Natelli Homes Blog


As you're designing your dream kitchen, include yourself among the colors, materials, and layout. After all, you are the one using the kitchen after completion. The best way to approach that answer is to consider measurements of key kitchen components.


We navigate around the average countertop size, which is 34-36 inches tall. In kitchen remodeling, a better measurement is bending your arms and elbow to a ninety-degree/right angle. Design countertop space 3-4 inches below your elbow/arm. Adjusted countertop space measurements will affect countertop depth; the average is 24 inches. Countertop space surrounds the stove range or stove/oven combo. One side requires 12 inches of countertop space while a varied length is on the other side. Countertop space on both sides allows hot items a place to rest from the range and oven. It's vital that wall ovens have countertop space beside it.


Top shelves in cabinets are tough to reach for most residents. The distance between the countertop and the cabinet is 15-20 inches. Residents who aim for higher shelving can opt for shelving that touches the ceiling.  Residents aiming for lower shelving can go the minimum or include a lower cabinet beside the countertop. You can also opt for no upper cabinets. However, have enough bottom cabinet, drawer, and storage space to accommodate upper cabinet removal.


The walking space for food preparation needs at least 42 inches of walking space. The remaining walking space reduces to 36 inches. Expand the cooking space to 48 inches for two or more cooks in the home. 

Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle consists of three sides.

  • Refrigerator: placed near the kitchen entrance.  For two or more points of entry, place the refrigerator as close to the majority as possible.
  • Cooking area: usually installed near the dining area
  • Sink: installed in-between those areas

This triangle makes moving around the kitchen easier. The total combination is between 23-26 feet. Otherwise, it's going to become difficult to move around the kitchen area. The distance between two appliances is between three and seven feet.  If the triangle consists of a dishwasher and garbage disposal, aim for the maximum in feet and integrate those appliances in the triangle.

Looking at kitchen design from this point of view will make your kitchen easier to use. Customize everything to your specifications. For more information on kitchen remodeling, contact us.


changing-the-architectural-design-of-your-home-to-include-a-second-floor-great-falls-vaHome additions create space where there is none. When your family has outgrown the home but you cannot see leaving the area where the children are growing up and going to school just to buy a new house, adding on to the structure makes sense.

While some folks build out, we have found that changing the architectural design of your home to include a second floor instead actually has quite a few benefits.

  • Double your square footage (almost). When you build out, the square footage you have left on your property limits you. When you build up, you place another floor on top of the existing one.
  • Add multiple rooms. When you need additional bedrooms, bathrooms, a home office and a laundry room, it makes sense to go for the increase in square footage the second floor provides. Building out usually only allows you to increase the size of some of your rooms or maybe add one or two.
  • Keep your backyard. The kids love to play soccer on the lawn. You enjoy the well-deserved glass of ice-cold lemonade on a Saturday afternoon in the backyard. When you build out, you lose a great amount of yard space. Whereas in the past you may have had a nice backyard, a ground-level room addition may cut this down to a patio-sized space.
  • Avoid problems with the zoning department. Depending on your area, the zoning department regulates the set backs you must maintain on the sides and the space you must keep between your structure and the property line. In some cases, this may interfere with your need for additional space when choosing the ground floor addition.
  • Keep your options open. When you leave your backyard space untouched, you have the future option of adding a pool or a guest cottage.

The experts at Natelli Homes know that changing the architectural design of your home is something that takes careful planning and a lot of consideration. We work with you to help you make the decision that is right for you and your family now – and in the future. Contact us today for more information on second floor home additions and other remodeling projects.


10-tips-to-help-you-save-on-building-your-custom-home-potomac-mdSo you've finally done it. You made an investment in your future, purchased a lot of your very own, and are now in the early stages of building your first custom home. A job that, and we know, is both difficult and incredibly stressful.

With that, here are 10 tips to help you get ready for the ride of a lifetime, as you build your custom home.

