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16th Oct, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, Mapleton 30-506

The handsome Mapleton has a Craftsman cottage look. This home could be placed within a grove of tall oak trees, or easily blend into a suburban neighborhood.

An old-fashioned covered porch wraps around three sides of the home. You will appreciate this feature, whether the sky is filled with sunshine, clouds, rain or snow. Add gates front and back to create a secure area for toddlers and small pets.

Two large, interconnected rooms are in the front, linked by French double doors. The room closest to the street could be used as a home office, guest room, or parlor. The room has a closet and direct bathroom access, complete with shower.

A woodstove sits near the entrance to the gathering room. Walk around it to the right, and you pass along a short hallway to the kitchen. Laundry appliances hide behind folding doors on the left.

Around the woodstove to the left is the stairway to the second floor, and past that a skylit and vaulted living room, open to the kitchen and bayed dining area. A conversation bar rims the boundary side of a work island with a built-in cook top.

The Mapleton's kitchen has a raised eating bar as well. Working at the kitchen sink, you look across it into the window-bright dining bay. Counters and cupboards are in good supply, and the step-in pantry adds more storage.

Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are upstairs. The owners' suite features include a walk-in closet and a skylit bathroom with a spa tub, dual vanity, shower and a private toilet.

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

Featured House Plan of the Week, Duplex Plan, Multi-Family Home Plan, Craftsman Style Duplex

The Torrington offers some upscale features not usually found in a duplex. Its owners might enjoy keeping one unit as a vacation retreat, while renting the other unit out. This Craftsman-style duplex's cantilevered set back is visually interesting, and the recessed porches are widely separated to enhances the privacy.

Double walls provide extra sound buffering between the two units, and an exterior wall separates the covered patios. Bedrooms are along the outer edges, thus assuring private sleeping environments as well.

Both units have identical but reversed floor plans. Standing in the entry, the living/dining area is on one side, a coat closet and passageway to the bedrooms are forward, and direct access to the garage is on the opposite side.

This duplex design boasts a lofty, vaulted living and dining area. The high ceiling creates an expansive sense of openness, with natural illumination during daylight hours. Plenty of natural light washes in through a wide windows in the front, along with a smaller dormer window higher up.

In the kitchen the ceiling is flat and an overhead plant shelf and raised eating bar marks the boundary.

Stove, sink and refrigerator is a step-efficient triangle convenient for meal preparation and clean up. Cupboards and work surfaces are plenty. Counters wrap around three sides, while a floor-to-ceiling pantry boosts additional storage space.

Another storage closet is found in the hallway to the bedrooms and a two-section bathroom. 

3rd Oct, 2017
Articles, Blog

Historically, kitchens haven’t always been luxurious, open places with breakfast bars and double islands. And they certainly weren’t rooms where people wanted to gather. They were dark and simple, often utilitarian in style – an afterthought to the home plan. They were filled with noises, messes and smells. But the modern kitchen is an indispensable component to contemporary life. Instead of welcoming guests into the living room, the kitchen is the place we chat with friends over a couple drinks or conduct business or play games with family.

“The kitchen of today serves as the hub for nearly every aspect of family life,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc., based in Eugene, Ore. “Homeowners want large kitchen plans with plenty of space for baking, cooking and hosting. It’s what makes them so fun to design really.”

In many cases, the kitchen is an extension of the great room. It’s filled with light, color and all the amenities. From walk-in pantries, expansive breakfast bars and unique layouts, these three home designs put kitchens in the spotlight.

A Bright & Open Gathering Space

If entertaining is your thing, then the Barnhart (30-946) home design has a kitchen that’s meant to be enjoyed. Complete with a plenty of storage space and a walk-in pantry, this kitchen’s white cabinetry is accented by the dark countertops and stainless steel appliances for an eye-catching space.

But it’s the location of the kitchen that truly matters in this 3,815-square-foot home design. The kitchen opens up into the great room, but it also connects with the vaulted patio. A wall of windows then brightens the entire house with natural light. Both areas have wood-burning fireplaces that serve as inviting focal points, plus the kitchen has a curved edge eating bar that doubles as a buffet.

“Depending on the weather and time of year, people can congregate in the kitchen and vaulted great room, the vaulted patio, or all three,” said McAlexander. “It’s bright, cheerful and inviting… you’d be hard-pressed to not want to show off the kitchen.”

Linked Together

Expansive gathering spaces, inside and out, create a perfect environment for families to hang out and entertain in the Petaluma (31-011) home design. And the kitchen is no exception. The goal of this 4,680-square-foot, lodge-style home design is to make the kitchen part of the main space, like a spoke on a wheel.

“This kitchen is central to the home’s gathering space,” said McAlexander. “But it’s part of an interconnected series of beautiful rooms. When all is said and done, the main rooms connect to each other in a sort of circle.”

The vaulted great room and dining area, for example, are linked to the spacious kitchen, which is also linked to the vaulted media room. A large covered patio that extends halfway around one side of the house connects the great room to the dining room and back around again.

Meanwhile, the kitchen itself boasts a large island that can double as a buffet or breakfast bar – or just an extra cook space – with a walk-in pantry nearby.

Vaulted Luxury

Bold stone accents, graceful wood beams and smooth stucco blend seamlessly together along the front of the Delfino (31-062). Inspired by a Tuscan villa, the 3,919-square-foot home offers the latest in luxury living with plenty of space and attention to detail. Like the other two homes listed above, the Delfino boasts an open-style great room at the center of the house. But almost every room in the house has a vaulted ceiling, including the kitchen.

“Vaulted ceilings give rooms a light and airy feeling,” said McAlexander. “So in this house, you feel like there’s more freedom to move around, more space to mingle and relax. And all the natural light adds to the beauty.”

The vaulted foyer welcomes you into a vaulted great room, which flows into a vaulted dining area, which is open to the vaulted kitchen, which is linked to the vaulted piano room. It’s the perfect setup for those who love to entertain or host a piano recital. The kitchen’s large, curved island can be used as a buffet or bar for a fun, casual vibe in the midst of all the luxurious gathering spaces.

When you next invite your friends over or host a social event or have a family game night, where will you be gathering? We’re betting you’ll be in the kitchen, cozying up along the breakfast bar and nibbling on some crudités and hors d'oeuvres. Because the kitchen is no longer an afterthought; it’s bright, open and where the party begins. 

As seen on Newswire
2nd Oct, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Hills Creek 10-573, Ranch Home Plan

The Hills Creek's exterior has the classic look of a European or Prairie-style home, but the single-level interior is that of an updated ranch house plan.

Brick veneer, raised brick trim and corner quoins create an impression of solidity and permanence, while decorative corbels highlight the posts of the wide front porch.

Inside, a slender sidelight brightens the vaulted entry, where a roomy coat closet fills the left wall. A pocket door on the right conceals access to secondary bedrooms and a shared bathroom. A high plant shelf overarches the entry where it angles off to the left.

From there, passageways lead off in three directions. On the left, double doors open into a media room/study or home office. Straight ahead the kitchen, just past the high plant shelf on the right that crowns the opening into the great room.

Standing at the kitchen sink, you can look out across a raised eating bar, into the dining area, great room and patio. Wide windows fill most of the rear wall. One set opens onto a covered patio. Gridded windows, set high, trim the masonry fireplace. Shelves fill the spaces beneath them. The inner wall is designed for a media center, accessible at the rear through a closet in the bedroom on the other side of the wall.

The utility room and a well-appointed master suite fill the left wing. The large utility room sits between the kitchen and the three-car garage. The master suite amenities include a deluxe bathroom with dual vanity, private toilet and a large walk-in closet.

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