31. July 2015 16:50
What is it we find so deeply alluring about homes of the past? Is it the beauty of their intricately crafted details? Is it their sheer presence that speaks of the fullness of their character? Is it their striking stature, yet the warmth of their nature that invites us inside? Is it the nostalgic feelings they stir in our memories that inevitably remind us of the homes we grew up in?
It's all these things and more. Homes distinguished by the rich architectural traditions of countless classic, romantic, and revival eras; known for their eclectic decor and their use of a variety of finishes and textures. Today's updated version of this styling embraces a mix of such elements, yet downplays the elaborate detailing to make everything work together.
Home Design Elements
Take for instance, homes from the early 1900's embraced high ceilings and narrow halls to create a dramatic effect. As consumer preferences changed and the demand for homes increased, designs became more compact and streamlined to maximize usable space and keep costs down. The need to break out of the cookie cutter rut, ceiling height and vaulted/sloped ceilings have made a comeback, providing unique visual appeal and the feel of a more open floor plan.Also, for a short time, fireplaces were replaced or minimalized by incorporating large entertainment centers. With streamlined technology and the desire to add a more cozy, inviting atmosphere, fireplaces have again become the focal point of many homes--designed and adorned as if it were the main reason for the room itself.
On the exteriors of homes you would find steep gabled roofs, corner towers, balconies, and scalloped shingles as well as brick detail applied in patterns. Since much of this exterior detail has been omitted over the years because of its expense, builders and designers are using more of a vignette (and toned-down) approach with window trim, decorative ironwork, and roofing details. Other detailing on the exterior can also add a special old-fashioned touch.
Aside from the architectural design, many homeowners find colors with muddy, time-worn hues, such as mulberry, bottle green, tobacco brown, and dull red, diffuse an essence of affluence. The colors as applied today are toned-down and lightened to coincide with simplified interiors. Furniture styles and upholstery also has a touch of nostalgia, yet blend well with modern pieces to bring a fresh updated look to furnishings.
If you're waxing nostalgic and would love to build a traditional-style home, browse our collection of Traditional plan styles to find the home that is uniquely yours. Click here to search for Design Basics Traditional plan selections.
23. June 2014 07:34
Part IV in our series - Avoiding Common Regrets When Building Your New Home.
5 Modern Ways to Reduce Wasted Space in Your Floor Plan
Building a home is exciting. You get to create your perfect space - a place where your family will make lots of wonderful memories. However, this can also be a stressful time, too. You don’t want to make decisions you will soon regret, and need to make sure the home comes together perfectly.
All the little design details in a home can be changed, but the floor plan will remain constant without some major renovation. So, before you get too worried about what paint color to choose and which light fixtures to buy, let’s focus on the layout of the house. Whether you are building a 2,500 square foot home or one that’s over 12,000 square feet, you need to figure out the best use of space.
Not every square foot is created equal. Your floor plan can and should be created to make the most out of every single square foot. Many home designs can lead to a lot of wasted space, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can take control of the floor plan and use every inch effectively to create a house plan with no wasted space.
Knock Down the Walls
Some home designs have multiple small rooms. If it is not imperative to your lifestyle, knock down a few walls and open up the area. Open floor plans are the way many modern home designs are leaning and are on the ‘must-have’ list for many homeowners.
Knocking down some walls can increase the size of high-traffic areas, so you use the space more effectively. If your family spends a lot of time in the family room, knock out the wall separating the family room and kitchen. It will open up the space and make the main room appear larger. If the house plans show two rooms where you only need one, take down the divider to make one room larger and ensure there's no wasted space.
Ditch the Dining Room
Every older home has a dining room. It was part of the lifestyle of the time. Husbands were home from work at 5:00. Wives had the house clean and supper on the table. The children gathered ‘round and dinner was served in the dining room.
Modern families are more likely to have each parent working, kids with after-school activities and extra-curricular events and no one getting home until 7:00 pm. Even then, family members are trickling in at different times. The days of eating in the dining room every night have come to an end for many families. This large room is only being used two or three times a year for holiday dinners, which isn't the best use of space.
If the floor plan of your home
includes a dining room and your family lifestyle has no need for a formal place to eat your meals, Why not take this opportunity to rethink the entire room and dining experience. You can omit it completely or you can repurpose the space.
This room can be turned into an office, a playroom, a craft room or just about anything else you would actually use on a regular basis. The key to not wasting space is creating spaces that you will actually use.
Ideas for Putting Square Footage Where it Counts
In most modern families, a lot of time is spent in the kitchen and family room, so you should expand the available space. The kitchen is a natural gathering place, so feel free to add some square footage. Extend the wall in the kitchen a few feet, even if it makes the guest bathroom a little smaller. Widen the family room, even if it cuts into the entryway.
Most square footage should be used in the main living areas of the home. It is okay if your rear-entry foyer is just big enough for a bench and some lockers for coats and shoes. It is okay if your bathrooms don’t have enough space to host a fashion show. Cutting square footage from secondary spaces makes the high traffic areas more open and enjoyable.
Consider your Needs
Picture Courtesy Mother Nature Network
Every family’s needs are a little bit different, and certain requirements can result in specific changes. If you have young children running around, you may want to add a little width to your hallways. If you have teenagers you may want to add an additional room for watching TV and playing video games. If you are the king and queen of entertaining, you can add space to the family room or a guest bedroom.
The key to each room in your home is purpose. If a room serves no real purpose, it is a waste of space. If you think you will use a room, but aren’t sure what for, it may languish untouched for years. In order for space to be well-used, it must have a function.
Think Outside the Box
Many floor plans are strikingly similar. If there is something you’d like to change about the traditional layout, change it. Don’t be scared to step away from the norm. Just because a floor plan has a certain number of rooms or distribution of space does not mean it is set in stone. Feel free to personalize it and make adjustments. After all, it is your home and want a no wasted space house plan.
If your lifestyle doesn’t need a certain room, take it out. If you require more space to make an area more livable, add it. The biggest key to not wasting space is to cater your floor plan to the needs of your family. If a space has a purpose, keep it or increase it. If it doesn’t, kiss it goodbye and use the square footage elsewhere.
6. June 2013 10:40
It's our current poll. It's a simple question. Do you prefer open floor plans?
Here's an example of a popular open format floor plan. It has lots of the natural light, ease of mingling with others and feeling like we’re all connected.
Sound travels in open layouts and I don’t want everyone to see my home isn’t always neat and orderly.
Each format appeals to different people. Each has great amenities. Each has drawbacks. Which do you prefer? Take the poll now!
1. April 2013 08:28
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Design Basics' "Hester" is a popular 3-bedroom family plan. It's also possible to build this home with a second master suite, shown as the "Sadie" plan. (Yes, the dual owner's-suite version does utilize storage space from the original design's garage, but if doing this conversion as a remodel, the contractor will build that closet floor accordingly.)
#29344 - Hester
Whether new construction or remodeling, dual owner's suites and independent in-law suites are increasingly in demand. It might amaze you to find out just how many committed, happy couples choose not to share the same bedroom. It could be conflicting schedules, medical conditions or simply snoring, but the need for getting a good night's sleep is paramount to a good life.
Plan now to stay in your dream home!