1. Outdoor Living

    Bringing the indoors out and the outdoors in is a privilege few get to experience.  Thankfully, the tropical Southwest Florida lifestyle provides us with such luxuries! At Neal Communities, we believe in personalizing your home and making it fit your lifestyle, so why not pull out all the stops? From breathtaking pools, to optimal grilling & relaxation space, we can bring all the comforts of the indoors outside. Need to see it to believe it?  Look no further; we have the gallery just for you!


  2. Inside the Valor II

    Liz Reuth, Neal Communities E-Marketing Manager takes us for a tour inside Neal Communities’ Valor 2 Kitchens in Lakewood Ranch Florida. A smart design with a beautiful open concept kitchen, dining and living space give this space an open and airy touch. The space is great for entertaining guests and with a double sink facing the living room, Mr. and Ms. Homeowner can stay engaged with the guests while cleaning up! Large cabinets surround the Valor 2 kitchen making it perfect for the cook in the family to store pots and pans along with counter space to house all cooking gadgets. If you don’t believe us, just see for yourself!

     
     

    Valor II is a contemporary 1,162 Sq. Ft home perfect for a single family. Featuring two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open concept kitchen, living and great room; this is a home full of modern charm. A family friendly community with budget friendly prices. Come experience it for yourself!

     

     

     


  3. A Night to Remember

     

    A few weeks ago John Neal Homes hosted a very special Realtor® event celebrating the opening of their newest model home in the Haddington neighborhood of Country Club East in Lakewood Ranch. Homes start in the $400’s and up in this community depending upon your lot and upgrades. Their new Palmavera model offers a spacious, refreshingly open floor plan that overlooked a small lake.

    Inside the spacious kitchen, John Neal Homes had brought in the celebrity Chef Tommy Klauber, and his staff from Polo Grill and Fête Catering and Ballroom, located on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.

    The honored guests enjoyed a wine tasting with about eight various wines to try from Michael’s Wine Cellar. An array of hors d’oeuvres from Fête Catering, were served. From Moll’s Mac & Cheese Balls to hand picked Mini Blue Crab Cakes with a sweet chili dipping sauce; each appetizer was to die for.

    While guests toured this stunning home, John Neal was available to answer any questions about the property and the available upgrades. Meanwhile, Chef Tommy Klauber, demonstrated how to make his Sarasota Seafood Pan Roast.

    This surely was a night to remember! Good wine, good-looking food, gorgeous homes and great cooking skills.

     

     


  4. 2014 Home Trends

    At Neal Communities we work to provide exceptional customer care while making the design of your home the perfect place to fit your lifestyle. Not sure what your style is? Take our Facebook HomeStyle Quiz.

    One thing that most homeowners strive for is to remain current in their home décor.  A great way to stay current is to go over the newest home trends each year.

    So here we go, counting down the top 5 predicted home trends of 2014 in case you want a new look this New Year.

    5. The Pantone Color of the Year has been announced for 2014 and the winner is (insert drumroll here), Radiant Orchid.  This color “ emanates great joy, love and health and intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination.” Do you like the color? Could you see yourself incorporating as an accent wall or furniture?

    4. Patterns have been making their way back into everything from fashion trends to home decorating. Two particular patterns we have been seeing a lot include the chevron and floral designs. Find a new place to add some pattern. An accent rug, a new chair, curtains, or decorative pillows are all great ideas.  Can’t make up your mind? Try a combination like in this Gull 2 Cottage at Woodbrook. A patterned area rug really stands out and makes a statement for the room as shown in this picture. Notice the chairs have a subtle patterned and the curtains as well.

    3.  Open floor plans are becoming more and more desired in a new home. Imagine being able to cook dinner and still hold a conversation (with eye contact and all) with the kids in the living room. This gives the home a more spacious and relaxed look. Luckily, an open floor plan is a staple for many of Neal Communities floor plans. Just another way you can get the family all together.

    2.  Bright colors are also hot in design. Teals, reds and yellows are three colors predicted to make waves this New Year.  Not sure how or where to incorporate them? Get creative! Consider buying new vases, new dinnerware or even filling the home with bright flowers in these colors.

    1. Technology is all around us. Smart phones, tablets, gaming systems and other technology pieces have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Now they are becoming a bigger par of our homes as well. Apple’s U-socket is an outlet that allows for charging iPhones, gaming devices, cameras, Kindles, iPads, and more. They also shut off when the charge is complete.  Smart TV’s are also trending allowing users to view content through the Internet. Have a hilarious YouTube skit you can’t wait to show friends? Try Google’s Chromecast. A simple plug into your TV and you can stream YouTube.

