7 questions to ask as you choose interior lighting for your design/build new home

There are many lighting choices for your Travars Built custom home in NC. Here’s what to keep in mind to help ensure the lights you choose can be a good fit.

#1 What lighting styles are your favorite? Matte black modern farmhouse? Contemporary chrome?

It’s common to mix and match lighting styles in design/build new homes. You don’t have to pick just one!

Kitchen Open to Living Room | On Your Lot Builder Chapel Hill NC

#2 How much light do you need?

How much natural light is available through windows, skylights, glass doors? How much foliage is around the home? How often will shades be closed?

Chapel Hill New Home Builder | New Homes Chapel Hill NC

#3 Where will the light source be placed?

Make sure the wattage and light bulb size are sufficient for the area you need to light up. Some lighting fixtures are really pretty. But they use tiny little lights. Will the lighting source be sufficient?

#4 What are you lighting up?

Rooms with high ceilings may need more light distribution. Screen porches may block some natural light from entering the rooms behind them.

#5 What do you need the light for?

Craft rooms, homework areas, informal dining areas or other specific designations may require extra lighting. Do you need a spotlight or more subtle lighting?

#6 What materials?

Chrome? Wood? Black metal? Copper? Crystal? It’s no longer an imperative for everything in the room to match. Faucets and doorknobs can be a very different material than lighting. The focus is more on personality and functionality than adhering to a single material.

Chatham County NC Custom Homes | Two Story Kitchen

#7 What is the purpose of the lighting?

Does the entire room need to be lit up, with multiple can lights to boost lighting or would sconces (for reading), under cabinet lights (for food prep) or theater lights (along the floor or steps) be something to think about?

Chatham County On Your Lot Builder | Chatham New Homes

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7 barn door design ideas

Barn doors are big in North Carolina new homes. See the best places to add a barn door – with the flexibility to fit every architectural style, from modern farmhouse to contemporary.

Love a floor plan, and want to add a barn door? Ask the team at Travars Built Homes what it takes to build your new home with a barn door for your kitchen, office, owner’s suite, sitting room, keeping room, pantry, bathroom, laundry, or closet during our custom home build process.

Stained wood sliding barn door

This barn door has a rural feel to it, with the 2×4 “X” across the door taking it one step further to a branded look.

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

Antique white wood barn doors

Don’t take the term “barn door” literally. It’s a free ranging door style that can take on a different feel depending on the materials it’s crafted with – like the glass barn doors you see here, framed in white – with contemporary appeal.

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

Opaque glass barn doors

Barn doors take twice the amount of wall space as swinging doors. However, they can add functionality to an area where a swinging door is not feasible. That’s why they have become so popular in bathrooms, like this:

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

Double sliding barn doors

Barn doors are typically attached to the wall on metal girders like this, which are purposely big and dramatic to call further attention to them as a focal point:

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

Double barn doors are a great fit for larger spaces. They can be held open most of the time, like a frame around an entry place that can be closed off when desired.

Glass panel sliding barn doors

Sliding barn doors can lend importance to libraries like this, off the great room. The glass panels reflect the wall of windows in the room. White trim denotes elegance. Subtle metal rods and hinges meld into the home d├ęcor with classic appeal. Nothing rural about these barn doors!

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

French door style barn doors

Barn doors serve a decorative purpose in rooms like this. On the outside, they slide across the doorway. On the inside, they look like traditional French doors with an open view from an office, dining room, keeping room, sitting room or any other room that can be set apart by sliding doors.

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

Brushed nickel hardware for barn doors

Barn doors are often preferable to pocket doors in NC new homes – talk with the builder team at Travars Built Homes about why. Here, they add charm as well as functionality to the mud room.

Barn door design ideas | North Carolina New Homes

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Where to use tile, wood, carpet – and other types of flooring in your new home

What kind of flooring will your new home come with, when you build an NC custom home?

It can depend on what your builder offers, and the floor plan that you choose. Here’s what to expect in a Travars Built Home.

Kitchens

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Most kitchens in North Carolina new homes have hardwood floors. With Travars Built Homes, site finished, real oak hardwood is our standard. Ask us what some homeowners want for flooring when they have dogs. We’ll also tell you why tile isn’t as common in NC kitchens as in some parts of the country.