1. Have an emergency plan in place. Why? Because even in spite of all of your hard work and planning, bad things can still happen. So have a contingency plan in place for some peace of mind.

2. A little bit of research can carry you very far. We're talking books, home and garden TV, talking to experts, and so on. Do it all now, and you'll be prepared for anything.

3. Scout other homes for ideas on what you want. If doing it in person is not in the cards, consider using the Internet to do most of the heavy-lifting. 

4. Hire an architect that you can not only trust, but also rely on to give you what you want. Look at portfolios, and never simply hire the first one that you talk to.

5. Similarly, hire the right company to help you complete the work. A qualified professional who is well-versed in building custom homes will make the whole process run smooth and easy.

6. Speak candidly with all of those helping you. Let them know what you want, what you don't want, and things that are deal-breakers. It's important to getting the most out of the process.

7. Don't be afraid to negotiate payments and costs. It is, after all, your dream home, so pick your battles carefully and save whenever you can.

8. When furnishing or buying supplies, look online for suppliers that offer free shipping. There are many great deals to be had if you're savvy enough.

9. Take discounts and deals whenever possible; buy wholesale instead of retail. Building a custom home from the ground up is expensive. So it's OK to cut costs at first. Worry about larger items a few years down the road.

10. Don't be afraid to pitch-in when needed! The work you complete on your own is like putting money back into your pocket. It's worth it to get your hands dirty from time to time. 

Interested in learning more about how we can help you build your dream home? Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your options.



People who are nearing retirement often contemplate whether they should downsize to a smaller home with aging-in-place features or remodel. By working with an architectural and design service company in Maryland and Virginia, you can decide whether it’s better to build a custom home for retirement or pay for home remodeling projects that matter the most to your qualify of life. According to a recent article by usatoday.com, whether or not to renovate is a common conundrum for pre-retirees. If it’s a high priority for you to have a modern, updated kitchen or bathroom, consider working a few more years. Some Maryland and Virginia homeowners have already paid off their homes or have enough equity to justify home remodeling improvements.

  • Considering your resale value

As part of the decision process, think about which home remodeling projects will improve the value of your home. A Merrill Lynch-Age Wave survey revealed the most popular home remodeling projects for retirees included upgrading kitchens and baths, adding a home office and improving curb appeal.

  • Using long-lasting materials

Although resale value is important, especially for your beneficiaries, it's also to think about what you need. Quality matters in terms of materials if you plan to stay put in your home for the rest of your life. Experts recommend using long-lasting materials as well as energy-efficient windows. Solid hardwood floors will last a lifetime compared to less expensive laminate woods.

  • Making safety a priority

Any retiree who can afford it should remodel their home with universal design features in mind. Falling just one time without a grab bar in the shower can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you time your renovation project for a few years before you retire, think of elder-friendly features even though you don't feel older. Still, grab the opportunity to replace garden tubs with low-curb showers that have seating areas and non-slip flooring.

When you remodel your home before you retire or when you first start retirement, you make it easier to budget and plan for the rest of your retirement years. You are less likely to worry about maintenance issues since you’ll have new appliances, lighting fixtures, flooring and other features that will last. Most important, your home will be safer and easier to navigate.

At Natelli Homes, we commit ourselves to our Maryland and Virginia clients who want to build a custom home or renovate their existing house. For more information and tips on remodeling in retirement, please contact us.


5-summer-home-additions-that-increase-your-homes-value-and-comfort-bethesda-mdWhile many homeowners agree that winter is the best time to begin and complete home additions, with harsh and cold weather, it can be a difficult task when outdoor work is involved.

This makes summer home additions ideal for those who want to increase their home's value, while still being able to work on their home without having to bare cold weather, and still getting the most out of their experience and money.

Here are 5 home additions to complete in summer.

1. Sunrooms. Many homeowners don't realize how beneficial sunrooms are until they have one, which is why summer is the perfect time to complete one. Because, come winter, your sunroom will be your favorite hangout spot.

