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17th Apr, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Lakeside 10-551, European Home Plan, House Plan

The textural blend of stone veneer wainscoting and shake-textured siding can't help but admire this classic European cottage. While the Lakeside is designed for construction on building lot that slopes down on the left, it could also be built on a level lot. 

Light flows into the vaulted entry through sidelights and a transom. An arched opening on the right of the entry leads into the dining room and on to the kitchen. The arched opening on the left takes you into a vaulted living room with a fireplace. Forward, with a slight jog around the railed stairway and powder room, brings you into the vaulted greatroom. Windows fill most of the rear wall and in the nook sliding glass doors open onto a side patio.

A multi-angled eating bar creates a boundary between the nook and kitchen. Cabinets run along overhead, capping the open space below. The kitchen's central work island has a cook top. Laundry appliances, along with a roomy pantry and a utility sink, are right around the corner in a pass-through utility room that leads to the garage.

The spacious owners' suite is on the ground level. It features a walk-in closet and a roomy bathroom with a spa tub and double vanity. Soft light flows in through glass blocks on two sides of the deep spa tub.

Upstairs, a railed balcony cuts across the upper air space of the vaulted entry and family room below. A bedroom and an unfinished bonus room are on the right, while a two-section bathroom and a bedroom with a rectangular windowed alcove are on the left.

14th Apr, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New Garage Plan, Garage with Recreation Room, 2 Car Garage, Garage 20-166

Garage 20-166

This detached garage design can hold up to four cars when parked two cars deep. The front garage doors are both 9' wide x 10' tall and the smaller garage door in the back is 6' wide x 7' tall. On the left of the garage is a richly windowed recreation room with full bathroom and a large, vaulted covered patio. A set of stairs provides convenient attic access.

10th Apr, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Springwater 30-661

The Springwater is a rustically elegant single-story, Craftsman-style lodge house plan which features more than 3,000 square feet of indoor living space linked to spacious patios on the side and rear. The abundance of indoor and outdoor living areas makes it well suited for entertaining.

This design has a guest room and two home offices that could be furnished as bedrooms if desired. 

Entering via the vaulted porte-cochere and entry porch, you step into a wide, foyer where light flows down through a row of windows set high in the wall. The foyer is open to the dining area on the left and the vaulted great room ahead. Windows fill most of the dining room's front wall, and glass-centered double doors extend onto a vaulted, covered patio.

Three evenly spaced wooden posts bound the dining room where it transitions into the great room and kitchen. One side of the kitchen's L-shaped island is rimmed by an eating/conversation bar and fronts the great room. This section has a prep sink, while its other arm has under-counter baskets on one side, and a range on the other. A large walk-in pantry fills the corner next to the kitchen's built-in desk.

The covered and vaulted patio adds private space outside the vaulted master suite that has two large walk-in closets. Other amenities include: an exercise nook, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower, dual vanity, private toilet, and direct patio access. The outdoor shower would be particularly appreciated near a pool or spa.

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 Associated Designs. “They are both elegant and soothing, complete with all the traditional architectural details that make for a great home.”

Country-style designs rarely fail to catch the eye, but blending the traditional country look with a little European flair takes the traditional home design to a whole new level of luxury. This is the essence of Associated Designs’ Delfino house plan 31-062

Country Elegance, European Luxury, Delfino 31-062, House Plan, Home Plan

“The Delfino home plan blends two unique styles into a compelling design that’s both modest and spacious,” McAlexander said. “It offers tons of functionality while still highlighting those traditional country elements and features. It’s modesty, elegance and luxury all in one.”

At first glance, the Delfino is rather inconspicuous. Bold stone accents, graceful wood beams and smooth stucco blend seamlessly along the front of the home, giving it an altogether modest appearance. A vaulted covered porch is the centerpiece to the exterior design. You would be hard-pressed to consider this home anything more than a simple modern upgrade to the traditional country living style. But it’s the interior of this three-bedroom, where the Tuscan-vineyard inspired home really shines.

The vaulted foyer welcomes you into a grand living area with a double set of sliding glass doors that allow you to expand the living area to the covered patio on nice days when a soft breeze is just the thing. The open-style great room flows into a dining area, which is also open to the vaulted kitchen. From there you walk into a vaulted piano room. Don’t have a piano or play the piano? That’s OK. The room can easily be used as an additional seating area or cozy secondary gathering space. It’s the perfect set-up for those who love to entertain.

