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4th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Nobody expects everyone to like the same decor themes. Yet it does make it tough for couples to decide what type of furnishings and decorations to have in their home. You like the traditional decor with classic furniture, rich colors and 18th-century Old World architecture while your spouse lives for the modern designs with clean lines and simple neutral colors. It's okay that your personalities don't match. You can combine both styles in the same decor theme while having a beautiful home.

                     HE LIKES                               SHE LIKES

Modern Decor, Interior, How toTraditional style, Home Decor, How to

Combine Modern Furnishings With Traditional Artwork

You can easily combine modern and traditional styles by pairing artwork with furnishings. Choose classical and Old World paintings with the modern lines of couches and chairs. The bold colors of the paintings will look well with the softer tones of the furniture. You can also switch it around and select traditional furniture with modern artwork.

Mix And Match Furniture

There is no reason why you can't mix and match traditional and modern furniture so long as one style doesn't dominate the other. You can have modern couches with a few traditional accent chairs or a antique English coffee table to bring the furnishings together. Also, many modern pieces of furniture will have modern twists to their designs as you can have both decor styles in the same piece of furniture.

Look At Other Elements Of The Room To Combine Both Designs

You can find numerous ways to combine traditional design styles or modern design styles to the room besides incorporating them into the furniture or artwork. Look at the floor. You can find beautiful modern or traditional area rugs. Place modern furniture on traditional rugs with traditional paintings on the wall to create a unique decor theme. You can also select modern vases, traditional bookcases, wall sconces and knick knacks that capture both you and your spouses design personality.

Don't Forget To Use Paint Colors To Your Advantage

You may win out over your spouse as you are able to have the traditional style furnishings that your crave. Yet that doesn't mean your spouse can't also have his modern look in the room. Look toward painting the walls and trim with muted and neutral modern colors. The wall colors can complement the furniture as you can take the rich colors from the upholstery and use muted versions of the colors for the walls, ceiling and trim in the room. You can also create modern designs along the wall using paint stencils to create interesting striped lines and borders.

2nd Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog


If you are noticing more people residing around your neighborhood, it is no surprise. Fifty-one million Americans are embracing the lifestyle known as multigenerational living. The college grad across the street is back and Grandpa’s moved in, too. The retired couple next door has a full house — their daughter, her husband and three grandkids. The bungalow house a block away was just bought — jointly — by adult children and their parents. Multiple generations under one roof, also known as multigenerational housing, is becoming quite commonplace.
Economics and age group help explain why. With an onset of unmarried, underemployed young adults seeking help from parents to the aging population where the realization of the high cost of elder care becomes evident, sharing household expenses makes good economic sense. Having another pair of hands around the house to help with child care and cooking assists young career parents who might be in the midst of demanding work schedules. The need to connect with family and earn a living can be intermingled easier than it would otherwise, with generations living under the same unique house plan. More realistically, it’s less costly to operate one household than two, and the need to cut expenses is still acutely felt after the recession. 
On the other hand, many retired baby boomers say they would like to be closer to family members. In previous generations, retirement might have meant a quaint resort town with a selection of golf courses, far from the day in, day out processes of the domestic family grind. But retirees today report feeling younger, healthier and possess a desire to be a part of the action by staying in their communities and interacting with younger generations. Boomer grandparents stay involved with grandchildren, and increasingly care for them. Intergenerational affinity between parents and children is high with families actually liking each other so the natural progression to share households makes sense emotionally, as well, as financially.

Associated Designs, a national home design firm located in Eugene, Oregon, has seen the desire to move several generations under one roof with requests for unique house plans to fit more family members. The talented designers are intrigued with the multigenerational concept, and have used their more than 46 years of combined home design experience to keep a watchful eye on trending ideas in the home designers’ arena. As a result of this expertise in home plan needs, the ranch-style Kinglsey 30-184 was designed perfectly formulated for multi-family living.

With the main house linked by a covered walkway to a small cottage at rear, the Kingsley, is actually two houses in one. The cottage is ideal for older children, not quite ready to fly the nest, or aged parents who enjoy their privacy but also appreciate sharing time with the family. Its kitchenette is adequate for breakfast and lunch preparation, but not designed for complex meals.

Inside the main house, the skylit kitchen is large with a panoramic view of both gathering spaces, plus scenes framed by windows in three directions.

Outfitted with stools, one stretch of the kitchen counter serves as an eating and conversation bar. A vaulted ceiling expands the volume of the living room, and in the dining room, French doors open onto a partially covered patio.

Laundry appliances, deep sink, and a roomy pantry are mere steps from the kitchen, housed in a combination utility/mud room that's also accessible from the patio.

