Sara Besche
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New Community Spotlight: Arbor-Lyn

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

When the going gets tough, the tough keep building homes (at least in our case!). Now is a good a time as any to move to the beach, the opportunity is almost too good to pass up; low-tax living, beautiful beaches at your doorstep, an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We have so many homes and communities to choose from, but our newest community, Arbor-Lyn, might be just the place for you.

Ideally located in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Arbor-Lyn is a local’s dream. It is perfectly situated between Downtown Lewes and Rehoboth Avenue, making it easy to access the beaches, local shopping, and fine dining. Better yet, you can access our favorite local restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping without ever having to drive on a major highway. By avoiding Route 1 going to the doctors with your kids or grabbing snacks for the big game, you’ll be back home in minutes!

Every day is different in the Rehoboth area. One day you could spend an afternoon enjoying tax-free shopping at the famous Tanger Outlets and the next you could be running along 5 miles of scenic views on the Junction and Breakwater Trail just minutes from your front door.

Although Arbor-Lyn is perfectly located for your Coastal Delaware exploration, you can enjoy the Coastal life right in your community as well. The Arbor-Lyn amenities include an outdoor pool, pool deck, lounge area, and covered porch with fireplace; the perfect space to entertain friends, get to know your neighbors, and begin your new relaxed lifestyle.

Check out this virtual tour of the clubhouse!

Also included in your HOA fees are community maintenance amenities such as lawn care, snow removal, leaf blowing and common area maintenance (such as the pool).

At the end of the day, Arbor-Lyn’s location is what’s hard to beat. It gives you the perfect opportunity to explore Coastal Delaware. Delaware is home to some of the best and cleanest beaches in the nation, and we are certain that there is nothing a trip to the beach can’t cure. Not to mention the year-round comfort of Delaware’s climate. Not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter, over half of your days here in Delaware will be covered with sunshine!

So, while you are doing research for your new home build, check out Arbor-Lyn. The proximity to state parks, beaches, trails, shopping, dining and more, is impossible to keep out of your decision.

Watch this video from the perspective of our very own, Grace and Josh, to learn about why Arbor-Lyn is the perfect fit for you!

For more information about our company, Arbor-Lyn and Coastal Delaware, check out our website. Now is the time to start making your dreams a reality, why wait? Chat with our Community Sales Managers at Arbor-Lyn, Frank and Alli, they can help guide you and answer any of your questions.

Frank Ryan: (302) 249-0683
Alli Perry: (302) 228-2379

Coastal Delaware Bucket List

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

If you are thinking of visiting Coastal Delaware, or maybe you are considering building a home with us, I recommend putting together a list of activities to get you excited! Besides its beautiful beaches and waterways, Coastal Delaware is full of fun for the entire family. From the boardwalk to the vast array of farms inland, there is certainly plenty to add to your Coastal Delaware Bucket List.

Although we are amid a global pandemic and many places have adjusted how they run their business, that doesn’t mean that things aren’t open! Now is the time to support our local shops and venues who are struggling during this unprecedented time. You can still enjoy curbside pick-up, the beautiful beaches, some musical acts, and other outdoor activities throughout Coastal Delaware.

I talked to a few of our team members and gathered a list of things that we believe you should add to your Coastal Delaware Bucket List:

The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach

You can’t spend the day on Rehoboth Beach without taking a stroll on the Boardwalk. There you will find local and tourist favorites such as Funland, Dolley’s and Thrasher’s fries. There is plenty for the whole family to enjoy, all with a beautiful view of the ocean.

The State Parks

If you’re in the mood for nature, but want to steer clear of the beaches, head to one of our beautiful state parks. Cape Henlopen State Park, located in Lewes, features campgrounds, a museum, nature center, and is part of the Junction and Breakwater Trail. Enjoy a long walk or learn more about our area’s history at the Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area. Other state parks are Killen’s Pond State Park, Trap Pond State Park, and Fenwick Island State Park.

Area Breweries

If you are a fan of craft beer, don’t worry, Delaware has plenty to offer! First and foremost, we are home to the famous Dogfish Head Brewery. The main brewery is in Milton Delaware. There you can enjoy brewery tours, great food and craft beer at their outdoor beer garden. Plus, you can even bring your dog. If you’re looking to hang around Lewes, check out The Crooked Hammock Brewery, another great place to sit and enjoy a beer outside. If Rehoboth is where you find yourself on a Friday night, check out Revolution Brewery for a smaller scene with great drinks.

Music Venues

Live music is always a must, especially in the summer. Our Schell employees love attending Freeman Stage Events in Selbyville, located in our Bayside community. This venue is host to national acts, local acts and cover artists of your favorite bands. If you like indoor venues with a close-knit and intimate experience, check out the Bottle and Cork in Dewey, which is also host to both local and national acts.

Fisherman’s Wharf Cruises

If the ocean is calling you and you are fascinated by life under the sea, check out Fisherman’s Wharf Cruises in Lewes. They offer daily fishing trips, evening cruises, and even dolphin watching trips. Who knows, you might even spot a whale.

Kayak/Paddleboard Down Assawoman Canal

I am personally most excited to try paddle boarding down the Assawoman Canal in Bethany Beach. If you head to Bethany Surf Shop’s website, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and experience a different kind of Coastal Delaware nature.

