Creating a Stylish, Comfortable Living Space for Your Furry Friends

Anyone who owns a pet will tell you that they’re more than just a pet. They’re a member of the family. When you’re settling into a new home, you want to make sure that your four-legged companions are just as comfortable as you are. At Lafferty Communities, we welcome all members of your family with open arms, furry or otherwise. Read on for our tips on how to create space in your new place for your pet to feel truly at home.

Give Them Their Own Room

Not sure what to do with that extra bedroom? You could turn it into a craft room or a second guest room, sure — or, you could turn it into your pet’s dedicated space, and give them their own room to lounge in. In addition to making your pet feel like the most pampered pup in the neighborhood, having a separate room for their sleeping, eating and playing needs keeps the pet-related clutter and mess out of more communal spaces, such as your living room. You don’t need to get fancy with it. All your buddy needs is a comfy bed or crate, food and water bowls (bonus points if you opt to personalize them) and their favorite toys. You can get creative with some dog-themed decor, too, such as wall hangings or fun throw pillows.

Try a Pet Nook

As much as your pet would love its own space, our four-legged friends love being close to the action of the household. To keep them a little closer to the rest of the family, consider turning a corner of the house into a dedicated pet nook. They’re fairly easy to put together, and they can go anywhere in the house without adding too much clutter to a room. Why not turn that understairs cabinet into a cozy resting place for your best friend? Or, simply find a corner of the family room to set up a plushy bed — and of course, keep their toys close by.

Utilize Pet Gates

When you move into your stunning new home, you’ll want to preserve it as much as you can. To that end, consider utilizing pet gates to stop your mischievous furry friends from getting into trouble in certain areas of the house. This keeps your home safe, and your pets safe — there’s less of a chance they’ll get into something they shouldn’t if you can keep them contained in one section of the house.

Opt for Dog-Friendly Decor

One of the best parts of moving into a new home is decorating it to match your personal taste and style. You can finally bring all those Pinterest boards to life! But, before you head to your nearest HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, local boutique or online shop, make sure you plan to pick up decor pieces that won’t accidentally harm your pet. If you want to get houseplants, for example, make sure they’re non-toxic for animals. Some beautiful, pet-safe plant options include spider plants, sword ferns, African violets, Calatheas, parlor plants and radiator plants. When considering other decor, you might want to go for choices that are more sturdy, such as wall-mounted art or heavier statement pieces that won’t fall and shatter as easily.

Pick Somewhere with Plenty of Space to Play

Your four-legged companion is sure to be happier if you are able to find a home where they will have plenty of yard space and places to run around. To really elevate their backyard experience, you can get your pet an outdoor bed for lounging around on sunny days. In addition to ample yard space, you also want to look for properties that are surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, so your daily walks are a new adventure every time. Luckily, many Lafferty Communities homes offer expansive backyards that your pet will love and are situated near rolling hillsides, large lakes and more. It’s a win-win!

Not Just a Home — Your Home

Lafferty Communities is proud to offer homeowners the chance to live in homes they will truly love living in, and that extends to every member of your family. Explore our different options and find the Lafferty home that is perfect for both you and your furry friend.

Your Home as a Holiday Destination

Hosting for the holidays — some people love it, some people will do anything they can to avoid it. Even if it is your cup of tea, it’s likely the prospect of hosting extended family or friends for the holidays brings its fair share of stress. Whether you’re a first-time host or a seasoned party pro, we’ve got you covered with some expert tips on how to turn your home into a holiday destination that will leave your loved ones buzzing.

Plan a Warm Welcome

A successful holiday gathering starts at the front door. Prep for your guests’ arrival by making a fun, seasonal welcome cocktail, such as a classic Wassail or a holiday twist on a traditional Moscow Mule. As they step into the winter wonderland of your home, they’ll appreciate that the party starts right away. To pair with your perfectly crafted welcome drink, consider having a few light appetizers out when everyone arrives. A simple charcuterie platter will give your guests plenty to graze on while they’re waiting for dinner. Or, you can level up the appetizer game a little, with something like these Cranberry Brie Bites and these Christmas Ornament Cheese Balls.

Set the Mood Early On

Once your guests are happily sipping on festive drinks, chatting and snacking, the last thing you want to do is have to scramble to set the mood. Before your guests arrive, put on some classic holiday tunes, or a simple, cheerful instrumental playlist to underscore the evening. Maybe pop a holiday movie on the television on low volume or on mute, too, for added ambiance. You’ll definitely want to invest in a scented candle or two, as well as lots of votive candles dotted around the kitchen, living and dining areas. 

Festive Flair

Turn your holiday gathering from good to great with the right decor. It doesn’t need to be flashy — some simple, elegant wintry touches added around the home make a world of difference. Brighten up your living room and kitchen with some soft, twinkling string lights, and hang a holiday garland over the mantle. Consider purchasing fun, holiday-themed cocktail napkins and servingware ahead of time, so you can keep the festive vibes going down to the smallest detail. Tying the decor into unexpected places, such as the guest bathroom, can also add a sense of cohesion to your home and make every room feel a little more magical.

