If you want a home that can guarantee privacy and still look modern, you might want to consider a bungalow house plan. A bungalow is typically a one to one-and-a-half story home with low-pitched roofs and wide overhanging eaves. The term bungalow is widely used and has different meanings depending on the location. The term originated in India from a Hindi word literally translating to “house in the Bengal style.” Bungalows were adapted from the Indian style by the British and made their way to America in 1880. They remained popular for fifty years and are notable in American architecture for making good design affordable.
Depending on where you live, the word bungalow was used differently. From about 1905 to 1930 Americans used the term bungalow for any house that used space efficiently. In the United States however, the interior of a bungalow house plan often features a living room at the center, connected rooms without hallways and built in cabinets, shelves and seats. The space efficiency in a bungalow style house plan is believed to have originated from army tents and rural English cottages. The idea was to cluster the kitchen, dining area, bedrooms and bathroom around a central dining area. What we think of today as an open floor plan.
While many different styles of bungalow house plans developed based on materials available in the area, the first bungalow house plans were built during the Arts and Crafts movement. Bungalows often feature natural woodwork such as exposed rafters and built in cabinetry or bookcases. These bungalows are known as craftsman bungalows and were heralded for their cozy appeal.
Additionally, these homes are popular for their heat reducing features. Its roots in India and warm climates explain why these homes are such great heat reducers. Since a large foundation is needed for this single floor house, the roof has a vast surface area, allowing the attic to trap most of the summer heat and making a bungalow the perfect solution for a warmer climate.
Bungalows are a house plan style that sits at the heart of American architecture. With its simple, cozy, homeliness these houses are sure to delight home buyers and builders who want a lot of bang for their buck.
In 2013, homeowners are craving creative, yet functional transitional-style kitchens that include spacious cabinetry and countertops, walk-in pantries and casual dining spaces.
Times are changing, especially when it comes to home design. Gone are the days of the traditional, isolated kitchen, cut off from the rest of the house and crowded with appliances and cooking supplies.
According to the findings of a recent survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, more and more consumers are trading traditional for transitional when it comes to kitchen floor plans.
Direct from the Designers House Plans, one of the internet‘s leading providers of high-quality stock home plans and home designs, is answering the call for functional and intelligently-designed kitchens that address the changing wishes of consumers. The company offers hundreds of homes with practical and palatial kitchen floor plans, conceptualized by some of the country‘s leading architects and designers, which make excellent use of some of the most popular transitional-style kitchen features:
• Smooth flow: Rather than cutting it off from other living areas, the transitional-style kitchen layout focuses on the room as a functional part of the house, flowing seamlessly into the dining and living rooms.
• A gathering place: Transitional-style kitchens offer community-oriented features such as breakfast nooks and kitchen islands, which turn this once closed-off room into a casual, comfortable place to eat, relax and spend time with family or friends.
• Wide-open spaces: Perhaps the most important features of the traditional-style kitchen, spacious countertops, accommodating cabinets and generous walk-in pantries provide a welcome relief from kitchen clutter.
“People are looking to do more than just cook in their kitchens,” said Tammy Crosby, Chief Operating Officer of Direct from the Designers. “Our house plans feature beautiful kitchens that function as dining and living areas, while still leaving plenty of cabinet and counter space for preparing and storing food. These floor plans also offer unique, customizable designs that can be molded into a true dream kitchen, no matter what your needs are.”
Direct from the Designers offers an array of house plans with stunningly spacious and functional kitchens, including:
Vita Encantata House Plan: The most common kitchen complaint is too little space, especially in cabinets and on countertops. This house plan features an expansive walk-in pantry to store your family‘s favorite foods, as well as keep utensils, containers and other items out of sight. The kitchen‘s island feature offers extra counter space and a popular spot for family members to eat and converse, transforming your kitchen into the perfect meeting spot for meals and parties.
Taylor House Plan: Combining an impressive amount of coveted counter and cabinet space, this kitchen plan is a dream come true. A unique archway between suspended cabinets provides a pass-through to keep the kitchen open to the living area, while the spacious island provides plenty of room for cooking and serving. This plan also features a cozy breakfast nook with scenic bay windows, offering a tranquil escape and eating space all in one.
Harrisburg House Plan: A truly open and inviting space, this kitchen features expansive ceilings, an elevated, eat-in countertop and a plethora of room for preparing meals and storing foods, utensils and supplies. The warm lighting from under-cabinet and above-cabinet sources gives off a welcome glow to make both family members and guests feel right at home.
“For those who are building a home, deciding on the perfect, functional kitchen can seem like a daunting task; which is why we‘ve hand-picked an array of high-quality house plans with fabulous kitchen floor plans featuring products from Whirlpool®, KraftMaid® and Delta®. We also offer wide range of resources, advice and tools to help you make the right decision,” Crosby said.
