Sleeping Dog Properties

The Brilliance of Natural Light in Custom Homes: Insights from Sleeping Dog Properties

In the realm of custom home design, the significance of natural light cannot be overstated. Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc., a renowned custom home builder and real estate development firm based in Boston, MA, is acutely aware of this. Through their years of experience in luxury residential and boutique commercial projects, they have honed their skills in incorporating natural light into their designs, not just for aesthetic appeal, but also for the wellbeing and efficiency of the home.

Architectural Strategies for Maximizing Light

Incorporating natural light into home design begins at the architectural planning stage. Sleeping Dog Properties employs various architectural strategies to ensure that natural light is a key feature in their designs:

  • Orientation and Layout: Homes are designed to optimize the orientation of the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, south-facing windows capture maximum sunlight throughout the year. Strategic placement of rooms, such as living areas and kitchens, in the sunniest part of the house enhances natural light exposure. Sleeping Dog Properties takes a strategic approach to the orientation and layout of homes. Their design philosophy emphasizes the importance of aligning with the sun’s path. By positioning homes with south-facing windows, Sleeping Dog Properties ensures maximum sunlight capture throughout the year. This careful planning extends to the internal layout. Sleeping Dog Properties places key living areas like kitchens and living rooms in spots that receive the most sunlight, thus enhancing the natural light exposure in their designs.
  • Window Design and Placement: Large windows, skylights, and transoms are more than aesthetic choices. They serve as conduits for natural light. Placement of windows is crucial; for instance, clerestory windows on high walls can bring light into central parts of a home. Sleeping Dog Properties recognizes that windows are more than just architectural elements; they are vital for bringing natural light into a home. Sleeping Dog Properties pays special attention to the placement of windows. For example, they use clerestory windows on high walls, a design choice that allows light to penetrate into the central areas of a home, a hallmark of Sleeping Dog Properties’ commitment to innovative design.
  • Reflective Surfaces and Color Schemes: Architects and interior designers use reflective surfaces like mirrors and high gloss finishes to amplify natural light. Light color palettes also help in reflecting and dispersing light throughout space. The architects and interior designers at Sleeping Dog Properties skillfully use reflective surfaces, such as mirrors and high-gloss finishes, to amplify the presence of natural light within their spaces.
  • Innovative Materials: The use of materials like translucent or frosted glass and reflective metalwork can enhance natural light without compromising privacy. Sleeping Dog Properties, per request, incorporates innovative materials in their projects to enhance natural light while maintaining privacy. Materials like translucent or frosted glass and reflective metalwork are regularly featured in Sleeping Dog Properties’ designs, striking the perfect balance between light enhancement and privacy.

Psychological Benefits

The psychological impact of natural light in homes is profound, and the team at Sleeping Dog Properties knows the many benefits, including:

  • Mood Enhancement: Exposure to natural light boosts serotonin levels, improving mood and energy.
  • Regulation of Circadian Rhythms: Natural light helps regulate sleep patterns, leading to better sleep quality and overall health.
  • Connection with the Outdoors: Large windows and glass doors that offer views of nature help residents feel connected to the outdoor environment, reducing stress and anxiety.

Trends in Window Design and Placement

At, a wealth of information awaits those interested in contracting, design, and real estate development. The firm regularly updates its blog with valuable insights, covering:

  • Floor-to-Ceiling Windows: These create a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors, making rooms feel more spacious. Sleeping Dog Properties knows that these provide stunning views and create a sense of extended space.
  • Energy-Efficient Windows: Advances in window technology, such as double glazing and low-E coatings, allow for maximum light while maintaining energy efficiency. Sleeping Dog Properties is committed to using advanced window technologies for energy conservation without compromising on light.
  • Integrated Outdoor Spaces: Designing windows and doors that lead to patios or gardens extends living spaces and increases natural light. Getting a custom home design with Sleeping Dog Properties would allow you the opportunity to have a design that promotes seamless integration between indoor comfort and the beauty of the natural environment.

In custom home design, the strategic use of natural light is key to creating spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, psychologically beneficial, and energy efficient. As trends and technologies evolve, the role of natural light in home design is set to become even more integral and innovative.

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Custom Home Features and Trends for 2023

For many new homebuyers, a home isn’t quite a home without custom features. Building a custom home from scratch is a dream for many, yet a worthwhile endeavor for most.

