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30th Dec, 2021
Front Elevation of Northwest Style House Plan Petaluma 31-011

Eye-catching and bold king posts frame the front door of the luxurious Petaluma house plan. Passing through the French entry door the vaulted foyer creates a grand first impression. Immediately to the right a coat closet offers guest a place to store their belongings. A double set of pocket doors to the left open to a cozy den with one of four fireplaces found in this floor plan. For those working from home the den would make a regal home office.

The foyer seamlessly transitions to the vaulted great room. A fireplace is framed with built-ins. Along the back of the great room, a double sliding glass door opens the room up to the vaulted rear covered patio allowing the room to completely open to the outdoors. There is light separation between the great room and the kitchen and dining. Two larger cased opens allow for people and conversations to flow between the gathering areas. The kitchen is spacious boasting a large center island and walk-in pantry with space for an optional freezer. Those who enjoy entertaining will appreciate the wet bar in the dining room. A 3-panel sliding glass door opens the dining room to another covered patio.

Around the corner from the dining room is a vaulted media room with built-in entertainment center. Great for informal gatherings with family and friends. A hallway off the media rooms leads to jack-and-jill suites, sharing a compartmentalized bathroom with dual vanities.

This three-bedroom house plan offers plenty of separation between the secondary suites and the master bedroom. The owners’ suite is tucked away on the far-left side of the floor plan and makes a wonderful retreat. A cozy fireplace (the Petaluma’s third) is centered on the back wall with a set of French doors to the right that lead to the owners’ suite private covered patio. Additional features include a luxurious, private bathroom with spa tub, walk-in shower, dual vanities, and large walk-in closet.

Just outside the owners’ suite is a family room. A fireplace is framed by a pair of windows and a set of French doors leads to another outdoor space. Adding to the Petaluma’s flexibility is the second-floor bonus room and loft which is built out over the attached three car garage.

Other floor plan features of note are the hobby room just steps away from the kitchen that offers ample shelving and a storage hutch. The main floor laundry room is large with an additional sink and three walls with counterspace and is just steps away from the garage. With a bench and storage just outside the laundry room it is easy to keep yardwork layers and shoes from traveling through the house.

The Petaluma is created by Associated Designs, Inc.’s talented team of residential home designers.

23rd Dec, 2021
Front Elevation of Craftsman House Plan Winterhaven 31-303

A classic trio of lap siding, shingles, and stone blend to give the Winterhaven it’s timeless Craftsman charm. Dressed up for the winter season, this delightful one-story house plan is bound to keep you and your loved ones warm and cozy all year round.

The large, covered porch that spans the front of the home can be easily decorated with seasonal greetings along with space for a porch swing or chairs to sit and watch passersby. Framed by tapered posts the front door opens to a roomy entry furnished with a bench and coat closet. At the end of the entry the floor plan opens up to the great room.

Living room, dining room, and kitchen are all open to each other with only visual clues to each room's boundary allowing conversations and people to flow freely in the space. At the back of the home is the vaulted living room. The double sliding door allows the great room to spill outside on bright summer days and on to the vaulted covered patio. Slender posts and a drop in the ceiling mark the shift to the dining room. Between the kitchen and the dining room is an island with an eating bar that not only adds to the available seating during family gatherings but helps to separate the two rooms.

A long-standing design trend is separated bedrooms, where the master suite and secondary bedrooms are either located on different sides of the home or have separate access hallways. The Winterhaven delivers on this trend. The tranquil owners’ suite fills the left side of the floor plan with a private hallway off the living room. Owners’ suite features of note include a private vaulted, covered patio, generously sized walk-in closet, and private bathroom complete with dual vanities, soaking tub, and walk-in shower. On the opposite side of the great room are two additional bedrooms which share a compartmentalized bathroom.

Rounding out this single level house plan is the laundry room which is neatly located between the kitchen and attached two car garage.

The Winterhaven is created by Associated Designs, Inc.’s talented team of residential home designers.

17th Dec, 2021
Front Exterior of Modern Accessory Dwelling Design Iris Cottage 31-283

From the street view, the Iris Cottage is a modern country-inspired design. The clean lap siding combined with a rich display of windows makes this small house plan an attractive option for a variety of uses. With the demand for housing in urban areas at an all time high the Iris Cottage could be constructed as a secondary dwelling unit. Backyard cottage (granny flats, or carriage houses) have all seen increased demand as homeowners’ look to leverage their larger lots or get into the rental market. Or for those looking to escape the concrete jungle the Iris Cottage is comfortable enough to serve as a standalone cabin plan for either a vacation home or year-round residence.

The large, covered patio makes a welcoming first impression and is an ideal location for patio furniture. Through the front door the floor plan immediately opens to the great room. A bright and open, informal gathering space which is filled with natural light from the large sliding glass door and clerestory above. A double sliding glass door opens the great room back to the front covered patio where an outdoor living room could be set up for warm summer days. When the season transitions and the days grow shorter and darker a fireplace at the end of the great room warms the space and can be enjoyed throughout the living area.

