Category: Uncategorized

Creating a Welcoming Entryway

Whether you call it your entryway, vestibule or foyer – the place you land when you enter your home should be welcoming to visitors and provide a comforting “Welcome Home” message to your family when you arrive back home at your doorstep.

The First Impression

The entryway to your home is certainly your chance to make a good first impression. It sets the tone and should reflect your style and personality, as well as making visitors feel welcome. A statement light fixture hanging from the ceiling can be dramatic, along with a small rug to add texture.

Consider the Size

Modern entryways are often small. If that is the case in your home, you can hang a mirror to create the illusion of more space. You might want a narrow and long side table on which you can place essentials like keys in a bowl. A picture above the sideboard and a lamp can warm the space right up. A light can also be left on so your feel welcome when returning to your own home in the evening. Essentials like a coat rack (if there is no hall closet) or umbrella stand should be streamlined versus clunky.

If the space is on the smaller size, be mindful of the color of paint you choose, especially if there is no window to let natural light into the space. Visitors certainly won’t feel welcome if they enter into a small and dark space. Bringing a bit of nature in from outside, such as a plant or fresh flowers, can provide a nice transition from outdoors to indoors, and also add a level of comfort.

If there is space, you can include a place to sit for sorting mail or removing shoes. A single chair or a bench with a built-in mirror or even a trunk with a cushion can suffice.

If, on the other hand, you have a grand foyer – this is an opportunity to appoint it with larger statement pieces, a large mirror offset with light sconces and a larger carpet to scale. If you have a grand clock, this is the perfect spot for it.

Personal Eclectic

Small entries are wonderful for adding just the right mix of personal and quirky style. An eclectic vintage table, a fabric from a favorite culture and unique storage can create curiosity and show your sense of personal style in a fun way. Just don’t forget the mirror! Whatever the size of your entry, it’s the last chance to check yourself before entering the world!

A Family Entrance

If your family enters your home from a side or rear door, reserving the more formal front entry for visitors, you can certainly create a more informal and comfortable entrance, like a New England mud room, at the side or rear entrance. You can set out trays for winter boots and comfy slippers to change into, pegs for coats and cubbies for the kid’s backpacks.

When it’s time for an entryway of your own, consider a home by C.A. Jones. We offer a diverse variety of home layouts to please your style preferences. We also have custom design options available for those who want their home features to be uniquely personal.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build “express homes” in new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 largest homebuilders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

How to Finish a Basement Like a Pro

Has your family expanded? Or do you work remotely? Perhaps you want to install a home gym, a fun play space for the kids, or some space for Mom or Dad to pursue a hobby and some quiet time. You may have a college graduate returning home for a while or an elderly parent who will be moving in with you. If your home is suddenly feeling a little smaller but there is no plan or budget to move, finishing your basement may be the perfect answer to adding more usable and livable space in your house.

Having a finished basement can add a lot to your home, but most are left untouched or not used to their full potential. Every family has a unique use for a finished basement space that can literally change the usable square footage of your home and your family’s lifestyle.

Before getting started, remember to plan any additional plumbing around the existing pipes, to save on installation costs, as well as leave the space around the water heater unfinished, in case of leaks. When it comes to design, basement spaces are most often left open-concept to give the impression of light and space, as there are generally not many windows and the space may be darker naturally.

Dos and Don’ts of Finishing a Basement

You will be building something from scratch and need to ensure it will remain dry. Good lighting, nice furniture, and some art can help people to forget they are even in a basement! Locate the more utilitarian functions of your home on the lower level. Designing an open-concept will help the space feel more spacious and provide for multi-functions.

  • Do master the art of open-concept
  • Do relocate the utilities (laundry, storage, and office) on the lower level
  • Don’t underestimate the depth of construction
  • Don’t forego the aesthetics

Oh, the Possibilities!

There are so many options for creating a whole new space in your home.

  • If you have a college graduate who needs to return to the nest while establishing a new career, or a parent or in-law who is advancing in years who you would like under your roof for easy access and care, building an apartment in the basement is easier and less costly than putting an addition on your house.
  • As your family grows, so do the toys and play products. Making a colorful, comfortable and fun playroom for your kids will make them feel special and take the stress off always having to clean up the toys in your upstairs family room.
  • More and more American workers are doing their jobs from home. A finished basement is a perfect location for a home office.
  • Maybe your family likes to entertain – building a bar in your basement can be the perfect adult playroom, while keeping the wear and tear of parties from the upstairs living areas. Or maybe Mom or Dad need a little independent hobby space – a man or woman cave may be just the serenity they desire.
  • Relocating your big-screens and music equipment to the lower level of your house will help keep the volume down upstairs, allow family members to enjoy their own genre of music without disturbing others, and make a fun family destination to enjoy a movie together.
  • Staying fit in a home gym could help you save you expensive gym memberships. And you won’t even have to commute or worry about traveling in inclement weather.

