5 Ways to Make Your Custom Home More Energy Efficient

Custom home energy efficiency is a big concern for most clients to ensure future home comfort, as well as easing environmental effects on the world around us. As innovative custom home builders, we can use a variety of strategies and products to keep your home both efficient and comfortable over the long term.

These are our top tips for custom home energy efficiency:

  1. Start with energy-efficient home design from an experienced builder. Of course, building energy efficiency right into your home from the beginning is ideal. That’s what we do at Miller’s Residential Creations. We combine modern, energy-efficient construction, including proper insulation throughout your home, energy-sparing appliances, thoughtful lighting design, and more for an energy-saving new home.
  2. Seal and insulate the home’s outer envelope. This keeps heated or cooled, conditioned air inside your home and helps ensure your ongoing home comfort once you begin living in your new home. We build your home to exacting specifications to limit air leakage and thermal transfer into and out of the house. We help you choose the right energy-efficient, insulated windows that conform to your energy goals, such as double or triple-pane windows with low-E coatings and more. We are familiar with all the latest best practices for energy-efficient construction and materials to make sure you receive the best.
  3. Choose an energy-efficient HVAC system, water heating solution, and lighting. We could install a central, forced-air system designed and rated for high energy efficiency. As another option, we could install a mini-split, air-source heat pump, which operates without ducts. (Duct systems in any home can leak over time, leading to energy waste.) We recommend LED lightbulbs for your home, which don’t give off heat and are long-lasting. Tankless water heating is more energy-efficient than older-style storage tank water heating and can be powered by solar electricity, but there are trade-offs. For instance, homes typically need several tankess water heaters to supply their entire home.
  4. Use a whole-home ventilation system. With a tight home envelope, your home also needs an energy-efficient supply of clean, fresh air. We can install an energy recovery ventilation system (ERV) in your new home. The ERV will expel stale indoor air while recovering its heat into the home (in winter) with the fresh air and/or easing the load on your AC in summer. An air cleaner can be installed with your heating and cooling system to keep indoor air healthy.
  5. Select energy-efficient home appliances. We can install a variety of energy-saving appliances throughout the home, including refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and more. Energy-efficient products carry the Energy Star label, the seal of approval from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Energy Star products meet or exceed government efficiency standards, however some save more energy than others. Higher levels of energy efficiency typically mean higher initial appliance cost–but then you save energy and enjoy low utility bills for years to come.

Ready to Get Started on Your New Energy Efficient Custom Home?

At Miller’s Residential Creations, your home comfort and complete satisfaction are our top priorities. We realize that environmental concerns are important for you and that’s why we’re dedicated to creating the most energy-efficient custom homes in WV.

Contact us today to learn more and plan for your energy-efficient custom home.

Common Questions Regarding the Custom Home Building Process

On the face of it, a new custom home sounds like A LOT to handle. As experts in custom home design and building, our job is to make the process simple and organized while we guide you through it.

Your Custom Home FAQ

Here are the questions we get most often about custom home design and construction:

How do we make our dream-home ideas into a detailed custom home design, keep the construction process organized, finishing on time and on budget with a stellar outcome?

That’s our job! At Miller’s Home Creations, we’re here to guide you through the complex custom home process and make it all seem easy, fun and exciting for you! With our years of home design experience, individual subject matter expertise in all aspects of custom home building, and a deep bench of highly skilled construction and craftsman, we create custom homes that clients love.

What custom home styles can we build in WV?

We can build any type of home you want. We have years of experience creating custom homes, many of which are a unique combination of styles.

What is the cost per square foot of a custom home here in WV?

With so many variables affecting the cost of a custom home, we have no set price per square foot. Instead, we are committed to make sure you get the most out of your custom homebuilding budget and exceed your expectations.

How do we make the right design and custom finish choices for our new home?

We will work closely with you to design your custom home. We can take your preferences, taste and style and translate these into your home plans. On our team, we have professionals skilled in every aspect of home design and construction. We’re experienced in all the nuances of custom home designing and building, from custom kitchen cabinets to overall kitchen design, spa bath design and construction, deck building, historical homes, and more. We’re more than ready to make your custom home dreams a reality.

How long does it take to build a custom home?

The time it takes to design and construct your custom home is determined by the size and type of the home you want, and all its intricate details. We can give you a very general idea during an initial, overall discussion. Once we create your home plan, we’ll set a schedule with milestones. With our experience, reliable suppliers and efficient craftsman, working around the weather, we can typically provide a schedule you can count on.