Storage space is abundant in the bedroom wing. Three closets nestle into spaces in the hallway, and the owners' suite has two roomy walk-in closets as well. In the second bedroom a closet fills one whole wall.

The Kingsley's owners' bath is fully outfitted with a double vanity, shower and private water closet. Space that could have been used to create another bedroom has been devoted to a private den. Connected to the owners' suite by a hallway, this room could also serve as a small home office.

With this home plan, you get two houses in one. The Kingsley is perfectly designed for everyone to reside together, in peace and harmony.

As seen on Newswire

2nd Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, View Lot Home Plan, Silvercrest 11-143

No matter where you are in the Silvercrest contemporary ranch-style home, silvery natural light flows in through richly glassed banks of multi-paned windows.

Outside, sunbeams dance across the glass as the panes catch the light. Choosing a wide lot with a vista to the rear would maximize the view.

Nowhere is the interior illumination more impressive than in the vaulted hexagonal great room at the core of the home, where two banks of glass fill most of the three rear walls.

In the center section, two sets of French doors open onto a large deck that wraps across the entire back. In the walls to the left and right, the lower window sections are about the same height as the doors, but underscored by stone veneer wainscoting. Wide transom windows crown all of the rear windows and doors.

Entering through the arched entry, you cross a transverse hallway and have a moment to appreciate family treasures in an art niche before entering into the great room. The hallway to the left leads to the utility room and owners’ suite. Heading right takes you past an opening to the kitchen, and on to secondary bedrooms, basement stairs, and a two-car garage.

A pony wall provides both openness and separation between the kitchen and the rest of the great room. Cooks at the range can keep an eye on the entire space, as can people on the clean-up crew. The sink and dishwasher are lined up along a peninsular counter rimmed by an eating bar. Features in the owners’ suite include a walk-in shower, soaking tub, dual vanity and access to the deck. Bedrooms two and three share a bathroom.

25th Feb, 2015
Articles, Blog

You've packed your toothbrush and your travel wallet. You are ready to get away from the big city and travel to that second home by the mountains, lake or in countryside where you can have a relaxing a peaceful weekend getaway. While you may have packed the essentials for yourself and the family, don't forget that your second dwelling will need to be prepared for your stay, even for those short vacations.

Weekend Essentials

Shower Curtains

It may sound like a weird thing to pack away with the sweaters and beauty care products. Yet if you haven't been to the second home for awhile, and hadn't done any cleaning to the bathroom before leaving, then the existing shower curtains can look and smell a bit musty or moldy. While you can spend your time cleaning off the soap scum during the weekend, it's a whole lot simpler to just bring along a pack of shower curtains. Take a few minutes of your day to hang them up and then head out to have some fun knowing that you can come back to a relaxing bath or shower with clean shower curtains hanging in the bathroom.


Temperatures can change unexpected. Keep warm without pushing up the heating bill by stowing away a few blankets for the bed. Also stow away an extra cuddling blanket for the sofa so you can stay warm on those quiet evenings while watching television or playing card games with the kids. Just hang the extra blanket on the back of the couch so it will be ready whenever you need it.


No matter how many towels we think the second home has, we always end up using more than expected. So pack away extra kitchen towels to clean up any kid's messes and bathroom towels in case you invite extra guests to come along on the trip. With the extra towels, you won't be spending so much time doing laundry when you are only spending two or three days in the vacation home.

Packable Wireless Speakers

You are having a fun evening playing board games and poker with the family. Unfortunately, it would be an even better time if the kids didn't have their earbuds on as you have to shout at them to take their turns at the game. Let everyone share in the music with packable wireless speakers. These speakers can easily be stowed away into a travel bag. They also don't look gaudy with the rest of the furnishings like other types of speakers out on the market as the solid walnut casing and graphite grill has a modern look that will match perfectly into the rest of the decor.

23rd Feb, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Ranch Home Plan, Vacation Home Plan, Ottawa 30-601

The Ottawa's vaulted great room is full of natural light and the core of design. Windows and atrium doors fill most of the front wall, and more are stacked above where they sparkle across the front gable. A mirror-image window set fills the rear gable. This design allows you to appreciate any view your lot may offer and also makes this a great vacation home plan.

The lofty and majestic great room forms the home's center. To enter, you walk across the covered front porch and through one of the atrium doors. The entire space is so open that you can see through to the rear windows. Another windowed door there, and is flanked by sidelights, opens onto another covered patio.

A gas fireplace is located in one front corner of the great room, and a stack of built-in bookcases runs along the wall next to it. Also bounding the vaulted kitchen is a lengthy, raised conversation bar with an inner, lower counter that doubles as a work island.

