Your home may have been built using a floor plan that’s common in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean it can’t stand out from the rest of the houses in your area. By learning more about architectural styles and adding complementary design elements, you can infuse character and beauty into your home to set it apart.
- Be mindful of proportions. For example, the width of the shutters used in pairs on a window should be half that of the window, and must have the same height as the window.
- Baseboard should be as high as the ceiling. Aside from that, the baseboard molding must always be larger than the frame built around a window or door.
- Install chair rails to make any room look taller. Chair rails are moldings that prevent the backs of chairs from rubbing against the wall. From the floor these should be a third of the way up the wall and should be a half to one inch more narrow than the casings.
- Hanging curtains higher than the windows can make a room appear taller. Use colorful draperies to add more character.
- Add storage units wherever you can, but do it with class. Add purpose to an empty area near a bay window by transforming it into a reading nook. Install seating that doubles as storage for old magazines, toys, etc.Take advantage of open shelves to store and at the same time, display favorite collectibles. Airy shelves don’t just keep your space clutter-free, but also add charm to your home.
- Accentuate a basic kitchen with architectural details. If your cooking area lacks flair, frame its windows with wide moldings and spice up your cabinets with carved legs and cornices.
- Use natural wood or bamboo flooring. Not only do these last longer than synthetic materials, but they also add personality to your interior. For heavy traffic area use machine-washable rugs to keep the space warm and inviting.
- Classic Georgian style front doors can be enhanced by capping its panel with an intricate crown supported by decorative pillars. You’ll find thousands of excellent quality millwork elements at Fypon®.
- For a Victorian style home, add appeal to it by using ornamental spindlework on the porches and patterned shingles on the roof.
- Highlight the unique style of country cottages with clapboard shingles for siding, or wood shakes for siding and roofing. Also, add wide white trim for window shutters.
- Go for the finished look and feel of a Mediterranean-style home with decorative accents, like round columns, tiles and stones. Also, consider planting lush gardens and installing a stunning fountain outside your house.
- Keep your home’s traditional look with updated building materials that last longer and require as little upkeep as possible. Polyurethane, for example, is a lightweight and, not to mention, cheaper alternative to wood. Aside from that, such materials are easy to install and can be resistant to insect infestation, moisture and weather conditions.
With a bit of trim here and there, your home could have the appeal and character it truly deserves.
To get the best value for your money on window and door trim, as well as other millwork, check out what Fypon® has to offer.
Finally, you’ll be able to toss your thick jackets and bulky boots into your closet. After a long winter that brought snow as high as your car, spring is definitely a welcome change.
Aside from a chance to enjoy the outdoors, spring is also the perfect time to prepare your abode for summertime. Use these helpful tips in spring cleaning, decorating and organizing to ensure a comfortable home through the season’s rising temperatures.
#1 – Double-check window and door insulation
Although spring weather usually doesn’t require heating or cooling, there may be days when it feels warmer. Plus, you’ll most likely be using your air-conditioning system in the months ahead, so it’s only right that you make sure you don’t waste money or energy because of drafts. The best thing to do is to double-check the condition of your insulation system. Make sure weather strips are still usable, that there are no cracks on glass windows and all doors and windows are fully sealed.
#2 – Use your air-conditioning sparingly
Days will be hotter as we approach summer, which means that you’ll be using your AC more. This can increase your energy use, which could translate to high electricity charges. To minimize energy use, invest in a good thermostat to help you adjust the temperature according to a pre-set schedule. Additionally, you can install ceiling fans that run in a counterclockwise direction as this blows air downwards, helping you minimize the use of your cooling system.
#3 – Take advantage of air outside
If you have large windows, you can open these to let more natural light in and make the most of the cool air outside. This also allows hot air out, making your space feel much more comfortable without relying too much on your AC system or electric lighting. To prevent direct sunlight from overheating your interiors though, install blinds, shutters or curtains to block some of it.
