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1st Oct, 2015
Articles, Blog

When looking for your perfect home plan or considering a custom design or remodel don’t forget about planning for your storage needs. If there is one thing people are good at it is collecting clutter and it leaves us wondering, “What to do with it all?” It is time to take the stress out of finding space for your treasures and plan for storage solutions to meet the needs of you and your family.

Oakshire 30-770, Shingle Style House Plan, Home Plan,

“A place for everything and everything in its place”, a good rule to live by: assuming that you have the right amount of storage for your home. The experts at Associated Designs, Inc., home design specialists in Eugene, Oregon, first start by taking a look at the size of home you are looking to build. Rick McAlexander, president, explains that the opportunities for storage vary greatly with the size of home being designed. Keeping the storage areas proportional to the rest of the home is key to functional and tidy living. Showcasing all the necessary areas within a home to consider the Oakshire 30-770 has them all. This design features; an entry closet, linen closets, pantry, mudroom, and plenty of cabinet storage in the large utility room. Along with planning for the actual spaces here are other tips to consider capitalizing on those spaces.

The entry closet gives the homeowner the first bit of storage. Entry closets are great for seasonal outerwear ranging from light jackets to winter scarves and mittens. Adding hooks to the interior side of the door would lend additional storage by keeping your “go to” items up front to just reach in and grab.

Close to the bedroom or bathroom areas, the linen closets help to keep things close to where they are needed. Aside from storing additional bedding and towels, a linen closet is also and an excellent place to keep cleaning supplies and extra bathroom staples close by and out of site from visitors.

Next on the list of necessities is a kitchen pantry. Having a pantry offers the extra storage needed to keep countertops clear and can offer an easier view of staples you like to keep on hand. Increase its functionality by is installing shelving at different heights, adding racks or a hook system to the door along and use of baskets to corral loose staples such as onions and potatoes.

Utilizing the transition between the living area of the home and the garage with a mud room creates a very versatile space. The mud room is a great option for active families who need a “drop zone”. Backpacks and lunch pails can be conveniently stored before or after school. If your children are active in sports this area is a great place to remove and store muddy shoes. Optimize the mud room with a cubby system for individual family member’s belongings will keep items organized. Consider adding a bench, not only for the benefit of having a seat to put on or remove shoes but you can capture additional storage under the seat for larger or odd sized frequently used items.

When it comes to the garage, storage options are numerous. Cars, tools, sports equipment and other odds and ends that don’t fit in the home create a high demand on garage storage. To help the garage live up to its high demands consider some of the following tips.

  • Most people don’t realize how much overhead space a garage can offer. By installing basic pulley storage system, you can keep seasonal items and the family canoe from occupying valuable floor space.
  • Fully utilize wall space. A peg and hook system can double or triple the storage space in the average garage and keep the yard tools well organized.
  • A work bench keeps tools and equipment organized and ready to use when you are want to work your next project.
  • Cabinets, shelving and sports containers can increase storage of skates, boards, helmets, balls and more. Corner containers or closets can help keep things tidy and organized.

When it comes to planning for storage it is important to consider your needs during the design process. Once your plans are picked or finalized there are many additional tricks, tips and specialized products that will help your well-designed home support your lifestyle while keeping your home clutter free.

As seen on Newswire
28th Sep, 2015
Articles, Blog

We were hired by Gary and Sandy to design a remodel for their utility room. Although this room was nicely appointed and finished, it didn't allow enough room to comfortably iron and meet their storage needs. Also, the area provided for the washer/dryer set which they wanted to replace required the use of "compact" units which limited available choices.

The solution was to extend their utility room which would increase not only the storage space, but added plenty of counter space, as well as increased floor space to comfortably iron and continue to utilize the functions of the room. Adding a small amount of floor space, a mere 66 square feet, significantly increased the functionality of the room.

The before photos:


During construction:


The finished project. Bumping out this space created a nice area for planting and accessorizing the patio in the back of their home.




28th Sep, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Mediterranean Home Plan, Corsica 30-443

A bright stucco exterior and high, arched windows lend the Mediterranean-style Corsica an actractive sunny appearance. Keystones offer a classic touch, over the garage-door lintels and at the center of all five majestic front arches.

Passing through the arched front porch, you step into an exceptionally bright entry. Natural light flows in through sidelights and a graceful half-circle transom.

The foyer's ceiling soars 13 feet high. A recessed display niche is on the right side, opposite a set of ornamental columns that welcome the living room's wide opening.

Stacked windows fill the great room's rear wall. The top edge of the upper windows forms a gentle arch. Built-in cabinetry on both sides of the gas fireplace can function as a home entertainment center.