Berry/Apple Picking Fifer’s Orchard

Fifer’s Orchards is a great way to have some fun with the family while supporting a local Delaware business. Fifer’s is great because they are open most of the year and any time of year you go, there is something new to experience. In the fall, they host a fall festival and families can enjoy picking apples and pumpkins. In the summer, they usually have berries. Although the Orchard is in Northern Delaware, they have a market shop located in Dewey Beach.

Cape May/Lewes Ferry

Taking the ferry is a must for you and your family. It is such a fun experience for young kids to drive onto a boat and head across the sea. Downtown Lewes has so much to offer as far as dining and restaurants, and Cape May is equally quaint and idyllic, why not enjoy both in the same weekend?

Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor

This is another Delaware local spot that I am so excited to try. Lavender is one of my favorite scents, and at Warrington Manor in Milton you can walk through acres and acres of lavender fields, tour the bee and butterfly garden, and shop for handcrafted bath and body products. You can even take classes to learn about the lavender.

Seasonal Events

Delaware is the place to be EVERY season, not just the summer. With each season comes new and fun events and activities for you and your family. In the summer enjoy Dover’s biggest musical event, the Firefly Music Festival. Towards the end of the summer head out to Harrington for the Delaware State Fair. In the fall, enjoy fall festivals all over Coastal Delaware, including the Seawitch Festival on Rehoboth Ave, we’ll be there with our very own booth.

Lewes and Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market

We love supporting local, and what better way to do that then at a farmer’s market! We have a few located here in Coastal Delaware. The Lewes Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8-12pm at George H.P. Smith Park, and on Wednesdays from 8-11am at Crooked Hammock Brewery. The Rehoboth Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesdays from 10am-2pm in Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Downtown Lewes Shopping

Who doesn’t love shopping? Downtown Lewes has some of the coolest and most fun boutiques in all Coastal Delaware. Shopping local is a great way to support our community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of my favorites are Edie Bees Sweets and The Bungalow on Second.

Whether you are on the fence about moving to Delaware or just got here and are ready to explore, check out all of the things on our Coastal Delaware Bucket List, I promise you won’t be disappointed! Delaware may be a small state, but we have so much to offer.

Check out our website to find out which of our communities are located close to the items on this list and to find out more about how you can become a local to Coastal Delaware.

Delaware Parks Guide

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

It was said at one point that the National Parks were America’s greatest decision. The open hills, the amazing diversity of wildlife, the great peaks of the mountains – all at the fingertips of its people, there for them to make a choice – to harm it or love it. From a young age, President Teddy Roosevelt felt strongly that it was our duty to love it, and he took that love and turned it into passion, making it the point of his time as our leader to forward the march toward conservation. He said that “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.” With that, he challenges us to go and see it for ourselves, rather than rely on the words that are used to describe it. 

One of the few things we can do during our time in quarantine is get outside. Yes, we must make sure we are properly socially distancing and wearing our masks, but there are so many beautiful state parks to be discovered in Delaware, so get out there, scratch the itch you have to explore and stretch your legs a little.

Although the east coast, and specifically Southern Delaware, is home to very few National Parks, Roosevelt believed strongly in the preservation of any protected land he could create. Delaware is home to 17 beautiful state parks, all government protected, all ready for you to explore. Many of our communities are located a short drive or even bike ride away from one of the largest of these parks, Cape Henlopen State Park. Below are just a few of the many patches of preserved land that you have at your fingertips:

Cape Henlopen State Park

Located in the small town of Lewes, this park was established in 1682 by William Penn, who made it one of the first public lands established in the United States. The park is home to three endangered shorebird species and vast array of other land creatures. If you are thinking about visiting the park, be sure to check out the Seaside Nature Center to educate yourself about some of these amazing animals. The park is open from dawn to dusk and host to a 24-hour fishing pier, campgrounds, public beaches, and more!

Trap Pond State Park

Take a drive a few miles inland, and you’ll hit another body of water, Trap Pond. The remnants of a wetland that is now Sussex County, Trap Pond is a great getaway for you and your family. Rent a kayak for an hour and sail through the extensive patches of bald cypress trees. There is even a Nature Center so you can learn about how they were used for lumber and dams before the land became protected. Trap Pond is pet friendly, and a wonderful way for you to enjoy a warm Saturday in fall!

Killen’s Pond State Park

If you have kids, or want to feel like a kid again, Killen’s Pond is the place for you! This park is home to a fully functional summer water park, campgrounds, hiking, boating, and much more. This park is historically significant because of its connection to Native American culture. The pond, formally known as “millpond” was home to Native American hunting camps. The park was then founded in 1965.

Head to one of these three beautiful state parks while the weather is still beautiful. You won’t regret the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, breathe in a bit of fresh air, and hear the simple sounds of the birds calling and the ground humming. And remember these wise words from Teddy Roosevelt when you do, “we have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.”

Feeding Delaware

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on how Project Kudos continues to impact the community and spread good vibes. The Kudos Bus is always on the move, and these past few months are no exception. Schell Brothers alongside Project Kudos, decided that the best thing to do for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic was to help alleviate stress and bring a smile to a few faces. The Kudos Bus mission this time around was to distribute much needed food and supplies to various communities in need across Coastal Delaware.  

In case you need a refresher, Project Kudos is an initiative created by Schell Brothers to promote our company culture of happiness. We encourage the community to take the time and thank the people in their lives that need it the most. Sometimes that is a family member, and sometimes it’s a stranger. Either way, giving kudos is a great example of how we send happiness and good vibes out into the world. 