#4 – Take a look into your attic
Sometimes warm or cold air can be circulating up in the attic, which can considerably affect the temperature of the rest of the house. So invest in proper ventilation to insulate your home.
#5 – Replace your HVAC’s old filter
Replacing your HVAC’s filter regularly is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to make your home as energy efficient as possible. This removes clogged dirt in your air-conditioning unit and allows the equipment to run much more efficiently. You can buy reusable HVAC filters, which you need to rinse regularly. This is can be more expensive up front, but is more practical since you don’t need to throw it out once it becomes riddled with dust.
#6 – De-clutter
Clutter is one of the major things that can make a house look and feel hot and uncomfortable. To allow air to circulate properly in your house, make sure to get rid of clutter in every room. Get rid of the things you’ve hoarded and kept, but aren’t using since you got them. Not only will this let air flow freely inside your home, but it will also leave you more space for a much needed makeover. That way, you’ll be able to decorate your home with a spring/summer feel.
Important spring preparations to keep in mind:
- Dust ceiling fans, corners and even moldings.
- Wipe light features with a damp cloth to get rid of dust.
- Clean windows and tops of doors to ensure they’re spotless.
- Clean tables, countertops, bookshelves and wall décor.
- Clean blinds and furniture pieces.
- Vacuum baseboards, rugs and carpets.
- Use a gentle cleaner to clean hardwood, tiles and linoleum.
- Vacuum air-conditioning vents to remove allergens.
- Remove cobwebs from every corner of the house.
- Wash light shades with mild soap and water.
- Replace light bulbs, if needed.
- Trim bushes and trees outside your house.
- Install outdoor lighting
- Pressure wash windows, siding and garage door.
- Clear patio, porch and deck.
Building a house requires you to invest a considerable amount of money. This is why it’s important that you take the time to consider the design as well as the features you want to have in your own house.
This stunning one-story House Plan 5086 is compact yet functional, with an attached garage and 1,528 square feet of living space.
One of the considerations you need to make when it comes to choosing a design is whether to build a single-story or two-story house. Which one will suit your needs best? This is the most crucial question you need to ask yourself to determine which option to choose. However, the answer will depend on a large number of factors.
This gorgeous two-level House Plan 2325 allows you to make use of the garden area for outdoor living.
Things to consider
Many people might immediately think that building a two-story house would be more expensive than a single-story. This may not always be the case. Deciding on building a two-level home allows you to build your dream home on a smaller lot, which can be more affordable. A two-story design allows you to add considerable square footage to your home without the additional costs of roofing and foundation. Choosing to go with a single-story home can mean that you’ll need a considerably sized lot if you are planning to build a large home. Consider how much money you have in the bank and how much you are willing to borrow when deciding which floor plan to go for.
This small affordable ranch house plan offers an open floor plan and functional kitchen with access to the covered patio.
When deciding on the design of your future home, you’ll need to take note of the rooms and features you want included. If you were anticipating living with your elderly parents or in-laws, a single-level home without stairs would be more functional for the whole family. Having all rooms on the same floor also means gives everyone easy access to everything. If you want more flexibility, a two-level home would be perfect. Consider having the master bedroom on the first floor planning on spending your golden years in the same house. Extra bedrooms and flexible space on the second floor will give everyone some privacy.
Accessing Your Family’s Needs
Your lifestyle should be one of the considerations you need to make when choosing between a single-story or two-story house plan. This also includes the size of your family as well as your children’s ages. For example, families with small kids usually want to have their bedrooms and bathrooms in one area of the house, while those with teenagers want to have separate rooms.
If your family likes to entertain, a single level home with a wide foyer leading to open living space would be perfect.
To recap, here are the advantages and disadvantages of two-story and single-story homes:
- Great for people with small children.
- Perfect for aging couples or families living with older in-laws where stairs can be challenging.
- An open floor plan provides easy access to all rooms.
- A one-story home has high resale value.
- You can easily double or triple your square footage with a second level and basement floor plan.
