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11th Sep, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Ranch Home Plan, Lamar 11-106

Brick veneer gives the Lamar house plan a look of solid permanence to the compact home with a spacious great room at its core. An arched glass block window adds a unique grace and charm to the front exterior.

This low-maintenance ranch-style home plan is ideal for young families or empty nesters. The one-level layout is easily adaptable for wheelchair accessibility.

Entering, you step into a vaulted entry with a coat closet to the right, kitchen/dining room access on the left. A pocket door slider can be closed to conceal the cooking and dining area.

The great room is vaulted, and open to the kitchen where a peninsular counter marks the boundary. Overhead, a high plant or display shelf spans the juncture, where the vaulted ceiling transitions to an eight-foot-high kitchen ceiling.

Sliding glass doors at the rear open into a screened porch, ideal for outdoor dining. Potted plants thrive in this sunny space, and it's a great place to sleep on summer nights when the air inside is too hot.

The kitchen/dining room is spacious. Plenty of room here for family and friends to hang around and chat with the cooks or clean-up crew. Utilities are close by but out of sight, tucked in a passthrough space that connects with the garage. Groceries can be unloaded safely and conveniently, moving directly from garage to kitchen.

Owners' suite amenities include: twin linen closets and a large walk-in closet. Soft light filters into the bathroom through glass blocks. Secondary bedrooms, or a bedroom and a study, share a bathroom on the opposite side of the house.

8th Sep, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New Garage Plan, Garage 20-190, Garage Design with Shop

Garage 20-190

Room for one car plus storage and a shop this compact cottage style garage design is a great addition to any property. The garage door is 9' wide and 8' tall and the bay has additional space to the right for extra storage. Double doors from the garage or a separate front exterior door leads to a generous shop space. 

6th Sep, 2017
Articles, Blog

“Utility” in its most basic definition means “a state of being useful.” So it’s no surprise that when we think of a utility room in a home, we think of the basics – laundry, ironing boards that fold down from the wall, and maybe some small cupboard space. Utility rooms, however, can be more than just useful spots to clean your clothes.

“I like to think that utility rooms are another living space in a home,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc., based in Eugene, Ore. “You can do so much more with them, so their usefulness includes organization, storage, crafting space, mudrooms and more. Nowadays, utility rooms take ‘useful’ to a whole new level.”

In fact, utility rooms can become extensions of the kitchen or elaborate mudrooms with cubby holes and hooks and nooks.

“Out of sight, out of mind was how many looked at utility rooms years ago,” said McAlexander. “But they are no longer relegated to the basement or the garage. Utility rooms are the new workhorse of home design.”

From pet-friendly spaces to convenient locations and savvy organization, utility rooms have come a long way. Designs now offer rooms that perform and catch the eye. We dig a little deeper into these design ideas with five top trends in utility rooms.

1. Hobby Home

Space is one thing in a modern utility room, especially as workstations for doing the laundry. But we’re pretty sure homeowners aren’t just doing laundry 24/7 (although it may sometimes feel that way). Homeowners are looking to make these rooms do more than just clean clothes and store cleaners. Hobbies of all kinds, such as home canning, sewing and gardening, are taken into consideration in the layout. For example, the Tetherow design (31-019) features a utility room with ample space for your favorite crafts.

“It’s probably the more popular request when it comes to utility rooms,” said McAlexander. “Home canning in particular is an add-on many ask for in a utility room design, which makes for some very unique layouts.”

2. Pet-Friendly Palace

Hobbies are one thing though; pets are quite another. They’re members of the family and as such, we want to provide them with comfort and a space all their own – which is where utility room designs come into play. Common add-ons include spaces for kitty litter boxes or food storage. But the Nottingham design (30-965) takes those add-ons to a whole new level. An extensive utility room off the garage includes a separate spot just for dogs, as well as a pet door. It’s like a stately bedroom for man’s best friend.

“Utility room design that includes pets can easily become even more extensive and elaborate,” said McAlexander. “A pet-friendly room is as essential to home design now as space for your washer and dryer, and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.”

3. Mudroom Must-Haves

Speaking of usefulness, there’s nothing like a spot specifically built to hold your rain boots, coats and other outdoor sundries. A mudroom, or drop zone, is probably the most common addition to a home’s utility area. Often set near the garage, a mudroom can be as subtle or as elaborate as a homebuyer wants it to be. For large families, a few cupboards and shelves help to keep all those shoes organized.

The mudroom in the Nottingham sits just off the garage and is, in its own way, an extension of the utility room area. With hooks to hang coats and backpacks, a closet to store larger gear, and a half-bath nearby, it’s the ideal way to take the day off before relaxing at home.

