Creating the Perfect Kitchen for You

design center 2What would your perfect kitchen be like? Would looks or functionality be more important? Do you want great cabinets or would you compromise on that to have just the right appliances? Could you live with a smaller refrigerator as long as you have a gas range? Well, when you walk into the Fulton Design Center, those may be the decisions you will face, so it pays to think about them now.

Start by taking a look at your current kitchen. Would you like more cabinet space? How about better lighting? Do you like your current cooktop or do you want something different? How much countertop space do you have now? Could you use more? When you think about what you want in a new kitchen, analyzing your current kitchen is a good jumping off point.

Next, visit the Fulton Design Center during one of our browse nights. Spend time in the various kitchen vignettes like this one. Take the time to see which kitchen feels the most comfortable for you. Are you drawn to the rich dark finish of these cabinets? Or maybe you’ll find you prefer the lighter tones of one of the other vignettes. Spend some time standing and looking around at the various choices. They’re designed to help give you ideas for your own home.

Finally, check out all of the options available. Some might be a good fit for your approach to cooking. Others may be unnecessary. Don’t project your dream of becoming a gourmet chef onto your kitchen if you know you specialize in tuna casseroles. On the other hand if you like hanging with your kids after school while you fix dinner then you probably want that island extension that gives them space to sit and chat with an after-school snack.

Whatever kitchen you create, we know it will be just as perfect  for yourself and your family as your new Fulton Home will be for all of you!

Fulton Hosts Annual “Stuff the Bus” Event

stuff-the-bus-2016Once again this summer Fulton Homes partnered with KEZ 99.9 for the annual Fulton Homes “Stuff the Bus” campaign. This event aids deserving families by helping to collecting school supplies for for kids who could use help getting the things they need for the upcoming school year. This year’s donation drive ran from June 6 to July 10 at Chandler Fashion Center.

“Donations to our Stuff the Bus campaign make a positive difference in the lives of these children,” said Fulton Homes CEO Doug Fulton. “We’re making sure these kids get off to a good start in the first few days of the school year.”

A full-size school bus was parked inside the Macy’s Courtyard with painted paper handprints and the name of each child in need. The handprints contain a list of items each child requires for a successful school year. Supporters donated to a specific child or made a general contribution of requested items, such as pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks, school uniforms and shoes. Shoppers also had the option to return the handprint with school supplies to the mall’s guest services area.

The campaign benefited the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley Compadre Branch in Chandler. At the end of the campaign thousands of backpacks and tons of supplies were handed out at a July event.

For more details about Fulton Homes Stuff the Bus, visit www.kez999.com.

Fulton Homes Homebuyers are 10,000th SRP ENERGY STAR Customer in Metropolitan Phoenix

Energy-Star-Merkley-FamilyA new resident at Fulton Homes’ Mendocino at Ashcreek community in Queen Creek now holds the distinction of being the 10,000 SRP ENERGY STAR customer in the entire Phoenix Valley.

Fulton Homes’ representatives and Salt River Project officials were on hand to celebrate the moment with the Robert Merkley Family, who purchased the spacious Fulton home recently.

“Fulton Homes is committed to building the most energy-efficient homes for our customers,” said Fulton Homes CEO Doug Fulton. “By building ENERGY STAR certified homes, we are helping more families have the American dream of owning a home that offers improved comfort, saves money on utility bills, and is kinder to the environment. We are proud to stand with SRP in creating more energy-saving homes.”

2016 is the second consecutive year Fulton Homes has been named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to bring more energy-saving homes to the market. Fulton Homes has built more than 3,000 ENERGY STAR homes since joining the program in 2009. The EPA has recognized Fulton Homes alongside some of the top companies in the country, including Pepsi, General Motors and Samsung, for being ENERGY STAR certified.

“After buying this Fulton ENERGY STAR home, I would not have another that has not been constructed to save energy,” Robert Merkley said. “We admire Fulton Homes for being conscientious and having the forethought to build with the environment in mind, and at the same time help homeowners save on utility bills.”

ENERGY STAR certified homes use substantially less energy for heating, cooling and water heating. Americans living in ENERGY STAR homes have saved an estimated $4.7 billion on their energy bills since 1995. Nearly two million American families now live in ENERGY STAR certified homes.

Fulton Homes is proud to be an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the second year in a row.

Fulton Homes a National Leader in Indoor airPLUS

iap_leader_banner2Fulton Homes has a sincere commitment to building homes that are safe for its customers, and indoor air quality is an important part of that goal. That’s why Fulton Homes is proud to announce that it has received the Indoor airPLUS Leader Award for its dedication to offering safer and healthier homes through participating in the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS Program.

Fulton Homes is the only homebuilder in the U.S. to win both the Indoor airPLUS Leader award and Energy Star’s Partner of the Year award over the past two years. Homes was recognized for the second year in a row as an Indoor airPLUS Leader for their strong commitment to building homes with improved indoor air quality.

The Indoor airPLUS program improves the quality of indoor air in new homes by requiring construction practices and product specifications that minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. The EPA created Indoor airPLUS to help builders meet the growing consumer preference for homes with improved indoor air quality. Construction specifications include the selection and installation of:

  • moisture control systems
  • heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems
  • combustion-venting systems
  • radon resistant construction

“Receiving the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS award for the second year in a row proves that Fulton Homes remains steadfast in building the most energy-efficient homes for our customers,” said Fulton Homes CEO Doug Fulton. “It is acknowledgments like this that uniquely set us apart from other homebuilders not just here in Arizona, but across the U.S. as well.”

Fulton Homes is committed to building 100% of their homes to Indoor airPLUS. Fulton Homes is one of only a handful of homebuilders around the country to be recognized as an Indoor airPLUS leader, and to be recognized two years in a row highlights the depth of their commitment. At Fulton Homes, we’re proud of this commitment to building homes that are safe for our customers and their families.

 

 

Smart Packing Tips: The Right Supplies

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Investing in the right supplies before you start the packing process will make a real difference at every stage of your move.

Boxes: Boxes can be picked up inexpensively through resources such as Craig’s list, but there are other more non-conventional resources. Printing companies such as Kinkos and Alphagraphics go through boxes and boxes of paper in a day. Those boxes are sturdy and the perfect size for your papers and books. Stop by and find out the best times to grab those boxes at the back of their stores. Most people seriously underestimate how many boxes they will need. It pays to add 20% to your original estimate.

Packing tape: With all the box sealing you will be doing, it’s smart to invest in a packing tape tool that allows you to seal a box quickly one-handed. That way you can pack a number of boxes and then seal them all at once, and save time. These tools are relatively inexpensive and work well.

Large Markers in Red and Black: Use the black to label your boxes with the right room and the red to mark fragile boxes. Be sure to get wide markers. You will want three or four of the black markers – one for each room where you’re packing.

Other tools such as the labeling tape shown above can be convenient, but they aren’t essential. The right tools make any job easier, and packing is challenging enough without short-changing yourself with less-than-adequate tools.

New Neighbors, New Friends

gossip-475029_1280 - CopyWhen you move into a new Fulton Homes community, chances are you won’t know any of your neighbors. But here’s the good news. You’re all new neighbors! You will have plenty of chances for casual encounters as other neighbors move in, you and your children meet at the playground and pool or walking through the community. But if you want to make sure you get to know your neighbors, here are a few suggestions to help.

Throw a welcome brunch: Saturday morning is a great time to invite people over for coffee and pastries. You don’t have to be fancy. Just pick up a variety of donuts and other breakfast treats at your favorite shop and cut up some fruit. You can hand-deliver invitations or just post an announcement on the side of the neighborhood mail box. Set it up as an open house so that people can come and go over the course of two or three hours.

Exchange contact information: When you meet your neighbors, take the time to exchange phone numbers and emails. You may even want to put together a roster of numbers and emails for everyone on your street. That way you can contact each other in case of an emergency.

Look for play date opportunities: If you see children the same age as your children in the neighborhood, look for chances to get them together. At first set up something casual such as going to the pool at the same time. Later you can plan home visits if the kids get to be friends.

A new community can feel strange at first, but with just a little bit of effort it will quickly start to feel like home.

Smart Packing Tips: Don’t Move What You Don’t Want

closet-clutter-monster-1412702This is the hardest part of moving, but it really pays: discard everything you can before you start packing. Here are some suggestions on how to approach this.

Take a room-by-room approach: Go through each room and get rid of the obvious things. Is it time to recognize that you will never use that mini-trampoline? Then let it sit in someone else’s garage. Be brutal. Call Goodwill or your favorite charity and get that stuff out of your house. It will give you more room for your packing process and boxes.

Don’t pack anything that you won’t look forward to unpacking in your new home: Can’t see that gift from Aunt Betty in your new family room? Let it go. There may be things that you have been living with so long that you no longer see them. Packing them up is a good opportunity to give them a second look.

