All posts by Horizons East

Meet the Brookstone

 

We’d like to introduce you to The Brookstone. This floorplan is one of our most popular customizable home plans in eastern North Carolina.  Families enjoy the flexibility, space and amenities it offers. Let’s take a little tour of its features and amenities.

The Brookstone is a spacious, customizable home featuring four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms and lots of light. It’s got over 2800 square feet to explore! Let’s start from the front porch entering the first floor.

 

The foyer is open and full of light, reaching all the way to the second floor. It will welcome friends into your home in the warmest way. Enter a wide living space that’s inviting and can easily extend into an optional back porch.  A formal dining room is at the front of the house, perfect for entertaining friends and family.

Moving from the living room, you enter a kitchen that’s open and features a cozy breakfast nook surrounded by windows. It’s easy to picture bright mornings sipping a cup of coffee with the family in this space.

The first floor is completed by an “in-law suite” or guest suite, equipped with a full bath, a space that could be used as an office or den, and a half bath.

On the second floor, you’ll find two bedrooms and a generous master suite. The master suite includes a large master bath with a garden tub and an extra-large closet. A full bath and your laundry room are also on the second floor.

This floor plan comes with a two-car garage, but you have the option to expand it to a three car garage if that will suit your family’s needs. There are options to customize the entry from the garage with a built-in mudroom.

 

The Brookstone is the perfectly customizable home.  There are so many ways to make it your own.  Explore it and see it has plenty of space for your whole family.

The Brookstone Floorplan Rendering

5 Reasons to Build a Home in Eastern North Carolina

There are lots of reasons to call Eastern North Carolina home. Commonly rated one of the best places to live, North Carolinians experience higher quality of life. For starters, neighborhoods are safer, people are friendlier, the pace is more relaxed, and commutes are shorter.  If you’re coming from an urban area, you’ll see benefits in the cost of living, too. Let’s look at 5 key reasons to build in coastal North Carolina and make this beautiful place your home!

1. Moderate Climate

The climate in eastern North Carolina is mild and you can enjoy time outdoors in all four seasons. Summer months are warm, but when living on the coast, you can visit one of the beaches or spend your days by the pool. You won’t have to worry about ice storms or much snow in the winter, and you can enjoy outdoor living spaces most of the year.

2. Waterways & Beaches

With rivers flowing throughout most of the region and intercoastal waterways and beaches nearby, anyone who loves spending time on the water will love to be in ENC. Boating, kayaking, swimming, and walking on the beach are favorite pastimes.  Freshwater and saltwater fishing are readily available, and fresh seafood will have you feeling right at home in coastal North Carolina.

3. History to Explore

New Bern is the original capital of North Carolina and is home to several historical attractions like Tryon Palace and the original Pepsi store. The first English settlement was on Roanoke Island, and North Carolina’s oldest continuous settlement is in Bath. Tour the USS North Carolina in Wilmington and the Lejeune Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville.  Take a Quilt-Square tour and visit local art spots.  Eastern North Carolina has artisans and quaint history in many of its towns that are sure to charm.

4. Nature & Wildlife

In addition to the waterways and beaches, there’s plenty in ENC for those who love hiking, exploring parks, and enjoying nature. You can experience wildlife up close at aquariums, go horseback riding or visit wild horses on Shackleford Banks.

5. Cost of living

North Carolina is below average in cost of living, with higher ratings of quality of life! In coastal North Carolina, you will enjoy less urban congestion, lower crime rates, cleaner water, safer neighborhoods, and a more relaxed pace. You’ll see the people are friendlier and life is good in the coastal communities of Eastern North Carolina.

 

If you’re looking for a great place to raise a family, relax, or retire, welcome.  We’re sure you’ll see why we love calling this “down east” coastal area our home.