    What trends will you be following this year? Follow us on Pinterest for more ideas! Happy New Year from Neal Communities!


  5. FALL in love.

    It’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Time to welcome cooler weather, sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything. Living in Florida, we often don’t get the atmospheric changes of fall such as the leaves changing colors or cool autumn breezes. Despite our constant greenery, Floridians can get in the fall spirit too!

    Decorating the home to match the season is a quick and easy way to celebrate.

    1. Add a touch of autumn to your home décor with Autumnal colors, wicker pieces and accent pieces from nature such as gourds, pumpkins, branches or dried leaves.

    2. Instead of carving pumpkins this fall, try a unique approach of painting your pumpkin. You can create endless designs using acrylic paint and painter’s tape. Try designs such as a two-tone, dipped look or popular chevron stripes. Take a look at these,“12 Painted Pumpkin Ideas” to gather inspiration.  Set a bewitching scene inside or out with jack-o’-lanterns in whimsical, easy-to-paint designs this fall.

    3. Spice up any door with an autumn themed wreath. This splash of fall color brings warmth and life to any front door.

    4. Fill your home the delicious smells of fall with pumpkin, spiced apple or cinnamon. These signature autumn scents are sure to bring the feeling of fall in your home.

    5. Another great way to bring the scents of fall into your home is to do a little fall baking. Not only will your house smell amazing but indulging yourself with a warm pumpkin treat will surely put you in the mood for the season.

    Check out this easy recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS

    Author: Erin Alderson

    Recipe type: Breakfast

    Prep time:  2 hours 30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time:  3 hours

     

    Serves: 12

    • ¾ cup milk
    • 2½ teaspoon yeast
    • ⅓ cup natural sugar
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ⅓ cup melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 4- 4½ cup Unbleached all purpose flour
    • divider filling
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ⅔ cup sucanat
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • divider Pumpkin Glaze
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ¼-1/2 cup milk
    • Heat milk (either in a sauce pan or microwave) until milk begins to simmer- add butter. Let cool until a warm temperature (about 120˚)
    • In a stand mixer bowl, at milk mixture, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for five minutes. Add 3 cups of flour, salt, pumpkin, eggs and start mixer with dough hook. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time continuing until the dough pulls together. Continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic- at least eight minutes.
    • Either in the mixer bowl or a separate bowl, lightly spray the dough with cooking oil and place in a warm, draft free spot until dough has doubled in size (around an hour and a half.)
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 10 by 14 rectangle. Rub butter over entire surface and cover with sucanat mixture. Roll the dough into a log, squeeze slightly and adjust to form. Cut into 12 pieces (cut in half, the cut each half into half then each piece is cut into three pieces.) Place in a sprayed 9 X 13 pan.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. (Or if you want to continue on, cover and let rise for another hour and follow with remaining instructions.)
    • The next morning, preheat the oven to 350˚ and remove cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a half hour.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes until cinnamon rolls are a nice golden brown color. Let cool slightly.
    • While cinnamon rolls cool slightly, combine icing ingredients and while cinnamon rolls are still warm spoon icing over the rolls.

    Enjoy while warm (as if there is such a thing as cold cinnamon rolls-usually they are gone before they even have the chance to cool down!)

    For more tips, tricks and recipes for the fall season visit our Pinterest Page and follow our boards.

     

    http://www.pinterest.com/nealcommunities/holidays/


  6. Designing Diva- What’s Your Homestyle?

    There is nothing more exciting than buying a new home except for decorating your new home. Don’t you just love the feeling you get when you walk into a store and find the perfect item for your living room? Do you get excited when you get to go shopping for items to decorate your home?

    At Neal Communities, we put a lot of value, time, and consideration into the design of your home to make sure it is custom to your lifestyle and personal taste. However, what makes a home your own is the personal touch you give to it.

    What is your home style? Do you know? Does the Florida coastline inspire your design style, from the colors to the signature pieces around your home? Or maybe you prefer a look of elegance and only allow for the very best appliances to be found in your home?  Whatever your style, we here at Neal Communities want to help bring it to life! Take our home style quiz to discover what your taste is!

    If you dream in diamonds and pearls and tend to appreciate extravagant accessories, a lavish design would be perfect for you. Spoil yourself with a large bathtub, extra closet space to store all of those shoes you’ve collected, and hang chandeliers as your light fixtures.