- Allows you to separate living and sleeping areas.
- Is great for building in urban areas or waterfront areas where narrow lots are plentiful.
We just returned from the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas and we saw a lot of new and innovative products that we could not wait to share with you. Here are seven of our favorite new products from IBS this year.
1. Lumber Liquidators® Bellawood Hardwood Flooring Collection
2. SnapPower Guidelights
We love the new SnapPower Guidelights! They took Best in Show and Best of Indoor Living Product this year at IBS and rightfully so. They aren’t just beautiful but they also they also provide great accent and safety lighting. This year they also introduced the SnapPower Charger which will be available on the market in March 2015.
3. Schlage® Sense™ Automatic Door Lock
We love Schlage’s® smart door locks! This year they introduced Schalge Sense™, their first Bluetooth-enabled lock that is easy to use and install with no-monthly fees. Just like their other smart locks, this lock is also able to store up to 30 unique codes but has the added benefit of being compatible with your favorite Apple® device.
4. GAF® Roofing Sienna® Lifetime Designer Shingles
GAF® Roofing brought their Sienna® Lifetime Designer Shingles to the show this year. These shingles feature affordable luxury and sophisticated design. A unique, specially designed color palette accentuates the shingle’s natural appeal and Diamond Cut™ granules add dimension and depth.
5. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet™ Outdoor Dishwasher
Love to barbecue? Does your dream home feature an outdoor kitchen? You can now cut ties with your indoor kitchen with the help of the industry’s first Outdoor Dishwasher from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet™. With an extra-large capacity and a system designed specifically for cleaning outdoor dishes this will be a welcome addition to any outdoor kitchen.
6. LAMPS PLUS® Possini Euro Strada Red Art Glass LED Mini Pendant Light
We love the Possini Euro Strada Red Art Glass LED Mini Pendant Light from LAMPS PLUS®. The red art glass combined with a beautiful chrome hardware are perfect for adding a dash of color and a contemporary statement to your kitchen design.
7. Wellborn® ColorInspire Cabinets
Want to inject a little bit of color into your kitchen, bathroom, or built-in cabinetry? Then take a look at Wellborn’s® ColorInspire program! Choose your favorite color from a collection of Benjamin Moore®, Sherwin-Williams®, and Valspar® paint chips to get cabinetry that expresses your own unique style.
This is just a sampling of our favorite products from this year’s show. Sign up for our Home Ideas newsletter to see more of our favorite products.
Do your plans for 2015 involve building a new home? Do you want to find the perfect small house design for your dream home? We have five of our best-selling small house plans that clock in at under 2,000 square feet. Take a look and see if your dream home is among them.
The Vita Encantata house plan is a scaled down version of our L’attesa di Vita house plan. Instead of media room and study option, the Vita Encantata house plan features a workshop space and the same great entertaining space inside or outside. Add three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,848 square feet of living space and you should have plenty of space for entertaining.
The Sutherlin Small House Plan
The Sutherlin Small House Plan is a beautiful country style home with front and back porches for relaxing on warm summer nights. With 1,492 square feet, this is one of the best-selling house plans. Insider there is a versatile Great Room where you can host your family and friends in comfort. The master suite has a deluxe private bath with dual vanities and a garden bathtub.
Merveille Vivante Small House Plan
Love the look of a storybook cottage? Then consider giving the Mervielle Vivante Small house plan a shot. With 1,412 square feet of living space, this house plan uses its floor plan efficiently with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. With an open space that encompasses a dining room, living area, and an island kitchen this living room feels spacious. Plus, split bedrooms give the homeowners plenty of privacy.
Espresso House Plan
The Espresso house plan gives you the best of both worlds. The well-detailed exterior gives you the charm of a mountain lodge but a floor plan for an urban setting. A foyer leads to a generous great room with a raised ceiling. A large window means that this house plan is great for picturesque views. The kitchen has a large island and a walk-in pantry. The master suite is steeped in luxury itself with a large walk-in closet and double vanities. Two additional bedrooms round out this 1, 529 square foot house plan.
