All posts by Horizons East

How to Maximize Natural Light

Natural light can make a big difference in the look of a room, and it can improve your mood significantly! While we don’t get very harsh winters in Coastal Carolina, the gray months of the year are still bleak, and sunlight is a sought-after commodity year-round.

How can you keep things naturally bright, any time of year?

1. Angle your house appropriately.

This may not work on every plot of land, but when planning your home build, explore the different angles that you can place your home. Find the direction that maximizes the natural light during the time of day you want it most. For example, if you’re an early riser, an east-facing house could boost your mood with the earliest rays lighting the house each day.

2. Hang mirrors.

Not only do mirrors reflect images — they reflect light! Reflective mirrors can bounce light around the room and help make the space brighter.

3. Use light or bright colors.

White or light-colored walls, furniture, and ceilings will all help to reflect light. This helps to
maximize the luminosity of a room during periods of lower light in early mornings, gray days, or when the sun goes down.

4. Open the blinds and curtains.

To instantly brighten up your home, make sure to crack the blinds or pull back the curtains
when you want to lighten the mood.

5. Keep windows clean.

Dirty windows can’t let in as much light! When washing your windows, don’t forget to clean the outside, too.

6. Get skylights or solar tubes.

While your dream home is being designed and built, check to see if there’s any opportunity to add a skylight or solar tube! These will let the natural light flow to areas of the home that may not get much otherwise.

7. Strategically use artificial light.

Not all light bulbs were created equal! Use artificial lighting to help supplement natural light with bright bulbs that are energy-efficient.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Featuring the Lincoln Floor Plan

The Lincoln floor plan is a beautiful two story home with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a convenient two-car garage. This home’s 2044 total heated square feet are perfect for a growing family.

When you open the front door, you enter a beautifully lit foyer with a staircase that leads upstairs. To your right, there’s a spacious dining room with a view of the covered front porch. Taking a left from the formal dining space, you walk into a hallway that houses the pantry and a bathroom before reaching the spacious, open kitchen.


The kitchen is spacious and open; it spills into the breakfast nook and a cozy living room. With lots of natural light and space, the lower level is an ideal place to entertain the whole family for holiday dinners, game nights, and other occasions. There is also an optional covered back porch outside the breakfast area, the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee before you start your day.

Upstairs, the master suite is to the right. The bedroom is large enough for a king-sized bed, dresser, nightstands, and even a small sitting area if needed! The attached master bathroom comes with a his and hers vanity, bathtub, shower, and water closet. Through the bathroom is a walk-in closet, which features a window for natural light while you get ready for the day.

There are three additional bedrooms upstairs. The first bedroom is larger and has a walk-in closet, two others are ideal for younger children or office space. These three upstairs rooms share a full bath.

On the second story, you will also find the laundry room. This beautiful space will make you look forward to laundry day, rather than dreading it.

The Lincoln plan has plenty of space for the whole family, and is great for entertaining and letting your children play! Overall, the Lincoln floor plan is a great choice for those who value space, functionality, and flexibility in their dream home.

Home Features You’ll Love for Pets

Pets are an integral part of our families. We love them, so it’s natural to keep your fur-babies in mind when planning your dream home. Here are a few pet-friendly features to love when building and designing your new Horizons East home.


Doggy Door

Tired of letting the pups in and out every time they have to go outside? Wish they could let themselves out early on a chilly morning? A doggy door may be the solution for you! Ensure it opens to a fenced in yard or area to keep your neighbors happy and your pets protected.


Built-in Gates

Adding a removable barricade can be an inconvenience and an eyesore when you want to keep your pets out of certain areas. Instead, use built-in gates or a pocket door to contain your pets when needed. These can double as a baby-proofing addition, too!


Home Grooming Station

Dogs can get muddy and shed a lot, which may not be something you want to track into your bathtub or shower. A home grooming station keeps dog hair out of your luxurious human bath and can be built to meet the individual needs of your dog or cat. 


Pet-Proof Flooring 

Potty accidents happen, and claws can scratch hardwood floors over time. Make sure to consider your pets when choosing your flooring! A rule of thumb is to minimize carpet in high-traffic areas, and hard, impermeable materials are best, like tile, laminate, waterproof vinyl planks, cement, etc. 


Enclosed Patio 

Build the “catio” of your kitty’s dreams or add a screen so your fur babies can experience the often gorgeous weather in Coastal Carolina while still being “indoors” officially. 


Fenced in Yard 

Let your pups (and kids) run wild inside the safety fence around your yard. A good fence will help deter wild critters and will keep your pups and children from meandering out into streets, woods, or other areas where they might get lost or injured. 


