House Plans: Inspiring Outdoor Living Spaces

Her Dream Home: Outdoor Living Spaces
Direct from the Designers presents Her Dream Home Magazine. This issue features fabulous outdoor living spaces so you can enjoy the summer outdoors with family and friends.

Now that summer is in full swing it is the perfect time to think about cookouts, backyard swimming and creating outdoor living space to enjoy with family and friends.  Something as simple as a covered patio or a grilling station or as extravagant as a fully functional outdoor kitchen with a dining area and fireplace that surrounds a custom pool and patio, can increase the amount of time you spend outdoors.

This issue of Her Dream Home features house plans with our best outdoor living spaces to inspire you to design a new outdoor area or to redesign your existing space. You’ll find everything from covered patios, grilling stations, dining and sitting areas, fully equipped gourmet kitchens, custom pools and much more in a wide range of architectural styles. A personal favorite is the Terrebonne House Plan featured on the cover. This two-story European-styled home is absolutely gorgeous inside and out and features plenty of photographs.

You’ll also find some great articles including Stepping Outside: Creating an Outdoor Living Area featuring innovative design ideas and tips including helpful suggestions for lighting, patio furniture, decks and more!  To inspire the cook in all of us, there’s 5 Sizzling Tips for Cooking Outdoors so you can create the perfect grilled dishes.

This is also the perfect time to think about building a new home or remodeling your existing home. The key to a well-designed house plan is one that offers flexibility with an open floor plan and bonus spaces. Learn about all the benefits of an open floor design in Create a Spacious Home with an Open Floor Plan.


Celebrate Mother’s Day with a Dream House Plan

Celebrate mother’s special day with a dream house plan from Direct from the Designers, where she will feel like the queen of the castle. If she loves to cook, surprise her with a home plan with a fully equipped gourmet kitchen. Special attention has been give to create functional work zones with plenty of countertop and storage regardless of the size of the kitchen floor plan. Everyone loves to be pampered, which is why these homes all feature master suites with spa-like baths, walk-in closets and sitting areas so mom can escape for some private time to rejuvenate and relax after a busy day of taking care of the family.

One can never have enough storage space, which is why all of these designs feature walk-in closets, built-ins, bonus rooms and optional basement floor plans. If you’re considering having your mom live with you, you’ll enjoy our extension collection of home plans with in-law suites, many offering the comforts of a small apartment with private entrance, full kitchen and living room.

Here is a sample of some of our favorite house plans, designed with mom in mind:

The Retreat at Waters Edge House Plan is a luxurious estate featuring five unique structures that are joined by trellised arbors and covered walkways with complementing floor plans designed for large families and those that love to entertain at home on a grand scale. The kitchen is absolutely amazing with marble countertops, two center islands, including one with ample seating. There’s plenty of cabinetry including a built-in desk area to keep you organized. View over 50 photographs and the floor plans for this luxurious home.

luxury house plan
Mom will absolutely love the laundry room/craft room, which is approximately 500 square feet and located right next to the kitchen.
master suite
This master suite is the perfect retreat from a long day with a window sitting area, spa-like bath and exercise room.
Outdoor living room
You’ll feel like you’re at a 5-star resort when you step outside to the large covered patio with outdoor living room and fully equipped kitchen. Enjoy family time swimming in the large in-ground pool. There’s a beautiful, versatile cabana that can easily be converted into a private living quarter.

This sophisticated cottage house plan offers an abundant of unique features throughout its three floors. Beyond the soft arched entry is a gourmet kitchen that serves for casual and formal entertaining. Speaking of entertaining there’s a music room, large coffered great room, recreation room, two game rooms, a home theater, bar and wine cellar. This is home that one won’t want to leave. Upstairs is a true master retreat with a sitting area, fireplace, extensive his & her closet spaces and a private screen porch where one can relax and refresh.

fabulous kitchen floor plan
The gourmet kitchen of the Olmstead House Plan is only one of the many appealing features of this two-story home. An optional finished basement floor plan gives this 5,342 square foot home the potential for an additional 2,092 square feet.

With over 6,000 house plans to preview in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes you are sure to find your dream home. Check some of our favorite designs, including our newest home plans at Pinterest.

House Plans: New Energy Efficient Mountain Lodge Log House Plan

Mountain House Plan
The newest house plan from Direct from the Designers is a gorgeous two-story mountain log home with plenty of green building products like ENERGY STAR windows.