If you are interested in a new C.A. Jones home and the idea of having a beautifully finished basement appeals to you, call us today at (618) 530-8300 to take advantage of our special on a 300-square-foot free, basement finish offer.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build “express homes” in new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 largest home builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

The Keys to Community Living

Living close to your neighbors or in a tight community necessitates its own form of etiquette. There are some basic principles to neighborhood living that will ensure ease of transition if you’re new to communities or HOAs.

The most important consideration is, of course, noise. Being a good neighbor means being considerate, ruling out blasting music, throwing raucous parties or generally imposing an unreasonable decibel level on those around you (especially on a school night). Making sure to respect both physical and metaphorical boundaries is another important element. Good pet manners are important, as not everyone may be a fan of yours.

If your new neighborhood is part of a homeowners’ association, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and follow them. This will protect your reputation within the community, relationships with neighbors, and allow for the general smooth function of the neighborhood.

3 Big Rules for Good Neighbors

Whether you live in a city, suburb or the country, there are 3 cardinal rules for being a good neighbor. Respecting another’s space, lifestyle and property is crucial. Affording your neighbor, the same amount of quiet you desire is also a good rule of thumb. No heavy machinery operating too early or too late is a good place to start! Privacy is something everyone cherishes when in their homes, especially after a long day at work. Get to know your neighbors when you see them out and about, not by going up to their front door and encroaching on their personal time and space.

  1. Peace
  2. Quiet
  3. Privacy

Being neighborly is a good opportunity to follow the Golden Rule – of treating others as you would like them to treat you. Being friendly with your neighbors can help make you feel more secure when you go on vacation and know that someone has a watchful eye on your property. Cultivating neighbors as friends can lead to having a built-in social life right in your community. And if you have kids, there are friends right at their fingertips. Being deeply rooted in our communities makes for happier people who have a real sense of belonging in the world.

Holidays are a particularly good time to extend yourself to your neighbors with a homemade food item to show your care about them and wish them well.

Consider the diverse options we have available at C.A. Jones communities as you gear up for your next home. Our planned communities feature thoughtful layouts to naturally promote healthy, positive, neighborly living.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build “express homes” in new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 largest home builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

It’s a given that everyone is busy in our culture, from kindergartener’s who arrive home with homework in their backpacks, to teenagers focused on social media, to working parents who are expected to check email during their “family” time in the evenings. If your family struggles to connect, think about instituting family dinners. Taking a half hour or more to share not only a meal but also part of one another’s day can have a great impact on strengthening your bonds.

What You’ll Gain

According to the Family Dinner Project, your kids will reap major benefits from family meals including doing better in school, increased self-esteems, and a stronger feeling of stability. Gathering your tribe together has been shown to decrease several problems – including risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression. And becoming comfortable eating together helps lower the chance of your child developing an eating disorder or becoming obese.

A Columbia University study found that teens who participate in more frequent family dinners compared to those who dine together less than three times per week, are less likely to try drugs. Nearly three-quarters of the teens surveyed said family meals are important to them. And teens who share less frequent family meals are twice as likely to use tobacco and alcohol and 1.5 times more likely to use marijuana.

Food is Secondary

One thing you don’t want to do is stress about preparing a time-consuming meal. Keep it simple with basic recipes that are popular with your family. And on busy weeks, consider ordering takeout from a local restaurant. After all, the food is not the most important part of a family dinner – family is.

Engage your family in preparing the meal to expand your time together in an informal and relaxed way. This is also a good opportunity for your children to learn some cooking skills and tasks like how to set a proper table and participate in clean up.

Sharing a meal also gives family members an opportunity to talk about what is going on in their lives. Offering solutions informally, is a passive action that helps model for kids how they can communicate effectively and problem solve.

Dialing It In

If your family is particularly busy you might want to Skype missing members in or have them call in on speaker phone. Let technology be your family friend and bring you together, as opposed to creating obstacles between you. For those present, make phones off limits, or at least limit their use, during table time and focus on one another.

Food in the Spotlight

If you have the time, cooking a meal together will deepen your family connections. Homemade meals make it easier to instill portion control, make for better nutritional choices, give your kids an opportunity to discover new foods, and manage weight. Take your meal nights a step further and shop together at the food market. Allow your kids to choose what they want to eat and teach them how to shop for food. A side benefit will be saving money from less frequent meals being eaten in restaurants.

