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7th Jul, 2020
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The joy of a vacation is universal across countries and cultures. For many, a second, vacation home can add to the bliss of getting away by providing welcoming comfort in an exotic locale.

But as tastes change, so too do the features that vacation homeowners look for when choosing a design.

“We’ve had vacation homes forever, but today people want to have more flexibility because they’re more mobile than they used to be,” said Ken Pieper, owner of Ken Pieper Signature Plans in Evergreen, Colorado.

Pieper’s Summerfield #53614 and Laramie #56656 are featured on The House Plan Company with vacation home owners in mind. The two-story Summerfield brings a southern charm to any location, with a wraparound covered porch and wood posts giving the farmhouse design an idyllic flair. But the country lodge-style Laramie plan speaks to many of the trends in vacation homes today. At a bit over 1,300 square feet and with a log sided cabin façade, the plan incorporates all the elements of a classically rustic retreat in a modern, modest-sized design.

“Don’t overbuild,” Pieper said, adding that more and more families in the market for vacation homes are eyeing smaller properties with flexible spaces instead of larger cabins with bedrooms that may be seldomly used.

The same considerations have been taken in many of the vacation home plans designed by Drummond House Plans. The Quebec-based designer has found success by packing modern amenities into moderately sized spaces.

“In the past few years at Drummond House Plans the best sellers are divided between the modern, sleek styles and rustic chic country,” said Jennifer Larocque, designer with Drummond House Plans.

Such is the case in its Lakewood #11215 and Olympe #86940 vacation home plans, featured on The House Plan Company. A contemporary craftsman design, Lakewood boasts a front façade of stone and natural stained wood, highlighted by posts that support a multi-level gabled roof. Olympe offers vertical siding beneath a metal roof, with an open floor plan inside centered around a main area fireplace rising up to meet a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams.

Each fit two bedrooms, distinct living and dining areas into just over 1,200 square feet. Their sizes reflect what Larocque calls the changing tastes of vacation home buyers in recent years.

“Our modern chalets seem to attract a younger clientele to the search for original, clean and minimalist lines,” Larocque said. “The bedrooms are secondary, all attention is paid to common family spaces such as the kitchen, living room and dining room.”

They’re the same trends that Pieper has noticed among younger home buyers, many of whom are bucking the long-held ideal of large, cabin-style vacation homes for extended families to gather. Instead they are focusing on the needs of their immediate family, and using flexible spaces like living rooms and even porches to accommodate any additional guests.

“What I’ve found is that for generations now, like the millennials, those old traditions are falling away,” Pieper said. “The designs, whether it’s a contemporary beach house or a waterfront house, it’s all regionally driven, and driven by individual customers’ tastes. Cost is a big thing, but it also depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the vacation home, what it means to you.”

 

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