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1st Aug, 2017
Articles, Blog

If no two snowflakes are alike, then no two homeowners are alike – and that goes double for older homebuyers. The children are out of the house. You don’t need all that space and all of those rooms. Maybe you want to downsize to a smaller living style. Or maybe you’re the opposite and want to at least retain some of the family gathering spaces. Maybe you want to expand a bit, so when the kids visit with grandkids in tow, you’ve got a guestroom available and space to play.

Empty Nester House Plans, Home Trends Report

You see? Not all older homebuyers are alike. And therefore, not all empty nest home designs are alike.

“When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “When the kids are away and out on their own, the parents now have the option of changing things up at home. But the worry is that they will only have that one type of empty nest home to consider – small, simple and not exciting. That’s not the case at all.”

So what’s an empty nester to do? As older homebuyers transition to needing less for their family and more for themselves, there is still a desire to create a comfortable living space for family to gather. These aging-in-place home designs also feature a not-so-empty-nest mentality. Design features such as easy-to-access, ground-floor master bedrooms, walk-in showers and minimal hallways mix well with great rooms for family gatherings, extra bedrooms for visitors and outdoor living areas. You can have it all, and not have to be confined to one particular size or style.

When Less is More

A single-story home with lots of appeal, the Lostine house plan 30-942 is ranch-style living on a smaller scale of just 1,611 square feet. But don’t let the square footage fool you: There is more here than meets the eye. With no stairs and minimal hallways, it’s perfect for an empty nest that wants to take things down a notch but retain some of the room.

The great room’s vaulted ceiling flows into the dining and kitchen area for the perfect gathering space when friends and family come calling. Nearby, a covered patio extends the space when good weather allows it. Because who doesn’t enjoy an evening glass of wine with friends out on the patio? The owners’ suite also connects to the patio and includes a walk-in closet and large shower in the master bath.

“Everything is in reach in this home design,” said McAlexander. “It’s small but spacious and lets the owner age in place, as it were, in a comfortable setting.”

Just off the entryway is the second bedroom with nearby full bath for when the kids come to visit for the weekend. The bedroom also has a large closet as well as hall closets for additional storage and a built-in coat rack and foot bench near the garage door.

The Middle Range

At the heart of this Craftsman-style home plan is a richly glassed vaulted great room with a wood-burning fireplace and beverage bar. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? For the not-so-empty-nest, this 2,518-square-foot home rests on a single floor and boasts three bedrooms and 2.5 baths. It’s a medium-sized home that gives older homebuyers the option of hosting, gathering and living peacefully with style.

“The great thing about the Heartfall is that it acts like a family home on one hand, but on the other, it has all the amenities and comforts of an aging-in-place design,” said McAlexander.

A vaulted covered patio wraps around one side of the house, connecting with the vaulted great room and corner kitchen. With all the windows, there is no end to natural light when entertaining in the great room. The owners’ suite is down a short hallway off the kitchen, complete with a huge walk-in closet. The master bath boasts a spa tub, dual vanity and walk-in shower. Secondary bedrooms share a bathroom down another short hallway, just off the entry. A large utility room gives you room for crafts, storage and other needs as time goes on.

The secret to the Heartfall design 10-620, however, is that it has a bonus room. Up a short flight of stairs is an unfinished extra space. Whether a craft room, guestroom, an office or a playroom for the grandkids, the bonus room can serve whatever purpose you desire. The Heartfall, in a sense, is comfortable, flexible living without overwhelming size.

The Grand Lodge

But let’s say you want to upsize, not downsize. Let’s say the nest is empty, but you are ready for space, room, openness and grandeur. You don’t need a lot of bedrooms, but you have a part-time business you want to keep running. You want to entertain, but you don’t want to be cramped.

The Springwater house plan 30-661 is grandeur with an empty-nester flair. At more than 3,000 square feet, the Craftsman-style, one-story lodge is rustically elegant with an abundance of indoor and outdoor living areas. It’s well suited for entertaining on a large or lavish scale. You enter the home via a lofty porte-cochere and vaulted entry porch. The foyer opens to the dining room and vaulted great room, both of which are connected to covered porches and patios for additional entertaining. An eating/conversation bar that fronts the great room rims the L-shaped kitchen. A huge walk-in pantry can store all the fixings for those parties and visitors.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Down a wide hallway lie two home offices and a guest room. But those home offices can easily be converted into bedrooms should the need arise. The vaulted master suite is the true prize, possessing both privacy and spaciousness. A covered and vaulted patio adds private living space outside the owners’ suite, but there’s also an exercise nook, two large walk-in closets and a private bathroom with walk-in shower and dual vanity.

