Spring Blooms Worth Planting in Your NC Backyard

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” –Jim Carrey

We could all take a lesson from the spring flowers during this time!  It’s our time to shine and why not take this opportunity to make out homes and yards reflect that and bring a little beauty into this world?!  As spring approaches some of the season’s first flowers can’t wait to bloom in the beautiful North Carolina sun!  Even when we’ve had an unusually chilly winter, crocuses, roses, and snowdrops fight their way through the cold ground and can bloom as early as late January.

Most spring flowers in our area begin blooming around the end of March. The first of the season include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and irises. Others need more time to develop and enjoy the sun before they’re ready to blossom. Roses, bluebells, lilacs, peonies, and daisies don’t come out until May and June.

With so many flowers blossoming in spring, it’s not easy picking only a few favorites. We love them all, but these seven made our list thanks to their unique looks, lovely fragrances, and special symbolic meanings.  Plus they will look amazing decorating your flower beds and lining your walkways.  Talk about curb appeal!

Tulips!  Spring wouldn’t be the same without the playful beauty of tulips. These bulbous flowers bloom in thousands of varieties, including just about every color and combination of colors possible. They generally represent love, but specific hues do have their own meanings. For example, red tulips symbolize true love, and yellow tulips represent cheerful thoughts. We love mixed bouquets for celebrating Easter, spring birthdays, and other special occasions of the season.

Camellias!  Camellia shrubs bloom every spring with large, gorgeous flowers that are so beautiful they almost don’t look real. In pink, red, or white, camellias symbolize longing, deep desire, and adoration.  Show your appreciation for living in the most beautiful city in North Carolina and plant some camellias!

Lilacs!  Lilac shrubs can grow to be up to 15 feet tall, and their unmistakable perfume can be detected throughout the whole neighborhood when the breeze is just right. Their cascading flower clusters bloom in pink, blue, purple, and white, which represent passion, tranquility, spirituality, and purity.  Show your passion for Coastal NC with lilacs lining your walkway.

Daffodils!  Of all spring flowers, daffodils are the best representatives of spring. Like the season, they also represent renewal, rebirth, and new beginnings. They’re also lovely to admire with their funny, trumpet-shaped blooms in delightfully vibrant yellow, orange, and white.  Hearty and returning year after year, daffodils can’t be beat.

Daisies!  Daisies have classically fresh, white petals with yellow centers, which give them an effortless sort of beauty. They represent childbirth and motherhood, which makes them the perfect choice for a Mother’s Day celebration this spring. 

Azaleas!  We saved the best for last!  Azaleas are another flowering shrub that blooms in spring. They have elegant, dark-green foliage and fluttery flowers that bloom in alluring shades of white, pink, and red. They represent femininity and make wonderful gifts either as potted plants or floral bouquets.

Wilmington, NC Riverwalk Wins National Recognition

“A river is water is its loveliest form, rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart.” -Roderick Haig-Brown

We know how wonderful the Wilmington Riverwalk is, and now so does the rest of the US!  In January, USA Today compiled a list of the top 10 riverwalks and Wilmington was ranked #2!  Personally we think it is the absolute best and there are so many reasons why! 

You will not find a more relaxing and fun stretch of almost 2 miles of scenic views, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.  Following along the edge of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, the Riverwalk offers breathtaking views of the water, the river bridge and the Battleship North Carolina.  Views of the Cape Fear River can’t be beat and make for the perfect backdrop for photos.  Stretching from Nunn Street to the Isabella Holmes Bridge, the walkway is lined with an assortment of markets, unique boutiques and art galleries.  The Riverwalk is home to outdoor cafes and narrated tours for your dining needs and entertainment. The wooden walkway is in walking distance of some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions like the Cotton Exchange and the 1914 Murchison Building. It is also the loading spot for several river boat cruises including Wilmington Water Tours and Cape Fear Riverboats, where you can relax onboard with a drink in hand and listen to the history of the area told by the boat’s captain. You can also catch a sunset cruise and enjoy live music while you sail along the water.  There is a marina at the north end and even an outdoor concert venue!

