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Creative entertaining ideas for a July 4th party

Categories: Events | Posted: June 18, 2015

4th of July Party Ideas

It’s just around the corner. The 4th of July is a banner holiday for Americans. We celebrate our freedom and the people who have dedicated their lives to preserving it for us. While it is traditional to have a July 4th cookout, why not try a different twist on this year’s Independence Day celebration?

Family Friendly FunFest

If you’re going to have kids (of all ages) at your gathering, release your inner child. Plan some outdoor games, like cornhole with one set of striped bags and one set of starry bags. And there’s game as American as baseball, so get a whiffle ball and bat, and set out the bases before your guests arrive for a Red versus Blue battle. Check out Surfnetkids for more 4th of July games.

The family friendly menu can be just as fun. Add some healthy flavor to your red, white, and blue theme by making skewers of strawberries, blueberries, and marshmallows. Or hollow out a watermelon and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to make your melon pieces more festive.

Set up a lemonade stand with a variety of flavored lemonades, like strawberry, raspberry, and peach. Can’t find them already mixed? Just puree the fruit in a blender and stir it in.

Place coloring stations with poster board and crayons, where the children can draw pictures of what freedom means to them.

Hang a red, white, and blue piñata and have a red or blue bandanna ready to blindfold the players.

And what’s more kid-friendly than bubbles? Set out trays of the liquid (away from the food) with wands that have stars-and-stripes ribbons attached.

Stars & Stripes

There’s nothing more festive than the red, white, and blue of our stars and stripes. Encourage guests to dress in the theme, and offer a prize for the best costume.

For decorations, string white lights around the party area and hang red and blue stars from them. Decorate your great outdoors with streamers, ribbons, star covered balloons, and flags.

Lay out the food in striped patterns. Set out bottled drinks in the shape of star. Layer a parfait with strawberries, blueberries, and marshmallows at the center of your buffet—or just used colored glass pebbles. Use small flag food picks to label everything on your serving table.

Patriotic and Simply Chic

If your tastes trend a bit more upscale, you can take a simply chic approach to your July 4th party. Put star-shaped white lights in large, clear glass vases. Wrap red and blue balloons in white tulle and tie with shimmery white star garlands.

Set your table with a red and white floral arrangement, accented with sheer blue ribbon, sparklers, or a softly draping flag. For your bar, blue glassware and red linens. Accent with empty wine bottles filled with white lights. Use all white place settings for a classic style. For an eclectic chic look, blend mismatched white dishes (spend a little time treasure hunting at thrift shops first).

If your party is outdoors, place oversized pinwheels around the area, with solar lights to brighten them up as the sun goes down. Set up a croquet set for some garden party activity. Plan a patriotic trivia game with questions about American history, U.S. Presidents, and the fifty states.

 

No matter what theme you choose, be sure you plan ahead and create a music playlist. Here are some song suggestions:

“4th of July” (Shooter Jennings)

“All American Girl” (Carrie Underwood)

“America” (Neil Diamond)

“America” (Simon and Garfunkel)

“America the Beautiful” (Ray Charles and Alicia Keyes)

“American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

“American Pie” (Don McLean)

“American Soldier” (Toby Keith)

“Born in the USA” (Bruce Springsteen)

“Coming to America” (Neil Diamond)

“Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” (Toby Keith)

“God Bless America”

“God Bless the USA” (Lee Greenwood)

“Independence Day” (Bruce Springsteen)

“I’ve Been Everywhere” (Johnny Cash)

“Living in America” (James Brown)

“Living in the USA” (Linda Ronstadt)

“My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (Aretha Franklin)

“Philadelphia Freedom” (Elton John)

“Proud to Be an American” (Lee Greenwood)

“R.O.C.K. in the USA” (John Mellencamp)

“Star Spangled Banner” (Whitney Houston does a wonderful version)

“Surfin’ USA” (The Beach Boys)

“This Land is Your Land” (Woody Guthrie)

“Yankee Doodle Dandy”

The Cambridge – A Modern Design

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: June 4, 2015

 

The Cambridge Floor Plan has a Fresh Modern Design.

The Cambridge Floor Plan has a Fresh Modern Design.

