Reminders of the splendid style and history of the Old World, today’s European house plans blend the original designs of our ancestors with the elegance and style of today. Generally well suited for large pieces of property, they are grand in size and can be one or two levels. European home plans often showcase an exterior featuring two or more materials such as stone, brick, siding or stucco accentuated by ornamental detailing such as wing-tipped shutters, gentle arches and planter boxes. Other noticeable characteristics like copper atop bayed windows, stylish keystones and decorative quoins lend a touch of beauty and splendor. Furthermore, varied rooflines deliver the look and feel of a storybook castle. European house plans are often recognized for their swooping rooflines with flared corners at the eaves and occasional turrets. Additionally, they are known for steeply sloped roofs providing space for a second story “hidden in the roof.” This type of design delivers extra finished living area not easily recognized from the home’s exterior. In some cases, the additional living space can be a full second story, while other times it may be simply a bonus room. The interior and floor plan of a European house is often as grand as the exterior appears revealing rooms of large proportions and volume ceilings in some or most of the gathering areas lending spaciousness. Decorative elements may include stylish columns defining the living spaces, special ceiling treatments and arched openings and doorways. While most European floor plans are generously sized, small home plans can display some of the same noteworthy design elements.
These Old World home designs showcase many European influences and encompass a vast array of architectural elements and details including European sub-styles such as English homes, Tudor style designs, Mediterranean floor plans, Italian house plans, Spanish home designs and French style floor plans. In addition to the varied architectural styles, European house plans range in size from grandiose chateau homes to simple chalets, with most enjoying at least a few common characteristics. Because of their wide variety of styles and sizes, these special homes are found throughout all regions of the United States and Canada. Whether large or small, European house plans deliver a unique blend of comfort and refinement making them popular among all types of home buyers.
For more information about home plan styles, please visit The House Plan Shop.
Country house plans are designed to deliver an informal and relaxed way of life. At first glance, it is easy to see a country home plan and think of a rural lifestyle. And with some country homes, we may be reminded us of days gone past due to their old-fashioned farmhouse styling reminiscent of yesteryear. But, most present day country home designs are far from it! In fact, these designs incorporate many of today’s most up-to-date floor plan features and amenities suiting the needs of modern families.
Country house plans are available in a broad range of shapes and sizes. They can range from a cozy country cottage, offering just the basics, to a sprawling luxury estate filled with state-of-the-art appointments. In addition, they can offer a one-story or two-story floor plan. Some even provide additional living square footage when built on a finished basement.
Country house designs are one of North America’s most popular architectural styles. So what makes them so special? Below is a list of some of the typically, noteworthy characteristics of these highly sought-after homes:
- Work well in a suburban setting or along a quiet county road
- Have a simplistic nature and deliver functionality, practicality and comfort
- Designed to appear much larger than they actually are
- Exterior is warm and inviting
- Recognizable exterior features include a gable roofline running parallel to the road, covered porches, wrap-around porches, shuttered windows and dormers
- Floor plans take advantage of covered porches extending the living areas outdoors
- Have large and spacious gathering areas such as a county kitchen or open floor plan
- Living areas flow together providing flexible space to accommodate a variety of activities
- A fireplace anchors the living areas adding a cozy feel
- Bedrooms are clustered together and separated from the living areas or are positioned on the second floor for privacy
In many instances, country styling is blended with other architectural styles such as European, Southern and Craftsman. And let’s not forget the country house plan’s more elegant cousin, the Victorian design which features many country characteristics and is complemented with ornate details and trim. So if you’re looking for relaxed living in a pure country design or a blended style such as Country French, you’re sure to find the right home plan in The House Plan Shop’s extensive county house plan collection that will deliver the comfortable and practical family living you are looking for.