The Springwater is a luxury house plan on a grand scale, and the perfect home for those who have an empty nest that’s not so empty after all.

Aging-in-place homes are not one size fits all, and empty nesters aren’t all cut from the same cloth. To have a bit of freedom, a choice of size, style and space, means an empty nest home design can be quite fun.

As Seen on Newswire
31st Jul, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, European House Plan, Home Plan, Marseille 30-421

The Marseille has a decidedly European flavor. Elements include: a steeply pitched hip roof, a wrought iron balcony railing, and shutters that flank arched, multipaned windows. 

This plan is designed for construction on a side sloping building. The garage is one level below the first floor.

Families who like to entertain will delight in the large gathering spaces that fill the main floor. A dining room is to the right of the foyer, and a living room with a fireplace is to the left.

The kitchen, nook, and family room flow together at the rear. This window-rich space has a French door that opens onto a partially covered deck. Four sets of multipaned windows sparkle across the back wall, and two more border the fireplace.

In the kitchen, a raised eating bar rims the work island. Cupboards and counters line three sides of the kitchen as well, and lazy Susan shelving makes corner access a breeze.

A handy powder room is close by, and a large utility room is also close, along with a recreation room. This room is large enough to house a pool table, home entertainment center, etc.

Each of the four bedrooms upstairs has direct access to a bathroom. Bathrooms for the owners' suite and one additional bedroom are private, while the other two bedrooms share a jack-n-jill bathroom. Other owners' suite features include: a large walk-in closet, dual vanity, spa tub, private toilet, and walk-in shower.

24th Jul, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, Hearthside 10-350

Solid, warm and substantial, the brick exterior of the Hearthside glories in it and the columns, keystone arches and corner quoins add to the dignified appearance.

This Craftsman home's floor plan is far from stuffy. Family living areas dominate, with a swath of informal rooms in the heart of it. The 18-foot ceiling in the foyer carries over into the street-facing, richly windowed eating nook.

In the kitchen, two islands house a cooktop, sink, dishwasher and eating bar. From the sink, you can see into the vaulted great room and enjoy the view beyond. Windows fill most of the rear wall, creating a naturally bright space. On gray days, the two-sided fireplace offers cheerful flames and warmth.

The front-facing study could be also used as a living room or guest room. A bathroom there is accessible from within, and from the hallway.

The Owner's suite and dining room both features classic coffered ceilings. In the suites bathroom, a curved glass block wall next to the spa tub rounds out the space. Other amenities include: dual vanity, large walk-in closets, and an enclosed shower and toilet.

Secondary bedrooms are in the opposite wing, as well are steps leading up to a bonus room and down to the basement. A pass-through mud room connects the house to a large three-car garage with added space for storage or workshop.

14th Jul, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New Garage Plan, Detached Garage, Garage with Recreation Room

Garage Plan 20-221

This country-style garage plan has plenty to offer. On the main floor, at the back of the 2 car bay is a large storage room with optional double doors if you would like to close this space off. A set of stairs lead to the second floor recreation room. The other uses for this space are endless. This space would also make a great guest apartment, hobby or craft room, an apartment for older children or whatever else suites your lifestyle! The beverage bar features a small kitchenette with a full sink, dishwasher and refrigerator. Two sets of closets provide additional storage and there is a full bathroom.

11th Jul, 2017
Articles, Blog

A dream home is a new possibility. It’s all of your heart’s desires in a home that you can only imagine. Maybe it has a large kitchen that connects to a vaulted great room and covered patio. Or maybe it has extra storage, a large garage, and a bonus room. But finding a home that has all of the features you’ve always wanted is daunting.

“For many, the hunt for the perfect home can be discouraging – even impossible,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “And everyone’s desires change. That’s where our Home from the Heart survey came into play. It helped homeowners' take stock of what they wanted in a home and then we stepped in to create it.”

The survey asked readers, like you, to share what features and design elements you want in your dream home. The survey focused on every element of the home – from the size to the style, to exterior and interior features, to the number of rooms and bonus rooms. The results of the survey allow Associated Deigns to create a collection of home designs that feature all of those wants and desires, plus a few more. Using the most voted on features, Associated Designs created a home design that highlights the must-have design essentials from the survey. Making the impossible, possible. 