Can I visit my home during construction?

Yes! We’ll do multiple new-home visits with you throughout our custom home building process.

Are we able to make changes during construction?

We are quite good at getting the home building process planned out in advance, in all its detail, to save you any delays that change orders may cause. However, unexpected things can pop up and we never let these become a problem. We work diligently with you to minimize any delays involved and our clients typically enjoy a smooth process.

What is a design-build company?

We’ve built up a team capable of handling your custom home project from start to finish. With one company responsible for all phases of you home, we ensure clear communication and a streamlined, well-coordinated process from initial concept through custom home completion.

How is Miller’s Residential Creations different from other home builders?

We take all the guesswork, decision fatigue, and crossed fingers out of custom home design and construction for you. We’re dedicated to providing you peace of mind that your new custom home project is in the very best hands. In addition, we truly love coming to work every day, and we think that’s a secret ingredient that makes our custom home projects so special. Let us deliver your dream home this year.

Get all your custom home questions answered! Contact the trusted WV home builder, Miller’s Residential Creations, and get started on your new home today. 

Luxury Additions You Absolutely Need for Your Custom Home

Luxurious home details are the hallmark of a custom-designed home. Items like gorgeous or rare finishes, fixtures, flooring, vanity and countertops, appliances, and built-in cabinetry almost go without saying in a luxury home. But there is much more.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your new custom-built home design:

Add luxury baths to pamper yourself and your guests. Every custom homeowner deserves a deluxe master bathroom that rivals the finest hotels. Multiple bathrooms are also luxurious and thoughtful amenities for family and guests in a large custom home. You can use a different color palette, or a different design theme altogether, in each one. Make one the modern, sleek and streamlined spa with elegant tile that’s a joy to walk on. In another bath, go vintage or Art Deco with a footed bathtub and antique telephone. At least one bath should have a fur rug and chandelier for sheer glamour.

Include a room-sized closet with custom cubbies. Due to its comfortable size, full length mirrored wall and custom shoe storage, this space can actually be called a dressing room. Display all seasons of your wardrobe conveniently on view for your sartorial enjoyment. It’s simple to keep things organized when your closet is designed around your specific needs. In fact, a well-designed closet (and kitchen) are almost like having attentive personal assistants on staff, because these rooms make life and daily tasks so simple and pleasant.

Fully equip your chef’s kitchen and include an outdoor kitchen. Your indoor kitchen is only complete when you have a large chef’s stove and double oven. Sleek, stainless steel appliances are still in this year and will never really go out of style. Another option for the fridge is to include a place for it in your custom kitchen cabinetry. We can create a set of cabinets that perfectly hides your refrigerator. Range hoods are another area where luxury has great impact. Hammered copper is lovely, especially if in the center of the kitchen over an island stove. Beautiful countertops also accent the luxury kitchen. Guests will be impressed and you’ll enjoy using them daily for food prep or simply for sitting and enjoying a casual lunch at the eating bar. For outdoors a stone pizza oven looks amazing and offers cooking options. Outfit the outdoor kitchen with a fridge, sink, and bar for full capability.

Remote control your home for the luxury of convenience and time saved. A new custom home, fitted with the latest technology, which can be controlled on-the-go from wherever you may travel, offers the luxury of peace of mind and excellent time management. Connect all your home infrastructure with wi-fi and you’re all set. You can have your home waiting for you, with the exact temperature and atmosphere you want, when you arrive at home. Control lighting, heating and cooling, security, a coffee maker, and more with your phone. You can even close your garage door, if you think you may have left it open, remotely. Check on pets and speak to them, view any area of your house, inside or out, anytime, with wi-fi connected cameras. (Of course, you can also have a professionally-monitored security system.)

Create a custom special-interest room. If film is your thing, a home theatre provides ultimate indulgence and luxury. Complete with comfortable, adjustable, arena-style seating, and maybe even a remote-controlled velvet curtain, your theatre can premier any film in style. Perhaps you need an art studio or a space outfitted to do sculpture, with a loft-like appearance and gigantic windows, plus specialized storage for your art supplies. If you’re a writer, you may want a dedicated, and private writing-studio–a separate small house in a remote area on your property. Complete it with a kitchenette, espresso station, and/or bath. Yoga or meditation rooms are deemed essential by some discriminating custom homeowners. Live your favorite sport daily with your own handball or tennis court–or even a home bowling alley in the basement. Create an awesome child’s play area with everything they need–or consider a custom treehouse. Create a workshop for carpentry, car customization, or other “maker” activities. Options are endless!