American Classic Homes’ Cambridge floor plan is a modern design that was created to reflect the ways that families live today. It is both spacious and elegant with areas for gathering and spaces that afford privacy.

The Elegant & Inviting Entry of the Cambridge Floor Plan

The Elegant & Inviting Entry of the Cambridge Floor Plan

The Entry is elegant and inviting with a covered porch and welcoming double doors with glass inserts. Off the Foyer, you will find a large Den with a closet. This would be ideal as a Home Office or Study. The entire main level has soaring ten foot ceilings and eight foot tall doors throughout. For formal entertaining the Dining Room offers a stunning bay window. You will really appreciate the timeless details like the coffered ceiling and extensive crown molding.

The Kitchen is a stunning family gathering spot featuring an enormous slab granite center island. The Kitchen opens to the spacious Eating Nook and fireplaced Family Room beyond. There is a sliding glass doors to the covered Patio which is the highlight of the backyard featuring tongue and groove ceiling with recessed lights.

The Enormous Slab Granite Kitchen Island is a Great Gathering Spot.

The Enormous Slab Granite Kitchen Island is a Great Gathering Spot.

The main level also offers a terrific Guest Suite with a large Bedroom and adjacent Bath. The Bath has a fully tiled walk-in shower. This is idea; for long-term guests or it is wonderful for a mother-in-law situation.

The Second Level Master Bath is Luxurious.

The Second Level Master Bath is Luxurious.

The Master Suite is located on the Upper Level and has dramatic vaulted ceilings and plenty of room for a cozy sitting area. It adjoins a sumptuous Master Bath with a tasteful corner soaking tub and a fully tiled walk-in shower. There is an enormous walk-in closet as well as a second closet.

The upper level also has three additional Bedrooms, a Hall Bath and a spacious Bonus Room with a closet that could be used as a sixth Bedroom. The Laundry Room is also conveniently located nearby. An open and airy loft area could be used as a quiet space for reading and relaxing.

 

Heritage Estates is Located in the Renton Highlands near Liberty High School.

Heritage Estates is Located in the Renton Highlands near Liberty High School.

The Cambridge is 3,603 square feet and is currently available in the community of Heritage Estates in the Renton Highlands.

5 Tips to design a chef’s kitchen you’ll love

Categories: Custom Home Building, Home Design Trends, Interior Design, New Home Selections, Renton Homes, Sammamish Homes | Posted: May 28, 2015

Tips for designing the ultimate chefs kitchen for almost any home

When cooking is your passion, the kitchen is the most important space in your home. Today’s foodies are investing in designing the ultimate chef’s kitchen. You don’t need massive space—just smart planning. A true chef’s kitchen is designed with functionality in mind.

Here are some helpful tips to design a chef’s kitchen.

  1. Efficient layout. Follow the triangle pattern that connects you to the sink, refrigerator, and range, without excess steps. A U- or L-shaped kitchen layout or center island provides the best flow from these three key places.
  2. Easy care, durable surfaces. Certainly, you want an attractive kitchen, but you need to consider that the workspace is going to need to withstand a lot of spills, chopping, hot pans and dishes, and splatters. Look for surfaces that are easy to clean, resist stains, and can hide the inevitable scratches. Stainless steel is ideal for appliances and sinks. A quartz countertop is easier to maintain than granite, while still providing an elegant appearance.
  3. Non-skid flooring. With spills and splatters prevalent in your kitchen, you’ll need a non-skid floor. Travertine tile is beautiful, but not easy to keep clean. Cork flooring is becoming more popular in kitchens because it’s eco-friendly, durable, and provides a bit of cushioning for your feet. Vinyl flooring or ceramic tile with a non-skid coating offer a wide range of colors and designs.
  4. Smart storage. Make every space count in your chef’s kitchen. Take advantage of the many cabinetry options available, like deep drawers where you can stash your pots and pans, with the lids so you don’t have to go searching. Install pullout cabinets for your pantry, spice rack, canned goods, and vertical items, like trays, racks, and cookie sheets. Use drawer organizers to separate your cooking utensils. If you like a rustic look, use a pot rack so your pans are at arm’s reach.
  5. Put luxury in your appliances and tools. Quality tools that allow for great results with ease are essential for a chef’s kitchen. A double wall oven, four or six-burner gas stove, oversized refrigerator, professional stand mixer, and warming drawer (many stoves now come with one built in the bottom as well) are some of the finishing touches that contribute to the kitchen of your dreams. Top it off with task lighting in key areas, and you’re cooking now!

