How to Build an Indianapolis Custom Home

Designing A Custom Home To Optimize Natural Light

Penny Siml - Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Lighting plays a crucial role in your home, and its importance is far too often overlooked by home builders. Lighting affects the ambiance and mood of your home and should be considered carefully with professional builders who understand lighting design. Get the lighting right and your home will feel comfortable, warm and inviting. Avoid mistakes such as a lack of windows and harsh lighting, which could make you feel anxious and uncomfortable in your own home. Select a custom home builder who knows their stuff and will capitalize on these three important lighting techniques.


1. Position of the House

Building your home strategically to harness the most natural light is the first critical step.

Home planning takes a lot of attention to details. Natural sunlight should be the main source of lighting in your home. Sunlight has so many benefits for your health and it helps create airy, bright and inviting spaces. Natural light has also been proven to increase productivity and help your natural sleep cycles to give you a better night’s rest. Who couldn’t use a few extra z’s each night?

The sun moves across a daily path, called the ecliptic, which (in our little corner of the world here in Indiana) is higher in the sky during summer and lower during winter. This is important to consider because the angle of the sun won’t be the same throughout the year.

That being said, we’ll help you figure out how to orient your house on your lot so that natural light comes into the most used spaces like the kitchen, living room, or family room. If you like the sun to filter in while you are waking up in the morning, position your bedroom to the east. If you like your room to stay dark, positioning your bedroom on the west is ideal.

Another huge benefit of allowing lots of natural light in your home is reduced energy consumption and savings on your energy bill. When you have more natural light filtering in through your windows, you are able to use less artificial lighting. If your home is oriented towards the sun, you can also see a reduction in cost on your heating bill. If you add solar panels too, the savings would increase even more. Cha-ching!

Allowing too much sunlight into your home can also have its drawbacks. If you love the idea of natural light, we’ll want to strategically plan the position of your home so you don’t get an extreme morning or afternoon glare. Additional accommodations will also need to be implemented as we design your custom home. For example, installing overhangs can help block the harsh sun when it is highest in the summer, while still allowing sunlight and warmth from the low winter sun. Trust the experts at Carrington Homes to lay out your home on your site to make sure your lighting is done right!

2. Window Placement

Strategic placement of windows, skylights, and French or glass sliding doors are the second-best way to allow more natural light into your home. In addition to providing stunning light in each room of your home, windows also give a connection to the outdoors. Windows located in front of a kitchen sink provide a nice view while you do the dishes. You might as well make clean up a little more enjoyable right? Skylights are a perfect option for bathrooms, as they bring in lots of natural light while still providing privacy. An open floor plan with a strategic window layout is the perfect way to flood your entire home with sunshiny goodness!

3. Artificial Lighting

Well-designed lighting schemes can be tricky but can create a dramatic effect on a space. Multiple layers of lighting are the best strategy but choosing light fixtures that are glare free is key. Indirect lighting will create a soft light and increase the ambiance in your room. If you have coffered or cove ceilings, introduce some LED uplighting to set the mood. Be plentiful with your artificial lighting sources, but also be strategic. Task lighting should be implemented to illuminate areas where you are doing a specific activity like reading in the living room or putting on makeup in the bathroom. Under cabinet lighting is another example of task lighting that will also highlight your gorgeous backsplash. Decorative pendant fixtures over your kitchen island and accent lighting in your cabinetry to showcase your favorite china, are additional lighting layers that can be included in your strategic lighting design. Dim it down and control the amount of artificial light you need to supplement your natural light. Putting dimmers on your switches is an easy solution to give you choice and control of lighting levels. Remote controls and motion sensors should also be considered to enhance the flexibility and convenience of your lighting design. Think of it like “clap on, clap off”, taken to the next level!

There is really so much to consider in order to create a purposeful lighting design. Get the light right the first time by selecting Carrington Homes to strategically customize your home lighting plan.


Turn Your Basement Into A Luxury Wine Cellar

Penny Siml - Thursday, June 06, 2019

Have you run out of room on your wine rack? If so, it might be time to consider a custom wine cellar. Whether you need to store a few of your favorite bottles or are a huge wine enthusiast with hundreds of bottles from your travels, your wine collection deserves a special spot to be displayed and properly stored. Carrington Homes can build a beautiful space to store and display your wine stash so you can do your own wine tasting without having to leave the comfort of home.

Keep your wine cold and tasking great, by incorporating these three design elements in your custom wine cellar.

1. Good Lighting & Ambiance

Sunlight is not a friend of wine bottles. UV rays degrade and prematurely age wine. Wine needs a dark, cool space to enhance the flavors. Choosing the location for your wine cellar where the natural light will not penetrate is important to consider. Since you won’t be allowing the sun to hit your “babies,” you will definitely want to incorporate artificial lighting to enhance the ambiance. Striking chandeliers, pendant fixtures, and track lighting on a dimmer switch will set the mood, highlight your wine, and wow your guests.