In the past few months, Project Kudos was able to take that philosophy and impact well over 2,500 families across the Cape Henlopen, Indian River, Woodbridge and Seaford school districts. They were even able to deliver groceries to as many as 600 families in just one week.  

Project Kudos could not have been as successful without the help of a larger network of community members via the CCC4Covid Task Force. These community members helped determine the needs of Sussex County making it easier for Project Kudos to determine where to distribute. Ultimately, they were able to successfully make 47 individual deliveries across the county. And with the help of funding from Schell Brothers, the Harry K. Foundation and private donations, Project Kudos was able to deliver a total of 5,345 sets of groceries.  

The Schell Brothers warehouse turned into a fully functioning food distribution operation with five to six shifts of Schell employees sorting, pre-packaging, and boxing food. Those boxes included 200,000 pounds of food and water, 42,760 potatoes, 21,380 apples, and 21,380 oranges just to paint you a picture of how grand this food distribution project really was!  

Schell Brothers employees are so thankful for what the company has been able to do for the community, here are a few words from some major contributors to the project:  

“This seemed like an important thing to do. We are lucky to work for a company who puts happiness first and because of this, we have been able to positively impact our community and help hundreds of families.”

Alyssa Titus, Schell Brothers Marketing Director

“This has been an overall very emotional experience for me. Looking into people’s eyes and realizing that maybe you are the only one giving them food to put on the table for their kids, it’s an absolutely overwhelming feeling. I am filled with gratitude and happiness to be part of a company like Schell Brothers, that fully supports this initiative and chooses to stay connected to the human need. I always love to say ‘In a world where you can be anything, be KIND,’ and I think our mission and overall culture of happiness has shown that our local community can definitely count on us. I am beyond proud to work for Schell Brothers and represent the Project Kudos mission!”

Adelina Riddick, Schell Brothers Project Kudos & Special Events Marketing Specialist

Now that Delaware has entered into the next phases of re-opening, Project Kudos is handing off the food distribution project completely to the Harry K. Foundation. They will continue to deliver at two locations, King’s Market on a weekly basis and Seaford School District on a bi-weekly basis. They will continue the efforts through August 8th.  

The best way to get through something as scary as a global pandemic is to support one another, spread good vibes, and have each other’s backs. We are in this together! 

For more information about Project Kudos check out their webpage or Facebook. For more information about Schell Brothers check out their webpage or Facebook

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Learning at Home

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

If we’re being completely honest here, sending our children off to school on the bus can be one of the best moments of a day in the life of a parent. The house is finally quiet, toys are no longer strewn about the living room, and you have a second to wash the dishes before hearing “Moooooom” or “Daaaaaad” in the background. Don’t worry, we understand, and so we’ve spent some time brainstorming ways to keep them occupied, but also more importantly, learning.

Not only has summer vacation arrived, the country is still in the midst of a nation-wide quarantine. With schools changing policies to promote health and safety, education might look a little bit different moving forward. Sometimes our kids can give us a hard time when we try to teach them lessons at home, so try out these sneaky tricks to get your kids to exercise their minds until things get back to normal.

Teach Your Kid to Play Chess

Game night can be a great way to get your child to start thinking critically. Chess is the perfect example of a game that requires attention, strategy, and higher-level thinking in order to be successful. It can train your mind to discover, do math, and even think like an engineer.

Watch a Movie

This is probably my favorite method of sneaky learning. Most people avoid electronics or ‘screen time’ when trying to occupy their kids, but I think it is a great tool to teach lessons, decipher metaphor and help kids understand subtlety and art. Documentaries are a great way to introduce film as a method of study, it can teach kids about any piece of the world they are interested in, from cars to politicians.

Calculate Distance and Mileage

Take your kids on a trip to the grocery store but make them calculate the distance between your house and the store. You can even take it a step further and ask them to figure out how long it will take based on how fast you drive. This is a good way to get them thinking about math and distance!

Virtual Museum Tours

Because of COVID-19, many museums are offering virtual tours of their exhibits. Sit your kids down and let them look at historical art or learn about the revolutionary war. Check out the Natural History Museum, The Met, The Dali Theater-Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and more!

Sneaky Reading

Reading is an important tool to keep your brain exercised. In order to trick your child into reading, make them read the restaurant menus, the instructions for the games on game night, or even the recipe for dinner. You can even couple it with writing and ask your children to write a short story to read that night before bed. There are words everywhere, use them to inspire your children.

Build Something

Kids love to get their hands dirty, so send them out back with some hot glue, bird seeds and your recycling bin to make homemade bird feeders. You can use old milk cartons, the cardboard part of a toilet paper roll, anything! This activity promotes the use of critical thinking, motor skills, creativity and problem solving.

Plant a Garden

Earth Day 2020 just passed, but truthfully, everyday should be earth day! Help your kids pick a small patch of the garden to call theirs and let them plant whatever they want. This is a great opportunity for you to teach them about any bugs they stumble upon, and how they are helping the earth grow and heal by planting a garden. There are so many sustainable lessons to be learned.

Count Money

Encourage your kids to save a penny here and there throughout the summer. At different points, ask them to sort and count their money. This encourages growth in math and understanding the value in money. After they count, have them put the change away to save, teaching them how to responsibly maintain their earnings.