Getting to Know Kirkland….

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: May 21, 2015

American Classic Homes’ newest community, Montaire, is located in the Finn Hill neighborhood of Kirkland. Money Magazine ranked Kirkland No.5 in the “Best Places to Live Top 100 in the U.S.” and the No. 1 place to live in Washington State. It is easy to see why – offering a wonderful blend of outdoor activities, boutique shopping, art galleries and dining, Kirkland affords the perfect lifestyle.

Kirkland has a vibrant downtown area filled with dining and boutique shopping options.

Kirkland has a vibrant downtown area filled with dining and boutique shopping options.

Kirkland has a vibrant downtown area. The Heathman Hotel is in the heart of downtown. It features Trellis Restaurant that serves farm-to-table cuisine. It also has a terrific outdoor space, affectionately called, “The Front Porch” which is a gathering spot for people watching.

There is no shortage of dining options in Kirkland. From the casual Mediterranean Alanya Café to Anthony’s Restaurant, featuring the best steaks and seafood, served with an awesome lakeside view. Milagro Cantina has become a summertime favorite offering Southwest and Mexican cuisine with a dog-friendly outdoor patio. Purple Café and Wine Bar is another favorite with huge garage doors that make the entire restaurant feel al fresco – the cranberry chicken salad is a must! For amazing eggs benedict or filet mignon sliders at happy hour, the locals all head to Hectors.

Kirkland also has terrific boutique shopping. You can meander through the streets checking out shops like BooBoo Barkery & Boutique to pick up a new leash or perhaps some adorable handmade treats for your furry friends. They have all things dog. Find a unique collection of shoes, handbags and accessories at Crush Footwear or that perfect bottle of wine at Zero One Vintners.

If you are enjoy the arts, you will enjoy a visit to one of several art galleries including the Howard/Mandville Gallery or the Kirkland Arts Center. Kirkland Performance Center is a nearly 400 seat theater that hosts everything from the Washington Wind Symphony to Twisted Flicks – a live movie re-dubbing show with audience participation.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, Kirkland offers many parks of all sizes and varieties. Juanita Heights Park is located at the top of Finn Hill and is crisscrossed with hiking trails. Nearby Big Finn Hill Park is 220 wooded acres off of Juanita Drive. It is comprised of soccer and baseball fields, a play area and 9.5 miles of hiking trails. It adjoins an additional 7 miles of trails in Saint Edwards State Park.

Juanita Beach Park sits on the shore of sparkling Lake Washington. It is the ideal place to cool off.

Juanita Beach Park sits on the shore of sparkling Lake Washington. It is the ideal place to cool off.

Maybe best known is nearby Juanita Beach Park with an enclosed swimming area, picnic tables, a dedicated fishing area, public docks, beach volleyball, tennis courts and a children’s playground.

There is always something to do in Kirkland. The Juanita Friday Market runs June through September and offers locally grown produce, flowers and crafts. On Wednesdays there is a similar market at Marina Park. The Kirkland summer concert series has a child-themed concert on Tuesday mornings at Juanita Beach Park and on Thursday evenings there is an evening concert that can be enjoyed with a picnic and sunset over Lake Washington.

Other events that have become Kirkland traditions include; the Fourth of July Parade, Picnic and Fireworks, Kirkland Uncorked (a weekend of art, food and wine), the Christmas Ship Festival, The second Thursday Alley Art and Wine Walk and the 12K’s of Christmas Holiday Run. The events are too numerous to mention them all and new ones are always being added.

Bastyr University is a globally respected natural health, arts and sciences university.

Bastyr University is a globally respected natural health, arts and sciences university.