2. Climate Control

The average wine cellar in a cool, dark basement won’t suffice. The temperature and humidity need to be regulated by a climate control refrigeration system to ensure your wine tastes great. The accepted sweet spot is 55-58°F. A few degrees hotter and your wine will age too quickly, damaging the quality, and most importantly, the aroma and flavor. A few degrees cooler and your wine will age at a much slower pace.

As for humidity, 55-75% is ideal. A dry environment can dry out the cork, allowing air in the bottle and spoiling the wine. Carrington Homes will ensure that the temperature and humidity remain at optimal levels, so you can think outside of the box for the location of your wine cellar. While a basement is a great option, a kitchen pantry, man cave, closet space, or under the stairs can also be considered. Install a bar or bar height table with bar stools and a few comfortable lounge chairs, and you have a great space to entertain your guests or sip your wine in solitude after a long day.

3. Horizontal Displays

Did you know that storing your wine vertically could ruin your wine? Horizontal displays are ideal, so the liquid meets the cork and prevents it from drying out. Horizontal racking is also space efficient, so you can keep your collection growing. Incorporating a wine cellar with horizontal storage will organize your wine collection so you can easily know what kinds of wine you have and access them quickly for the appropriate occasion. Many people are proud of their collection and enjoy showing it off to friends and family. A wine cellar is the perfect way to do this, and Carrington Homes can design your wine cellar with stunning finishes for the flooring, backsplash, and countertops that reflect your personal style.

Unlike a fine wine that takes years to mature, choosing a knowledgeable expert like Carrington Homes to plan your custom wine cellar will save you time and money. A wine collector + wine cellar = perfect pairing! Get started on your own custom wine cellar that is uniquely designed to fit your home and style by calling us to schedule a consultation today.


Party-Perfect Porch Designs To Welcome Warm Weather

Penny Siml - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The sun is finally shining and the weather is warming up here in Indiana. There are few things better than ending the day with a cool glass of lemonade (or wine), sitting on the front porch watching the world go by or getting lost in a good book.

Go From Garage to Gorgeous Functional Space

Penny Siml - Thursday, May 09, 2019

What comes to mind when you think about a garage? Probably not much. A place to park to keep the snow off the car in the winter. A dark, dusty storage space for the Christmas decorations you drag out once a year. Well, we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way! A garage can be and should be, so much more than a forgotten storage space for the once-a-year decorations and old bikes that the kids grew out of years ago.

Attached, Detached, or Semi-Attached

The first decision you’ll need to make when it comes to your garage is the style that works for your home and your lifestyle. A detached or semi-detached garage can serve multiple purposes for your family. The upstairs can easily transform into a private and comfortable guest house for family and friends when they come to visit. Living space in the garage can also serve as a semi-permanent living space for the kids to come and go over summers away from college or in-between big moves as they take the first steps into adulthood. This feature is ideal for everyone in the family as it offers privacy with all the comforts of home. Or maybe you want an attached garage to easily unload the groceries or pack for a long trip with the family.

The detached or semi-detached garage is great for the hobbyist in the home. Instead of taking over the home office or setting up shop on the kitchen table, a large garage creates the perfect secluded area to get your craft on without turning the entire house into a mess of supplies. Woodworking, painting, and other loud or messy projects are best when done outside of the home, but you still want to be comfortable, so the garage is the perfect place to escape the stresses of day-to-day life and focus on something that brings you joy.

A Home For All Things Auto

For some families, it’s best to keep the garage as the home for all things car related. A well-designed garage with plenty of work space and storage makes the gear-head feel right at home. Just because space is designed for cars doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable! Spacious benches for working and comfortable chairs make rebuilding that classic Cadillac a little more comfortable. You can even add a TV, minifridge, and small couch to create the ultimate man-cave.

Expert Organization

When your family starts to grow, it seems like the house begins to shrink. The mountain of toys start to take over and all of the baby clothes need somewhere to go. When you have a lot to hold on to for the future, a well-organized garage is a perfect fit for keeping the home clutter-free and clean without throwing out beloved keepsakes or things you’ll need down the road. Don’t just rely on totes and vacuum sealed bags. Design with organization in mind and add custom built-in shelving and storage options. Everything feels much cleaner when boxes and clutter are artfully hidden behind beautifully designed cabinetry.

Lofty Design Ideas

If you really want to kick your garage design up to the next level, a loft adds a ton of personality and functional space. Perfect for an add-on bar, sports lounge, or just extra storage space, the high ceilings and open concept turns your garage into the crown jewel of entertainment space you’ll want to spend time in. If you opt for the two-story garage design, go all out and add adjustable basketball goals for a pop-up game rain or shine.

