remodeling and create a fully functional dream home that makes you feel like you’re on vacation all year round. A Vacation Style Living home is a home that.....

1. Is in balance on all sides, like a sphere with "no sides". Too many times we see homes that are great from the front but lack design on the back or its sides.

2. Has spaces that are multi-functional and multi-generational and feel like an open concept plan. Too many times we ...

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Northern Virginia is a hub of activity and opportunity. To many it offers a home outside of the city, but allows a short commute to work and a vast business network. For families, Northern Virginia offers excellent K-12 education and the opportunity to join caring communities. These attributes and more draw people to our area, but many find it difficult to make the move as the availability for open land is believed to be slim. - See more at: http://info.avarchitectsbuild.com/blog/how-to-build-a-custom-home-on-a-prime-lot#sthash.Eu6zvOVM.dpuf

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I selected AV Architects + Builders to design and build my dream home. The firm not only helped me find the property, but then acted as architect, interior designer and builder. They offer a seamless delivery of services", Gordon B. says.

Myth: “there is no land in Northern Virginia left to build on”

Many people believe that Northern Virginia is overcrowded and therefore lacks available land to build on. While that is true, the fact of the matter is that land is not what you should be looking for. You should be looking for lots. Or better yet let us find them for you. You deserve a luxury home that is fitted to your lifestyle. That requires the custom build of a perfect lot and neighborhood.

As custom home builders in the DC Metro area, we want to ensure your vision is being catered to. Many older homes in Northern Virginia sit on great lots awaiting teardown. A lot is a piece of land that was previously built on, this means the utilities are already at the site and all is needed is to tear down the standing house. Finding teardowns creates available land for us to build your custom home in a neighborhood you desire.

- See more at: http://info.avarchitectsbuild.com/blog/how-to-build-a-custom-home-on-a-prime-lot#sthash.Eu6zvOVM.dpuf

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Looking forward to bundling up next to the fireplace this holiday season with a cup of your favorite hot chocolate? While it may only be September, Winter is fast approaching and so are the cold, frigid temperatures. There are a number of remodeling ideas to do in and around the house before the cold winter weather arrives this holiday season. But as you look forward to (or dread) the upcoming winter season, make sure you, and your home, are well equipped to last until spring time. As custom home builders in Northern Virginia, we suggest checking out these important home improvement tips to help make sure you're ready for the coldest time of the year!

Preparing Your Home

1. Clean the Gutters: While you were busy enjoying the last remaini...

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For many people, committing to a new investment of building a home takes a lot of time and money. However, what most people don't realize is that you don't have to sacrifice the fun and excitement that comes with that investment. The success of any new home investment project hinges on several factors including planning and having the right resources. Therefore, it is important to hire a strong team of experts to help interpret exactly what you want and how much you want to spend.When you decide you're ready to invest in a new home project, you might be surprised as to how many people must be involved for the project to be an overwhelming success. Architects, engineers, contractors, landscapers, and interior designers all play important ...

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If building your dream home is part of your plans for this year, you may want to get started by considering this year's design/build trends. Most importantly, you want to stay away from making mistakes when deciding on these desirable features. As custom home builders in Northern VA, we'd like to offer you our expert advice on what to avoid when following these 12 current trends for building your custom home.

Open Floor Plan
Flexible Spaces
Main Floor Master Suite
Large Kitchen Islands
Abundant Storage
Experience Showers
Universal Design
Energy Efficient Envelope
LED Lighting
Smart Technology
Pet Friendly Spaces and Mess Free Mudroom
Indoor-Outdoor Integration
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Building a house or renovating takes time and it involves choosing many details that are important to define the style and feel of your house. Materials, textures, colors and quality, all need to match your budget too. What you choose on materials and other details of your house exterior and interior will impact the way your house feels. The following design/build ideas will help you prioritize to splurge or save when you're making all these decisions for your renovation project or your new custom home.

Not all rooms are equal. The feel you define should be implemented throughout your house, however there is some hierarchy in the rooms of your house. In other words, some rooms are more important than others. Not everyone gets this. You w...