The Riverwalk is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free of charge.  Exactly why we think it can’t be beat!  But, if you are interested in scoping out the competition, the full top ten list is as follows:

  1. Detroit International RiverWalk – Detroit
  2. Wilmington Riverwalk – Wilmington, North Carolina
  3. Schuylkill River Trail – Philadelphia
  4. San Antonio River Walk – San Antonio
  5. Smale Riverfront Park – Cincinnati
  6. Waterfront Park – Louisville
  7. Bricktown – Oklahoma City
  8. Mississippi Riverwalk – Dubuque, Iowa
  9. Chicago Riverwalk – Chicago
  10. Charles River Esplanade – Boston

Home, Sweet McAdams Home

“Home sweet home. This is the place to find happiness. If one doesn’t find it here, one doesn’t find it anywhere.” –M.K. Soni

At McAdams Homes, we truly believe that your level of satisfaction is our measure of success.  We guarantee that we will do everything we can to make sure that you have 100% happiness in the entire process!

We start the process with a pre-construction design meeting to make sure that you are aware of all the options we offer.  The hardest part is deciding which one of our amazing floor plans to pick!   All of our single family homes are two stories and range from 1,873-2,381 square feet. All of the floor plans are open concept with large great rooms, many with the option of a fireplace. Depending on your family’s needs, you’ll have the option of 3-5 bedrooms and even a loft area in some plans and 2.5-3.5 bathrooms! There are so many included features that it is almost too hard to list them all! Front load garages are standard as are wood laminate flooring downstairs, stain resistant carpets throughout, brushed nickel hardware, Moen plumbing fixtures, 9 foot ceilings, 42″ cabinets, and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen, and a landscape package that includes irrigation and sod just to name a few of the amazing features that come standard! There are many optional features as well including but not limited to screened porches, alternative kitchen and master bathroom layouts, bonus rooms, formal dining rooms and so much more!

At McAdam’s Homes, we want you to feel happy with not only the features of your home but also your monthly payment.  Affordability is equally as important to us as quality and comfort.  And with floor plans starting at $204,900, there really is no other company that can match our affordability.  Where else can you find brand new 4 and 5 bedroom homes for under $300,000?!

We can sing our own praises all day but no one says it better than our satisfied customers, “Building with McAdams Homes has been the most pleasant experience. They went above and beyond our expectations in every way. They truly care about the homesowners and the product they deliver. They offer a lot of things standard that other builders charge extra for. During our walkthrough we requested some things that we thought was a little over the top, but I figured it never hurts to ask, and they did everything we requested! Blown away by their service and the house they built for us.  We highly recommend using McAdams Homes.” – Chaffin

Top 3 Front Door Colors of All-time

Curb appeal starts at the front door.  A great front door can make all the difference in your homes appearance.   The right color door can make your home look welcoming, add curb appeal and set the tone for what’s inside. It’s kind of like the feeling you get after an amazing haircut and color!  Pick the right hue and set the tone for you whole home.

Now, what color to pick for that pop of personality as you cross the threshold?  The surveys are in and the top three choices this year and of all time are red, dark grey/black and hunter green.  So if you want to stay classic, we just have to decide which one suits your home best!

Red: Whether it’s lipstick, nail polish or your front door, this classic remains in the lead! It works well with both light and white home exterior schemes as well as dark grey and black.  Red is so versatile. From bright to dark it works well with modern to traditional styles and even on red brick homes—but do your best to match the tone. Deep red adds a classic touch and work well with black, grey, green or taupe.  What does having a deep red front door say about you? You are seen as warm, classic and even a little daring!  Pass the paint brush now!

Dark Gray/Black:  Why do we always fall back on that little black dress when we have a special occasion that requires we look our best? Because black makes a dramatic statement and stands the test of time.  The same applies to front door color!  What’s more stately than a solid black front door? If you’re looking for a paint color that connotes seriousness, dark grey or black is the choice for you.  These traditional colors often seems formal, but you can add a playful tone with a modern black door against a colorful exterior. Covered with a shiny veneer, this front door is definitely glamorous—just like you!

Hunter Green:  Another classic that is both earthy and elegant.  You can’t go wrong with a fresh, healthy hunter green hue to welcome your guests into your humble abode!  Deep green looks excellent with red or white washed bricks or any neutral background. It’s better with lighter or neutral trim colors rather than black or charcoal as it will get lost. It’s also beautiful with natural woods or walnut colors.  If you have a dark green door you may be regarded as regal, elegant, peaceful and graceful. 