“It’s the details that really make this home special,” said McAlexander. “Beautiful ceiling treatments adorn the walls, adding that extra touch of class to the open living space, but it’s not overpowering. It’s modestly elegant.”

Walking back through the house, the den catches the eye – and rightly so. This is no ordinary office space. Glass French doors allow the den to open up to the rest of the great room with built-in shelving and storage closet.

Just off the kitchen area is a large walk-in pantry featuring built-in shelves and freezer space. Down the hall from the pantry, the two secondary bedrooms each have their own walk-in closets and dressing areas. A Jack-and-Jill style bathroom, offering both privacy and versatility, connects the two bedrooms to each other.

Walking back down the hallway, the Delfino features a mud bath and extensive utility room, but the real star of this luxury home is downstairs in the lower floor. Since the home is designed on a partial basement foundation, the lower space holds a very special addition that any wine enthusiast would love: a built-in, 300-square-foot wine cellar.

“No Tuscan-inspired home should be without a wine cellar,” said McAlexander.

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the house, the owners’ suite features a vaulted ceiling, double doors that lead to a vaulted patio, a walk-in closet with solar tube lighting, and a large master bath with his and her sinks. But functionality and modesty are still present even in so luxurious a room. For instance, the owners’ suite features an exercise room just off the bathroom and walk-in closet. Get home from work, change clothes, get in a workout and end with a luxurious shower – all without walking more than a few feet from room to room.

The Delfino home design is evocative of blending two unique styles into a home that’s both functional and luxurious. And while the exterior boasts elegance in all the right spots, it’s the amenities of this country home that really get attention.

So yes. There’s more to this home than meets the eye.

As seen on Newswire
3rd Apr, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Duplex Designs, Multi-Family Housing, Krammer 60-022

If you're looking for a duplex that is comfortable to live in while renting out the other unit, the Krammer is worth consideration.

Each of the units is the size of a standard home, with close to 1,800 square feet of living space along with a two-car garage. The plan is designed for construction on a lot that slopes downhill at the rear, so each unit features an elevated deck off the kitchen, as well as a patio accessed through a sliding glass doors in the family room below.

Centrally placed garages offer a sense of privacy for the entry porches, while double walls provide sound buffering between adjacent bedrooms on both the main and basement floors.

Entering the home you step into a vaulted foyer with a coat closet just inside the door. The foyer ceiling slopes up to its apex at the end of the passageway, then begins sloping down as the space opens out into the dining area and living room.

A bay window brightens and expands the dining area, which is open to the kitchen with only a raised eating bar between. Kitchen features include a walk-in pantry, a sink with a view, and counters on four sides.

The main floor bedroom has a walk-in closet and direct access to the bathroom. A door in the hallway across from the bedroom links with the garage.

Downstairs in each of the units, are two bedrooms, a full-sized utility room, a bathroom, and a family room with fireplace.

31st Mar, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

Garage with Living Space, Garage with Apartment, ADU, Unique Garage

From the outside, this appears to be the classic barn plan. The sliding barn doors can move over to hide the double car garage door that is 18' wide and 11' tall. However, when you step inside you discover the 3 car garage is at the core of the design, surrounded by living space and separate offices. The main level entry on the left you will discover a full bathroom, mud hall and two bedrooms. The washer and dryer are tucked under the stairs that lead you up to the second floor that features a vaulted game room and two storage lofts. Continuing up the stairs brings you to a single bedroom apartment. The master bedroom suite fills one side of the floor and offers a generous walk-in closet and private bathroom with a shower room that also contains a free standing tub. The third floor is vaulted throughout and also has a great room with full kitchen.

 
 
27th Mar, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Mesa Verde 11-126, Southwest House Plan, Home Plan

The Mesa Verde exudes an air of freshness and simplicity. Its bright, stuccoed walls are softly rounded at the edges. The flat roof is rimmed by eye-catching stepped parapets, and accentuated by decorative log ends. Exposed lintels and smooth posts add additional eye appeal in this Southwestern house plan.

Inside, the sense of openness is completely contemporary. Light flows into the high-ceilinged great room through windows at the back, and another on the side. If desired, a fireplace could nestle into the far corner, and a wet bar could extend along the nearby wall. Triple sliders access a covered patio that spans most of the rear.

