Tips for Decorating Your New Home for the Holidays

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” — Norman Vincent Peale

More people than ever will be staying home this holiday season as traveling isn’t an option for many.  For that reason, making your home as festive and fun as possible this holiday season is more important than ever!  Here are some simple holiday decorating tips to make the most out of your new home this year! 

Stick to a festive yet simple color palette.  For a consistent and cohesive look, choose one or two festive accent colors or shades and find simple ways to tie them in with your existing decor. You can accomplish this with ribbons, winter flowers, scented candles, patterned pillows, cozy blankets and Christmas stockings.  This is an inexpensive way to create a festive feel without breaking the bank; especially if you’ve recently purchased new furnishings and décor for your new home!

Baby it’s cold outside!  So, bring in all things warm and cozy!  To turn your home into a cozy and inviting refuge try burning wood-scented candles and using warm, dim lighting. For a larger makeover, replace your lightweight linens with chunky textures, such as knits and velvets, and gather fleece throw blankets to keep guests warm. Consider rearranging your furniture to face your Christmas tree or fireplace to create a warm and welcoming gathering spot for winter entertaining.

Over time, most people collect more ornaments than a single tree could possibly hold. Instead of cramming them all on your tree or packing them away indefinitely, place those bright-colored balls and bulbs in clear hurricane glasses and apothecary jars of different heights around the house. You can even stack extra shiny and colorful ornaments in a bowl, cake stand or serving dish with boughs of evergreen, pine cones and white string lights for a simple centerpiece using items you already own. Want an easy and decorative holiday window treatment? Attach a faux green garland to the top of your window pane and tie extra ornaments to it with ribbon in varying lengths. 

We are willing to bet that almost everyone can associate the smells of Christmas to a fond holiday memory.  Why not incorporate that into your new home’s Christmas appeal?   The smell of the outdoors always sets a festive, wintry mood. Try adorning your holiday table with a variety of boxwood cuttings, evergreen sprigs and fresh-cut white hydrangeas to add texture, color and fragrance. You can also attach fresh holly and magnolia leaves to napkin rings or place cards for a green and sophisticated touch. Don’t have time for a nature walk? Set the mood with a Frasier fir-scented candle!  There is nothing like settling in to your new home during the holidays especially when it looks, feels and smells as festive as yours will!

Wilmington, NC Holiday Traditions

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” –Calvin Coolidge

We love Wilmington all year long but the holiday season holds a special place in our hearts.   No matter what your interests are, you can find festive activities and create traditions that your family will love in our favorite city!  You can create holiday cheer with a unique array of historic, traditional and coastal activities, including festive home tours, decked-out holiday boat docks, colorful lakeside light displays and more!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without an obscene amount of twinkling lights and holiday cheer.  And where is the best place in town to visit for all of the above?  Airlie Gardens!  Every year, Wilmington goes all out and covers Airlie with over one million festive lights, holiday flowers and live entertainment for the whole family.  Year after year, your family can enjoy Enchanted Airlie in all its glory!

If you didn’t get your fill of Christmas lights at Airlie Gardens, there is always the Cape Fear Festival of Trees at Mayfaire Town Center.  It is a winter wonderland full of trees decorated by local businesses, groups and families for a good cause.  There are activities and treats for the whole family as well as holiday wreathes and ornaments for sale.  Bonus is, you can get your holiday shopping finished while at Mayfaire Town Center and visit Santa at Santa’s Workshop too!

Does your holiday spirit have you feeling like singing?  Well, Santa is waiting for you to join him in Caroling by Reindeer Drawn Trolley in downtown Wilmington!    You get to see the beautiful Historic Downtown holiday lights of old Wilmington while singing with Santa himself! Stay warm under snuggly blankets in the enclosed Christmas carriage, pulled by special “reindeer”.  This holiday tradition is fun for the whole family and will be sure to make some wonderful memories!

Wilmington is known for being an exciting beach town and that appeal doesn’t change with the seasons!  Salt life continues into the winter and just get more festive!  Throughout the holiday season, you can see decked out docks and holiday lights on display during a Holiday Boat Tour starting at the Blockade Runner at Wrightsville Beach.   Or, you can take a walk around Carolina Beach Lake Park to see the Holiday Lights at the Lake festive light display all season long.  While you are there, you can make a tradition of walking along the festively decorated Carolina Beach Boardwalk where seating areas and gazebos become Oceanfront Holiday Coves during Christmas by the Sea.  With so many wonderful holiday traditions to choose from in Wilmington, the only issue is deciding where to start!

What We Like About Each Room in Our McAdams Homes

First stop…the kitchen of course! Kitchens are a place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love. And if happiness is homemade, that means kitchens are the epicenter of happiness, right? We think so! And it is impossible not to be happy in a McAdam’s Homes kitchen! With their open-plan designs, a McAdams Homes kitchen is designed for so much more than just cooking and eating. It is the heart of the home and probably the most popular hangout spot. Our top of the line stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, 42” cabinets and brushed nickel hardware all come standard so you know that every McAdams Homes kitchen is sleek and trendy making it a room you’ll won’t mind washing dishes in! And if you enjoy dirtying up those dishes cooking up some delicious meals for your family, you will be pleased with the spacious layouts we offer. There are many options and alternatives to make sure your kitchen is customized to the exact needs of your family.

After a long day, there is nothing more satisfying than retiring to your Master Suite and getting a chance to relax! That is wat we love about every McAdams Homes Master Suite; every plan is spacious enough to allow you to set it up as a sanctuary for whatever your heart desires. With so much space to work with, you can add a reading nook or meditation station or even a mini living room complete with sofa and tv. Another bonus we love that makes it easy to keep your sanctuary clean and uncluttered is all of the storage space. With dual closets and built in storage, your Master Suite will easily stay pristine and peaceful. And nothing spells relaxation like the spa like in-suite bathrooms in all of our floorplans. This allows you the privacy to turn your private bathroom into a little get away any time you want.

Another one of our favorite rooms in the house is the Bonus Room! Many of our floorplans offer this option and the possibilities are endless! Many of us are working from home or attending school virtually now and a bonus room is the perfect spot to set up a home office or classroom. With many gyms being closed now is time to set up a home workout space and the bonus room is a perfect spot. It is so versatile for families as well; perfect for a movie/game room or even a home bar or craft room!
Some may say it’s not a room but we disagree…we love our garages at McAdams Homes. Large and spacious with plenty of room for cars, bikes, kayaks, skateboards, tennis racquets etc; we don’t know what we would do without a garage! Also a prime spot for a home gym or workshop, there is no limit to how beneficial a garage can be on a McAdams Home.

5 Options For Your Bonus Room

Most spaces in your home already have a designated use. The Kitchen is where you
gather with family and your Master Bedroom is your nighttime respite. So when you have a room that doesn’t have a clear purpose, you might be left scratching your head. However, a little clever planning can help you define the space and turn your Bonus Room into one of the best places in your home. Not sure what to do with your Bonus Room in your new McAdams Home? Here are some ideas to get your design juices flowing.

Home Office: Bonus Rooms can work great as Studies or Home Offices. They’re
often separated from noisy rooms like the Kitchen, they’re the perfect place to get a little work done. With a solid desk, ample lighting and a computer, a bonus room might become a catalyst for productivity — or at least a quiet place for conference calls and Zoom meetings.

Home Gym: Busy working on your fitness? Stop tripping over dumbbells and workout
mats by using your Bonus Room as a family fitness center. You’ll have plenty of space for various workout machines and a drink cooler to stay cool and hydrated while you get your Arnold on.

Home School: Even if homeschooling was never in your plans, it has become a part of
many of our lives at the moment in some form. If you find that your kids tend to leave papers, binders and textbooks all over the house, your Bonus Room could be the perfect homework space. Quiet and free of distractions like TV and video games, a few comfortable chairs and a workspace turn a big room into a peaceful place for kids to buckle down.

Movie/Game Room: If you have video game-aholics in your family — whether they’re
kids or adults — you know how annoying it can be to have your TV and Living Room constantly tied up by the latest Xbox release. A gaming room might be your answer. Setting your gaming systems and a few bean bag chairs in the space means finally getting your Living Room back. This set up also doubles as the perfect backdrop for movie night. Just add popcorn!