Kirkland is served by top rated Lake Washington School District. The district ranks a 9 out of 10 on the GreatSchools.org website. Neighboring Bastyr University is a globally respected natural health, arts and sciences university set on 51 acres. They offer classes that are open to the public as well as continuing education classes on everything from Paleo Cooking, T’ai Chi and Aromatherapy / Essential Oils. You can visit the campus and take a self-guided tour through the Medicinal Herb Garden.

Kirkland is fast becoming an important technology employment hub with both Google and GoDaddy setting up offices. Of course Microsoft is also a very quick commute to Redmond.

Whether you are a single, young family or empty-nesters, Kirkland has something for everyone. A variety of housing styles, a lively downtown area and an overflowing events calendar – it is worth checking out.

4 Tips On How To Move Fido Into Your New Home

Categories: Home Owner Tips, New Homes | Posted: May 14, 2015

Tips for Moving with a Dog into Your New Home

Moving to a new home is exciting, but it can also be stressful for the whole family. You’re aware of the changes happening, but your dog isn’t. Leaving the comfort of familiar spaces—inside and out—and landing in a strange one can be upsetting for the canine member of your family. Plan ahead and make it a little easier when moving your dog into a new home.

Start slowly. Tame some of the pent-up energy from the trip to your new place. When you arrive, take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood, letting her sniff out the surroundings (and for him to leave his mark on the territory). Then calmly walk up to your home. Avoid using an excited tone, saying something like, “Who has a new home? You do. You do!” Your pet doesn’t understand the words, but your voice will rev up the energy you’re trying to tame.

Make it familiar. Dog behavior is guided by a strong sense of smell. Have your new home ready with some familiar favorites. Avoid the temptation to stock it with new toys, blanket, bed, crate, and dishes. Put the old things in the same places as in your previous home, like the bed in the living room and the dishes near the refrigerator.

Be patient and attentive. Your dog will probably experience some anxiety at the sudden change—which could show itself with barking, pacing, and potty accidents. He might be more clingy than usual, so be patient and soothing. Plan to spend time playing together. Try to avoid scolding your pup too harshly during the transition. These dog behaviors are the result of fear and confusion. It doesn’t mean your good dog has become a naughty one.

Find friends. Check out the local dog parks where your precious pup can meet other dogs and dog lovers. Look for a good dog sitter who can come to your home and get to know your buddy. Walk around the neighborhood and you’ll quickly meet the pet lovers, who can give you advice on a good veterinarian, groomer, and pet sitter.

There’s nothing like getting a warm welcome from your dog. When you move into a new home, it’s your turn to do it for him!

American Classic Homes Builds Multigenerational Homes

Categories: Custom Home Building, Home Design Trends, Interior Design, New Home Selections, New Homes, Real Estate News | Posted: May 6, 2015

In a previous blog, “What is a Multigenerational Home?” we discussed what a makes a home suitable for multigenerational living and what may prompt people to want to live in a multigenerational house.

The Broadway by American Classic Homes is a terrific floor plan for multi-generational living.

The Broadway by American Classic Homes is a terrific floor plan for multi-generational living.

Many of American Classic Homes’ floorplans are ideal for multigenerational living. The Broadway floor plan is a terrific example. The main level Guest Suite is adjacent to a Bath that has a fully tiled walk-in shower. The suite is also conveniently located with easy access through the garage giving it lots of privacy. This would be the perfect home for a family that had “Grandma” living with them to help take care of the children. It would also work perfectly for the family that had relatives who visit for several months at a time. Everyone has their own space and a sense of privacy.

The Meydenbauer floor plan is another great example of having convenient spaces for everyone. On the second level, there is a Jack-and-Jill Bath that is located between the second and third bedrooms. There is also a separate full Bath located beside the Bonus Room. This would give grandparents who are visiting or living with the family their own private Bath rather than having to share with the children. The upper level Bonus Room is spacious and also has a large closet, so it could also be used as a sixth Bedroom if the family needed even more space. In addition to the main floor Guest Suite, this home also has a Den, off the Entry, which has a large closet and could be used as a seventh Bedroom or a flex space with a wall-bed that can be used as a Home Office or Den most of the time but could be used as a Guest Room when there are extra family or friends visiting.

