M/I Homes of Dallas Hosts Lakeside Living Open House

With nothing to hide, our Dallas / Fort Worth division showed off 6 amazing homes that are near completion this past weekend. Many builders choose to save their open houses until their homes are completely finished, and poised for their public appearance debut. However at M/I Homes we see a certain charm that comes from allowing guests to take a gander into the construction process, as thousands of pieces of the new home are pieced together to create your “home sweet home.”

We enjoyed seeing our guests walk through this incredibly tight knit community, giving a glimpse of what lakeside living can be at El Mirador at Mira Lagos. With homesites that back up to the core of engineering land preserves, homeowners have an exclusive proximity to Joe Pool Lake that is not found elsewhere in the Mira Lagos development. Everyone was able to get a chance to see what lakeside living is truly all about!

Those in attendance of this great event got to indulge in free tacos from So Cal Tacos after they completed the tour of homes (we definitely didn’t want to spill on the new floors!). It was a great event and a fantastic opportunity for M/I Homes to share with residents of Dallas Fort Worth area who we are, and what we are all about!

Kitchen Considerations: 5 Ways to Maximize an Open Floor Plan Kitchen

Open floor plans in kitchens are all the rage these days, and it’s easy to see why. They make entertaining much more pleasant and help to avoid claustrophobic kitchen clustering. Sure, guests still congregate in the kitchen, but now they’re not cut off from the rest of the action in the living or dining rooms.

After years of designing kitchens, I’ve realized that, for all the upsides of an open floor plan, one potential downside for those who love to throw a dinner party is that the visible evidence of your hard work and creativity may also include some smells and sounds that distract from the conversation.

We’ve got five great tips that will give your guests entertainment envy, and allow you to focus on the fun, with minimal distractions.

Clear the Decks!
Maximize the space you already have. That countertop knife holder? Replace it with a restaurant style magnetic strip mounted to the backsplash for the knives you use most. Countertop utensil holders? Install a kitchen rail system, also mounted to the backsplash, for your most popular utensils. Lazy Susans give great access and visibility and multiply by three or four times the items you can reasonably store at the back of your cabinets. Finally, slide-out shelves for your cabinets will not only make the prep and cooking so much more civilized, but you’ll feel like you’ve doubled your cabinets because it’s all so much easier to access.

Your Own Private Island
A kitchen island is a wonderful addition, if only for the storage it offers. Take it to the next level by installing a raised counter on the guest-facing side of the island that allows you to hide the evidence of your hard work when you sit down to dinner. The mess is still there, but it’s much easier to indulge in the time with friends and family without a pile of pots and pans staring back at you from the kitchen.


Behind the Barn Door
I love the look of barn doors installed in interior spaces. Installation doesn’t require major construction and you’re left with a contemporary and timeless conversation starter that will allow you close off the clutter with a quick slide. They also make a great architectural statement, whether or not you’re entertaining.

Barn Door Photo

Halfway to Hidden
Another great architectural compromise in an open floor plan is a half wall that runs between the living space and the kitchen space. You retain that open sight line, but like the raised island, have a simple way to declutter the look of the space. While not quite as simple as sliding barn doors, a half wall is a relatively affordable and manageable project.

Gear Up
One of best ways to make what happens in the kitchen stay in the kitchen is to level up with your appliances. Dishwashers so quiet that you need to check the running light to be sure they’re on are very common and affordable these days. A powerful range hood is another good investment to keep the smells of cooking fairly localized. Consider a model with a slightly bigger fan size to get the job done. Finally, for all that hard work you do in the kitchen, treat yourself with those quiet-close drawers you’ve always wanted.

What are your best tips for maintaining some boundaries with an open floor plan?


***Kerrie Kelly from Kerrie Kelly Design Labs is an interior designer who writes for The Home Depot about kitchen design. She loves to provide advice on a myriad of topics such as “how to make your kitchen feel more open.” To get some more inspiration and kitchen design ideas, visit homedepot.com.


4 Ways To Add Spring To Your Home

Finally, some warmer weather is moving in!  Are you looking for ways to spruce up your home for spring?  Check out the blog by one of our M/I homeowners and owner of She Inspires and Inspired Events and Designs.  She shows you great ways to update your home for Spring!

4 Ways To Add Spring To Your Home

Spring time is one of my favorites, and I can’t wait for the warmer days to take over.

The change of seasons always makes for the perfect time to pull out pops of color in your home and declutter. Adding a little touch of Spring doesn’t have to be complicated, and it definitely doesn’t have to break the bank. You can always get creative with what you have or bring in some inexpensive pieces to give your home a simple refresh. Try starting with these four simple ways to add a little Spring to your home.

