Why Germantowners and Gaithersburgians are moving to Clarksburg.


What is it about Clarksburg, Maryland that’s attracting homebuyers from Germantown and Gaithersburg? Three things: convenience, style and value.

Or said another way: I-270, Miller & Smith, and the new Grapevine Ridge Collection at Clarksburg Town Center.

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The appeal of Clarksburg’s location is very familiar to anyone living in nearby Germantown or Gaithersburg. Though not as large as its neighboring towns to the south, Clarksburg offers many of the same amenities and advantages: convenient shops and restaurants, great Montgomery County schools, and quick access to I-270.

Clarksburg has always been regarded as a smart option for value seekers. But now that Miller & Smith has opened its Grapevine Ridge Collection, the notion of “value” is being redefined.

“We don’t always have the lowest absolute price, but I’m confident that our values are unmatched in the area,” said Debora Flora, Sales Manager for the Grapevine Ridge Collection. “When you consider the flexibility and spaciousness of our award-winning designs, and the attention to detail we put into the spaces people use most, our homes definitely bring something new and exciting to Clarksburg buyers.”

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The Grapevine Ridge collection features up to 4,000 square feet of living space with a contemporary floorplan defined by open livings spaces, lots of natural light and great Miller & Smith style.

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The specs are impressive: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 2-car garage, gourmet kitchen with huge infinity island, adjoining great room, separate dining room, main level study, and a large master bedroom with an available dual master bath.

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The homes are proving a hit with large and extended families, in part because of the huge lower level, which allows for an expansive rec room, den, and full bath. It also features generously sized windows that help keep it bright and airy.

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The Grapevine Ridge collection at Clarksburg Town Center is now selling from the upper $400s. For details, floorplans and directions to the decorated model, please click here.

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Everything In Its Place: Tips for Keeping Kid Clutter Free

If you are a parent, you are keenly aware of the ongoing campaign to curb kid clutter. There are those overwhelming days that it seems nearly impossible to keep your home clutter-free of the inevitable daily mess. From the never-ending trail of books and toys to the exponential increase in dirty laundry output, a parent’s work is never through.  With an action plan in place and a few mottos to live by, you will become a maven of managing the mess.

Live by the motto “everything has its place.”

Each room in your house serves a unique purpose. Kitchens are for cooking. Offices are for working. Master bedrooms are for moms and dads. Teach kids to contain toys to one or two areas in the house. Kids bedrooms and playrooms are perfect areas for playtime. Without being a drill sergeant, this tip will ultimately prevent the toy takeover of your home.  And each night before bed, put things back where they belong. 

Land of Nod: http://www.landofnod.com/storagepalooza/f4073

Land of Nod Storagepalooza: http://www.landofnod.com/storagepalooza/f4073

Toy bins and baskets are great storage solutions for quick clean-up. If these containers start to overflow, sort through and get rid of what you don’t need.

Clear bins with lockable lids are perfect for storing off-season clothing, toys and sporting goods. By creating a routine and making behaviors habitual, clutter-free living becomes simpler and more manageable.

Mod Mom Furniture Owyn Toy Box: http://www.modmomfurniture.com/naturally.html

Mod Mom Furniture Owyn Toy Box: http://www.modmomfurniture.com/naturally.html

Adopt the One In, One Out Rule.

Unlike in the movie “Toy Story” toys really do NOT have feelings, so get rid of items that are unused, not useful or no longer loved. Sorry, Buzz Lightyear. For every new item you buy, get rid of an old one. This adds a new perspective when comtemplating a purchase and ultimately prevents over-accumulation, which is the easiest way to curb kid clutter. Decluttering kids toys before birthdays and holidays are easy ways of remembering this tip. Always organize your items into two piles: one for donating to charity and one for trash. If you’re giving away toys, furniture, or baby items, make sure they aren’t broken, have all their parts and haven’t been recalled. If you’re donating clothes, toss the ones with stains and tears. Enlisting your kids in the process of donating by choosing where to send items not only will help them experience the joy of giving, but will teach them immeasurable life lessons.