Play Room/Teen Hangout: Tired of tripping over toys and the constant clutter of crayons and soccer balls? Contain it all behind the doors of your Bonus Room! Added bonus… Peace and quiet in the Living Room! Luckily, the Bonus Room isn’t something your children will grow out of either, unlike the discarded socks littering the floor. It can adapt and change as quickly as your family does. Teens don’t always want to hang out with the rest of the family. Still, you can at least keep them in your home with a space to call their own. A teen hangout spot might include a TV and gaming system, a speaker for their phones, plenty of charging outlets and even a snack station or mini fridge to satisfy those never-ending appetites!

With so many good ideas, why not snag a McAdams Homes floor plan with a bonus
room already included and double up on the options for a home fit for the whole family?!

Explore Wilmington, NC – Downtown, Midtown and Wrightsville Beach

“Love where you live and every day will feel like a vacation”

Choosing to settle in Wilmington NC isn’t a tough decision.  It has so much to offer that the only difficult choice is deciding what activities to do!  Downtown Wilmington alone is filled with enough culture and entertainment and fine dining to keep you busy for weeks!  There is nothing like a stroll along the Riverwalk taking in the view of the Cape Fear River. Or dropping into the assortment of markets, unique boutiques, art galleries and locally owned outdoor cafés and restaurants that line the scenic walkway.  Not to mention the history lesson that is displayed all throughout the picturesque river backdrop including the iconic WWII Battleship NORTH CAROLINA.  The Brooklyn Arts District is every artist’s dream come true with historic buildings and old churches that have been refurbished and repurposed as event venues and new businesses, giving it an eclectic feel and incredible ambiance.  Also known for its active nightlife, downtown Wilmington is home to many bars and entertainment venues that offer something for everyone! 

If you didn’t get enough shopping done in Downtown Wilmington, take a short drive to Midtown for even more locally owned shops and boutiques at Lumina Station or shop the outdoor mall at Mayfaire Town Center and catch dinner and a movie all in one spot!  Looking for some family fun and entertainment while you’re out?  Check out Airlie Gardens  or Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park.   Nothing says entertainment for the whole family like a waterpark, go-karts, laser tag, mini-bowling, a rock-climbing wall and an arcade!  What more could you ask for?

Sun and sand you say?!  Wilmington has that too!  Known for catering to an active lifestyle and water sports, Wrightsville Beach is the place to be for surfing, sailing, fishing, sightseeing and just pure relaxation!  Not to mention a nightlife that can’t be beat.  Whether you prefer a quiet date night with sunset views at restaurants like  Bluewater Waterfront Grill or  Oceanic Restaurant or live music and entertainment at bars such as  The Palm Room and Jimmy’s at Red Dogs , Wrightsville Beach has it all!  

Location. Is. Everything.

Location!  Location!  Location!  Perhaps the oldest real estate slogan around, but also the most accurate!  The Landing at Lewis Creek’s Wilmington, NC address with no city taxes is THE BEST location around!  Close to absolutely everything the city of Wilmington has to offer, but also located outside the city limits and therefore city tax free, aka more affordable, makes The Landing at Lewis Creek a dream come true.  Paying city taxes can practically double the amount of taxes you pay per year and put a huge dent in your budget forcing you to settle for a home that is less than you desired. However at The Landing at Lewis Creek with home prices starting at $205,000 combined with the savings in taxes, your family won’t have to sacrifice a thing! 

You get the best of both worlds plus all the perks!  Downtown Wilmington is just a short drive away and you aren’t far from all of the history, culture and dining options that living in the city has to offer.  Wrightsville, Topsail, Carolina and Kure Beaches are all minutes away so planning an affordable staycation in your own backyard is practically done for you!  Grocery stores and shopping at Mayfaire Town Center are right around the corner for convenient and fun shopping experiences. 

The Landing at Lewis Creek is the ideal spot for families with school aged children as well.  Located in the best school district in the area and close to many opportunities for entertainment, it is a perfect for families and fun seekers alike.  Several parks including Ogden Park, Wrightsville Beach Park and Northern Reginal Park are close by for fun in the sun and exercise for the whole family. 

Being located so close to I-40 has its advantages as well.    Commutes to and from work are a breeze.  A quick turn out of your neighborhood and straight down Gordon Road will have you and your family on the fast track to a road trip without the headache of stop and go traffic getting through town.  As if living in the best coastal town in the South weren’t enough, you’ve found the best location within the town at The Landing at Lewis Creek!