Vida de la Confianza
This popular design has plenty of charm. The Vida de la Confianza house plan features dormers, shutters, and Craftsman details to give it plenty of curb appeal. Inside you will find lots of features in this home’s 1,698 square feet floor plan. This plan is designed to entertain guests both indoors and outdoors and a private master suite is the perfect retreat at the end of a long day. If your family is still growing then you can rest easy knowing that upstairs provides plenty of space for future expansion.
Which of our best-selling small house plans is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and take a look at our collection of small house plans and see if you can find your dream house plan.
As the economy continues to move in the right direction, more and more people are expected to fulfill their dream of building their own home in 2015. The House Designers remains committed to helping consumers and builders find the perfect house plan at an affordable price.
Our architects and designers have been very busy creating new, innovative and energy efficient house plans for the New Year. Many of these new house plans were originally custom designs, allowing us to share beautiful photography to help you visualize each home.
This Luxury European Cottage home combines stucco and stone with rich earth tones for the shutters, roof and doors to create a breathtaking exterior. The floor plans and additional photographs to build this home are available by clicking here.
Charming 3-bedroom cottage house plan features a wraparound porch and the master suite on the first floor. View all the details of House Plan 8529.
The House Designers’ is also pleased to present the work of several new architects and designers, who recently partnered with America’s leading house plan provider to share and showcase their best-selling house plans.
This luxury contemporary house plan features 3,217 square feet of living space including a second story with two flexible spaces. Browse additional photographs and floor plans of House Plan 9044.
Brand new luxury mountain house plan features 3,738 square feet in an open two-story design with an added bonus space of 200 square feet. If you have a beautiful view, you’ll want to check out House Plan 9046.
You’ll find plenty of ranch house plans from this designer, many with finished basements. View additional photographs and the floor plans of House Plan 9075.
Look for a big increase in multifamily homes, primarily townhouses and apartments. Our new collection of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-plexes is in response to a growing need from our builders to provide developments and growing neighborhoods with affordable, housing.
A new collection of 4-plexes have been added to The House Designers’ multifamily house plans, including this Traditional 4-Unit Townhouse 9029.
If you’re looking to start out with a small house plan, but want to have a design that has lots of room to grow then you’ll want to check out House Plan 2259 from The House Designers. This versatile home is one of our best-sellers and with great reason – it offers beautiful curb appeal and plenty of possibilities.
The main floor offers 1,421 square feet of living space including 3 bedrooms, an open kitchen/living space and beautiful covered lanai. There’s 504 square feet of bonus space on the second floor that you can enjoy now or at a later date. A finished basement floor plan featuring 988 square feet is also available so that you can enjoy additional living space. For a small footprint, which makes it affordable to build you can have a maximum size home of 2,480 square feet. A large covered lanai with fireplace is accessed through the family room and kitchen making outdoor entertaining easy.
Do you think that building a house plan at 2,500 square feet means that you have to sacrifice style? Think again. Here are several small house plans that pack lots of style into a small footprint. These house plans include numerous bedrooms, ideal for a small family, functional layouts, and exquisite styling and curb appeal. Take a look at these small house plans and see if you can find one that captures your heart.
1. The Inverness House Plan
The Inverness house plan is a delightful two story house plan that comes in at 2,562 square feet. Inside this beautiful traditional home is a large floor plan with a beautiful island kitchen, dining room, and breakfast nook. The master suite features a large dressing area and a master bath with a double vanity sink and a separate tub and shower. The basement floor plan features three more bedrooms, an exercise room, and a rec room.
2. The Lexington Avenue House Plan
The Lexington Avenue house plan features Craftsman style with lots of upscale features. Front and rear covered porches make for usable outdoor living space and the large kitchen features a spacious island with an eating bar. The master bedroom is equipped with dual lavatories, a corner tub, and a walk-in closet. This small house plan also features a shop area off the garage for projects and storage, and a future space upstairs that could be a playroom, extra bedroom, or storage space. The basement could also be used as flex space.