**Nycia Emerson is the founder and editor of She Inspires. She is also owner/wedding planner and designer at Inspired Events and Designs. She loves to inspire everyone around her and any chance she gets to  get creative brings her so much joy. She believes that living what you love and loving what you do, makes life much more peaceful.  She also believes that “Inspiration comes from the things that lift our spirits and allows us to love fully.”

3 New Construction Services to Search for in Orlando Builders

Choosing a builder for your new construction home is challenging. An ideal builder values your investment and guarantees quality craftsmanship. So, research is necessary if you’re thinking about moving into a new construction home in the Orlando area. According to Zillow, Orlando’s median list price per square foot is $112, indicating a solid baseline cost for your new construction dream home. Begin your search for a builder by first comparing construction bids to this local price point.

Next, weigh builders by researching and matching their services with the needs of your ideal home. What does the builder specialize in and how do they provide the service? All homebuilders must follow new construction building codes, but not all builders provide special features such as green craftsmanship, buyer personalization and in-house lending services.

If you’re considering moving to the Orlando area, start your new home search by pursuing Orlando builders who provide all of the following services.

Green Craftsmanship

Eco-friendly homebuilding is an essential service to look for in a builder. Builders can save you utility expenses and reduce your home’s carbon footprint by using local, environmentally-friendly materials that minimize heating costs and electricity usage. Double pane windows and large volumes of insulation are only small-scale improvements. Search a builder’s website to see if their construction materials meet the national standard for energy efficiency, commonly referred to as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Eliminate builders from your search who don’t understand the need for sustainable home construction.


Locate builders who can help turn your dream home into a reality. A new construction home is no small investment, so take ownership and hire builders who encourage personalization. Experienced builders often have entire design services available to make a home distinctively yours. Focus your home search by talking with builders about the freedom you have in your home’s design. It’s your home, so explore available customization services to complete your vision.

Mortgage Service

Buying a new construction home is a lengthy process, and financing the home is a rather meticulous task for homebuyers. Well-established builders often have in-house mortgage services or strong ties to the best lenders in the area. Seek out builders who consider your financial needs so the final property isn’t over budget. Trusted builders understand your vision and financial situation and their partnered lenders are more likely to work with you on financing options.

Sift through Orlando’s many homebuilders by eliminating companies that don’t offer these three features in their new home construction. Each is an essential service to attaining a quality home built to last and remain efficient for both the environment and your wallet.

In a hurry to move to the Orlando area and can’t find the right builder? Consider available rentals in the Orlando area to give yourself more time to find the right builder to create your dream home.


*M/I Homes is proud to build all of our homes with our Whole Home standards.  All of our homes receive a HERS score and our homes are built with energy efficiency processes and products to help you save money and live comfortably.  You’ll love having the ability to personalize your home with the available options through our Design Center, with so many amazing choices.  We also make sure that you have a great experience by having M/I Financial available to help you with the financing of your home.  We work to get you the best rates while offering you the best service, or as some refer to is ias, a one stop shop for purchasing a new home!

**Guest Blogger Nick Elam of Zillow.  Nick is a Marketing Content Coordinator at Zillow.  He writes about local data topics, real estate, home improvements and interior design for the ZIllow blog and other Zillow partners.

Stepping into Spring: Spring Home Maintenance Tips!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring (finally!).  If you’re like a lot of our homeowners, you’re probably wondering how you could be getting your home prepared for Spring?

Here is a quick list of recommendations that we have compiled to check off your list as you prepare your home for Spring!


Home Maintenance Tips:

1.  Replace smoke and fire alarm batteries, as well as carbon monoxide batteries

2.  Reinstall the freeze plug on your sump pump

3.  Inspect and touch-up interior and exterior paint.  Caulk to keep your home looking fresh and prevent any uninvited water intrusion

4.  Check drainage around the exterior of your home to ensure runoff of water

5.  Inspect your homes foundation for any water penetration

6.  Oil garage door(s)

7.  Check drain and flush the hot water tank to prevent any sediment from building up in the tank

8.  Maintain 3′ between your foundation of your home and tree shrubs, bushes, etc.

9.  Clean and adjust the humidifier on your furnace

10.  Inspect your A/C unit to ensure it is clean from any debris.  If needed – have someone come out to clean and service your unit.

11.  Check your hose faucets outside for any freeze damage.

12.  Fertilize your lawn to get it ready for the Spring and Summer seasons

13.  Clean out your gutters to ensure proper drainage

14.  Clean and repair your window screens to allow you to keep windows open in the Spring and Summer

15.  Clean decks, fences, driveways and any other outdoor surfaces from debris.  Use a power washer to make this job easier

These are just some recommendations that we have collected throughout the years!  Please feel free to share any suggestions that you have with us as well!



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