While the extravagant garage might not be for you, the garage still shouldn’t go ignored. There are a wide variety of ways to make it an extremely functional space for your entire family. When you’re ready to get started designing your very own custom home, talk to one of our Carrington Home designers to plan the perfect home from floor to ceiling and garage to master bedroom.



The Battle of the Bathroom Materials: Tile, Marble, or Laminate?

Penny Siml - Monday, April 29, 2019

Bathrooms can be a fun space to design. Whether you’re focusing on a quaint powder room or a large master bathroom, choosing the right materials for your space is a big decision. But what determines whether or not a material is the right choice for your bathroom? That’s up to you and how you foresee the space being used. Not as cut and dry of an answer as you would have hoped? Allow us to explain.  Read More...

Kitchen Ideas to Make the Heart of the Home More Comfortable

Penny Siml - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

When it comes to comfortable spaces in the home, it’s common to think of plush carpeting and abundant, cozy seating in the living room or the relaxing retreat that the bedroom offers. However, the heart of the home, the kitchen, isn’t often considered a comfortable space. But why is that? After all, families and friends spend hours gathered in the kitchen, whether it be for quiet, weeknight dinners or big, momentous celebrations.   Read More...

Hancock County Home Tour

Penny Siml - Friday, April 12, 2019

Looking for something to do this weekend, April 13 & 14? Check out the Hancock County Home Tour in Greenfield, Indiana! Stop by, check out our model home and say Hi to Carl McIntyre at 2326 West Stone Ridge Trail in Greenfield, IN. 

Bathrooms for Privacy and Function

Penny Siml - Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Office Design for Organizing Mountains of Paperwork

Penny Siml - Friday, March 22, 2019


Study Spaces for Year-Round Learning

Penny Siml - Friday, February 15, 2019

Anyone with kids knows the challenges of getting homework done in the evening between after-school activities, making dinner, and preparing for the next day. But these study habits are vital for the long-term success of a child. Depending on how, when, and where kids study plays a big role in how successful the study session will be and can make a marked difference in the retention of the information. To give your kids the best opportunity for success, a designated study spot is a must in the home. We pulled together a few of our favorite study room ideas for your custom home to help kids, develop, learn, grow, and flourish.

Distraction-Free Planning

The first thing to consider is the placement of this room in your home. To make study time effective, you want to eliminate as many distractions as possible, so it’s a great idea to build this room away from entertainment spaces or areas with a lot of noise (like the kitchen or living room). Creating a secluded space for study helps us define separate time for study and leisure. Consider a phone-free environment and resist any temptation to add a television in this room.

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Under the Bed

If a designated study space isn’t in your design plans, consider allocating more space in bedrooms for a desk or study nook. Even if the space you have to work with is small, it’ still important to create that designated space for homework, study, and projects. We love using space in the bedroom to cleverly create extra space with a small corner nook or a big bay window that can easily transform into a cozy spot to read and study.

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Cluster of Desks

Developing collaboration skills from an early age will also help children become great students with solid study habits. With multiple kids in the home, you can create a co-working space where everyone can get their assignments finished in one place. This also makes things easier for parents to monitor homework and make sure all assignments get completed.

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Space for you and your child

Homework time is the perfect opportunity for some quality family time and to see how your child is developing in their studies. When planning a study room design, we suggest designing enough space for you and your child to sit together comfortably. If you have concerns about allocating space for a study room when you know, eventually, the kids will be out of the home, we like to point out this space can be used for a wide variety of other functions. This could be another home office, an entertainment room, or guest room once the kids leave the nest.

Plenty of storage

You’re up late, trying to help your son finish the homework assignment he should have told you about weeks ago, but now it’s the night before it’s due and you’re lending a hand to help get it done on time. You search around for a glue stick to help paste on the final touches when you realize there is no glue stick in the house and now it looks like you’ll be making a late night trip to the store. Instead of going through all of this, plan your study space with plenty of storage to hold everything and anything you could need to get the job done. We recommend built-in storage units that are sleek and versatile while expertly hiding paper, pens, books, and supplies.

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These are just a few ideas for designing space kids can use to study, learn, and develop without distractions. We love any idea that inspires better study habits. What are your ideas for a home study space? We want to hear them! Connect with one of our design professionals to get started. We’ll help you plan every detail of your custom home, right down to the fine details.



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Carrington Homes

Carrington Homes is your distinctive Indianapolis Custom Home Builder specializing in custom homes and remodeling throughout Central Indiana

Phone: (317) 336-8002

8250 N 600 W McCordsville IN 46055


Remodeling and Home Design



8250 N. 600 W. MCCORDSVILLE, IN 46055