Sidewalk Chalk and Art

Take your kids to the driveway for some sidewalk chalking. Not only does this encourage their creativity and get them outside, it can brighten up the days of your neighbors or the people walking by! Try making chalk paint so their beautiful drawings can withstand the rain, click here for instructions.

Go on a Treasure Hunt

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a pirate when I grew up, so I made any excuse to draw a map and embark on an epic treasure hunt. Try it out with your kids. Draw a map and bury something in the yard or hide it around the house. They will have to use their critical thinking skills, directional skills, and map reading skills to figure it out! A perfect way to get their minds moving while at home.

As you can see, there are so many ways to keep your kids learning and growing, even when they aren’t in school. Although they might be reluctant to do math sheets or assigned reading, this list of activities will get their brains moving without them even realizing it!

Check our website for more information about our company and what we do. Check out the landing page for our brand campaign “Home is Where the Heart Is” to learn more about what teaching in your house can look like in a Schell home.

How Our At-Home Offices Look

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

Many of you have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak this year, and so daily routines and activities look a little different for you. In fact, many have discovered that they love working from the comfort of their own home. Setting up the laptop on your couch with your dog keeping you warm must be heaven, and some find joy in finally finishing that office space décor. We like to think of it as a wonderful reason to stay cozied up in our homes, after all, we are a new home builder. Home really is where the heart is, so why not make it where the office is too?  

We believe it is important to feel relaxed and comfortable in your at-home office space, so dazzle it up with some home renovations, keep your furry friends nearby, or maybe even add a few wall decorations above your computer screen.

The majority of our Schell Brothers office team has been working from home for the last several weeks, so I asked a few of them to share their experiences, how they feel comfortable in their space, and few photos of their office set up. Here is what our Schell team work-from-home looks like:

Mike McCoy, CAD

“So we started working from home on March 13 and at that time I thought we’d be home for a couple of weeks, so I set up an office space in our bedroom because my husband works from home too. I had a small desk with a Surface Tablet. It definitely was cramped and after two weeks it was becoming a problem, so I started a little renovation project to reclaim our home office. The project involved new paint on the walls, removal of the carpet, installation of a new floor and some new furniture to finish it off. Attached are the before and after pics. My favorite thing about the office now is the extra space and I get to spend some quality time with my Axolotls, Toothless and Drago, I like to call them my dragons. They watch me work and beg for worms.”

Jordan Fruehauf, Sales

“My favorite parts: Our Peloton is right in front of me and I can take quick breaks to work out, and our puppy Medalla hangs out with me all day. My least favorite part…our Peloton is right in front of me and our puppy Medalla hangs out with me all day… 😉”

Tim Green, Land Development

“Although I’ve enjoyed working from my comfortable home office, I truly miss the daily interaction with my co-workers.”

Here are a few more photos from our Schell employees:

As you can see, a home office can look and feel a lot different for a lot of people. Some are even set up on their dining room tables! Either way, we believe that if home is where the office is, for now, we should make the most of it!

For more information about our homes and to schedule an appointment visit our website.

10 At-Home Date Night Ideas

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

At Schell Brothers, we believe that home is where the heart is. So, what better way to celebrate your loved one then to dream up some must-try at-home date night ideas! Kick back in your great room, spend hours eating your favorite snacks in the kitchen, or maybe don’t even leave your bed. No matter what you choose, there are so many ways to celebrate love from the comfort of your beautiful home.  

Make Your Own Movie Theater 

Although some of our Schell Homes allow for you to build your own in-house movie theater, it can be just as fun to set up a DIY version. Grab a pile of sheets and a few chip clips and attach them to coffee tables, chairs, and the TV to create a fort. Then pop some popcorn, cut out Regal movie tickets, and maybe even draw out the logo on a poster board. Make it as elaborate as you would like, and oh…don’t forget to pick a movie! 

International Food Night 

Cooking a meal together in your kitchen can be fun any night, but why not put a spin on it and make it a night of world traveling. Travel to France with a cheese platter and wine, hop on over to Italy for a homemade pizza, roll your own sushi in Japan, and mix yourself a margarita in Mexico. This idea is a great way to curb your need to travel when travel is unavailable. 

Camp in Your Backyard  

We love the idea of setting up a tent and sitting by the fire in our favorite National or State Parks. If you can’t get out somewhere like that, why not bring the campsite to you? Set up your tent in the backyard, throw up some fairy lights, turn on your fire pit and roast s’mores. Try to leave the electronics in the house to make it as authentic as possible!  

Karaoke Night! 

Disney sing-alongs, recorded versions of our favorite musicals, and live-streamed acoustic music sessions are becoming a normal part of TV entertainment. With all of that inspiration, wouldn’t it be fun to set up a sing-along of your own? Set up a stage, add some mood lighting and pull up the lyrics to your favorite ABBA songs and have a karaoke night! It’s just you and your spouse or partner, how embarrassing could it get?  

Book Club Night 

This idea you might need to plan for ahead of time. Pick a book that you both know you’ll enjoy and set a day to finish it by. Once the night comes around, set up your bookshelves around a coffee table, brew some decaf and sit and discuss your thoughts. It is a little more intimate than a group book club and a fantastic way to unplug and spend some time with your partner.  

Puzzles and Pizza 

Who doesn’t love some date night alliteration?! Support local businesses and order a pizza pie from your favorite local mom and pop shop and then pull out that puzzle you’ve been meaning to finish. If you’re looking for a night away from stress and the hustle and bustle of life, a pizza and puzzle night is the way to go. 

