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28th Nov, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Country House Plan, Home Plan, Corbin 10-020

A large wrap-around porch welcomes visitors to the country-style Corbin home plan, a mid-size home that offers plenty of informal and formal living spaces.

This home's main living areas are found on the ground floor if they wish, including the owners' suite.  The second floor features two additional bedrooms for children, visiting grandchildren, or other guests.

A custom-shaped eating bar provides partial separation between the kitchen and the family room. The family room, dining room, nook, and kitchen are vaulted to the second floor and are a wash in natural light from a wealth of windows. The second floor landing forms a bridge that overlooks the family room to the back, and the dining room and entryway to the front.

Holiday and formal gatherings can spread out in the spacious dining room and parlor. The parlor has a brick fireplace and is brightened by a wide bay window. A second fireplace warms the family room.

A utility room and powder room are convenient to the kitchen and the two-car garage.

The owners' suite features access to the deck, and the bathroom features a walk-in closet, raised spa, and private toilet and shower. The upstairs bathroom, central to the two big bedrooms, has two vanity sinks. The vaulted front bedroom has a half-round window above.

21st Nov, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, European House Plan, Home Plan, Marcellus 10-301

Lofty gables, Palladian windows and brick detailing create curb appeal in the European Marcellus house plan. This design is a large bright home with a wide range of living areas and plenty of storage space.

Windows fill most of the rear. Formal rooms are at center, everyday living spaces are on the right, and the master suite and vaulted office is off to the left. A small more private covered patio is off the master suite.

In the foyer and family room, a two-story ceiling creates the sense of spaciousness. Standing at the second floor landing, you overlook activities in the rooms below. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, an unfinished bonus room and a large walk-in storage closet are upstairs. One bedroom is vaulted and has its own vanity. The other, which could be a guest room, has direct access to a two-section bathroom.

In the vaulted family room, a fireplace is right next to a built-in entertainment center. Another fireplace, lined by bookshelves, is in the living room. A built-in desk nestles into an alcove close to the basement stairs, and the small powder bathroom is close to everything.

Working in the kitchen, you need never feel isolated because the kitchen sink faces into the nook and family room. On the exterior wall, windows between counter and cupboard provide natural light. A large utility room and a walk-in pantry are close to both kitchen and garage.

Amenities in the master suite include a spa tub, twin basins, a his'n'hers walk-in closet, and a large walk-in shower with multiple showerheads.

18th Nov, 2016
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Prairie Style Home Plan, Larkview 31-057

Alternating courses of lap siding create strong yet simple lines to the exterior of the Larkview, Prairie-style update to the classic farmhouse. Walking in the front door draws you through the welcoming entry hall to the great room - the living, dining and kitchen areas are open to one another. On the right side of the home is the owners' suite which features a large walk-in closet and walk-in shower. Two addtional bedrooms and a full bathroom are located on the second floor.

14th Nov, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Mediterranean House Plans, Home Plans, Featured House Plan of the Week, Roselle 30-427

Smooth columns, clean lines and gently arched windows lend a breezy, sun-washed Mediterranean look to the Roselle home plan. A raised stucco planter wraps around the inner front corner of the garage, accentuating the arched window. 

This one level mid-size home could be easily adapted for wheelchair accessibility. It has four bedrooms, and a vaulted den or guest room. 

Natural light fills the entry, flowing in through a sidelight and transom. An arched opening on the left leads into a room that could be furnished as a parlor or dining area.

The centrally located bathroom is convenient to everything. Next to it, a second arched opening feeds into the combination family room, nook and kitchen. 

Slider doors in the nook offer patio access. A fireplace fills one rear corner of the vaulted family room. 

Two or three cooks can easily combine culinary efforts in this large kitchen. Counters and cupboards are in abundant supply, including a walk-in corner pantry. The long work island across the room is rimmed with a raised eating/conversation bar.

Double doors open into the large owners' suite. Features include: a roomy walk-in closet, and a private bathroom with dual vanity, a walk-in shower, and private toilet.

7th Nov, 2016
Blog, New Home Plans

Ranch House Plan, New Home Plan, Flagstone 31-059

The Flagstone is a charming, bungalow inspired ranch-style home design. Walking through the front door you are drawn through a long foyer. To the right is and opening that leads to two bedrooms and bathroom. On the left a pocket door hides a mudhall that transitions between the garage and the utility room. In the rear of the house is the great room with a corner gas fireplace that can also be enjoyed from the dining room and kitchen. Accessed off the great room is the master suite which features a large sized walk-in closet and well appointed bathroom.

7th Nov, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Cape Cod House Plan, Home Plan, Beach House Plans

Exterior shingles give a cottage flavor to the Cape Cod Colebrook house plan. This two-bedroom plan would make cozy beach house, or it could blend harmoniously into a woodsy setting.

Most of the living spaces are on one level, except for the large loft above the garage with a shed dormer window to the front that overlooks the vaulted dining room below.

Charming Craftsman-style stick work ornaments the apex of the front porch gable. Stone veneer bases provide a foundation for the handsome wooden columns that support the porch. Windows and a sidelight sparkle across much of the front facade.

Once inside, gathering spaces are to your right. The dining area flows into the living room, which is completely open to the kitchen. The living room is vaulted, sloping to the left and right by the window bay up front. Another vault bisects the room, with slopes running down, front and back. 

Natural light flows into the living room during daylight hours. Two clerestory windows crown the standard-height windows below. The upper windows are square and much smaller than those beneath them. A wood or pellet stove would fit nicely into an alcove by the kitchen, at the rear of the room.

Kitchen counters and cupboards wrap around three sides. Standing at the kitchen sink, you can gaze out the window, supervise kids at play, or chat with people in the living room. 

Bedrooms, a bathroom and a large utility room are all off to the left. The rear bedroom is larger and has direct bathroom access. Its closet spans one entire wall. In the utility room, a deep sink is built into a counter next to the washer, and overhead cabinets fill one wall.

1st Nov, 2016
Articles, Blog

At the beginning of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced a distinct new architectural style that expressed the flat, sweeping prairie of his native Midwest. Simplicity was the name of the game, combining comfort, utility and beauty in a modern look that was a huge departure from the ornamental Victorian house of the previous century.

Modern Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Arrowwood 31-051

Appearing to rise from the earth, these homes blended with the landscape. They were earthy and unique, with a façade that hugged the ground. From 1900 to 1930, the prairie-style home was the fashion trend of the home design world.

“Prairie-style homes are bold and modern,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. “They are rich and warm with natural colors that are not only inviting but comforting. It’s hard not to feel welcome in a prairie-style house.”

And while Wright broke with tradition in creating his new design, his classic lines thrive today – with just a few changes, of course.

“Because prairie-style homes don’t dominate the lot, its lower profile appeals to homeowners,” McAlexander said. “It’s also an easier home to build and an easier home to maintain, and with that in mind, homeowners take the general concept of the prairie style and add a few 21st century twists to it.”

Prairie-style homes are predominantly known for their use of natural elements and motifs. Stone, brick, stucco or finished wood is layered horizontally, giving the home linear shadow lines and a rich contrast with bold design elements. A variety of geometric shapes and forms inspired by nature are highlighted through window arrangements, columns, low walls and planters. The prairie design works with the landscape rather than against it, both in the interior and exterior.

The most prominent exterior design element is the roof, which utilizes wider overhangs to help emphasize those horizontal lines. In Associated Designs’ Arrowwood home plan, the hip roof profile draws the eye to the horizontal overhangs while the natural, earthy tones of the materials give it a subtle, simplistic feel. It does indeed blend in with the surrounding landscape. And as with all prairie-style homes, the Arrowwood also features a covered porch and a recessed entry.

“Those same natural materials and simple lines are also seen inside the home,” said McAlexander. “This helps complement that warm exterior.”

Quite often, the living space of prairie-style homes is centered on a living room off of the entry. This open space would be separated from the kitchen and dining areas that include exterior windows and doors that open up to outside living spaces, such as the Arrowwood’s back porch. But that is where the Arrowwood’s similarities end.

 “Clients these days are looking to keep the traditional low angles and horizontal lines, but combine those ideas with more modern elements such as glass, transom windows and shed roofs,” said McAlexander. “Inside, the popular great room dominates these modern prairie-style homes.”

The classic, prairie-style home interior had more formal, separated spaces, which gave it a more confined and darker feel despite the warmth of the simple, natural tones. By opening up the interior spaces, the modern prairie home has a more connected floor plan. The Arrowwood’s great room flows into the dining and kitchen areas.

Other updates are more subtle, said McAlexander. For instance, the raised entry roof is not a traditional motif in the prairie style, but it adds interest and character to the front elevation while still retaining those classic horizontal lines. The Arrowwood also incorporates some ranch-style exterior elements such as the wider gables, but the natural stone and wood link back to Wright’s original prairie design.

The interior also has gotten a few modern updates. Fewer people are concerned with matching the interior detail with the exterior, so there’s often more color, more depth and more space, such as vaulted ceilings.

“Prairie-style homes are a popular trend today, but as with all trends, people make adjustments to fit their lifestyle or their interests,” said McAlexander. “This doesn’t mean that Wright’s classic prairie-style home is disappearing. It’s more that even the most traditional of lines can go off on a few tangents with often amazing results.”

And that’s always been the case with home design. Victorian homes gave way to prairie-style simplicity, which in turn was replaced by ranch-style living and so on and so forth. Home trends are constantly changing, and that’s what makes the modern prairie-style home design something that can’t be ignored. 

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