If you can dream it, we can build it. We can source the finest materials, rare finishes and gorgeous handmade tiles, stone flooring that is terrific to walk on. We can create the finest custom cabinetry built specifically to fit your kitchen space and suit your style. Many other options await.

Add a little (ok, a lot of) luxury to your life with a deluxe custom home that includes all the bells and whistles. Whether you reside in Berkeley County or Jefferson County, contact your trusted custom home builder, Miller’s Residential Creations in Martinsburg, WV, today!

Custom Home Features For Entertaining Guests

Although you may not be doing much entertaining of friends and colleagues in-person these days, you’ll want to build multiple options into your new custom home. Once your dream home is completed, you’ll find yourself discussing your new custom design often, as visitors are likely to admire your accomplishment. In fact, you’ll likely be giving house tours to friends for quite a while after you move into your new bespoke WV home.

Here are some customizations for your new home that are perfect for entertaining:

  • Balcony, terrace, enclosed porch, or sunroom: Enjoying the outdoors with the comfort of being indoors. It’s a great option for hosting visiting friends and family get-togethers alike. You’ll never have to deal with annoying mosquitos or other insects on your screened porch or in a glass-enclosed sunroom (sometimes called a three-season room). Make the roof glass like the walls and you’ll have an even more elegant “conservatory” space. Make the screened porch a wrap-around for even more options. Balconies and terraces are not traditionally glassed in or screened, but they’re still inviting. Have a glass of iced tea and enjoy the cool breeze on temperate days with visitors to your custom home.
  • Open kitchen and/or great room-centered layout: This home layout creates the ideal space for guests to wander and socialize. If you add a bar, peninsula or island, it’s great for entertaining, and for showing off a classically lovely marble countertop. Or choose something unexpected and brightly colored—with a custom build you have a world of options open to you.
  • Fireplace: It’s always nice to gather round a cozy fireplace on cold evenings, and of course it makes a great focal point for the room. You can order up a wood-burning fireplace large enough to walk into–or choose a small, elongated gas fireplace built into an interior wall and serving rooms on either side. A corner fireplace is another elegant and somewhat unexpected option to delight visiting guests.
  • An indoor or outdoor pool: Your home can be like a lovely oasis in the middle of WV with a custom swimming pool. You can choose an intriguing shape and choose a beautiful tile surround to frame it, reflecting your personal style and the home’s casual and friendly, or more formal and graceful, ambiance.
  • Hot tub: For very close friends and your sweetheart, a hot tub is a perfect, deluxe amenity with which to outfit your new custom home.
  • Sauna: Consider a sauna room off the bath or near your pool for a luxurious spa-like home experience for your lucky guests. You can rival the very best hotels with a relaxing sauna (or hot tub) to share.
  • Outdoor kitchen with bar: BBQ, make gourmet meals or cook in your pizza oven in your back yard with your custom outdoor kitchen. Or you can simply serve up some mixed drinks, whether alcohol-containing or not, for the crowd. Your outdoor drink bar could be separate from the outdoor kitchen, allowing you to create a different atmosphere in each area. Kitchen and/or bar area should include a refrigerator/freezer and wine fridge and sink.
  • Guest suite or extra room(s) so you’re able to offer hospitality to longer-term guests. Include a spa-style bath and large closet (perhaps cedar-lined) and they’ll never want to leave!
  • Extra bathrooms: Whether you opt for a powder room, half bath, or full bath, it’s always ideal to have this convenience nearby in all entertaining areas of the house and on each floor.
  • Spectacular entryway: Welcome (and impress) guests with a grand entrance, perhaps with a 2-story vaulted ceiling. Include a chandelier or eye-catching lighting fixture that sets the tone for your home. Beautiful flooring can be easily showcased in your deluxe entry, whether it be wood or tile. Guests may appreciate a comfortable bench to remove winter footwear and an elegantly designed hat rack for hats and coats. Or maintain clean lines in the entry with just a thin, tall table for a vase of flowers or your keys, or no furnishings at all. The choice is yours!

Let us know if you’d like to include one of these entertaining options in your custom home.