Around the corner is a large walk-in pantry, a powder room, and a utility room, along with direct access to a two-car garage that features extra storage space along the back.

Three bedrooms are down a hallway to the left of the great room.

The owners' suite takes up half of that wing, while secondary bedrooms, their shared bathroom, and a deep storage closet fill the other half.

In the owners' suite, the private bathroom has a double vanity, large shower and a private toilet. A large walk-in closet has plenty of shelf space along with the clothing rods. One of the other two bedrooms is slightly larger than the other and has more shelf storage space.

20th Feb, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Carthage 30-969, Narrow Lot House Plan

Ideal for a narrow city lot or out on rural property, the Carthage house plan will bring country charm to where ever you choose to build it. The entry is around the corner of the large covered porch. The main level is spacious and open with the gathering spaces in the rear of the home. One bedroom is located on the main floor and could also serve as a guest suite or office. The second floor features another bedroom, utility room and owners' suite that has a roomy walk-in shower. The garage is connected by a covered breezeway which can be adjusted in length for the building lot. This garage provides you with additional ground level storage as well as a second floor recreation room and full bathroom.

17th Feb, 2015
Articles, Blog

Humans are very visual as we associate colors with our feelings, behaviors and personalities. So it isn't any wonder that certain colors can create more relaxing moods while other colors instill passion and romance. When you are debating about what colors to use when designing the home decor, keep in mind the type of mood you want to create. Also, colors can have an interesting affect on the home itself. Some colors can make a room feel larger than it actually is or create a sense of coziness to large rooms so the huge space doesn't feel overwhelming. The colors can also improve the function of a room.

                               Choosing colors, Power of Color,

Picking Colors To Set A Mood

Our personalities can be reflected in the colors we choose for our homes. A person with a bright and sunny personality may select a range of yellows and oranges to decorate a home while a person who loves the great outdoors may select more earth tones of greens and browns. So pick out colors when you are trying to create a certain mood in the room or reflect who you are as a person. Here are certain feelings and moods that particular colors can create for people when they walk into a room.

     • Red: passion, excitement, stimulation, strength
     • Blue: peace, calmness, loyalty, tranquility, quietness
     • Brown: warmth, practicality, reliability, comfort
     • Green: hope, nurturing, health, generosity
     • White: purity, peace, innocence, humility
     • Yellow: joy, hope, happiness, optimism
     • Black: elegance, power, wealth, mystery

Picking Colors To Hide Flaws

Colors can also be used to hide certain flaws that you don't want people to see, or enhance particular architectural features that you want to stand out. Often, people will use different colors to change the size of the room. If a person has a small room, they will use lighter colors to make the room feel as if it is more spacious than what it is. The use of darker colors can make a large room feel smaller and more cozy.

Picking Colors To Enhance The Function Of A Room

People like to work in bright kitchens as they can see the meals that they are cooking and eating. So people will choose brighter colors for the room because these colors can reflect more light. Brighter colors also work well in gym rooms, small bathrooms and craft rooms. Dark and cool colors are suitable in rooms such as cozy dens and home theater entertainment rooms where you want a more shaded and warm atmosphere to relax in while watching movies or playing video games.

9th Feb, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, New House Plan, Darrington 30-941

An accessible two-bedroom guest cottage at the rear gives the ranch-style Darrington house plan exceptional versatility. The detached cottage could comfortably house a family member or two, or it could be rented out as a separate unit.

The main house family living areas fill the left wing, and bedrooms fill the right. Natural light spills into the vaulted living room through a large set of windows. The masonry fireplace there offers a warm and welcoming focal point.

The ceiling drops and flattens where the living room flows into the kitchen/dining area. Standing at the kitchen sink, you face into the dining room across an eating bar. Light washes in through a skylight and windows on two sides. One set opens onto a large covered patio. Laundry appliances are nearby, in a utility room with patio access.

Another vaulted ceiling expands the owners’ suite, which boasts two walk-in closets, patio access, a compact bathroom, and a roomy sitting area. A pool or spa tub could be right outside.

9th Feb, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Contemporary House Plan, Home Plan, Sedalia 10-231

Stately and regal, this contemporary house plan's soaring arched entry gives this design the appearance of being larger than it really is. But with over 2500 square feet of floor space, no one could say the Sedalia is small.

Multipaned windows sparkle across all sides of the brick veneer exterior. Brick detailing crowns the arched openings, underscores the windows and accents the built-in planters.

