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10th Jul, 2018
Articles, Blog

A lot of families, big and small, crave a home life that is free of worries and troubles. They want to be able to move freely, focus on the good things, store their memories, and plan for the future. Formality is not in the cards (necessarily). Large rooms that seem to echo and reverberate with their grandeur are more ideal for entertaining than casual living.

But what is a “casual lifestyle”? Well, defining it is not as simple as just saying it’s having these rooms in a certain order or this layout in this size house.

“Casual living is about putting the spotlight on what’s important,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. in Eugene, Ore. “The important rooms, the ones that families will use the most such as the kitchen and living room, are the ones that become the highlight of the home design.”

The point of a casual lifestyle floor plan is to remove the redundancy and formality and keep it all in the family. Pretty simple, right? But it’s also about providing variety and, dare we say it, flavor.

“The casual lifestyle design is never boring,” said McAlexander. “Each floor plan is a bit different in style, depth, and amenities.”

Need inspiration? Have no fear. We have three great designs that showcase just how diverse the casual lifestyle floor plan can be.

Bungalow House Plan, Ranch Home Design, Casual Home Design

Efficiency with Style

The floor plan of the Strathmore (30-638) is both spacious and charming. From the outside, it looks like a simple bungalow with little flare and finish. But the 1,500-square-foot Craftsman home showcases the features more reminiscent of larger homes, giving it both a casual touch and a living space that is full of amenities.

The stars of the show are the key rooms that make up the casual lifestyle in the front of the house. The rest of the house flows around it. The kitchen, living room and dining area are centralized with ample natural light and an easy, comfortable flow.

From there, the features of a larger home come into play including a walk-in pantry, well-appointed master bath, and vaulted ceilings. A covered front porch and a back patio round out the home with outdoor living space.

“With the Strathmore, you get efficiency with style,” said McAlexander. “It’s not so much that the key rooms are center stage. It’s that you still have room to play and live comfortably with all the features included.”

Cottage Home Design

Adaptable Living

Another key point of casual lifestyle is flexibility. The important rooms -- the living spaces -- not only deserve the spotlight but also need to be fluid.

“You can have a home with all the amenities, but if there’s no flow, no adaptability, there’s not much point,” said McAlexander.

The Brookville (30-928) embraces a casual, open living with an upscale turn at 2,013 square feet. Clean lines and a pleasant combination of stone and wood create an eye-catching first impression. The vaulted living spaces are at the center of the house and are arranged for ease of movement.

The L-shaped kitchen connects with the living area and the dining area on either side. But those in the kitchen can still watch what’s happening on the back patio or by the fireplace.

“This doesn’t mean there can’t be private spaces that offer flexibility,” said McAlexander. “The Brookville has a large den at the front of the house for just this reason.”

The den can be an office, a study space, a private living area, or playroom, meaning the Brookville has the ability to adapt to the needs of the family.

Craftsman House Plan, Luxury Home Plan

Casual Luxury

The Westheart (10-630) showcases the best of Associated Design’s 2016 Home From The Heart survey. It’s understated luxury in a 3,100-square-foot home. Even so, it embraces the casual lifestyle.

The living spaces fill the heart of the home, with an expansive great room that opens up to large rear-facing windows for natural light and spectacular views. The bar in the kitchen faces the great room and runs perpendicular to a half wall and additional counter space that act as a built-in buffet for the dining area.

Top this off with a vaulted den for flex space, a guest suite one side of the house and a vaulted owners’ suite on the other side of the house, and you have a home that beautifully mixes casual living and luxury.

“Even back in 2016, preferences were high toward open, casual spaces,” said McAlexander. “I don’t foresee this preference changing anytime soon.”

Why? Because a casual lifestyle floor plan is not cookie-cutter living. It grows, flows, mixes, and moves with the needs of the homebuyer. 

As seen on Newswire

 

9th Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Duplex Design, Vancouver 60-031

The Vancouver is a unique Craftsman-style split-level duplex plan designed for construction on land with a slight upslope to the rear. The two interiors are mirror images of each other.

Slender columns highlight the gabled entry porch. The shingle siding that accents the gable peaks runs an eye-catching counterpoint to the lap siding that covers most of the exterior.

When entering from the street-level garage, a half-flight of stairs leads to the vaulted gathering spaces. Guests entering from the front climb a similar half-flight of stairs to a covered porch and entry that feed into the vaulted living and dining areas. Secondary bedrooms and a full bathroom are another half-flight up, over the garage.

A handy half-bathroom is just inside the front door, to the left of the coat closet. Light flows into the vaulted gathering space through windows at the front, and the sliding glass doors at the rear that open onto a patio. The ceiling slopes up to its lofty central apex from the front, then down toward the rear.

From the G-shaped kitchen you can see into the dining area across a raised eating bar. Kitchen counters wrap around four sides, and cabinets line three of them. An opening on the opposite side of the vaulted space leads into a utility alcove on the left and the vaulted owners' suite on the right. Features here include a walk-in closet, dual vanity, linen closet, and shower.

 

2nd Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, European Home Plan, Stonehaven 30-465

The Stonehaven's stone veneer covers most of the multigabled front facade, reflective of a European country retreat. Keystones crowning the entry arch and most of the front windows add classic flare to this house plan.

Upon entering, you pass between stone veneer pillars into a bright two-story foyer. Natural light flows in through sidelights and a gracefully arched transom. An open stairway climbs up the left side and curves around to the right, ending in a balcony overlook.

Double doors to the right open into a den or home office. Pocket doors on the left slide out of the way to reveal a high-ceilinged, richly windowed, sunken living room. The gas fireplace here serves as a focal point. This space flows into the dining room.

A bright, roomy kitchen is at the heart, and closeby a second stairway also provides a direct link with the second floor.

Two work islands boost available work/storage space, and there's a large walk-in pantry too. The nook creates a sunny eating area, and this entire space is open to a spacious family room.

The luxurious master suite features dual walk-in closets and direct access to a partially covered hot tub on the patio. Three more bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an unfinished storage room are upstairs.

One of the bedrooms, a guest suite, has a balcony. Another has a wide window seat with storage below. The shared bathroom also has a cozy bench tucked in a smaller windowed alcove.

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