The House Plan Shop Blog

May 28 2019

Craftsman Home Interior Design Ideas

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Craftsman-style homes are all about quality, hand-crafted construction and architectural design elements on both the exterior (extended, unenclosed eaves; tapered porch columns; low-pitched gable roofs)  and interior (exposed beams; built-in cabinets; staircases) of the house. Craftsman homes exude a sense of warmth and attention to detail. Craftsman homes, first introduced in America more than 100 years ago, continue to be one of the most popular home styles. With their classic lines and harmonious proportions, craftsman homes are a great choice for both urban and suburban neighborhoods, and appeal to the full spectrum of homeowners, from first-time buyers to families with young children to empty-nesters. There is a wide array of craftsman house plans available to fit any homebuyer’s needs.

Because of their quality craftsmanship and unique detailing, many homeowners find themselves searching for craftsman home interior design ideas to complement the aesthetic of the home itself –fragrance home? see them here. The good news is that craftsman homes nicely accommodate a variety of interior design motifs, so whether your style leans toward the traditional and historical, or toward a more updated, contemporary approach, your craftsman house will feel like home. There are, however, some general design principles that we recommend keeping in mind as you choose your furnishings and decor.

The first important consideration is that craftsman-style homes generally have open, flowing floor plans with large doorways and openings between rooms. Take advantage of this by keeping at least some furniture away from walls so as not to interrupt the natural flow of the home. You might also include some furnishings that help connect rooms, such as a large ottoman or lounge chair that provides seating while also encouraging conversation among people in different rooms. Of course, everyone needs some quieter moments and craftsman homes often come with unique nooks and other more private spaces, which make great spots to place a desk or comfortable reading chair and lamp. 

Most craftsman homes also have large windows on all sides of the house, providing lots of wonderful natural light. These large windows are perfect for hanging window treatments that add color and texture to a room, while also allowing you to control the amount of direct light that the room receives. Alternatively, because these windows often have beautiful, detailed mouldings, you might decide to forego any window treatments and instead allow the millwork’s natural beauty to shine through. Another common feature in craftsman homes is the inclusion of one or more stained-glass windows. These windows add personality and character to any home, and they provide wonderful bursts of color.

 As mentioned above, craftsman-style homes include lots of expertly crafted and designed woodwork, including exposed ceiling beams, pillars and posts, natural hardwood flooring, intricate staircase balusters, and built-in cabinets and bookcases. Choose furniture and decor that accentuates this craftsmanship. A great way to do so is to utilize a somewhat muted color scheme. Warm earth tones such as grays and taupes are certainly good choices, but don’t be afraid to also add greens, blues, and yellows. Just be sure they are subdued hues that do not distract from the woodwork you are wanting to highlight. Incorporating natural materials is another way to emphasize your home’s inherent qualities.

Speaking of color, while we recommend an overall color palette that won’t overwhelm the home’s architecture, strategically placed small pops of color can have a dramatic overall effect. Consider adding a brightly-colored throw pillow, piece of art, or even an area rug to a room to liven things up. This can be an especially compelling design choice for the most commonly shared spaces in your home, such as the living room or kitchen. Well-placed pieces of colorful decor add vibrancy to the room.

Craftsman-style homes offer the best of both worlds when it comes to making your interior design choices. On the one hand, their classic proportions and flowing floor plans allow for a wide variety of design choices. On the other hand, the fine details of the home themselves provide a degree of interior design. We recommend, no matter which type of design aesthetic you decide to incorporate into your home, that it accentuates rather than deters from these details. Choose furniture, decor, window treatments and paint & wall coverings that complement the home’s inherent beauty. Muted colors, natural materials, and uncluttered furnishings are all great options to highlight the home’s architectural elements and to ensure that your home is the envy of the neighborhood.

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May 28 2019

Adding a Porch to a Ranch Style House

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Ranch-style houses are one of the most iconic home styles in America. With the entire living space on one level, ranch homes are popular with many types of homeowners who appreciate not only the lack of stairs, but also the many common interior architectural elements of ranch house plans such as large picture windows, vaulted ceilings, and open floor plans. The exteriors of ranch homes can differ widely, from small cottages to expansive luxury homes. And since ranch houses are just one story tall, they are often built on large lots with ample yard space and wonderful views. One way to take advantage of this space is by building a porch.

The first step in choosing to add a porch is to determine which type of porch best suits your needs. You may decide to add a front porch that faces out to the street and neighborhood. Or you may prefer the privacy provided by a back porch. Another option is a wrap-around porch that offers outdoor space on multiple sides of your ranch house. Before deciding to add a porch to your ranch-style home, spend some time thinking about how you and your family will utilize it. You might even spend some time outdoors, at various times of day, to ‘scout’ which type of porch will work best.

