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! 

5 New Year’s Cleaning Resolutions for Your Home

New Year, new….cleaning resolutions, right? We think that’s how it goes! Seriously though, we are spending more time at home than ever before so now is the perfect time to commit to keeping our spaces clean! Many people’s homes are now also serving as home offices, school classrooms/day cares, games etc. Keeping things neat and clean is more important than ever but also slightly daunting! Lucky for you, we have 5 tips to get you on track and keep your home healthy and spotless going into the New Year.
The first step, and often the most difficult, is getting started. It can be overwhelming when you have a whole house to clean and no plan. Setting up a cleaning schedule and sticking to it will make the whole process easier. Come up with a schedule that tackles the whole house room by room (and assign chores to other family members!) so the task doesn’t seem so daunting. You can create your own or download and print one to keep you organized and feeling accomplished.

Counter-intuitive as it may seem, your cleaning products themselves require a deep cleanse now and then. Why not now when we are trying to start fresh?! Care for your wooden broom by shaking out dust and debris from its bristles or gliding bristles along a firm edge. Refrain from standing your broom on its bristles to prevent breakage. Mop heads must be rinsed in hot water after each use and stored in a well-ventilated area to dry. Scrubbing brushes should be gently rinsed after usage and dried thoroughly before each use. Vacuum cleaners require more attentive care due to their complex parts, including emptying vacuum bags as needed, wiping dirt from casings using a damp cloth and mild detergent, gently cleaning the belt with dry towels, and replacing paper filters as needed. Believe it or not it’s more fun to clean when your supplies are in top form!
One way to cut down on clutter fast is to purge your home of unused or unneeded items that are taking up space and contributing to the mess. A good rule to implement is: for every new item that moves in, three move out. Now is the perfect time to initiate this process since it is right after the holidays. For every new toy or article of clothing the kiddos received, have them donate 3! Give back and get your home looking great at the same time! While the kids are doing that, take an inventory of your own closet and drawers and do the same. Move onto the bathroom and throw away expired shampoo, makeup, shaving supplies, etc. If they still have life but you won’t use them, you can always donate them to a neighborhood shelter as well.

Since we’re hanging out on the bathroom already, let’s talk toilets! That pesky promise pledge-to-do-better cleaning list always stops in the dreaded bathroom. I make sure to tackle the toilet (especially the sides and bottom where it screws into the floor) hardcore then move along to the sink and tub then wipe down the mirror. Bonus points: run a Swiffer duster along the vent/ducts then remove trapped hair by soaking the drain with hydrogen peroxide.

Now that the house is in tip top shape, you have about 13 minutes to enjoy it before life happens and it’s messy again, right?! But it doesn’t have to be that way! By following these quick daily don’t-misses, you’ll always be on top of the mess: Wash dishes. Wipe down counters. Spot sweep. Have every family member do a daily 10 minute pick up of their rooms and common areas. One load of laundry. Make bed. Take out the trash. Divide these chores up among your family members and your home will remain shiny all through 2021!

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!