Clean lines and plenty of natural light, the Barrington boasts a country-style exterior featuring simple lap siding and stone wainscoting. Open, great room style living makes this design perfect for growing families or for those who love to entertain. The den and bonus room add flexibility and can be adapted to fit the changing needs of families. A decorative tray ceiling in the owners' suite adds to the luxurious feel along with the large walk-in closet, dual vanities and free-standing tub in the bathroom. Two additional bedrooms are on the same side of the home as the owners' suite however they are separated from the owners' suite with their own hallway off the vaulted foyer.
A great home design can mean different things for many homeowners because every homeowner has their own particular dream of what a home should be. Some envision a great room with vaulted ceilings. Others prefer extra space with room for a growing family. And still others appreciate the details – stone wainscoting accents, dropped wooden beams, or charming exterior window shutters. Bottom line, no one home design is better than another. What makes someone fall in love with a home is truly a personal choice.
“It’s probably what makes my job a bit tricky on occasion,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. “We’ve got so many great home designs that it’s no surprise homeowners spend hours searching for that perfect home.”
But there are home designs that are memorable, epitomizing a unique style, modern features or a classic, subtle beauty that get us excited. As 2016 draws to a close, we’ve chosen five home designs of the year that stand out among the crowd for their uniqueness, amenities and usability. These are the homes we love.
The Timberline home design 31-055, a Pacific Northwest lodge with all the amenities, is a 4,400-square-foot wonder. It catches the eye simply with its sprawling grace. On the main floor, a mud hall features lots of storage and organizational cubbies to help keep family gear neat and tidy – a must during the rainy springs and icy winters of the Northwest. A butler’s pantry is another unique amenity of this home, with a microwave storage unit, shelving, a corner for a standing freezer and a prep center. The large kitchen is accessed by a pocket door in the pantry, but that feature is dwarfed by the flush 60-inch refrigerator, large stovetop and, yes, a beverage center with separate refrigerator and sink.
During holidays or when entertaining, the stepped ceiling dining room is just down the hall. And at the center of the home is a grand, vaulted great room decorated with a grid of dropped beams. The owners’ suite, just down the hall from the great room, features two walk-in closets and a private sitting area with private beverage bar. The second floor has even more storage space, two bedrooms, a large game room or bonus room and a family area. In other words, it’s grandeur in a Northwest-style lodge setting.
The Briarcliff 31-054 takes many of the great design trends of 2016 and blends them into a home of simple, country elegance. At 3,316 square feet, the home is two stories of space and comfort for a growing family. On the main floor, the great room takes the spotlight. A generous guest suite with private bath is ideal for long-term houseguests. Like the previous Pacific Northwest lodge home, this home features a mud hall that links the home to the garage and is packed with additional storage closets and a bench with hooks and cubbies for organizing family gear.
The family space – an owners’ suite and two bedrooms – is separate from the great room by virtue of being on the second floor. The owners’ suite is filled with all the amenities: a large walk-in closet, freestanding tub, dual vanities and walk-in shower. The large bonus room over the garage is great flex space that allows this home to grow with the families’ changing needs.
Every now and then, a home plan gets a delightful update and this next home is no exception. With clean lines and lots of natural light, the 2,150-square-foot Barrington home design 31-058 boasts a handsome exterior with simple lap siding and stone wainscot accents, making it a great choice for any subdivision or rural lot. Vaulted ceilings run through the center of the home in the front bedroom, foyer, den and living room. With an open, great-room style living in the rear of the home, this plan is great for growing families and homeowners with a penchant for entertaining. The den and bonus room are flexible rooms, meaning the rooms can be changed as needed.
“The owners’ suite in this home,” said McAlexander, “is the real winner here with an upgraded decorative tray ceiling in the sleeping area, a large walk-in closet, dual vanities and a free-standing soaking tub. It’s a beautiful space.”
The Larkview 31-057 is another great home design of 2016 reinvents the classic farmhouse-style plan, a common theme for much of the year. Alternating courses of lap siding create strong yet simple horizontal lines. Two stone-based pillars framing the front door are the only embellishments to the exterior, indicative of the farmhouse-style home. But the interior is a modern wonderland.
Gone are the small separated living spaces of the original farmhouse design. A large open entry draws you into the great room with the living, dining and kitchen areas all completely open to one another – allowing for freedom of movement and family connectivity. The separation that does exist is between the sleeping areas. The owners’ suite is on the main floor while the secondary bedrooms are located upstairs. Classy and simple with a modern twist, this home is truly special.
“Walking up to the last home on our list is like walking up to your vacation retreat,” said McAlexander.
An urban cottage, the McKenzie design 31-056 features charming shingled exterior and shuttered windows. Once inside the 1,798-square-foot home, the cozy entrance offers three paths. To the right is a den that could be used as a home office, guest room or any other flex space your family needs. The living area is straight ahead, while turning left leads you to a set of stairs to the second level. The choice is yours.