The roomy combination kitchen/dining room is open to the great room. Counters, a desk, pantry, sink and appliances line two walls, while a large cook-top work island rimmed by a flush eating bar is at the center. A second pantry is nearby, along the hallway that leads to a bathroom, utility room, and a den with bay window and patio access.

The dining room has access to a partially covered section of the patio, along with another glass door across the way in the master suite. Other luxurious amenities include his-and-hers walk-in closets, twin vanities, walk-in shower, deep soaking tub and totally private toilet.

Two more bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs, along with a storage room.

21st Sep, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week

The mid-size Jamestown exterior is invitingly solid, familiar and comfortable. Living spaces are all on one floor in this contemporary ranch-style home, with a deep bonus room located upstairs.

Eye-catching gables and nostalgic multipaned windows face the street. Tapered columns, with stone veneer bases, highlight the covered porch.

Softly muted light flows into the entry through sidelights and glass in the upper door. One bedroom is to the right, while an opening to the left leads to an alcove to another bedroom and a full bathroom. Linen storage is at one end of the alcove.

Further along from the entry, you pass a coat closet just before reaching the kitchen on the right. Double doors on the left open into what could be a home office, or a fourth bedroom. This room also offers easy rear access to cables linked to components in the great room's media cabinet.

The kitchen's L-shaped eating bar bounds the great room on one side, and the dining room on the other. The great room has a fireplace and the dining room boasts a built-in hutch and buffet.  Long stretches of counters and cabinets rim the kitchen's other two sides, linked by a walk-in pantry tucked into the corner.

A hallway off the dining area leads to the owners' suite, bonus room stairs, plus a convenient pocket bathroom and pass-through utility room linked to the garage. Owners' suite features include a luxurious bathroom, a roomy walk-in closet, and direct patio access.

18th Sep, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Lodge Style House Plan, New Home Plan, Riverbank 30-999

Distinctive posts and beams highlight the Riverbank’s four front gables. This eye-catching two-story lodge-style home plan is designed for construction in a retreat setting and seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor living spaces. 

Indoor family spaces span the front. After entering the foyer, you step into a large dining room, open to the two-story living room on the right. The kitchen to the left is a cooks dream and features dual work islands. A roomy butler's pantry is close by with plenty of room for a freezer and/or second refrigerator. The utility room well appointed and offers plenty of additional storage. It, along with the mud room/bathroom across the hall, is just inside a door onto the rambling covered patio. An exercise room, den and full bathroom complete the right wing.

On the second floor, a spacious and luxurious owners’ suite is on the left side.  The suite features a large spa tub that nestles into a window bay with views onto a vaulted deck. Two more bedrooms, a two-section bathroom and a game room are also upstairs. 

17th Sep, 2015
Blog, Under Construction

The design started with wanting interior barn doors.

Tetherow 31-019, Craftsman House Plan

It's always interesting to me what sparks creativity. 

I said I wanted interior barn doors, and an extra large utility room so I could have a permanent sewing and crafting area to work in.

Tetherow 31-019, Craftsman House Plan

He said he wanted a single level home that was relaxed and easy to move around in. Oh, and within our budget.

We both wanted to take in the view, and to have a home that when someone came through the doors they were instantly comfortable.

Tetherow 31-019, Craftsman Floor Plan


So there it is, our future home. Single story, interior barn doors, relaxed, easy to move around in, my crafting area, and I will let you know how we did on budget later. 

The plan so far is to accent the home using reclaimed barn wood. We like rustic and imperfect. I know when it's all said and done, we'll have plenty of wrought iron, bubbled glass and I'm hoping for Amish hand planed hardwood floors.

Note the second set of barn doors on the entertainment center, yeah!

We spent time debating masonry fireplace or wood burning stove. The wood burning stove was the practical choice for a secondary heat source, but it was the dilemma of where to hang the Christmas stockings that was pulling me to the masonry fireplace. It was then I found an example of a wood burning stove with a barn wood beam mantle placed behind that made it easy to go back to the practical side of life.

Ah the kitchen. I LOVE THIS KITCHEN! I love to cook and try new recipes and the current accommodations of our cabin makes this quite challenging. This is the vision that allows me to maintain my sanity.

The building permit was applied for on Monday. Engineering of our construction documents was completed by Hill & Dale Engineering of Eugene Or. 

Rick salvaged several yards of gravel placed by the previous owner to construct a path to the river and has our building lot almost ready for excavation at the end of the month.




14th Sep, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Craftsman House Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Small Home Plan

Slender posts support the front porch of the roof, creating an inviting full-width porch. These features, plus the multipaned upper window sashes, give a Craftsman-style flavor to this compact contemporary two-story Bailey house plan. The front facade is symmetrical and an old-fashioned porch swing could be hung on either side of the front door.