Direct from the Designers newest energy efficient house plan is a two-story lodge log home. This new mountain house plan features plenty of windows for natural light and warmth, which helps reduce the cost of heating and electricity during the day. You can learn more about building a green home by reading this article featured in Direct from the Designers Green Living section. The two story vaulted ceiling in the great room is accented by two walls of windows and features a wood stove with hearth and cathedral ceilings.

It’s designed with 2” x 6” walls and log siding inside and out to minimize construction costs while meeting the more stringent energy codes in many localities, while retaining the charm of a traditional log home. Of course, this design can easily be modified to utilize other modern sidings and interior finishes. Simply contact Direct from the Designers by calling one of their home plan specialist at 877-895-5299 to find out how you can make this your custom dream home. All modification quotes are free. For your convenience you can fill out a modification form for any of their over 6,000 house plans.

Take a peek at the only collection of ENERGY STAR house plans.

two-story log house plan
Enjoy the view from this two-story great with wood burning stove and wall of windows.



House Plans: Her Dream Home from Direct from the Designers features House Plans with Great Curb Appeal


house plans, Direct from the Designers, curb appeal, fall decorating
Her Dream Home from Direct from the Designers features great Fall decorating ideas that will inspire you to dress up your porch, light up your home’s exterior, carve a pumpkin, roll out the welcome mat, make a homemade pie and showcase your fireplace. You’ll find some hot, new house plans featuring innovative floor plans and plenty of curb appeal.



This latest issue of Her Dream Home from Direct from the Designers House Plans features great fall decorating ideas & tips that will inspire homeowners to dress up the porch, light up the home’s exterior, carve a pumpkin, roll out the welcome mat, make a homemade pie and showcase the fireplace. Homeowners will find some of Direct from the Designers newest house plans featuring innovative house plans with plenty of curb appeal.

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dress your home in seasonal décor. There’s also an article on Creating an Authentic Craftsman Home, which highlights the key design elements to look for in a Craftsman house plan, particularly the front porch and entry.

“This new issue features some of Direct from the Designers most popular house plans based on curb appeal and interior design,” said Christine Sears, Managing Director of Direct from the Designers. “Readers will see spectacular homes with large open kitchens and living spaces and gorgeous outdoor living spaces to make entertaining easy.”

One of the homes featured in the new issue, The Fireglow Home Plan, captures the charm of homes from the French countryside. An offset entry featuring a fiberglass door from Therma-Tru’s® Classic-Craft® Rustic Collection™ opens to an impressive two-story foyer and a formal living room with fireplace lead to a formal dining room.

Another gorgeous home readers can take an inside peek of is The Chatham House Plan which embodies the essence of New England luxury and charm with its shingle-style gables, gambrels, columns, turrets, balconies and verandas. Inside is a spectacular grand circular rotunda with domed stained-glass ceiling and compass rose floor. The two-story great room with a curved bay window anchors the expansive family living space, which is great for entertaining.

For a selection of over 6,000 innovative house plans in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes, as well as their exclusive collection of ENERGY STAR house plans visit Direct from the Designers.

Let us know what you think about our Favorite Apple Pie Recipe, which is on page 8 by sending us a Tweet or sharing a photo of your homemade apple pie or favorite holiday dessert on Facebook.


House Plans featuring Eco-Friendly Kitchens

A recent issue of Dream Green by Direct from the Designers House Plans is all about satisfying home builders craving for creating an eco-friendly kitchen.

After all, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in any home and a key ingredient to any well-designed house plan. It is the place where we create great dishes and gather for food and conversation. When it comes time designing your new kitchen, be sure to satisfy your craving for style while balancing functionality, by making sure you have enough space for food preparation, storage, cooking and cleanup.

A great addition to any kitchen design is to incorporate a kitchen island so you can have extra space for food preparation and cleanup and more time for socializing. It is especially useful for entertaining, snacking, light lunches and breakfast, if you have enough room to add seating.

All of the house plans in Direct from the Designers green collection feature the latest in kitchen design ideas, from green flooring products to high-efficiency appliances, gorgeous countertops, water-efficient faucets and decorative millwork.

If you don’t already have a free subscription to Dream Green, please click here.

green house plans, green home building
Sign up for Dream Green, a free newsletter from Direct from the Designers, a free weekly newsletter, showcasing the latest in green home building products and inspiring design ideas.