On the Direct from the Designers website, consumers can browse the Fabulous Kitchens collection, which contains hundreds of homes with unique and functional kitchen layouts. The company also offers customization services to ensure your dream kitchen can become a reality.
Portland, Oregon (PRWEB) March 31, 2013
1 — A regal kitchen like this from the Chatham House Plan has every amenity a homeowner could crave. With rich hardwood floors from Lumber Liquidators® and granite countertops, it has a clean and sophisticated appearance that will be in vogue for years to come. Top off the kitchen with some pendant lights over the counter and you have a kitchen table ready for multiple purposes. Of course, all this luxury is not without practicality, as this kitchen’s storage needs are covered by effective use of custom cabinetry from KraftMaid.®
2 — A kitchen like this doubles as a dining room, ideal for entertaining a small dinner party. Stylish and elegant cabinetry and countertops are perfectly paired with these 5-Star appliances. When it comes to luxury and performance the technology of Wolf® and Sub-Zero® Appliances remain favorites for high-end homes. You can also customize the way you cook with their virtual kitchen designer. The award-winning kitchen is part of the Retreat at Water””s Edge House Plan which won “Best of Show” at the Seattle Street of Dreams and AIBD Design Competition.
3 — An open floor plan blends the kitchen and the living areas together, making it ideal for a cozy family gathering. This luxury kitchen floor plan features a Wolf® range top, which is perfect for the chef of the family, and the island can double as a buffet for entertaining. A Delta® faucet sits center stage at the kitchen sink and an ornate tile backsplash behind the range adds a decorative finishing touch.
4 — Not an inch of storage is wasted in this European-influenced kitchen. The KraftMaid® center island includes drawers that make keeping countertops clear a breeze. Stainless steel appliances from Jenn-Air offset the crisp white countertop and island. Adding appliances to compliment your cabinetry is easy with Jenn-Air’s® DesignVision app for iPhone. The light tile and cabinetry are offset by dark flooring from Lumber Liquidators.®
5 — A thoughtful layout for a family, this spacious kitchen floor plan blends form and function with country styling. At the center of this kitchen is an island with two sink-prep areas outfitted with Delta® faucets. Light square tiles and chandelier lighting from LAMPS PLUS® offset the dark marble. This cozy kitchen is the perfect place to prep meals and spend time together as a family.
Spring has arrived, but as winter weather continues to appear I find myself seriously considering a move down south. To keep myself warm and bring on the arrival of spring, I have been putting on a lot of old movies that feature Southern plantation houses that look majestic in the sunlight.
Now, you might be imagining a home like the one from Gone With the Wind or even one of the homes from The Help, but Southern styling reaches across a wide variety of house plan styles to combine charm, elegance and historical flair.
When you think of Southern plantation houses you probably think of the Old South and the antebellum style. These houses were largely based on the Greek Revival and neoclassical periods. The columns, the stately silhouette, and other features we think of as being Southern were introduced by Anglo-Americans who moved to the South after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Modern Southern architecture has transformed to incorporate a wide variety of tastes.
In the early 1800s, Americans identified more with the Grecian style of architecture than the British styles. If you imagine the Parthenon, you can tone down some of the decorative details and get an idea of what these stately homes looked like. Commonly these home were made of white clapboard exteriors, decorative pilasters, and dentil moldings and heavy cornices. Though there are still some of these historical buildings around, many of the more modern takes blend the Greek Revival style with the Southern Colonial style.
Colonial style originated in the Southern American colonies. Unlike the Northern colonial styles the Southern style had a chimney at the end instead of the center. Other features were a centered front door, multi-pane and tall double-hung windows, steep gabled roofs, and a narrow plan, often only one row deep. There are also tall foundation walls to protect against moisture damage and a large welcoming porch.
With a range of styles from the simple cottage to stately homes these houses share a few common features. Unlike Victorian or craftsman homes, these houses are often symmetrical with porches, columns and shuttered windows. Some are also raised off the ground in order to give a good view of the surrounding landscape. Gables and dormers are also a key feature where the roof design is concerned.
Regardless of whether you choose a French Creole, Antebellum, Greek Revival or Georgian inspired Southern house plan, you will find that these plans are warm and inviting, embodying the spirit of Southern hospitality.
Spring is just around the corner and as green starts to make its presence known in the grass and the trees there are simple things that everyone can do to green their new home. You can look for eco-friendly building materials and green solutions to many of your home building processes, but while you wait to move in, here are a few more simple solutions to consider.
Update Your Appliances
One of the things that no home should be without is an ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator. The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy hogs in a home. When a fridge, ten year or older is replaced with an ENERGY STAR rated model, the average home owner can save up to $150 according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And according to ENERGY STARS’s website, if one in ten homes used ENERGY STAR appliances, it would be the equivalent to 1.7 acres of new trees.