A two-foot drop in ceiling height marks the transition from great room to kitchen and dining room. In the kitchen, a work island fronted by a raised eating bar also provides partial visual separation. 

Standing at the cook top, you can stay fully involved with family activities, and keep tabs on backyard too. Laundry appliances are a few steps away, in a large utility room that connects to the garage. A generously sized pantry adds to the storage space, and a utility sink can easily be added to the long counter.

Bedrooms and bathrooms are along the left side of the home. Interesting angles shape the owners' suite. Sliders offer direct patio access.

 

23rd Mar, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Anchorage 30-930, Country House Plan, Home Plan

This country house plan's simple lap siding and tastful stone accents combined with the iconic full wrap around porch create the handsome exterior of the Anchorage design. Stepping in the front door and the arched opening on the left leads you to the living room which features double doors that open back up to the wrap around porch. Cozy up around the fireplace on dark winter days in the great room that is open to the dining room. The right side of the main floor is the owners' suite which amenities include a luxury bathroom room with a separate spa tub, dual vanities and large walk-in closet. Back towards the foyer is a set of stairs that leads to the second floor where there are three additional bedrooms. If the stairs become too much overtime the coat closet at the foyer was designed to provde for an optional elevator to move you between levels.

20th Mar, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Country House Plan, Home Plan, Charleston 10-252

Arched windows put a contemporary update to the Charleston, a country-style home plan complete with gables and a beautiful wrap-around porch. The placement of a parlor and dining room on both sides of the entry is traditional country design, but the entryway, with its two-story ceiling, is not. The great room and dining room also feature high ceilings. Clerestory windows in the entry and dining room provide extra light.

Columns and arches define the bayed dining room. Double doors close to provide privacy in the parlor, which could just as easily be used as a home office. Shelves and a desk are built in.

Informal living spaces are at the rear of the home. Two sets of French or atrium doors brighten the great room year round. A fireplace, flanked by built-in shelves, provides warmth and character.

The large country kitchen has many amenities: large work island, walk-in pantry, built-in appliances, an eating nook, and a corner sink with a view. The three-season porch is perfect for protected outdoor dining. Utilities, basement stairs, and a small powder room are close to the center of activity.

Double doors open into the owners' suite. Features here include a large walk-in closet, a small deck, and a two-section bathroom with dual vanity and oversized shower. Upstairs, two bedrooms share a bathroom. The front-facing room has a walk-in closet and an arched window that could be finished with a window seat.

17th Mar, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Westcliff 31-061

Westcliff 31-061

Charming shingle gable ends and clean double posts welcome you to the cottage style Westcliff house plan. To the right of the entry are double doors that open to a den or a possible third bedroom. Walking beyond the den, you enter the living room with a tray ceiling. Living room, dining room and kitchen flow together with the only seperation coming from the pennisular eating counter in the kitchen. Along the rear of the house is a hall that provides access through the sliding door to a covered area on the patio. The end of the hall is a bedroom and the owners' suite that features a step-in closet and private bathroom.

New House Plan, Country Home Plan, Lakeridge 31-069

Lakeridge 31-069

The Lakeridge is a charming country home designed for a lot that slopes gently to the side. The spacious entry hall provides three options upon entering the home. To the right are double doors that lead you to the den. Straight ahead is the living room which is open to the dining room and kitchen which is only separated by a raised eating bar. To the left of the entry is a hall that leads to the bedrooms. Two secondary bedrooms are along the front with the owners' suite tucked into the back. Owners' suite features include a large walk-in closet and separate bathroom that features a dual vanity.

New House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Manzanita 31-073

Manzanita 31-073

This single story cottage house plan is a favorite of homeowners and builders alike! The simple and welcoming exterior fits nicely on any urban building lot or rural country property. Stepping through the front door the foyer provides plenty of space to place a bench or set of cubbies for storing shoes and bags. The cased opening leads to a hallway with a coat closet and drop zone by the door that leads to the garage. On the right another cased opening leads you to the two secondary bedrooms and a full bathroom. At the end of the hall is an open-style great room. A tray ceiling provides visual separation of the living space and the dining and kitchen area. To the left, rear corner of the home is the owners' suite. Nicely separated from the main living as well as the secondary bedrooms, the owners' suite amenities include a large walk-in closet along with a private bathroom with dual vanities.