If you’re interested in a home with plenty of entertaining options and fine amenities to enjoy with friends and neighbors, we’re here to help. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations, based in Martinsburg, WV and serving Berkeley and Jefferson counties, today!

Custom Home Design Trends of 2021

For those seeking a custom home, 2021 is set to be an exciting year of design trends to watch, be inspired by, and make your own. In a year where staying close to home is emphasized, your custom home space should be welcoming, serene, and functional–but never boring.

Consider these trends for new-construction custom homes or custom-home remodels:

Collective Space and Private, Purpose-Built Rooms

In these days of social distancing and quarantine, a completely open home layout may no longer be ideal. The new custom home needs to be a multi-faceted venue where your family works, works out, plays, learns, bonds, and grows. And it has to be stunning. In your customized living space, you’ll need plenty of room for playful moments and areas providing privacy. You’ll want to include gathering areas such as a kitchen eating bar, great room, and den or kids playroom. You’ll also need private spaces for alone-time and to pursue favorite activities. For instance, outfit your custom home with separate areas for your home office, gym or yoga room, kids playroom, game room, home theatre and hobby room, art atelier, or workshop. You may also want to include a man cave and/or a formal dining room, providing your family with many options for enjoying life together and apart.

Natural Forms

Custom homes are designed to be completely harmonious with the land around them can take on shapes and exterior colors found in nature. These homes are built with natural materials for an organic feel and constructed to enhance the environment. Energy efficiency is a key component in these homes, which may use alternative power sources, such as solar panels. This makes the home independent of external suppliers and at least partially off the grid, in line with the worldview of the owner. Distinctive details might include an overhead-sloped window wall in insulated safety glass.

Large Terraces

Outdoor additions, such as terraces, decks, and covered, wrap-around porches expand living space, provide new ways to enjoy the outdoors, and add custom curb appeal. Architecturally interesting and unique, clever indoor/outdoor spaces are a necessity when spending lots of time at home. Multi-level terraces, at differing levels on either side of the home, are especially striking to look at and live on. These also provide varied, interesting backgrounds for the remote, Zoom video meetings often required these days.

Commercial Construction Materials

Homes made of concrete and metal provide the opportunity for either unique rounded shapes or blocky exteriors and can easily weather the challenges of climate change. Although the industrial vibe is present, indoors, these functional and elegant homes offer a blank slate to showcase varied types of interior design and furnishings.

Unique Roofing Materials and Rooflines

Consider the standout trend of the slanted, shed roof, which slopes down in a single direction, rather than meeting in a central peak or ridge. The pitched shed roof can be used as a side porch roof extending to an exterior wall then to an upper-level steeper roof in a parallel cascading arrangement. This roofing style can also be curved for an artistic silhouette. Also trending is the more-complex roofline of the farmhouse-style home, featuring multiple peaked, gabled roof sections at differing heights. For example, one gable over the covered front porch, echoed by a taller one over the main 2-story home, with other lower gabled roofs over an attached one-story garage on one side and a single-story master bedroom on the other. For further visual interest, consider metal roofing on some sections with a shingled roof on other sections.

Dark Exteriors and Interiors

A sophisticated exterior paint, siding, trim, and roofing palette, including either dark gray, navy blue, or forest green makes a modern statement in 2021. And/or using these shaded colors on major indoor features as well, such as custom kitchen cabinets, creates an innovative and pleasing “today” look.

Let the Local Custom Home Pros Build Your Ideal Home in WV

Enjoy a stellar custom home design project when you partner with the local experts in home design and build. At Miller’s Residential Creations, we deliver custom homes designed around you needs and tastes, to your exacting specifications. Our experienced team offers creativity, client-focused design skill, responsive customer service, and superb construction workmanship.

You’ll find our completed custom home projects across Berkeley County, Jefferson County, and Morgan County WV, headquartered in Martinsburg, WV. Contact our dedicated design/build team today–and begin your dream home!

How to Keep From Getting Overwhelmed During the Selection Process

Creating a custom home can be a heady and exciting process, but you may also feel some anxiety related to the project. That’s because of the many, many options you’ll have for each detail of the home design.

The Problem: One Million Options and Analysis Paralysis in Custom Homebuilding

You may wonder if you can choose the best option and if you have all the correct details about each option, so that you can truly make an informed decision. How can you be certain you even know about all the options that are available? What if something crucial is left out? You certainly don’t want to feel regret later, after your new custom home is built, wishing you had known about the pros and cons of each homebuilding detail. Luckily, there is a great way to eliminate the possibility of disappointment once your new custom home is built.

