Asheville Builder & Interior Designer: A Marriage Of Give And Take Ideas Yields Award Winning Results

10580060_10205804526096070_3396324870577970971_nBeing part of a great team can yield wonderful results. No one knows this better than Sean Sullivan, owner of Living Stone Construction, and Laura Sullivan, owner of ID.ology Interior Design, both located in the Asheville area. Not only do Sean and Laura sometimes work together on the same projects – they’re a team off the job site, as well. This happily married couple has managed to strike a great balance that has led to exceptional accomplishments. One such accomplishment is The Rockcliff home – an award-winning Asheville project on which Living Stone Construction served as the builder and ID.ology served as the interior design firm. North Carolina Design talked to Sean and Laura to find out more about this spectacular home, and how their solid teamwork helped them achieve award-winning results.

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Smart Home Selling Tips

With today’s changing housing market, home-buying opportunities are tremendous. Interest rates are low, prices are competitive, and many builders are offering fantastic incentives and financing options. But what if you have to sell your current home first?  These tips will help you get your home sold and on the road to moving into your own new home of your dreams. We have these homes for sale here! First, be realistic when setting a price. You may not be able to sell your home for what it could have sold for a few years back, but don’t be tempted to wait until prices have gone back again. It’s always better to trade up in a buyer’s market.  For example, say your home value has dropped 10 percent from $300,000 to $270,000. A move-up home selling for $500,000 in the past has also dropped 10 percent in value, and now sells at $450,000. If you sold your home today for $270,000 and purchased the larger house for $450,000, the difference in price would be $180,000. But if you waited to recoup the 10 percent value on your home and sold it at $300,000, chances are that same move-up home would also move up in price to at least $500,000. That’s a $200,000 price difference between the two homes. So by selling today, you would actually save $20,000.  The price you set for your home is obviously the key factor in many buyers’ minds. But don’t forget that presentation is crucial. The potential buyer needs to be able to see themselves living in your home.   Keep personal items like photographs to a minimum. Address any clutter and either donate items to charity, throw them out or organize them neatly. Organize all of your closet spaces and kitchen cabinets. Clean off kitchen countertops and pack up small knickknacks. Your house will appear neater and you’ll also get a head start on packing up for your own move. Remove furniture that blocks walkways or windows. Leave just enough furniture to showcase the room’s purpose. Rent a storage unit if you have to. A home that is too empty can appear lifeless, so if you’ve already packed your furniture, consider hiring a staging company that will rent you some for a short time period.  Do a thorough cleaning of your home. Wash your windows inside and out, wipe down baseboards and clear out cobwebs from ceiling corners and closets. Make any minor repairs.  Even small touches count. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Set the dining room table, and buy fresh flowers for vases throughout the home. Turn on all your lights during the open house to highlight the home’s amenities.  Finally, don’t forget the first impression: curb appeal. Make certain that your house number can be read from the street and remember to keep your sidewalks clear and your lawn mowed.  Trim shrubs and trees and if possible, plant some flowers.     Selling your home doesn’t have to be a headache. With a little preparation, your home will be sold before you know it and you’ll be settling in to your new home.   Sean Sullivan is an Accredited Master Builder and past president of the Asheville HBA.  He is currently the First VP of the NCHBA.  His firm, Living Stone Construction, is mission motivated and value driven to meet the budget of any client.  To learn more LSC, you can visit them at their new website  Source –

Introduction to The Living Stone Difference

We chose Living Stone because of Sean but we love Living Stone because of their team. Molly, Matt, Pam, John, Frank, Laura and our main man Mike! Mike drives our home’s construction, can answer any question at a level you can understand and is a pleasure to work with. Laura organizes and improves all of our design decisions, gives us inspiration and keeps everything on track. Sean, it is a credit to you that you have surrounded yourself with so many truly good people. We are having a ball!  Jim Jones

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Top 10 Home Trends for 2013

Top trends include the move toward clean, contemporary kitchen cabinets and the rise of quartz composite countertops. Here are Neil Kelly’s top trends for 2013, based on extensive input from the firm's 20-person design team: 10. Kitchen Cabinets A clean, simple, contemporary look will be popular with homeowners looking to economize and eliminate unnecessary clutter and fussy details that equate to high maintenance and complicated living. For those who don’t want to spring for new cabinetry, re-facing or refinishing cabinets offers more bang for the buck. 9. Countertops Granite has been dethroned. While granite isn’t going away and still has many die-hard fans, the new king of countertops will be quartz composite — the closest thing to no maintenance, bullet-proof countertop materials available today. 8. Hardwood Floors Pre-finished and engineered wood flooring will become more popular than the once gold-standard of site-finished flooring. Pre-finished woods provide a hard, durable finish, are an installation time saver, and eliminate the sanding dust dilemma. Engineered wood floors are also compatible with under-floor heating systems, a big plus in cold climates. 7. Glass Backsplashes Glass mosaic tile is on the way out. Taking its place are glass/stone/tile mosaic composites that can add more texture and visual interest and that tie in more readily with stone or quartz countertops. Be on the lookout for back-painted, solid glass panel backsplashes in contemporary settings, which provides an ultra-clean, almost ethereal look to a polished, modern kitchen setting. 6. Stylishly Simple Sinks Goodbye double-sinks, hello deep single-bowl sinks. With accessories such as fitted colanders and dish drains, deep single-bowl sinks have all the benefits of a divided sink, plus the large size to actually fit that roasting pan or those baking sheets into the sink all at once. Stainless is still popular, but the quartz composites are a great value and durable option. 5. Color Palette Charcoal is the new black.  2013 will find this silky color everywhere as it blends the right amount of chocolate, grey and a touch of green. 4. Bathroom Stone Synonymous with luxury, Calacatta marble will find its way into both traditional and contemporary bathrooms. Calacatta is a rarer stone than Carrara marble, but is quarried in the same region. It is valued for a whiter background and bolder grey veins. 3. Texture and Sparkle Bedazzled may find its way into home décor and design as homeowners seek a blend of classic textures and colors with pops of bold color and elements of sparkle.  Glossy glass tile backsplashes and sparkle on polished nickel fixtures trend in 2013. 2. Living In Your Home Longer/Multi-Generational Living With many certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS), Neil Kelly designers predict a growing trend to help aging baby boomers safely “grow old” in their homes, for as long as possible. Watch for easy kitchen and bath upgrades to enhance functionality, comfort and safety. 1. Healthy Home, Healthy Living Green and sustainable design is here to stay. The number one trend for 2013 will be to create a healthy living environment, free of toxins and harsh chemicals.  More and more homeowners are taking advantage of federal and state incentives to evaluate their home’s energy efficiency and overall performance. Upgrade trends include the use of low VOC materials to improve indoor air quality, testing combustion safety, and radon mitigation.  
The Skylar Grande – semi-custom plan

The Skylar Grande – semi-custom plan

All of our semi-custom plans are fully customizable to create your ONE OF A KIND home.
Price: Starting on your lot at $535,000
Contact: Sean Sullivan 828.669.4343

Features: Energy Star Certified, NC Green Built Home, Universally designed plan

Click here to see a 360 degree virtual tour!

The Skylar Grande is an upgrade to our popular Skylar model that adds a screen porch, formal dining room, and a stone chimney. It is a universally designed home that not only boasts a quaint craftsman architectural feel, but also incredibly energy efficient construction. This floor plan works well for families of all size and ages. Since it has two bedrooms with two full baths on the main level, it works great for families with younger children, but since it also has two bedrooms upstairs, it also works well for the next generation to accommodate guests or a home office. Click “read more” to see more photos, floor plans and more!

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