Pet Bedroom 

Building a bedroom just for your pets isn’t as crazy as it may sound! Even if it’s just converting a closet under the stairs, your pets will have a private space of their own to escape to when you have lots of guests, a thunderstorm rolls into town, or when they’re tired and want a nap. You can also plan to include pet toy storage, easy leash access, and other pet-specific use needs.

What to Choose for Your Dream Dining Room

April is National Brunch Month. Brunch is a social meal which blends breakfast and lunch foods. It offers a unique opportunity for hosting, and the menu possibilities are almost endless. For a fabulous brunch, or another special event in your custom home, you’ll want a dining room setup fit for the occasion. Here are some items to include when designing your dream dining space.


A Top-Shelf Table

While it doesn’t have to be at a top-shelf price, find a table that is a show-stopper in the style you love. Your table is the focal point of the whole dining space. Round or rectangular, traditional or bar-height, your dining table is the centerpiece of community in your dining room. It’s where you can gather, celebrate, eat, work, and more.


Comfy Chairs

Chairs are another necessity. Test seats for both comfort and style. Make sure your choices will be comfortable for your whole family. Feeling bold? Don’t be afraid to pick something unique! Remember, you can also move these chairs to other spaces in the home when you need additional seating. 


A Beautiful Bench

Instead of opting for all traditional seating, consider adding a bench! Benches are a little more casual and can be great choices if space is a little tight, or when you need to seat several youngsters around the table. Some types of benches can also double as extra storage.


A Bountiful Buffet

A buffet is functional in two ways. It stores your favorite serving bowls, utensils, and dishes. It also is great for serving food when you have a larger gathering or a bountiful meal. It’s also a perfect place to add a bit of decor depending on the season or special occasion. If there’s space in your dining room, adding a buffet gives you quite a few options to enjoy.


Handy Hutch

If you’re not a fan of buffets, you may choose a hutch for a storage and display piece in your dining room. They’re typically built with some display space and some storage that’s not visible. They provide a handy way to showcase family heirlooms or unique pieces, while you can tuck away seasonal platters or items you use less often in the cabinetry. Built for making an impression, a hutch can be very practical as well.


Attractive Art

With your furniture selected, it’s time to turn to the artistic and decor touches that make your dining room “you.” Choosing art that is attractive and compliments your design style adds more personality to your gathering space. Add prints, paintings, or display items that fit your style. And you can never go wrong with framed family photos in this space.


Serving Wares

Ladles, spatulas, salad bowls, etc., are all essential to have on hand when hosting a brunch or holiday meal. Select key serving items for your dining room that coordinate with your colors, pattern, or style. From stainless steel to boho to bright, festive colors, have your serving utensils ready when you need them!


Luminous Lighting

Is a dining room really a dining room without a statement lighting fixture? Whether it’s a chandelier or a funky pendant light, let your lighting be a shining stand-out in the space. Dining rooms are also a perfect space to fill with soft mood lighting or candlelight! Find vintage candlestick holders to light up the room with a warm glow or explore dimmable LED lighting features that enhance a romantic evening or quiet family meal. 

How to Clean the Exterior of Your Home

Spring is the season for fresh starts. That’s the spirit behind “Spring Cleaning” efforts! The last week of March is National Cleaning Week, making it the prime time to get your spring cleaning started.

You know the drill for inside the house: sweep, mop, dust, declutter, disinfect. What about the exterior of your home? Here are some tips for cleaning your home’s exterior, depending on the type of siding you have.

Vinyl Siding

A pressure washer will clean vinyl siding quickly. However, to help extend the durability of the siding, try cleaning with a brush and cloth. Wipe it down from top to bottom, rinsing often. Use vinegar and water for routine cleaning, or if you’ve got more serious stains, use something a bit stronger, like bleach, in the mix.

Wood Siding

Siding made from wood is not as sturdy as vinyl, so it’s best not to use a pressure washer. A mixture of water and vinegar, or bleach and oxygen are highly recommended. After cleaning wood siding, it may be a good idea to use a sealant to protect it from weather. Check with a professional to see if your specific siding needs sealant.

Metal Siding

To clean metal siding, use a soft brush to remove heavy debris and dirt; be careful not to use anything too abrasive that may scratch the paint or metal. Use a mixture of water and laundry detergent to clean. If you want to use a pressure washer, make sure to use the lowest power setting. Be careful not to leave behind any cleaning solution because it may promote corrosion.