The Solution: Banishing Custom Home Anxiety with an Expert by Your Side

These are all valid concerns! After all, building your new custom home, or restoring a vintage home, is a big investment of time, as well as money. But there is a sure-fire way to make sure you get the home you want, perfect in every detail. The key to a satisfying custom home design-build experience, the creation of a home you’ll love living in and sharing with your family for generations to come, boils down to 4 simple words: work with an expert!

Why Choose Miller’s Residential Creations for Your WV Custom Home Project?

At Miller’s Residential Creations, we love our profession! We‘re gratified to see the completed custom home, of course–but our skilled and dedicated team also enjoys every part of the home planning and construction process. That includes getting to know you and your vision for your new custom home.

Our team is skilled at asking the right questions to understand your overall needs and desires for your new custom home. We listen carefully to learn about your vision, goals, and priorities for your future home. Once we have the overall concept for your new home, we are experienced in leading you through all the decisions needed to carry out your concept, from start to finish.

We Make Sure Your Goals and Priorities Guide Your Custom Home Project

We will never leave you with a list of options for your home’s details, to evaluate on your own. We’re here to provide the pros and cons of each material choice or home layout decision. With our years of experience as custom home designers and contractors, we’re familiar with the various types of flooring, roofing, siding, countertop materials. This includes costs, level of maintenance needed for each option, and much more. We can also help you decide whether pivotal home design details will meet your overall goals for your home and your lifestyle.

We will never try to impose our design ideas on you. We instead translate your goals for your home into a building plan. We can provide expert advice and answer your questions about a particular room size, flooring option, or other home design and construction detail—making it simple for you to make the best choice according to your personal taste and the functional features you require for your new custom home.

We Earn Your Confidence

At Miller’s Residential Creations, we’re ready to take your project from concept to completion. We’re here to help you create a home of heirloom quality, that you will want to pass down to future generations. We’ll build a uniquely beautiful and functional home based on your vision, that you’ll truly enjoy living in, and sharing with family and friends, every single day.

You’ll find examples of our completed projects, including a wide variety of fine custom-built homes, throughout Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties. You’ll be able to see our meticulous attention to detail, and pride in delivering flawless work, in every aspect of your new custom home build. When you partner with Miller’s Residential Creations, we put our expertise and years of experience to work and bring your ideal home to life. It all starts with an initial discussion.

Ready to get started on your new custom home? Contact us to discuss your vision today.

Creative Lighting For Your Custom Home

The importance of great lighting cannot be overstated in luxury home design. Creative lighting completes and enhances your custom home environment, whether you employ it to set a mood, serve a purpose, or make a statement. Selecting the right lighting for all the custom niches and grand salons throughout your home can seem daunting. Here, we’ll simplify the process with a few unique custom home lighting ideas.

Multi-Directional Lighting:
Ideal for effectively lighting today’s popular open floor plans, installing multiple lighting fixtures further customizes your great room. Although these expansive spaces clearly call for multiple lighting fixtures, placement and spacing should be carefully planned. You might select a modern minimalist set of recessed lighting fixtures, plus a chandelier near the entry and perhaps another near the fireplace. Another multi-directional option is the multi-headed lamp, where each light can be directed, or the entire group arranged, freely–as needed or desired in the moment.

Integrated Lighting:
Lighting that frames a mirror or even LEDs incorporated into the mirror’s edges works well in a variety of living spaces, especially the bath, dressing room, or bedroom. LEDs are great for bathrooms or makeup counters in the bedroom or dressing room, since they produce bright white lighting. Lighting can also be embedded in staircases, following the line of the banister, within the wall next to the steps, or a flush fixture placed inside each step.

Pendant lights come in a world of unique designs, colors, shade shapes, and materials. They are terrific for illuminating a peninsula or island/eating bar area. Pendants (extending from the ceiling) bring focus, highlighting the area below and adding a design element as well. For an unconventional use, consider a pendant in the boudoir, placed over each bedside table. This option, instead of the traditional table lamp, gives you more space on the (usually rather small) table for your book or glass of water.

In addition to the great room suggestions above, chandeliers work well in the formal dining room, of course. Placing a chandelier in the bathroom and/or walk-in closet/dressing room elevates these spaces from necessary room to palatial spa.