    Do you love to entertain family and friends? Use this as the time to show all the little details in your home that make it so beautiful.  From the wine glasses, to the granite tops, to the beautiful wood floors, your home is sure to impress.  Check out Pinterest to find inspiration for flower bouquets to place around the house. For homes that will fit your luxurious taste, check out our Fairhaven II and Barbados II models. Both offer spacious floorplans, 3 car garages, and plenty of bragging rights.

    If you live in Florida primarily for the white sand, pristine waters, and bountiful beached, why not bring the beach into your home? Nautical decorations, greens and blues, and a little sand on the floor you carried home from the beach complete your home. Looking for the perfect piece to complete your look? Try creating this homey bench we discovered on our Pinterest page!

    Do you need a home decorated in such a way that will impress visitors and also allow for your kids and dog to feel at home? Finding a functional floorplan is the first step, and our Harmony Classic and Starlight Tradition are the perfect places to start. If you need a little help designing kids rooms, you can’t miss our “Kids Room”  board full of great decorating ideas!

    When you decorate, do you like to keep things simple and uncluttered?  Do the Florida surroundings inspire your design – from the color palettes, to the artwork, to the lighting? It’s easy to do when you consider we live where other people vacation. Get inspired by your surroundings!

    Take our quiz and discover your style and find more ideas to decorate your home. And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest!


  7. Summer Nights- Backyard Bliss

    Summer is just around the corner, and you might find yourself spending more time in the outdoors. If you enjoy entertaining family and friends, or just want to spruce up your outdoor area, check out these great tips!

    Lights. Lighting can set the mood and don’t have to cost a fortune. Consider using your holiday lights to wrap around tree trunks. Tiki torches, candles, and cheap lights can all be found at local stores like Target or Walmart. Consider stringing lights from corners to brighten the scenery and add decoration.

    Decorations. Outdoor accessories can really transform an outdoor space into a something magical.  Check out local flea markets and dollar stores for pots, bowls, ornaments, lanterns, chairs, and other outdoor items.  Don’t be afraid to get crafty! If you find an item that has potential, consider painting, decorating, or fixing it. Pinterest has millions of ideas to help you!

    Privacy. You want your outdoor space to feel private and comfortable. Consider growing tall shrubs, hanging plants, or placing a garden gate in area to provide privacy from neighbors.

    Customize. Add something that best suits your personality. Maybe it’s a hammock to take naps in, or a wicker chair perfect for reading a book. A porch swing can be hung to sit with a friend and share stories,  and an herb garden can be grown with love and care. The beauty of owning a home is making it customized to you.

    Create an outdoor space that will be the hangout spot of the summer! What ideas do you have for your backyard?


  8. Holiday Traditions

    Do you have favorite holiday tradition? Perhaps it is a certain holiday food tradition (homemade gingerbread cookies) or a Christmas Eve tradition (reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’ to your children at bedtime). Whatever it may be, holiday traditions are the ‘glue’ that hold the holiday together!

    The holiday season is a time to build lifelong memories for your family. Traditions help you bond and reconnect with loved ones, friends, and neighbors.

    Family holiday traditions are as precious as the family members who honor them. In our family, we had a favorite aunt who gave us homemade fruitcakes each and every year. It was as if Christmas did not officially arrive until Aunt Margaret’s fruitcake did!

    Remember, your traditions can be as unique as your family!

    Here are a few of our personal favorite holiday traditions that are sure to be family favorites!

    • The Christmas Elf- Choose a family member at random to pass out gifts to everyone on Christmas morning.
    • Get matching pajamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve. Talk about a great photo op Christmas morning!
    • Purchase or make a holiday ornament for each child every year. This is a great conversation piece to reminisce about during holiday decorating.
    • Use an advent calendar to count down to Christmas. There are many varieties of advent calendars, from candles that are burned daily to boxes you open daily.
    • See a local production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ or another holiday-themed show.
    • Start a gag gift tradition. Give a funny gift to a family member. Each year, pass the gift on to another unsuspecting family member. (Snuggies are always a great idea!)
    • Let each person open one gift on Christmas Eve.
    • Leave a special treat out for Santa (cookies and milk) and be sure to leave some granola bars for Rudolph and the other reindeer!
    • Deliver cookies and treats to your local fire station, police department, and even the staff at your local hospital. After all, they’ll be working through the holiday.
    • Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together as a family