What You Want in a Master Bedroom

We are spending time at home and with our families now more than ever and you may find yourself needing some personal space!  Why not make your master bedroom your sanctuary?!

All of our floor plans include spacious master bedrooms for that reason.   A spacious master suite is ideal if you want room for a large dresser, a full-length mirror and a bench to sit on while you put on shoes.  If you share your home with children or other family members, having a room that’s just for you can be essential to your well-being. Now is the perfect time to put that extra space to work too.  Need a place of your own to escape from the kids and indulge in your favorite reality tv show?  Include a mini living room with a comfy armchair and a TV!   Love practicing yoga at home or want a quiet space in which to meditate? Need somewhere to do some crafting or read a book? Then a big bedroom with plenty of open floor space is a must-have!

Let’s talk about storage!  We all know organization can alleviate a lot of stress from your day-to-day life. Not having to look for our socks every morning is a luxury that only a few of us experience if our closets are not adequate. That’s what makes storage such an important yet underrated part of any home. It streamlines your life and gets rid of unnecessary frustrations.  A walk-in closet can double as a dressing room and help you de-clutter the bedroom as shoes, jewelry, clothes and makeup can all be found in one place and hidden from view!  Prefer a space all your own free from your spouse’s stinky gym socks?!  Dual closets may be the answer.  No matter which route you choose, we have a plan to meet your needs!

Hope you’re not turned off by a little potty talk, because that is the next item on our list: on-suite bathrooms; which literally means, an attached bath.  You will find on-suite bathrooms in all of our master suites, but to us on-suite means a lot more than just a bathroom in the bedroom. It also means privacy!! After all, no one likes having to navigate down a dark hallway in the middle of the night to find the bathroom! Likewise, parents typically prefer not to share their bathrooms with their kids and guests. And when you build a home with McAdams Homes, we make sure you don’t have to sacrifice a thing!

Our Favorite Donuts in Wilmington, NC

“To find inner peace search deep inside yourself. Is there a donut there? If not, take corrective action.”- Anonymous

We’ll just make a statement: there is no bad donut! We’re not judging.  Some like them light and airy, others prefer cakey and more substantial.  Glaze, frosting, toppings? The sky is truly the limit!  And whether you spell them donuts or doughnuts, there is no denying that we all love this sweet breakfast treat!  But with so many good options, how do you choose the best spot to grab a dozen?  Well, we’ve narrowed it down to our top 3 favorites, the rest is up to you and your palate…or try all 3, like we said, no judgement!

First stop:  Wake ‘n’ Bake!  With two locations, one in downtown Wilmington and one in Carolina Beach, you’re never far from this delicious goodness!   Wake ‘n’ Bake gained popularity and became a local favorite after winning the Donut Showdown on the Cooking Channel in 2017. Where Wake N Bake truly shines is with its signature donuts. Creations like the Slimm Shady with chocolate glaze and salted potato chip crumbs, or Dat Ghost Fire, infused with ghost pepper, you’ll find some unusual flavor combinations. Not to mention the fritters, croissants and stuffed donuts!  They have so many amazing combinations that narrowing it down to a dozen is the hardest part!

You can’t have a conversation about donuts in Wilmington without someone mentioning Britts’s Donut Shop.   Britt’s Donuts are as much an experience as a food product. Britt’s has been a fixture along the Carolina Beach boardwalk since 1938, and for good reason! They only serve glazed donuts – but they’re served as quickly as they’re made. Typically, we don’t believe in rules when it comes to dounts but at Britt’s there is just one, eat your donuts immediately!  Due to their freshness, you’ll get a buttery, melt in your mouth, sweet treat but they are definitely most delicious when eaten warm.  Also, time your trip right or be prepared to wait! They’re open every day during the summer season until they sell out; and at times, the line wraps around the building!

Our next local favorite is a comfortable, inviting little breakfast restaurant with a wonderful ambiance and super friendly staff. The selection of donuts is huge – frosted, sprinkled, glazed, and decorated.  If cakey donuts are your preference, you are in luck and Donut Inn will be your new favorite spot!  And if sugary deliciousness isn’t enough to convince you, this locally owned and operated shop is all about giving back to the community.  They donate all of their end of day baked goods to local nonprofit organizations that serve our local area.  As if you needed another reason to eat a donut!           