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When you’re financially ready to afford your dream house, you have the choice between purchasing a pre-fabricated luxury home or hiring a design firm to build from scratch. Both have strong benefits, but going custom is far superior for a myriad of reasons. Here are four of them.

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Price

Well, sure custom homes do cost more initially, but it’s debatable that they are more expensive as a whole. The reason is that building provides a nice return of investment, and it gives you the freedom to select money saving options. Not to mention, if you’re the first owner, you’ll have a much easier time selling it in the distant future.

Flexibility
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Of course you know that building can be more flexible, but ensure that you really sit and think about all of your options. Sure, you can make improvements and renovations if you buy used, but that’s about where it ends. From start to finish, from landscape to frame, you plan your house to be ideal for your needs. You control the quality, select the materials used, the color schemes, and in most cases, room shapes.

Convenience
ConvenienceRoadSign
You can make your life a lot easier by going custom, solely for the convenience factor. You might not normally consider something like heating ducts, or the size of a water heater, but with a new construction, you can ensure that everything works like a well-oiled machine. For example, certain vents do not allow for central-air conditioning. That is not something you want to find out when it is in the triple digits next summer! Building from the ground up is your way to ensure that your house is in its prime condition, and you’re the first to live in it.

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Trends
The most popular custom plan trend is the one that takes you to your dream house and one that follows your needs. The 70's brought split levels and a lot of the contemporary lines. Building_trendsThe 80's brought a compartmentalization- rooms that people are not using today. What we see today are houses that are built around everyday needs. Open floor plans with family and entertainment spaces in mind. Consider classic, but still contemporary interiors. Think light and clean walls with simple decor to add a touch of elegance. Integrated patios and outdoor dining areas are ‘all the buzz’ right now.
A trend led by all the baby boomers, now in a retiring stage, are "Homes for Life". These are a growing demand in Northern Virginia. Building to accommodate your retirement needs in a place that can be used for this, and the next generation, is a trend that "never gets old".

As more homeowners go custom and modern, the rooms change. Some projects have up to three areas, all of which could be a living room or a den. While the added space is ideal for big families, there is no set living room for family congregations. Currently, architects are building houses with a set area for exactly this. Usually, in modern luxury homes, a new kitchen will also consist of a dining area, and a living area. Replacing formal dining rooms and creating integrated areas.

You want more on how to add some Vacation Style Living to your ideal house. Our experts at AV Architects + Builders are always ready to talk.

Is back to school season for most Northern Virginia homes. Everyone is getting back from summer vacations with an urgency to "get organized." These thoughts often come with questions on how to add features that can make life easier on weeks like this in the future - you know..."next year I'll be ready!" kind of thought. We've created a visual check list with ideas for your next renovation project or custom home. To help you get ready now and for next year.

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Organizing Cubbies / Mudroom

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This Northern Virginia home addition has a great feature, helpful for the change in season and for being organized in the new school year. These cubbies keep jackets, backpacks and all sports' items in the right place and ready to be picked up on the way out.

Study friendly spaces

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Adding areas for kids to help them be comfortable when they study is important, and so it is to make studying fun for them. After four children, I learned that study habits will grow in areas where children feel happy and have fun doing their chores.

Built in niches

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The built in niches that you see above helps with school items or books. No need to purchase more furniture to hold school items! Remove furniture clutter from with these wall built in cubbyholes.

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Reading nooks

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Traditional Staircase by Menlo Park Architects & Building Designers Ana Williamson Architect

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A reading area right where things are happening makes life easy for children and mothers. Kids can read with natural light in a comfortable relaxing place when you add reading nooks in highly used areas.

Mothers are constantly juggling with extracurricular activities, making dinner and getting kids to bed. A center island can be very convenient to do their school assignments, especially for the little ones who still need some help. Multitasking is always mothers' specialty, but there's no need to make it even harder by having to run around the house to check up on school chores. Design functional areas in your house that suit your needs.

