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14th Apr, 2015
Articles, Blog

Whether you see sharing your home with in-laws or trying to accommodate visiting adult children, adding another master or guest suite is a great way to provide privacy and additional comfort for your guests when planning your new home.

Multiple Master Suites, guest Suites, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Cedar Creek 30-916


Accommodating for this could be as simple as adding a second master bedroom with a private full bathroom; or a more complex solution such as incorporating an additional suite with a separate living room and private entrance. With the second option long-term guests, like the in-laws, can feel like they are still close to their family while still having a place to themselves.

People really need to sit down and consider how their future lifestyle will be. If they see their parents or adult children visiting at some time, the smart choice is to go ahead and provide the accommodations when planning for your new home. Residential home design company Associated Designs offers pre-designed and custom-designed home plans to people across the country. Every plan that they offer can be modified so that a person can add multiple master or a guest suite into the design.

Associated Designs Cedar Creek design is a Craftsman style home not only features a large master suite with a luxurious bath and walk in closet on the main level, there is a secondary suite on opposite side of the home. Upstairs you will find yet another suite with a walk in closet, a private bath with soaking tub and shower. This suite is situated next to a recreation room with a small kitchenette which could add independent living space for those long term house guests.

Having an additional master suite will not only add value in a home by contributing towards the comfort or privacy of guests but by having one master suite on the main floor and another on a second or lower level, it acts as a great tool for aging in place, should the homeowner become unable to use stairs in the future.

Aging in place, planning for shared living spaces, and incorporating multiple master or guest suites are concepts that are gaining in popularity for homeowners as they consider the possibilities and functionality for the future in today’s contemporary thinking of how we live in our homes.

As seen on Newswire

13th Apr, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Multi Family House Plan, Mooresville 60-005

Arched garage door openings, brick veneer, and multipaned windows lend a European-style look to the Mooresville contemporary duplex design. Each two-bedroom unit has nearly 1,100 sq. feet of living space.

Entering the home, you step into a vaulted living room that is open to a dining room at the rear. The rectangular window bay brightens and expands the space toward the street and could be outfitted as a window seat. 

Light flows into the rear of the living/dining room through sliding glass doors. This offers access to a patio that could be covered and screened, if desired. Either way, the occupants have a good-sized area for barbecuing and sharing outdoor meals, within a few steps of the kitchen.

Counters and cabinetry run along two walls of the kitchen, and people working at the sink have a view of the rear yard. Children playing there can be watched from inside. Full-size laundry appliances fit into an alcove on the opposite side of the room. Shelves or cabinets fill the wall space above.

A powder room is behind a pocket door on one side of the laundry alcove, while a door leading to the garage is on the other.

Each of this duplexes units has two bedrooms, a linen closet, and a full bathroom upstairs. From the loft/landing at the top of the stairs, you can overlook the living room. A full-sized bathroom provides sound buffering between the bedrooms.

6th Apr, 2015
Articles, Blog

Cape Cod. The name itself inspires the feeling of sunning quietly on beaches and enjoying the great summer weather. When you want to get away from the crowds and truly enjoy a retreat, this is the place to be no matter where you travel to this year. With simple home designs and quaint town atmospheres, Cape Cod offers the best of everything along its peninsula.

Cape Cod House Plan, Home Plan, Lakeview 10-079
                                       Lakeview 10-079

Yet what about the other times of the year when you can't get out to the peninsula? How can you bring the charm of this location a little closer to home? The Cape Cod house plans can bring this charm of beach life and lakes right to where you live. The house plan was designed so that people could withstand the harsh New England weather yet still offers a great exterior look and interior appeal that will have you feeling like you are in your own private oasis.

Cape Cod retreats will often have clean symmetrical lines and simple construction to appeal to people who want to focus on their creature comforts inside. The house is perfect for people looking to downsize, while it can also accommodate small families looking to enjoy every single moment together. Natural light is a necessity with this home design, as there are many double hung and picture windows along every wall of the home. The simple design lends a feeling of practicality that is associated with American homes, where every aspect has a purpose to bring together a solid construction that is still beautiful.