A Soft Place to Land

If you’re hosting people overnight, you’ll want to make sure you put extra care towards preparing the areas they’ll be sleeping. Freshen up any bedding, and add a few touches of holiday cheer, such as through the use of festive pillows and a candle or two. To ensure your guests have everything they need for a comfortable rest, stock up your bathrooms with overnight essentials. A welcome basket is also a nice touch that your guests will truly appreciate. Grab a wicker basket and stock it with a comfy pair of slippers, a few bottles of water, a spare phone charger, a fresh toothbrush — really, anything that you think would make your guest’s stay more pleasant.

Maximize Your Hosting Space

Depending on how many people you are planning on hosting, consider rearranging some of your furniture in the areas where guests will spend most of their time. Pull any tables to the edges of the room and leave the center more open, so your guests can mingle freely without the room feeling crowded. Add additional seating, which can be anything from cushy ottomans to sleek folding chairs, to the space as well. You’ll also want to put away anything breakable or valuable to you ahead of time — you don’t want to have to deal with someone accidentally bumping into your favorite flower vase in the middle of all the festivities. Make it clear where the party boundaries end by simply closing off any doors you don’t want curious guests wandering into. If you have pets — especially pets that aren’t as comfortable with people — be sure to provide them with space to easily relax away from all the excitement.

Friendly Competition

Who doesn’t love a little competition during the holidays? Get your guests to engage with each other over a fun, casual group activity or game. Avoid a game that requires your guests to learn a whole rulebook cover to cover — instead, opt for a low-stress, easy-to-understand game that allows everyone to chat while they play. Set up a card game in a corner of the living room, for instance, or make the party itself a themed competition, such as an ugly sweater contest.

Fabulous Festive Feasts

At any holiday gathering, dinner is the star of the show. However, you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all night, stressing over a stovetop while your guests enjoy an evening without you! Make dinner as hassle-free as possible by prepping as much as you can ahead of time. Something like a lasagna or a casserole can be made a few days before your gathering and stored in the freezer. Then, when it’s time to serve, simply pop it in the oven and you’re set. For something a little fancier, go for a Beef Wellington, which can be almost fully prepared (up to the pastry wrapping stage) 24 hours in advance, too. Of course, you can’t forget about dessert. Cap the night with some holiday cookies or seasonally-flavored ice cream.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

This holiday season, take the opportunity to showcase your stunning new Lafferty home and host the ultimate holiday get-together. Even if it’s your first time hosting, these tips will help you plan and execute a holiday party that will be the highlight of the year.

Kitchen Trends to Look Out For in 2024

For new home buyers, one of the most exciting parts of the move is customizing your living experience to mirror the home you’ve always dreamed of. In personalizing your home, oftentimes, the kitchen gets overlooked as a place to explore your decor personality. However, as the heart of a home, the kitchen is a great space to add some vibrant colors, stylish hardware accents and more. Need some inspiration? Check out some of these design trends sure to be popping up in kitchens everywhere come 2024.

 Skip the Starbucks Trip

Whether you’re a morning person, a working-from-home professional or just someone who loves a good cup of coffee, a dedicated space to make your coffee brewing a little more special is essential. Instead of tucking your coffeemaker into a corner of an overcrowded counter space, opt for a dedicated beverage station. The great part is, you can take this infinitely versatile upgrade as far as you’d like, whether you’re looking to add dedicated cabinets for glasses and syrups, a built-in coffee machine or keep it simple but just dedicating a piece of your kitchen space to a next-level home barista setup.

 Green with Envy

In recent years, many designers, builders and homebuyers have shifted their interests to emphasize sustainability. Lafferty homes, for instance, feature Energy StarⓇ appliances, which work together with our green-focused design to create a home that isn’t just good for the individual, but is good for the environment, too. Why not pair a sustainable kitchen with a pop of color? You can easily incorporate soothing earthy vibes by choosing furniture and accessories in a variety of shades of green, from light sage all the way to bright emerald. For a more subtle touch, simply add some indoor plants in the windows.

 Layers All the Way

A great way to add some life to a kitchen is by adding lots of unique lighting options. Forget the bright overhead lights — this year, go for layering your lighting from the ground up. Soft LED strips underneath the counters or along the edges of cabinets provide a gentle glow any time of the day. From there, consider a larger, statement lighting fixture above the kitchen island to add some interest to the space as well as reinforce the lighting. This way, you can vary the amount of light you are using to suit your mood, and you can express your personality through dynamic lighting fixtures.

 Maximize Your Storage

Everyone loves a clean kitchen. To keep your counters uncluttered, there are a wide variety of sneaky storage spaces you can add that will blend right in with your counters, drawers and cabinets. For instance, why not move the paper towel roll off of the counter and into its own drawer space, tucked away but easy to access? Additionally, a walk-in, butler-style pantry can provide lots of added storage space that you can keep out of sight and out of mind.

 Make It Inviting

The kitchen is more than simply a place where you prepare food. It’s a gathering place in its own right, so why not make it a little more inviting for any guests you might have over? For a fun, casual communal eating space, place a little more focus on comfortable seating around a breakfast bar. These are a great spot to enjoy some appetizers and drinks during a dinner party or to dig into some home-cooked brunch on a weekend afternoon.

 Your Taste, Your Choice

When you are buying a home with Lafferty Communities, you can be sure that you will have the freedom to make your home truly yours. With the ability to tailor your kitchen — and the rest of your home beyond that — to your unique tastes and style, you’ll feel right at home the moment you move in. Start looking for your new home today and discover which Lafferty Community is right for you.