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1st Apr, 2016
Articles, Blog

The classic American farmhouse conjures images of a simpler time, open spaces and a place to call your own. The timeless elements of the farmhouse – the steep roofs, lap siding and clean lines – can fit into any subdivision, in-fill lot or rural property.

Classic American Farmhouse, New Country Style, Fairheart 10-600

A recent study conducted by The American Institute of Architects found that 45 percent of homeowners preferred contemporary homes in 2015 (a seven-point increase from the year before). So where does that leave the farmhouse, a fixture of classic Americana?

Rick McAlexander, President and CEO of Associated Designs, Inc. – a residential home design company located in Eugene, OR – has found that many of his clients are looking to blend classic exteriors with modern influences. In fact the desire of homeowners to update classic architectural styles has been trending over the last few years. Each year Associated Designs releases a national survey looking for feedback from homeowners and buyers as well as builders on which features they want in their homes. From this survey, Associated Designs has found preferences to be a combination of classic styles (like ranch or prairie) paired with contemporary or modern. Back in 2014, Associated Designs took the resulting feedback from their national survey and created the Fairheart design 10-600, a new interpretation of the American Farmhouse.

From the outside, the Fairheart has all the essentials of a farmhouse. The core of the home keeps the classic rectangular layout with a steep 10/12 roof pitch which is used to create a small second story and allow for vaulted spaces in the main living area. The standard horizontal lap siding was replaced with batt and board, giving the home a modern twist with subtle and simple vertical lines. With clean lines and uncluttered exterior, the Fairheart clearly shows its roots yet possesses the ability to blend into any neighborhood.

While the exterior may harken to the past, the interior is completely modern. Large, vaulted living spaces are grouped at the core of the home. This open arrangement of living spaces is trending amongst homebuyer preferences for over 5 years. From there, all of the sleeping areas are separated for maximum privacy. The owners’ suite is tucked into the back of the home with its own access to the back patio. A second bedroom is located on the main floor off the dining room. If this bedroom is not being used, a sliding barn door can be used to close off this section of the home when entertaining guests. The third bedroom is located upstairs off the loft that overlooks the great room below.

By highlighting the best qualities of the American farmhouse – strong yet unadorned lines, simple exterior and a comfortable interior – Associated Designs has reimaged an American classic.

As Seen on Newswire
28th Mar, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

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

Vaulted ceilings along with the wide open central living area give this country home a feeling of spaciousness that belies its size. This single-level Marysville house plan is equally well-suited to young families, and empty nesters.

Entering the home you step into the large, open, informal space where dining room, living room and kitchen flow together. The vaulted ceiling soars up to a central peak, then slopes down toward the rear.

A bay window expands the dining area. The light here is soft and natural, diffused by the overhang of the front porch. In the living room, light flows in through sliders that open onto a rear deck and patio. 

Standing at the kitchen range, you look into the vaulted living area with a wood stove. The large work island adds counter and storage space and could be outfitted as an eating bar.

The vaulted owners' suite rectangular bay makes an ideal place for a cozy window seat. French doors open onto the deck. Other features include a walk-in closet, a large bathroom with spa tub, double vanity and oversized shower.

Secondary bedrooms in the are also vaulted and share a bathroom. Utilities are closeby, in a small room with a built-in folding counter.

21st Mar, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Tazewell 30-477

The inviting front porch is welcoming to friends and family of the Tazewell home plan. The porch is an ideal location for a hammock or wooden porch swing.

Windows, tapered columns and gable accents lend a Craftsman feel to this mid-size, two-story home, designed to suit a growing family.

Abundant natural light flows into the two-story entry through sidelights and a wide transom. Double doors on the right open into a living room with a rectangular window bay. On the other side of the room, a single door leads to a powder room, and to the family gathering spaces.

A bright and lofty, the two-story great room has a spacious feel. Wide windows on two levels trim the gas fireplace, and more light spills in through side windows at the ground and clerestory levels.

The great room isopen to the nook, where the ceiling drops to a more typical height and sliders provide patio access. The nook is open to the kitchen, and bounded by a raised eating bar. A roomy walk-in pantry provides additional storage space. Laundry appliances are around the corner, in a large utility room with a deep sink and folding counter.

The owners' suite fills the left side of the home, front to back. A large spa tub nestles in the front alcove of the vaulted bathroom. Other features include: a double vanity, a private toilet, and a large walk-in closet. Three additional bedrooms share a two-section bathroom on the second floor. 

14th Mar, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Classic House Plan, Home Plan, Huntsville 30-463, Featured House Plan of the Week

The luxurious Huntsville's brick veneer lends a stately look to this classic house plan with an intriguing floor plan. The left side of the home angles toward its right wing at the front.

Raised brick trim crowns the arched entry, highlights windows, caps the chimney, and underscores the entire front facade. Wooden shutters add nostalgic warmth.

Light flows into the high-ceilinged foyer through sidelights and arched transoms. Double doors to the left open into the parlor. Shelves flank a gas fireplace, and wide windows face the front.

Straight from the entry brings you into a spacious great room with a stepped ceiling. Light flows into this bright area through an angled rear wall lined with windows. Cabinets trim both sides of the fireplace that could be used a home entertainment center.

At the kitchen sink, you can keep an eye on happenings in the great room, as well as the bayed dining area. Kitchen features include: a raised conversation bar, walk-in pantry, and built-in appliances. A powder room is nearby, as is an over-sized utility room, which links to the four-car garage.

The luxurious owners' suite has a gas fireplace and two large walk-in closets, a skylit bathroom with a spa tub, walk-in shower and private toilet. The other main level bedroom has direct access to another bathroom.

A third bedroom and bathroom are upstairs, along with a large vaulted room that could be used as a fourth bedroom, home office, studio, or whatever suits. It has its own fireplace and deck.

7th Mar, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Florida House Plan, Hexagonal Home Plan, View Lot House Plan, Sonora 10-533

The Florida-style Sonora house plan was designed for appreciation of the outdoors. Inside, an expanse of windows offers panoramic views from the living room, dining room, kitchen, and great room. Outside, a wide deck wraps across the entire rear of the home.

A bright vaulted hexagonal space is at the core, with wings on two sides that extend toward the front. Each of the wings culminates in a two-car garage. Half or all of this bright space could be used for a shop.

When entering you pass through a courtyard before stepping between the sets of twin posts at the entry. Sidelights, a transom, and skylights brighten the vaulted entry, and twin coat closets fit into alcoves on both sides of the door.

Straight ahead takes you to the vaulted hexagonal great room, with a living room with a fireplace is on the right, and dining room and kitchen are on the left. A peninsular counter allows partial separation between the kitchen and the rest of the space.

The kitchen has an abundance of counter and cupboard space, including a large walk-in pantry. Basement stairs are around the corner, along with two bedrooms and a full bathroom.

The luxury owners' suite fills the other wing, along with the utility room. Owners' suite features include two walk-in closets and a private bathroom with spa tub, oversize shower, and twin lavs.

4th Mar, 2016
Articles, Blog

When you have a family or begin making plans to grow your family, your needs change. This is true in all areas of your life, but especially your home. Planning your home with your family in mind is one of the most rewarding and challenging projects you will face, whether you’re building from scratch or making major improvements to a pre-existing home.

As you begin designing, each decision you make concerning layout should be made to complement your family’s daily life. In general, there are a few basic design elements that are beneficial to every family, while more customized features can be chosen based on your own family’s needs.

Ample Bathroom Space

No matter the size, age, or lifestyle of your family, there are few features we recommend every family include as they create home plans. One such feature is ample bathroom space. Like many families, you may find you are most happy with a private master bathroom and a family bathroom that is located on the main floor. In larger homes, a third guest bathroom is often included. Some floorplans may necessitate a half bath in a lower level of the home.

No matter what you decide about the bathrooms in your home, it is important to consider how your home will grow with you. As your children grow older, moving into elementary school and high school, they will learn to care for themselves and will begin spending more time on their appearance and personal hygiene. Even for a small family, if you live in a home without ample bathroom space, you will likely find your mornings difficult and disruptive unless you plan to include plenty of bathroom space in your home layout.

An Easily Accessible Backyard

Whether your children are infants or headed into teen years, every family needs a backyard where young children can play and your entire family can spend time together during warmer months. With a well-kept backyard that’s easily accessible from the main living areas of your home, you’ll find joy in grilling out with the people you love, enjoying a cup of coffee in the mornings, and watching your children chase each other in the evenings.

Depending on the style of your home, you may need to plan for a walk-out deck off of the kitchen located on the main level, or you may design your home in a way that allows you to exit the main living area into your backyard. No matter what, you will be more likely to use your backyard if you can easily keep an eye on your children while they play outdoors.

Room to Entertain

Even smaller homes can be designed to allow plenty of room for entertaining family and friends. As the holidays roll around, or your children celebrate their birthdays, you will be glad you planned your home with a kitchen that allows for cooking and enough dining space to allow for those who are closest to your to celebrate with you. To make room for entertaining, dedicate the appropriate space to a large kitchen and include a dining rooming in your layout that’s separate from your kitchen.

At Modernize, we believe your home should fit your life. As you plan your home design, also consider your daily routines and how the layout of your home can simplify your life. Think about how much storage you will need, or whether or not you would prefer all of the bedrooms to be on a single floor. Allow the vision you have for the future of your family to guide the vision you create for your home. 

1st Mar, 2016
Articles, Blog

You’ve been talking about it for weeks if not months. In your mind, the home of your dreams is so close you can open the door. You know your family’s needs and lifestyle choices; you’ve picked a location that fits those choices. You’ve talked with real estate agents, visited neighborhoods, toured countless homes, but nothing screams, “Welcome home!” You soon realize that simply touring pre-packaged home designs doesn’t give you and your family enough options. With excitement surging, you decide to build a home and take the search for a house plan online. 

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Adkins 30-197
Adkins 30-197 from Associated Designs


 “There’s a lot of value to buying a home plan that meets your goals and objectives, and with the help of an experienced design professional, that initial process isn’t overwhelming,” said Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs in Eugene, OR.

With so many house designs available online, a local design professional helps narrow down your choices so that you find a great plan without skimping or compromising on the details. Once you’ve chosen the design, however, you aren’t just sitting on easy street. There are several steps that have to be taken before a house can take root – from reviewing the plan, to evaluating the location, to choosing a contractor, and more.

The first step after buying a home design is site review. Each neighborhood and city will have different requirements and restrictions that must be taken into account. Height restrictions, lot restrictions and structural requirements such as wind resistance or earthquake resistance, may alter the shape of the house plan. You and the design professional will also review the structural elements of the plan to make sure the design is incorporated effectively using familiar materials and construction techniques.

“The site review is a step that needs to be taken because most are under the impression that you can go start building the house you’ve picked, but all you’ve really done is achieved the design,” said McAlexander. “Construction specifications and details may need to be modified to fit your local building techniques and customs.”

This is why it’s ideal to work with a local designer who can help guide you to a plan that meets your needs and desires while simultaneously meeting the building requirements in the area your building.

After the site review, the hunt for a contractor begins. This can seem daunting at first, but setting up interviews with various contractors will help you filter through the choices. The interview should be more than simply learning about the contractor’s experience, reliability, past client relationships and subcontractors. You should also consider personalities. The personality of your contractor and whether you are able to relate to them and feeling comfortable communicating with your contractor is just as important as the contractor’s skillset and expertise. 

Once the contractor is on board, the site reviewed, the design finalized, it’s time to apply for building permits. The contractor and designer will help to initiate this process, which leaves you staring gleefully at the future site of your new home.

Choosing a home design is only one part of a step-by-step process to getting your home built. Taking these steps into account will make the process go smoothly, efficiently and with minimal frustration. Before you know it, you’ll be opening the door on the home of your dreams. 

As seen on Newswire
29th Feb, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Classic House Plan, Home Plan, Glenbarr 30-457

Shutters, brick veneer, and keystone arched openings harmoniously blend together and gives a classic look to the Glenbarr. This compact, single-level home is 49 feet in width, and has a surprisingly spacious feeling. Singles, empty nesters, and young families will appreciate this home.

Natural light flows into the foyer through a transom window. Double doors on the left open into a room that could be used as a den, study, home office, or a needed third bedroom.

The owners' suite, along with a second bedroom and bathroom, are down the hallway to the left. Coat and storage closets are on the right side of the hallway. Owner suite features include: a private bathroom, and two closets, one of them a walk-in.

Living room and dining room flow together, creating a large, bright open space, and the rear of the room is lined with windows. An atrium door, which provides access to a large patio. Across the room, a gas fireplace nestles into the corner. The built-in cabinet next to it is a great location for the TV, stereo, or family momentos.

A peninsular counter separates the kitchen from the dining room. This counter could be finished as an eating/conversation bar as well. Lazy Susan shelves allow for easy access to the lower cabinets tucked in the corner between the dishwasher and cook top.

A large utility room is close by and links with the two-car garage. The space above the garage has a front-facing arched window and could be used for storage, or finished as a bonus room.

25th Feb, 2016
Blog, New Home Plans

Lodge Style House Plan, Home Plan, New House Plan, Spindrift 31-016, Vacation Home Plan, Cabin Plan

If you are looking for a smaller home or a vacation retreat the lodge-style Spindrift just might be a good fit. Eye-catching stick work in the porte cochere, vaulted ceiling in the living room, and the vaulted patio at the rear highlight the handsome stone veneer chimney and amplify the mountain lodge feel.

An large vaulted great room is at the heart of the home. Sliding glass doors flank the wood-burning fireplace centered on the rear wall. The doors offer easy access to the vaulted patio, which is a great place for outdoor dining and relaxation.

The L-shaped kitchen is nestled neatly into the corner left of the entry. Light flows into the kitchen through the front door’s sidelights, along with wide windows in front of the kitchen sink. A raised eating bar rims one side of the work island.

Two bedrooms and two bathrooms fill the left side. A utility room is on the right. It has a bench for shoe removal and storage, and jas access to the garage.

23rd Feb, 2016
Articles, House Plan of the Week

Southwest House Plan, Home Plan Roswell 11-086, Featured House Plan of the Week

A courtyard with a pool is at the heart of the Roswell home plan, a midsize Southwest design for families that enjoy outdoor living.

You can get to the pool and courtyard from most of the rooms on the main floor. The majority of interior-facing windows are also doors, assuring ample air circulation. A covered patio supported by columns wrap around three sides of the pool providing outdoor shade and softening the natural light inside.

This home has plenty of family living space, both formal and informal. An arched window fills most of the front living room wall, while a vaulted ceiling makes the room appear even more spacious. French doors open on a study that could serve as a home office. Columns separate the dining room from the entry foyer partially open to the second floor ceiling.

The kitchen and family room flow together. Sliders open to a screened porch at the rear of the home. The work island with cook top adds counter space, as does the eating bar. Storage space includes a wide pantry closet. The utility room and a powder room are tucked into alcoves adjacent to both the kitchen and garage.

Sliding glass doors in the owners' suite open to the patio/courtyard. Amenities include: twin vanities, a spa tub, oversized shower, walk-in closet and access to the pool area.

Upstairs are two additional bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. From the landing, you can overlook the entry or walk through French doors onto a balcony that faces the street.

18th Feb, 2016
New Home Plans

Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, New House Plan, Greenspire 31-024

Craftsman house plan, the Greenspireis designed for construction on a rear downhill sloped building lot. The windowed walkout basement offers room to expand by finishing more space as needed.

Family gathering spaces are on the main floor, and the owners’ suite, bathrooms and a den fill out the left side. High windows flank the gas fireplace in the great room and sliding glass doors open onto a covered deck.

The dining area and kitchen are opposite the fireplace. A long wrap-around eating bar rims the kitchen’s work island. A pocket bathroom closeby is convenient to the entire main floor.

Amenities in the owners’ suite include a large walk-in closet and a deluxe bathroom with a dual vanity, spa tub, shower, and a private toilet. Two additional bedrooms and a bonus room are upstairs, where they share a two-section bathroom.

A mud hall links the great room to the utility room and garage. Its bench is convenient for removing shoes, while coats can hang on the hooks above. 

16th Feb, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Rosemont 30-376

The Rosemont is a large ranch-style handsome home plan. Lap siding, stone veneer wainscoting and multipaned windows lend textural variety to the exterior, while the lines provided by gables, arches and a hipped roof add to the curb appeal. This design is a single-level home with the exception of a loft and unfinished bonus room upstairs.

The homes entry foyer is wide and naturally bright with a 12-foot ceiling. Soft light streams in through sidelights and an arched transom. Arched openings offer access to rooms on both sides, and to the spacious living room ahead.

The floor plan is very open. The foyer flows into the open dining room, which links to the living room that is open to the kitchen and nook. The ceiling here is also 12 feet, and the rear wall is well windowed, with transoms capping the ground level windows except in the bayed nook. A gas fireplace is in the corner next to the home entertainment center.

At the kitchen sink, you face into the large, bright space, and also appreciate the view outside. An eating bar rims one section of the angled island.

The kitchen also features a pantry, wine cooler, and built-in appliances. The utility room is nearby and has a deep sink and additional pantry storage. Double doors off the nook open into a study or home office.

The luxurious owners suite features a walk-in shower, spa tub, and a large walk-in closet. The two-sided fireplace can be enjoyed from both the sleeping area and the spa tub.

8th Feb, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Cape Cod House Plan, Home Plan, Sherbrook 30-371

The Sherbrook offers immense charm and this Cape Cod cottage fits neatly on a fairly narrow city lot.

Living space is spread over three levels and designed with only one bedroom. this plan is ideal for emply nesters or someone who appreciates room to spread out.

The second-story home office could double as a guest bedroom and has a large walk-in closet. The basement houses a recreation room with two slender side windows and French doors trimmed by sidelights and crowned by a wide transom that lead to a covered patio.

Up a half flight to the entry from the ground you enter the main floor stepping into a bright, vaulted great room with a wide window bay. Large windows fill most of three walls that look out to the street at a diagonal. The great room is open to the dining room, and is partially separated from the kitchen by a raised eating bar.

A wood stove is located in an alcove by the windows. Sliding doors lead into a skylit, vaulted sunroom, and another set of sliders lead to a vaulted, covered deck which could be screened if desired.

The utility room, pantry, linen and broom closets are next to the kitchen, as well as a full bathroom with a built-in sauna.

Half a flight up is the vaulted owners' suite featuring a luxurious bathroom. Double doors lead to a railed, vaulted deck that offers a nice front view.

5th Feb, 2016
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Home Plan, Country House Plan, Clarkdale 30-783

Gently arched openings span the Clarkdale’s wide front porch. In this country house plan's it’s easy to imagine sitting here on a nice afternoon.

Natural light flows into the entry through windows that trim the door. The living room is to the right of the entry. Straight ahead is the dining room, with sliding glass doors leading to a covered patio. 

The naturally lit family room and kitchen at the rear of this home. Shelves flank the fireplace, and sliding doors open to the patio. The kitchen’s bayed nook creates a pleasant eating area, and a raised eating bar rims the island.

The owners’ suite is also located at the rear. Features include a large walk-in closet and a bathroom with a dual vanity, private toilet, and oversized shower. A den is directly across the hall.

The mudroom and a bathroom are at the juncture of the side entry two-car garage; an ideal place to cleanup after gardening, or car maintenance.

2nd Feb, 2016
Blog, Under Construction

Here is the before picture of our rustic little cabin's kitchen. It's cute, however, that's a plywood island and the counter tops are old painted formica. I will admit I'm a mild germ-a-phobe, I always said, there is no 5 second rule in this kitchen. 

And here is the after. It's not completely done, but it's a transformation and a kitchen that I am now looking forward to spending time in. Rick has worked really hard, and has done an amazing job.

The future island top will be butcher block. Nice and durable (and cleanable).

Here is one panel of the cafe style kitchen curtains I made for the cabin. I thought that vintage fabric in a 50 year old cabin fit the bill. I'm looking forward to getting them hung. 

The siding is finished and we have a real front door now!

Meanwhile, on the new house, the under floor framing is complete.

Crisp, clear blue sky, the mountains are making an appearance.

And the lumber package has been delivered to begin framing the house. Our framers Ed Lindsten and Joe Zacharek started yesterday, and they are great at what they do! They're staying in the cabin while they do the job. I'm a little jealous, they get to enjoy the new kitchen before I do, but that's ok. 

It's getting more and more real and I need to get the ball rolling on choosing the finishes. I've been a little stressed in trying to visualize the interior look. Usually I will stumble across "the thing" that seems to make it click and get the ball rolling. I think I may have found it, and I will pick up a sample later today.

I will share that another day.

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