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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...

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...

1st Aug, 2017
Articles, Blog

If no two snowflakes are alike, then no two homeowners are alike – and that goes double for older homebuyers. The children are out of the house. You don’t need all that space and all of those rooms. Maybe you want to downsize to a smaller living style. Or maybe you’re the opposite and want to at least retain some of the family gathering spaces. Maybe you want to expand a bit, so when the kids visit with grandkids in tow, you’ve got a guestroom available and space to play.

Empty Nester House Plans, Home Trends Report

You see? Not all older homebuyers are alike. And therefore, not all empty...

11th Jul, 2017
Articles, Blog

A dream home is a new possibility. It’s all of your heart’s desires in a home that you can only imagine. Maybe it has a large kitchen that connects to a vaulted great room and covered patio. Or maybe it has extra storage, a large garage, and a bonus room. But finding a home that has all of the features you’ve always wanted is daunting.

“For many, the hunt for the perfect home can be discouraging – even impossible,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “And everyone’s desires change. That’s why we have our annual Home from the Heart survey to help us build the home of your dreams.”

This year’s survey once again asked readers, like you, to share what features and design elements you want in your...

6th Jun, 2017
Articles, Blog

Gone are the flashy, formal living rooms and expansive garages that are so beloved in traditional houses. The home desires of Generation Y – better known as Millennials – tend to gravitate toward smaller spaces, versatility and minimalist floor plans. But that’s not to say that younger homebuyers don’t see the benefits of space or the need for certain amenities. They just like to have options.

“To the Millennial, a traditional home with big spaces and grand bedrooms can be repurposed, or up-purposed,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “A garage becomes a workshop. A bonus room is a bedroom. They like to have a home that bends and adapts to their lifestyle.”

In a sense, younger homebuyers’ wishes are a...

26th May, 2017
Articles, Blog

A good garage can drastically improve the value of your home. It’s something that most prospective homeowners and all real estate agents will focus on, and a little care and attention can go a long way here.

You don’t need the biggest budget or the best DIY skills either. It just takes a takes a few minutes and a little hard work to bring your garage up to scratch, as these 4 Tips for Improving Your Garage show.

Maintain Garage and Garage Door 

It’s easy to lose interest in your garage when it begins to fall into disrepair. The mold creeps in, the spiders take over, and the door rusts so much that...

2nd May, 2017
Articles, Blog

When you only have so much room, you go to great lengths to maximize the space available to get the most out of less. It may seem easy to do in some cases. But maximizing space takes on new meaning – and new challenges – when building a home on a narrow lot. These slender lots require ample storage, convertible space and well-placed rooms to amp up the overall appeal of the home designs.

“On a narrow lot, you have to be smart about how things fit together in a home design,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “It has to both maximize the space available as well as appeal to a homeowner in terms of...

4th Apr, 2017
Articles, Blog

For most of us, country living conjures up images of lazy summer days sipping lemonade on a shady front porch, cozy kitchens filled with the smells of home-cooked meals, and rolling hills and green valleys. Country house plans are one of the most popular styles of home design, and for good reason. Their famous nostalgic look lends them their enduring appeal year after year. Picture a home in a Norman Rockwell painting, and you’ll likely be imagining a country house plan with all the traditional trimmings: porches, gables, lap siding, shuttered windows and cozy facades. Who wouldn’t want to relax on the porch and let the world drift by?

“It’s not hard to see why country home plans are so popular,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of...

1st Mar, 2017
Articles, Blog

When spring has sprung, the warmer, brighter days call out to you. After months of being cooped up in the house with snowflakes flying and cold weather brewing, your heart longs for sunlight. And it’s worse when trees surround your home, and the home has few windows, meaning you have been holed up in a cave. So on that first day of spring, you take that step outdoors and realize what you’ve been missing.  

If you’ll pardon the expression, a light bulb doesn’t hold a candle to sunlight. 

...

1st Feb, 2017
Articles, Blog

To dream is to believe that the impossible is possible. There are no boundaries, no limitations, and no drawbacks or setbacks. You can be who you want to be, build what you want to build, live where you want to live. In your dreams, your home has everything you ever desired – a great room with stone fireplace, the perfect casual entertaining space in the living room, a country kitchen, a sprawling ranch with modern touches, the perfect home theatre, a sauna. And the list goes on.

Home from the Heart

After all, home design at its...

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