An island with an eating bar provides some visual separation of the kitchen, which is well-appointed with modern appliances and a small wall pantry. Hidden behind a pocket door off the kitchen is a closet with stacking washing and dryer.

Towards the back of the floor plan the ceiling drops as it transitions to the bedroom hallway. Between the two bedrooms is a full, compartmentalized bathroom. The slightly larger bedroom has direct access to the shared bathroom giving it the feeling of a master bedroom.

While the Iris Cottage is a small house plan at 800 square feet, it is a flexible design equally well suited for urban or rural settings.

10th Dec, 2021
Front Exterior of Craftsman Home Design Kinsale 31-142

The exterior of the Kinsale blends a classic trio of shingles, lap siding, and stone together to create an eye-catching Craftsman-inspired exterior. Tapered columns with stone bases frame the cozy front covered porch where a porch swing or patio set would be a charming addition for those who love to catch up with neighbors as they stroll by.

Stepping through the front door, the entry offers soaring 2-story ceilings creating a grand and welcoming first impression. Directly off the entry, French doors open to the den. This space offers homeowners flexibility depending on their lifestyle or life-stage. The proximity to the front door makes the den an ideal place to set up a home office. Larger families or those who entertain frequently may want to furnish this space as a fourth bedroom or guest room. At the end of the entry, the floor plan offers three choices.

To the right, is the owners’ suite whose location on the main floor is a trending and desired floor plan feature.  With dual walk-in closets and a private en-suite the owners’ suite is a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day.

Straight ahead, the floor plan opens to the vaulted great room. A rich display of windows along the back wall floods the room with natural light. And when the days grow short and dark the fireplace takes over, filling the room with light and warmth. A ceiling transition helps to provide some feeling of separation between the dining room and the living area. A sliding glass door extends the dining room to the covered patio for outdoor living on warm summer days. Between the dining room and the kitchen is an island with eating bar. The well-appointed kitchen offers a corner walk-in pantry along with ample counter space. Great rooms have been a highly sought-after floor plan feature for years now. Their informal nature allows people and conversations to flow freely and no one feels left out.

Back at the entry hall, turning left will bring you to the stairs that run up to the second floor. On the upper level are two additional bedrooms which share a compartmentalized bathroom that offers dual vanities, a separate shower, and soaking tub. Extended over the garage is a bonus room. For families needing remote work or learning space the bonus room has a cozy corner for a built-in desk. Steps away is a beverage bar for those who might want to furnish the bonus room as a family or game room.

Other floor plan features of note are the main floor laundry room located between the kitchen and garage. Across from the laundry room is a half bathroom and drop zone for organizing the family electronics, bags, shoes, and coats.

The Kinsale is created by Associated Designs, Inc.’s talented team of residential home designers.

3rd Dec, 2021
Articles, Blog

You have made the decision to build your dream home. Countless hours have been spent pouring over countless interior design articles and photographs. You can now see each room of your home beautifully decorated. The first step in bringing your dream home vision to life will be creating a custom floor plan that is laid out to support your lifestyle and tie these wonderfully envisioned rooms together.

Each family is unique and your home should reflect that and by investing in a custom home plan you have the opportunity to experience an unparalleled living experience. How the home transitions from the entrance to the living areas to the kitchen, or even the garage can increase convenience and overall quality of life.

Rick McAlexander, president and owner of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon, believes that a family who choose to build their own home should carefully select their designer. A professional home designer can help guide you in creating a very special plan to call home as well as help prevent costly mistakes or problems after construction begins.

“It isn’t uncommon for many clients to underestimate the complexity of the design phase and what it takes to be an expert in this field. After designing thousands of homes, I’ve come to realize how important it is for a homeowner to feel comfortable with their designer before the process even begins,” says Rick.

Thorough research is an important first step before choosing a designer for such a big investment as a home. Many will start their search online but don’t be fooled by the look of the website. A flashy or smart looking website does not necessarily equal an experienced home designer. To assist you with your quest to find the right home designer for your project, Rick has compiled six key characteristics to consider before hiring a qualified professional.

Personality – The process of designing a home is a very personal project. The designer will be working closely with you and exploring your day to day living experiences which should be an enjoyable and comfortable experience. While it seems simple, it is important for you to like the designer as they interpret your goals.

Experience – How many projects has the designer completed similar in nature to yours? Experience isn’t just number of years in the industry but extends to the type of design work they have been involved in. A professional who has experience creating office buildings or hospitals will not have the same set of skills or insight as a professional who has focused their practice on residential design. Similarly a designer who has been involved in a lot of entry level production housing may not have the skill set for creating a unique estate-sized home, and vis-a-versa.

Reputation – Obtain a list of references, including past clients and construction professionals. Inquire about the design experience – was the designer quick to respond to calls and emails, did they deliver the project on time, were the fees charged far? Check-in with contractors about the quality of the construction documents. Taking additional time to check-into the designers record is worth the effort and increases the likelihood of having your home built on time and on budget.