With over 1,600 designs and unique features, C.A. Jones has a housing option to fit every family. And our kitchen and dining configurations help provide an inviting place for your family to gather.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build “express homes” in new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn how we can design and build a kitchen for you that will increase family connections and enhance your family’s bond. We are ranked among the Top 15 largest home builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

Crafting the Perfect Closet

Do you find yourself pausing a long time and looking yearningly at magazine features of a really great walk-in closet? Do they seem out of reach or something reserved for wealthy celebrities? They don’t need to be! Creating the perfect closet in your home does not have to break the budget. Starting your day getting dressed from an organized space will get your day off on the right foot. Knowing your belongings are valued and cared for will put your mind at ease. And knowing you have a favorite private space to retreat to at the end of the day, can be something to look forward to.

Getting the Right Aesthetic

A personal closet is just that, a personal space where you get to express your style. You get to create the perfect space just for you! You don’t have to worry about compromising or pleasing others – you’ve got this!

Storing and Organizing

Today’s options are limitless – whether you want techno-chic glass and steel, vintage warmth with baskets, or a closet that looks like a private boutique with your shoes and bags proudly on display – there are accessible choices for every taste. You get to decide if padded hangers or wood, or even color-coded hangers and clothes grouped by color, will fit your aesthetic.

You may decide to splurge on some custom built-ins or maximize the vertical space available with shelves and hooks. Whatever you choose, closet organization is key, and the options available to help achieve a decluttered, functional space where you can start and end your day are many. The most difficult choice you will have is deciding which options work best for your customized space.

Degrees of Luxury

Have you always dreamed of having a chaise longue? How about an old-fashioned vanity where you can apply your make-up? Maybe a delicate chandelier to provide some soft lighting? These are just a few splurge items you may include to up your closet game.

Don’t forget about your jewelry and lingerie – they need special attention.

Our homes are designed with women in mind, offering features that are important to women to have in their lifestyles. Things like ample closet space and luxury bath features that appeal to the modern female are choices that can be incorporated into your unique home.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build “express homes” in new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 largest home builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

How Home Makes You Happy

You know how owning a home is tied to the phrase “American Dream?” That’s because it is a measure of success on many levels. From a financial standpoint, it makes sense as each month you are working toward accumulating equity, with the ultimate goal of paying off your mortgage and owning your home outright. In our society, becoming a homeowner has traditionally been viewed as a mature, stable and responsible decision – a major mile marker in life. But owning a home brings emotional and psychological perks too. Where we live becomes a part of who we are, and when that place is stable, consistent and comfortable, it affects us internally, no matter our age.

Home is where many people say they feel the safest and secure. According to mental health professionals, being stable in your own home and knowing that you do not have to move – which is a major life change that can trigger upset for family members of all ages as adjustments to new jobs, different schools, and new communities are made – is worth its weight in gold for our psyches.

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Recent increases in natural disasters have created a need to ensure your family is prepared in the event of such an occurrence or even just a storm that strips you of power for an extended period of time. Make sure you are ready to handle any weather-related emergency that comes your way by preparing. Enroll your family in creating a plan, so you’re all in alignment on what actions to take and make sure each member has a copy of it. Go shopping together so you all understand what items will be included and allow each member to choose some personal items to their likings – such as a particular snack or personal items that will calm children.

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Creating an Efficient Kitchen

The kitchen really is the heart of the home. It is where we share nutritional sustenance, bond around a table to talk about our day and share stories, and where kids color or do homework at a counter while mom or dad prepare dinner. An efficient kitchen can promote smooth functioning through your entire household. For the kitchen to work for your family, it needs to work for the person who is the primary cook and person who maintains the space. And that is different for every family and its unique lifestyle.

Organize and Streamline

Young families especially need an organized and streamlined kitchen that easily meets its needs for fast meals and preparation of daily lunches that get toted off to school. Get rid of excess food, appliances and gadgets, and stick to what meets your lifestyle day to day. Trying to make your kitchen something your lifestyle is not will only lead to frustration.

Make sure there is a space where kids can keep you company, coloring or crafting, while you prepare food. This is a great opportunity to connect and hear about their day at school. This is not a stage in their life when you need to be focused on a formal dining table. Kids need a casual space that can handle a mess.

Clear your counters of unused appliances that are rarely used and replace with the ones that reflect how you live – like the waffle and pancake maker, and microwave or toaster ovens.

How You Cook

Are you raising small children with barely enough time to throw a meal together as you rush to keep up with diapers and laundry? Or are your kids teens and a little more independent with more advanced palates, eager to try your gourmet recipe attempts? A kitchen needs to grow and evolve with the family it serves – so make sure your kitchen is set up to match and meet the needs of your family at any given time. Remember the famous peg board fashioned by Julia Child’s husband so she could have her prized pots, pans and kitchen tools within easy reach? That was not a fancy option for a famous French chef and could have easily hung over a work table in a garage for tools, but it served its purpose. An easy over head rack can also keep your go-to pots and pans within an arm’s reach.