Selecting the Right House Plan

Since building a home will most likely be one of the biggest projects of your lifetime, it is important that you select the right house plan for your needs, lifestyle and budget. Remember that you’re not just purchasing a home plan for today, but for a growing and exciting future.

A key element to finding the right house plan is to look for floor plans that offer lots of flexibility. For example, where a bedroom can easily be converted into a home office, nursery or den. You many not think you need it now, but plans that offer optional bonus spaces and basement floor plans are a great asset down the road when you find yourself needing more space for your growing family.

house plan
Searching for the perfect house plan can be made easy by browsing through Designers Direct House Plans collection of innovative designs featuring a wide range of architectural styles and unique collections like 3-D, Exclusive and ENERGY STAR house plans.

As you get ready to search for the perfect home plan, you need to evaluate your needs, lifestyle and finances by asking yourself some important questions:

What is your marital status? This will help determine what size home you will need, the amount of flexibility you need from your floor plan and the location of its bedrooms.

Are you an avid cook? Do you enjoy entertaining? If the answer is yes then you’ll want to make sure that you have a large, functional kitchen space. Most new kitchen designs feature designated work zones for preparation, cooking and cleaning. An open floor plan where the kitchen, dining room and great room share the same space makes it easy to socialize, especially if they lead to an outdoor living space.

Will you need extra space for overnight guests? If you have out-of-state family and friends you should consider a house plan with a guest suite or bonus room that can easily be converted in a bedroom.

house plan
This Classic Country House Plan features a flexible layout for a small footprint. An expansive front porch opens into a dramatic living area with loft above. Each bedroom has a private bathroom suite, plus there’s plenty of extra storage space in the two-car garage.

Do you have a realistic home building budget? Being realistic about the amount of money you actually can afford to invest in building your new home is key to you enjoying your home. Even if you can afford a larger home now, keep in mind all the expenses that go into operating and maintaining a home this size, especially if your financial situation changes down the road. A well-designed house plan will allow for future expansions and include bonus spaces and basement options so you can easily add more space to your home.

It’s definitely a great idea to purchase a cost estimator (you can get a pretty comprehensive cost-to-build report for around $30) before you buy a house plan to make sure you not only can afford to build your home, but all the yearly utilities, taxes and maintenance bills that go along with owning a home.

Will you need a home office? Whether you work at home or not, you’ll appreciate having a dedicated office in your home so you can keep all your personal finances and projects together.

How important is it to have a master suite? Your bedroom should be the place you go to escape and relax after a long day. It should have all the features you need to pamper yourself like large windows, a sitting area, master bath with spa shower and/or hot tub and huge walk-in closets. While looking at house plans decide whether you want the master suite on the first or second floor or left or right wing of your home.

Do you want an outdoor living space? You can easily extend your home’s living space by incorporating an outdoor living space like a patio, porch, deck, outdoor kitchen and/or living room, sunroom and pool area.

It’s not only natural, but expected that when you find the “perfect” house plan, you’ll want to make some changes to truly personalize your home. Most modifications can be made by your builder directly on the blueprint (called redlining) to minimize costs. For more extensive changes, you’ll want to have the designer or architect make the modifications for you. Look for house plan companies that offer free modification quotes to make sure you can afford to build your home. If not, you’ll know what type of house plan you should be looking at that fits your needs and budget.

ENJOY searching for your dream house plan!

New European Green Design Voted “Best Outdoor Living”

Everything about this European house plan is green, especially the way it integrates the indoor and outdoor living spaces. From sustainable materials like stone and stucco to barrel tile roofs to energy-efficient appliances to eco-friendly floors, countertops and decorative millwork – this home is designed to last forever. This breathtaking design is filled with plenty of entertaining areas like the lanai, loggia, courtyard, porch and pool. Inside you can enjoy an open floor plan where the gourmet kitchen looks into the great room with fireplace and gallery.

You will also enjoy browsing our collection of new green house plans (all part of our first ENERGY STAR house plan competition), which you cannot find anywhere else. For more information on how to build or remodel a home to incorporate sustainable and energy efficient practices and products, check out the newly added Green Living section. It is packed with informative articles on the latest tips, trends and products so you can live healthy and smart.

green house plan
This gorgeous European house plan took “Best in Outdoor Living” in the first annual ENERGY STAR house plan competition.