When walking into the interior of the home, you will be surprised by its spaciousness despite the house plans often looking small on the outside. The home can open up into a foyer or grand living room with vaulted ceilings. The Cape Cod retreat also adopts the present trends of an open floor plan with the living room and kitchen open as there are fewer walls. These features give even a greater feeling of spaciousness while encouraging conversation with the occupants no matter which room they are in. Second floors are common with these house plans where the bathroom, bedroom, loft, and master suite are located. Just like if you are spending the night in a vacation home in Cape Cod, the bedrooms are designed to give the ultimate comfort and space.

When you are out in Cape Cod, you want to enjoy the weather as much as you can. The same can be said with these simple and sunny Cape Cod house plans. Covered porches are a mainstay with these designs, bringing the beautiful scenery and the great outdoors closer to you. The porches may be located on the front or back of the house as the size will be based on the amount of lot space you have available. Yet you will love spending the pleasant summer days out on the porch drinking iced tea and playing games with the kids. On those wet days, the family can remove mucky shoes in the utility room often attached to the kitchen to keep the mess away from the rest of the home.

6th Apr, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

House Plan of the Week, Spanish Style House Plan, Mediterranean Home Plan, Rossano 30-569

A detailed wrought iron gate opens into the garden courtyard that fronts the Mediterranean-style estate sized Rossano home with Spanish flavor. Stone veneer, ceramic tile roofing, Tuscan columns, and wood shutters many of the inviting exterior features.

Stepping through the arched entry door you enter a dramatic two-story foyer that leads into a spacious great room with hardwood flooring and a cast stone fireplace. Cabinetry along the fireplace is designed for a home entertainment center. Double doors at the rear open to a covered patio, accented by a row of Tuscan columns.

The great room and dining room both link to the kitchen through arched openings. The dining room has a built-in hutch. Kitchen amenities include: granite countertops on the two islands, a cooking counter with prep sink and stainless steel countertop, a large pantry, built-in bookcases, and a high-ceilinged tiled-floor nook.

Double doors on each side of the nook open onto covered patios. The patio on the left features a wood-burning fireplace. Other rooms to the left of the kitchen are: an exercise room, storage, mud room with storage, and a large laundry room with a walk-in closet and mud bath.

The luxurious owners' suite, to the right of the great room, has a sitting room that can be completely closed off from the sleeping area. Notable amenities in the private bathroom include: a claw foot tub, dual vanity, and an extra large shower with two showerheads.

Three additional bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, are upstairs. A balcony links the bedrooms to a large recreation room, a utility/hobby room and a powder room.

3rd Apr, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Lodge-Style, Craftsman, Home Plan, Cedar Height 30-975, Vacation Home Plan

Front gables with shake-textured detailing puts an upbeat, welcoming face on the Cedar Height house plan. The rustic gables, along with decorative corbels and trusses, give this single-level design the look and feel of a rustic lodge. It even has a vaulted gazebo.

Ceilings are lofty and vaulted through the home’s center, beginning at the front porch, through the entry hall and on to the great room. Double doors there open onto a partially covered wrap-around deck. A fireplace and built-in home entertainment center line one wall.

Cooking and gathering spaces are on the right side. The kitchen and richly glassed nook open to the great room. A wide opening in the entry hall leads to the dining room, which flows to the kitchen through a passageway with a beverage bar on one side and a pantry on the other.

Bedrooms and a den/office fill out the left side. The owners’ suite features deck access, a large walk-in closet, and a private bathroom with a claw-foot tub.

30th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Home Trends Report, Picture Windows, Nottingham 30-965

Picture windows have been growing in appeal for the past decade, as these large glass windows offer consumers four sought-after benefits: beauty, natural light, unimpeded views, and winter heating. The two home plans which accomplish all the aforementioned benefits with unwavering style are the Nottingham 30-965 and the Juniper 30-964, both are popular with light loving enthusiasts.  

Oversized picture windows have been found on every level and room of a home from dining rooms to bathrooms. For years, the mainstay of windows in many residential homes has been the double hung and single hung varieties due to their affordability. Unfortunately, the multiple panes can block the views outside of homes, allow less light to enter and allow for the entry of moisture into the home since they can be opened.

Custom home plan designer Rick McAlexander, president of Associated Designs, Inc., has noticed an uptick of customers looking for house plans that incorporate larger window designs that are the epitome of grandeur -- such as can be found with picture windows. These beautiful fixed windows fit into different home styles whether people are looking for the simple, rustic styles of Ranch houses to the fancier, modernized Cape Cod homes. People are no longer limited to just picking the typical windows every other house has nowadays. The growing design technology for house plans has now allowed consumers to truly customize their homes without restrictions when it comes to window styles.