Custom homes are the new real estate status symbol, they can provide luxury, technology and modern conveniences. They are truly one-of-a-kind, usually offering luxurious and enviable features like upscale design and materials, accent walls, mudrooms, and multi-story foyers.

Sleeping Dog Properties explains that with a custom-designed home, a master bedroom can be crafted to fit any specifications. In-law suites are a popular feature, and game rooms can be incorporated without sacrificing other living space. All told, nearly 18% of all new single-family homes were custom-built in 2022, according to the Census Bureau.

These residences continue to evolve in 2023. Here are some of the latest trends and features to expect when one is in the market for a newly built custom home.

Grand Family Rooms

Modern design trends often blend comfort with style. An impressive grand family room often does the trick.

This element contributes to the overall spaciousness of a home and works well within an open-floor concept, but there’s practicality here, too. A grand living space, open to other rooms in the home, usually a kitchen, provides uninterrupted vision and conversation flow for entertaining guests, and clear sight lines from room to room. This is especially important to families with young children.

Outdoor Kitchens

Seamless indoor-outdoor living is having its moment in the sun, and that no longer means simply adding a deck or patio space. Outdoor kitchens go beyond the typical grill to include space for a full dining area, sinks, refrigerators, and even counters for prep.

The idea of bringing the outdoors in, and indoors out is a hot trend in design right now.

Refined Home Offices

With many Americans still working either entirely at home or heading to the office just for a few days a week within a hybrid work schedule, home offices are getting upscale makeovers, and of course, or much needed additions to any home.

Home offices no longer simply include space for a desk, bookcases, and a chair. Not only are they becoming larger, but they’re becoming fancier, with modern lighting, built-ins, and multiple functions.

Environmentally-Friendly Elements

Sustainability is still king in home designs. Solar panels and smart appliances are frequent must-haves for those investing in a custom home.

At the very least, buyers are looking to build with sustainable materials, such as bamboo, and other green building elements to make custom homes energy-efficient.

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Smart Technologies

Custom homes are often smart homes, too. In addition to programmable smart lighting, many sport automated doorbells and thermostats and integrated high-tech security tools.

Facial recognition devices are being added to many front doors these days. And refrigerators can recognize when it’s time to stock up.

Unique Design

Hidden rooms aren’t just for spy movies in 2023. This unusual feature integrates hidden pantries or bathrooms in designs, allowing for more space and less visual disturbances. Showers may be integrated on the first floor, away from bedrooms, and wine cellars may replace wasted space under the stairs.

Others look for fireplaces that extend from the floor to the ceiling or choose heated flooring options. One kitchen island may not be enough, with some custom homes including two or three, a true chef’s kitchen. Other areas may be created with pets or kids in mind, with play spaces or “dog homes” built in various areas of the home.

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In Conclusion

In conclusion, building a custom home offers a unique opportunity to create a space that perfectly fits a family’s lifestyle and personal preferences. With careful planning and partnership with experienced professionals, individuals can achieve a space that is functional and aesthetically pleasing, tailored to fit the family’s specific needs and desires.

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Things to Look for When Choosing a Custom Home Builder

It’s the best of times and the worst of times in the current real estate market.

While prices have trended slightly down across America, costs on average are still high as mortgage rates continue to climb. Still, homes are very much in demand while inventory continues to be low on average.

Sleeping Dog Properties Andover reports that the real estate climate has led many to pursue custom home building as an alternative.

The industry has grown significantly over the past few years. Custom building rates during the first part of 2022 increased by 28% compared to the same period in 2021, according to an analysis from the National Association of Home Builders.

But simply opting to custom-build a home is just the beginning. Here’s what to consider when looking for someone to build a dream home.

Do Some Research

In addition to listing and then looking into available home builders in an area, it pays to do extra research. Check reviews posted not just on the company website but on neutral third-party review aggregators.

Ask neighbors if they’ve heard of the builders or talk with others who have had custom homes built to see if they have recommendations for not just certain builders but how to navigate the process effectively.

Once potential builders have been identified be sure that the company has references to check in with.

Ask a Lot of Questions

Picking a custom home builder is similar to hiring an employee. Come armed with questions to make sure they are the right fit. There are basic questions to always ask, such as how long the job will take and how much it will cost, but the NAHB recommends going beyond that.