Get the American Dream with the Right Floor Plans from the Best Designers

In its simplest form, a house is a structure that has four sides, a front door, a backdoor, windows and a roof. While most houses retain most or all of these characteristics, variation does exist. The materials used to build houses often vary, while the houses’ colors are also frequently different. Some houses have three-car garages, while others do not even have one. Many have basements, but if you live in a coastal area, the likelihood of your having a basement is slim. Some houses are big; others are small. Some are even called manors or mansions, while others are known as shacks or shanties. Overall, a house is a structure that has basic characteristics, but one house can dramatically differ from another.

And, a house is not simply a physical structure. In many ways, the intangible ideals that surround the term “home” are just as relevant. They also vary from one homeowner to another. More often than not, a house’s appearance represents status, well-being and lifestyle. Ultimately, a house represents the attainment of the American Dream.

The American Dream is different for everyone. Some people aspire to have large two story homes to show their financial success. Others simply want a humble one story house where they can spend a cozy life with their loved ones. Whatever they expect from their house, however, prospective homeowners must find a place that has the right floor plans to match their expectations.

Whether they want two story homes or ranch-style houses, homeowners should locate a professional, licensed designer who can create the best floor plans for their building projects. If they don’t bother to do that, they run the unfortunate risk of ending up with a house that they will not like. As a result, they might even come to hate something that was supposed to be their own version of the American Dream.

New House Plan Magazine Targets Women and Green Building

Her Dream Home is a new magazine from the editors at Dream House Plans, Home Plans, Floor Plans featuring the most beautiful collection of green house plans to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Find the best ideas and advice for building and designing your home, all in one place. Get building tips and design ideas on everything from selecting the right house plan to designing your kitchen from the leading architects and designers in the United States. Find plans with flexible living spaces, gorgeous kitchens, pampering master suites, extended outdoor living spaces and much more. Discover the latest green building materials and products from the only house plan company that has ENERGY STAR approved house plans. Learn innovative and affordable ways to be eco-friendly with new “green” materials and building practices.

Her Dream Home Magazine is a “must have” resource for home building consumers looking to build a gorgeous green home. Every issue will feature inspiring, product-rich articles and high-quality photography depicting the most innovative and best-selling designs from the countries top architects and designers. The premiere issue features inspiring green, affordable and luxurious house plans and articles on how to create fabulous and functional living spaces, what women want in home design, efficient kitchen work spaces and top kitchen and bath trends.

Download your free copy of  Her Dream Home today. Look for our holiday issue coming out next month.

green building
Her Dream Home, a new bi-monthly house plan magazine

Leading Architects Launch New House Plan Website

The leading architects and designers in the United States have come together to bring consumers and homebuilders an expanded collection of house plans, home plans and floor plans with their newly launched website ­called Dream House Plans, Home Plans, Floor Plans (Dream House Plans). Dream House Plans features a wide range of architectural styles and sizes and innovative new collections like ENERGY STAR approved house plans, fabulous kitchen designs, outdoor living spaces, a 3D collection and more.

Their Green Building section is packed with key information about green home building products and services to making building a new home more affordable, sustainable and enjoyable. The section features everything from product slideshows, inspiring home product ideas, top green home products, money saving coupons and interactive design tools.

Searching thousands of house plans has been made easier and more efficient through their comprehensive database featuring rich visual content that includes interior and exterior color photography and renderings in an easy to use slideshow format and 3D videos to showcase house plans.

The website was designed with in-depth, easy-to-use search functions to make finding the perfect house plan simple. You can easily find the exact home plan you’ve been looking for by selecting options like square footage, interior requirements, kitchen needs, bed and bath options, garages, porches, exteriors, foundation, lot characteristics, architectural styles and collections and more. No matter what you””””””””re looking for, you’ll find a house plan that meets your location, budget, style and needs.

Visitors can save plans and create a personalized library of house plans for future viewing making it easier, less expensive and more comprehensive than rifling through dozens of print plan magazines. Consumers can email their favorite plans to friends, family or builders to help in their decision-making process.

Dream House Plans is the ideal online resource for connecting home plan purchasers to the right products and tools to build their dream green home. Homebuilders can stay connected by joining their mailing list, visiting them on Twitter, sharing their FREE bi-monthly digital magazine Her Dream Home and subscribing to their daily blog feed.

We would love to hear your feedback about Dream House Plans.

Here’s to building your dream home!