The Dog Parks of Wilmington, NC

“People who don’t mingle with other people outside of their social, ethnic, religious, economic, political, or peer groups are like dogs that grow up without ever having been socialized with other dogs (they tend to be skittish around the unfamiliar and react to other dogs with hesitation, suspicion, and barking).  Socializing dogs is recommended for good reasons. Not least of which is that they exist more harmoniously with other dogs.  This doesn’t just apply to dogs. The world is a dog park.”- Zero Dean

This past year has been tough on both humans and our furry companions; we all miss socializing!  Our dogs do so much for us; it seems almost unfair!   But there is a way to repay their endless devotion and love and it won’t even cost you a dime, plus you might make a friend of your own along the way!  All they want is your attention and affection…and a trip to the local dog park!  Luckily for us, Wilmington shares our obsession with our fluffy friends and has several dog parks to choose from.  So grab Rover, pack up your attention and affection…and maybe a frisbee or tennis ball and head out to one of these awesome Port City Pooch Parks.

Wilmington’s first official dog park at Empie Park is a two acre area located within the park and is completely fenced in.  There are 2 play areas; one for large dogs and one for dogs under 20 pounds.  There are pet waste stations and water for pups too.  Empire park is conveniently located in the center of town on the corner of Independence Blvd and Park Ave.

Long Leaf Park is another Fido favorite!  Located in the heart of Wilmington, on the corner of Pine Grove and College Road, it is a convenient stop from anywhere in town.  Since it is so popular, it is a great park to check out if your pup needs to learn to socialize or wants to come hang out with some regulars that are already friends. This park has lots of shade and natural pine straw throughout the play areas. There is also a 1.55 mile track around the park if you humans get antsy too!

Off the beaten path a bit in Hampstead is Ogden Park.  It is worth the short trip as it is largest of its kind in the area.  Like all of the others, there is a separate section for smaller dogs and a water station as well as benches and shady areas for humans to rest.  It is the shadiest of the options so it is a great option for the summer months.  The park also has a 1 mile walking path.  

Halyburton Park is on 17th St in Monkey Junction and although there’s no fenced area for off leash, it’s certainly worth mentioning for the 1.3 mile shaded nature trail that dog owners and their pets will enjoy.  This park also has fresh water fountains throughout for dogs.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” – Roger Caras

5 Ways to Make Your Master Bedroom Feel More Luxurious

Your bedroom is one of the most personal spaces in your home. It’s where you relax and recharge, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t have your full attention.  Making your bedroom feel more luxurious doesn’t have to be expensive either.  Here are five tips to get your master bedroom feeling like it belongs in a palace!

The best part of a cozy, pristine bedroom has got to be the big, comfy bed. So if you’d like to create a luxurious yet comfortable feel at home, start with a mini bed makeover.  A quick and easy fix is to start with your sheets.  Nothing says softness and comfort like high thread count sheets.  Generally, the higher the thread count, the softer the sheet, and the more likely it will wear well — or even soften — over time. Good sheets range anywhere from 200 to 800 or higher.  

We aren’t done with the bed just yet.  There’s something so luxurious about plush, overfilled throw pillows, which go a long way in transforming your bedroom from “everyday” to a bonafide retreat that emulates the most sumptuous of hotels.   If you put a million pillows in your bedroom, it looks nice but going to bed can become a chore. It’s a cycle of putting pillows and taking pillows off. Think two sleeping pillows plus 2-4 other pillows for accents.  It looks nice if you can have a mix of fabrics and patterns on your pillows and a variety of sizes.  And overstuffing then is key for optimal comfort and attractiveness!

Nothing sets the tone in a room more than the smell of a perfectly luxuriously scented candle.  A scent can create a sense of space and environment as soon as you enter a space. The scent you prefer is personal of course but you can’t go wrong with something floral.  Florals are one of the most popular luxury hotel scents for a reason. Jasmine, rose, geranium, lavender, lily: there are so many scents to pick from, you’re bound to find one that you like, whether you prefer your home to smell like a single flower or the inside of a hothouse. Many luxury hotels base some or all of their signature scents on florals, and after getting yourself a floral candle, you’ll understand why.  And, not only do they smell great, but they also provide atmospheric light and they look aesthetically pleasing while sitting on an end table.  

Show off your style with a statement piece of artwork, whether it’s a sculpture, photograph, or colorful painting. While it can certainly be displayed on a wall, leaning your favorite piece against a wall can be just as powerful. Even just redistributing art from other parts of your home into the bedroom can make a statement. Artwork is made to be seen, so it’s understandable that we often hang our favorite pieces in social areas of the house, like the living room.  Taking some of your favorite pieces from another room my beall your master bedroom needs to look more elegant.  Why not at least experiment with one statement piece positioned over the bedhead for maximum impact?!