In a multi-generational home there is space for everyone and room for activities each person enjoys

In a multi-generational home there is space for everyone and room for activities each person enjoys

A popular feature of our Alki floor plan is that it offers two staircases. One grand staircase in the Foyer for greeting guests and a back staircase that makes it convenient for family members to go quickly from the Garage/Mudroom to the Bonus Room or Laundry on the second Level.

One of our newest floor plans is The Bainbridge. It will be built for the first time in Montaire, our new community in Kirkland. The Bainbridge is a three story home with many elegant spaces for entertaining. The main level has a formal dining room as well as a walk-through Butler’s Pantry. There is also a Den with closet adjacent to a Bath that could be used as a Guest Suite.

The Bainbridge floor plan is currently under construction in Kirkland. It will contain nearly 5,000 sqft of living space and six bedrooms.

The Bainbridge floor plan is currently under construction in Kirkland. It will contain nearly 5,000 sqft of living space and six bedrooms.

The lower level offers two bedrooms a full bath, a media room and a game room. There is a lot of flexibility with this space. It could be used for entertainment or could accommodate an adult child with grandchildren.

8 Tips for Organizing Your Closets

Categories: Home maintenance tips, Home Owner Tips | Posted: April 24, 2015

8 closet organization tips to use now.

What’s lurking behind that closet door? Do you open it slowly, in fear of what might come tumbling out? It’s easy to ignore your storage clutter, but why not just invest the time to take control, rather than the other way around? Here are some closet organization tips to guide you on your way.

  1. Start on empty. When you de-clutter, you need to give yourself a blank canvas to start all over. Don’t just move around what’s already in there; that’s like painting over a mistake. Take a deep breath, open the door, and remove all of the contents of your closet.
  2. Sort through everything you’ve removed from the closet and place each item in one of three piles: Keep, Donate, Move. The “Keep” items will go back in the closet once it’s reorganized. “Donate” goes to a charity. “Move” will be stored elsewhere, in a place where it might be used more often by being more accessible. For example, if you have shoved toys into your bedroom closet to get them out of the way, move them back to the kids’ rooms.
  3. Take inventory. Look at the items you want to keep in the closet. How do you want to store them? Are you going to fold the clothes or linens? Will they be in bins or boxes? Do you have oversized or heavy items that will need a larger or stronger space? Determine how many things will need to be on a hanger; you might discover that you don’t need a rod that extends across the full length of the closet, freeing up more space for shelves or open storage. If you have more short clothing items (shirts, jackets) than longer ones (dresses), maybe you’ll benefit from a double rod where you have two rows for your clothing, one above the other.
  4. Take measurements of your closet space. This will help you choose closet organization systems that fit. If you have lots of shelves, measure the height between each. You might determine that you should remove one or two shelves to store taller things. Plan to limit your stacks to no more than a foot to avoid toppling, and allow about four to six inches between the piles to reach between them.
  5. Maximize the space. Don’t forget to include the closet door and floor in your storage planning. You could hang a shoe tree or jewelry organizer on the door, or mount pegboard for easy access to things, like tape, scissors, rulers, notepads, jewelry, and other items that often get buried in a drawer. Organize the closet floor space using boxes on casters for shoes, toys, and other pieces you want to access easily. Mount hooks on the door and walls of the closet for extra hanging space, for things like scarves, neckties, handbags, and jewelry.
  6. Assemble your storage space. Now that you have an empty closet and have sorted out the things that will be going back in there, install the racks, rods, and shelves. Next, label the bins, boxes, and baskets with whatever will be stored in them. There are plenty of creative ways to tag your storage, like luggage tags, chalk-painted adhesive labels, and even photos (perfect for children’s storage).
  7. Light it up. If you don’t already have a light in your closet, add one. Save yourself the time of digging around in the dark and messing up your beautifully organized closet. If you don’t want to hard-wire a light, use a battery-operated light that sticks to the ceiling or wall.
  8. Restore your storage. Be mindful as you replace the items in your closet. Make sure the things you use the most are also the most accessible. Group clothing items together (stack t-shirts in one stack, sweaters in another). Hang up your clothing by shirts, blouses, jackets, pants, and skirts—all facing in the same direction. When you wear something and hang it back up, face the hanger in the opposite direction, so you can easily see what you’re not wearing.