Family living spaces are on the first floor and bedrooms are located upstairs.

On the right of the entry is a parlor with double doors that open into a room which could be used as either a den or dining room. With these doors open, the two rooms become one bright living area, windowed at both the front and back. The rear windows are French doors that provide access to the backyard.

This home plan provides plenty of space for everyone to hang out in the kitchen and not crowd the cooking. Standing at the range, you look across the eating bar into a family room that could be furnished as a casual dining table, plus a couch or a couple easy chairs.

A door in the family room provides access to the garage making it easy to unload groceries on dark, rainy or snowy days and nights.

Laundry appliances are close yet out of sight, opposite the powder room in a hallway that connects the dining room and kitchen.

The master suite is upstairs and has a long closet and a private bathroom with an oversize shower. Secondary bedrooms share a third bathroom.

10th Sep, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Contemporary Home Plan, Narrow Lot House Plan

Sunlight flows into the living and dining rooms of the contemporary Merino house plan. The living room is open to the loft above which adds to the light open feeling of the home.  The kitchen is open to the dining room which offers a sliding glass doors that access the patio. Owners' suite with a laorge walk-in closet, the utility room, a loft and two additional bedrooms are on the second floor.

8th Sep, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Traditional House Plan, Hexagonal Home Plan, Linfield 10-322

From the front, there's no idea that the Linfield offers a hexagonal core. Once inside you'll be surprised and find yourself in a window-rich, vaulted great room where six pie-shaped sections of ceiling slope up to a lofty central apex.

This home plan is designed for construction on a down slope to the rear. The entrance is at ground level, while elevating the panoramic deck that wraps across the rear, one flight up from the ground. From the rear, it looks like a two-story house with an undeveloped daylight basement can be converted to living space as time and resources permit.

Dining and living room flow together, filling the windowed half of the great room. On one side, a masonry fireplace provides warmth and color when the days turn dark and dreary.

Standing at the cook stove in the kitchen, you face into the dining room and beyond. The kitchen also offers a lot of counter space.

Utilities are nearby, just a few steps from the vaulted entry. A deep sink is built in, along with storage cabinets over the appliances.

The owners' suite and the secondary bedrooms, have wide windows with rear views. The suite and one other bedroom also have sliding doors that provide access to the deck.

Other owners' suite amenities include: a large sitting area with fireplace, huge walk-in closet, and plush bathroom outfitted with a double vanity, shower, private water closet, and spa.

A curved driveway sweeps across the front, leading into the Linfield's two-car garage.

3rd Sep, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Lexington 30-989

The Prairie-style Lexington house plan, with its hipped roof and squared column supports, looks both traditional and contemporary at once. With minor changes, this single-level design could also be wheelchair accessible.

Natural light flows into the foyer through panes of glass flanking the front door. The foyer opens directly into the great room with a corner fireplace. Windows at the rear offer a view of a covered patio and the landscape.

An eating bar rims the work island, which provides partial separation between the kitchen and great room. Both rooms are open to the dining area. The dining area offers access to the covered patio and to a den. 

Bedrooms are on the right of the foyer. Owners’ suite features include a walk-in closet and a two-section bathroom with a double vanity. The utility room is very roomy.


1st Sep, 2015
Articles, Blog

Baby boomers and generation Xers have had their time to dominate the world of home ownership and home design and now it is the millennials who are having a say in the way of home evolution. They have their own needs, desires and concerns that are getting to the core of what it means to be a homeowner in the 21st century. Associated Designs, a residential home design company, offers innovative home planning and design options that cater to the changing times and facets of home ownership.

Millennials and Home Design

The first thing to consider when designing or planning a home for a millennial is the integration of technology. This up and coming home buying market are the primary consumers of technology and they are looking for their homes to keep up with the times. “Smart” homes that integrate tablets, phones, audio systems, LED lighting and security features are at the forefront of this generation’s home preferences.

Next up from technology, is home efficiency. Efficiency in all types from the homes energy and water consumption to its size and layout, millennials are looking to maximize their time and their money. With carefully considered layouts, each room in the house can be multifunctional freeing the home owners’ from traditional form and function. And with careful site review, future homeowners can make sure that their new home doesn’t require more time maintaining it then they want.

Lastly millennials want flexibility in their homes. Continuing in the trend of the generation before them, millennials are looking to open great room style living to fill the center of their home. Great rooms provide multifunctional and highly sociable space that is not limited in its use. Combining work and social spaces to make them more inclusive and communal is a modern and therefore popular solution for millennial households who desire a more cohesive living space.

