Announcing Our New Luxury Home in Plano

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6804 Amaretto Court at Normandy Estates, West Plano

New Luxury Home in Plano at Normandy Estates.

Alford Homes, Dallas’ premier luxury custom home builder, is pleased to announce the construction of two spec luxury homes in West Plano at Normandy Estates. The upscale community of Normandy Estates is located in a prime location of Plano at 6485 Spring Creek Parkway near Midway and Tennyson Roads, close to fine dining and shopping, as well as in the highly acclaimed and award-winning Plano Independent School District. The headquarters of many major corporations are located just a few minutes away, including Pepsico, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, JC Pennies, Cinemark Theaters, Siemens PLM Software and many more. Toyota Motor Co. signed a lease last spring to kick off the Japanese automaker’s new campus in Plano, which will employ 4000 people.

One of the two luxury homes that Alford Homes is building is a French Country Style Estate, located at 6804 Amaretto Court in Normandy Estates. At about 6,051 square feet, it is a distinguished two story home with four bedrooms, four and one half baths, a gourmet kitchen, and an F5 tornado/panic room. Special features of the home are hand-scraped white oak flooring, a downstairs media room, barrel ceilings and a computer niche upstairs.

The top-notch gourmet kitchen is a dream with commercial grade appliances, including double dishwashers and double islands, quartz counter tops, and a separate sub-zero commercial freezer. The en suite amenities include a secret jewelry storage area, his and her master closets with islands (hers with a mirror and vanity!), and a sitting area with freestanding barrel ceiling.

The backyard has a delightful outdoor living area with flagstone flooring, a fireplace and built-in grill. A three car garage is attached to the house. The surrounding landscape in Normandy Estates is 75 acres of slightly rolling terrain with beautiful views of mature trees, creeks and a lake. The lake has a fountain and fishing pier, and there are walking trails for your enjoyment. The other houses in Normandy Estates are European in style and are either villas or estates homes.

The listing price for this stunning upscale home is 1,650,000. Greg Alford of Alford Homes has been building luxury custom homes for over 34 years and has been voted D Home Magazine’s Best Builder from 2005 through 2014. Call Alford Homes today at 972-429-1074 and visit their website for more information.

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Your New Luxury Custom Home: Many Options for Library Wall Treatments

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An Alford Homes library with dark wood wall treatment.

As a luxury custom home builder, I love the richness and character in different types of woods. When designing your custom library together, we can discuss different types of wood, stains and finishes. Would you want a more traditional dark wood façade for the library, or a lighter wood for a more casual or modern atmosphere? Whatever wood type and stain shade you choose, you want the wood and its texture and fine details to make people want to run their hands across the surface.

If a homeowner would like a lighter library, we would make use of blond woods, like white oak, pearwood, and clear pine, along with paler stains. Sometimes this lighter wood is more appealing to a woman or family for their library, and also a good choice for very modern luxury custom homes.

The classic and traditional library with its dark wall treatment and hardwood floors is handed down to us from England, and has a luxurious and cozy feel. The wood choices can be solid wood, from a variety of trees – from red or white oak, to cherry, walnut, maple and reclaimed wood, etc. Exotic woods are coveted by luxury custom home owners for their beauty. They are usually woods from trees in tropical areas of the world, and are valued for their variety of hues, patterns, and designs. These trees also grow tall with fewer branches, and therefore fewer defects and knots. Crotch mahogany from Africa has flame-like patterns. Beeswing eucalyptus from Australia has a pattern that looks like an enlarged bee’s wing.  Some African cherry have grains called “plum pudding”! Wenge is a dark wood from central Africa, used as an alternative to ebony. You will also need to decide the color of the stain and also the finish of the façade. Will you want an oil finish or rubbed wax finish? The types of wood, stains and finishes will give you different selections and options to make the library your own.

Additionally, you will want to decide what style of wall treatment you want. Do you prefer flat and smooth, beadboarding , wainscoting, a combination, or something completely different? Another custom option is a rolling library ladder on curved tracks to go around 90 degree curves. It is convenient if you have double-stacked shelving and high bookshelves.