Fiber Cement Siding

Whenever you notice any stains or dirt on your cement siding, spot clean it with soap, water, and a cloth! Be careful when using any cleaning products as they can cause corrosion over time. For a gentle clean, use your garden hose to rinse. Aside from spot cleaning your cement siding, most siding can just be cleaned once a year! Add it to your annual spring cleaning checklist to make sure your exterior stays beautiful.

What is a Semi-Custom Home?

A semi-custom home takes an already designed floor plan and customizes elements of it to your specific needs and style. You can choose from a portfolio of pre-designed floor plans to find one that closely matches your family’s desires, then make specific customizations to that floor plan. It’s more affordable than a fully custom-designed home, and gives you more freedom than a standard plan.

You might wonder, what kind of changes you can make in a semi-custom home tailored to your dreams. Here are some of the most common customizations new home buyers request.

1. Interior

Regardless of your floor plan, you can choose your flooring, wall colors, appliances, and light fixtures. These customizations will make your house feel like a home, when you’re surrounded by your favorite colors, textures, and finishes. We’ll provide options to help make the selection process easier for you.

2. Exterior

Just like the interior, you can choose your siding, brick, roofing, landscaping, and more to suit your individual tastes.

3. Optional Additions

Many of our Horizons East floor plans come with optional patios or a larger garage. These types of customizations provide more outdoor family space and help store vehicles, recreational gear, workshop tools or other items.

4. Reverse the Floor plan

If having the garage on the western half of the property isn’t ideal for your land, or your preference, we can quickly reverse a floor plan to better suit those needs.

5. Make it Larger

Need a bigger garage or just a bit more space in general? Adjusting the overall scale of your home is a fairly simple adjustment for an existing floor plan. 6. Small Layout ChangesYou may want to remove a wall or add a fireplace to the living room. We allow for a few small changes to our floor plans so you can fully love your home from day one.

This is just a short list, but you can explore more about building a semi-custom home with our professional team. Contact us today, and we’ll help you start your home-building journey!

Meet the Alleyna

Meet the Alleyna, a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home with over 2300 heated square feet!

The first floor is an entertainer’s dream! A covered front porch is perfect for your morning coffee or watching the sunset depending on the season. Just inside the front door is a dining room and the staircase. You’ll also find two storage closets and a large pantry.


The kitchen is complete with an island and a desk, granite countertops, and a breakfast nook. Take advantage of an optional add-on for a covered back patio off of the kitchen! The breakfast nook spills into the spacious living room, with a cozy fireplace for winter days with your family.

Entertainers will love to host holiday dinners in the dining room; and enjoy plenty of room for mixing and mingling in the open kitchen and living room.


On the first floor, a half bathroom is easily accessible for family and guests. And you’ll find a two-car garage which is perfect for your family’s vehicles and more.

Upstairs, you’ll find the master suite. It is spacious with a generous walk-in closet. The master bath has a beautiful garden tub, double sink, and includes ceramic tile.


Also upstairs, are three bedrooms and a full bath that are perfect for children, guests or office space. The Alleyna has a large laundry room and plenty of storage space.  Take a photo tour below and contact us for more.




kids playing with toys

All You Need to Know About Playrooms

We all need a little personal space. This is true for children, too.

In your dream home, your kids can have their own space to explore the bounds of their creativity. Depending on your layout, you can have a designated room or corner area to function as a playroom.

Here are a few things to consider when making your kids’ play space come to life!


Designate “zones” for different activities and interests

Designating zones for different areas of your child’s interests is an important part of designing a playroom. Your child will be able to read, play, create, and learn all in the same space while staying organized! You can use the same strategy if you have more than one child as well.

Create a fun and safe space for their school work by picking a corner for each of your school age kids; and leave the main area of the room for play! You can use furniture to make these zones obvious—a desk for crafts and homework, a comfy chair for a reading nook, a tent for hiding away, a rug for blocks, etc.

If you don’t have enough space to dedicate a full room to playtime, you can pick an area of their bedroom or the family room where they can play and make lifelong memories.  This designated space helps to contain toys and gives your children a sense of ownership over a space that’s fun for them to do what they do best: play and create.



Along with cheerful giggles and play, come all of the toys! Provide ample age-appropriate storage for books, toys, games, costumes, and anything else they love. A dresser, toy box, or bookshelf are great starting points for playroom storage! Be sure to anchor furnishings that a child could climb to a wall. This will help prevent tipping and accidents.