Most importantly, once you’ve invested the time in re-creating your closet storage, be vigilant about keeping it organized. Follow your new system, and urge others in your household do the same.

Design Trends for 2015

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 16, 2015

The enormous slab granite kitchen island continues to be a popular feature of many homes.

The enormous slab granite kitchen island continues to be a popular feature of many homes.

We all love to look at the latest design trends. Sometimes they work for us and sometimes not so much…. Here are some of the latest trends that American Classic Homes has been watching and some that we will be including in our homes and finishes in the coming year.

 

Lighter colored cabinetry can be a refreshing change.

Lighter colored cabinetry can be a refreshing change.

Lighter colored wood cabinetry and floors.  In previous years the darker woods lead to a classic feel for homes, but the trend is now to lighten up with painted cabinetry and blond woods.  They are refreshing and make homes feel bigger and brighter especially in the gray Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

Marble!  It’s not just for countertops. More floors, furniture and accessories are being fabricated from this gorgeous natural stone. You never know where it is going to pop up and that is fine with us – we love it.

 

This reclaimed wood dining table would be gorgeous even in a contemporary decor.

This reclaimed wood dining table would be gorgeous even in a contemporary decor.

Reclaimed wood is moving from being a Do It Yourself staple to adding a rustic dimension to even the most refined homes. Once a mainstay of the cabin or beach cottage, reclaimed wood can now be found in city penthouses and suburban ramblers.

 

While some of us remember the floral patterns of the 80’s with a bit of a cringe, Chintz is making a huge comeback. We are seeing them combined with modern accents and looking positively chic.

 

Darker cabinets  are right on trend in the Alki floor plan at Heritage Estates in Renton.

Darker cabinets are right on trend in the Alki floor plan at Heritage Estates in Renton.

Drama in the kitchen. Black cabinetry, black countertops, black chairs and stools, black cookware are all bringing a sense of adventure to the kitchen.

Two Free Shredding Events This Month

Categories: American Classic News, Home Owner Tips | Posted: April 9, 2015

Two locations to shred your old documents.

Two locations to shred your old documents.

It is tax season again, and even though we are in the cyber age, there is still a lot of paper. If you have more paper than you care to shred at home come to American Classic Homes’ free shredding events later this month!

Document shredding is a process used to destroy paper documents by cutting the paper into very small pieces. There are two main reasons why document shredding is important: to prevent identity theft, one of the fasted growing crimes in the world, and to dispose of personal documents To make it even easier to shred, bring your old documents to our FREE shredding events conveniently located at Heritage Estates on Saturday, May 2nd from 2-4 pm and at Tarrington Place on Sunday, May 3rd from 2-4 pm. Coffee and treats will be served as well.

What to Shred

You should shred anything that contains a signature, account number or social security number as well as sensitive medical or legal information. This could include:

  • ATM receipts & Bank statements
  • Canceled & voided checks
  • Credit card bills, summaries & receipts
  • Credit reports & histories
  • Investment Documents
  • Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers
  • Driver’s licenses or items containing a driver’s license number
  • Employment records & Employee pay stubs
  • Expired passports, Visas & Identification cards
  • Investment, stock & property transactions
  • Anything with a Social Security numbers
  • Resumes
  • Tax forms

What to Keep

  • Tax Info/Returns – 3 years on supporting documentation & actual tax returns
  • Investment Records and Statements – 3 years to support your tax returns
  • Bank Statements & Cancelled Checks – Keep any cancelled checks that support tax documentation. Bank statements – 3 years
  • Pay Stubs – Keep 3 months
  • ATM Receipts – Keep until you compare them with your bank statement
  • Credit Card Statements – Keep for one year in case a dispute were to arise.
  • Credit Card Receipts – Keep until you compare it to the statement.
  • Utility Bills –no need to keep these types of records.
  • Warranties – As long as you own the item or until the warranty expires.
  • Insurance – Insurance policies & claim forms as long as policy is in effect.
  • Deeds, Mortgages & Home Improvement – Keep for as long as you own the home plus 3 years.