Design Philosophy – Some home designers approach a project with a “you dream it, we draw it” style of communication. Others feel their experience dictates what is best. Does the designer exhibit a more collaborative style, offering their insight and advice while allowing for input and your personal preference? Considering these different styles and what will be fit with your communication style and comfort level is key to reducing friction and frustration during the design phase.

Level of Service Provided – The home design industry runs the gamut from “drafter” to “full service”. A drafter can take a floor plan and create the construction documents, typically the minimum required to obtain a build permit. A full service designer will provide a tailored approach, staying involved in the project from initial design, to completion of the construction documents, and is available to provide support and assistance through construction. Most firms will fall somewhere in the middle; providing complete construction drawing sets with a level of detail that the contractor can build with confidence, while allowing for consultation time as needed during construction.

Costs  - The design is the most critical element of a successful project. Cutting corners or selecting a firm based on their low cost could compromise the build. While designers will charge for their services in a variety of ways, the most common are hourly, cost per square foot, or a percentage of construction costs. Normally the rates are commensurate with the level of experience, complexity of the project, and the level of service provided.

“Choosing a good residential home designer is the most critical phase of the entire new home construction process,” says McAlexander. “Working with an experienced, professional designer should be a pleasure and result in a beautiful dream home that brings joy to the whole family for years to come,” he added.

Now that you can confidentially vet the home designers you are considering, check out our article on essential questions to ask a home designer before making your final decision, 5 Essential Questions to Ask Your Home Designer. Ready to hire a contractor but need some help? Check out our article How to Avoid Bad Contractors.

1st Dec, 2021
Articles, Blog

Both figuratively and literally, the open floor plan design of the Great Room has become the center of the home and what many home buyers believe they want. While it certainly can make a small home feel spacious, and it offers families the ability to stay connected while a multitude of activities take place at the same time, it can also present functional issues. How do you hide kitchen messes from view? Where can you go when you want a quiet place to read, work, or give kids space to play?

“The decision about whether or not to incorporate a Great Room really depends on the home buyer’s preferred lifestyle, and the size of home being considered,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of The House Plan Company. “Great Rooms are fairly informal and have very little separation of space. This tends to work well for people who like to stay connected with the household and aren’t concerned with occasional spillover between the functions of the space. Spaces with formal separation that offer dedicated functionality make it easier to keep activity in one area from interfering with another.”

Over the past 40 years, home design has evolved to position the Great Room as the primary room configuration. The layout has also been adjusted to offer options that more closely align with home buyers’ goals. The galley-style Great Room defines the space in a linear fashion, offering the most open living and flexibility, while an “L” shape can provide some separation while maintaining an open feeling. Rectangular Great Rooms provide the most informal living, with multiple rooms combined into one large, open space.

Before committing to an open floor plan centered around a Great Room, home buyers should ask themselves:

  • Do I want to be able to see all spaces contained within the Great Room at the same time?
  • Is formal separation preferred to keep activity in one area from interfering with another?
  • Is a Great Room needed to make a small house feel larger or to accommodate a variety of uses and occasions?
  • Is there room for other, non-connected areas that can provide adequate space and separation when user needs conflict?
  • Will a Great Room help people stay connected with each other while multiple activities are taking place at the same time?

Four designs featured by The House Plan Company that offer open floor plans centered around the Great Room include:

Design #15187

Offering modern cottage living in 3,254 square feet, this two-story design features 855 additional square feet of covered porch for those who prefer to extend their living space outdoors. An open, casual living room separates the main floor primary suite from another bedroom, while an upstairs bonus space that can be used as a den, office or library leads to two additional bedrooms.

Design #19651

Featuring a farmhouse design with 2,491 square feet of living space and expansive covered front and rear porches, this two-story design offers an open floor plan with high ceilings in the combined kitchen and living room. The Great Room separates a main level primary suite from the home office and guest space, while additional bedrooms and bonus spaces are located upstairs.

Alder (Design #34956)

The modest, craftsman-style floor plan of the Alder design features 1,621 square feet of living space, with three bedrooms upstairs and an open floor plan downstairs. The kitchen, dining and family room space offers great connection, while a separate space that can be used as a formal living room or parlor is positioned close to the home’s front entrance.

Sunny Haven 3 (Design #40533)

The modern design of Sunny Haven 3 incorporates the Great Room into the center of the house by opening the living room, dining room and kitchen to each other. All three bedrooms are upstairs, while a home office accessed from a the side entry near the garage offers distinct separation for a home-based business. Flexible space in the basement can be configured to the homeowner’s preference.

When asked if there are any other everyday life considerations that should be thought through when evaluating whether a Great Room is right for a specific buyer, McAlexander noted that “a common request from home buyers is to separate the primary suite from the secondary bedrooms. In that case, the Great Room becomes the space to provide that separation, pushing it to the center of the home.”


26th Nov, 2021
Articles, Blog

You’ve made the decision you want to take on a construction project. Whether or not that is your next home or a detached garage addition to your existing property, knowing how to study floor plans to determine if the design is right for you is an important tool to have.