Accent Lighting: 
Accent lighting brings attention to a particular area or item, creating a focal point for the room. Lighting placed symmetrically on either side of a painting is one example. You can focus on less traditional items as well. For instance, bring out the woodgrain in an exquisite piece of furniture or amazing custom closet doors with focused, non-glaring lighting.

Task Lighting:
Don’t forget areas that need practical, dedicated lighting. Practical does not have to be boring. Install recessed, can lights (as just one example) above the kitchen prep counter, above the window seat in the bay window, and/or above the comfy overstuffed chair in the reading corner or library.

Mother Nature:
Sunlight is nature’s gift—and you can bring more of it into your custom home by adding windows or skylights to brighten any corner naturally. A skylight in the shower can be transformative. Consider a group of 3 skylights in the center of a larger, windowless room, in the den or to brighten a children’s’ playroom for example.

Effortlessly Customize Your Home’s Lighting — with Expert Guidance

Your home’s structure, furnishings, and interior décor are important, but don’t forget to pay equal attention to custom lighting as an essential element for the truly luxurious custom home. Your design-build firm will have even more custom lighting ideas keyed to your home’s floorplan, architectural style, and your personal taste. Your designer can create sophisticated layers of lighting to illuminate each space perfectly. Let the creative lighting ideas of a true professional bring your custom home to life!

Talk to your WV custom homebuilder about incorporating these ideas, with your own unique twist, into your bespoke home design. For more creative custom home lighting design options, contact our experienced design-build firm, Miller’s Residential Creations based in Martinsburg, today.

Work From Home? Consider These 7 Design Features

From custom office cabinetry to bespoke, built-in shelving, plus a work desk that is a work of art, designed just for you… You can have it all with a custom-designed home office. Your new home office will make work easy by creating a place for everything you use—sized and shaped especially for all your tools-of-the-trade, supplies, computer equipment, and more. Whether you are a software engineer, serial entrepreneur, psychologist, astrophysicist, or clothing designer, your custom home builder can build the ideal home office space–around you. Whatever your comfort, personal taste, and productivity needs call for, can be custom-built.

Keep these aspects in mind as you create your ideal home office:

  1. Work Desk: Do you need a computer desk, a desk that converts to a standing desk (without appearing institutional), or perhaps a podium instead? Anything is possible with a custom home office. How about a desk for two, such as perpendicular desks with cabinets above and on each side, each facing its wall or window? Make the most of an awkward space, like a jutting corner extending into the room, with a wrap-around desk.
  2. Work Table: If your work requires a large, flat surface or project area on which to spread your materials, you’ll need a work table instead of (or in addition to) a desk. You might have a custom-made office desk as your primary workplace, and a work table that disappears by sliding into the wall or folding up onto it. If your main focus is the work table, you can have any shape and size you need, from rectangular and blocky or triangular and quirky, or L-shaped or circular—or kidney-shaped, if it works best for you.
  3. Custom Cabinets, Drawers, and Shelving: Custom open shelves allow you to display, as well as store, commonly used items within arm’s reach. Or your custom wood shelving can take the shape of a bookcase, even in this modern day-and-age. Corner shelving is always an option as well. Drawers can be shallow or deep depending on your needs. What about a window seat or bench with a drawer, or custom-sized storage bins/cubbies beneath? Get custom made storage cabinets to fit even the most challenging wall and ceiling configurations, like angled attic walls and slanted ceilings. Commission wall-to-wall custom cabinetry for the home office, made to look like a built-in, original to the home. Cabinet doors that reach the ceiling can be quite impressive. If you are extremely dedicated to your work, or want your office to double as a guest bedroom, a larger section of the wall cabinetry could conceal a Murphy bed.
  4. Lighting: Workspace lighting is often overlooked and can end up as an afterthought. It’s frustrating when lighting is not “just right” for your need, so make a plan with your builder and/or decorator. You could begin with ambient lighting, such as recessed ceiling lighting to provide a basis. Then, use accent lighting to highlight awards, displayed product designs, or artwork. Your task-oriented desk area will need a separate lighting plan. Design your lighting to suit your style and support the type of work you do.
  5. Windows: Dramatic, floor-to-ceiling windows might provide creative inspiration as you work. What about large, round “porthole” windows? You might consider large loft-style windows for a modernistic space or a bay window with window seat for casual, vintage appeal.
  6. Meeting and Greeting Space: If your office includes a dedicated conversation area, you might adorn it with a sofa and upholstered chairs, and add a fireplace. For a different look and feel, the meeting area could feature a streamlined conference table with iconic Eames-style chairs.
  7. Overall Concept: When creating your desired ambiance and atmosphere, it is often inspiring to conceive an overall theme for your office’s appearance. You need not follow the model exactly, but can use the idea to guide your choice of furnishings, floor lamps, and artwork, to suggest window size/shape, and more. For instance, would you like an office that suggests a modern loft with a streamlined, industrial appearance? What about channeling a nautical or steampunk style for your office? What about creating your space with the Oval Office in mind or the mid-century style office in Mad Men? Consider a minimalist art gallery or a traditional library as models to use as a base for your office structure and décor.