Watch the Temperature
Almost half of a home’s energy is consumed during heating and cooling. You can save that energy by being mindful of the temperature. Keep the thermostat down in cold weather and up in warm weather. For each degree you lower your thermostat during colder weather saves you between 3 and 5 percent more on heat energy. During warmer weather, keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees will help you save money. You can also consider using ceiling fans instead of air conditioners.
If you are planning for next winter, you can also consider buying a new furnace. Furnaces made today are 25 percent more efficient than those made in the 1980s. You can also find furnaces that carry the ENERGY STAR label as well.
Adding things like an aerator or a low-flow toilet, or showerhead can help you towards saving water. You can save water simply by changing certain behaviors. For example, shutting off the water while you brush your teeth saves 4.5 gallons every time and using a broom instead of a garden hose to clean your driveway will save 80 gallons of water.
When it comes to living green, using green materials is half the battle, but there are always little things that you can do to save more energy and water. Living green doesn’t have to mean making compromise after compromise. You can have style and still be green with some simple lifestyle changes and one of several award winning ENERGY STAR rated house plans from Direct from the Designers.
It might not feel like it right now, but spring is on its way. Sunday March 10th marks the beginning of daylight savings time, and we will once again spring forward into daylight. A few more hours of daylight are a precious commodity that can heighten spirits as we move into springtime.
What can you do with extra daylight? According to Lowe’s, you can prepare your home for use during the long warm late spring and summer nights.
1. You can begin by cleaning and washing the exterior of your home, including your patio and desk. It is important to finish cleaning before you plant your garden beds so that you don’t disturb any new plants. You can also clean your outdoor furniture and consider covering it until after the pollen has fallen.
2. Then, you can tune up your outdoor power equipment. This includes making sure that your lawn mower is in perfect condition. You can take the initiative by checking the engine oil, changing the blades, and even restringing your trimmer.
3. Trim and shape bushes around your yard and cut down low hanging tree branches. It’s best to complete this task early and clean up the pieces before you plant in your flowerbeds.
4. Place a new layer of pine straw or mulch in your beds to freshen them up. Just be sure to check with your homeowner’s association for restrictions.
5. Plan. This step is the most fun. Take a moment and plan where you want to add color with your spring landscape. Consider adding spring bulbs or perennials to your flowerbeds or you can decide to undertake planting a vegetable or herb garden.
Daylight savings time will bring with it the chance to do spend more time doing many outdoor activities, but if you plan on using a porch or patio during the spring and summer, a few simple tasks can make your outdoor space much more enjoyable and create an outdoor oasis from the second the clocks spring forward on Sunday March 10th at 2 a.m.
A kitchen counter is a space that is used for more than just cooking. It’s where kids do their homework and eat breakfast, and it is no surprise that they will probably take a lot of abuse during their lifetime. In recent years, quartz countertops have been on the rise. If you are thinking of the crystals that you would use during your high school experiments, think again. The quartz countertops found on the market today are stylish and fresh, and have their own benefits when it comes to making a smart choice for your kitchen counters.
Since your kitchen counters are bound to be a surface that will take a lot of abuse, one of the most important decisions regarding selecting a counter is surface durability. Before you worry about limitations of style and color, let’s begin by saying that both quartz and granite are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, making it easy to adapt either into your kitchen house plan.
Granite is a very strong material that resists cracking and chipping but quartz rates higher on the hardness scale. Quartz is also non-porous, which means it resists common stains such as oil, coffee, and wine better and is very easy to clean. Granite on the other hand, is composed of a crystalline structure that is composed of several fissures that requires regular sealing. This maintenance needs to be done about once a year or you run the risk of staining your granite or letting bacteria fester inside. Quartz on the other hand offers superior protection against pathogens.
Cost is another factor in choosing your countertops. While both make excellent choices for kitchen counters, the cost of the materials can vary greatly. Granite tends to be the more expensive material, depending on style. Quartz countertops can vary widely, but given the ease in maintaining the countertop, you might find the higher cost to be more practical than unreasonable.
Overall, the choice of granite or quartz countertops is really a matter of preference, but one thing is certain. When it comes to installing your countertops, make sure it is done by a specialist. Hiring a specialist will reduce the risk of chipping, breaking or fissuring. Check out these fabulous kitchen collections for Direct from the Designers to start creating your dream kitchen house plan.
No matter what size or style home you have, adding a fireplace to your home design will create a warm and cozy living space. Traditional fireplaces are not the most energy efficient, but you can still enjoy the comfort and warmth of a fire without wasting energy by installing an electric fireplace or insert instead. Here are three beautiful built-in electric fireplaces that are also affordable to operate:
This Dimplex® Kendal electric fireplace is beautifully crafted and operates at a low cost. You get the look and feel of a fireplace without having to retrieve wood. The Kendal electric fireplace operates for pennies an hour, four cents with flame only and nine cents with the heat cycling at fifty percent. With high-efficiency and beautiful craftsmanship, this would make a beautiful centerpiece to any room.