Unlike the historic homes that focused on smaller apertures with small paned windows, designers are now focused on creating homes that appeal to a person's unique design preferences --- and that means changing up the style of windows so that they offer more functionality and beauty to a home. In addition, picture windows are versatile when paired with other types of windows. By combining casement or double hung windows with picture windows, there can be an increase in the ventilation and the aesthetic appeal of the house.

Consumers are becoming very creative with how they want the exterior of the home to look, as they are seeking designs that incorporate all of their desires. Yet it is also the benefits that are truly drawing consumers to these types of windows. Picture windows allow for more natural light to filter unimpeded into the rooms. It instantly brightens up the interior, making small rooms feel bigger because they offer larger views of the scenery outside, at the same token, picture windows are matching the grand feel of vaulted large rooms without looking out of place.

Also, homes with darker interiors are shied away from for a number of reasons. With the lessening of natural light, people have to look for other means to brighten the space with artificial lighting. They are seeing an increase in their energy consumption, leading to higher electricity bills to light up the home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over $19 billion was saved in 2008 with people adopting more energy-efficient practices in their homes, including relying on more natural lighting. Another benefit that picture windows give toward energy savings is the heat gain for homes located in the Northern states. Sunlight streaming through a picture window can warm up a room, lowering how often a furnace and other heating methods must be used. This warming method translates to additional reduction to energy use and the lowering of home expenses.

Lastly, people are leaning more toward natural lighting to avoid a host of seasonal disorders, most often called the “winter blues”, as the days grow shorter and people are experiencing less natural light in the home. People may suffer from a host of different problems from mood swings to appetite changes. Living in a home with few lighting options can only increase such seasonal disorders, as people seeking home construction may be able to lessen such affects with getting oversized windows in their homes to allow in as much light as possible.

Associated Designs brings more creative designs to consumers who are interested in bigger and brighter natural light options for windows in their house plans. Combined with the benefits that picture windows lend to a home and the durable construction of these windows that prevents moisture from entering, they are the ideal window solution to home construction projects across the country no matter the style of the house. It is just a matter of informing consumers about the variety of house plans that are available where picture windows would make an ideal addition.

With quality window companies such as Milgard, Andersen, and Pella offering durable and beautiful picture windows, consumers can gain a greater understanding of what is available in home plans that will take advantage of such window options as they can select pre-designed plans or seek out customized house plans.

More homeowners want large spaces with ample natural light. They will look toward available design companies that can offer the right plans that spur their imaginations when it comes to home construction projects. As a trusted home design company that relies upon the opinions of their clients, Associated Designs aims to please their homeowners by offering valuable information and designs bases on consumer needs.  The Nottingham 30-965 and Brookville 30-928 home plans feature big oversized picture windows for the natural light lover.

As Seen on Newswire

30th Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Traditional House Plan, Home Plan, Eldon 30-076

Framed posts, brick veneer and painted shutters give a traditional-style look to the otherwise contemporary Eldon house plan. This four-bedroom home is well-suited for a family with children. Gathering spaces are large, and the owners' suite is isolated from the other bedrooms.

Entering the home, you step right into the vaulted great room which is centrally located partially open to the kitchen and nook. A direct-vent gas fireplace is in the rear corner, next to a wall of glass: two windows and a door. This space is bright, as well as spacious. The door provides access to a wide patio.

Double doors near the front open into another large room. Possibilities for use include a den, media room, a study area with one or more computers, exercise and hobby room, or formal dining room. The possibilities are endless.

Cupboard and counter spaces are ample in the roomy kitchen. The nook is cozy and naturally bright - a great place for hanging out in the morning, and sharing family meals.

A passthrough utility room connects kitchen and garage. Across from the laundry appliances is a small powder room. Family members with wet or muddy shoes can quickly dash in and out without tracking up any carpets.

An extra thick layer of insulation buffers sound between the kitchen and owners' suite. Features here include: his-n-hers walk-in closets, oversized shower, dual vanity and private toilet.

The three secondary bedrooms share another bathroom, this one has glass blocks on the exterior wall, over the bathtub. Both of the front bedrooms feature walk-in closets.