One benefit of adding a porch to your ranch house is that it adds curb appeal to your home. This is particularly true when adding a highly visible front porch. A well-designed porch helps to create a welcoming entryway to your home. This inviting addition can add not only visual appeal, but also financial value, to your home. Wraparound and back porches also help to increase the visual and financial standing of your home, even if they don’t provide the literal ‘curb appeal’ that front porches do.

Another important and practical reason to add a porch to your ranch house is that it expands your useable living space. Depending on their size and location, porches offer opportunities for outdoor dining, comfortable outdoor living rooms, or simply adding a relaxing bench or swing. You might also consider running electric to your porch so that you can add lighting, a ceiling fan and an outdoor POE switch for your security CCTV system to take even further advantage of this outdoor space. Porches also present an opportunity for the kids to play outside while remaining close by.

Porches can serve as a transitional space when entering or leaving the home. They provide an ideal location for removing wet raincoats and muddy boots on rainy days so you can keep your home’s interior clean. Additionally, porches are great for providing privacy and security for any packages that are delivered when no one is home to receive them.

Adding a porch to your ranch house can also increase the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the amount of direct sunlight entering your house on hot summer days, helping to keep your utility bills lower. Porches also help reduce maintenance and upkeep costs on your home’s exterior, reducing damage from sun, rain, snow and wind.

A less tangible but equally valuable benefit of adding a porch to your home, particularly a front porch, is the improved sense of community that it engenders. There’s something about sitting on the front porch that helps break down barriers and encourages neighbors to stop by and say hello. The friendly, spontaneous conversations that take place here help build a true sense of community in your neighborhood.

Porches, especially back porches, can provide opportunities for quiet contemplation. Depending on how your ranch home is sited, consider building a back porch or wraparound porch that faces west so you can sit and watch the sun set. Sitting in a comfortable chair or bench while the sun drops below the horizon is a great way to end the day.

As you begin planning for your new porch, there are a few practical matters to consider. First, make sure that you acquire any required building permits and paperwork. Check with your local building department to ensure you are in compliance. You’ll also need to determine whether to hire a contractor, or to complete the work yourself. Finally, if you belong to any type of neighborhood or homeowners association, you’ll need to check with the board to be certain that your planned porch addition meets all community standards. Even if you don’t have a neighborhood association, it’s still a good idea to consider not only your own home’s architecture but that of the other homes on your street. You’ll want to select a porch design that fits both your home and the neighborhood. Adding a porch to your ranch home makes a lot of sense aesthetically, functionally, and financially. Take the time to really think about how you plan to utilize your new porch, then find a plan that meets your needs. Good luck, and enjoy your new outdoor living space!

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Apr 12 2019

Craftsman House Plans for Narrow Lots

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Craftsman-style homes continue to be among the most popular home styles in America, and the market for craftsman house plans to accommodate the demand is robust. Craftsman houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from modest bungalows to ‘American foursquares,’ each with its own unique architectural and design elements. Due to ever-increasing construction and utilities costs, coupled with increased consideration of environmental impact, many homeowners are particularly interested in craftsman house plans for narrow building lots.

The craftsman house plan is rooted in the 19th century arts & crafts movement, which initiated in Great Britain before taking hold in the United States. The arts & crafts movement was largely a rejection of the mass-production ethos born from the Industrial Revolution and was an attempt to return to artisanal, hand-crafted goods–including homes.

With their low-pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, large front porches with tapered pillars and extensive use of natural materials both inside and out, craftsman homes represented a break with the monolithic construction practices of the mid to late 19th century. This similar desire among homeowners in current times to own a home that isn’t a cookie-cutter version of every other home in the neighborhood has led to a renewed clamoring for craftsman house plans.

As mentioned above, there is an especially strong demand these days for craftsman house plans for narrow lots. One reason is economic: It is typically cheaper to purchase a smaller, narrow lot than a larger piece of property. Also, homes built on narrow lots are usually smaller in total square footage, reducing the cost of building materials and future maintenance. Smaller homes also typically incur lower utility bills.

Another financial benefit to craftsman homes is their high-quality construction, charming appearance and straightforward design means they generally hold their resale value when the time comes to sell. Some reasons for this are that craftsman house plans make good use of natural light, they have open floor plans that feel larger than they actually are and often have high ceilings, which furthers the feeling that the home is bigger than it is.