Living rooms / great rooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Hardwood in the living room gives a clean, fresh look to gathering areas, with easy cleanup. Decide which stain color you’d like to go with on site, when you go there during the build to see what looks best with the cabinetry, in the sunlight.

Breakfast rooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

The hardwoods keep on flowing throughout all the main living areas in your Travars Built Home, with sweeping open space that’s beautiful from one room to the next, like this breakfast room.

Laundry rooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Laundry rooms have tile floors in Travars Built Homes. Have fun choosing the personality you want in spaces like this, that get a lot of use! Ask us how to make your laundry room even better, with folding tables, cubbies, shelves, and more space.

Mud rooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Mud rooms have tile floors too. They’re designed for easy cleanup of everything that tracks into the home from outdoors. It’s also great for furry friends. Ask how to tuck a dog house, pet shower, or other accommodation into your custom home, like the one you see in this mud room.

Bathrooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Every full bathroom in a Travars Built Home comes with a tile floor, too. There’s a big trend right now for tile that looks like wood, which can give it a rustic, contemporary look that can be really beautiful, like this floor.

Bedrooms

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Bedrooms typically come with carpet, which Travars Built Homes makes more comfortable and long lasting with 8 pound pad beneath and a variety of choices. We can install hardwood instead – it’s one of the many things you can decide what to do with, when you build a custom home the way you want it.

Library / home offices

New Home Flooring Types | NC Custom Homes

Most offices and libraries in Travars Built Homes have beautiful oak hardwood flooring like this home. It can depend on the location of these rooms – all main living areas on the first floor typically have hardwood as a standard. Ask us about other flooring you’d like in your home – cork, bamboo, concrete, laminate – we can create whatever effect you would like.

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14 ways to create welcoming indoor/outdoor living spaces for your NC new home

Building indoor/outdoor living into your NC new home can make it feel more open and spacious – with easy flow through to extra space where you can stretch out and enjoy natural light, fresh air, scenery and activities.

Get ideas from these 14 photos of indoor/outdoor porches, decks, windows and doors. See what comes standard (or can be easily customized) when you build a new custom home with Travars Built Homes.

Sliding glass doors

Double sliding glass doors are one of the most exciting new trends in NC custom homes. Framed by matching windows on either side, they promote natural light as well as access to a covered porch, screen porch, deck or patio through multiple entrances that extend gathering areas into everything your outdoor living area offers.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Open space

Note how much more open space is felt in this NC custom home by adding outdoor living space separated by a wall of glass. The more you can view, the more your indoor open space can create a connection with back yard nature. Ask NC custom home builder Travars Built Homes about ways to add more – and bigger – windows, all over your new home, with modifications in its design phase.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Wall of windows

Indoor/outdoor living space that is connected through a glass door as well as a wall of windows adds extra dimension. This Modern Farmhouse screen porch extends living space with massive windows across the entire area. Note the dark framed windows – a huge trend for NC new homes.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Deck extension

Extending outdoor living area with a deck that stretches beyond a screen porch offers even more opportunities to leverage all the activities conducive to including nature in your new home.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Big screen porch with detail work

Think through the size of your screen porch when you’re looking at blueprints with the builder. Some floor plans already dedicate space that’s integral to the home. Others can have a porch added on. Note the detail work that makes this indoor/outdoor living especially inviting.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Patios

Consider stepping down from your screen porch to a patio below suitable for a hot tub spa, barbeque, or other fun outdoor gathering space. Check with the general contractor about impervious space and other regulations, to see what’s possible where you’re building.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Railings

Whether rails are required due to height or you simply prefer to have deck space walled in, there are various approaches you can take with a custom home. Wood railings and wrought iron railings are the most popular treatments in NC. See how creative you can be, when you create a special look with Travars Built Homes.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Maximize (outdoor) open space

Open space isn’t just for the interior of your home. When the world awaits outside, relax on a wide open deck where you can sit and ponder. This deck was designed to encompass two entrances into the home (the breakfast room and the laundry/mud room). Want more? The possibilities are nearly endless, when you build a custom home in NC.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Fans and lighting

Screen porch ceiling fans come standard in Travars Built Homes, to add further enjoyment to outdoor living space. Lighting extends enjoyment of gathering areas like this no matter what time of day you feel like relaxing or getting together on your screen porch.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Personality