Scrapbook Year in Review 

If you are anything like me, you have boxes filled with movie tickets, plane passes, and Polaroids from your favorite trips from the past year. For this date night idea, grab a blank sketch book or buy a scrapbook online and put together a year in review with your partner. There is no better time to reminisce about traveling than when you are stuck at home!  

Spa Date 

An at-home spa can be so relaxing, especially without the high price tag. Get on your favorite robes and slippers and draw the bath. You can look up DIY facemasks and lotions or prep by ordering some online ahead of time. Finally, make a pitcher of water and add lemons and cucumbers, light your favorite scented candles and voila!  You have created the perfect at-home spa.  

DIY Wine and Paint 

I’ve always wanted to try one of those ‘Wine and Design’ nights, but it can be just as fun to recreate it right in your own craft room or living room. Get your art supplies ready, set up the easel at the back window, and don’t forget the wine. If you aren’t artistic, don’t worry, pick a theme and have fun with it. Everybody loves a funny painting of your pet, or a modern self-portrait.  Channel your inner Picasso and get creative!   

Visit A Museum  

With a global pandemic going on, it is a bit difficult to make it to your favorite museum for a date full of art and fossils. Lucky for us, many of the museums based in places like New York and DC are allowing you to virtually walk through their museum exhibits. This is a great way to get your history in for the night, while also having fun with your partner.  

With some of these simple ideas, even with the inability to travel, date night can still be as fun and intimate as before. Afterall, home is where the heart is, so why not stay in and enjoy the company of those you love.  

Check out our landing page for our Home is Where the Heart Is campaign, to check out other ways to make home a happy place.  

Home Hacks to Keep You Busy

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

With the spread of the novel coronavirus, comes the implementation of many stay-at-home orders. And with that comes the question of: What should we do while we’re stuck at home? Netflix can satiate the boredom for a little while, but soon the itch to head out to the store for nonessential items begins, and you’ve caught yourself wondering how you can be more hands-on during your time in quarantine. We have a few ideas for you! Your home is quickly becoming the most common four walls you see in a day, so why not take the time to organize your pantry, or fix that hole in the wall, here are a few home hacks for you to try out while adhering to your stay-at-home orders:

The Garage

The garage is a great place to start! Although the rain has been coming down, sunny days are ahead and I’m sure you and your family will head out for a bike ride or you’ll start picking weeds and mowing the lawn soon. Try attaching your bikes to the side of your garage using a metal bar and some hooks. Garage wall storage is a great way to keep the clutter off the floor. With the same idea in mind, use bungee cords to hang your loose cables, this will keep them coiled nicely and be easy to remove for future use. Try using wire racks to hang your fishing rods from the ceiling of your garage, just cut the wires where the handles go through and you’ll be able to keep the collection growing without taking up too much space! Building shelfs, labeling storage bins, and utilizing bungee cords wherever possible, will help make your garage as neat and organized as you’d always hoped it would be.

The Kitchen

If you’re anywhere close to my current kitchen situation, you are desperate to get that pantry organized. With a little help from racks, Lazy Susan’s, baskets, containers, labels and jars, you can start separating those grains, baking goods and fruits into labeled jars, and before you know it, you’ll actually be able to find the flour. Always look on Pinterest, they have so many great ideas for how to organize kitchen supplies and how to make it easier and more fun for you to cook. I know we are all running low on disinfectant wipes, instead of throwing away the container, stuff it with your re-usable plastic bags. This would also be the perfect time to clean all your appliances. Food waste and grim build up on stove surfaces, inside the oven, and inside the microwave and fridge. Use hot water, a magic eraser, distilled white vinegar and even a few lemon peels to remove odors. Soon your kitchen will be sparkling and much more enjoyable to be in!

The Newport at Independence

The Great Room

The great room is probably where you are spending the most time these days. Sitting on the couch watching TV or maybe playing board games with the family. This is a great space to finish up projects you had been meaning to pick back up, fixing the hole in the wall, learning a new skill online, or touching up the paint. Sometimes it helps create a new atmosphere if you rearrange your furniture or change how you’ve decorated your walls. If I’m feeling stagnant in my home, the first thing I do is move the couch. If your furniture has any marks or scratches, try using a small dap of toothpaste to rub those marks out. Many of you may have bookshelves or other types of shelving in your great room, try rearranging your books, maybe alphabetical order or by theme? Anything to spice up your living situation, after all, it is possible your home is now where you work and spend most of your time, so make it a happy place!

The Jasmine at Governors

Master Bedroom

Our bedrooms can sometimes be a space we don’t spend as much time in, but with a few changes and some organization hacks, you might find yourself never wanting to leave it in the morning. Try re-organizing your closet. Take everything out, purge and donate what you don’t wear, and then sort your cloths by category. Hanging more of your delicate and most worn items makes it easier to see and pick out great outfits in the morning. Place a soda can tab onto your clothing hanger and add another hanger so that you can fit more hanging cloths in your closet. Your bedroom is another great area of the house to re-arrange. Changing the space can make it feel like an entirely different bedroom. Use a vacuum under the bed and purchase some storage bins and labels – this may help you keep more of your clothing organized and increase space for your expanding wardrobe. Once you organize under the bed, you may want to keep your wires and cables in order. Try using the center of a paper towel roll to keep chords consolidated and easy to find.

