How to Design a Custom Home that Maximizes Space and Natural Light

One of the most transformative factors to consider when designing your dream home is maximizing space and natural light. A custom home can make a huge difference in your quality of life, with an elevated space that’s been completely tailored to your preferences and land block.

Natural light is an essential part of your custom home to consider, making spaces feel more inviting. Through considered design choices, you can maximize natural light in your home. Every inch counts when it comes to creating a functional and comfortable living space that will enhance the feeling of natural light.

Here are some of the best ways to maximize space and natural light in your custom home design. Whether you’re planning a large family home or a compact urban dwelling, our tips and insights will help you create a space that is both beautiful and functional.

How to maximize space in custom home design

To maximize space in a custom home design, there are several strategies that can be employed. Our central approach is to create an open floor plan that blends different living areas together, creating a sense of spaciousness and flow. We do this by limiting the use of walls or incorporating half walls, columns, or other visual elements to create separation while maintaining an open feel.

Built-in storage solutions provide another way to maximize space, through the addition of shelving, cabinets, and bookcases. These can be customized to fit the unique needs of each room and keep clutter at bay, making the space feel larger and more open.

The final area we target is the scale and proportion of furnishings and decor. Choosing pieces appropriately sized for the space will ensure that the area doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered. Additionally, selecting furniture that’s multi-purpose, such as a storage ottoman or a sofa bed, can help maximize space while providing additional utility.

How to maximize light in custom home design

Maximizing natural light in a custom home design can make a significant difference in the overall ambiance and feel of a space. Proper lighting can make a small room feel bigger, more inviting, and energizing. If you’re looking to make the most of natural light in your custom home design, talk to our team about these design tips. 

The location of your home and the placement of windows significantly impact the amount of natural light that enters your home. By considering your home’s orientation, we can ensure your custom home design takes advantage of the sun’s path.

The right window styles and sizes help you make the most out of home orientation. Larger windows and glass doors allow for more natural light to enter a space, so your room can maximize the feeling of light. In our design process, we consider different window styles to help achieve more light and architectural interest in your custom home design.

Once you’ve made design choices to keep your home flooded with light, opt for light-reflecting materials in your interior home design. Light-reflecting materials, such as light-colored walls, shiny floors, and mirrored surfaces, can help to bounce light around a room and increase the overall brightness.

The Florence uses grand windows to improve its natural lighting.

Why it’s important to live in a spacious and natural light-filled home

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we know your home is not just a place to live, but also a sanctuary to relax and recharge. That’s why we take a holistic approach to our home designs, taking into account the natural factors that impact how a home feel. A home that’s designed with space and light in mind not only looks and feels better but supports your mental and physical well-being as well.

Living in a spacious home can provide many benefits. It can help reduce stress levels by giving you enough room to move around freely and providing a sense of openness. Enough space also helps keep your home organized and clutter-free for a calm living environment, which can help reduce anxiety.

Natural light is another crucial factor to consider when designing a home. Plenty of light doesn’t just look beautiful, it’s been linked to many health benefits, including improved mood, better sleep quality, and increased productivity. A home that emphasizes natural light reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day, letting you rely on nature instead.

Get in touch

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we understand the importance of creating a home that is both spacious and filled with natural light. Our experienced design team works with you to create a home that reflects your lifestyle whilst being a joy to live in. Contact us today to learn more about our custom home design services and our design approach.

How To: Maximize Storage in a Custom Home

When building a custom home, it’s easy to find yourself totally immersed in the design and style process while selecting your finishes; where you get to realize your dream and customize the home you’ve always wanted . However, there are some equally important but maybe less glamorous aspects to designing your home that should be considered that can have an impact on both how your home meets your needs while adding value to your investment. Namely, ensuring you have adequate storage.

So, how can you maximize your storage capacity? Hear more from the home building experts at G.J. Gardner Homes.

What Will Influence my Home’s Storage Capacity?

There are a few constraints that will have a marked impact on your storage capacity.


One of the most significant factors to influence a home build, your budget will ultimately determine a lot of the choices you make when designing a custom home. This includes your storage capacity.