The Home Fire series from Modern Flames® operates with a low energy LED flame. Unlike the Dimplex® model, this fireplace is sleeker with a more contemporary fit and finish. This fireplace can be used with or without heat, so the ambiance of a fire can be found enjoyed all year around.
The Lennox® Ravelle™ fireplace is a high-efficiency, furnace-rated fireplace. With everything from white to black arches to nickel, gold, and black inserts, this fireplace is a stylish fireplace that will meet high heating demands. This is perfect for anyone who wants lots of options and can””t quite find the perfect fireplace for their decor.
The charm of a fireplace is enthralling, but it doesn””””t have to be expensive. Consider an electric fireplace and make sure you get the most for the cost of your heating bill. These beautiful fireplaces are energy-efficient and perfect for your home and any style home. Take a look at any of Direct from the Designers”””” specialty collections and you are sure to find the right match for your vision.
For many, outdoor decorations and lighting are as much a part of the winter holidays as gift giving and enjoying our favorite foods. With the rising cost in electricity, using LED (light emitting diode) lights can save you money without sacrificing your holiday display. LED holiday lights use 10 times less energy than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. For outdoor lighting, consider solar powered LED lights.
If you’re concerned about how holiday LED light strands compare to traditional incandescent lights, you’ll find you’re in for a wonderful treat. Here are some great, green reasons why making the switch to LED lights makes sense this holiday season.
LED lights are energy efficient. They can save up to 98% of the electricity needed to power incandescent light strands. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-foot strings.
The environmental benefits of using LED holiday lights are numerous. They use less electricity, are recyclable and don’t contain ultraviolet light or mercury.
Because they generate less heat, LED light bulbs are cool-to-the-touch. There’s also less risk of them overheating and catching fire.
The cost is surprisingly affordable if you’re a smart shopper. LED Holiday Light Exchange programs from your local utility company and government are making it easier for consumers to switch. Consult the website of your local utility, city or county for holiday light exchange or reduced-fee programs.
Unlike incandescent light bulbs, LEDs don’t have a filament that might break or burn out. They have epoxy lenses that are almost indestructible, which means you can drop them or step on them and they’ll keep on shining brightly. LED bulbs can last for more than 100,000 hours. That means you could potentially have your LED holiday light set around for several holiday seasons.
LED holiday light strings that have earned the U.S ENERGY STAR® rating last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent strands. They are also independently tested to meet strict lifetime and electrical requirements. Check for manufacturers that offer five-year warranties.
With LEDS you don’t have to worry about your lights burning out if one fails because holiday light strands have tiny built-in fuses. Be sure not mix incandescent and LED strands together.
Holiday LED lights come in vibrant colors, bright lights and a variety of shapes and styles. You also get the same special effects like blinking, dimming and color shifting but with new and more efficient technology.
Since they’re made of plastic and aren’t breakable, like their incandescent forefathers, they don’t require the extra cardboard, special slots and packing material that the old ones do. This makes them lighter and easier to store.
By using LEDS you are can still create a big holiday light display while being eco-friendly.
October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month, and shelters all around the country are filled with dogs and puppies of all breeds who need a new home. If you already have one of these beautiful dogs or are thinking of adding one to your family after you build. Here are a few things to consider.
Keeping Pets In
A dog is active, and if you plan on letting them out to roam the yard, it would be wise to put a fence up. Yes, an invisible fence won’t obstruct curb appeal, but while it keeps your precious pet in, it can’t keep predators out. Your fence should also have a buried, inward, forward-facing section to keep your pets from tunneling.
Dealing with the Mess
There is also substantial mess involved in owning a dog. They are living beings and are as curious as a small child. There is definitely a chance that your dog might step in mud and track it through the house. For this, a mudroom is a nice addition to the house. Serving as a second entryway, it often helps to dirt from entering the house proper. Likewise, if your dog or puppy gets wet or muddy and feels the need to shake, it’s more likely the grime will end up on an easily washable wall, instead of some new furniture.
Decorating and Designing
When it comes to designing the particulars of a room, keep your flooring choices washable. Think of hardwood floors, semi-gloss paint, and easily washed area-rugs. Also, consider interior, dutch-doors. These two-piece doors will allow for easy control over which animals can enter each room and eliminate the need for awkward baby gates.
Owning a pet can be a rewarding experience, but to avoid regrets later on, it is essential to think about how the pets will be cared for in their new home. To prevent the loss of a four-legged friend and keep the humans of the house sane, a few stylish design additions will ensure a great quality of life for both humans and canines.