Entering, you step into an elegant vaulted foyer. The arhced opening straight ahead flows into the vaulted great room. A fireplace nestles into an angled wall and across the room, slender windows flank the French doors that accesses a large screened porch.

An eating bar divides the great room from the kitchen. Standing at the island's built-in cooktop, you can converse with folks at the eating counter or in the great room. Kitchen counters wrap around the inside of a window bay that provides plenty of natural light. Built-in microwave and ovens are next to a step-in pantry.

Moods brighten and potted plants flourish in the vaulted, skylit sun room that expands the kitchen. The exterior walls are almost entirely glass. Double doors open, providing access to a dining room with a stately trayed ceiling.

Vaulted ceiling adds volume to the sleeping area of the owners' suite. Other features include a separate sitting area and a double walk-in closet. The luxurious owners' suite bathroom has dual sinks, soaking tub, and glass-block enclosed toilet and shower.

The front bedroom could be used as a study or home office.

2nd Feb, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

European House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, MacLeod 30-120

Stone veneer along with handsome keystone arches lend to a European country manor look to the MacLeod, an elegant estate design with ample living space. The owners' suite, and gathering spaces, are on the main floor while three bedrooms and a skylit storage room are on the second level.

From the two-story foyer, a beautiful stairway curves up to a landing that overlooks the space below. French doors on the left open into a den featuring a built-in desk and a wall of bookcases. Through the arched opening on the right is a living room with an 11-foot ceiling and brick fireplace.

A dining room with built-in hutch/buffet is one step up, through double arches. French doors open on a patio that wraps across most of the rear.

The charming nook connects the formal and informal living areas. Kitchen amenities include: a walk-in pantry, work island with cooktop, and an angled island/eating bar with sink, dishwasher, and prep sink. Oven and microwave are built into cabinets close to a passageway that leads to a utility room with a powder room, and a three-car garage.

Bathroom features in the luxurious owners' suite include an oversized shower, two basins, spa tub next to an arched window, and two large walk-in closets.

27th Jan, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Baileyville 30-976

Various sized gables along with other Craftsman detailing draw the eyes to the ranch-style Baileyville. This spacious and open home is all on one level.

Family and friends will gather in the window-rich gathering space that comprises the living room, dining room and kitchen. A walk-in pantry fills one corner of the C-shaped kitchen, where an eating bar rims the center island. Kitchen and dining room windows offer views out the front.

In the living room, a gas fireplace nestles into a corner by the windows. A wet bar fills another corner. Outdoor dining is easily arranged, through an atrium door in the dining room that leads onto a covered patio that could easily be screened.

The owners’ suite has an deep walk-in closet, private bathroom, and walk-in shower. Secondary bedrooms and the main bathroom are down a hallway that links with the two-car side entry garage, through a utility room featuring cabinets and a folding counter.

The den and office off the entry foyer could be put to many other uses.

25th Jan, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Duplex Design, Featured House Plan of the Week

The Cranbrook is duplex design with the look of two cozy country cottages. These two-story units are side by side, and not too close. The garage between the units serves as a sound buffer, and the driveway creates a comfortable distance between the front porches.

Each unit's front porch is easily wide enough for an old-fashioned porch swing or relax on a summer afternoon on a chaise lounge. Slender posts support the porch and frame the front door. A half wall wraps around to the side.

Entering, you stand at the edge of the living room. When the door closes, you can hang coats in the closet behind it. The dining area is open to the living room, and only a half wall separates it from the kitchen.

This kitchen is efficiently designed to minimize steps. Stove, sink and refrigerator sit in a tight triangle, and a stacked pantry offers plenty of storage space for staples. 

Natural light flows in through sliding glass doors at the rear and access a covered patio, ideal for outdoor dining when the weather is inviting. Each unit's patio is well-separated from the other and could be screened, if desired.

A small powder room is also at the rear, near the direct access to the garage. Utilities are in the garage, across from a storage area ideal for bike parking.

Two bedrooms, a bathroom, and linen closet are upstairs in each of the units. The front bedroom is slightly larger, but both rooms feature wide, gridded windows.

21st Jan, 2015
Articles, Blog

Interior designers everywhere have been waiting to see what new design colors will be trending this year for home decors. Will they be bold and brilliant, or subdued and comforting? Well, 2015 has arrived and it finds that there is a eclectic mix of colors to the decor palette as it ranges from pastels on the paler side to bright colors that touch the soul. Look for these 3 colors to trend in home design for this year as you will want to jump on board and give exciting splashes of color to the interior of your home.