Details to Include on Your Deck or Patio

Moderate weather in Eastern North Carolina, makes it easy to spend time outside in spring, summer and fall. Designing the perfect patio will keep you enjoying the extended living space of your home. There are many ways to make your deck or patio a favorite spot for your family.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

Add a Fireplace or Fire Pit

Adding a fireplace or fire pit to your outdoor living space will keep you spending time on your patio or deck in the evenings or during cooler weather in spring and fall. Kids will love the opportunity to make s’mores whenever you have a fire going! Be sure to check your fire pit or fireplaces manufacturer requirements, and your city’s code before adding any flame producing items to your deck.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill and an outdoor sink… or a completely built-in gourmet set up! In either case, it reduces trips in and out of the house while cooking outdoors.  If you’re entertaining, you can converse with your guests and they’ll feel more included in the process. Be sure to speak with your builder about your options!

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting.

Lights can define your space and set an atmosphere.  You’ll need some lighting to make the space functional, but lighting can do more than make it safe to move about.  String lights can frame your outdoor living space in soft light.  Fairy lights can create a starry night effect overhead.  There are many creative ways to use lighting to set the mood for your space.

Overhead Cover

Roof extensions, awnings or sun shades provide cover for your deck or patio and in some cases can easily be installed after your build in complete.  This will protect you, your outdoor furniture and your deck from sunlight, heat or even a light rain. An overhead covering can also be helpful in blocking falling leaves or bird droppings. If you plan to use your outdoor living space frequently, an overhead covering will make it more enjoyable.

Multilevel Decks

Create a dynamic deck with distinct seating areas, space for games or levels that step down to a pool or other feature.  Think about movement to and from different high-interest areas.  If a multi-level deck isn’t right for you, add a stone path to a fire pit area from your main deck to achieve a similar effect.

Built-in Seating

Instead of buying patio furniture, build in a bench or booth for permanent seating. You won’t have to worry about it blowing away in a storm, and as your style changes with the seasons, you can change out cushions to keep your deck or patio inviting and unique.

 

 

Items in this segment that would fall under our Classic or Classic + packages would be:

  • Lighting Upgrades
  • Roof Extensions

 

Items in this segment that would fall under our Signature or Signature+ packages would be:

  • Awning or Sun Shades
  • Multilevel Decking
  • Built-In Seating
  • Outdoor Kitchen Areas
  • Outdoor Fireplaces

The Multi-Purpose Garage

While it is easy to think of garages exclusively as places to park your cars and store tools, they really provide an opportunity for much more. After all, they’re large, flexible spaces with a big door to the driveway. Garages can have many uses.  Here are a few options to consider.

Workout Space

Whether you’re a weightlifter, crossfitter, dancer, martial artist, yogi, or just want a space to do a few jumping jacks, equipping a portion of your garage with fitness equipment for your chosen activity is a valuable use of the space. Add a weight rack, a barre, padded flooring, or a treadmill to convert your garage into your ideal home gym, without sacrificing any of the space in your house. Use cation in using heavy weights or equipment, as dropping heavy items could damage your concrete.

Entertainment

In summer months, it can be fun to project a movie onto a wall in your garage, set up some lawn chairs or a sofa and convert your garage into a movie theater. It can also be a space for food at an outdoor party, live music (or a practice space for a band), or even a dance floor.

Arts & Craft Studio

From simple to sophisticated, art projects make a mess.  What better place to be creatively messy than in a garage converted to an art studio or craft room?  Enjoy your hobby, make projects with the kids or create masterpieces in a room that has plenty of storage space.  And no one will cry if the paint drips.

Game Rooms

Some homeowners have converted garage spaces into family game rooms. Bring on the card table, pool table and foosball table! Give your game room a personal touch with colorful seating, rugs, artwork and game-themed décor. It will make family game nights come alive.

Mudroom Area

If your floor plan doesn’t already have a mudroom, adding a storage bench and a coat rack to your garage can give your family a place for coats, muddy boots, and other gear. It won’t take up much space in the garage, but it can save you a lot of storage issues inside.