“Whether you are looking to work with a professional designer to create a custom design or are walking through open houses, you need to evaluate each room and how the layout of the home comes together. What you are seeing may not be the ideal way the floor plan should be laid out. The key is bringing in your lifestyle and how you and your family use a space to make sure it is right for you.” – Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs.

While this may seem daunting, Associated Designs has put together four tips and tricks that will have you reviewing floor plans like a professional designer.


A home design needs to allow for easy flow. What does that mean? The flow of a floor plan is all about movement. Is there a reason for a wall to be where it is? Are there dead ends? How rooms transition and are connected is key to a good fit.

“Measuring the natural flow of a design can be as simple as counting how many steps between the kitchen and dining room,” says McAlexander. “For instance is the dining room is a fair distance away from the kitchen, there is something wrong with the floor plan. How you move from room to room and how you move within a room matters.”

As your study floor plans, try to envision moving through the different rooms. Also give consideration to how you live in your current home. What elements do you like? If you like having your bedroom removed from the hustle and bustle of the living area then make sure the design you are looking at has a similar layout. Just as important as what you like about your current home are what elements would you change? If you dislike having your laundry room between the kitchen and garage make sure that the floor plan you are considering has it located near the bedrooms.

Outdoor Living

A frequently overlooked design feature is the outdoor space. We’ve seen over the last year a spike in the desire for outdoor living proving that living space isn’t just limited to the living room. Consider how you entertain, do you spread out and allow guests to mingle in the living room, dining room, kitchen, or backyard? If outdoor entertaining is in the mix than making sure your patio or porch is built with that functionality in mind.

“Make sure to consider how much outdoor living or entertaining space you will need,” said McAlexander. “A reoccurring piece of advice to keep in mind regardless of the space being considered is – if there is something about your current home’s outdoor space that you like, be sure your new home has the same qualities. You want to have an equally comfortable exterior when compared to the interior.”

For example if the beautiful farmhouse you are looking at offers a thin front covered porch and expansive back covered porch with outdoor kitchen. If you love grilling and preparing meals while enjoying the outdoors and can picture sunny, summer dinners with friends and family here than this feature is a good fit. If you enjoy a warm beverage on the front porch enjoying the sunrise or greeting neighbors out on a stroll you may find that thin covered space isn’t big enough for your favorite chair or porch swing. A simple modification to the floor plan may be required to make the front covered porch a more usable space.

Natural Light

Just as important as the size of the kitchen is how much natural light will shine in. A home design that does not offer ample light can feel dark and dreary. Each room should have a window as natural light has a large impact on the feel of your home.

“As you consider floor plans you want to make sure that you consider where the sun will be. A design may appear to be filled with windows but if the direction of your home or lot is not considered you may not get the full effect of those windows,” says McAlexander.

Natural light is a simple but powerful influence when it comes to long term happiness in your home. Too little light and your modern prairie home will feel like a cave so don’t forget to give special attention to windows.

Labeled Spaces

The final tip for studying floor plans is about flexibility. Many of the pre-designed floor plans you’ll find online offer a labeled floor plan telling you what each room is intended to be. Keep in mind these labels are insight from the designer about how they saw the space being used but that shouldn’t limit the potential of the room.

If you need a home office or exercise studio and the floor plan you are considering has a formal dining room you don’t see using then that space can be turned into what you need. Similarly four bedroom house plans are not just for large families. If you desire a guest room and two home offices than a four bedroom house plan could be your solution.

“Remember as you study different floor plans the design is open to interpretation, specifically your interpretation,” says McAlexander. “You can decide how that extra room should be used regardless of how the space is labeled on the floor plan.”

For more design trends and pro tips check out other great articles on our House Plan Blog!

5th Nov, 2021
Announcements, Articles, Blog

There has been a lot of buzz around how will urban areas continue to grow and provide an array of housing opportunities. In an effort to take a step towards solving this question many cities are looking to accessory dwellings or secondary dwellings, but what exactly is an ADU?

Secondary dwellings can come in a variety of types from attached dwellings located above a garage or in the basement level of the primary home; Associated Designs has seen a raise for detached dwellings more commonly referred to as backyard cottages, granny flats, or carriage houses. ADUs come in a range of sizes from 250 square feet tiny homes to 800 or 1000 square foot cottages. They are constructed on lots that already have a primary residence and are a great option for those looking to generate extra income from rental property or are looking to help adult children or aging parents.

Highlighted are three trending secondary dwelling plans created by Associated Designs talented team of home designers.

Iris Cottage 31-283

Country Iris Cottage ADU Exterior

Modern elegance blends with country simplicity to create an eye catching exterior to the Iris Cottage. At 800 square feet this backyard cottage offers an affordable design with its open floor plan and shed roof. The great room has a vaulted ceiling that opens to a clerestory, flooding the room with natural light. On warm summer days the double sliding glass door opens the great room to the large covered patio. An island with eating bar provides some visual separation between the kitchen and the living area while adding to the available seating. The ceiling drops towards the back of the cottage where two bedrooms are located that share a compartmentalized bathroom. One of the bedrooms has direct access to the full bathroom giving it the feeling of a master suite.