Don’t walk, run to Poplar Run.

When Miller & Smith was invited to build homes at Poplar Run, located off Layhill Road in Silver Spring, Maryland, we jumped at the opportunity for several reasons.

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One, the community was named “Project of the Year” by the Home Builders Association of Maryland—and for good reason.

Built on the former site of Indian Spring Country Club in Montgomery County, the community will continue to preserve the natural beauty of its setting, with 50% of the land dedicated to open green space.

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Poplar Run is also home to an impressive lineup of planned amenities, including miles of trails, three swimming pools and a 6,000+ square foot clubhouse.

The other big reason for our excitement was the opportunity to bring an entirely different home style to the community.

We recently introduced our Coventry Collection of new homes at Poplar Run with the Big Reveal of our Edgewick Model.

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This spacious single family home boasts up to 4,000 square feet of open, airy design with signature Miller & Smith features like a Top Chef Kitchen with Infinity Island and huge Great Room flooded with natural light.

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This home also features a formal dining room and study, and a spacious master suite with two walk-in closets and the opportunity for a dual master bath.

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With 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a 2-car garage the Edgewick model is now selling at Poplar Run from the upper $500s.

Click here for more details and directions.

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Shine On: Tips for Cleaning Stainless Steel

A sign of a truly modern and sophisticated kitchen almost always includes the silvery shiny statement that stainless steel appliances make in any home. However, without the proper instructions for making your dishwasher, oven and refrigerator shine like new, you run the risk of turning fab into drab. 

One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA by Miller & Smith

A bright and modern Miller & Smith kitchen seen here in the Downtown Collection model at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA.

We all know that everyday life can make its mark on these appliances that laud themselves for being spotless. Puppy dog noses and baby fingerprints, cake batter and tomato sauce splatters can all mar the pristine luster of these kitchen essentials. Here are a few tips and tricks that will quickly restore your appliances to looking like new again.

Cleaning Cloths:

Since stainless steel can scratch easily, it’s important to choose a cleaning cloth that is especially soft. Start with a microfiber cloth along with your chosen cleaning agent and then follow-up with a good paper towel wipe down. This will ensure the appliance shines without scratches or leaving behind a layer of cloth fibers.

 Cleaning With The Grain:

Before you begin cleaning your appliances, be sure to note which direction the grain is going. To prevent scratching, make sure when you are wiping or buffing the appliances to go with and not against the grain. Surprisingly, even a soft microfiber cloth can cause visible scratching if used against the grain of the stainless steel.

 Cleaning Agents:

Oil: You may be surprised to learn that many suitable stainless steel cleaning agents come right from your toiletry closet or kitchen pantry.  Any vegetable oil, including olive oil, and even baby oil will keep your appliances clean and shiny. Of course, there also are many commercial, oil-based stainless cleaners out there as well for your choosing.

  •  Clean. First use dish soap and water to clean up any dried on food or other messes that have collected on the appliances.
  • Rinse/Dry.  You must make sure that you allow the appliances to dry properly before moving on to the next step.
  • Add Oil and Buff. Add a few teaspoons of oil to your microfiber cloth and buff, buff, buff (for at least a minute or two). The more buffing, the better your result. Turn your microfiber towel over to the clean side and give the appliance one last go over.

 Window Cleaner: Another trick for cleaning marks from stainless steel is using a glass and window cleaner, like Windex. Simply spray directly on the appliance and wipe clean with your soft microfiber cloth or paper towel.

 Vinegar & Water: A good old-fashioned cleaning tincture can be used for cleaning your modern stainless steel appliances, too. Simply mix three parts white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture directly onto the appliance and wipe clean with a paper towel. 

Poplar Run in Silver Spring, MD by Miller & Smith

Shiny Stainless Steel appliances add to the charm of this kitchen at Poplar Run in Silver Spring, MD.