27th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Craftsman Home Plan, Alexandria 30-974

Craftsman detailing gives the left side of the Alexandria the look and feel of a traditional bungalow home. The gridded windows, stone veneer bases, and quartet of iconic tapered columns. But inside, this home is designed to suit the needs of the family of today.

Entering through the covered porch, you step into a long foyer that leads to the vaulted and generously windowed living space at the rear. 

A gas fireplace anchors the great room, on one end of this naturally bright space; the kitchen fills the opposite end. In the center, the dining room’s sliding glass doors open to a partially covered patio. A wide loft upstairs overlooks this large living area.

Up front, the luxurious owners’ suite is to the right of the foyer, while another bedroom is on the left. This room could also serve as a den or home office.

The right wing has a more contemporary exterior. At the ground level, its two-car garage and shop angles off at a diagonal. Upper living spaces include a loft and bedroom, and around the corner is a recreation room, a bathroom and bedroom which could function as an independant living area, if needed.

26th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Kitchen and bathrooms are some of the last places that get a modern update despite how often we use these two rooms in our daily lives. Yet having an updated kitchen and bathroom can vastly improve the functionality of these spaces, increase the home's value if you plan to put the house on the market in the next few years, and create beautiful rooms that match the decor style of the home. So remove the outdated elements of these two rooms and bring them into the current century. It doesn't take much to change the look. Focus on these specific areas in the kitchen and bathroom to make boring rooms look extraordinary.

Modernize Your Kitchen, Brookhill 30-963, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan

Upgrade Cabinets and Handles

Cabinets go through tons of abuse from adults, kids and pets. They can become dinged, scratched or loose on their hinges. Modernize your kitchen and bathroom quickly by changing the look of these cabinets. Repaint or stain the front of cabinets in bright or bold colors. You may also want to replace the door fronts or handles with something more stylish. If you simply don't like the look of the bathroom vanity, you can get a new stock one or get a customized cabinet that will be a better fit to your preferences.

Counters and Floors

Counters and floors are some of the few things that rarely get replaced for long periods of time. So their look can quickly fall out of the current home style trends. Some people like to match the look of the counters with the flooring to give a more uniform appearance. Also, incorporating backsplashes can instantly transform the spaces and give a unique design theme.

Modernize the Kitchen and Bathroom, Barnhart 30-946, Lodge Style House Plan

Replace Old Appliances

When old cabinets in the kitchen isn't the problem, it might be time to modernize the appliances. Having modern appliances not only improves the look of your home, they can also work more efficiently and save you money. Stainless steel appliances are still the current design rage as they add a modern and industrial eye-popping beauty to your kitchen.

Modernize Sinks and Faucets

With the variety of sinks and faucets available, you can find one that fits perfectly in your bathroom and kitchen that can modernize the space. From pedestal sinks to faucets with sensors that automatically turn on the water, the marvels of technology can be placed into your home to make the spaces more comfortable to live in.

Modernizing the Kitchen and Bathroom, Owners Suite, Nottingham 30-965

Bring In the Light

Light instantly brightens the room and highlights the aspects of the space that you want to show off. Consider changing the lighting fixtures or adding additional lighting to these two rooms. With a brightened kitchen and bathroom, you can also use the spaces better as they can become enjoyable places in your home.

23rd Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Country House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Molalla 30-685

The Molalla is as compact and charming, and economical to build, heat and maintain. Its exterior has the look of a country cottage, while the interior feels contemporary.

Entering, you pass through a covered porch accented by tapered columns. Once inside, a coat closet is located behind the door. To the right and you can see most of the main floor. The large living room in the front flows into a dining area rimmed by a raised eating bar that bounds the kitchen.

Light spills into the living room through a wide front window. More flows into the dining area through sliding glass doors on the right that open to a covered patio. The kitchen has long counters on two sides, and the sink is centered creating a u-shape. A desk fits into an alcove across the room, next to the walk-in pantry.

A full-size utility room and small powder room are also located on the ground floor. They flank a short hallway that links the interior to the two-car garage.

The bedrooms, and an unfinished bonus room are upstairs. The owners' suite at the rear has a  walk-in closet and a bathroom with a dual vanity. Up front, both secondary bedrooms have cozy windowed alcoves with views of the street. These could be window seats, used as display areas, or fitted with desks.

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