Let’s make your new custom library distinctive and your own work of art. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes and I’m Certified Green Professional and a Green Built Texas Builder. Alford Homes builds luxury custom homes in upscale Dallas neighborhoods such as University Park, Highland Park, Preston Hollow and Plano. We are currently building two luxury “speculative” homes in Normandy Estates in West Plano.  Please visit my website and call me directly at  972-429-1074 to discuss your plans and homebuilding needs.

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Which Fireplace Mantels Are Right for Your Luxury Custom Home?

An Alford Homes fireplace surround and mantel.

An Alford Homes fireplace surround and mantel.

The fireplace is usually the focal point of almost any room in a luxury custom home. Due to this, it is important to take great care with the design aspects and materials you want to use for your fireplace mantel.

Wood mantels: There are a wide variety of ways wood can be used for fireplace mantels. The mantel can be traditional, with a smooth surface, in a conservative style, either painted or stained. A reclaimed rough-hewn wood beam as a mantel piece is especially sought-after, and will remain a classic. Wood can also be carved either ornately or simply, or with a custom design of your own choosing – a great place to display your family’s coat-of-arms, as well. A half-log or even a beautiful piece of large driftwood can be used to alluring affect with complementary décor. Part of a tree from your property or a treasured family property is distinctive and holds a lot of sentimental value.

Stone and brick mantels: Stone and brick mantels are another classic choice. Bricks can be new, of varying colors, or old and used with lots of character. Stone can be either used for effects such as formal, rustic or in between. Imagine the wow factor of a mantel made of a large, beautiful slice of polished agate, with its amazing bands, swirl patterns and dramatic colors. For a more formal and classic look, nothing beats an intricately veined piece of marble. A slice of rough river rock or sandstone looks great with a more informal and cozy room. Black slate can impart a clean and sleek look.

Cast stone mantels: Cast stone mantels are another option. They can be spare, or custom designed and ornamented – even stained and textured.

Metal mantels. Metal is a wonderful material to use in minimalist ultra-modern homes. It can also be used in traditional homes, if the finish of the metal isn’t too smooth or polished.

Salvaged and antique mantels. Treasures from the past, antique mantels can be absolutely stunning in a new luxury custom home. They can be purchased from individuals or dealers in the US and abroad. Depending on the age and original geographical location, they can be strikingly ornate or of a simple Quaker-like simplicity. Take a look at this Pinterest board for some ideas.

Most people use their mantels to display family heirlooms, treasured pieces or art objects. Your mantel can be either the width of your fireplace surround or much longer, extending on either side of the fireplace quite a distance. This extended length can also be used in a dramatic asymmetrical fashion. If you go for an off-center mantel, your fireplace itself or a large piece of art will have to balance it out. There is also the option of having no mantel at all, or two or three mantels cantilevered one above the other. Of course, combinations of two or more of the above material options makes for a unique and delightful mantel. An example of this would b a combination of wood and stone.

The possibilities of fireplace mantel designs in your luxury custom home are almost limitless. It depends on your lifestyle, your taste, the particular room, and the rest of your décor. Call me at 972-429-1074 to discuss your options and ideas. Together we can build the home you’ve always dreamed of. I am one of only 623 professional builders nationwide to attain a Graduate Master Builder certification, and I am also a Certified Graduate Builder with the HBA of Greater Dallas. Please take a look at my website for further details on my qualifications. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tips from Your Luxury Custom Home Builder: The Best Bathroom Lighting for Your Master Bath

 

An Alford Homes master bath with sconce lights mounted on the mirrors at eye level.

An Alford Homes master bath with sconce lights mounted on the mirrors at eye level.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Bathrooms are utilitarian, but are also a place to relax and unwind; therefore, when considering the lighting fixtures for the master bath in your luxury custom home, keep the dual role of bathroom lighting in mind.

Light vs. Dark Bathrooms. White or light-colored walls and ceilings reflect light, and dark colors absorb light. In a light-colored room, the light will bounce, and so diffuse ceiling lights are very effective, as they reflect light from area to area. Mirrors will intensify this effect. Indirect lighting also works well in pale baths, such as hidden lights behind a floating mirror. In a pale bathroom, you won’t need as much lighting as in a dark bath. Dark-colored walls and ceilings will absorb light, so light will only stay where it is directed. In a dark bath, vanity mirrors should have lighting fixtures that stand out from the mirror, as lighting behind a floating mirror won’t reflect in a dark colored bathroom.