4. Storage Station

Organization and storage may be one of the more popular trends in the world of utility room must-haves. And we aren’t talking about simple cupboard space. Space-saving amenities such as hidden trashcans, stacked washers and dryers and countertops are all options for homebuyers to consider as they make their utility rooms beyond useful. In many ways, a utility room can mimic the kitchen in its ability to organize your things with the greatest of efficiency and ease of use. Both the Nottingham and the Tetherow design put storage in the spotlight with counter space, closets and cupboards aplenty.

“Changing lifestyles mean a lot of families nowadays want easy access to their things,” said McAlexander. “A utility room that has everything right at the homeowner’s fingertips is a big trend. The more organized you are, the more unique the organization options, the niftier that utility room becomes.”

5. Location, Location, Location

To expand and build on its usefulness, a utility room has to be conveniently located. Where it sits in relation to the rest of the house makes a huge difference in how it can and should be used. Commonly, a utility room is situated just off the garage with a mudroom and easy access to the kitchen and pantry as in the Nottingham design. Other convenient locations include just off the walk-in closet of the master’s suite or near a porch. This spot showcased in the Tetherow is well suited for those who want to give their hobby a special spot rather than have it tucked away in the back.

Bottom line, a utility room isn’t just for laundry anymore. It’s an essential component to any home and as with any room, it can be multifunctional. That’s where it’s true usefulness can really shine. 

As seen on Newswire
5th Sep, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Spanish Style Home Plan, Grandeza 10-136

Mediterranean influences inspire the contemporary Spanish-style Grandeza. Stucco arches and columns combine with round-arched windows and a tile roof to give the house plan a bright ambiance that is equally evocative of the American Southwest.

This home is as naturally bright inside as out. At center is a high-ceilinged, hexagonal great room where arched windows fill most of three rear walls. A patio wraps across the entire back with four access points, so it's easy to extend living outside. When the weather turns chilly, the warmth of the pellet stove will be welcome.

A spacious kitchen features counters on four sides with plenty of room for food prep, and a long, raised eating bar rims the peninsular counter nearest the dining area. A pantry nestles into an alcove created by the upper flight of a centrally located stairway.

Upstairs, French double doors in the vaulted hexagonal recreation room open onto a rear balcony. On the opposite side of the room, a V-shaped railing allows people to overlook the entry. Windowed on five sides, this bright and lofty room has a bathroom and makes a great place for rainy day play. This space could be used as a study, home office, guest room, art studio, or whatever suits.

The luxurious owners' suite fills the right wing. The skylit bathroom features a dual vanity, spa tub, linen closet, shower, and private toilet. The walk-in closet is large. Two more bedrooms share a bathroom in the left side, close to the large utility room that links the house and garage.

1st Sep, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Country Home Plan, Fairhaven 31-077

Charming, simple country elegance invites you into the Fairhaven house plan. The covered porch is a perfect place to watch the world go by. The entry opens up into a vaulted living room on the right. A cozy fireplace draws you in and the room opens up to the vaulted dining room and kitchen. To the let of the entry a hallway leads you passed the stairs to the additional bedrooms and bonus room upstairs and towards the owners' suite. Owners' suite amenities include a walk-in closet, dual vanity that is separated from the shower and toilet. 

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

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, Huntington 42-017

The Huntington's wrap-around covered porch is beautiful. Handsome exposed timbers support and highlight the lofty central gable, and the whole works is supported by tapered bases of stone. Custom-crafted windows, horizontal siding and shake shingles all add to the Craftsman-style.

You enter into a naturally bright and lofty two-story foyer. A half-round crowns the upper trio of windows and an elegant dining room is on the right. Stairs on the left lead to the secondary bedrooms and a vaulted lounge that overlooks the entry and great room. It provides access to both large bedrooms plus a sky-lit bathroom. 

A bank of windows, stacked three high at center, fills most of the vaulted great room's rear wall. The wide hearthed stone fireplace nestled into an alcove on the left can also be enjoyed from the kitchen and nook. The entry to a vaulted sunroom is next to the fireplace, entered through a glass door. Double doors there open onto a railed balcony.

The kitchen is large and open, with plenty of cupboard and counter space. Standing at the sink in the work island, you look out over a long raised eating bar into the great room. A pantry, utilities, and bathroom are a few steps away, where they are also linked to the garage.

The luxurious master suite fills most of the left wing. Features include twin walk-in closets, a spa tub, dual vanity, private toilet, and access to the sunroom.