Among their recommended questions are checking on floor plan options and how easy it will be to customize certain features that otherwise may be standard.

Location, Location, Location

Custom home builders typically have defined work territories, so be sure to double-check that the builder is able to design and build in a desired location or that they have worked there before. It can be tricky.

Within a state or a region, a custom home builder may do business in most areas but may refuse to work in specific communities or towns. Builders may also apply to work within certain cities or neighborhoods.

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Do On-Site Visits

Once the top three custom home builders are picked, ask to tour some of their projects either in the works or recently completed. Seeing a model home may not be the best indicator of a company’s work.

By viewing a home under construction, one can get a better idea of the construction quality, the use of energy-efficient materials, and whether elements like studs and rafters are spaced well.

Don’t Always Go with the Lowest Price

While it’s important to compare overall costs, it’s more important to not jump on board with a custom home builder just because they are less expensive.

If a bid is particularly low, especially when compared to the average offer by other home builders, it could mean shoddy quality or that the home builders are less experienced than others. It could also mean that the builders are likely to upsell as the project goes on.

In the world of custom home building, sometimes paying more is the better investment.


The Home Office Trend – Remodeling or Building the Perfect Space

After the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies provided a “work-from-home” model to keep business going, and people employed. Now, the trend has caught on, and instead of returning to a corporate office setting, a majority of businesses remain strictly remote.

With this, many households are choosing to dedicate space in their home as a proper office. Below, Sleeping Dog Properties Andover discusses the benefits of renovating a space or adding a new office addition for work-from-home productivity, especially if working alongside a busy family lifestyle.

Additionally, the benefits of working with an experienced contractor that specializes in this specific type of renovation can make all of the difference in project timeline and budget.

A More Productive Workday

Home offices provide employees with a dedicated ‘home-base’ for themselves during their working day. 

This can help to increase productivity by allowing them to focus in a quiet environment, away from household distractions such as children, pets, and the to-do list of chores.

Having a dedicated office space also helps to improve the separation of home- and work-life. Being able to physically shut a door or close off a space at the end of the workday can provide a sense of “punching out” and being “off the clock”. Studies have shown that the sense of separation from a remote corporate environment and home-life leads to better work-life balance and improved company moral.

Employees have also been surveyed, and a majority reported that not only do they feel more productive in the workplace, but at home as well. By reducing wasted time, such as water-cooler chatter or travel times, employees found that not only can they get more work done within the workday, but the same has been found regarding their household responsibilities.

High Demand and Home Value Increase

Home offices are also in so much demand within the real estate market currently, that homes with these dedicated spaces are listing for, and selling for, a higher market value.

In a UK study, over 30% of homebuyers had an office on their list of desirable factors when looking for a new place to call home. In a saturated market, having features that set your home apart from others will not only increase property value, but the return on investment in the long run.

Home Office Ideas

A custom-built home office allows homeowners and employees to design a space that tailors to their specific role within their career. For example, utilizing natural light, or focused lighting and backdrops can be created for those who perform a lot of online/zoom meetings.

To minimize distractions, soundproofing walls can help with background noises from pets or children for conference calls. If space allows in this situation, building a detached office is usually preferable (and doable!)

Also, these spaces can also provide practical options such as built-in-shelving or storage, as well as bespoke furniture constructed to fit individual’s requirements, such as a custom standing desk, or adapted to fit the decor of the rest of the home.

There may even be multiple members of the household that need access to the home office either full or part-time. As a result, the space can be constructed to accommodate each person’s needs and allocate individual working spaces.

Oftentimes, home offices are used as a guest room as well. In this case, Murphy beds are popular for the double-duty space. Having the ability to house out-of-town friends or family is also a highly sought-after home feature in today’s market.

Finding a Reputable Contractor for the Job

Finding a contractor that shares your vision (and budget) for what your space should require can be tricky. With so many construction companies available, how do you choose one?

For starters, homeowners should look for a contractor that can work in specific remodels such as home office builds. Not every company prefers to take on these jobs. The contractor should have a reliable reputation within the community and decades of experience in the industry.

Be sure that the contractor is licensed in your area. Working with the right contractor will provide peace of mind for the project, whether they are completing a full new-build addition or renovating an existing space.