Mirror lighting. Although we are all accustomed to lights above our bathroom mirrors, this may not be the best option. Lighting from above can cast unfavorable shadows, especially at the make-up or shaving mirror. Sconces add a pretty touch at your mirror, but should be installed at eye level to be most effective. Most sconces take 60 watts at most. The best lighting is 75 to 100 watts, so keep this in mind. Lighting all the way around your mirror, or light fixtures that are vertical and linear are ideal, and will provide even illumination to your face without casting shadows.

Ambient and Decorative lighting. Ambient lighting can add drama and mood to your master bath, and can even be used as a decorative touch. Floor lighting is flattering, which is why it is used to good effect on television! Warmly lit alcoves are pretty, and a unique pendant light in a corner will provide illumination by chasing away shadows and provide interest. Small up-lights can dramatically highlight a beautiful tub. Dimmer switches and motion activated lights are very useful, as well.

I hope this information is useful for planning the lighting in your luxury custom home master bath. If you are ready to build your dream home, give me a call at 972-429-1074 and visit my website. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes. I am a Certified Green Professional and a Green Built Texas Builder. I build luxury custom homes in upscale Dallas neighborhoods, and am currently building two luxury homes in Normandy Estates in West Plano.

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Choosing the Best Front Door for Your Luxury Custom Home

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A pretty springtime doorway. Photo by Briget Murphy.

When it comes to making a fabulous first impression at your luxury custom home, a major component to consider is your front door. No matter what style of home Alford Homes builds for you, the front door sets the mood and expectations for you and your guests on approach and entry.

There are a number of elements to contemplate when designing your front door and nearby exterior space.

1. Material. Your front door will be battered by the elements, so whatever material you choose should be strong, tough and weather resistant.

2. Design. Will your door be smooth or have panels or other decorative details? Do you want a window transom or side panels? Would you like windows set into your front door, or a simple solid door? No answer is right and no answer is wrong – it all depends on the style of your house and our own personal taste. 3. Color. Do you want a door color that blends with the exterior of your house, or a bold color that makes a statement or evokes a mood?

3. Color. Do you want a door color that blends with the exterior of your house, or a bold color that makes a statement or evokes a mood?

4. Framing. Your door can be framed with stone, brick, wood, stucco or a combination. It can be simple framing or form a pattern – either simple or elaborate. Don’t let the framing overwhelm your door, though. Remember – framing your door is like framing a piece of art.

5. Hardware. Choose your hardware with care. Aside from givens like your door handle, knob or door lever, you may also choose to have a mail slot, and a door knocker installed on your door.

6. Balance: People find symmetry pleasing, so create balance around your front door with flower pots, urns, statuary, outdoor seating, columns and plantings.

Alford Homes has over 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes in the Dallas area, and together we can design a beautiful and unique front entrance for your dream home, that takes into consideration your personality and tastes. Alford Homes has been voted D Home Magazine’s – Best Builder 2005 – 2014. Call me today at 972-429-1074 and visit my website. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

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Textured Walls Add Dimension to Your Luxury Custom Home

Notice how this brick accent wall adds interest and warmth to this room.

Notice how this brick accent wall adds interest and warmth to this Alford Homes room.

Adding textured plaster and finishes to your walls lends depth and character to your luxury custom home. It give an air of lavishness and opulence to spaces that otherwise may appear bland. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Alford Homes can customize and optimize your wall space:

  1. Textured stucco or drywall plaster-work. Stucco plaster contains sand for a gritty texture, while drywall plaster is smooth. Drywall plaster can be applied in numerous ways, from swirls and circular patterns to trowel/knife designs, horizontal or vertical lines, cross-hatching, or customized designs. Consider a smooth wall with a three dimensional design built up on it with plaster. The design can be of a person, creature, tree or anything your imagination desires.
  2. Stones and wood. Both stone and rough or reclaimed wood are natural materials, and as such provide a relaxing and warm ambience. For stone, depending on the look you want, consider smooth grey slate, round-edged river rock, cut stone, or rough stone. Although pieces are usually of average size, small pebbles can be embedded in your wall as well, and can even be arranged in designs. Rock colors range from yellows to whites and greys, and all shades of brown (and red) up to black.
  3. Tiling. Tiles come in a multitude of colors and designs, from Turkish to Mexican to Swedish and everything in between! Although normally reserved for the bathroom or kitchen, they can also be incorporated into a chair rail, around a fireplace or on the walls around a room, close to the ceiling, and as an accent.
  4. Brick. Brick colors range from golden yellow through reds and browns. An accent wall of brick is especially interesting. To add an “antique” feel, have Alford Homes create an “exposed brick look” with patches of plaster along with reclaimed old bricks.
  5. Metal and glass. These materials are usually used in ultra-modern luxury custom homes, but sometimes they can be incorporated into other styles of homes.
  6. Faux finishes. Venetian plaster finishes are especially popular right now, but there are many other beautiful finishes as well. Take a look at the photos at the end of this article for some unusual, fun and striking wall textures!