See the personality you can build in, through the design decisions you make – and the craftsmanship of a Travars Built Home. See the difference in choice with this wrought iron railing as compared to wood railings. The deck that stretches from the screen porch you see here was designed for maximum space. Note the detailed trim and ceiling treatments. Everything adds up, as you create your home the way you want it.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

French doors

The classic tradition of French doors can add an inviting touch to your outdoor living area. Tag on additional windows, for even more access to everything you want to see and do from the inside, out.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Open or enclosed

Travars Built Homes enclose your screen porch in comfort so your outdoor living enjoyment can be at its fullest. Screen walls. Screen door. Screen under the decking. Beadboard ceiling. Fan. Check out the details and relax. You’re going to love this.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

Extending the view

Got views on all sides of your new home? Ask us about floor plans that give you a glimpse around the corner from your screen porch, like this NC custom home. Soak in all the reasons you chose your homesite, as you maximize your indoor/outdoor living with a view.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

All brick

Wrap your indoor/outdoor living space with the solid feeling of strength, on your all brick home. This screen porch is an integral part of the home, with a doorway tucked into the brick corner that adds dimension.

Indoor outdoor living spaces | NC new homes

In North Carolina, new home exteriors are typically sided in fiber cement, brick or vinyl. The material and colors you choose are dependent on your community covenants as well as personal taste. Talk with your custom home designer at Travars Built Homes about more indoor/outdoor living ideas.

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7 Fireplaces for NC new homes

Make winter days cozy with the inviting warmth and ambient glow of flickering flames in your custom home fireplace.

The type of fireplace you choose (gas or woodburning), style of surround (slate, brick, stone, marble, tile, or other material), and mantle can make your fireplace the focal point of the room — whether it’s in the great room, master bedroom and/or bath, keeping room, rec room, screen porch, or anywhere else.

Here are 7 fireplace design ideas for your North Carolina new home:

Fireplace Idea #1: Brick character

The solid character of brick is a popular choice for fireplace surrounds in NC new homes. It has a hint of outdoor living and adds color. See how it pulls together this shiplap and wood.

Brick Fireplace Built Ins | Mebane NC New Homes

Fireplace Idea #2: Stone tradition

The tradition of stone can add a feeling of comfort and strength in your fireplace surround. See how amazing it looks surrounded by lanterns, beams and natural light.

Chatham County New Homes | Beam Ceiling

Fireplace Idea #3: Soft tile

Soft tile like this NC custom home fireplace surround is designed to blend with the grey walls around it. Dark blue ship lap above, ceiling fan and lots of windows around the fireplace make this corner of the home very appealing.

Durham Custom Home Builder | Fireplace Ideas

Fireplace Idea #4: Two-sided brick

Two-sided brick for a see-through fireplace emphasizes the importance of this custom home’s central point. The towering floor to ceiling structure provides a feeling of warmth to the entire living area, across several rooms.

Chatham County NC Custom Homes | Two Sided Fireplace

Fireplace Idea #5: Slate surround

The simplicity of a slate surround goes well with today’s emphasis on clean, straight-forward designs. It adds to the black and white look you see in this NC new home, that is extremely well received.

Fireplace Idea #6: Built in bookcases and cubbies

The classic personality and functionality of cubbies and bookcases surrounding the fireplace is still a highly sought after look. Ever popular shiplap adds to the theme you see here that’s punched up by the grey tile you see in this NC custom home.

Chapel Hill Modern Farmhouse | Living Room Built Ins

Fireplace Idea #7: Wood tones

This custom NC home punctuates the light and airy feel of lots of open space, natural light, cubbies and cupboards by pulling out hardwood tones in this stone fireplace surround and flagstone hearth.

Let us know what look you like best. Find other fireplace photos you’d like to emulate in your new home build? Bring them to your custom home consultation meeting with Travars Built Homes.

Homes without a fireplace: When is it better to leave out the fireplace?

Not every floor plan offers a fireplace. Travars Built Homes can add a fireplace to your plan. Or we can build your home without one.

Cost: Perhaps you would rather use the cost for a fireplace on something else in your home, like a chef’s kitchen.

Lifestyle: You may want to use fireplace space for something else inside your home, like a wall full of cubbies or large entertainment center.

Ask your build on your lot general contractor what’s possible in your plan.

Wendell North Carolina New Homes

Talk with the NC custom home builders at Travars Built Homes about what it takes to build in more options. Get started: