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11th Sep, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Ranch Home Plan, Lamar 11-106

Brick veneer gives the Lamar house plan a look of solid permanence to the compact home with a spacious great room at its core. An arched glass block window adds a unique grace and charm to the front exterior.

This low-maintenance ranch-style home plan is ideal for young families or empty nesters. The one-level layout is easily adaptable for wheelchair accessibility.

Entering, you step into a vaulted entry with a coat closet to the right, kitchen/dining room access on the left. A pocket door slider can be closed to conceal the cooking and dining area.

The great room is vaulted, and open to the kitchen where a peninsular counter marks the boundary. Overhead, a high plant or display shelf spans the juncture, where the vaulted ceiling transitions to an eight-foot-high kitchen ceiling.

Sliding glass doors at the rear open into a screened porch, ideal for outdoor dining. Potted plants thrive in this sunny space, and it's a great place to sleep on summer nights when the air inside is too hot.

The kitchen/dining room is spacious. Plenty of room here for family and friends to hang around and chat with the cooks or clean-up crew. Utilities are close by but out of sight, tucked in a passthrough space that connects with the garage. Groceries can be unloaded safely and conveniently, moving directly from garage to kitchen.

Owners' suite amenities include: twin linen closets and a large walk-in closet. Soft light filters into the bathroom through glass blocks. Secondary bedrooms, or a bedroom and a study, share a bathroom on the opposite side of the house.

8th Sep, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New Garage Plan, Garage 20-190, Garage Design with Shop

Garage 20-190

Room for one car plus storage and a shop this compact cottage style garage design is a great addition to any property. The garage door is 9' wide and 8' tall and the bay has additional space to the right for extra storage. Double doors from the garage or a separate front exterior door leads to a generous shop space. 

6th Sep, 2017
Articles, Blog

“Utility” in its most basic definition means “a state of being useful.” So it’s no surprise that when we think of a utility room in a home, we think of the basics – laundry, ironing boards that fold down from the wall, and maybe some small cupboard space. Utility rooms, however, can be more than just useful spots to clean your clothes.

“I like to think that utility rooms are another living space in a home,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc., based in Eugene, Ore. “You can do so much more with them, so their usefulness includes organization, storage, crafting space, mudrooms and more. Nowadays, utility rooms take ‘useful’ to a whole new level.”

In fact, utility rooms can become extensions of the kitchen or elaborate mudrooms with cubby holes and hooks and nooks.

“Out of sight, out of mind was how many looked at utility rooms years ago,” said McAlexander. “But they are no longer relegated to the basement or the garage. Utility rooms are the new workhorse of home design.”

From pet-friendly spaces to convenient locations and savvy organization, utility rooms have come a long way. Designs now offer rooms that perform and catch the eye. We dig a little deeper into these design ideas with five top trends in utility rooms.

1. Hobby Home

Space is one thing in a modern utility room, especially as workstations for doing the laundry. But we’re pretty sure homeowners aren’t just doing laundry 24/7 (although it may sometimes feel that way). Homeowners are looking to make these rooms do more than just clean clothes and store cleaners. Hobbies of all kinds, such as home canning, sewing and gardening, are taken into consideration in the layout. For example, the Tetherow design (31-019) features a utility room with ample space for your favorite crafts.

“It’s probably the more popular request when it comes to utility rooms,” said McAlexander. “Home canning in particular is an add-on many ask for in a utility room design, which makes for some very unique layouts.”

2. Pet-Friendly Palace

Hobbies are one thing though; pets are quite another. They’re members of the family and as such, we want to provide them with comfort and a space all their own – which is where utility room designs come into play. Common add-ons include spaces for kitty litter boxes or food storage. But the Nottingham design (30-965) takes those add-ons to a whole new level. An extensive utility room off the garage includes a separate spot just for dogs, as well as a pet door. It’s like a stately bedroom for man’s best friend.