Home from the Heart, New House Plan, Craftsman Home Plan, Heartlodge 10-640
Heartlodge 10-640


Featuring 2,678 square feet with a one story floor plan, the Heartlodge design 10-640, includes all the popular features including a gas fireplace, covered porches and patios, a great room, a utility room located close to the garage and even sun tubes for natural lighting. Everything is in a logical place, with room to spare and flexibility. As in previous years, Craftsman and Ranch style homes were neck and neck in the survey, coinciding with the continued trend toward larger home plans on rural lots with acreage. In fact, 81% of respondents preferred rural living compared to urban lots (9%). To that end, the Heartlodge is specifically deisgned with a large floor plan that will fit easily on a lot with acreage and a view.

And just as before, a one-story home was the overwhelming winner (68%) in the survey, matching up with the 99% of respondents who were interested in a home that could age in place. The Heartlodge takes this preference and blends it with an open floor plan that allows for flexibility. For example, a second bedroom near the front of the house can serve as a guest room with private bath or a craft room when the kids move out. Additionally, there are few hallways, expansive doorways, and an owners’ suite that is separate from the larger living area for that added bit of privacy. The great room with its gas fireplace can expand to a covered porch area in good weather, making it ideal for a growing family in need of room or for those big retirement parties.

“Homebuyers are constantly thinking of the future, but an aging-in-place home shouldn’t be a cookie cutter design,” said McAlexander. “So our survey home is uniquely its own, with interior and exterior styling that flexes with the family.”

The owners’ suite in the Heartlodge includes all the must-have features including a master bath with a walk-in shower and large walk-in closet. The walk-in amenities continue to be a popular item on the survey for the owners’ suite, much like double sinks and a towel cabinet – both of which are included.

Survey respondents also voiced their preference for 3 bedrooms, and the trend between great rooms and open floor plans remain similarly popular. Media rooms (16%) continue to lose momentum, replaced by a desire for an office and den (51%). The Heartlodge goes one step further and includes both a pocket office near the owner’s suite as well as a den off the front foyer. The den off the foyer doubles as a bonus room, adding to the floor plan’s flexible nature.

The vaulted great room and its gas fireplace flow into a large dining room and U-shaped kitchen. It adds both artistic elegance and style to the home while also being a great family gathering space. With no sink or stove on it, the kitchen island serves as an eating bar facing the great room, but the kitchen also features a large walk-in pantry – a popular survey item. Just off the kitchen is a great outdoor barbecue patio for warm summer days.

Finally, the survey revealed a great deal about garage amenities. Survey respondents wanted a garage that could fit three cars, had extra storage and even shop space. In the survey, 43% of homeowners wanted shop space and 50% wanted the utility room near the garage. The survey also revealed that while a majority don’t need RV storage, the number that do is climbing from 13% in 2016 to 16% in 2017.

The Heartlodge puts a bit more emphasis on the garage, and at 1,484 square feet, it is everything you hoped it would be. Garage space for your RV flows well with a two-car garage. In the rear of the garage is extra space that can be used as storage, a shop area or work area. Or, if you don’t have an RV, the larger garage can become an ideal shop area for the aspiring craftsman or gardener. The garage entrance connects to the rest of the house via a mudroom – which 54% of respondents desired – plus a large utility room with counter space and cupboards.

“So you can see why the Heartlodge has a little bit of everything,” said McAlexander. “It’s a home designed with the heart in mind.”


As seen on Newswire


10th Jul, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Duplex Plan, Craftsman Home Plan, Braydon 60-012

The Braydon is a charming, two-story duplex that offers a lot of living area into a narrow footprint. Entry porches and rear patios are separated for maximum privacy. Each unit has three bedrooms.

Four gables face the street. The widest caps both garages, while the narrower front gable highlights the extended garage on the left. Twin gables accent the matching dormers, set further back on the main roof.

Inside, the two units are mirror images. The entry is via a recessed porch bounded by a slender post. To the right, a coat closet is just inside, near the door to the utility room. Direct garage access is also located at this juncture, as is a stairway to the second floor.

The living room expands out from the entry, and is open to the kitchen trimmed by a raised eating bar. 

Range and oven are built into the kitchen's longest counter. Sink and dishwasher are next to each other behind the eating bar. A small pantry fills the niche next to a refrigerator with overhead cabinets. The nook is naturally bright and its wide sliding glass doors open onto a covered patio.

A vaulted ceiling expands the main floor master bedroom, which has direct patio access and links to the bathroom. Two more bedrooms are upstairs, along with another full bathroom. A wide dormer expands the front bedroom in both units.

