Bringing Autumn Home

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It’s challenging facing Autumn in Arizona if you’re originally from another part of the country. For many of us who originated in states with four seasons, this time of year always promised chillier weather, crisp evenings and the start of fall leaves turning.

But if you’re new to Arizona and used to digging out your sweaters and crockpots to make chili and your mom’s chicken soup, it may seem strange to face the fact that here in the middle of September we’re all still wearing shorts every day. But for those of us who have been here a while, we have developed some habits to make it feel at least a little bit like fall. Here are a few suggestions:

Showcase fall colors: Use table runners, placemats, or add some pillows and throws on your sofa to pull some of the colors of autumn into your home. Yes, you’ll still see bright greens outside, but you can add gold, rust and brown to your interiors.

Bring your autumn accessories out: Pick up a few small pumpkins, gourds, pine cones or whatever takes your fancy. If you want you can even go to a hobby shop for some branches with silk autumn leaves. Then have at it on coffee and side tables. Make your home look like you’ve been wandering outside and brought some gleanings in from the woods.

Fix some cocoa: OK, it may still be too warm for that chili recipe, but a mug of hot cocoa with a few marshmallows might be a nice preview of the treats you’ll enjoy in the cooler days to come. After all, our evenings really are starting to cool down. And eventually we will get to see some leaves turn and drop… in December!

Throw a Mind-Blowing Boy’s Birthday Party


It’s pretty easy to put together a party for toddlers. Get some cake and ice cream, play a few games and have them run around the yard. Then have the parents come and get them while their sugar high is still going strong enough that they haven’t all crashed into each other yet and turned into a soggy mess of birthday goo.

But as children get older, particularly boys, it gets harder to keep them entertained. Taking them to a water-park or movie can get expensive, plus it’s easy to lose control if you have too many boys along. Here are a few ideas for a fun party that’s also easy on your budget.

Take a hike: Plan to explore one of the many safe hiking options available near Phoenix. Choose one with limited height exposure or distance. Plan a picnic lunch. If you’re in a National Park you may be able to take advantage of a park program with a ranger to explain some of the wildlife or other insights of interest to the age group. If it’s not snake or scorpion season, a night hike followed by ghost stories around a campfire might be a fun variation.

Have a Lego party: Create a series of Lego contests using Legos you provide. Include Lego giveaways as prizes. This only works if you son and his friends are Lego fans.

Create an all-night movie marathon: Choose a great series that they will all like like Star Wars or X-Men. Pick up a variety of popcorn and movie snacks. Plan on pizza at about 11 p.m. and sleeping bags out at midnight. Chances are they won’t make it all the way through but that’s OK. It’s the possibility and the permission that makes it exciting.

For some other great ideas and venues for birthday parties around Phoenix, Raising Arizona’s Kids has a list of opportunities. We’d love to hear about your ideas.

Santa Fe Community is Opening this Weekend!

Opening just this weekend, September 24-25, 2016, the Santa Fe series of homes may be just right for you and your family! They have floorplans which range from 2937 to over 4700 square feet with standard front-loaded garages. These large traditional homes host a variety of room options to suit many different lifestyles.

Located at our Cooley Station location, the homes will be close to shopping, dining and entertainment. And they are all Fulton Homes, the builder of choice. The three fully-decorated models that will be available for you to tour this weekend are Champion, Dividend and Challenger. Some of the features of the homes are listed below:

  • Home sizes range from 2936 to over 4700 square feet.
  • All floorplans are situated on traditional single-family lots.
  • Homes include paver driveways and traditional front-loaded garages.
  • Up to 7 bedrooms and 6 baths are available.
  • Fulton Homes exclusive Fulton Features program gives you great standard features, including granite countertops, 36″ maple cabinets, faux wood blinds, ceiling fans and much more – at no additional cost!
  • Fiber-connected ultra high speed Internet is available for all Seaboard at Cooley Station homes.
  • 100% HOA maintained front yards helps owners enjoy a low-maintenance lifestyle.