Your private home office isn’t about anyone else but you, so have fun with it. (If you see patients or clients, create a separate office for those sessions or consultations.) Make your home office a place you look forward to spending time in. It IS possible, when you partner with an expert design-build company. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations in Martinsburg, WV, today.

Choosing A Custom Home Design For Your Family And Future

If you’re creating a custom home as your forever home, some serious long-range planning will ensure you can enjoy the home well into the future. You’ll need to factor in your current and future needs, your family plans, and even future generations. After all, a fine custom home is the perfect heirloom to pass down in your family.

Think about including these features and spaces in your custom home design:

  • Growing family spaces: You might need a nursery or baby’s room (or more than one), depending on your future plans for growing your family.
  • Aging-in-place home layout: Whether you have an older loved one who is currently aging in place, or if you plan to do so yourself someday, you should factor in the right features. You could decide on a ranch-style (one level) home, but it’s not a requirement, as long as you have all the necessities (like a full bath, kitchen, and master bedroom) on the main floor. Alternatively, we could design space for a lift/elevator.
  • Accessible custom home features: We can create detailed custom home accommodations for those with mobility issues or the elderly. Features could include: wide hallways and doorways, a ground-level entrance to the home, and a main floor master. You might consider lower kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. We can design a walk-in (or roll in) shower with integrated shower bench and grab-bars, plus many more features to make the home user-friendly for all.
  • Guesthouse: To keep your options open to allow a relative or friend to move in with you for a while, or if you’d like to make rental income at some point, you might plan for a guest house with your custom home builder. You could also (or instead) create a guest suite within your home. This is a self-contained set of adjacent rooms that includes a kitchen or kitchenette and bath, which can be closed off from the rest of the house as a separate private “apartment.”
  • Pool and pool house: Chances are a pool would see lots of use, and create many opportunities for multi-generational fun with family and friends over the years.
  • Kids playroom: Kids and grandkids, (and the adults who love them), could all benefit from a large, dedicated playroom where kids can be romp around, do crafts together, hang out on days when outdoor play is not practical, and play board games or computer games. Some clients choose to locate this room above an attached garage or in the basement, so kids can make all the noise they want.
  • Screening room: Current and future generations would love a purpose-built screening room that rivals your favorite art-house theatre (or blockbuster multiplex), with comfortable tiered seating and a popcorn/refreshment bar. Show feature films or home movies.
  • Gym, exercise room, or yoga room: Having a special, separate place to go within your home will help you focus on workouts, without the need to travel through traffic.  Whether you favor weight training or Pilates, we can design and outfit a workout room for your family’s now-and-future needs.
  • Three-season room or enclosed porch: This enchanting feature greatly extends you living space and makes a great spot for watching sunrise/sunsets, writing, reading a book, having a romantic dinner with your sweetheart, and more.
  • Outdoor kitchen and deck: Expanding your living and entertaining space to the great outdoors offers many advantages. You can have a complete kitchen outdoors, with sink, deluxe BBQ, and even a stone pizza oven. An attractive deck adds extra relaxing-in-the-sun space for your whole family.
  • Formal dining room: Great rooms are amazing, but there are times you may want to have a more traditional dining experience.

You should also consider adding rooms for a home office, as well as a man-cave or she-shed, and a spa-like bathroom complete with sauna.

Your home must be many things. It is a hub for your life, a place to relax and recharge, a place to celebrate and have fun. Your home is a place to share your life with family and friends—and a place to make memories today–and well into the future. This is the kind of custom home you deserve, and the kind we will partner with you to create. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations and talk to us about your dream home.

