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Designing a Custom Home with Natural Lighting

Posted on 06/06/2013 at 10:48 AM

When building a custom home, taking advantage of the luminous affects provided by natural lighting is not only cost efficient, it also adds ambiance and warmth to any room.

Here are three ways to help maximize the affects of natural lighting in your Des Moines custom built home.

Oversized Windows

Traditional Family Room by Mississauga Architects & Designers Parkyn Design

Oversized windows are not only architecturally appealing, but they are also the perfect flow for natural lighting. A wall of windows with a view of a waterscape or the surrounding natural landscape makes a spectacular addition to a living room, study or master bedroom.

Incorporating energy efficient windows to your design will ensure that you reap the added heating benefits of natural lighting without sacrificing impact to your electric bill.

Expand the Outside

Traditional Garage And Shed by Seattle Architects & Designers Menter Architects LLC

Not only does natural lighting offer cost saving benefits, it also creates the opportunity of bringing the outside into your home. An accordion door works double duty by providing the perks of a wall of windows and the convenience of a door.

The perfect complement to any living room, master bedroom or oversized gourmet kitchen, accordion doors make it easy to move in and out during dinner parties or weekend cook outs.

Perfect Location

Contemporary Bedroom by Kirkland Architects & Designers Thielsen Architects, Inc. P.S.

The first step to building a custom home that incorporates natural lighting is to find a location which welcomes a design using large windows without shades or curtains. Land that positions the living room, kitchen and master bedroom at an angle that is either protected by trees or avoids the prying eyes of neighbors is ideal for oversized or floor to ceiling walls of windows.

Need help finding land for sale in Iowa? We can help you find a location that will be perfect, offering ample privacy for your natural light inspired Des Moines custom home.

Download our planner to take the first step towards designing your night light inspired custom home.

Design Trends for Custom Iowa New Homes: Home Fitness Centers

Posted on 06/04/2013 at 10:57 AM

One of the hottest trends currently seen by Iowa home builders is the inclusion of home fitness centers. Unlike the gyms of the past, today’s home fitness centers are equipped with state of the art technology and equipment, offering optimal health benefits for busy people.

Here are few ideas for designing your own luxury custom home fitness center.

Fitness Center: Complete Home Gym

Traditional Home Gym by Breckenridge General Contractors Pinnacle Mountain Homes

One of the most desired additions to any luxury custom home fitness center is a current lap pool. Different from the traditional lap pool, these pools require a much smaller space and still provide all the benefits of a full swim workout.

Coupled with cardio equipment and free weights, this home fitness center provides an optimal workout experience for today’s business lifestyle.

Fitness Center: Indoor Court and Climbing Wall

Mediterranean Home Gym by Scottsdale Interior Designers & Decorators Est Est, Inc.

Looking for more of an interactive outdoor experience? Then perhaps an indoor basketball court is the answer. Imagine being able to work on your free throws or catching a pick-up game any time you want.

Incorporating a climbing wall into your design offers additional added health benefits while utilizing the available wall space.

Fitness Center: Virtual Experiences

Eclectic Home Gym by Hopkins Architects & Designers Kuhl Design Build LLC

Create the ultimate experience for any golf enthusiast with an at home virtual golf simulator. Add a virtual golf center to a game room or a man cave making it easy to take a break and catch a round of golf at a moments notice.

Fitness Center: Spa and Sauna

Modern Home Gym by Amsterdam Photographers Jules van de Ven

You may have never considered adding a sauna to your home fitness center before, but consider this — a sauna requires little upkeep and provides a great deal of health benefits.

After a hard day or a tough work-out, why not relax in your own home indoor or outdoor sauna. The heat of a sauna will sooth tired muscles and help you unwind from the pressures of the day.

Ready to design your Des Moines custom home, complete with the ultimate home fitness center? Contact us to schedule an appointment and let us help you design a luxury custom home that meets your every expectation.

Pros and Cons: Marble, Granite, or Soapstone?

Posted on 05/30/2013 at 11:06 AM

Think you need an expert designer to create a beautiful look in your new Iowa custom home? We’ve got great ideas that are sure to help you create that perfect kitchen design.

When it comes to stunning kitchen design, it’s hard to do better than Mother Nature. Kitchen counter tops made from natural materials give your luxury custom home an elegant and classic look that stands up to time and temperature.

Here are three natural kitchen counter tops and the pros and cons of each.


Eclectic Kitchen by Towson Architect HBF plus Design

Soapstone is a natural stone that typically costs a bit less than granite and marble. Colors for soapstone vary from light to dark and can include blues and greens in addition to the more popular gray.

Because soapstone is typically found closer to the surface than granite, it is considered to have a lower environmental impact. However, the grade of soapstone can vary. A high grade soapstone can withstand decades of use, but lower grade soapstone can be softer and less durable.

Pros: Bacteria resistant, stain resistant, heat resistant, easy to clean.

Cons: Lighter colors may fade over time, requires regular maintenance to prevent cracking and making small scratches appear more noticeable.


Traditional Kitchen by San Francisco Architect Sutro Architects

Clean, classic, and timeless, marble is a popular choice for luxury custom homes. The bright white is harder to find in other natural materials such as granite or soapstone, giving the kitchen a pristine look.