When you are ready to move into your luxury custom home built by Alford Homes, we hope you find these textured wall ideas helpful and inspiring. With many years of experience as one of Dallas’ top luxury green home builders, I use natural materials and environmentally friendly building practices whenever possible. Please visit my website or give me a call directly at 972-429-1074.

I look forward to working together to create the luxury custom home of your dreams.

 

Old wood texture.

Old wood texture. Photo by Foto Texture

Faux wood burlap.

Faux wood burlap. Photo by Lynda Giddens

textured walls dallas

Alhambra – notice how every surface is marvelously textured! Photo by Justus Hayes

Rough reclaimed wood paneling. Photo by Martin Sharman.

metal wall dallasRough reclaimed wood paneling (above). Photo by Martin Sharman Below, metal orb wall. Photo by Lain Cuthbertson

stucco finish

Stucco finish. Photo by Salva Barbera

Revoked blue plaster. Photo by Pulpolux !!!

Revoked blue plaster. Photo by Pulpolux !!!

venetian plaster dallas

Venetian plaster. Photo by michelle.irish

Glass wall. Photo by Carla

Glass wall. Photo by Carla

Faux Finish. Photo by Ezra Pucci.

Faux Finish. Photo by Ezra Pucci.

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas from Alford Homes!

nativity 2

Photo by Berit Watkin

Christmas to Alford Homes is a time of Hope, Peace and Joy that is found in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Christ IS the reason we celebrate Christmas.  While it is not recorded historically anywhere that Jesus’ birth was December 25th, this is the time that it is traditionally celebrated.  Our family enjoys celebrating Christmas by coming together Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and sharing gifts with one another similar to the way the Wisemen shared with Jesus.  It is because of HIS birth that there even is a Christmas.  

Luke 8-14 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.

We at Alford Homes wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope that you too will experience the Hope, Peace and Joy that this holiday is founded upon.

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Beautiful Billiards Rooms in Luxury Custom Homes

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A billiards room in a French mansion.

A standby in luxury custom homes, villas and mansions is the billiards room. Think of the classic movies where key scenes take place in a scrumptious, dark paneled billiards room set in a beautiful mansion. Many interesting conversations have been held, business deals have been clinched, and mysteries have been solved in the billiards room – both in the movies and in real life. More importantly, having a billiards room is great for just having a friendly, fun game of 8-ball with your guests and family.

When designing your billiards room, keep in mind the overall style of your home so that this room will blend with the rest of your home. The focal point of the room will be the billiards table. What color will the wool playing surface be? You can build the color scheme of the room around the color of the felt- which could be practically any color of the rainbow, including the standard green, purple, rust, red, brown, or black. What style of pool table do you want? The styles are almost limitless, running the gamut from ultra-modern sleek metal tables, art deco, baroque, rustic, gothic, and even unique cantilevered tables or custom tables. Lighting choices for over your pool table are also endless and should complement the room and the table.

Take a look at this video for some inspiring ideas.


You may decide you want the classic wood paneled billiards room, or something quite different!

When the time is right to build your luxury custom home, with or without a splendid billiards room, give me a call. Together we can build the magnificent home of your dreams. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes, and as an environmentally conscious builder, I am a Certified Green Professional and a Green Built Texas Builder. I build luxury custom homes in upscale Dallas neighborhoods, and am currently building two luxury homes in Normandy Estates in West Plano. Give me a call at  972-429-1074 to discuss your new home plans or ask any questions.