Path of Least Resistance

Forget about trends. Create a kitchen triangle with easy access between the refrigerator, sink and stove for ease of preparation and cooking. Ease of access from multiple points is the name of the game here. Follow the path of least resistance and it will save you time and energy.

Storage That Works

Get creative about where and how you store items to maximize space and decrease the time and energy it takes to retrieve items like baking supplies, herbs and spices, and kid’s snacks. An organized pantry space, or supplemental floor or counter storage can work wonders.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. Find out about our custom options that will help you create the kitchen that matches your family’s lifestyle. We are ranked among the Top 15 Largest Home Builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

Green Ways to Stay Cool

As we head into the warmer months, it is time to think about ways to keep your family and pets cool, without compromising the efficiency of your home. Air conditioning is great, but when used continually it can be expensive and not so easy on the environment. Work with nature when it comes to meal time by utilizing an outdoor grille to keep your indoor temperature lower. Use the power of the sun and the wind to dry your clothes outside to minimize dryer use and save energy costs. Turn off the dry cycle on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry. Choosing eco-friendly alternatives can have a big impact on your utility bills and the environment.

Go Low Tech

Old-fashioned ceiling, pedestal and counter fans can help supplement your air conditioner by circulating the air in your home and keeping it at an even temperature, instead of having areas that are too cool or void of conditioned air. Cooking and drying the clothes outdoors will not only minimize your utility costs, it will also keep your indoor temperatures from being elevated and making your air conditioner have to work that much harder to keep your home comfortable.

Early morning is typically the coolest time of the day. Give your air conditioner a break and open the windows to save energy and allow fresh air into your home.

Natural Fibers

Just as you wear lighter colors and weights of clothing during the summer months, make sure your bedding is breathable. Cotton sheets are the best for helping to keep you cool when the temperatures climb. Before you retire for the night or start your day, taking a cool shower will lower your body temperature and make you more comfortable on hot days. Using less hot water will also save on energy costs.

Our homes are built with a focus on quality and efficiency, so you are one step ahead of the curve already when you choose a C.A. Jones home. New homes are built tighter, eliminating air loss and ensuring a controlled indoor climate. Contact us to find out more about our participation in the Home Energy Rating System Index and our 10-year Builder’s Limited Warranty.

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer for green-home options. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 Largest Home Builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

Wall color not only makes a strong visual statement in your home, but it can also impact how you feel in a space in terms of emotion and energy level. Whether your goal is to create rooms that are comforting, energizing, relaxing or inspiring – this is a decision you and your family can enjoy making together. Make no mistake, this can also be an intimidating prospect. A good place to begin is with a visit to your local hardware store, where you can browse palettes and purchase small samples of paint you can apply to your walls to discern if it is the right color. The process of painting an entire home can be eased with a palette approach that utilizes different shades of the same hue.

Whole-House Color Palette

If you want to keep a sense of spaciousness and flow in your home, you can achieve this with a whole-house color palette. Begin by observing your floor plan and determining which rooms are visible from others. Focus first on the largest space, usually the living or kitchen and dining area. Using a soft and natural palette will take much of the worry out of this process. Once you decide on the primary color for the largest space, you can then continue room by room, adding varying shades of the same hue.

Go Bold

If you enjoy color and are brave, think about using a totally out-of-the-box color in at least one room and perhaps applying the statement hue to only one wall if you think color on all walls may be too intense. Like a statement piece of furniture – one bold room or wall will speak volumes to family members and visitors alike.

Lighting Sources

Your paint color will be affected by the light in a room. Both the natural light that enters the room through windows and the lighting you install via fixtures will make a difference on your paint choice, so be sure to take this into consideration when selecting your color. Using samples and holding them up in different areas of your home may help determine if that color will complement the space.

But How Does It Make You Feel?

Never underestimate the power of color and its impact. It can make or break a design and a mood! In general, blues are soothing, greens are relaxing, and reds are energizing. But the shades used can definitely change the emotional response.

Take into consideration what actions will be undertaken when selecting an appropriate paint color. For example, a vibrant red in a bedroom is probably not going to encourage a restful sleep!

Launched in 1995 by Chris Jones, C.A. Jones is the only woman-centric builder in Southern Illinois. Our roots are in Southwestern Illinois, in several communities in Madison County. We have expanded south to build new communities in St. Clair and Montgomery counties. We offer custom design options, for both interior aesthetics and exterior finishes and color, to make your home unique and to your liking. Contact us today to learn what we have to offer. With over 1,600 designs and unique features including drop zones, hidden prep areas and kid zones, we have a housing option to fit every family. We are ranked among the Top 15 Largest Home Builders by St. Louis Business Journal. Our forward-thinking philosophy, business integrity and superior customer service make us the right choice to build your next home.

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