Design A Custom Home for the Holidays

 

I love the holidays as we decorate our home with what I call our story teller’s theme. Our holiday ornaments are a wonderful collection reflecting each year’s milestones for our kids as well as souvenir ornaments from all our travels and trips to Disney World. We even have a few precious ornaments that date back 5 generations.  Once we have decorated, it is time to open our home for gatherings with family and friends. Yes Christmas is a big tradition at the Atkins’ home. It is such a cherished time of the year that we planned “Christmas” (or shall we say entertaining) design features in our personal home. In the spirit holiday of giving, I will share some of those with you so that you might add a few of them to your custom home wish list.

Planning electrical for the holidays is easy. Where will you plug in your Christmas tree(s)? Be sure to map out enough outlets in just the right locations to eliminate unnecessary extension cords running across the floors. Be sure to think beyond just the Christmas tree if you have other holiday décor that requires plugs. I had a client that loved to have an electrical candle stick in each window of the front of her home. It had been a family tradition so we included an outlet under each front elevation window.

 

Do you like a lit garland on your banister? How nice would it be to not only have an outlet at the top or bottom of the stairs, but also have that plug switched with a timer. How about electrical in your fireplace mantle? Typically we plan the exterior electrical the same by placing outlets in the roof overhangs for Christmas lights and connect these plugs to a timer switch in the garage. If you love the festive holiday décor throughout your landscaping, adding just a few strategically placed exterior outlets down low to help eliminate electrical cords running across sidewalks. The timer switches are not only convenient, but help save energy by automatically turning the holiday lights off every night at your preset time.

Now lets talk the next best thing about the season, great conversation and food. We all know no matter how large or small a home is, the kitchen is where everyone gathers. When planning your kitchen be sure to think about these special gatherings. Plan coffee and desert space out of your work triangle. A butler pantry is the perfect solution. As shown below, this butler pantry is located out of the main work triangle but between the kitchen area and formal dinning room.

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Map out food service flow for buffet style gatherings so that you have easy movement. In my kitchen I have plenty of space on each side of my stove so that plates and silverware are on one side to start the line. Then they can either serve right off the stove or island. Then I place napkins, salt and pepper and other misc. items at the opposite end of the line. Lastly, I planned space for drinks and glasses beside the fridge, but still out of the work triangle.

If you have multiple cooks in your kitchen to add fun and conversation to your gatherings, consider that when designing your personalized kitchen. An extra veggie sink with disposal, second pull out trash and barstool space for helpers to sit while chopping fruits and vegetables are just a few elements to consider. With just a bit of planning your holiday festivities and decorations will have that special touch that makes your custom home extra special.

Merry Christmas!

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