25th Aug, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New Garage Plan, Garage Design, Garage with Studio, Garage with Living Space, Garage 20-189

Garage 20-189

Parking for 2 cars plus a second floor studio apartment this country-style garage plan offers a little bit of everything. The garage doors are both 9' wide and 8' tall. Towards the back a small alcove including space under the staircase provide additional storage space. Separated from the garage a set of stairs lead up to the second floor living quarters. With the full bathroom, kitchenette and woodstove this space could be used for multiple uses such as a guest apartment, hobby space,  or home office.

21st Aug, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Mediterranean House Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Home Plan, Houston 11-044

Compact yet spacious, the Houston is as economical to build and to heat. It's a fairly traditional floor plan, with bedrooms upstairs and family living spaces on the ground floor.

The Mediterranean-style front facade is completely symmetrical. At center, classic columns support a balcony that doubles as a front porch. Tile crowns the hip roof while shutters add a color.

Casual living areas are at the rear, formal spaces in the front. The family room, nook and kitchen are bright and open. A large bay window, ideal for a wide window seat, expands the family room. Sliders in the nook open onto a large screened porch.

The U-shaped kitchen has plenty of counter and cupboard space, including lazy Susan shelving that allows full use of the corner cabinets. Utilities are close by, in a pass-through to the garage. 

A small wet bar, nestled in the alcove under the stairs, is convenient to the family room and living room. The powder room is centrally located too.

The spacious owners' suite is on the upper level. Luxury amenities include a sitting room, balcony, and private bathroom with double vanity, spa, oversized shower and large walk-in closet. The other two bedrooms share a bathroom. Linen storage and another closet are in the hallway.

17th Aug, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Craftsman House Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Evelyn 30-480

The Evelyn's Craftsman-style charming porches, are gracefully inviting access points in both the front and the back.

Slender wooden columns support the porch gables, while decorative supports and handsome beams underscore their peaks. Shake-textured siding fills the apexes of the larger gables that back up the porches.

One long hallway runs through the home. The first section is an inner entry. Double doors on the left open into a den, home office, or guest room.

An arched opening marks the juncture to the next section of hallway. The gallery wall is ideal for displaying art or family photos. Arched openings on the right lead into the owners' suite and another bedroom. The opening on the left takes you to another bedroom, along with the main bathroom. All three bedrooms feature roomy walk-in closets.

Family and friends will enjoy spending time together in the combination kitchen and great room that fills the back of the home. Windows fill most of the back wall and is is naturally bright.

The kitchen spans one side wall and wraps around. Standing at the kitchen sink, you have a clear view of the backyard, as well as the great room. There's plenty of room here for a large table.

The gas fireplace across the room creates a warm, comforting focal point. Convenient, built-in shelves that line one wall can be used for books or art display.

7th Aug, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Georgian Home Plans, Southern House Plans, Lupine 30-747

Small panes of glass fill large window openings and give the Lupine an intriguing Georgian look. The pattern is echoed on the gridded garage doors, while raised brick trim rims the upper limits of the garage doors, underscores windows, and accents graceful arches on the brick veneer front facade.

This one-level plan has plenty of room for an active family. This plan could be easily adapted for wheelchair accessibility and aging in place.

Left of the entry double doors open into a vaulted dining room with a step-in closet to one side. This space flows into the vaulted living room. A 10-foot-high display shelf provides definition at the juncture of the two spaces. The living room can also be entered by proceeding straight ahead from the foyer, passing through an arched opening and under a similar display shelf there.

Windows fill most of the rear wall in the living room and nook. An arched window crowns a wide trio of windows, near a fireplace that fits neatly into one corner. A sunroom and den/home office fill out the opposite side of the of this space, while the kitchen sits at its heart.

Standing by the kitchen sink, you have a panoramic view of the entire area, as well as out to the partially covered patio. The cook top is in a central island, and a large walk-in pantry resides in one corner. A large utility room with a toilet is nearby, along with a door to the three-car garage.

Bedrooms fill the right wing of the home. The owners' suite features two large walk-in closets, a luxurious bathroom, and direct patio access. Secondary bedrooms share a two-section bathroom.

4th Aug, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

 

View Lot House Plan, A Frame Home Plan, New House Plan, Alpenview 31-003

Appreciating the view and the bonus of all the natural light that floods into the living area makes our new Alpenview house plan ideal for a building lot with a view. This lodge-style house plan has a large covered porch that greets you and provides for a sheltered entrance. To the left of the front door is a set of stairs, one side leads to the basement and the other side leads to the second floor. The entry immediately flows into the large great room with bench seats along the windows. The owners' suite is off the great room and has its own access to the large deck. The suites amenities include a soaking tub, dual vanity, and a large walk-in closet. Upstairs are two additional bedrooms. 

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.

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