 

Be creative and think outside the box. Your garage space can be adapted to fit the regular needs of your family or a special event.

What Home Floorplan is Right for You?

Every family is unique and their home should be, too. One size fits all just isn’t ideal. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a floor plan for your family.

 

Children

If you have small children, stairs may present a safety concern for a while but once your children are older that changes.  Separate spaces for the kids and adults can be a valuable benefit in your home. For example, kids’ rooms may be upstairs with a game room, while the main floor is reserved for the master suite, living areas and kitchen. Kids value their own space as they enter their teens.

 

Elderly Family Members

As with younger children, stairs can be a challenge for older family members who may visit often, or live with you. If your heart is set on a multi-level home, splitting the bedrooms between levels or installing a small elevator may be ideal for your floorplan. If you have aging parents and anticipate you’ll need a living space for them now or in the future, a guest suite on the first floor can easily become an accessible space for them. Consider including enough space for accessibility options and a walk-in shower to make life easier in the future.

 

Active Lifestyle

Those with active lifestyles are frequently on the go and may prefer a home that is simple, open, and functional. A single level home with an open floor plan is perfect for those who want easy living and upkeep, but still want a beautiful space to enjoy. Remember to plan extra space for storing sports gear and outdoor toys like boats, boards, or bikes.

 

Busy, Big Family

Larger families with active kids have specific needs for sleeping spaces, play space and storage space. When selecting a floorplan for big families, small changes in the floorplans can make a big impact in the function of your home. The location of your laundry room, a mudroom, space for homework, and more storage for toys, games, sporting equipment can all be important things to consider when choosing your floorplan.

 

You know your family best.  Think about your needs today and what you think your family will need in the years to come.  Then talk to your home builder about those special needs that will make your home a dream home for your family.  You’ll have a better idea of which floorplans to start with as you customize your dream home.

Going Green in Your New Home

In the past few years, we’ve all put more focus on sustainability and going green. We replace plastic straws with reusable or biodegradable ones, carry reusable water bottles, bring our own bags to the store, and put as much in our recycling bins as possible. There are also ways to go green when you’re building your home. Here are some simple ways that you can make a difference in the environment while building your home.

 

Appliances and lighting

Switching to energy efficient light bulbs and choosing Energy Star appliances will reduce energy and water use. They also use less energy and water, reducing your utility costs.

 

Insulation

Another money-saving and earth-friendly choice is investing in quality insulation. You will use less energy to heat and cool your home, which will cut costs on your electric bill. Talk to your builder about available options.

 

Solar Energy

You can choose solar panels to power your entire home or use solar energy to power just some parts of your home. There are vendors available to add these once your home build is complete.

 

Windows and Doors

The entry points to your home are also entry points for summer heat and winter cold. Choose high quality doors and double paned windows to keep your house at the temperatures you want it. Also consider low-emittance, or low-e, windows to reduce heat from the sun from entering your home, without reducing natural light. Horizons East’s uses low-e windows as a standard. One of which, is the Ply Gem 1500 series, and was recognized as the “Most Efficient” of Energy Star in 2021. Look for sustainable produced and low-e rated products when making selections for your new home.

Value of a Mudroom

A mudroom is the perfect place to keep extra dirt and clutter from finding its way into the rest of your home. It provides a specific location for dirty shoes to be removed before dirt or mud is tracked onto your living room floor. Backpacks, coats, and sports gear can be stored, instead of tossed on the couch or in the dining room. It can make your life so much easier! Here are 5 valuable benefits of having a mudroom in your home.

 

1. More Useful Storage

Winter gloves? Coats? Rain boots? Extra shoes you don’t want in your closet? Having a mudroom is like having an extra-large coat closet. It’s the perfect place to stash seasonal items, keeping them out of your bedroom or coat closet. They’re available when you need them, but not in your way everyday.  With built-in storage options, your mudroom will stay tidy, too.