Marsala is as much a color as it is a wine

If you have ever laid back on the couch with the lights dimmed and a glass of Marsala wine in your hand, you can now enjoy that color in your home design. The color of Marsala is this year's top color of the year according to the Pantone Color Institute. Marsala is a type of burgundy color -- a reddish-brown -- that leans more toward the bold red color tones than the darker brown color zone. It is a very warm and rich color that can either make a bold statement when used sparingly in your home design or feel relaxing and welcoming when used throughout your home.

Classic Blue is making a classy comeback

There are several different shades of blue in this year's color trends. So if you are a fan, you have many choices such as the cool aquamarine to the bright scuba blue. Yet if you are looking for that one color that anchors your home design theme in place, then Classic Blue is the shade to select. This color is making a big comeback due to its calm shades that makes a confident statement. It's no wonder this color is always in style. You can't help but stare at those strong and classy business men and women walking down the street as they wear classic blue suits and dress clothes. Now you can show your guests that you mean business in your home design with this strong color.

Custard is a sweet, neutral tone that brightens the palette

For people who love the brighter pastel tones, they aren't left out in this year's trending colors. Both tangerine and toasted almond are on the list when you are looking to add a bit of zing to your decor. For people who like bright and neutral, custard is the color you will be seeing a lot of this year. Custard is a cooler yellow color that gives a more mellow and relaxing feeling. When mixed in with the bolder classic blue, you are sure to have a home design that is perfect.

19th Jan, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Tuscan House Plan, Home Plan, Brittany 30-317

The Brittany is a midsize Tuscan-style home plan with the possibility of up to five bedrooms. The two rooms to the right of the entry could easily be put to other purposes: hobby room, home entertainment center, work-out space, etc. An addition of a direct entry door from the porch could turn the den/guest room into a home office.

Light spills into the entry through a sidelight and transom. This bright space is a junction for a multiplicity of rooms and hallways.

To the left is the dining room or parlor. Through an arched opening, is the hallway to secondary bedrooms, or go straight to the kitchen and nook. To the right, your choices include a guest bathroom, vaulted den/guest suite/home office, or hallway to the owners' suite and a study.

Windows fill the two walls in the vaulted family room, and more light comes in through sliding glass doors in the nook. A gas fireplace tucked in the rear corner is a warm focal point for this space.

Working in the kitchen, you can keep tabs throughout the family room, nook and patio. Cupboard and counter space are amply supplied, and the eating bar keeps family members and guests out of the way while allowing them to chat with kitchen workers. The utility room is nearby, in a pass-through that connects to the three-car garage.

Features in the owners' suite include a large walk-in closet, dual vanity, private toilet, and an oversize walk-in shower. The owners suite also has direct access to the patio.

14th Jan, 2015
Articles, Blog

As the winter chill settles over the country, you are probably having thoughts of spring. You are eager to get outside and enjoy planting your flowers, painting decks and lounging on your sofa with the smell of steaks charring on the grill. Yet before you get outside and enjoy the warm weather and relaxing backyard, you need to plan out your outdoor living space. Focusing on this area of your home will allow you to bring out its fullest potential. Use the following ideas to plan out your outdoor living space so you can make it the best aspect of your home in the spring.

Bring All The Architectural Elements Together

While some people look at outdoor spaces as an oasis in their home, there should be a design theme that makes it look like it belongs with the rest of your house. Using certain architectural design elements from the house will give a uniform look, making the outdoor space into a extension of your home as it brings a relaxing and comforting feeling. The architectural elements that you use can be from any interesting aspect of your home, such as window shapes, pillars, or unique angles. Don't forget that you can also incorporate materials such as wood, metal or tile that was used to create your home.

Outdoor Living Spaces

Add Focal Points

Focal points are those design accents that are pleasing to the senses and will make the outdoor space more enjoyable. Most people focus on sight by placing in beautiful flowers or structures to the scenery. Yet you don't have to just focus on sight. Also incorporate smell with flowers that give a lovely fragrance or sound with the bubbling noises of fountains and ponds. Once you add your focal points, you can build out from these design aspects to bring the whole outdoor decor theme together.


Outdoor Living Spaces

Remember About Line Of Sight

Line of sight becomes important when you want to enjoy your focal points and design themes from outdoor furniture spots or from inside your home as you gaze out the window. Keep in mind about what your line of sights are when putting in your focal points so you can enjoy the focal points at different key angles.


Outdoor Living Spaces

Bring In The Color

While you can rely on nature to add all the beautiful colors to create a gorgeous living decor theme to your home, you can also add in different colors that will be there all year round after the flowers have bloomed. From decorative area rugs to bright throw pillows, add splashes of color that make the outdoor space feel welcoming to your family and guests.

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