One or two touches of the green stuff are a must in an expensive bedroom. No, not money—living plants and cut flowers. Get out your prettiest vase and fill it with a fragrant bouquet of cut flowers for your nightstand. You can find budget blooms in your own garden, Trader Joe’s, a local farmer’s market, or the grocery store. Now, pot up a lush green plant in a ceramic or metal container. If your thumb is green, try a fern or a low maintenance house plant such as a Chinese evergreen, pothos, or a spider plant. Not only will it improve the look of your bedroom, but it will also help purify the air. What a win/win!

2021 Colors of the Year

After all the turbulence of 2020, we’re looking forward to a fresh start and ways to add color to our lives in the new year.  It is a fact that color has a psychological effect on our moods and energy levels with just the room color you choose for your walls. The colors of the rooms in your home also serve as a direct reflection of your personality. The people who live in a home make it beautiful by choosing colors that reflect their preferences and personalities. Color has the power to change the shape and size of furnishings, as well as the shape and size of the room itself.  And for those of us who have spent the past several months at home, a fresh start might be just what you need. If you’re looking to hit refresh with a new splash of color, take your cues from the color experts at Benjamin Moore, who just released their 2021 paint color predictions.

 According to Benjamin Moore, 2021 is all about warmth and comfort; two things that sound pretty great right about now!  The official color of the year is Agean Teal.  It is a perfect blend of blue-green and gray that is relaxing and coordinates well the rest of the colors in this year’s palette. The color’s calming qualities make it an excellent choice for bedrooms or home offices, and its casual elegance shines on kitchen cabinetry or built-ins. The earthy neutral pairs well with creamy whites like Muslin and Atrium White, Foggy Morning and other nature inspired colors and textures that are all the rage this season.   Not to mention some darker accent colors such as Amazon Soil or Silhouette for a bold contrast.

You can create a relaxing bedroom or living room with colors like Gray Cashmere or Kingsport Gray on the walls.  They are timeless neutrals that provide grounding foundations in interiors.   Then accessorize with woven baskets, caned furniture, and houseplants to play up the organic feel. Or create striking contrast with bright accents like Chestertown Buff or Rosy Peach that balance the shade’s coolness.  Warm undertones tie the colors together. It’s an ideal combination as we look forward to brighter days ahead.

Take a Walk with Us – Our Favorite Places to Walk around Town

“If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.” -Hippocrates

If 2020 left you on a bad mood like it did us, then walk your way through 2021 with a better attitude.  The great thing is, there are no shortages of places to walk around Wilmington.  Try some of the trails in our area to get your daily quota of steps and enjoy the stress relief and endorphin rush of an outdoor workout.  You may notice how much calmer and centered you feel after some time spent outdoors surrounded by all the natural beauty our town has to offer. And luckily, no matter what your level of fitness, there are opportunities to get, um, off the beaten path.

We love Wilmington’s Downtown Riverwalk for so many reasons.  Located along the Cape Fear River, it is home to many businesses and gorgeous scenic views. The Riverwalk’s wide boardwalk begins at Nun Street and runs more than a mile to the convention center. Not only is the walk beautiful, but also houses local, cultural and historic happenings. It’s a wonderful place to get a taste of downtown Wilmington at its best!

Next stop…Wrightsville Beach Loop.  If you have to get a run in, you might as well get it done at the beach, right?!  2.5 miles will fly by when they include views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the opportunity to stop and catch your breath to take in the view of boats passing by, paddle boarders, or even a family of dolphins.  You can even make a quick detour to the beach and watch the waves and/or finish off your workout at Wrightsville Beach Park.

 UNCW isn’t just a place for students to get their learn on, it’s a spot for you to get your steps in too!   Just walking around the grounds of the campus makes for a good long track and also so great people watching if you time it right.  Feeling more like a solitary and more scenic experience?  Try out the Blutenthal Wildflower Preserve located within the campus for a more therapeutic experience amongst the wildflowers.  The preserve was built not only to protect homes of the beautiful wildflowers, but also to contribute to the education of UNCW students and the community. So, come stroll along the trails and discover the plants and animals that make this forest their home while connecting with nature and getting fit!When it comes down to it, nothing beats the convenience of being close to home when it is time to squeeze in some exercise.  And when you live in paradise and your neighborhood has some of the best scenic nature landscapes around with amazing walking trails like we have at The Landing at Lewis Creek, why would you go anywhere else?  Just another reason we love life at The Landing at Lewis Creek! 

3 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work Harder

Cooking can be loads of fun, but it can also be a little bit hectic. Fortunately, there are a few simple adjustments you can bring to your kitchen that make the cooking process significantly easier and make your kitchen work for you. If you want a faster and less-stressful kitchen experience, follow these three tips to make your kitchen work for you. 