Birkland 31-186

Birkland Modern ADU Exterior Rendering

A trio of textures graces the front of the Birkland secondary structure. Vaulted ceilings add to the spaciousness of this otherwise tiny house plan. At 460 square feet this modern design offers a living area that can be shielded from the front door by a sliding bar door. The entry opens up immediately into the kitchen which offers ladder access to the attic that is open to the living area below. Tucked away in a hallway closet is a stacking washer and dryer which is just steps away from the vaulted bedroom.

Aspen Cottage 31-290

Craftsman Aspen Cottage Secondary Structure

A delightful blend of country and Craftsman styling work in harmony to create this charming 795 square foot accessory structure. The Aspen Cottage is a two-story accessory dwelling unit offers a pleasant separation of living and sleeping areas. On the first floor is the open great room which extends to the kitchen and is only separated by an eating bar. Steps away from the kitchen are a couple of storage closets – one of which could be utilized as a pantry. A full bathroom with corner shower is also on the main floor across from the stacking washer and dryer tucked under the staircase. On the second floor are two bedrooms with 9’ ceilings that share the homes second full bathroom.

These three charming accessory dwelling units give an idea of the diversity in style and floor plan layout. Each building jurisdiction has different requirements so it is important before starting on your own backyard cottage build to check-in with your building jurisdiction to make sure they allow secondary structures and what requirements the design will need to meet. If you fall in love with one of Associated Designs accessory dwelling designs their modification or custom design services can help you tailor the design to your property and goals. Check out the entire collection at

1st Nov, 2021
Articles, Blog

The farmhouse home design has long been a quaint, idyllic reminder of the very best of country living.

But as families have flocked to more urban locales in recent years, they’ve found that there are plenty of ways to combine the classic farmhouse charm with contemporary specifications.

As a contrast to the sprawling, functional farmhouses that have been a staple of rural communities, farmhouse designs in the 1,500 to 2,500 square foot range have become increasingly popular in cities and suburbs alike.

The House Plan Company has put together a collection of new, small farmhouse plans that appeal to any owner’s tastes, despite a smaller footprint.

The #27667 design featured on The House Plan Company is a perfect example. Created by Jandi Designs, Inc. and coming in at just under 1,700 square feet, this single-story farmhouse plan fits three bedrooms, including a separated master bedroom, two full baths and a two-car garage, around a large great room and adjoining, open kitchen and dining room. The exterior evokes the classic farmhouse of memory, complete with exterior siding, and a large front porch that is screened to the side of the front entrance, all supported by vertical wooden posts.

For those looking for slightly cozier quarters, the #76091 design created by Design Basics may be an ideal fit. The 1,600-square-foot plan tucks an owners’ suite and two additional bedrooms around a corner family room, kitchen and dining area. The plan includes an optional covered rear patio, adding some flair to this quaint wood framed plan with stick roof framing.

Some owners may prefer a bit more space to stretch out. For those farmhouse hunters, the Wesson #97194 plan by Associated Designs offers everything one could ask for, all in one story. At just over 2,400 square feet, it offers an exterior of stone, board and batten siding and shingle, beneath a combination stick and truss roof frame. Inside, vaulted ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur throughout much of the house, from the open great room, dining room and kitchen, and huge owners’ suite with master bath and full walk-in closet. A vaulted covered rear deck includes an outdoor kitchen, making for a perfect location for barbecues or dinners with guests. A guest room, adjoining bathroom and small office on the opposite side of the house could easily be converted into an apartment unit.

A signature of the classic farmhouse plan is the porch, and the #48721 plan doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Created by Legacy Home Plans, the nearly 2,300-square-foot design has a two-story floor plan with dual master suites, one on the main floor and one on the second floor, as well as a vaulted great room and kitchen, secondary bedrooms on each floor, and an attached two-car garage. But the highlight may be the covered porch that wraps completely around three sides of the home, creating an outdoor oasis to take in the scenery all around.

Finally, the Tall Cedar #30926 design by Sketch Pad House Plans recreates the idyllic feel of a farmhouse on just about any type of lot. The design has a sharp eye for detail, from its wood frame exterior and truss roofing to the exterior window shutters and covered porch supported by wooden posts. Inside, the two-story plan fits a ground-floor master bedroom, spacious kitchen, dining and living room, plus two second-floor bedrooms and a loft, all in just over 1,900 square feet.





29th Oct, 2021

With housing struggles across the country more homeowners are turning to improvement projects. Remodels, additions, and even new outbuildings help make their home and property fit better with today’s quickly changing lifestyle demands. While the concept of a detached garage is not new, homeowners’ are looking for more and more out of this otherwise humble structure.

Over the last few years a trend has emerged for garage plans that incorporate living areas; either for hobby spaces, home offices, or a place for guests or adult children to stay. As a result the design team at Associated Designs has seen a large pick up in the number of clients looking to either customize or create unique outbuildings. We will take a look at 3 best-selling detached garage plans that offer more than just room for cars.