The open-style living area is in the back of the home with a fireplace centerpiece. But lest you think the space is being underutilized, a storage closet sits in front of the living room. The closet serves a dual purpose – its extra storage and a separation wall that creates a hallway leading to the owners’ suite. Above on the second floor, there are two additional bedrooms. The two bedrooms are not the same size however, and the larger of the two could easily be transformed into an art or craft studio.
2016 was a good year in home design, and while every home plan has something about which it can boast, these five designs have stolen our hearts… and made us excited for what great designs the New Year will bring.
As seen on Newswire
Alternating courses of lap siding create strong yet simple lines to the exterior of the Larkview, Prairie-style update to the classic farmhouse. Walking in the front door draws you through the welcoming entry hall to the great room - the living, dining and kitchen areas are open to one another. On the right side of the home is the owners' suite which features a large walk-in closet and walk-in shower. Two addtional bedrooms and a full bathroom are located on the second floor.
The Flagstone is a charming, bungalow inspired ranch-style home design. Walking through the front door you are drawn through a long foyer. To the right is and opening that leads to two bedrooms and bathroom. On the left a pocket door hides a mudhall that transitions between the garage and the utility room. In the rear of the house is the great room with a corner gas fireplace that can also be enjoyed from the dining room and kitchen. Accessed off the great room is the master suite which features a large sized walk-in closet and well appointed bathroom.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright introduced a distinct new architectural style that expressed the flat, sweeping prairie of his native Midwest. Simplicity was the name of the game, combining comfort, utility and beauty in a modern look that was a huge departure from the ornamental Victorian house of the previous century.
Appearing to rise from the earth, these homes blended with the landscape. They were earthy and unique, with a façade that hugged the ground. From 1900 to 1930, the prairie-style home was the fashion trend of the home design world.
“Prairie-style homes are bold and modern,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. “They are rich and warm with natural colors that are not only inviting but comforting. It’s hard not to feel welcome in a prairie-style house.”
And while Wright broke with tradition in creating his new design, his classic lines thrive today – with just a few changes, of course.
“Because prairie-style homes don’t dominate the lot, its lower profile appeals to homeowners,” McAlexander said. “It’s also an easier home to build and an easier home to maintain, and with that in mind, homeowners take the general concept of the prairie style and add a few 21st century twists to it.”
Prairie-style homes are predominantly known for their use of natural elements and motifs. Stone, brick, stucco or finished wood is layered horizontally, giving the home linear shadow lines and a rich contrast with bold design elements. A variety of geometric shapes and forms inspired by nature are highlighted through window arrangements, columns, low walls and planters. The prairie design works with the landscape rather than against it, both in the interior and exterior.
The most prominent exterior design element is the roof, which utilizes wider overhangs to help emphasize those horizontal lines. In Associated Designs’ Arrowwood home plan, the hip roof profile draws the eye to the horizontal overhangs while the natural, earthy tones of the materials give it a subtle, simplistic feel. It does indeed blend in with the surrounding landscape. And as with all prairie-style homes, the Arrowwood also features a covered porch and a recessed entry.
“Those same natural materials and simple lines are also seen inside the home,” said McAlexander. “This helps complement that warm exterior.”
Quite often, the living space of prairie-style homes is centered on a living room off of the entry. This open space would be separated from the kitchen and dining areas that include exterior windows and doors that open up to outside living spaces, such as the Arrowwood’s back porch. But that is where the Arrowwood’s similarities end.
“Clients these days are looking to keep the traditional low angles and horizontal lines, but combine those ideas with more modern elements such as glass, transom windows and shed roofs,” said McAlexander. “Inside, the popular great room dominates these modern prairie-style homes.”
The classic, prairie-style home interior had more formal, separated spaces, which gave it a more confined and darker feel despite the warmth of the simple, natural tones. By opening up the interior spaces, the modern prairie home has a more connected floor plan. The Arrowwood’s great room flows into the dining and kitchen areas.
Other updates are more subtle, said McAlexander. For instance, the raised entry roof is not a traditional motif in the prairie style, but it adds interest and character to the front elevation while still retaining those classic horizontal lines. The Arrowwood also incorporates some ranch-style exterior elements such as the wider gables, but the natural stone and wood link back to Wright’s original prairie design.
The interior also has gotten a few modern updates. Fewer people are concerned with matching the interior detail with the exterior, so there’s often more color, more depth and more space, such as vaulted ceilings.
“Prairie-style homes are a popular trend today, but as with all trends, people make adjustments to fit their lifestyle or their interests,” said McAlexander. “This doesn’t mean that Wright’s classic prairie-style home is disappearing. It’s more that even the most traditional of lines can go off on a few tangents with often amazing results.”
And that’s always been the case with home design. Victorian homes gave way to prairie-style simplicity, which in turn was replaced by ranch-style living and so on and so forth. Home trends are constantly changing, and that’s what makes the modern prairie-style home design something that can’t be ignored.