For those who don’t require a lot of living space, cottage house plans are a good choice. Though they don’t offer everything you might find in a family-sized home, and they will never compare to a mansion, cottage floor plans are designed to be comfortable and accommodating. Small in nature, cottage home plans are well suited as a primary residence for a single person or a couple and provide all the comforts of home without all the fussy extras. Furthermore, they make great vacation homes and are even a nice selection for a mother-in-law suite or guest house on a large estate. Cottage house plans are sometimes referred to as English cottages. They are quaint, but deliver plenty of outward charm. Though the floor plan is usually simple in design, cottages usually enjoy decorative exterior details and trim such as a railed porch, window shutters and flower boxes. Their interiors are neatly decorated as well. These small houses typically provide basic accommodations including one or two bedrooms and baths, an open floor plan with combined living and dining areas, a modest kitchen and occasionally, a space for a stacked washer and dryer unit. Cottage designs blend nicely in a variety of settings from the side of a peaceful country road to a cozy and peaceful neighborhood. The House Plan Shop’s cottage collection features floor plans that offer no more than 1200 square feet of living space and do not include a garage. Because of their small nature, cottage home plans are closely related to cabin floor plans. Known for their charming designs and cozy accommodations, cottage house plans deliver comfortable and relaxed living year-round or just on long weekends.
With the first homes being built in the New England area, specifically Cape Cod, MA, by English settlers in the 1700s, Cape Cod house plans are deeply rooted in American history. They were basic structures that contained only a single room or a couple of rooms. The chimney was placed at the center of the floor plan so the entire home could be warmed throughout the harsh New England winters. Original Cape Cod homes did not contain bathrooms and most did not provide a kitchen either. Typically, the exteriors of these houses offered very little exterior ornamentation reflecting the Puritan values and sentiment of the early East Coast settlers. The homes were usually symmetrical with clean and simple lines and an exterior covering of shingles or clapboard siding. Steeply angled roofs helped protect against the stormy weather characteristic of the Cape Cod area.
In the 1930s Cape Cod houses became popular again. These simple and easy-to-build structures appealed to Depression Era builders and thus were mass produced due to their small and economical size and efficient features. Furthermore, they were quite affordable to build and became popular with home buyers as a result of their very affordable prices. Their practical floor plans were an added bonus. After World War II, Cape Cod style houses began popping up all over the United States in an array of variations from their original design.
Today’s Cape Cod house plans maintain their simple and symmetrical nature showcasing an exterior with clean, straight lines and little exterior detail and trim. Windows and the main entrance are neatly arranged across the front of the home. Designs can be one or two stories. Like their ancestors, they feature a steeply sloped roof with little overhang. Today’s Cape Cod designs often offer a loft or full second floor with a couple of bedrooms tucked inside the roof. Often, protruding dormers increase headspace and usable area on the upper level. Present day Cape Cod home plans continue to offer a functional floor plan and practical features. They incorporate many of today’s most requested design elements into their historically popular floor plans such as a kitchen island, walk-in closets, deluxe baths and specially appointed rooms like an office or study. Furthermore, their simply design makes them highly expandable with some popular versions offering an attached garage or basement foundation. The practical floor plans, functional features and budget friendly price of these New England style homes make them especially appealing to young families with one or two children.
From the past to the present, with promise for the future, Cape Cod house plans are a timeless American classic.
Log cabin house plans are rooted in America’s history being built first by settlers and pioneers along the American frontier during Westward Expansion. At that time, they served as a simple source of shelter and were constructed with logs from trees native to the area. Log cabin home plans became popular again near the end of the 20th century offering a rustic alternative to modern living. Many of today’s homeowners build log cabins as a secondary residence, such as a hunting or fishing retreat or a vacation getaway. Like the log cabins of old, today’s designs are primarily built with white pine longs or logs native to the region. They showcase a rustic exterior blending well with their natural surroundings, and some may include the use of other natural materials such as stone. Cabin designs like those offered at The House Plan Shop generally offer less than 1200 square feet of living space. Due to their small size and their ability to fit into the surroundings almost anywhere, log cabin house plans are closely related to vacation homes, mountain house plans, log homes and other cabins and cottages.
Most log cabin floor plans are fairly simple featuring one or two bedrooms or a bedroom and a sleeping loft along with one or two baths. Typically, the kitchen is a compact design providing just the basics and the living and dining areas are combined. Occasionally log cabin house plans include a few thoughtful extras like a stackable washer and dryer unit, a fireplace and a covered porch or deck.
Whether you are looking for a hunting cabin for you and your buddies, a peaceful fishing retreat near your favorite lake a vacation cabin for outdoor and adventure sporting trips, log cabins are practical, cozy and comfortable accommodating your needs no matter what they might be.