 

2. Everything in One Place when it’s Time to Go

Many families can have a hard time getting out the door. Everyone’s shoes are in different places, someone left their backpack in their room, you can’t find your coat, etc. A mudroom makes it easier to get everyone ready to leave in one place and at the same time. All the shoes, bags, car keys, everything you need to leave the house can be safely stored in one place! A little bit of planning can make your morning routine “grab and go.”

 

3. Everything has a Place, too

Giving kids a dedicated place to hang school bags, or sports equipment, means there is less chance that it will end up in the middle of the floor. Everything should have a home, and a mudroom is a great home for a lot of things. And when they are stashed on the way in, life’s a little easier for everyone.

 

4. Functional Space

Many mudrooms have a bench to make putting on shoes a breeze. It’s also right by the door, so the perfect place to take things on and off as soon as you leave or enter the home. No more stomping around the house in your boots! Use this space to create functional storage that fits your family’s lifestyle and needs.

 

5. Keep it Clean!

Rain and mud are part of daily life in eastern North Carolina. Mudrooms help ensure muddy shoes and dripping raincoats don’t make the whole house messy. Consider adding a sink to your mudroom.  It’s a great place to clean muddy shoes, dry umbrellas or soak a stained uniform. Some families even plan for laundry rooms to be near a mud room for easy access. Talk to your builder about your options.

 

A mudroom helps preserve your home’s interior, flooring and well… maybe Mom’s sanity.  We think that’s a great investment.

Best Big-Budget Features to Include in Your Dream Home

When you’re building your forever home, investing in key big-budget features can make all the difference.  Here are a few of the best big-budget features to consider to make your new home a dream for you and your family.  Whether your family loves to entertain, stay in, or be adventurous, there are options for you!

 

Adventures on (or in) the Water

A boat lift is something many eastern North Carolina families dream about. Make your days on the water easier to access with a boat lift.

https://www.shorestation.com/permanent-boat-lifts/boat-house-lifts  https://www.bluehaven.com

 

Prefer chlorine over fresh water? Invest in a pool for hot summer days. Your kids will love it, and so will adults when you entertain.  If you’re planning to spend lots of days on the water or at the pool, an outdoor shower may also be a great addition to your home and lifestyle. Please ask us for a recommendation, as Horizons East currently does not install pools.

 

Coming to a Theater Near You…

A very popular big-budget feature is a state-of-the-art home theater.  Digital entertainment is here to stay and with luxury seating, digital surround sound, snacks and a bar, it’s hard to go wrong.  Everyone in the family will enjoy their favorite movies in style in your own theater.

 

Going Up?

Boat lifts aren’t the only things going up in some new homes.  An elevator can also be a worthwhile investment for some families. They make your home more accessible for aging or differently able friends and family, and they can make life easier for anyone with heavy items to bring upstairs.

 

Ideas Tailored to Your Family’s Lifestyle

Have a budding chef?  A dual kitchen workspace allows for multiple people to cook at once.  Love natural light?  Consider sun tunnels.  Are her feet always freezing?  Perhaps heated floors in the bathroom. The options are virtually infinite.  When considering which features will be best for your home, remember it comes down to what your family will enjoy for years in your dream home.

 

Need help?  We know details make the difference.  Our team is here to help you plan and build your dream home.

Clever Storage Options for Your Home

You want to be able to enjoy every single space in your home. Here are a few clever storage solutions, some big and some small, to help you make the most of your home.

 

Clever Kitchen Spaces

Adding a pull out spice cabinet will save space by utilizing small vertical spaces between cabinets and appliances.  Wall spice units leverage space over counters and spice drawers keep spices handy and save cabinet spaces for other uses.  In any case, they add and create a practical way to store all the tiny bottles used for spices.

Add a Lazy Susan in a corner cabinet or shelves that pull out like drawers to utilize every inch of useful cabinetry space.  Use stacking shelves, wall shelves or other creative storage ideas in pantries and kitchen spaces to increase storage capacity and ease of access.