Permanent Documents

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage, Divorce or Child Care Orders
  • Trust Documents
  • Business Agreements
  • Military records

 

American Classic Homes’ Shredding Events are at Heritage Estates on Saturday, April 25th from 2-4pm and at Tarrington Place on Sunday, April 26th from 2-4pm. Coffee and treats will be served.

Why Our Alki Floor Plan Has Great Feng Shui

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: April 2, 2015

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy of harmonizing people and spaces.

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy of harmonizing people and spaces.

What is Feng Shui? Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy of harmonizing people with their surrounding environment. . Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it. Many of American Classic Homes’ are feng shui friendly taking advantage of the many of the principles which really come down to good architectural design.

 

The front door should never align directly with the front door.

The front door should never align directly with the front door.

  • The front door and foyer area are like gateways to the Chi (universal energy) in your home. It is important that as the Chi enters your home it can maintain the proper flow. A well designed, feng shui friendly home will allow space for good energy to enter your home and then flow throughout the house. In the Alki the large elegant double doors do not directly align with another door or window. They open inward, which welcomes in the good energy, rather than pushing it away with outward opening doors.

 

  • A home with high quality feng shui energy in the master bedroom is imperative for health and well-being. Because you want an energy foundation that has a peaceful and nourishing energy the best locations are above an area with peaceful and balanced activity such as an eating nook or a quiet reading area. Also it is best to locate the master bedroom behind the center line of the home so that it is slightly “hidden” from the main energy traffic. The Alki plan follows these principles by locating the master bedroom in the back of the home above the eating nook. Further feng shui friendly design encourages the bed placement against and outside wall rather than against the bathroom or closet wall promoting a free and healthy flow of energy around the room.

 

High quality Feng Shui energy in the master bedroom is imperative for health and well-being.

High quality Feng Shui energy in the master bedroom is imperative for health and well-being.

The "Feng Shui Trinity" can be found in the kitchen of the Alki floor plan.

The “Feng Shui Trinity” can be found in the kitchen of the Alki floor plan.

  • The kitchen is an extremely important factor in creating a feng shui home. It is considered part of the “feng shui trinity” – the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – because of its importance for the family’s health and well-being. As in the Alki plan, the kitchen is located a good distance from the staircase. These two energies are opposite each other and more harmony is achieved keeping them at a distance. The “kitchen triangle” which many architects feel is a crucial design element, is also an important factor in feng shui. Again, creating easy flow of energy and harmony.

 

  • In feng shui the right balance of personal versus social areas is essential. Because the heart energy of a home is generated in the personal areas it is important to look for a home that is well balanced and where the social areas do not over take the personal ones. A family needs space to spend time together as well as private space for each family member. The Alki plan includes four bedrooms plus a den with closet that could be a bedroom, plenty of room for family members to relax and have some private space. The Alki also has lovely social spaces. The great room opens off the kitchen to include everyone in the interaction. It has large windows and sliding glass doors to the covered patio. Having a lot of natural light in social areas is very important because it is the highest form of energy. It is needed in abundance in social areas because there is more energy to purify in these areas. The Alki also includes a formal dining room and second level bonus room in its social areas. All are regular shapes which promote a lively and vibrant flow of energy.

 

The Alki Floor plan by American Classic Homes

The Alki Floor plan by American Classic Homes

  • Even people who are not familiar with feng shui sense the importance of the staircase in a home. Staircases have an unsettling quality of a constant flow of up and down energy. Two of the major feng shui no-no’s for stairs include aligning with the front door. This creates the rush of incoming energy that will make the entire home feel unstable and unsettled. Also it is important to avoid a staircase in the center of the home. This is because the center is the “heart” and it will be exhausted by the constant rush of energy up and down the stairs. The Alki plan is unique in that it features two staircases. There is one in the front of the home, which does not empty out the front door. There is also a back staircase located by the laundry and bonuses rooms. Again, these follow the best practices for feng shui.

 

American Classic Homes is passionate about great architectural design. Incorporating feng shui principles into our homes is just one way that we are designing homes for the way that our homebuyers want to live.

 

 

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