Closets Space

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Who knows what's behind those doors! With enough closet space for children to take responsibility of their own room, you may be lucky to close the doors and keep the mess to one space. Keeping clutter out of sight is one key for your peace of mind. Even if it may get scary to open those doors once in a while!

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With our best friend's in mind on National Dog Day (August 27th), these are some ideas to add to your next renovation project and discrete pet friendly design solutions that you may consider for your new custom home.

Few people think of adding pet friendly features to their home in the planing stages of their project. Unless you're a total dog lover, planning around pets's needs is not the first thought that comes to mind when building a dream home. But you should definitely bring it up to your design/build team if you're planing to add a family "best friend' to in your short term future.

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“Do you have pets?" Or "Are you planning to have a pet?” are key questions your design/builder should ask before working on your house project. Right after they ask if you have any kids or planning to have any.

Almost 40% of the US households have a dog, which makes you think planing around pets when you're renovating or building is common. The truth is, most of us find ourselves improvising to create pet friendly spaces right about the time kids ask for a puppy.

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The low dog shower above is a discrete dog cleaning station, which can always be used by kids too! specially when they all play together outside. A good way to leave the mud in one place- the mudroom .

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You don't want those doggy bowls rolling around in different places around the house. Built in bowls spaces in your cabinetry or island are a good way to train your pet to only go to one place for food- the kitchen!

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Outdoors play is fun. OK, maybe not so much for the master who is opening the door every time your friend wants to go in or out. This dog walk out is a great solution to connect your outdoor area.

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Most likely your best friend will want to be in this nook to be close to you when you're having family time.

You can only prepare for having a pet with the certainty of having one soon. But you can be smart about your plans, if you think you'll have one in the future. You can always add features in the house that can quickly take you to a pet friendly environment like this one.

360 Home Living is about thinking ahead instead of renovating every time you enter a new stage in life. If you're considering a home renovation in Northern Virginia or if you're looking for builders in Great Falls, VA who can help you plan for your next project with your doggies in mind, the full team at AV Architects + Builders is happy to talk to you. We're dog lovers too!

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In this episode of the 360 Homes Radio Show AV Architects and Builders CEO Francisca Alonso reveals the 5 details that can make or break your home design plans. You’ll learn how to love your house again by choosing the right home improvements:

  • Crown Moulding

  • Paint

  • Lighting

  • Quality Materials

  • Design Team

Listen to this radio interview of Francisca Alonso to learn more about this: Choosing the Details for Your Home

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On one hand, sometimes removing details like crown molding and allowing the walls to blend seamlessly into the ceiling will help to open up a smaller, darker room.

On the other hand, crown molding has a big impact in a room. When you are limited to height, play with crown molding toBasement_crown_molding make the room feel bigger.

Small details can differentiate spaces in a big way. The choices in paint, for example, will give your room a complete different feel. Bold colors offer contrast, white colors offer a open feel. Darker warm colors absorb light and cold light colors reflect light. Choose lighter shades of dark hues to lighten up rooms with small windows.

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Lighting is key. Use natural light wherever you can. Use skylights and big windows in areas where you spend most of your time.

Your choice on ceiling lighting should not look like a plain runway, but it should offer you enough light to complement with lower lighting that is just for ambiance and decoration.

Quality materials will be worth the extra investment down the road. You don't need to buy expensive, but a little research or a consultation with an architect builder and an interior designer will help you get the most for your buck. You want materials that will "age gracefully", unless you're planning on selling your home right away.

Inviting the right team of local experts to help you make these little changes may help you avoid mistakes. Find someone who is willing to listen to your real needs. Remember you will be working with this team for a while.

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About Francisca Alonso of AV Architects and Builders:

Francisca Villarroel Alonso is the co-founder and CEO of AVArchitects + Builders. Recognizing that happiness is of most value to people, Francisca helps homeowners love their homes again. Francisca believes that great architecture can provide a true sense of well-being and she strives to provide design value for their clients by building beautiful homes that are in alignment with their lifestyle.

Have fun listening to more tips, videos and radio talks by using the links below:
http://www.YouTube.com/360HomesLiving
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/360homes
The big 3 quetions for remodeling