Photo https://www.homecrestcabinetry.com/products/cabinet-interiors/wall-spice-pull-out-cabinet

 

A Christmas Tree Closet

Does your Christmas tree take up a lot of space?  Do you dread assembly before the holidays and disassembly in January? Plan a large closet for your tree in or near your living room. Then just roll your Christmas tree out in December and back into the closet in January.  Done.

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

You’ve heard of barn doors? Well how about a barn door mirror?  Extra storage can be tucked behind a sliding vanity mirror or full length mirror in bathrooms, closets, bedrooms or virtually anywhere you want to hide shelving for small storage.

 

Virtues of Going Vertical

Don’t forget to utilize vertical space! You may need to invest in a ladder or a good step stool, but using vertical space can help with space and efficiency in living spaces, storage spaces and garages. Items stored vertically are take up less space overall and are easier to access.

Photo: homedit.com/cool-firewood-storage-designs/    Photo:https://hips.hearstapps.com/

While you’re thinking vertical, also look for high points in closets, nooks or walls that can be leveraged with wall shelves or other forms of storage to keep items you don’t use everyday up and out of the way.

 

Clear as Mud (Rooms)

Finally, a great place for families to add storage is in a well-equipped mud room. Having a place for coats, hats, gloves, shoes, backpacks and purses to live when not in use will keep this clutter out of your own closets. It’s also easier to grab everything that everyone needs in one place, rather than stopping in several bedrooms and closets looking for each item. This can be as simple as a bench that doubles as storage with hooks hanging above it, or as elaborate as a small room with shelving, a shoe rack, coat closet, etc.

photo: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/entryways-mudrooms/21372103/mudroom-storage-ideas

Bonus Rooms

Bonus rooms open a lot of possibilities for homebuyers. They’re creative spaces that add to what you might traditionally have planned for your home. Because a bonus room is not limited to a specific function, it can be whatever you want it to be. Here are a few ideas for how you can use the space.

 

Game Room or Movie Theater

Making the bonus room into a space for your kids is a more traditional route for bonus rooms. Adding in comfy seating and a TV for movie nights or video games can create an escape from the rest of the house that is purely fun for the whole family. Making a media room is particularly effective if the room will not get a lot of light.  After all, no one wants to watch a movie with the sun glaring on their screen.

 

Home Office or Library

Setting aside a space for work can be beneficial many who work from home. Whether it’s for daily business, homework, or a late night project brought home from the office, keeping work out of the areas where you relax is good for your mind and health.

If your bonus room has areas with low ceilings or unique nooks and crannies, they make perfect spots to add in built in shelving to utilize the space.

 

Exercise Room

Making a room for workout gear and exercise in a bonus room can be very beneficial for many families. Taking care of your physical health is important for everyone.  For many, that’s easier to do when there is a dedicated space at home for physical training. If you have heavy machines for exercises that require repetitive high impact movements, such as a treadmill, talk to your builder about adding additional support beams. This will help reinforce the flooring of a second floor exercise room and reduce wear and tear overtime. Feeling less active?  Using part of your bonus room for a meditation space can allow you to escape from the rest of the world and refocus.

 

Multipurpose Room

Of course, many families choose to turn their bonus room into a multipurpose room. Some combine guest space and a treadmill.  Others use the space for crafts or a studio but have a space for gaming.  One benefit of a multipurpose approach is that you can modify uses easily over time.  As kids grow, interests change or needs arise. By avoiding a narrowly targeted use, you give yourself freedom to make changes more easily in the future.

 

When planning what to do with your bonus room space, think about what suits your family now but also ask yourself about the future.  How long will a home bowling alley be the favorite activity? How many hours do you want devoted to gaming?  Will the kids still love it in 3-5 years? Your home is your refuge, and you should love every inch of it when you are building your own.