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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.

12th Jan, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

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

The Canterbury, with its gingerbread trim, classical columns and conical tower, is an eye-catching update to the Queen Anne-style Victorian home popular in the late 19th and early 20th century.

On the main floor, the octagonal tower houses the foyer. Windows fill three sides, making this welcoming space bright and charming. Another side leads into the kitchen's eating nook, while two sides open to the living room.

In the living room a gas fireplace nestles into a corner between banks of windows in the front and side walls. A doorway with arched transom leads into the dining room.

Pocket doors allow for separation between the two spaces, when needed. A long hutch and counter line the back of the dining room. Stationary book shelves are on one side, but the stack on the other side is mobile. It rolls out of the way to access stairs leading to the second story.

Everyday family living spaces are on the opposite side of the home. The kitchen is spacious enough for three or four cooks to combine efforts without bumping elbows. Its central work island features a built-in prep sink. Glass sparkles across the front side of the nook, and an arched opening feeds into a large family room, expanded by a windowed octagonal bay.

An octagonal sitting area fills the tower's upper level. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and utility room are also on this floor. Owners' suite features include: a gas fireplace, large walk-in closet, oversized shower, deep soaking tub, dual vanity, and deck access.

8th Jan, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

4 car Garage Plan, Garage Plan with Storage

Garage Plan 20-151

This new 4 car garage plan features a covered storage area, a small living area with kitchenette and full bathroom. Each front garage door is 10'x10',


7th Jan, 2015
Articles, Blog

A house is more than a place over your head. It should inspire feelings of comfort, relaxation, excitement, fun and peace of mind. There are tons of aspects that may have drawn you into building a home that fits into your needs. Select those elements that will make you love the house as you will want to live in it for the rest of your life. Here are 6 aspects that can make you fall in love with your house.

1. Just The Right Size For You

The perfect house doesn't have to be the biggest one on the block. It also doesn't have to be so small that you can't move around. The right house to fall in love with has to be the right size for you, and your family. It should allow for everyone to live, have fun and engage comfortably.

2. Brings In Warm Light and Sunshine

People love natural light that comes in through the windows. Such abundance of sunshine can brighten your day and reduce stress. It can also reduce your energy costs. Natural light in the daytime means using less artificial light. Also, the warm sunshine can heat your home in the winter.

3. Open Floor Plan Design

One of the biggest trends of the decade has been the open floor plans. You want to be able to converse and engage with guests and other members of the family who may be sitting in the living room as you are cooking in the kitchen. Open floor plan designs are perhaps the main reason that people fall in love with their homes.

4. Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living spaces have become an important aspect to have in a home. People want to enjoy the great outdoors at home, and these spaces are being put to good use. From enclosed courtyards to outdoor kitchens on patios, the outdoors is just as important as the interior and people want a home that allows them to enjoy the great weather.

5. Ability to Grow and Expand

You may fall in love with the house because it allows you to add on when your family grows. Whether you need a nursery for the baby or a grandmother suite when aging parents need to live with you, the house you build should allow you to use it to fit into your present and future lifestyle.

6. Great Location

Some people love their homes for the location. Whether living in the home year round or as a vacation home there are many great and idyllic locations to build a home. City views, beach, lake, wide open or mountain views are all appreciated and easy to fall in love with.

5th Jan, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Hampshire 30-799

Columns, keystone arches and corner quoins lend a classic look to this ranch house plan. The Hampshire design has the potential to double its living space.

Its full, richly windowed daylight/walkout basement can be finished as needed, it’s well suited for an growing family, a home office out of the lower level, or both.

Designed for construction on a down sloping lot, the front exterior of the main floor is street level, while the rear is one story up from the ground. Walking straight through the foyer and vaulted great room, then out the atrium doors, you’ll find yourself on a wide railed deck that overlooks the landscape.

Gathering spaces are together in the center. A dining room or parlor is through an opening on the foyer’s right. Double doors on the foyer’s left open into a more private space that could function as den, office, third bedroom, or whatever suits. It also links to bathrooms and the other bedrooms.

The vaulted great room in the heart of the home is partially open to the bayed nook and large kitchen. Cabinets, counters, and appliances wrap around the kitchen on three sides. The kitchen's work island adds more workspace and storage.

A large pantry is right around the corner, past the basement stairs and across from a powder room. A  utility room and a storage closet fill out this section.

On the other side of the home, a bathroom and a walk-in closet provide sound buffering for the owners’ suite. Other amenities include a dual vanity and an oversized walk-in shower. A large window in the sleeping area offers broad views to the rear.

1st Jan, 2015
Articles, Blog

Duplex Plan, Tupelo 60-006
Tupelo 60-006


Savvy young people are looking to build something other than the typical starter home. They are finding that a smartly designed duplex offers flexibility as their lives change, while providing a positive real estate investment.