 

 

13th Mar, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Brookport 30-692, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan

It's easy to visualize the Brookport house plan as a vacation lodge on a lake, in the mountains, or along the ocean. But this spacious plan is also well-suited for an upscale neighborhood.

The exterior offers a pleasing medley of textures typical of Craftsman homes. Shingles fill gable ends, and triplets of small panes highlight the upper edges of windows. Stone veneer bases support the wooden columns lining the vaulted colonnade that leads to a beautiful double-door entry.

Inside, it's equally impressive. The vaulted living room has a central water feature. Natural light flows down through skylights, and more spills in through wide, high windows on both sides of the fireplace. Glass-centered double doors open out onto a covered porch at the rear.

The living room is open to a vaulted dining room with a built-in buffet next to a bank of display shelves. The large kitchen's range-top work island has a rounded eating bar that faces into the dining room. The kitchen also features a wood stove, prep sink, extra-deep walk-in pantry, and skylit nook.

Access to the large family room is via an opening in the nook and a hallway near the eating bar. A spacious utility room is nearby, along with the luxurious owners' suite and a roomy guest suite. Owners' suite featues include a large two-section walk-in closet, a sauna, walk-in shower and a private toilet. The two-sided fireplace can be enjoyed from the spa tub and/or the sleeping area.

Two more bedrooms are upstairs. Each with its own bathroom and balcony. A large bonus room and study with a covered balcony, fill out the rest of the second floor.

7th Mar, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Craftman House Plan, Home Plan, Eddinger 30-328

Within a few steps inside the Eddinger you can see the panoramic view this Craftsman house plan offers. Windows fill most of the rear-facing walls in the expansive hexagonal great room that forms the core of this beautiful midsize home. A wide-hearthed fireplace stands ready to provide warmth and color.

Shake siding and tapered stone veneer masonry allow this home blend easily into natural setting. At the same time, the plan is as well-suited to a wide city lot with an attractive back yard.

Families that enjoy outdoor living will find plenty of space on the broad, partially covered deck that spans across the entire rear. There is ample space for lounge chairs, picnic tables, porch swings, potted plants, a hot tub, you name it.

Even from inside, it's easy to enjoy the view. The kitchen is open to the great room, separated by a peninsular counter. Family and friends can enjoy hanging out along the extended conversation bar. Counter and cupboard space are plenty, and a generous walk-in pantry adds still more storage capacity.

Laundry appliances are nearby in the utility room complete with a deep sink, storage shelves, cupboards, and a folding counter.

The owners' suite is separated from the secondary bedrooms, and rich in features. It offers a large walk-in closet, twin vanities, oversized shower, soaking tub, and private toilet, plus direct access to the deck through a set of atrium doors.

The other bedrooms also have exterior doors that lead the deck.

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. 

Natural Lighting, Barnhart 30-946 House Plan, Craftsman Home Plan

Daylighting, or the process of adding natural light to home design, has many benefits – from energy savings to aesthetic touches and even health benefits. A single skylight in a hallway, a trio of tubular daylighting devices (TDDs) in a kitchen or even expanding west-facing windows in the living room brightens, uplifts and gives you a touch of the outdoors while in the comfort of home.

“Natural light, for all intents and purposes, is the soul of a home,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “Its simple elegance adds warmth to the most cave-like rooms. And in the process, your home opens up to more possibilities.”

But if you live in a cave, or in a well-shaded house, or in a home with small windows and lots of walls, how do you successfully and simply bring natural light inside?

“There are, of course, many ways to add daylight into a living space,” said McAlexander. “What works for your home may not work for someone else’s. If your living room faces south, you’ll want to add big windows, which embraces that southern sunshine. But if your home has a wide but dark hallway, skylights are the answer.”

So whether you live in a townhouse, a ranch-style home, or a cave, here are five ways to trade those light bulbs for sunshine.

1. Winning with Windows.

Windows are an old standard, but in such a remodel, the goal is to maximize the home’s exposure to the sun. For instance, large floor-to-ceiling windows in a living room or family room can bring the light in without changing too much of the interior. Another ideal location for windows is the kitchen, as natural light is by far easier to cook and work in than electrical lighting. If your kitchen is in the corner of the house, make use of that corner with an expanded window above the sink or counter. While kitchens and living rooms are ideal places to add windows, don’t forget hallways and stairwells. Natural light in these spaces can be a unique lighting remodel.