Garage 20-189

Detached Garage Plan 20-189

Adorned with charming country and farmhouse details this detached garage plan appears to be any other 2 car garage. And the main level floor plan is designed for just that purpose with the added feature of a wash tub. However accessed from the outside under a covered stoop are a set of stairs that run up to a second floor that is built into the roof to keep the overall height of the garage down. Upstairs you’ll find an open studio with a full bathroom, wood stove, a kitchenette complete with small cooktop, under counter refrigerator, and sink. This studio offers an array of options to be used for hobbies and art projects, a spacious home office, guest suite, or space for college age children to live while attending school.

Garage 20-291

2 Car Garage Plan 20-291

This Craftsman style detached garage offers an oversized parking area. Depending on the vehicles up to 4 cars could be stored if parked in tandem. Or the extra room could be used as storage. The covered porch on the side provides a great opportunity to set up some patio furniture for comfortable breaks when working in the yard or for guests staying in the second floor apartment. Accessed from a set of stairs that run up the back of the garage, the living area on the upper floor offers a kitchenette with sink, dishwasher, and space for a full refrigerator. The dishwasher and sink are set in an island that adds to the available counter space and helps to separate the kitchen from the dining area. A delightful display of windows lines the dining room flooding the space with natural light. Around the corner is a full bathroom and loft area.

Garage 20-119

Garage Design 20-119

Trimmed with batt and board siding and shingles this deluxe detached garage plan could be finished with either a Craftsman or farmhouse façade. From the street two rollup doors open to reveal the 2 car garage. At the back a set of French doors open to a hobby room which could serve as a spacious storage room. A man door on the left opens into a small entry with coat closet. From the entry there are two doors to the outside and a set of stairs that climb to the upper level apartment. Designed to accommodate tiny home living year round, this apartment is fully loaded. A full kitchen with vaulted ceilings is off the entry with a small utility nook opposite. Through the kitchen the floor plan opens to a vaulted great room complete with cozy fireplace and private balcony. Off the great room is an office which could be furnished as a quant bedroom if sleeping space is preferred. Steps away is a large bathroom with dual vanities along with a separate soaking tub and walk-in shower. The larger bedroom has direct access to the shared bathroom along with a step in closet. This comfortable apartment could be lived in year round or offered to friends and family who visit for longer stretches of time.

Associated Designs has been creating quality home and garage plans for over 30 years. Check out the entire collection of garage plans to find the perfect addition to your property.

22nd Oct, 2021

Farmhouse Plan - Boulderfield 31-147

Clean lap siding with batt and board accents in the gable ends, windows framed with charming shutters, a sleek metal roof; all the elements of the revived American farmhouse. It is also the perfect description of the exterior of the Boulderfield house plan from Associated Designs. From the exterior the design is a classic farmhouse, inside the layout is filled with trending floor plan features homeowners’ are seeking.

Greeted by a wide covered porch the Boulderfield is welcoming upon first impression. Through the front door framed by sidelights, tall 13’ ceilings grace the foyer which opens directly to the great room. Tall ceilings continue through the great room and beyond to the back covered patio. A large, double sliding glass door separates the great room from the covered patio allowing the room to open seamlessly to the outdoors when the weather is nice. With the increase in remote working and learning and time spent in our homes, blending the outdoors with the indoors has been a popular trend with homeowners’ looking to make the most out of the homes. A drop in the ceiling creates a visual transition between the great room, dining room, and kitchen in an otherwise completely open layout. Ideal for informal entertaining and living, open-concept floor plans allow for people and conversations to flow freely making sure that no one is left out of the conversation.

The well-appointed kitchen features a center island with eating bar – adding to the available seating during large parties. A large, walk-in pantry is just steps away. With a trio of windows along the front and back walls the dining room and kitchen feel airy and bright. A feature of note in the dining room is the coffee bar with built in sink.

A long standing but still popular floor plan trend is separate bedrooms. Honoring that desire, the Boulderfield’s master suite is accessed off a hallway from the dining room. French doors open to this luxurious retreat that boasts a private covered patio and deluxe bathroom complete with dual vanities, soaking tub, walk-in shower, and large walk-in shower. On the other side of the home, filling the right side of the floor plan are two jack-and-jill style bedrooms. For those not familiar with a jack-and-jill bedroom, the two bedrooms share direct access to a compartmentalized full bathroom making each room a suite. Near the secondary bedrooms, is a pocket office.

Rounding out this trending home plan is the attached 3 car garage. The side entry makes it ideal for a corner lot or a large rural property. It also hides the garage doors allowing the home to show off it’s farmhouse style without a large display of garage doors. Between the garage and living area is a large mechanical storage closet providing increased energy efficiency if the closet is finished and insulated. The one story design and open layout make the Boulderfield a design that can adapt and grow with a family through all of life’s stages.