“Utility room design that includes pets can easily become even more extensive and elaborate,” said McAlexander. “A pet-friendly room is as essential to home design now as space for your washer and dryer, and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.”

3. Mudroom Must-Haves

Speaking of usefulness, there’s nothing like a spot specifically built to hold your rain boots, coats and other outdoor sundries. A mudroom, or drop zone, is probably the most common addition to a home’s utility area. Often set near the garage, a mudroom can be as subtle or as elaborate as a homebuyer wants it to be. For large families, a few cupboards and shelves help to keep all those shoes organized.

The mudroom in the Nottingham sits just off the garage and is, in its own way, an extension of the utility room area. With hooks to hang coats and backpacks, a closet to store larger gear, and a half-bath nearby, it’s the ideal way to take the day off before relaxing at home.

4. Storage Station

Organization and storage may be one of the more popular trends in the world of utility room must-haves. And we aren’t talking about simple cupboard space. Space-saving amenities such as hidden trashcans, stacked washers and dryers and countertops are all options for homebuyers to consider as they make their utility rooms beyond useful. In many ways, a utility room can mimic the kitchen in its ability to organize your things with the greatest of efficiency and ease of use. Both the Nottingham and the Tetherow design put storage in the spotlight with counter space, closets and cupboards aplenty.

“Changing lifestyles mean a lot of families nowadays want easy access to their things,” said McAlexander. “A utility room that has everything right at the homeowner’s fingertips is a big trend. The more organized you are, the more unique the organization options, the niftier that utility room becomes.”

5. Location, Location, Location

To expand and build on its usefulness, a utility room has to be conveniently located. Where it sits in relation to the rest of the house makes a huge difference in how it can and should be used. Commonly, a utility room is situated just off the garage with a mudroom and easy access to the kitchen and pantry as in the Nottingham design. Other convenient locations include just off the walk-in closet of the master’s suite or near a porch. This spot showcased in the Tetherow is well suited for those who want to give their hobby a special spot rather than have it tucked away in the back.

Bottom line, a utility room isn’t just for laundry anymore. It’s an essential component to any home and as with any room, it can be multifunctional. That’s where it’s true usefulness can really shine. 

As seen on Newswire
5th Sep, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Spanish Style Home Plan, Grandeza 10-136

Mediterranean influences inspire the contemporary Spanish-style Grandeza. Stucco arches and columns combine with round-arched windows and a tile roof to give the house plan a bright ambiance that is equally evocative of the American Southwest.

This home is as naturally bright inside as out. At center is a high-ceilinged, hexagonal great room where arched windows fill most of three rear walls. A patio wraps across the entire back with four access points, so it's easy to extend living outside. When the weather turns chilly, the warmth of the pellet stove will be welcome.

A spacious kitchen features counters on four sides with plenty of room for food prep, and a long, raised eating bar rims the peninsular counter nearest the dining area. A pantry nestles into an alcove created by the upper flight of a centrally located stairway.

Upstairs, French double doors in the vaulted hexagonal recreation room open onto a rear balcony. On the opposite side of the room, a V-shaped railing allows people to overlook the entry. Windowed on five sides, this bright and lofty room has a bathroom and makes a great place for rainy day play. This space could be used as a study, home office, guest room, art studio, or whatever suits.

The luxurious owners' suite fills the right wing. The skylit bathroom features a dual vanity, spa tub, linen closet, shower, and private toilet. The walk-in closet is large. Two more bedrooms share a bathroom in the left side, close to the large utility room that links the house and garage.

1st Sep, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Country Home Plan, Fairhaven 31-077

Charming, simple country elegance invites you into the Fairhaven house plan. The covered porch is a perfect place to watch the world go by. The entry opens up into a vaulted living room on the right. A cozy fireplace draws you in and the room opens up to the vaulted dining room and kitchen. To the let of the entry a hallway leads you passed the stairs to the additional bedrooms and bonus room upstairs and towards the owners' suite. Owners' suite amenities include a walk-in closet, dual vanity that is separated from the shower and toilet. 

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