Category Archives: Home Modifications

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. 

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.


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.

How Home Décor Can Reduce Holiday Stress

The holiday season is always busy.  It can cause extra stress and wintery weather can mess with your mood. Even though the holidays should be a time of joy, making plans and preparing for the many different activities with family can make it a not-so-jolly time some days.

To help reduce the stress of the season, consider decorating your home for the holidays.  That’s right – decorating for the holidays can reduce stress.

Whether it’s Fall, Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, you have fond memories of celebrating the holidays over the years. Nostalgia from holiday home decor can improve your mood. Put up decorations that remind you of your favorite holiday memories. Rekindle a bit of holiday magic from when you were younger and enjoy the warm feelings this season.

Decorating your home for the holidays can also improve joy. Acting cheerful actually will make you feel more cheerful. The old adage, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” kicks in here. Spruce up your home with festive furnishings that make you smile.  Put on a funny movie or favorite seasonal songs to lift your spirits, and you’ll be feeling more joyful during the season.

Once your home is decorated for the winter season, you’ll have created the perfect environment to make more happy holiday memories with the ones you love. You may want to host your loved ones for holiday festivities to show off your decorating skills. Spending time with those you love most in your home will create lasting memories for years to come.


If you’re decorating for the holidays this year, try some of these ideas:
  1. Use throw pillows to decorate quickly and interchangeably. Invest in a few different festive pillows and toss them around the house on beds and couches. Save space by using pillow covers to easily swap out your decor for different holidays!
  2. Hang garlands around the house. Trailing greenery (faux or fresh), twinkling lights, and more can add miles of holiday spirit quickly.
  3. Opt for festive hand towels. These are functional and can go in bathrooms and the kitchen. Just like throw pillows, you can easily change them out for different holidays.
  4. Hang a wreath on your door. If decorating inside isn’t your thing, but you still want to do something to decorate, a wreath is a quick and easy way to spread some holiday cheer. They aren’t just for Christmas, either!  Shop around to get a fun wreath for every fun occasion on the calendar this year.
Man drilling hole in wood

DIY Don’ts to Avoid at Home

Making sure your home uniquely reflects your own style is part of what makes it YOU. Your budget or your passion for projects may leave you wanting to attempt DIY projects. How hard can it be, right? Well, some projects are best left to professionals. Between safety concerns, retail materials costs, and the potential to have to pay to correct a mistake, it can be wiser and more budget-friendly to hire a trusted expert. These are a few DIY projects you should definitely leave to professionals.  



Electrical projects can be both difficult and dangerous. Wiring is not always easily accessible and may require you to go into crawlspaces or remove drywall. Permits or inspections may be needed for some projects and it can be dangerous if electrical repairs or installations are done incorrectly. Electrical issues are the third biggest cause of fires in the home. Without expert knowledge, you can accidentally lose power to your whole home, too! Unless you have the training and experience, leave this type of project to the experts to ensure things are safely and correctly installed. 



Big plumbing projects should also be left to experts. You may be able to replace your shower head or a faucet, but for anything more significant it’s recommended to call a licensed plumber. Water damage from incorrectly completed projects is expensive.  A weekend project gone wrong can turn into a costly, long-term problem.  



Laying tile in any part of your home is another project that may seem simple, but may be best left in the hands of professionals. From cutting the tiles to perfectly fit nooks and crannies to ensuring the correct consistency of grout, there is room for error. Without the proper saws and tools, the project becomes more difficult. And depending on your skill level, it’s possible the whole project may have to be redone. Consult an expert to get the job done right the first time. 



Even on a single-story, small home, replacing or repairing your roofing can be dangerous due to the risk of falls or other injuries. Roofs have a slope for runoff and can be slippery if wet or covered with loose materials. It’s also easy to be distracted by a task or misplace heavy materials and lose your balance. Beyond the obvious danger, potential errors could leave you with a leaking roof and water damage.  

2022 Colors of the Year

A new year offers the promise of a fresh start, and that doesn’t just apply to your resolutions. The new year can bring a sense of refreshment for you and your home. Now that the holidays are over, you can refocus your energy and update your living space.

HGTV-Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore have each given us a head start on refreshing our homes in the new year by selecting a Color of the Year for 2022.

Meet Aleutian

HGTV-Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year is Aleutian, an earthy, blue-toned stone color. Neutral enough to ground a space, but with a hint of color to add depth and contrast. It is cozy and serene and works in almost any room of the home.


Meet October Mist

Benjamin Moore’s 2022 Color of the Year is October Mist, a calming, soft sage hue. This shade was inspired by the stem of a flower and evokes subtle botanical themes. October Mist is whimsical but sophisticated and can bring a hint of nature to any space. Like Aleutian, October Mist is a neutral hue, and can complement a variety of spaces and other colors.


Both Benjamin Moore and HGTV-Sherwin Williams have compiled color palettes for further inspiration on using their Color of the Year.

Using these colors in your home can inspire a large project or a small one. Here are a few ways to consider using a Color of the Year in your home.


Add an Accent

An easy way to dip your toes into a pool of new color is to start small. Paint a piece of furniture, find throw pillows in the color, or add small accents of Aleutian or October Mist. If you love the color and want to update your curb appeal, try painting the front door. These projects are small in scale, but can add a lot of impact in your home.


Embrace the Color

For a larger project and larger impact, embrace the color on a larger scale. Have your painter repaint an accent wall, ceiling, or entire room in a color of the year. Explore furnishings and wall art that feature the color.  Try flooring or an area rug with the 2022 hue of your choice.