The Lilac at The Peninsula

These are just a few home hacks that you can use to spice up your free time during your stay-at-home order. Try them out, see how it makes your space feel! We encourage you to keep busy and make your home a space for you.

Check out our website for more information about our floor plans and model homes, maybe the photos will spark some interior design inspiration.  

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

Happy Earth Day 2020 guys! Earth Day is one my favorite days of the year because it gives me a chance to celebrate the earth that I love so much and take a second to reflect on how I treat her. Not only is being eco-friendly so important for the environment and the health of our ecosystem, but it also saves us time and money. Schell Brothers has a ton of insight when it comes to energy efficient homes and I wanted to use that, paired with a few other tips and tricks, to help you guys celebrate Earth Day 2020 and make some changes to your daily routine.

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing the phrase ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ but the simple catch phrase is the best way to categorize how your home is or isn’t energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Schell Brothers Schellter Advanced Building Technology

At Schell Brothers, we take building energy efficient homes seriously, in order to reduce our carbon footprint and energy use. Through one of the three pillars of Schellter Advanced Building Technology, Enerwise, we seek to set a new standard for home energy efficiency. We build our homes with low HERS score ratings, with homes that are over 100% more energy efficient than a Standard New Home. We install Ultra High-Performance Windows that are well insulated and block solar heat gain. Windows are considered a major source of heat and cooling loss, with our high-performance windows, you don’t need to worry about that extra energy use. We also consider energy when building the framework of your new home in the second pillar of Schellter Advanced Building Technology, 4Tress. For example, we build a raised heel truss in order for us to extend insulation to the edge of the exterior wall. With 4Tress, your homes are not only stronger and quieter, but energy efficient and better for Mother Earth.

But you might not be a construction manager, and you might be looking for smaller scale ways to help reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a few in-home tips and tricks to help with not only energy use, but also water and waste:

Recycle & Use Re-Usable Products

It is important to know what can and cannot be recycled. Paper, plastic, glass, metals, batteries and electronics CAN be recycled. Loose plastic bags, polystyrene, soiled food items or containers with soiled food or grease on them, plastic utensils, straws, and broken glass CANNOT be recycled. It is also important to remember that in Coastal Delaware, trash bags cannot be recycled, so empty your recyclables directly into the can! To help reduce waste and even recycled waste, try to use re-usable water bottles, re-usable utensils, metal straws that can be washed, as well as re-usable grocery bags instead of the plastic single use ones that cannot be recycled. There is always an alternative, and on the plus side, you get to pick fun colors when you buy re-usable!

Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

I have pets, so a big question I had when I started my path to eco-friendly living was, do eco-friendly cleaning supplies exist? They do! I started with how I was going to clean the hardwood floors. I found myself using and throwing out too many Swiffer pads. So, I bought a spray bottle at the dollar store and filled it with 2 cups of warm water, ½ cup of distilled white vinegar, ¼ cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 1/8 tsp liquid dish soap, and 5-10 drops of my favorite essential oil. I re-used old towels and rags to cover the end of the Swiffer and was able to clean the whole house with ZERO waste. Amazing! Try to buy decorative glass or ceramic soap dispensers and re-fill them with large tubs of purchased soap. The large bottles of re-fill use less plastic than if you were to go through say, 1 small bottle a week.

Energy Efficiency

You can do your part to make your home energy efficient as well. It is as simple as turning off the lights when you aren’t in the room or in your home and opening your curtains to enjoy natural light instead! Schell Brothers along with Clean Energy USA, provide the opportunity for you, as a new home purchaser, to add solar panels to the roof of your home. This will ensure you will never have high electric bills and will help combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuel. Helping the environment can also help your wallet! 

Go Local

Schell Brothers loves to support local business in and around Coastal Delaware. In fact, if you check out our website, we’ve partnered with a few local companies in our Schellebrity Club program, so that homeowners can enjoy discounts from their favorite local stops. By eating local, you help support locally established farms, which reduces gas usage and ultimately alleviates our dependence on fossil fuels.

Water Reduction

Saving water is another huge part of an eco-friendly home. Whenever you can, try to take shorter showers. I keep a timer in my shower to make sure I stay under 5 minutes. Try to do your dishes by hand as well, filling up a bucket with soapy water and using that to clean the dishes keeps the water from running for a long period of time. Finally, collect rainwater to water your garden or flowers, reusing what Mother Nature gives us is the best possible way to help her.

I could most certainly go on and on about all the ways that you can and should be as eco-friendly as possible, but I’ll stop there. Take this social distancing time to practice some of these methods, especially on Earth Day! There is no better time to take the steps to make your home as green as possible.

Check out our website for more information about our Schellter Advanced Building Technology and be sure to take a look at Clean Energy USA and the solar panels they provide our homeowners. Happy Earth Day!

How to Prep For Your Design Selections Appointment

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

The big day is coming, you’ve decided to trust Schell Brothers to build your beautiful new home, and now you are prepping to make all of the decisions about what the interior and exterior will look like. It’s Design Selections Day! At your Design Selections Appointment, you are paired with one of our talented designers who will assist you in making your dream home come together. Before you either hit the road or get comfy on the couch with your webcam and laptop, there are some things that you can and should do to prepare. Here are a few tips and tricks to make you feel 100% ready for your big day, and even a video from our designers themselves:

Do Your Research

The first and most important thing to remember is that homework pays off. You are about to build a brand-new home, and I’m sure you must have some ideas about how you want it to look. Cut out pictures from a magazine, scour the internet, or watch some HGTV shows. Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration. There are so many resources out there that provide great tips about interior design and exterior finishes.