Aging In Place: 15 Common Features for Retirees

Aging-in-place home upgrades are also referred to as universal home design. No matter which term you use, this means making your home safe, comfortable, and attractive for people of all ages, at all levels of mobility. Creating a living space that makes life easier is another way of looking at this type of remodel. As experienced custom home builders in West Virginia, our team can create a home (or do a remodel or retrofit) that perfectly suits your family’s needs.

Consider these aging-in-place home upgrades to make life easier and add to your home’s value: 

  • Improve single-floor living options. Having a master bedroom with attached bath and dressing room (which offers more open space to maneuver than a closet) is ideal.
  • Widen doorways. Make hallways and entryways wider, offering ease of movement for anyone with a wheelchair or walker.
  • Consider pocket doors. They help save space and stay out of your way when open.
  • Install multi-level kitchen counters and bathroom vanities. This allows you to sit comfortably while cooking or grooming.
  • Redesign the kitchen entirely. We can design your kitchen space with enough floor area so that you can move around easily in a wheelchair. We can include an eating bar at the exact height comfortable for your needs, or do multilevel to accommodate an entire family. Your cooktop and oven can be installed exactly where you prefer, at any comfortable height. We can install upper and/or lower cabinets that are easy to reach and open/close. We can ensure that drawers and cabinets open/close smoothly and quietly–and that every custom piece looks terrific.
  • Revamp closets or add dressing rooms. Install custom shelving, cubbies, smooth-glide drawers, and closet rods, so everything is in easy reach. Once your custom closet or dressing room is completed, you’ll thank yourself at least twice a day for commissioning it.
  • Move electrical switches and outlets lower, or install motion sensors. If you prefer, you can also get familiar with using an Alexa or Siri (or similar) or mobile app that can turn on/off lights, appliances, etc. with a voice command.
  • Add more lighting. Eliminate dark corners in the house to help avoid tripping or bumping into furniture if you have mobility issues, poor night vision, or just want a brighter home. We can install recessed ceiling lighting, wall sconces, etc. to illuminate your living area!
  • Change door hardware. Lever-style door handles are often easier to grip than round doorknobs–and don’t require a twist to open. This can make things easier for individuals with arthritis or hand mobility issues.
  • Install a deck and/or ramp. This could also be a porch, level with the home’s entry. Our team can make a plan, provide options, and build attractive and functional home entry and/or exit solutions that perfectly suit your home’s style and your needs.
  • Improve bathroom safety with new or added fixtures. Let a professional builder and designer install attractive and functional grab bars next to your tub or in the shower. Consider adding a teak bench to sit on while you shower. New faucets and shower controls, with easy-to-use handles and knobs, are also helpful. There are many styles to choose from!
  • Redesign the bath completely. Remodel your bath to fit your needs. For example, we can design and install a modern walk-in shower, even with the bathroom floor, for easy in and out. We can integrate a shower bench into the wall of the shower and install multiple showerheads or massage jets at different heights to provide options. We could also enlarge the doors, make the sinks/vanities at any height you need, and configure the space so there’s plenty of room for mobility.
  • Non-skid flooring or low-pile carpet. Choose a type of flooring that is both attractive and safe. There are many options that offer traction due to the material or an added texture. Indoor-outdoor carpet comes offers many color and design options, has low or no pile, and won’t move or wrinkle like a throw rug when properly installed.
  • Redesign the home office or craft area. These activities don’t have to stop as we age. We can design these spaces so that you can easily use them, with your craft table or desk at the ideal height for your needs. Or we can integrate the work table with the wall, so there’s less furniture in your way.
  • And more!

How to Get Started with Custom Aging-in-Place Features for Your WV Home

To get started, go through your home, room by room. Note any possible tripping or slipping hazards, and find the areas that are difficult to access and maintain. When you choose an experienced Berkeley County home remodeling contractor, your completed home upgrades will function smoothly, fit  and enhance the overall design of your house, and never look out-of-place.

Universal home design with aging-in-place features, when done well, can also improve your home’s value for the future. Our experienced team can provide valuable home remodeling advice, custom design, and expert contracting services, with universal design in mind.

Make your life at home effortless (as it should be) with aging-in-place updates to your property, or that of a loved one. Contact the aging-in-place, design-and-build experts at Miller’s Residential Creations today.