Get Creative

Create a custom masterpiece in your home. Add an accent wall of a hand-painted, stamped, or stenciled pattern to explore your creativity. DIY it or have a quilt or custom piece of art made that includes the color you want to feature in your refreshed space. The options are as endless as your imagination.


Enjoy the colors of the year.  We hope they refresh you and your home in 2022.

Closet and Pantry Organization Hacks

Organization is key to a functional home. Spaces like closets and pantries can easily become overcrowded and hard to navigate. How can you maximize your closet and pantry space to make your day-to-day life easier?  Here are a few clever hacks to help.



Putting a small dresser or drawer unit in your pantry or closet is a great way to put your floor space to use. In a closet, they make so much sense under your hanging clothes. Use the drawers to store pants or folded tops in your closet, or to store snacks in your pantry.


Lazy Susan

A Lazy Susan in your pantry is a quick way to easily see everything in the space. Instead of pulling out cans and bottles one by one to view what’s tucked in the back of the shelf, place the items onto a Lazy Susan and simply rotate to find what you need.


Hanging Organizers

Use hanging organizers in your closet or your pantry!  In closets, use them to store shoes, accessories, or winter gear. Add a hanging organizer on the back of your pantry door to make spices, snacks or bottled drinks easy to access.



Hooks are your friend! Hang belts, scarves, jewelry, and hats on small hooks in your closet, and use larger hooks to hang hoodies or jackets. Hooks can be added to wall space or the back of doors for easy access.  In the pantry, hang pots, lids, and utensils from hooks. You can even hang a caddy with hooks and fill it with spices, condiments, or other items.


Drawer Organizers

In the kitchen, place dividers and smaller bins into your drawers to separate your utensils, lids, or spices. In closets, use drawer organizers to separate underwear and socks.


Clear Containers and Bins

Investing in uniform containers for storage will make your life easier. Instead of trying to fit boxes and cartons that are all different sizes into your pantry space, invest in clear containers that are all the same size, which will stack easily and line up perfectly. This also makes it easier to tell when you’re running low on any pantry staples! Airtight storage containers will also keep your food fresher for longer.

Clear bins and containers can be helpful in closets, too.  Use them for easy viewing of supplies or to rotate seasonal clothing or other items. They make it easy to grab what you need quickly.

Simple Ways to Decorate Your Front Doorstep

Are you ready for holiday parties and welcoming your loved ones to your home? Decorate your front door with some festive embellishments to offer a warm welcome. Even the simplest decorations can go a long way and will only take a few moments to hang!  Here are a few ideas to inspire your holiday door and front porch décor!


Recycle a Wreath

Repurpose old Christmas decorations for your front porch. Old ornaments, strips of ribbon, pine cones, and more, can be fastened to a wreath and hung on your front door. Reduce, reuse, recycle, and be merry while you do it! We do not recommend over-the-door wreath hangers as they can throw doors out of alignment.



Swap Out Your Doormat


Replacing your doormat with a seasonal one is another fun way to decorate your front doorstep. Choose a wintery message or a cute Christmas icon to get into the holiday spirit!


String or Garland Lighting

Add joy by lighting up your entryway with string or garland lights. Frame the door, wrap columns and railings, or even the walkway leading up to your door. Try finding energy efficient lighting options so your energy bill doesn’t skyrocket and to reduce your carbon footprint.


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Greet your guests with a holiday jingle by adding a strand of Christmas bells around your door handle.


Natural Greenery

Keep things simple with greenery, whether man-made or fresh. Drape it around your door frame, along the banisters, and add a small tree to the stoop. It’s festive throughout the winter season. Elevate it with some ornaments, bows, or with white fairy lights for nighttime.

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.



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.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

We all want to keep our family safe. Taking certain precautions in your home can help. One simple, important way to protect your family at home is with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.


Carbon Monoxide Detectors & Maintenance

Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no color and no odor, making it virtually impossible to detect with your own senses. It is potentially lethal and can cause a number of symptoms, such as chest pain, vomiting, or dizziness.

Carbon monoxide detectors have an alarm that sounds whenever they sense unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.  There are a few kinds of detectors on the market, but in general, the alarm is set off when carbon monoxide causes a reaction in the chemicals the detectors contain.

There’s easy maintenance for carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are working properly. Simply test the detectors once a month by pushing the test button on the front of the unit. Replace the batteries as often as the manufacturer recommends and replace the detector every few years. Also, remember to keep them clean and free of dust.


Smoke Detectors & Maintenance

Smoke Detectors are another simple, but very important way to protect your family. Some smoke detectors can also detect carbon monoxide. It is important to have a both types of alarms in your home at all times, whether they are separate devices or a hybrid unit.

Smoke detectors set off an alarm when smoke causes a chemical reaction inside the device or heat rises to a very high level. Maintenance for smoke detectors is similar to the maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors, but be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics. Generally, you should test them once a month and change them out every few years. Also, keep them free of dust.


What About False Alarms?

Sometimes, both detectors may give a false alarm. For example, smoke detectors can go off because of steam, which causes a similar reaction as smoke would inside the device. Carbon monoxide detectors may sound a false alarm if they are too close to appliances that use gas, like a stove.

Even though a detector may give a false alarm, always take any alarm seriously and take appropriate action until you can confirm the alarm was false and your home is safe. Since carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, it is strongly advised to have a professional come out and verify that there is no leak in your home if your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm.