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30th Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Traditional House Plan, Home Plan, Eldon 30-076

Framed posts, brick veneer and painted shutters give a traditional-style look to the otherwise contemporary Eldon house plan. This four-bedroom home is well-suited for a family with children. Gathering spaces are large, and the owners' suite is isolated from the other bedrooms.

Entering the home, you step right into the vaulted great room which is centrally located partially open to the kitchen and nook. A direct-vent gas fireplace is in the rear corner, next to a wall of glass: two windows and a door. This space is bright, as well as spacious. The door provides access to a wide patio.

Double doors near the front open into another large room. Possibilities for use include a den, media room, a study area with one or more computers, exercise and hobby room, or formal dining room. The possibilities are endless.

Cupboard and counter spaces are ample in the roomy kitchen. The nook is cozy and naturally bright - a great place for hanging out in the morning, and sharing family meals.

A passthrough utility room connects kitchen and garage. Across from the laundry appliances is a small powder room. Family members with wet or muddy shoes can quickly dash in and out without tracking up any carpets.

An extra thick layer of insulation buffers sound between the kitchen and owners' suite. Features here include: his-n-hers walk-in closets, oversized shower, dual vanity and private toilet.

The three secondary bedrooms share another bathroom, this one has glass blocks on the exterior wall, over the bathtub. Both of the front bedrooms feature walk-in closets.

27th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Craftsman Home Plan, Alexandria 30-974

Craftsman detailing gives the left side of the Alexandria the look and feel of a traditional bungalow home. The gridded windows, stone veneer bases, and quartet of iconic tapered columns. But inside, this home is designed to suit the needs of the family of today.

Entering through the covered porch, you step into a long foyer that leads to the vaulted and generously windowed living space at the rear. 

A gas fireplace anchors the great room, on one end of this naturally bright space; the kitchen fills the opposite end. In the center, the dining room’s sliding glass doors open to a partially covered patio. A wide loft upstairs overlooks this large living area.

Up front, the luxurious owners’ suite is to the right of the foyer, while another bedroom is on the left. This room could also serve as a den or home office.

The right wing has a more contemporary exterior. At the ground level, its two-car garage and shop angles off at a diagonal. Upper living spaces include a loft and bedroom, and around the corner is a recreation room, a bathroom and bedroom which could function as an independant living area, if needed.

26th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Kitchen and bathrooms are some of the last places that get a modern update despite how often we use these two rooms in our daily lives. Yet having an updated kitchen and bathroom can vastly improve the functionality of these spaces, increase the home's value if you plan to put the house on the market in the next few years, and create beautiful rooms that match the decor style of the home. So remove the outdated elements of these two rooms and bring them into the current century. It doesn't take much to change the look. Focus on these specific areas in the kitchen and bathroom to make boring rooms look extraordinary.

Modernize Your Kitchen, Brookhill 30-963, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan

Upgrade Cabinets and Handles

Cabinets go through tons of abuse from adults, kids and pets. They can become dinged, scratched or loose on their hinges. Modernize your kitchen and bathroom quickly by changing the look of these cabinets. Repaint or stain the front of cabinets in bright or bold colors. You may also want to replace the door fronts or handles with something more stylish. If you simply don't like the look of the bathroom vanity, you can get a new stock one or get a customized cabinet that will be a better fit to your preferences.

Counters and Floors

Counters and floors are some of the few things that rarely get replaced for long periods of time. So their look can quickly fall out of the current home style trends. Some people like to match the look of the counters with the flooring to give a more uniform appearance. Also, incorporating backsplashes can instantly transform the spaces and give a unique design theme.

Modernize the Kitchen and Bathroom, Barnhart 30-946, Lodge Style House Plan

Replace Old Appliances

When old cabinets in the kitchen isn't the problem, it might be time to modernize the appliances. Having modern appliances not only improves the look of your home, they can also work more efficiently and save you money. Stainless steel appliances are still the current design rage as they add a modern and industrial eye-popping beauty to your kitchen.

Modernize Sinks and Faucets

With the variety of sinks and faucets available, you can find one that fits perfectly in your bathroom and kitchen that can modernize the space. From pedestal sinks to faucets with sensors that automatically turn on the water, the marvels of technology can be placed into your home to make the spaces more comfortable to live in.

Modernizing the Kitchen and Bathroom, Owners Suite, Nottingham 30-965

Bring In the Light

Light instantly brightens the room and highlights the aspects of the space that you want to show off. Consider changing the lighting fixtures or adding additional lighting to these two rooms. With a brightened kitchen and bathroom, you can also use the spaces better as they can become enjoyable places in your home.

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

Country House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Molalla 30-685

The Molalla is as compact and charming, and economical to build, heat and maintain. Its exterior has the look of a country cottage, while the interior feels contemporary.

Entering, you pass through a covered porch accented by tapered columns. Once inside, a coat closet is located behind the door. To the right and you can see most of the main floor. The large living room in the front flows into a dining area rimmed by a raised eating bar that bounds the kitchen.

Light spills into the living room through a wide front window. More flows into the dining area through sliding glass doors on the right that open to a covered patio. The kitchen has long counters on two sides, and the sink is centered creating a u-shape. A desk fits into an alcove across the room, next to the walk-in pantry.

A full-size utility room and small powder room are also located on the ground floor. They flank a short hallway that links the interior to the two-car garage.

The bedrooms, and an unfinished bonus room are upstairs. The owners' suite at the rear has a  walk-in closet and a bathroom with a dual vanity. Up front, both secondary bedrooms have cozy windowed alcoves with views of the street. These could be window seats, used as display areas, or fitted with desks.

20th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Narrow Lot House Plan, Ranch Home Plan, Alton 30-943

Brick veneer covers the Alton’s entry columns, counterpoint to the gently arched porch opening. Brick veneer wainscoting also underscores the lap siding of this contemporary ranch-style house plan ideal for a narrow building lot. A rambling family open space fills most of the right side. The entry hallway leads directly into the kitchen. A flush eating bar rims the large work island, while cupboards, counters and appliances wrap around two walls. A deep walk-in pantry is across the room.

Natural light spills into the gathering spaces through a generous array of windows. The one in front of the kitchen sink makes cleanup more pleasurable.

Light flows into the dining area and great room through matching trios of glass, an atrium door, and several smaller windows. The atrium door opens onto a partially covered patio. Nestled into a corner across the room, is a gas fireplace.

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

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

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

18th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Tiny homes are a growing trend for young adults who are trying to save up their money while trying to advance in their careers. If you haven't heard the news yet and are scratching your head about tiny homes, these small buildings are 200 square feet or less in size. They can cost around $20,000 or less as they have the very basic necessities of living. Most of these tiny homes have kitchenettes, bathrooms, and loft areas that provides a bed. The simplistic design also allows the homes to be placed on wheels as they can be parked like RVs at designated camping spots or occupy a lot that someone owns.

image © by designer used with permission from

What Makes Tiny Homes So Appealing?

Tiny homes offer simplistic living. This arrangement appeals to people who don't require much in their lives at the present time as they enjoy spending more time out-and-about and only need a place to rest their heads or cook meals. People who are concerned with their carbon footprint may find tiny homes appealing because it uses less materials and resources. So they are using up less natural resources. Since tiny homes have wheels, they can be moved about as people enjoy road adventures.

Another factor to consider is that tiny homes cost less than a traditional home. Many people own their homes outright, eliminating the need for a mortgage as they have less debt to carry for years. In addition, tiny homes require less maintenance and lower utility bills, saving more money for the homeowner.

The Downsides of Owning Tiny Homes

Tiny homes aren't for everybody. You have to feel comfortable coming home to a tiny space that is about the size of an outdoor shed or small garage. Since the space is so tiny, it doesn't leave room for you to entertain guests or host parties. Also, you don't have much storage space, keeping the possessions you own to a bare minimum.

Another downside is that you may own the tiny home, but you may not have a place to park it unless you also buy property somewhere. So you have to consider paying property taxes every year. If you don't want to own the land, you have to find an acceptable place to park, and oftentimes engage in communal living arrangements with other people.

Lastly, if you decide to get married and have children, a tiny home will never provide the right amount of space for your growing family. You also eliminate the ability to have elderly parents move in with you if they can no longer live in their own homes. Due to these factors, people may continue to save up their funds to purchase a bigger home as they can later downsize to a small house or cottage.

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16th Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Ryland 30-336

The Brick veneer exterior gives a look of substance to the Ryland home plan. Decorative supports highlight gable peaks and eaves, and raised brick trim accentuates the graceful curves of the arched entry and window openings. This attractive ranch house design could easily be adapted for wheelchair accessibility.

Vaulted ceilings add the sense of spaciousness in the foyer, den, living room and nook. Soft light flows into the foyer through sidelight and transom windows. Double doors on the left open into a den, which could be a home office or a fourth bedroom.

The living room is comfortably large and richly windowed. A gas fireplace nestled into a corner serves as an inviting focal point on dark nights or cloudy days. You can even appreciate the flames while in the kitchen. On the left, double doors open into a naturally bright sun room and a dining room.

A raised eating bar rims the counter that bounds the large kitchen. Storage and counter space are both in abundant here. Counters are on three sides plus the center work island; cabinets, too, are on three sides, as well as beneath the surface of the work island and the corner pantry.

Laundry appliances and a toilet are close in a utility room that is convenient to the three-car garage.

Bedrooms are along the right side. Features in the owners' suite include his-and-hers walk-in closets and an elegant bathroom with a soaking tub, dual vanity, and enclosed shower and toilet. A pull-down ironing board is handy for pressing out those last-minute garment wrinkles.

11th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

The weather is gorgeous outside. Yet you are stuck inside looking out a small window because you simply don't have the outdoor area where you can sit back and relax. Now is the time to invest in an indoor/outdoor living space when constructing your new home or second vacation home. Indoor/outdoor living spaces are a growing trend for homeowners across the country as they provide the outdoor relaxation and majestic scenic views combined with all the indoor amenities to make the space comfortable.

Types of Indoor/Outdoor Living Spaces

There are a variety of indoor/outdoor living spaces to select from that will fit into the style of your home, your personality and how you want to use the space. You will also have to select the type of space based on the square footage that you have available.

Sunroom, Northbrook 30-898, Indoor/outdoor living

Glass Living Spaces

One of the unique advantages of indoor/outdoor living spaces is that you can already use an indoor living area and create it with a more outdoor feeling. Enclosed porches and sunrooms are getting makeovers to provide a sheltered area that is perfect for outdoor living. Glass walls and windows bring in plenty of sunshine while keeping the weather outside. A great thing about these enclosed spaces is that you can have more comfortable furniture installed along with colorful rugs and throw pillows.

Partially Enclosed Spaces

If you want a more outdoorsy space, then you can eliminate the glass walls to bring in a little more fresh air. Partially-enclosed spaces will normally have roofs for a little bit of protection. The space may be connected to the home or sit separately in large courtyards or backyards. Gazebos and outdoor rooms are filled with colorful furniture, rugs and even beds for the ultimate relaxation as you have a small outdoor oasis.

Outdoor Kitchens Are a Growing Trend

Another amenity to an indoor/outdoor living space is an outdoor kitchen. It is more than just a barbecue pit. These outside kitchens have refrigerators, pizza ovens, sinks, counters, islands and dining spaces to provide seating for the guests. The barbecue pit also gets a makeover as you can cook all types of meals on the larger surface without having to use your indoor kitchen. Eat in style during the warm weather as the whole family can sit outside and enjoy the special time together.

Outdoor patio, barnhart 30-946

Indoor/Outdoor Spaces Are Customizable For Your Needs

The best thing about outdoor spaces are that you can customize them so that they are the relaxing areas that you desire. With fountains, outdoor lights, speakers and other items, you can make the ultimate outdoor oasis that you will use every single day. Let your imagination run loose until you have the space that is perfect for you.


9th Mar, 2015
Articles, House Plan of the Week

Tuscan House Plan, Home Plan, Meridian 30-312

Attractive stone veneer columns and wainscoting lend a comforting sense of permanence to the Meridian, a rambling Tuscan-style house plan with a pool and more than 4,000 sq. ft. of indoor living space.

An elegant welcome is found with the raised stone trim that overarches the vaulted porch. Inside the vaulted foyer, columns flank arched openings that lead to the living room on the left, dining room straight ahead, and hallways to the left and right. This design offers a wealth of generous gathering spaces, inside and out.

Family living is well-provided for. The large vaulted family room is naturally bright, with wide expanses of glass on two sides. A gas fireplace nestles into a rear corner.

Standing at the kitchen sink, you can stay in tuned of the goings-on inside and out. You can even keep an eye on the swimming pool. Storage and counter space are in abundant supply, boosted by a triangular step-in pantry.

A powder room is convenient to all of the gathering spaces, and a full bathroom is nearby, next to the guest suite. Utilities and another bathroom line a hallway that links the kitchen to the patio and pool.

The owners' suite is a quiet retreat, and also offering direct access to the covered patio and pool. Features include a large spa tub, walk-in closet, double vanity, and separately enclosed toilet. The nearby den could be used as a home office.

Two bedrooms, a recreation room, a bathroom and a loft are found on the second floor.

5th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Garage with Living, 2 story garage plan, garage design, Garage 20-137

Garage 20-137

This Craftsman garage design offers storage for up to two cars plus an additional car in the attached carport. Both garage doors are 9' wide and 8' tall. At the back main floor of the garage is the entry and a kitchenette with stairs leading to the second floor recreation room. This space could also be used as an guest apartment or suite for older children returning from college looking to live at home for awhile. A full bathroom and stacking washer and drier are on the second level along with the window rich observatory loft.

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
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.

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

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.

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