Marble is softer and more porous than granite, which makes it more susceptible to scratching and staining. Marble is also very sensitive to acids such as lemons that can create a dullness if left on the counter too long.

Pros: Sophisticated look, beautiful, durable.

Cons: Easy to stain, scratch. Typically more expensive.


Traditional Kitchen by San Diego Design-build Marrokal Design & Remodeling

One of the most popular choices for kitchen counters because of its beauty and durability, granite offers a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from to personalize your home. Heat resistant and easy to clean, granite gives busy home chefs one less thing to worry about.

Although granite is known to be stain resistant, it is a porous surface that needs to be sealed properly to avoid permanent staining.

Pros: Durable, beautiful, wide selection of colors

Cons: Needs to be sealed, more expensive than other options

Need help designing your custom home kitchen? We can help. We help Des Moines area families create luxury dream homes everyday. Simply schedule an initial consultation to get started.

Don’t have land yet? No problem. We can help you connect with resources to find land for sale in Iowa that’s just the right location for your dream home. Call us today at (515) 988-4201.

Design Trends for Custom Iowa New Homes: Outdoor Kitchens

Posted on 05/28/2013 at 11:37 AM

For many families, grilling outside in the summer months has turned the backyard into one of the most popular “rooms” in the house; creating a place to entertain both in the sun and under the stars.

This has created new trends in how Des Moines home builders luxury custom homes are designed and built. According to a recent article in Builder Online, buyers are placing a higher emphasis on privatized outdoor spaces that include features such as outdoor kitchens and fire pits.

Like the interior of your home, building an outdoor room is a matter of personal taste and lifestyle. Here are a few examples of what you can do with your own outdoor kitchen design.

Make it a Showstopper

Traditional Patio by Houston General Contractor Frankel Building Group

Forget the hibachi and the Coleman, outdoor kitchens have become sophisticated focal points that are sure to please even the most discerning home chef. Designer stone, dramatic lighting, and professional grade outdoor appliances are turning casual neighborhood get-togethers into fine dining experiences.

Design a Lifestyle

Mediterranean Patio by Dallas Landscape Architect Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

Spend your Saturday mixing up a refreshing smoothie in the morning, splashing around in the pool in the afternoon, and whipping up your signature ribs in the evening – all without ever stepping inside the house. This is outdoor summer living at its very best!

Host Elegant Outdoor Dinner Parties

Traditional Patio by Pasadena Landscape Architect Pasadena Patio

Backyard entertaining has come a long way from paper plates and Styrofoam cups. Popular design trends for luxury new homes in Iowa include formal outdoor entertaining areas that are spacious enough to accommodate a large dinner party and include separate seating and lounging areas for guests.

Build a Year-Round Room

Contemporary Porch by Charleston Architect Frederick + Frederick Architects

Another trend in luxury new homes in Iowa is flexible rooms designed for double duty. An outdoor kitchen than can be enclosed during chilly the fall and winter months adds usable space year round and creates the perfect space for holiday parties and family gatherings.

Create an Outdoor “Great Room”

Mediterranean Patio by Pasadena Design-build HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

Just because you’ve got a steak on the grill is no reason to miss that extra inning on the game! Create an outdoor space that is equipped with flat-screen televisions, surround sound, and heaters for an outdoor “Great Room.”

What’s your backyard entertaining style? At Castle Pointe Homes, we can help you design a dream home that’s ideal for entertaining year round. Share your vision and let us help you create a floor plan and outdoor design of your dreams.

Getting started is simple. Contact us today to request an initial consultation and get started designing the luxury home of your dreams.

Flooring Ideas to Elevate Your Custom Home Design

Posted on 05/25/2013 at 11:54 AM

Tasked with the functionality of standing up to traffic while still adding an additional element of beauty to the room, the right flooring is an essential element of Iowa new home design.

Here are five beautiful flooring ideas to help inspire your custom home design plans.

Hardwood Flooring

A traditional classic that never goes out of style, hardwood floors are versatile enough to be used in any room. Today’s hardwood floors come in a variety of shades and stains, and are built to stand up to the heaviest of traffic areas.

From the glossy shine of modern design to the rustic lodge look, hardwood floors are warm and inviting and are a common building element for many Des Moines builders.

Painted Concrete

Once only found in high rises and lofts, painted concrete is now considered to be a luxurious staple of custom home design. Painted concrete floors are the perfect accent to a gourmet kitchen or become the sublet design element that takes an outdoor dining area from average to elegant.

Concrete staining often resembles the appearance of marble; however, it can be customized to create unique patterns or murals in a lavish master bath or Mediterranean kitchen setting.


Old world charm is instantly made modern with the addition of limestone flooring in a kitchen, dining area or entry way. The rich textures of limestone mix beautifully with stainless steel and pewter appliances.

And although they may look more rugged, they are comfortable for the barefoot, relaxed traffic of your entire family.

Decorative Combination

For the more adventurous designers, a well crafted combination of mixed flooring elements can provide spectacular results! Stone and marble can create the feeling of a spa getaway in a master bath, while a tile and stained concrete combination in an entry becomes a warm welcome for your guests.

Today’s flooring materials are not only beautiful, but they are designed to withstand the activities of today’s modern lifestyle.

Contact us when you’re ready to take the first step in designing your Iowa new home and we’ll help you create a custom home with spectacular floor design that matches your lifestyle.

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