The neighborhood features are extensive, and include: a large community pool, basketball courts, tot-lot, pickleball courts, and parks with ramadas, barbecues and other great community amenities. There is also an extensive network of walking trails and tree-lined streets.

Santa Fe is only a five-mile drive from the fabulous San Tan Mall, an outdoor mall that features Dillards, Macy’s, and many other top retail stores, as well as plenty of dining and a huge Harkins Theater complex. It’s a mile away from the ASU Polytechnic campus and minutes from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Does Santa Fe sound like the neighborhood for you? Find out by visiting our models. You can start by learning more about our community and seeing all the floor plans at our website: We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Fun of the Fulton Design Center

fulton-design-centerWhen you’re choosing your home builder, the model homes are only a starting point. It’s important to see what a builder provides to allow you to make your home your own. A rich selection of options makes the difference between a stock home and a home that feels fully customized. With the Fulton Design Center, you have 13,000 square feet of choices.

Take the time to review the kitchen vignettes. They give you a wide selection of styles and moods, providing a good conceptual overview of what different kitchens will look like when finished. Not sure what you want in a bathroom? Just wander through the bath section to get ideas.

The most recently updated area is the smart home section, where you can learn about the latest in security systems, whole-house sound and home theater choices. The Fulton Design Center is regularly updated so you have a chance to see and select the latest in home options.

A range of kitchen appliances are on display, giving you the opportunity to explore which type of refrigerator or oven you would prefer. Be sure to check out the awesome Bertolini Gas ranges – they quickly become the focal point in any chef’s kitchen!

We all dream of creating the perfect home. Thanks to the Fulton Design Center, that dream can really happen. Visit during one of the browse nights and see for yourself. The Design Center is open the first and third Thursdays of every month from 5 to 8 p.m.

First Impressions

design center 8It’s easy to get so focused on what’s inside your new Fulton Home that you forget what people see first – your front door. That’s what makes your home’s first impression. Fortunately, you have so much to choose from when it comes to a front door with Fulton Homes.

When you visit the Fulton Design Center, don’t forget to stop by the front door display. No matter what style you prefer, you will find the right door for you. Start with the door itself. Take the look and style of your home into consideration. If you have chosen a traditional exterior, a contemporary door such as the one to the left in the photo above won’t be a fit. On the other hand the romance of the door to the right with its hobnail finish might be just the right choice.

Once you know the door you want, take the time to choose the hardware that will work for you. As you can see from the two doors shown above, selecting the right combination of hardware and door makes a perfect final product.

Your front door also sends a message about your taste and style even before anyone walks into your home for the first time. It’s exciting to invite family and friends to see your  new home, and part of the fun starts before the front door opens, when they walk up and see your first selection – and the statement it makes about you and your home.

The two doors shown above are just a small sample of your choices. Please come take your time checking out all of your options for creating just the right first impression with your new Fulton Home.

Cabinets Set Tone for Kitchen

design center 4When you start planning your new Fulton Home, it may seem like the kitchen is the most challenging part of the process. But once you make a couple of choices, your other options will begin to fall into place.

The best way to attack your overall kitchen design is with your cabinet style and finish. Do you want a contemporary look? Then consider the Shaker style for your cabinetry. This sleek style, shown on the bottom middle in the photo above, works well with the sleek lines of a contemporary home.

If you prefer a more country or rustic look, why not consider a glazed finish such as the cabinet door shown on the lower right? The darker tone and contrast provided by the black glaze makes that cabinet feel more homey and inviting, a fitting style to give that farmhouse appeal.

Perhaps you want to go solidly traditional. The dark cabinet door on the upper right would work well with any traditional decor. A light and bright kitchen would work well with the middle cabinet door to the left of the photo. The good news is that the Fulton Design Center has a rich selection of choices in cabinetry, and all of them in a standard of quality designed for you to enjoy in your new kitchen for years to come.