The millennial generation is unique and seeking homes that will cater to their highly social and active lifestyles. For these homeowners, practicality takes priority over lavish excess and versatile space is more attractive than spaces with rigid, assigned functions. The millennials are a creative and innovative generation seeking home designers who are able to work with their needs and wants in order to create homes that will reflect the values and ambitions of this up and coming generation.

As seen on Newswire
27th Aug, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Sloped Lot Home Plan, Craftsman House Plan, Berkshire 30-995

Designed for a down-sloping view lot, the Berkshire Craftsman-style house plan offers plenty of room for a family to spread out.

Natural light flows into the gathering spaces through windows that fill most of the rear wall. Atrium doors open onto an elevated deck that is ideal for outdoor dining. Covered and partially vaulted, the railed deck is also accessed from the owners’ suite.

An eating bar provides both openness and separation between the kitchen and the living/dining rooms. 

The room to the left of the entry could be a bedroom or home office, while a spacious room on the right is designed to be a media room.

Storage spaces are abundant throughout. The owners’ suite features two walk-in closets, the kitchen has a walk-in pantry, and both the attic and basement have roomy storage spaces. Covered trailer storage and boat storage are on the lower level, at the rear and side. 


26th Aug, 2015
Articles, Blog

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 - Led by a strong jump in single-family production, nationwide housing starts inched up 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in July, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest level since October 2007.

3 bedroom house plan, home plan, Creekstone 30-708

Single-family starts rose 12.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units after an upwardly revised June reading while multifamily production fell 17 percent to 424,000 units. 

"Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market, and are stepping up production of single-family homes as a result," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "However, builders are still reporting problems accessing land and labor."

"This month's drop in the more volatile multifamily side is a return to trend after an unusually high June," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "While multifamily production has fully recovered from the downturn, single-family starts are improving at a slow and sometimes intermittent rate as consumer confidence gradually rebounds. Continued job and economic growth will keep single-family housing moving forward."  

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily starts rose by 20.1 percent in the Midwest and 7.7 percent in the South. The Northeast and West posted respective losses of 27.5 percent and 3.1 percent.

After several months of permit gains, overall permits fell 16.3 percent in July. Single-family permits dipped 1.9 percent to a rate of 679,000 while multifamily permits dropped 31.8 percent to 440,000.

All four regions posted permit losses in June. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective drops of 60.2 percent, 4.6 percent, 1.7 percent and 9.9 percent.

As Seen on
24th Aug, 2015
Blog, Under Construction

Hello, this is us, Rick and Debbie McAlexander owners of Associated Designs. Here we are on one of our favorite hikes at Tumalo Falls in Oregon.

We have begun the process of designing a new home for what we feel is a little piece of heaven on earth.

There is normally a view of Mt. Washington, Black Butte, 3 Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson in the back ground, but right now we're choking in smoke from forest fires. I'll share the view again on a beautiful clear day.

While we undergo this adventure, we're living here:

A 50 year old, 800 sqare foot cabin that is on the property. Let's just say, it's rustic. Those times when I've taken care of far too many spiders for my liking, I mentally go to my hobby room or the kitchen in the new home.

We want to share the experience. The good and the challenging. 1,742 decisions already made, and only 5,831 decisions to go - haha!


24th Aug, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Alton 30-943

Brick veneer underscores the lap sideing and entry columns that run counterpoint to the gently arched porch opening of the Alton, a contemporary ranch-style home design that fits well on a narrow building lot..

Family gathering spaces fills most of the right side. The entry hallway leads directly into the kitchen end of it. A flush eating bar rims the work island, and the cupboards, counters and appliances wrap around two walls. A deep walk-in pantry is across the room.

Natural light flows into the linked gathering spaces through an array of windows. The dining area and great room has matching trios of glass, an atrium door, and several smaller windows. The atrium door opens to a partially covered patio. In the corner across the great room, the gas fireplace serves up instant flames.

An arched opening along the left wall of the great room leads past a storage closet to a two-section bathroom flanked by two bedrooms. The rear bedroom has a direct bathroom entry, plus a walk-in closet. Two more storage closets are outside the bathroom.

Access to the owners’ suite is through an arched opening on the left side of the entry hall. Double doors next to it open into a den that could also be a home office, hobby room, or what ever you like. Suite features include an large walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower, double vanity and private toilet.

Entering via the two-car garage, you pass a powder room, a fully outfitted utility room, and coat closet, before feeding into the main entry hallway.

1100 Jacobs Dr., Eugene, Oregon 97402-1983
800-634-0123 • 541-461-2082 • Fax 541-461-1274 • Contact Us

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