2. Open Up to Glass Doors.

A dark or dim set of rooms can be harsh for some, and when solid panel doors keep things closed off and disconnected, the result is a bit dreary. But never fear! French doors are here! French doors spread the light in a home from one room to another without shutting the room off entirely. The home, in essence, opens up without actually being open. Consider a long hallway that ends in a solid door. Change that door to a French door, and the hall feels open and inviting.

3. Widen Doorways and Tear Down those Walls.

At the heart of this remodel idea is the popular concept of great room living. Great rooms subtract the walls between spaces, and add in connectivity and open living. Fewer walls and more open or expansive doorways mean more natural light can move between rooms. If a wall separates the dining room and the kitchen, tear it down if you can and let the sunshine in. If a narrow doorway limits the western light, give it more space and take advantage of the setting sun.

4. The Power of a Three-Season Porch.

Now here’s a remodel idea that combines natural lighting with a love of the outdoors. You don’t have to try hard to make a three-season porch a reality. Often called a sunroom, a three-season porch, unlike all-season porches, is not insulated nor does it have heating and air-conditioning. This makes them less expensive to build.

“A three-season porch brings the natural beauty of the outdoors into the home,” said McAlexander. “They are built for the express purpose of extensive use even during chilly days. With the right location and the right design, it can be an expansive way to brighten a home.”

Make sure the three-season porch faces south to capture the sun’s rays for heat during the cooler months. The southern sun, in turn, brightens the rest of the home with strategically placed large interior windows.

5. Face the Front Porch.

Similar to a three-season porch, a front porch can be an endearing daylighting tool for a remodel. Combine the front porch concept with expansive front-facing windows, and light should flow in naturally. But if it’s a covered porch (as most porches are), sunlight is blocked or limited from entering the house. So, if you have a front porch already or if you’re adding one on, include TDDs or skylights on the front porch. If the front porch faces east or west, it will maximize the daylight hours for a complete natural light makeover of the home.

So don’t despair about the darkness; brighter days are just around the corner. Look at your home as it is now and remember that adding windows, tearing down walls, and embracing natural light in all its glory can be a bright new beginning. 

As seen on Newswire
27th Feb, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Cabin Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, Elsberry 30-265

Varied roof lines and a wrap-around porch give the Elsberry such an intriguing appearance that you can't help but take a second look.

Recessed into the roof of the covered front porch is an interesting hidden sun deck. A French door links this sunny space to the vaulted owners' suite on the second floor.

This cabin plan is particularly well suited to the needs of a couple, single, empty nesters, small family, or as a vacation get-away. The wide rear deck and front porch provide plenty of space for appreciating the out of doors.

Entering, you step directly into the heart of the home. It's only a few steps to the kitchen and the panoramic view encompasses the living room, dining room and deck. Standing in the kitchen, you've got that same great view, though a raised eating and conversation bar provides some separation.

Ceilings are high and vaulted in the living room and dining room. Sunlight flows in through wide rear windows, and a circular fireplace radiates warmth and color. Sliders in the dining area access the rear deck, and double doors lead into the den.

The main bathroom has two entries. You can get there from the den, or from a hallway on the other side that runs past a bedroom (or study), and a utility room with exterior access. This feature enables it to double as a mud room.

Another vaulted ceiling adds volume to the owners' suite upstairs. In addition to the sun deck, this space has a roomy walk-in closet, oversized shower with seat, double vanity and private toilet.

22nd Feb, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Downhill Narrow Lot Home Plan, Creekside 31-067,

The understated entrance and simple lap siding create a cozy, cottage feel to the Creekside house plan. Walking along the single car garage you approach the front door which opens to an entry hall. To the right, a door opens to the utility room which links the garage. Pass the utility room door a cased opening brings you to the great room with a C-shaped kitchen. The owners' suite is also on the main floor and features a bathroom with a single vanity and large walk-in closet. The toliet comparement is separated from the owners' suite and is shared with a separate entrance from the owners' suite hallway. A staircase off the foyer leads down to the daylight basement. On the lower floor are two additional bedrooms, a full bathroom and family room with room for an optional kitchenette. 

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