One Story House Plan Boulderfield 31-147

15th Oct, 2021

Construction on sloped lots has seen an increase over the last year. Whether that is a result of increasingly difficult to find urban lots or a desire to capture views on rural property, with the right design you can leverage your unique hillside floor plan to capture views above and beyond the average level lot design.

Sloped Lot House Plan Sheffield 30-160

The Sheffield house plan by Associated Designs is one such design. Wrapped in a modern exterior, this eye-catching home embraces natural elements with beautiful cedar siding accents. A two car garage is accessed from the street level providing flat parking and an easy approach to the entry stairs. The entry raises you a half flight of stairs up from the driveway and inside you are greeted by a split-level layout. Not only is this a practical design solution for sloped lot homes it ensures privacy between the living area and the front door.

Choosing to head down will land you in the mud hall. This space is well appointed and designed to help organize bags, shoes, and other essentials needed before leaving the home. A drop zone is conveniently located at the base of the stairs with a built-in bench with coat hooks just steps away. A hutch adds to the available storage. From the mud hall there is access to the attached garage with ample storage towards the back. A hallway off the mud hall leads to the Sheffield’s two secondary bedrooms and a full bathroom. A long time trend with homeowners has been separated bedrooms and the Sheffield delivers by keeping the bedrooms on two different floors.

Back at the entry, the stairs that run up lead to the great room. This reverse living layout is ideal for capturing views out the front of the home that may not be visible from the street level. Soaring vaulted ceilings in the great room along with a double sliding glass door fill the space with natural light. On warm summer days the great room can be opened up to the balcony extending the living outside. Views out the front are perfectly captured and can be fully enjoyed inside or out. The great room seamlessly transitions to the dining room. Open floor plans are ideal for informal living and entertaining, with conversations flowing freely between the different spaces. An eating bar frames the edge of the comfortable sized kitchen with walk-in pantry. The upper floor is rounded out with the vaulted owners’ suite. With large windows facing the front any view out the front of the home can also be enjoyed from the comfort and quiet of the owners’ suite. The private bathroom is furnished with dual vanities, storage, and a walk-in closet.

By working with nature, the Sheffield captures views above the rest and blends nature and natural elements throughout the design. 

Lower Level Floor Plan Sheffield 31-160 Main Level Floor Plan Sheffield 31-160

click images for plan details

8th Oct, 2021

Modern Meadows Edge House Plan

Walking pass the Meadows Edge, you see the Craftsman accents pop through the smooth stucco and stone wainscot. Decorative details in the gable ends and slender posts that frame the front door draw you to the vaulted covered porch. As you approach the front door a covered court yard appears to the right creating a bright and welcoming first impression.

Inside the floor plan offers the latest in design trends. Tall ceilings can be found throughout the foyer and great room. Large sliding glass doors and a rich display of windows along the back wall of the great room flood the room with natural light. For those colder, cozy fall and winter days a fireplace warms the room and can be enjoyed throughout the living and dining areas. The open-style great room is a popular design choice and ideal for those who love informal living and entertaining. A beverage bar in the dining room offers cabinet space and a small prep sink – great for mixing up an evening cocktail or serving up morning coffee or tea. The generously sized kitchen is just steps away from the dining room with only an island to provide some visual separation of space.

Steps away from the kitchen are a large pantry and a mud hall connecting the home to the attached three car garage. A popular feature amongst contemporary homeowners is separate bedrooms and the Meadows Edge house plan has just that. The far right side of the floor plan are two secondary bedrooms which share a full, compartmentalized bathroom with dual vanities. All the way on the left side of the home, on the other side of the great room is the owners’ suite. This luxurious retreat has a private bathroom filled with twin sinks, separate soaking tub and walk-in shower, plus a large walk-in closet. Sharing the same hallway as the owners’ suite is a studio. This room is truly a flex space allowing homeowners’ to tailor the floor plan to fit their current lifestyle. If a fourth bedroom is needed the built-in shelves could be substituted for closet or dresser space. Those working from home may choose to furnish the studio as a home office or study for remote learning.

Placing important on time spent outside, the Meadows Edge design can be opened up to the back yard. The large, double sliding glass doors in the great room spill out to the covered patio. Ceiling transitions in the covered patio help to give the sense of two separate spaces – one could ideal be set up as an outdoor living room. While the vaulted patio, offering a grill area with counter could serve as the outdoor kitchen.

Experience a virtual tour of the Meadows Edge at

One Story Floor Plan Meadows Edge Home Design

click image to see more plan details

1st Oct, 2021
Articles, Blog

Large bodies of research have shown that time spent in or viewing nature can have positive effects on our brains, bodies, emotions, thoughts, and interactions with others. For home buyers looking to build, creating opportunities to incorporate nature and natural settings into the home’s design can be a great way to let the outdoors in.

“When looking at home plans, home buyers should consider how the rooms are arranged to maximize how they would like the home to interact with the outdoors,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of The House Plan Company. “For example, does the great room face the right direction for your yard or view? Do you have neighbors with outdoor spaces that might affect your master suite privacy? You also want to consider the local climate and whether you need protection from the sun, rain, snow, bugs or other elements.”