We encourage you to visit the Fulton Design Center to see our choices of kitchen cabinets in person, to start the process of designing the Fulton Home of your dreams.

Make your Garage Something Special

design center 7It’s easy to end up with a garage that’s a catch-all. When you first move in you may find that extra boxes and other items you don’t know what to do with end up in the garage. Then add in the kids sports equipment, yard supplies and tools, and then other odds and ends. Before you know it, the whole space is a mess.

If you find yourself cringing every time you open your garage door, think about choosing some of these garage options when you design your new Fulton Home. Just a few organizing elements could make a big difference in the look and functionality of your new garage. Let’s take a look at some of these choices.

Cabinetry: Garage cabinetry has a heavy-duty structure designed to hold up to power tools, yard equipment and other larger items. This is perfect storage for the home handyman, and it keeps everything under control. The countertop area is great for small assembly projects or organizing outdoor plantings.

Storage racks: Everything is so much more under control if it stays off the floor. With coordinated storage racks designed to hold yard tools and sports supplies you can easily put your hands on whatever you need whenever you need it. And when you are finished you have just the place for it to go back. And when not in use everything stays in place, out of the way and clean until the next time.

A garage can be a messy catch-all or it can be a great resource for storing things that fit well in that space, well beyond a place to keep your cars. Take advantage of options such as these to make it into a functional addition to your new Fulton Home.

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!

What Makes a Neighborhood Special?

icscoccer12When you move into a new home, you choose it first because of budget, then location and layout. You may consider the reputation of the home builder. If you’re smart, you wander through other neighborhoods the builder created in the past to see how well the houses have held up over time.

You might want to see how close you are to grocery stores and restaurants and look up the quality of the school district if you have school-age children. It also pays to check out property taxes because those can vary from city to city.

But take the time also to walk through the neighborhood you’re considering. Check to see if there are any common areas. Will you have access to any parks or playgrounds in easy walking distance? How about places for kids’ sports like this soccer field? Does the community share a pool?

Remember that part of what makes a neighborhood a real community is the opportunity to meet other neighbors in common areas like these. And builders like Fulton Homes that include amenities like this are thinking about their home buyers’ lives long after the homes are sold and their profits are spent building other homes and other communities.

So when you buy a home, you’re not just buying what happens when you drive into your garage or walk in your front door. You’re also buying a community, the neighborhood your children will grow up playing in, the streets where they will ride their bikes, the sidewalks where you will push their strollers in the evenings. And the neighbors who will become your friends over the years as your new house becomes your home over the years.

Choosing the Right Carpeting

design center 3What factors are important when choosing the right carpeting for your home? Most people want a lighter tone so that it doesn’t make their home feel too dark. But you don’t want to go too light so that it doesn’t show the dirt too easily. But beyond that, what should you look for? Here are a few things to consider.

Stain resistance: Will the carpeting have to stand up to children or pets? If so, look for something that will recover from spills with an easy wipe up. There are special carpeting techniques that include overdying and stain-proof coatings that make carpeting almost completely stain-proof. Talk to your designer about the specifics of the maintenance requirements of whatever carpeting you choose. It may be worth a higher price to get carpeting that will withstand the onslaught of a tough audience.

Durability & finish: Are there certain rooms that will have to withstand heavy traffic? If so, certain types of carpeting handle that demand better than others. For example you may be tempted by the soft feel of plush carpeting, but its tendency to show every footprint means that in a high-traffic area you will find yourself vacuuming constantly to keep it looking nice. Instead, you may want to choose a more forgiving option.

Color: Although most people select a neutral tone, carpeting often has an underlying color. Make sure your choice works well with other colors you may use in your home. Be sure to bring your final choice into natural light to see how the color looks in daylight and with your tile, paint and cabinet selections. After all, you will be living with your choices for a long time. Make sure everything coordinates well together.