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Homes Designed With Women In Mind

Open Kitchen From the cozy living room filled with pictures and keepsakes to the sweet smells of a home cooked dinner in a well-designed kitchen to the worn rocking chair in the corner of a master suite overlooking the backyard - these are just a few of the special ways moms turn houses into homes.

It is no surprise that when it comes to building a home and selecting a house plan that over 60% of house plans are bought by women. They know how much space they need in their new home to make it functional, yet appeal to their tastes. They know exactly what they need - a large kitchen with cooking area and breakfast counter, lots of storage space, a large dining room for special occasions, an open floor plan with lots of room to makes changes down the road and an outdoor living space to host birthday parties.

Our female designers have put together a list of "must have" features a house plan needs in order to accommodate the many needs and sensibilities women have through all stages in their home life - wife, mother and grandmother. All of their homes have been designed to reduce stress, facilitate entertaining and promote family time.

Gone are the days of Ozzie and Harriet and the Cleaver's, where the wife/mother was tucked away in a tiny kitchen preparing the meals while the family sat in the living room watching TV until they were called to the dining room, where the table was perfectly set. Today's home is all about creating a more casual and social atmosphere by having an open floor plan from the kitchen area to the living area. This allows the cook to talk with guests or family members rather than being secluded. Since most people gravitate to the kitchen it makes sense to keep the area open. Who knows, your guests might even be inspired to lend a helping hand.

When it comes to the design of the kitchen, women want lots of storage space, which is why you'll typically find cabinets with lots of built-ins, like pull-out shelves, revolving shelves and drawer organizers. Our designers recommend you use your old kitchen as a starting point to ensure proper kitchen design, by writing a list of your likes and dislikes. For example: Do you like where your ovens are located? Is the refrigerator in a user-friendly location that doesn't cause traffic while you are trying to cook? Would another sink or oven be helpful with food preparation? Is there ample space near a pantry to set down groceries? Where do you plan to prepare vegetables and meats? Is the dishwasher placed for efficient loading and unloading? Does your countertop space adequately allow for appliances, food preparation and cooking utensils?

When it comes to the master bath, it's all about pampering, which is why woman require large bathrooms with a separate bath and shower area to make room for bathroom furniture like chaise lounges. In many master bathrooms you'll find a sitting area with television, sound system and even a wet bar, so you can relax after taking a long bath. Large windows are essential in creating a natural bathroom setting.

Since most women spend way more time than they want to in the laundry room, it's no surprise why women would crave a more organized and attractive laundry space. You'll find that the laundry room has steadily been coming out of hiding in basements and closets (very inconvenient places for women who need to multi-task) and moving into more convenient areas of the home, such as the master suite, mudroom and off the kitchen and garage. In fact, most architects and designers are incorporating more detailed laundry rooms in their house plans so homeowners can create a comfortable and functional space for the whole family to enjoy.

Being green is certainly a key consideration from most homeowners, particularly women who are looking for eco-friendly products to use in all aspects of their daily routine, from cleaning supplies to organic food to interior design. One room that women have been adding to their green wish list is the master suite, because it is important to create a healthy environment while you are sleeping and nourishing your body. There are so many great and simple ways to make your bedroom eco-friendly and healthy like using organic bedding, natural (think candles and sunlight) or energy-efficient lighting, ceiling fans and ENERGY STAR� approved windows to provide you with a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Most architects, designers and builders realize that women have some unique requirements and preferences for their home. But fortunately, many of these female touches add ambiance, user convenience and flexibility and even add to the resale value of the home.