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A Luxury Custom Home Builder: History of Plano

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The Shops of Legacy is a popular shopping and dining area close to Normandy Estates. Photo by Briget Murphy

As a custom home builder, I find it interesting to learn more about the history of an area or city and feel like that knowledge builds added value for my clients that want to build in a certain area. When new homeowners understand the history of their property, they feel a connectedness with it and their surroundings. This article will highlight some of what I have learned about Plano, Texas.

Plano, Texas is located was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans of the Wichita, Comanche, Caddo and Cherokee tribes. In 1844, an Indian attack in the Plano area killed an elderly man named McBain Jameson, and killed and kidnapped members of the Muncey family, who were settling on Rowlett Creek, about 5 miles away from where downtown Plano is now. Known as the Muncey Massacre, it was the last Indian attack in the area – probably carried out by the Comanche.

In 1846, a settler named William Foreman built a gristmill and sawmill about a half mile north of what later became known as Plano. Other settlers, mostly from Tennessee and Kentucky, were attracted to the land grants in the area and Foreman’s facilities. In 1872, the railroad came to Plano, linking the town to Dallas and Houston. The town began to grow, despite a fire that ravaged the commerce area and burned down all but one of the 51 wood buildings. The town rebuilt – using brick this time. In 1888, more rail lines intersected the town, providing transportation of goods and crops into and out of the town. Plano became a retail center for the surrounding area’s cattle ranchers and farmers.

By 1900, Plano’s population was 1,304. In 1960, the population reached 3,695. The town boomed, with rapid increases in population through the rest of the 1900’s. The population of Plano is currently over 269,000, and Plano is home to the headquarters of many major corporations. Plano has received much national recognition for its excellent public schools, healthy lifestyle, safety, “best city for families” and much more. Please see more of Plano’s recognition and accolades. The United States Census Bureau declared Plano the wealthiest city of 2008. Neighborhoodscout.com is a website that collects data on neighborhoods across the nation, ranks them in different areas, and breaks down the demographics. The zip code of Normandy Estates is 75024, in West Plano. This is what neighborhoodscout says about zip code 75024: Median real estate price is $632,899, which is more expensive than 99.0% of the neighborhoods in Texas and 95.3% of the neighborhoods in the U.S. and Also, the …neighborhood is considered a solid choice for executive lifestyles. NeighborhoodScout’s analysis ranks it as better than 94.2% of Texas neighborhoods for executive living, based on the wealthy, educated professionals, executives, and managers who choose to reside here, the spacious homes that are prominent features of the real estate in the neighborhood, and the high real estate appreciation rates found here relative to other neighborhoods in the state. In addition to being an excellent choice for highly educated executives, this neighborhood is also a very good choice for families with school-aged children and urban sophisticates.

If you are considering buying a new luxury home in a prestigious area of DFW, and if zip code 75024 in Plano sounds like a place you would like to live, please take a look at the spectacular French Country and Tudor homes under construction at Normandy Estates, or go to the Alford Homes website to learn more. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes, and Alford Homes has been voted D Home Magazine’s – Best Builder 2005 – 2014. Call me today at 972-429-1074.

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Your Luxury Custom Home: Decorating Tips for Your Holiday Chandelier

Decorating your luxury custom home for the holidays is a beautiful and joyous tradition with many families. Turn on some Christmas music, scent your home with fragrant holiday aromas, light a fire in the fireplace and let the decorating begin! You are building wonderful memories to cherish.

One way in which to add a lovely seasonal touch to your home is to decorate your chandeliers. Watch this video to learn how to deck out your chandelier for Christmas with all white: white ribbons, white frosted-looking branches (from a craft store such as Michael’s) and white ornaments. For additional holiday chandelier ideas, check out this Pinterest board.

If you want to build your own luxury custom home, and would like to be living in it by next year’s holiday season, visit my website and give me a call at 972-429-1074. Together we can construct the home of your dreams, where you can begin to build wonderful new Christmas memories and traditions. I have 34 years of experience building luxury custom homes and I am a Certified Green Professional as well as a Green Built Texas Builder. I build luxury custom homes in Dallas area neighborhoods such as Preston Hollow, University Park and Highland Park, and I am currently building a luxury French Country home and a beautiful Tudor home in Normandy Estates in Plano.

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