Drive Through Our Communities

We have plenty of homes for you to see! Our communities are the perfect resource where you can find a large variety of exterior finishes and color choices. I encourage you to drive around the communities in the morning, afternoon, evening, and even during sunny days and rainy days. You want to love your home no matter what Mother Nature decides.

Use Our Online Design Studio

Our Online Design Studio may become your new best friend. This is available to you any time and is an invaluable tool. The Online Design Studio features many of our selections as well as examples of exteriors throughout many of our communities. The Studio will allow you to make your own style collages so you can get a sense of what your interior and exterior will look like, even before you build. Check out our Online Design Studio here.

Take (Virtual) Tours of the Models

Ideally, we would love for you to come visit us at our state-of-the-art and award winning models both here in Coastal Delaware and in our Richmond, Virginia locations; however, during this period that social distancing protocols are in place, we encourage you to utilize our virtual model tours located here on our website.   

Talk to the Community Sales Managers

Always feel free to reach out to our Community Sales Managers with any questions you may have. They are available to talk and will even set up a virtual appointment with you if you want to talk ‘face to face’ (or at least as face to face as we can). Our sales team is full of lots of knowledge and can help guide you in creating your dream home.

Take a Look at Our Digital Content

Check out our latest video that features our Design Consultants explaining in detail what to expect during your Design Selections Appointment.  Be sure to take notes, they offer a ton of great advice. Also check out homeowner testimonials and listen to their experiences. They have been through the Design Selections Appointment and can offer great advice.

Karen Ryan, one of our design consultants at our Delaware Design Studio, has some advice as well:

“Buying a new home is a big investment, usually the biggest you will make in your lifetime, so it deserves giving it the proper amount of time to make sure you love all your decisions. We want to make sure you get everything you want in your home while having fun throughout the process!  Most new homebuyers think about the kitchen, which I agree is the heart of the home and a great place to invest.  But I would highly recommend thinking about every room in your home as you start doing your homework. I always say to take your floor plan including the elevation and think about what you would like in each space starting with the exterior and working your way inside.  Think about the kitchen, the great room, your secondary bathrooms, the laundry room, where you might like additional recessed lights or interior trim options.  The more you think through each decision, the more fun we can have pulling all your ideas together during your design day!”

Bottom line, be sure to do your homework and be prepared for the big day. There are lots of decisions to make and the day will be a lot more fun and run a lot more smoothly if you know a little bit about what options you want to select. I hope you’re as excited as we are, and we can’t wait to hear from you and help you design your dream home!

Check out our website for more information.

Floor Plan Favorites: The Lilac

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

Schell Brothers offers numerous unique floor plan design options to its potential homebuyers. With so many to choose from, we thought it would be nice to highlight some of our favorites in this new blog series, Floor Plan Favorites. At each of our communities we have models available for touring. Since we are now living in a virtual world, there is no better time to take advantage of our virtual tours and the photo sets on our website, in order to get a more in-depth look at what we have to offer. Hopefully hearing from our Community Sales Managers and taking a step into the virtual models will help you in making your decision about which floor plan is right for you and your family!

Exterior Elevation D

The Lilac is one of our more popular floor plans, a perfect home for single families, people looking to own a second home, and couples looking to have extra bedrooms for grandkids. It is part of our Coastal Series homes which we have available to build in a number of our communities; The Peninsula, Solitude on White Creek, Tidewater Landing, Jefferson Creek, Governors, Bayside, Truitt Homestead, Saddle Ridge, River Mill, and Arbor-Lynn. The Lilac models available for virtual touring are located at Jefferson Creek and The Peninsula.

The Lilac offers numerous options such as living area extensions, finished basements, home theaters, extra bedrooms, and so much more! Not only that, The Lilac has various elevation options, so you can choose the exterior that is the perfect fit for you and your family.

Natalie Hay, one of our Community Sales Managers at Jefferson Creek, loves The Lilac model that she works out of. I asked her what she loves about the Lilac and why it is such a popular floor plan:

“At Jefferson Creek our model home is the Lilac and people have fallen in love with it for so many reasons. One of the great things about this floor plan is that it comes included with 4 bedrooms plus a flex room, which we have set up as a home office in our model. So it is great for people who need those extra rooms for family or guests. We’ve found a lot of people select this floor plan if they are purchasing a beach home and want to sleep a lot of people or if they have large or growing families and want to have room for the kids and grandkids to visit. You can expand the home to have 5 bedrooms as well, and there is also an option to change one of the upstairs bedrooms to a second owner’s suite so it is perfect for an in-law suite, two families, or just having a nice suite for guests. Of course, all of the main living is on the first floor and the kitchen, dining, and great room are all the “open concept” that we love for easy entertaining. A couple of unique features in this home that people have really loved actually relates to the stairs. The staircase has an oversized landing with a picture window looking out to the backyard which we have the option to add a “tech nook” (built-in desk), window seat, or daybed to. This is such a cute feature and adds function to a space which usually doesn’t have a function. Not only that, underneath the stairs is a huge storage closet that always surprises people when they see it!”