Beyond the financial reasons to build a craftsman home, environmental reasons also loom large. Many people, especially millennial first-time homeowners, are attracted to city life and want to take advantage of urban infill building opportunities rather than moving to the suburbs. This helps reduce sprawl and also helps stabilize urban neighborhoods. Narrow-lot homes also typically suffer less heat loss, offering greater energy efficiency, and because the lots are smaller, less lawn maintenance needed. Because these style homes have been popular for decades, a craftsman house plan used to build a brand new home will look and feel right at home next to houses built generations ago. Craftsman-style homes have endured through multiple housing trends through the years because of their high quality, easy liveability, and timeless architectural style. As more Americans look to build new homes in urban areas, keeping both economic and environmental factors top of mind, there are numerous craftsman house plans designed for narrow lots available to choose from. With so many options to choose from and unique design elements to consider, there is sure to be an option that meets your family’s needs.

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Apr 12 2019

Ranch House Plans with Walkout Basement

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Ranch house plans are consistently the most desired home type among American homeowners. After all, the ranch style home was invented in the United States, and with their low-pitch roof lines and attached garages, they have become a singularly identifiable part of the American landscape.

Ranch house plans with walkout basements are especially popular, as they provide many features and benefits typically associated with multi-story homes while still containing the main living space to one floor.

Many people desire to own a home that is stylish, easy to maintain, unobtrusive and affordable. Ranch house plans check all these boxes and then some. Ranch homes come in an almost endless variety of layouts, so there is sure to be a plan to suit every homeowner. Ranch homes can be built using many types of materials, suitable to the homeowner’s preferred aesthetic. Some exterior materials, such as vinyl siding, also reduce the amount of time and money needed for ongoing maintenance.

One advantage that multi-story houses have over ranches is that they often provide more living space than ranches. However, ranch house plans that incorporate walkout basements can reduce or even eliminate this disparity. A walkout basement provides additional, functional living space by providing an additional entrance, generally on the back side of the home. There are several reasons to consider a walkout basement option with your ranch house plan. A walkout basement provides easier access to the backyard and opens up opportunities for outdoor living and entertaining space such as a patio, outdoor dining area, or a swimming pool.

A ranch house plan with walkout basement naturally lends itself to adding a deck to the main living space, particularly when building on sloped lots, extending the outdoor usability of the home and often providing for spectacular views. A main-level deck also provides additional shade and shelter to the backyard area.

A walkout basement provides additional living space, which can be used for adult children or an aging parent living in the home, giving them a separate entrance and a degree of added privacy. This space can also be used for a children’s play area, a recreation area or ‘man cave,’ a home theater–the options are endless.

Ranch house plans with walkout basements make practical sense because they usually improve resale value of the home by providing more living space. With the foundation walls exposed on one or more sides, full-size windows can be used, which provide lots of natural light and makes the space warmer and more inviting. Ranch homes are the quintessential American home type and are likely to remain among the most popular of home styles for many years to come. Due of this tremendous popularity, each individual is certain to find the ranch house plan that best meets their living arrangement needs.

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Apr 01 2019

Who Needs a Vacation? An Array of Vacation House Plans

Vacation house plans.One would think that the name says it all. However, this group of house plans presents great choices for a weekend getaway home as well as thoughtful options for rental property, in-law or guest cottages, or simplifying an empty nest. Additionally, vacation house plans come in a variety of shapes and architectural styles making them suitable for any terrain or landscape from waterfront to mountaintop to city street. Below are a few designs to get you thinking about what type of vacation home (or in-law cottage) is right for you.

062H-0122: For the warm weather lovers, relax at the beach with this nifty beach house plan. There is a welcoming porch where you can sit and enjoy warm breezes, but the interior should not be neglected. A vaulted ceiling over the open living area creates a spaciousness feel.  Storage space abounds. Two bedrooms provide walk-in closets. The kitchen has a pantry, while there is a closet for linens and another for coats or better yet flip-flops. Under the house is space for parking and a storage closet for beach balls, chairs and surf boards.

Vacation house plan 062H-0122

032H-0005: This rustic mountain getaway packs a wallop of usable interior space. The second floor includes two bedrooms plus lots of storage for managing all of life’s extras. On the main level, find another bedroom, a full bath, and the open living spaces. While meals are being prepared in the kitchen, the rest of the family can warm themselves in front of a cozy fireplace.  Lots of windows, a deck and a second-floor balcony will deliver unforgettable views. So pack up the kids or invite your friends for a fun and exciting getaway.

Vacation House Plan 032H-0005

034H-0227: Here’s a modern-style vacation house plan for city living. It is suitable for weekend getaways in urban areas, but it’s compact design makes a nice option for an in-law suite as well. Notice the welcoming front porch and carport with storage closet. In back find a patio perfect for grilling, entertaining and relaxing. Inside, the open living space features vaulted ceilings, built-ins and a fireplace. Two bedrooms share a Jack and Jill bath and a laundry closet offers convenience. 

Vacation House Plan 034H-0227

Please browse our entire collection of vacation house plans for more ideas.

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