To create connection with the environment just outside the home in a natural way, The House Plan Company, a house plan marketing firm based in Eugene, Oregon recommends considering key design features including:

  • Large or floor-to-ceiling windows and doors welcome views, natural light and ventilation
  • How the orientation of the home can offer protection from the elements
  • Screened in porches or a wall of windows are well suited for locales with extreme weather or to enjoy some reprieve from bugs
  • Deep roof overhangs provide shade and the ability to comfortably be outside in varied climates
  • Use of natural materials can add both a deeper connection to nature and visual interest
  • Sliding doors provide indoor-outdoor connection and direct access to the natural landscape
  • Smaller scale home designs can increase the home’s efficiency and intimacy

Four of the most popular of The House Plan Company’s plans that let the outdoors in are:

Longview (Design #43383)

This two-story shingle-style house plan by designer Tim Thompson offers a comfortable retreat for those who want indoor and outdoor living. French doors on two sides offer easy access to a covered patio that wraps around two sides.

Odessa (Design #59772)

Offering a contemporary design with split-level living, the Odessa plan features a unique, loft-style sunroom that walks out onto a rooftop terrace with a beverage bar and built-in garden beds. Created by Drummond House Plans, the walk out access from multiple rooms on the ground level encourages homeowners to extend their living space outdoors.

Design #86187

Featuring a modern, contemporary design with clean lines, this home plan by Architectural Innovations was created to make the most of downhill or side sloped lots. A covered deck on the main floor and an enormous, covered walk-out patio from the lower level provide homeowners a variety of options to extend their outdoor living.

Heartland (Design #13048)

A family-centric open plan with a modern farmhouse design, the Heartland design features expansive wrap around covered porches with walk out access from the master bedroom, living and dining rooms. This house plan created by Ken Pieper offers a deep covered porch at the front of the house offers yet another welcoming space to gather.

Bringing the outdoors in starts with the building lot. If homebuyers are building on a large parcel or rural property, there is much more flexibility in how to orient the home to enjoy the views, as well as an opportunity to take advantage of outdoor spaces for several functions. Views can impact the room arrangement and window placement, however in traditional neighborhoods, home buyers should carefully consider how window placement and outdoor spaces are protected from neighbors for both privacy and noise.

Stressing the importance of understanding the local climate when selecting house plans, McAlexander noted, “if you’re a long-term resident of the area, you’ve most likely experienced enough to be aware of what special considerations should be taken. If you’re new to the area, look carefully at how the locals take advantage of outdoor spaces.”


21st Sep, 2021

The chance to have a custom home design created and constructed is an exciting opportunity, one that for many will be a once in a life time experience. The custom home design process gives you the opportunity to tailor a home to how you live, how you entertain, and your location. Making sure to take the time to consider these cornerstones will help you and your design team create a home that you will be happy with for years to come.

Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon has been offering custom design services for over 25 years. When asked to help client create the home that is locked away in the dreams, Rick will start with a review of how you live in your current home. “It is important to consider your current and past homes. There are lessons to be learned from those homes – what you liked, what you wish was different.” Taking these lessons and blending them with your current design goals will help give your home designer key insight.

Recent custom design clients, Mr. & Mrs. D, worked with Rick to create a home that would fit with their sloped lot. The resulting design is a spacious 2426 square foot single level floor plan with unique features to fit the D’s lifestyle.

To start, throughout the home wide hallways and an open floor plan allow for longevity. Planning for the future is key – whether that is for a growing family or a forever home that will age as gracefully as the homeowners’.

With the need to work from home having a space to work has shifted from an optional but nice feature to a necessary space within a home. Leaving more space for entertaining and gathering spaces, the D’s opted for a pocket office. Barn doors open to reveal this compact and efficient work space off the foyer.

The core of the home is the open and informal great room. Vaulted ceilings run through the living room and dining room adding to the spacious feeling and naturally bright feel of the room. Helping to provide some visual separation of the kitchen is an island with flush conversation bar and a drop in the ceiling height. The great room can be opened to the outdoors where a second fireplace on the covered deck creates an outdoor living room. A few steps away is an outdoor kitchen with grill center – making entertaining and enjoying outside a breeze.

More and more families are taking their four-legged members into consideration with their home design and the D’s are no exception. Located off the utility room, with direct access to the outdoors and a covered stoop, is a dog room; space for their four-legged friends to have a place to rest, store all their treats, and when needed – even if it isn’t their idea of a good time – a bath. A door connecting the dog room to the master walk-in closet and bathroom means Fido has quick access to his favorite people; and the homeowners have a convenient way of getting loads of laundry to the utility room without having to travel through open rooms to get there.

Enjoy the photo tour below of this gorgeous new home and let us know what features you want your next home to have!

Ready to jump in and start the design process for your very own custom home but don’t know how or where to start? Associated Designs has prepared great articles on How to Choose a Home Designer, How to Study Floor Plans, and How to Select a Contractor.

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