Tyler Teed, our Community Sales Manager at The Peninsula, also loves the Lilac model. Here is what he had to say:

“The Lilac is a home that fits so many needs of today’s home buyer. Open floor plan, a first-floor master bedroom and you can’t under appreciate the home office these days.  The second floor has 3 nicely sized bedrooms options to have 2 full baths and to top it off your guests have their own living room in the loft and you still have a spot for all of your “stuff” with the included storage area. The outside of the home is just as well thought out as the inside. Options that really stand out to me are the second-floor front and rear decks.”

First Floor

I couldn’t have said it any better myself! Take a look at the Lilac at Jefferson Creek in our virtual tour here, or the Lilac at The Peninsula here. Our website includes a page dedicated to the floor plan with a brochure to help you understand the difference between elevations and what the inside of the home will feature.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to our Community Sales Managers at Jefferson Creek, The Peninsula, or even River Mill in Richmond, which does not yet have a virtual tour. They have all the knowledge regarding our Lilac floor plan and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Visit our website for more information.

How to Stay Connected in a Virtual World

By Savanna Shackleford, in All Communities

If you’re anything like me, this time of solitude and quarantine is driving you crazy! Being confined between the walls of your house can seem daunting and unpredictable. At this point, you’ve probably run out of board games to play, the puzzles are all finished, you’ve re-watched your favorite season of Friends four times, and you’re starting to get tired of those you’ve been quarantining with. I’m here to tell you that there is so much more out there! Many businesses, including ours, have had to adapt and remain in communication with one another in order to maintain productivity, as well as help boost morale.

Human connection is such an important aspect of maintaining happiness, which makes it crucial to learn how to stay connected, even in a virtual world. Here are a few tips and a few resources that you can use in order to maintain that connection as well as support the community, even in this time of stress and uncertainty.  

Virtual Games

It’s not out of the question to hold a virtual game night with your friends. In fact, there are so many apps and other digital tools available to make a virtual game night fun and easy for everyone! Ellen DeGeneres has an app called ‘Psych’ that lets participates play from across the room and across the country. Choose from a variety of games to keep things interesting. Check it out here. ‘House Party’ is another fun party game application. It allows participates to FaceTime with each other while they are inside the app, creating a fun space to entertain and laugh together as if you were in person. Download it here. Just the other day, my family and I were able to play a few board games over the phone. We just sent each other pictures of the cards or the board, and they were able to tell us how to move the pieces. Get creative! There are so many ways to stay in touch with family and friends through the fun of gaming.

Virtual Watch Parties

Netflix has changed the game for everyone by allowing users to view movies and TV shows together in real time. ‘Netflix Party’ is a Google Chrome extension that allows users to chat and get together and watch their favorite movies, all over the internet! I have personally taken advantage of this opportunity by viewing the new Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King’ with some of my childhood friends. Netflix, as well as many other viewing platforms, are also releasing movies that were originally in theater early, so that you can still enjoy them from the safety of your home. Try it out yourself, grab the popcorn, and see if your family would be interested in a movie night, it’s the next best thing to that movie theater experience we’ve all been missing. Here is the link to sign up.

Virtual Happy Hour

Virtual happy hours have become the norm hang out the past couple of weeks. Companies have implemented the social hour as a way of increasing happiness amongst employees, I know we have! But it doesn’t have to just be for employees and companies, you and your friends can enjoy a drink on the back porch together. Just grab your phone or laptop, set up Zoom, FaceTime, Teams or whatever virtual chat platform you prefer, and head outside with your favorite drink. This is a great time to start some of those virtual party game apps as well. Virtual happy hours also give you a chance to catch up with old friends you wouldn’t normally have had a chance to catch up with!

Virtual Athletic Competitions

A lot of organizations are throwing virtual 5Ks or virtual walkathons to help continue to raise money in support of the local communities and organizations it sponsors. I’ve been reading about a lot of companies who are implementing similar competitions in which they have their employees compete based on how many steps they walk each day, using a Fitbit or an Apple Watch. You can create a competition amongst you and your friends, to make sure people are staying active and keeping their energy level high. This is a great way for friends and family to stay connected, as well as possibly give back to the community. Check out this Disney virtual 5K coming up in June!

Virtual Hobbies

Although usually considered a solitary hobby, reading can become a fun activity for a large group of people to take part in. Many libraries and other literary groups are hosting virtual book clubs where people from all over can discuss books and meet other book lovers. Buzzfeed Bookclub is a great one you should check out, as well as Now Read This, hosted by PBS News Hour and The New York Times Book Review. If reading isn’t your thing and you’re more interested in ways you can help out your community or city, there are tons of opportunities to become a virtual volunteer. I’ve recently started helping out the Smithsonian transcribe documents and diaries. It is extremely fulfilling and something you can pick up or put down whenever you want. Check it out here. You can also check out The United Nations Volunteer Program, and the Crisis Text Line for other opportunities to help out.

Hopefully this list of virtual activities gives you a few ideas about how to stay connected. We here at Schell Brothers love that we support a culture of happiness, and we want to make sure you guys stay happy even during this stressful time. So, grab your phone or tablet and get on FaceTime, I’m sure your old college friends would love to have a game night or watch the latest trending TV show on Netflix! Maybe even try transcribing field notes from the 1920s or run a 5K, the possibilities for virtual human connection are endless!

Visit our website for more information about our homes and floorplans. Feel free to explore our models through our virtual tours and contact the community sales manager with any questions you may have.