5 Things to Do This Fall in Wilmington, NC

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

While summer may be winding down, Wilmington is just getting warmed up!  Summer seems to have been cut short this year with entertainment and travel options being so limited and it is safe to say that everyone is ready for a break from online learning and being cooped up working from home right now.  Luckily, Wilmington is the perfect spot to have some fun this fall!   With some of your favorite summer activities available well into the autumn months, and fun festive activities coming up too, fall is the new summer in Wilmington!

If staying at home for the last few months has left you craving both delicious meals from your favorite restaurants and a change of scenery, you are in luck!  Even during the shutdown, our appetite for Wilmington’s best downtown restaurants remained strong, thus Downtown Alive was born!  Downtown streets turn into an open-air pedestrian walkway featuring a variety of sidewalk cafés and retail stores that expand into the streets to safely serve customers and allow diners to enjoy our restaurants responsibly. Four blocks in downtown Wilmington are closed to vehicles four days a week at designated times.

Want to combine some local history (home schooling for the win!) and spooky season fun?  Well, then hop aboard the Battleship North Carolina and prepare for a spooktacular experience! Voted one of the Top 25 Halloween picks of all time by Syfy network’s “Ghost Hunters“, this self-guided tour is both scary and social distance safe! 

Afraid that the kids will have to miss out on rocking their favorite costumes this year? Have no fear, downtown Wilmington has an opportunity for them!  Dress up the children (and yourself!) for an entertaining evening where even the horses show up in costume! Hop on a Halloween Ghost Trolley Ride where costumed drivers tell ghost stories tailored for young children. Enjoy a fun ride through the Historic District in downtown Wilmington!

Halloween fun isn’t just for the kids either! The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is brewing up a spine-tingling virtual trivia game night for the 21 and older crowd. Daring participants can take part in wild and wicked trivia delivered virtually during “Game Night Untamed,” facing the eerie aspects of the animal world and even some guest appearances from the animals themselves. Individuals or teams of friends and family take on the virtual crowd. Costumed participants may receive bonus points!

3 Things You’ll Find in Our McAdams Homes Kitchens

The kitchen is the most important room in your home because it is the center of your family’s day-to-day living. Your day most likely begins in your kitchen with a cup of coffee or energizing breakfast to start your day. You deserve to begin every day in a tranquil environment. You prepare meals for your family in your kitchen and probably even eat in your kitchen. Your family and guests often gather in the kitchen to socialize, eat, and cook together. Your kitchen is a bonding area that not only ties your home together, it ties your loved ones together. It’s also the first thing a prospective buyer considers if you are likely to sell your home in the future.

If the kitchen is the most important room in the house, it stands to reason that a good deal of attention should be spend on its design. Today’s open-plan designs reflect a desire for the kitchen to be more than just a place for cooking and eating. Here are a three must haves that are included in all of our McAdams Homes kitchens: 

Stainless steel appliances:  At McAdams Homes, we pride ourselves in providing the absolute best for our homebuyers and we believe that when it comes to appliances, stainless steel is the best!  They are the perfect touch to make your kitchen look modern, sleek and trendy. Not only that, stainless steel is incredibly durable. It fights off rust, fire and heat which makes it top-choice for those who want an appliance that will last and not show wear and tear.  If your goal is to have an appliance that lasts as long as possible on the inside and out, then stainless steel is where it’s at!

Granite Countertops:  Watch any home improvement or real estate television show, and you’ll notice that the first thing consumers ask for in a kitchen are granite countertops.  It is easy to understand why granite has remained the top countertop choice over the years. It is one of the hardest materials; it is durable, easy to maintain and is available in a wide array of colors and textures. From subtle white granites to dark black granites, and everything in between, there is natural granite to complement every design style.  Tried and true and beautiful too, that’s what we are aiming for at McAdams Homes.

Spacious layout:  Anyone who loves to cook knows that the layout of your kitchen is incredibly important. Trying to maneuver around a small kitchen can be stressful, especially if you have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (like when the kitchen suddenly doubles as a virtual classroom/home office).  Everything about home design is dependent on the way a space is laid out. Even if a room is large, the layout can make it seem smaller and vice versa. When it comes to kitchens, there are lots of popular layout types and we offer options and alternatives to customize all of our floorplans and make them the best possible fit for your family.