Lot Size

It stands to reason that the more square footage you have available to build your custom home within, the more options for storage space you will have. If building on a smaller lot, you may need to get a little more creative!

Living Requirements

Your family size and living requirements will be a factor in overall storage capacity as well. More people often equates to more stuff, so big families may find themselves requiring more designated storage space.

Let’s dive into some recommendations specific to some key areas of the house.

Living Areas

Maximizing your storage space in family and dining rooms can be a big ask. These rooms serve the function of being a place to relax, connect and spend time with loved ones, which doesn’t always leave you with spare space for storage.

Our top living area storage tips:

  1. These rooms are largely multipurpose in nature, which gives you the unique opportunity to design storage in line with how you see yourself using them. For example, for a room with a fireplace centerpiece; consider adding recessed shelving and built-in cabinetry on both sides beside it to display your cherished memories, photographs and achievements, as well as being functional storage.
  2. Consider multi-purpose furniture, such as a storage ottoman. This gives you the best of both worlds!
An example of recessed cabinetry, used to display household decor.


We are completely aware of the fact that a home’s front door and entryways often accumulate household stuff – shoes, keys, bags; the list goes on. Instead of tripping over these late at night, we suggest getting a little smarter with your entryway, whether it be the front, back or garage entry.

Our top entryway storage tips:

  1. Where space permits, consider adding a mudroom that can serve as a storage hub. The benefits of having a mudroom stretches beyond just storage, but it’s hard to deny that this is a key part of their appeal. Add coat racks, a cabinet for shoes and a bench with underseat storage, all neatly tucked away in a separate room.
  2. Where a mudroom is not possible, a wall-mounted rack for shoes, coats and hats along with a storage bench can keep things off the floor and out of the way.

Bedrooms, offices and flex spaces

Well-considered bedrooms, office and flex spaces are absolutely key to having enough storage in a custom home. This is especially true for growing families as children inevitably grow up and require more storage space with time. While furniture will be a huge factor here, your custom home build should also be considerate of growing storage needs!

Our top bedroom, office and flex room storage tips:

  1. Lean on your inbuilt closets as your main storage space. They won’t take up valuable floor space which comes at a premium in a bedroom.
  2. If you have the room, a walk in closet will provide you with more space than any other option.
  3. If you’re still struggling, under-bed storage and other furniture with built-in storage could help you out of a tight spot!


The kitchen can be famously hard to maintain control over. Counter space often ends up in high demand once dinner prep has started, you‘ve added some new appliances and you’ve just prepared an afternoon snack for the kids.

Our top kitchen storage tips:

  1. Consider adding a butler’s pantry to your kitchen. A butler’s pantry is a walk-in pantry or recessed serving area which often includes additional bench space, the less-used kitchen appliances and can even include additional sinks. This additional space maximizes kitchen storage and allows your main kitchen to be a tidy communal space.
  2. Think creatively about whether you can use overhead storage. Whether this is through floor-to-ceiling cabinetry or through hanging pots and pans above you, it’s possible to take advantage of free space above you in this way.
Some well-considered overhead kitchen storage solutions.


Perhaps the worst candidate for attracting clutter, your garage can actually be a storage lifesaver if designed well. Key to this is the fact that garages are generally larger in size when compared to other internal rooms of the house, allowing you to stretch your space further in your custom build.

Our top garage storage tips:

  1. Make use of heavy-duty shelving that can be installed around the perimeter. With heavy-duty shelves you can store pretty much anything, you’re just limited by size rather than weight or aesthetics.
  2. Consider the height of your ceiling and whether that will be a missed opportunity. Detached garages or sheds may give you more scope to go upwards, with custom shelving that reaches up to the ceiling.
  3. Garages are extremely versatile spaces. If you have a double garage, consider moving one of your cars elsewhere to really maximize the free space inside!

With a custom home, the possibilities are endless. G.J. Gardner’s experience in custom home building and smart storage solutions gives us unique insight into how exciting and rewarding an experience they can be! Contact us today to hear more about our custom home expertise, and how we can help you to realize your dream home.