28th Jun, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Rainier Home Plan, Rainier 10-303

A vaulted great room is at the heart of the Rainier, a mid-size ranch-style home loaded with amenities. The wood and stone exterior gives it a distinctly Northwestern flavor.

This bright home offers vaulted ceilings that expand the sense of spaciousness in the window-rich great room and kitchen. More light flows in through two dormers - one over the entry, the other in the dining room. Sliding doors in the great room open onto a large, partially covered patio.

Plants (along with people) flourish in the naturally bright eating nook, where a plant shelf spans the rear and two banks of cupboards flank a built-in desk. The large kitchen has plenty of counter and storage space, including a roomy walk-in pantry and an L-shaped work island with a raised eating bar. Sink and dishwasher are built into the island.

Double doors to the right of the entry open into the dining room. Another set to the left access a room that could be used as a study, office, living room, or even a guest room.

The vaulted owners' suite features two walk-in closets, one larger than the other, and a rounded bay, complete with window seat. Luxuries in the owners' bath include: a double vanity, a spa tub with a plant shelf, a large walk-in shower with multiple showerheads and a private toilet.

Utilities, a closet, and basement stairs are adjacent to the garage and secondary bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has a window seat, and both have direct access to a jack-n-jill bathroom.

19th Jun, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of  the Week, Bristol 10-184

A charming railed porch spans the Bristol's enterance and continues around to the left. Compact in size, economical to build and maintain, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom Country plan has a lot to offer for a young family or empty nesters.

While this design has a narrow footprint, it feels surprisingly large inside and bright. The main floor features two large rooms: a great room and a family room/kitchen. Both have fireplaces trimmed by slender windows.

Sliders in the family room access a patio, and window bays expand the living room and nook. A kitchen table fits nicely into the nook, while the living room bay could house a cozy window seat. More seating is available along the raised eating bar that trims a work island in the kitchen.

At the kitchen sink, you can keep an eye on the events in the backyard. Dishwasher, range and oven are built into the kitchen counter, and a pantry adds additional storage space.

Utilities and a powder room are centrally located. Laundry appliances nestle into a pass-through space which connects to the garage. 

All the bedrooms are on the second floor. In addition to two closets and a two-section bathroom, the owners' suite has a small dormer. The natural light is just right for a private cozy place to sit and relax.

16th Jun, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Siuslaw 31-065, Ranch House Plan

Understated but welcoming, the cottage-style Siuslaw is a great fit for a narrow urban lot or open rural property. The foyer opens up with 10' ceilings. To the left leads to a guest bathroom and two bedrooms. The end of the foyer hall the cased opening transitions into the dining room and great room. A c-shaped kitchens allows whoever is cooking to not feel isolated from the activities in the living area. A sliding glass door at the back of the dining rooms opens to a covered patio. Off the great room is a mud hall with built in drop zone and additional storage. One door off the mud hall leads to the garage while the other leads to the utility room. The owners' suite fills the right side of the house and features a large walk-in closet, dual vanity and walk-in shower.

12th Jun, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Santa Fe 11-127, Southwest Home Plan

The Santa Fe is a Pueblo-Spanish Revival home design that shows influences of both Spanish Colonial buildings and Native American pueblos. Stucco walls, stepped parapets, and exposed logs ends are characteristic of the style, which flourished in and around the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the 1930s.

Inside, this Southwest-style home is bright, spacious, and completely contemporary. An abundance of natural light flows into the high-ceilinged hexagonal great room through double sets of wide windows on three sides. This room has panoramic views, as does the covered patio that spans the entire rear.

Standing at the sink in the kitchen, you can look over the great room as well as the patio and landscape beyond. An eating bar fronts the sink, a walk-in pantry fills one corner, and counter space is expansive enough to accommodate several cooks.

The owners' suite is isolated from secondary bedrooms, and has two large walk-in closets that buffer sound from the great room as well. Amenities in its private bathroom include: a spa tub, shower, two basins, and an enclosed toilet. Sliding glass doors in the roomy sleeping area offer another phenomenal rear view, and open onto a recessed, semi-secluded section of the patio. 

The larger bedroom, on the opposite side of the hexagon, has a similar view and patio access to the rear. This bedroom also has a private bathroom, while the other bedroom shares a bathroom with the rest of the household. Laundry appliances are just outside the bedroom doors, in a roomy pass-through utility room that links to the three-car side entry garage.

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