2. Garage conversions. If your garage is ready for the next step, then consider a garage conversion. Adding a livable area above your parking area not only increases your home's value, it also brings a return on investment you can't beat.

3. Second story additions. Second story home additions aren't just for ranch style homes. A second story addition is also suitable for homes with an existing second story, but one that simply needs additional space for a bedroom or bath.

4. Bathroom addition. Many older homes have to few bathrooms. Which, for a larger family, is a headache. Adding a full or half bath to your first or second floor alleviates any problems you may have had with just one bathroom.

5. Master suite. If your current master suite is nothing but a bedroom, summer is perfect for setting up a master suite that will give back monetarily and with added comfort. Just think of how lovely and relaxing your home will be with your own master suite, which includes a bathroom, when your work is complete.

If you're ready for a new home addition, please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.

Looking to improve the kitchen in your Rockville, MD home? Do not let this golden opportunity slip past you to turn your cooking space into what you have always dreamed for. Update your cabinets and countertops in your kitchen to give off an amazing look. 

We offer kitchen remodeling services to the surrounding Rockville, MD area. 

Feel free to contact us today if you would like to undergo any kitchen remodeling service for your home.  

Our Rockville, MD home improvement clients have been thrilled with the work we have done for them.

Our number one priority is the customer on any project.

We love remodeling kitchens in the Rockville, MD area! Having the proper plan is imperative for any home service, especially a kitchen remodel. If you are interested in any kitchen remodeling project, please visit www.natellihomes.com and contact us today.

Offering the highest quality kitchen remodeling services in the Rockville, MD area!

Home improvement is the perfect option for any Chevy Chase homeowner looking to tighten up their home. Never worry about leaking faucets or clogged gutters. Chevy Chase homeowners no longer need to worry about the frustrations your home may give you on a daily basis. Simply give yourself a stress-free experience and let us take care of any home improvement services you would like done for your house.

We offer home improvement to the surrounding Chevy Chase area. 

Feel free to contact us today if you would like to undergo any home improvement services for your home.  

Our Chevy Chase home improvement clients have been more than pleased with the work we have completed for them.

Our number one priority is the customer.

We love doing what we do. Having the proper plan is imperative for any home service, especially regarding home improvement. If you are interested in any home improvement project, please visit www.natellihomes.com and contact us today.

Offering high quality home improvement services to the Chevy Chase area!


A bathroom vanity says a lot about the room it is in. Because of how little space bathrooms often occupy, the vanity is usually the point of focus for aesthetics and use.

But, just like with all bathroom remodeling trends, styles lose and gain popularity depending on the season and year.

So to help you out, here are 5 trends in bathroom vanities for those interested in stepping up their bathroom game this year.

1. Black is in. Yes, painting a vanity black is starting to take off this year. If a new coat of paint isn't in the cards, consider adding black accents, like a new faucet or hardware. 

2. Gravity-defying vanities are picking up steam. Though not as space-aged as they sound, wall-mounted vanities look great and give a little extra space below for those interested in creating their own organizational methods.

3. Rustic vanities that recall the days of old are finding their way into bathrooms everywhere. Called "Modern Rustic," vanities that evoke this period's design bring a vintage and warm feel to any bathroom. For real rustic, consider refinishing an old cabinet and doing it yourself.

4. Add a bowl topper for chic and classy. Vessel-topped vanities are alluring because they are unique and eye-catching. Though originally designed to mimic cottage styles, new designs are showing homeowners that bowls are coming full circle, and are ready for the modern home.

5. Once, pedestal style sinks ruled bathroom design. Then modern took over. However, after a short absence, pedestal sinks are back with a vengeance. The charm they bring is unparalleled, and for those who like classic blended with elegant, a pedestal sink is the way to go.

A bathroom remodel isn't complete without a new vanity. It's important to remember, however, that you choose what suits your taste and design, not just what is popular. Because when it's said and done, your bathroom should be about you and your needs.