Surveys that track the size and makeup of American families reflect a variety of lifestyles, compared to previous generations. People are getting married later and having fewer children, resulting in smaller families. Since 1980, the number of people living in multi-generational households has doubled, according to the Pew Research Center. Singles are also comfortable purchasing a home without a spouse or partner, something that wasn’t very common in previous generations.

Some might say there is no such thing as a typical family anymore, requiring homebuilders to respond with a variety of styles and flexibility that meets the demands of the modern homeowner. Rick McAlexander, President of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon has designed thousands of homes over 30 years and he’s seeing a significant shift in the requests by young people looking to build their first home.

“There was a time where most young families wanted a three-bedroom starter home. Now my clients want a home that results in a good investment, as well as flexibility to change with their lifestyle as their family needs change,” says Rick.

Rick and his team at Associated Designs have responded by creating a unique design that offers both investment income and flexible living options for years to come. The Tupelo 60-006 duplex plan looks like a charming two-story, single-family home, when it’s actually a duplex with a unit on each level. The only exterior clues to distinct living units are two sets of porch steps, each leading to a separate front door. Each door is on a separate side of the house with its own covered porch, creating a sense of privacy for each unit.

The entry to the second floor unit features a well-lit ground floor foyer, with a coat closet and a bench for removing and storing boots. Natural light streams in through side windows and from the dormer window above, brightening the staircase and spilling over into the unit’s upstairs great room.

The Tupelo's exterior styling is modeled after the Craftsman homes of the early 1900s, with its tapered porch supports and its low-pitched side gables and large centered dormer. However, walk inside and both of the duplexes have contemporary floor plans. It’s a clever way to position a unique and practical option for modern living in a traditional looking home.

The Tupelo duplex plan is an ideal setup for anyone that wants income from an on-site rental or the ability to provide supportive and yet independent housing for an aging relative in a multi-generation living situation. This plan offers the ultimate in flexible living options for years to come.

A single person or a small family can live in the upstairs two-bedroom unit, while renting the larger three-bedroom unit below. As the family expands, they can move into the larger unit downstairs. Once the owner outgrows the home they have an excellent piece of income property. Years can pass and they may move back in, downsizing their own lifestyle while still earning rental income.

Rick created the Tupelo 60-006 duplex plan knowing it can work with a variety of family types, but he feels it’s a perfect solution for a first home and someone starting out in their career. Rick says, “I get tremendous joy in being able to work with a young couple, knowing I have helped them create a financial foundation that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

As seen on Newswire

29th Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Pineville 30-937

A large great room and linked living areas give a surprising sense of spaciousness to the compact Craftsman-style house plan. At slightly more than 1600 square feet, the Pineville design is an ideal starter home for young families. Being a single story home, it is equally well-suited to empty nesters wanting to downsize their maintenance responsibilities.

Craftsman accents include the iconic gridded upper windows, a matching door, and three low-profile front-facing gables. The porch is large enough for a relaxing porch swing or outdoor furniture.

From the entry, you can proceed directly ahead to the great room, or turn right into the richly windowed nook. A sliding door offers separation between the nook and kitchen, when needed. Counters wrap around four sides of the kitchen, which is open to the dining area, across a peninsular raised eating bar.

Natural light spills into the dining room through a set of windows on the right, as well as the sliding glass doors at the rear. This offers access to a partially covered patio. The left side of the dining room is open to the great room, where more light flows in through windows that fill most of the rear wall.

Closets for coats, storage, and linens line the hallway leading to the bedrooms and a pass-through utility room with garage access. The owners' suite features a two-section bathroom and a walk-in closet.

22nd Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

You’ve decided it’s time to update and freshen up your kitchen. Remodeling your kitchen doesn’t have to be a daunting experience as long as you keep a few of these tips in mind.

Understand The Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle takes into consideration the position of the stove, refrigerator and sink to have free access to use each workstation. Each place should be within easy access to the other for quick cooking, yet spaced out far enough where if multiple people are in the kitchen that everyone isn't bumping or tripping over each other. The stove, sink and refrigerator should be less than 20 feet away from each other but more than ten feet in proximity to give enough space.

Alder Ridge 30-906, Contemporary House Plan, Home Plan


Maximize The Space With Enough Storage and Counter Space

For some reason, a person will have tons of counter space but few cabinets to store their items, or tons of cabinets but a very little counter to prepare food. You don't have to compromise on either storage space or counters. Consider cabinets that reach up to the ceiling for added storage and an island when you need more counter space.