3. 1st Place 2012 ENERGY STAR® House Plan
This beautiful small house plan is designed for use in a narrow lot. The 1st Place 2012 ENERGY STAR® house plan is a beautiful plan that comes in at 1,768 square feet. Entryways to this home are located at an angle and give off a feeling of spaciousness. This home uses Therma-Tru® doors to make sure the entryway is energy efficient. The interior of this small house plan has plenty of amenities as well including a dining room and fireplace. The master bathroom also features a corner soaking tub, large shower, and a separate toilet chamber. The master suite and a larger secondary bedroom share the covered patio.
4. The Brumley House Plan
The Brumley house plan has all the charm of an English cottage. At 1,988 square feet it is ideal for a young family. This small house plan features three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms but it also strikes a cord with professionals who work from home because it also features an office with double doors and a built-in desk just off the entry. The master suite features transom walls that flood the bedroom with plenty of daylight. The master bathroom features compartments at each end for a toilet and shower.
5. The San Saba House Plan
This San Saba house plan is a three bedroom house plan with intricate details that give this home lots of style. San Saba features plenty of space for indoor and outdoor entertaining. Covered front and rear porches add to outdoor entertainment space. Inside you will find open living spaces so that guests can move about freely. This small house plan also features a see-thru fireplace shared by the Great Room and dining area.
Which of these five house plans is your favorite? Tell us which one you would build in the comments below.
Small house plans are on the rise and they are here to stay. But small homes don’t all have to look alike. Here are a few of our favorite small house plans, all under 2,000 square feet and loaded with features. Here are five of our best-selling small house plans.
1. The Merveille Vivante House Plan
The Merveille Vivante Small House Plan is a 1,421 square foot home that showcases many features. This small house plan has plenty of curb appeal with its welcoming fairytale front porch which makes visitors feel welcome immediately. Inside is an island kitchen that introduces a spacious family room and a fireplace that demands attention.
2. The Vida de la Confianza
The Vida de la Confianza is another plan with stunning exterior details. At 1,698 square feet it home with a modest footprint that includes lots of features. With substantial indoor and outdoor space for entertaining, a private master suite to relax in, and future expansion space that can become anything you wish, the Vida de la Confianza is a small house plan that you will love for years to come.
A scaled down version of our L’Atessa di Vita house plan, the Vita Encantata is a small cottage house plan that gives you a workshop space and the same great space for entertaining inside and out all in 1,848 square feet.
4. The Sutherlin Small Ranch House Plan
The Sutherlin Small Ranch house plan features front and back porches that are ideal for relaxing afternoons with a cold beverage. At 1,492 square feet, this is one of our best-selling house plans. Inside, a large Great Room is the perfect spot to host friend and family and a master suite features a deluxe private bath with dual vanities and a refreshing garden tub.
The Espresso house plan gives you the charm of a mountain lodge in 1,529 square feet. This best-selling house plan has amazing curb appeal, achieved by a well-detailed exterior. This small house plan is also affordable and energy efficient. The inside features amenities such as a large island kitchen, walk-in pantry, and an outdoor living room. The master suite is also loaded with features including a double vanity and walk-in closet, attributes not normally seen in a house of this size.
These house plans are just some of the small house plans that have taken America by storm. Comment below and tell us which of these small house plans is your favorite!
If you’ve ever dreamed of building a home, I’m sure a key ingredient to selecting your floor plan is the layout and amenities featured in the kitchen. We’ve selected some of our favorite kitchens based on use of space, functionality and appeal. The kitchens we’ve chosen have it all – a bounty of cabinets and countertops, high-end appliances and the latest in fancy faucet and sink fixtures. You don’t need a large home to have a luxurious, restaurant-style kitchen.