For more information on how we can help you, contact us any time.


If you are dreaming about transforming the smallest rooms in your Maryland or Virginia home, it’s likely you are ready for a bathroom remodeling plan. Just because most bathrooms are small doesn’t mean they don’t make a big impact on your lifestyle and design statement. According to an article by bankrate.com, you need a bathroom remodeling plan when hiring a professional. Because you have limited space in a bathroom, it’s critical to have a comprehensive plan that includes lighting and storage.

  • Should you enlarge your bathroom?

One of the great advantages of hiring a builder is that you can find out how much it would cost to enlarge a bathroom. A builder that specializes in bathroom remodeling will often advise you to enlarge the space by using space from a nearby closet or hallway or bedroom. Most people only enlarge master bathrooms or bathrooms adjacent to a guest suite. A powder room near the kitchen or laundry area is often fine as a small space.

  • Is it best to remove a tub?

In order to install over-sized showers that are so popular now, many architects advise removing tubs in at least one of the bathrooms. Typically, people want a large shower and garden tub in the master bathroom suite. However, a tub that isn’t used in a second or third bathroom is space that's simply wasted.

  • How do you prioritize?

Other factors to consider when prioritizing a bathroom remodeling job include storage and lighting. For the most part, lighting is a fairly inexpensive part of the equation although it’s good to invest in quality decorative lighting and task lighting. The cabinets' configuration plays into the storage equation. Some of the other decision to make include whether or not to spend more money on upgraded vanities, sinks and flooring.

If aging-in-place is something you worry about, talk to your builder about universal design features. Whether it’s a grab bar in the shower, a shower that you won’t trip getting into or out of or a toilet at the right height, universal design appeals to older homeowners as well as people taking care of aging relatives. But even if you are decades away from retirement, universal design elements help boost resale value.

At Natelli Homes, we can help you transform your bathrooms. We provide architectural and design services in Maryland and Virginia. For more ideas for a bathroom remodeling project, please contact us.


Whether you are drawing up architectural designs for a new staircase or have been thinking of a kitchen remodel, working with an expert in the field has its advantages. Not only do you get hands-on assistance with respect to the planning, but you also avoid costly home remodeling budget mistakes that are very easy to make. Five such mistakes in particular stand out.

  1. The wishful budget. You intend to not spend a mint on remodeling the kitchen. In fact, you are estimating conservatively and vow to stay within your budget. Yet a few hiccups and the must-have seven-bottle mirrored wine cooler later, you have already blown your budget without being halfway through the remodel. The lesson here is simple: Set a realistic budget that allows for surprises and the little extras.
  2. Broad ideas vs. detailed visions. Kitchen remodeling is not for the faint of heart. It is also not for those who do not have a detailed vision for what they want to see. Be specific! The more detailed you are in your instructions to the contractor, the easier it is for the professional to find you the right materials and hardware that suits your need. Plenty of additional expenses can be avoided by being detailed from the start.
  3. Pinching pennies on materials. Lasagna is only as tasty as the high-quality ingredients that you put into it. Even the best builder will have a difficult time constructing you a dream porch for your home when you buy cut-rate lumber and pinch pennies on quality materials. Although it is always best to aim for inexpensive materials, going cheap is not the answer for a quality construction project.
  4. Keeping mum. Your contractor needs to hear from you. When you see something you want to incorporate into the design, find that beautiful customized tub for your bathroom remodeling or want to add anything else that may affect the plans already made, it is crucial that you let your contractor know right away. The further along the project proceeds without you mentioning any changes, the costlier it is to make these very changes later on.
  5. Changing your mind. Every time you change your mind, there will be additional expenses. It is that simple. While there is nothing wrong with changing your mind on a color or design detail here and there, consistently revamping plans and asking for changes to customized building components is costly.

At Natelli Homes, we know that you have plenty of questions about starting your home remodeling project and staying on track. Contact us today for more information on the best remodel budgeting practices and to find out how we can help you with your next project.