Barnhart 30-946, Lodge Style House Plan, Home Plan


Have Enough Strong Lighting

Lighting is essential to ensure a safe working environment to prevent accidents. Countertops, sinks and stoves should have enough lighting to prepare and cook food safely. Natural lighting from windows can brighten up the space during the day. Yet when the sun goes down, the kitchen can look like a dungeon. Consider a mixture of lighting sources that combine natural light with artificial lighting such as overhead lights, pendant lights and under cabinet lights.

Brookhill 30-963, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan


Factor In The Plumbing

Plumbing can ruin the perfect kitchen design every time. You have the ideas and the perfect design in mind as you order all the materials. Then later you realize that the setup won't work because of where the plumbing is located for the sink and dishwasher. Always think about the plumbing in the early stages of the kitchen design. If you have to move the pipes, you can get the plumber in early to place in new lines and then consider the placement of the other work stations in the room.

Perhaps the two biggest tips for people designing a kitchen is to develop a budget and stick to it no matter what. Many kitchen designs fail because a person doesn't consider the budget, as they go over it by large amounts for small aspects of the kitchen workspace. This problem can make the room look mismatched with high-end luxuries mixed in with cheap materials.

22nd Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Hood River 30-947

Bold stone-veneer columns frame the Hood River’s lofty entry. Built on a rear downhill slope, this home is larger than it looks, thanks to the daylight basement.

Its low-pitched hipped roof and widely overhanging eaves lends to the Prairie-style feel. Frank Lloyd Wright created the style in Chicago in the early 1900s.

High ceilings overarch the living spaces, from the entry through the center to the rear. Entry and foyer ceilings are 13 feet high, and the vaulted ceiling in the expansive great room soars to even heigher. Stacked windows, angling to a low-pitched central peak, fill most of the rear wall. The gas fireplace can be enjoyed in both the dining and great room.

 A drop in ceiling height indicates the transition between the great room and the kitchen and dining area. A curved work island/eating bar is at the kitchen’s center. Counters, cabinets and appliances are along the walls on two sides. A sliding glass door opens onto a covered deck.

This design has a passageway off of the great room that leads into a short hallway. The owners’ suite is at one end, storage and a utility room at the other. In the owners’ suite, a large walk-in closet is reached through the two-section bathroom.

The den just inside the front door is in an ideal location for a home office. A few steps further through the foyer, are the stairs down to the daylight basement. At the bottom of the stairs, is a large family room, where natural light streams in through wide windows at the rear, and sliding glass doors open onto a covered patio. 

Two bedrooms and a bathroom are down the hall. 


19th Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

When considering building a new home, one consideration is the number of stories they should build. People need to make sure that they have enough room to accommodate their family, yet not too large a house that could be costly to maintain. Choices boil down to either a single story ranch style house or a two story home.

Ranch style houses have been a popular floor plan for decades, as all the rooms are located on a single level. There may be a second story bonus room, or storage space.

Two story homes have become the traditional homes to build. Bedrooms and bathrooms may be located on the second level while the kitchen, living room, and dining room are located on the main floor.

Which Home To Build?

When debating on the type of house to build, consider the benefits and disadvantages each type offers.

Lot Size

Lot size will play a factor when building a ranch style house. With all the rooms are located on a single story, is your building lot large enough to accommodate this? You could find there is little outdoor space left to enjoy on the lot if you wish to have a front or back yard. It’s possible that a two story homes could fit on your building lot with enough space to have ample room for a nice front yard, a play area for kids and entertaining in the back, or both.

Mobility and Stairs

People with mobility issues may find a two story home difficult to navigate the stairs. While there are mobility devices available, sometimes the single floor in a ranch style house makes moving around easier as one can reach each room with only a few steps. Families with young children may also consider a ranch style house to prevent the possibility of a children falling down the stairs.

It comes down to your personal choices on the floor plan style to select. Both a ranch style house and a two story home can make great living arrangements for you. Consider each design and select the one that is better for your lifestyle.

16th Dec, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Cottage House Plan, Ranch Home Plan, Northfield 30-972

Craftsman touches add to the charm of this cottage house plan. You see the detailing in the Northfield’s gridded window uppers, shingled gable fronts, decorative corbels, and cultured stone wainscoting. The railed porch invites relaxation on wicker chairs, or a porch swing.

Natural light flows into the entry hall through a side lite and the door’s glassed upper panes. The hallway leads past an opening to the secondary bedrooms and a coat closet, then arrives at a window-rich living/dining area, warmed and brightened by a fireplace.

The fireplace can even be enjoyed from the kitchen or from the eating bar that rims its peninsular counter. When the weather is inviting, meals can be taken out onto the covered patio through the dining room’s sliding glass doors.

The well-appointed owners’ suite is isolated from the other bedrooms. Its two-section bathroom has a double vanity, plus an enclosed toilet and shower. A sliding door accesses a large walk-in closet.

The Northfield’s utility room links up with the two-car garage.


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