Marie Kondo in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, talks about holding things in your hand to see if they give you joy and letting go of anything that doesn’t. This is actually a smart approach. Are their kitchen utensils, cleaning tools, or other household items that you have held onto but never use? Maybe now is the time to discard them rather than bring them to your new house to never use them there.

Help your spouse and children to go through this process too: Whether it’s clothes or toys, talk about letting go of those things that you no longer use, need or want. That way you can all start fresh in your new home, and only bring those items that you truly value and want to take with you.

Smart Packing Tips: Organizing the Packing Process

file0001135644184Moving into a new home is exciting but packing and unpacking – not so much. But if you approach the process in a smart way you will save yourself a lot of headaches and frustrations. This series of blogs will help you make a smooth transition from your current home to your new one.

To begin with, you don’t want to have a pile of boxes looking like this when it’s time to move. Yes. it’s nice to know what’s fragile, but what exactly is in each of those boxes and where do they go? Before you pack your first box, you need to create a system. And that system should be based on the place you’re moving to, not where you’re moving from.

Develop a three-letter code for every room in your new home: It could be KIT for kitchen BD1 for the master bedroom, BA1 for the master bathroom, FAM for the family room, and so on for every room in the house. Buy three or four wide black magic markers and plan to mark each box on the top and all four sides. That way stacking doesn’t block the room location. Also buy a large red marker to mark all fragile boxes. Place those in a special location separate from the other boxes.

Determine the level of organization you can handle: Some people are organized enough to number and list their boxes with key contents. Don’t be hard on yourself if this is too much structure for you. However, do mark those boxes you will need to unpack first. This may include dishes and silverware, key kitchen utensils, your childrens’ favorite toys, and bedding and towels.

Pack like things together: It’s easy to get harried at the last minute and mix bedroom, bathroom and kitchen stuff in the same box. But when it is time to unpack this ends up leading to a lot of unnecessary work. It’s better to leave some boxes not quite full than to waste time shuffling things all around the house when you unpack.

In our next blog, we’ll talk about what you need to do before you actually start packing.

Use Height to Add Splash to a Buffet

food-680180_1280 - CopyYou may have noticed that when fancy restaurants host buffet brunches or dinners the food always looks splashy. One reason for that is that they display food at different heights. Take a look at this photo for one example.

The dish holders here allow food to be displayed at three different heights. This makes it easier to see the variety of food available, and makes the different types of food stand out. It also draws the eye in a number of directions.

Another thing height provides is more real estate in less space. You can display more food in a limited square footage, enabling a restaurant to add an extra table or two.

As a home entertainer you may not need to buy table holders that provide different heights for serving plates and bowls for a buffet, but you can create the same effect and add to your buffet real estate. Just gather up a selection of bowls and boxes. Turn the bowls upside down and use them as bases to raise serving dishes above the table’s surface. Just make sure they are stable so the food won’t tumble when people help themselves.

You can also use boxes to get that raised effect. Just cover them with extra table linens. With just a few items from your cabinets you can create a variety of heights on your own buffet display. Add some flowers and you will have a look to rival even the nicest restaurants in town!

Making the Most of your Walk-In Pantry

wWarner-Groves-at-Morrison-Ranch-053 - CopyIf you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen with a walk-in pantry, you will soon wonder how you ever managed to make meals without one. It can’t be beat for helping you organize your space and make the most of your kitchen. Here are some suggestions to help your pantry really work for you.

Use a FIFO inventory system: FIFO means First In First Out. If you don’t pay close attention to this, it’s easy to let food get lost until it’s out of date. To protect against this, keep like products together and take the time to put the new purchases toward the back.

Use baskets to store small products: Packets of spice mixes or dips will quickly get lost on shelves if you don’t keep them contained. Look for small wicker or plastic bins to hold this type of item.

Store small appliances on lower shelves: It’s easy to have small appliances such as blenders and food processors absorb counter space. Instead, use your lower pantry shelves to store those appliances, keeping them out of the way yet making them easy to grab when you want them.

Use labeled clear airtight bins to store grains and staples: Oxo and other companies make great airtight bins for flour, sugar and cereals. You can use a label maker to print labels or just tape hand-written labels on the fronts of the containers. These are much more efficient in terms of space usage and will keep everything fresher than leaving things in original boxes.

Position a grocery list in your pantry: As you run low on standard pantry items, add them to your list. When you’re ready to go to the store, just add any fresh produce or meat needs and go.

With a little planning, your pantry can be the center of your well-organized and enjoyable kitchen.