One way to make sure your cabinets stay organized is to utilize some stacking shelves for lower cabinets.  Installing shelves in your cabinets transforms them from untamed caves into orderly storage units that serve up exactly what you need. Throw in some drawers inserts that will make tidy cubbies for both your long cooking tools and the small ones without wasting space.  Don’t be afraid to stack; multitier shelves or lazy susans can up your organization game instantly.  Both are handy for organizing items like condiments, spices, and vitamins and can help make the most of corner base cabinets and storage spaces. You can’t go wrong with double the space and half the clutter!  Win-win!

The backs of cabinet doors provide easy-to-access storage for things like measuring cups, pot lids, spices, plastic bags and kitchen wraps.  Storage racks can be easily and inexpensively installed to increase space and organization inside the cabinets. Kitchen gloves and dish towels can be hung by hook son the insides of cabinets and if you want to get really creative, try attaching an empty box of Kleenex inside the door to store all of your plastic grocery bags.  You can recycle and repurpose like a champ!  Another game changer for keeping the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink organized is to install a tension rod.  Hang all of your cleaning supplies by their spray nozzles, doubling your storage space and keeping the bottom level neat and tidy.

Don’t forget to look up!  Just as you can hang your cleaning supplies, you can hang your pots and pans with a hanging pot rack.   A restaurant-style pot rack is a practical way to reduce clutter in the kitchen but can also be a decorative statement. You can get creative and personalize your pot rack to your home’s style.  Whether you prefer contemporary stainless steel, colonial-inspired wrought iron, or natural woods; there is a pot rack out there for you!

The Nearest Beaches to The Landing at Lewis Creek

“I followed my heart, and it led me to the beach”- unknown

The beach never seems to lose its special touch. The soft sand and rolling waves instantly make us forget about all of our worries and instead focus on the amazing view in front of us. That is probably the reason may of us decided that once we followed our hearts to the beach, we were going to make it our home!  We are so blessed to live in a neighborhood that is in close proximity to 4 amazing beaches.  The Landing at Lewis Creek is in such a prime location that the only problem you will have is deciding which beach to go to! 

Wrightsville Beach is a local favorite for many reasons.  The island is located about five miles from The Landing at Lewis Creek and is one of the most convenient beaches to get to quickly. This island sits just beyond the Intracoastal Waterway and spans a little over a mile and a half.  The island is well-known for its “loop” walking path stretching the island onto the mainland and back; making it a very active community of beach lovers.  Many residents get around by bike, skateboard or foot especially when the weather is warm and shoes are optional!  Wrightsville Beach is complete with restaurants, bars, shops, and a grocery store but consists mostly of private residences.  Fun fact, it was previously named New Hanover Banks.

If you are looking for a family friendly, laid back beach experience and willing to drive just a little bit further North, Topsail Beach is the place to set up your umbrella.  Topsail Beach is 26 miles of quiet, quintessential beach bliss.  The residents that call Topsail Beach home are what really makes this beach special.  They are known for being welcoming and embracing the island way of life.  Small businesses are valued and supported and the emphasis is never on commercialization when you are on Topsail Island time!   Not only that, the residents are also extremely conscience of the environment and the island is home to a Sea Turtle Rescue Operation and Sea Turtle Hospital!

Also close to our hearts…and geographically, Carolina Beach is an experience all its own and one you won’t want to miss.  Carolina Beach (aka CB) is a vibrant, family friendly beach community filled with great hotels, restaurants, nightlife, and of course beautiful beaches. At the North End of Carolina Beach is Freeman Park which is one of the only places along the North Carolina coast that allows people to drive out onto the beach, camp, and have open fires.  If you’re not into driving onto the beach, don’t worry. There are miles and miles of coastline where cars are not permitted. If you’re up for doing a little exploration, be sure to check out Carolina Beach State Park which is located just a mile from the foot of the Snows Cut Bridge. There you’ll find miles of hiking trails, camp and picnic sites, kayak rentals along the Cape Fear River, and a boat launch.  There is truly something for everyone in Carolina Beach.

Slightly further down the road is Kure Beach, a charming town full of history and lots of activities to entertain the family.  Home school have you stressed?  No worries, the beaches are family friendly and you can make a whole day of frolicking in the ocean (PE anyone?), learning some history at the Fort Fisher State Site and Civil War Museum and some science at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher!  Wins all around!