Playing and creative activities enrich your children’s lives. Use their favorite colors or themes to decorate the space and bring it to life. Hang educational or inspirational art on the walls. Have a budding astronaut?  Put up planets and constellations.  Have a bookworm who loves mysteries? Decorate with a detective theme and “secret compartments.”

Wall art, pillows, and curtains are easy to swap out as your children get older and their interests change.


Functional for Years to Come

The older your kids get, the less inclined they will be to “play,” but that doesn’t mean they can’t use their playroom. Investing in a comfy couch where they can chat with friends or a play video games keeps the space inviting and useful as they grow.

Every child is unique; taking time to tailor an area for their special interests gives them a place to explore, play, flourish, and grow. Teaching them to clean up and keep their belongings in that play space as they grow also helps keep your home tidy. Now everyone can enjoy their own spaces and shared spaces together.

house exterior

Single-Story or Two-Story Living

If you’re considering building your dream home in Coastal Carolina, one of the first questions to ask yourself is if you want a single-story home or a two-story home. As with most decisions, there are pros and cons to both options. Depending on your budget, lifestyle, family, and lot size, you can weigh the advantages and disadvantages when selecting your floorplan.


Single-Story Living

If you have young children, physically disabled or aging family members, a single-story home is likely the safer option. With one level, you won’t have to worry about anyone struggling to reach upper levels on stairs or a loved one taking a tumble. Without stairs, you may also enjoy more usable square feet. A staircase can take up as much as 100 square feet!

Single-story homes are easier to maintain and often more energy efficient. You don’t have to worry about the heat rising to your second floor, so keeping your thermostat regulated will be easier and more affordable. It also can be easier to do laundry and clean since you won’t have to lug baskets of clothes or vacuums up and down stairs.

However, one of the biggest cons to a one-story home is the larger physical footprint on your land. It will be more costly to build the foundation, cover the entire roof, and have plumbing, heating, and cooling systems running the whole length of the house. Depending on the size of your lot, a single-story home may leave you with smaller front or back yards than you’d hoped for.

All-ground floor windows also impact your sense of privacy. You may want to invest in window coverings that increase privacy in bedrooms and baths on the ground floor. You’ll also be sleeping on the same level as your kids, who may feel they have less space or privacy as they get older.


Two-Story Living

Two-story homes have a smaller footprint, so they take up less of your acreage and can be less expensive for excavation, foundation, and roof installation! But, they’re also a bit trickier to engineer.

In a two-story home, you can be sure to get your steps in every day. Making trips up and down the stairs is good for your health. You’ll also get better views of your property from second-story windows.

Having two stories can create more separation in your home, which can be a good thing. You could have all of your bedrooms on the second floor and just your living spaces on the first floor. Alternatively, your primary bedroom could be downstairs, and your kids can have their own territory upstairs with their bedrooms, playrooms, and separate bathroom. Having bedrooms on the second floor also adds a little more privacy from neighbors.

Possible negatives of two-story homes include noise being heard from multiple levels and extra HVAC units or capacity being needed to overcome the heat that rises between floors.

If you’re planning on living in your home through retirement, it’s wise to consider a single-level home. As you or your family ages, getting up and down the stairs may be challenging, and expensive to adapt for accessibility.

No matter what you choose for your family, knowing the pros and cons will help you make the decision that suits you best. Either way, we’re here to help.


Trendy vs. Timeless

When building your dream home, you have a lot of freedom in the design and details. While you’re navigating options for light fixtures, paint colors, and flooring, you want to find the right balance between trendy and timeless designs.

Keeping true to your personal style when designing your home is important. Keep in mind that trends change often, and opting for a super-trendy look in your whole house, may lead to you wanting to redecorate or remodel after a short time as trends fade. Timeless design elements may not be as ‘trendy’, but they will stand the test of time and require fewer changes.  They can also boost resale value, which is an investment your future self will thank you for.

As a rule of thumb, if you want to include trendy design elements in your home, you should make them easily changeable. For items that are permanent, costly, or labor-intensive to change, consider more timeless options.

Choose timeless styles for your flooring, built-ins, ceiling designs, countertops, and cabinetry. You can never go wrong with hardwood floors, stone countertops, and simple ceilings. Once the more expensive and long-term elements are in place, you can decorate and furnish your home with unique pieces.

Great ways to incorporate trends are in items you can change easily! Have fun picking out trendy light fixtures, a bold paint color for an accent wall, unique art, and special hardware. You can swap out a wall sconce or chandelier in a few years if your choices feel dated, and you can always repaint.

At the end of the day, it’s your home! We want you to love it and enjoy it for years to come. Horizons East is here to help make your dream home a reality.