Category: Architectural Styles

The Difference Between Craftsman and Country Home Floor Plans | Video

Choosing the right architectural home style when building your new dream home is an exciting task whether you’re a building your first or fifth new home. With over hundreds of different styles and features to choose from, the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing the right features and details that will help set your new home apart from the rest.

Two of the most popular styles are the Country and Craftsman home plans. To the untrained eye, these homes may seem very similar based on the exterior appearance. However, there are, in fact, a lot of distinct characteristics and features to both craftsman and country home plans that help those who live in them feel right at home. Let’s take a look at some of the elements that make country and craftsman home plans unique.

Craftsman Home Plans

The Craftsman Style Home rose to popularity during the American Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century. The movement began in Great Britain and Europe before making its way across the Atlantic. The American movement sought to reform the current design trends in favor of producing simple designs with handcrafted materials to meet the needs of an expanding middle class.

Today’s Craftsman house plans are a modern adaptation of the early 20th century Craftsman home plans. Craftsman style homes typically use stone, brick and wooden materials during construction, allowing contractors and designers to showcase their skill and expertise during the building process while providing an artisanal feel to the home.

Homeowners are greeted by wide front porches detailed with decorative columns and wooden trims. From there, large gables, shed dormers, decorative brackets and handcrafted stone or woodwork make up the exterior focus of any craftsman home plan.

The interior’s open floor plan helps to create a larger than life feel, with exposed columns, built-in wooden furniture and large fireplaces highlighting the finer, more decorative details of the home.

Craftsman home plans can be found all across the country, but are most commonly found in suburban neighborhoods in the United States.

Country Home Floor Plans

With a form and detailing that pays homage to the styles of classical Colonial and Victorian times, country home floor plans provide their homeowners with a more traditional American feel. Using large living spaces and an expansive front porch that stretches the length of the home, Country home plans help their residents feel at home in this larger than life layout.

One of the more defining characteristics of country home floor plans, their dormers, come from the popular residential styles of Colonial times. These vertical windows project out from a roof-line that is parallel to the street to create more usable space within the interior of the home.

Country style homes are most commonly found among the cottages and farmhouses of suburban and rural America. Country home floor plans are available in a variety of styles, and can even be adapted into a one-story home plan to meet the lifestyle needs of any homeowner.

No matter what size or variation of the Country style home you choose, you can be assured knowing that your home will help you feel welcome from the moment you step through the front door.

At Donald A. Gardner Architects, our team is focused to staying true to both the traditional Country and Craftsman style home plans while adding modern amenities and features to make living easy. With more than 1,000 customizable home designs in a variety of styles, you can be certain there is a home plan made to suit your specific needs.  Shop Donald A. Gardner Architects’ collection of timeless home designs today!

Modern Farmhouses

Modern farmhouses capture traditional curb appeal with open-concept floor plans for today’s homeowner.

The Santee - Farmhouse Plan 1011

The Santee Plan #1011. Click for more info

Farmhouse style homes are typically characterized by wraparound porches and a roof that breaks to a shallower pitch at the porch. They often have a Country feel and feature dormers for a traditional look.

The Peppermill - Modern Farmhouse 1034

The Peppermill Plan #1034. Click for more info.

Siding is a common choice for a farmhouse exterior, but more and more modern farmhouses are built with brick, stone, or any mix of materials. Brick can lend a grand appearance that is warm and inviting.

The Arbordale - Farmhouse Home Design 452

The Arbordale Plan #452. Click for more info.

Whether they are small or expansive, farmhouses are usually two stories with some of the bedrooms upstairs. Most modern farmhouses feature a master suite on the main level for convenience, with some or all of the additional bedrooms on the second floor.

The Northwyke - Modern Farmhouse Design 759

The Northwyke Plan #759. Click for more info.

Open-concept layouts are popular in modern farmhouses, with vaulted ceilings and skylights adding volume and bringing in plenty of natural light. Kitchens are open to the great room and dining areas to allow conversation to flow freely, allowing the family cook to stay connected at gatherings.

The Palmetto - Low Country Farmhouse Plan 737-C

The Palmetto Plan #737. Click for more info.

Some farmhouses have Low Country flair and are well-suited for coastal areas, whether for vacation or year-round living. Post/pier foundations are specifically designed for waterfront lots, and if your dream farmhouse isn’t already designed this way, you can have it modified if needed.

The Jonesboro - Narrow Farmhouse Plan 983

The Jonesboro Plan #983. Click for more info.

Even if you have a narrow lot in the suburbs, there are farmhouse plans that will suit your location! The Advanced Search option lets you enter the maximum width your lot can accommodate while searching only farmhouse style homes.

Let the experts at Donald A. Gardner Architects assist you in your search for the perfect modern farmhouse, and make sure you are getting the most out of your search with a myDAG membership. This free, easy-to-use service allows you to search easily and save your favorite farmhouse designs, streamlining your search.

Browse all farmhouse home plans here!

7 Things to Include in Your Vacation Home

If selecting a new place to vacation every year is more energy than you want to spend, consider having a vacation home built in your favorite destination. Your vacation home plans can include customized features that allow you access to everything that is lacking in a typical hotel.

Consider location

The first thing to consider when selecting your vacation home plan is location: Do you find yourself drawn to warm or cold climates? Would you rather enjoy the ocean or the mountains? Perhaps you have a favorite destination? Start by narrowing your search down to a specific style:

The Silvergate Plan #1254-D

The Silvergate Plan #1254-D

The Palm Vista Plan #5021

The Palm Vista Plan #5021

The Peekskill Plan #780-D

The Peekskill Plan #780-D

The Cleary Plan #948

The Cleary Plan #948

The Clubwell Manor Plan #5037

The Clubwell Manor Plan #5037

The Merrill Plan #1209

The Merrill Plan #1209

The Sedona Ridge Plan #986

The Sedona Ridge Plan #986

 

The Comforts of Home

Be sure to think about which comforts of home are most important to you. This includes everything from having a well-laid out kitchen, multiple bathrooms, or even a home gym. On top of that, don’t forget to ensure that you have the comforts you most enjoy. This includes everyday items like a comfortable bathrobe, throw blankets, plush furniture designed for rest and relaxation, a fireplace, and the other home features you most enjoy on a daily basis.

Great Room Fireplace of The Dogwood Ridge - Home Design 5005

A Few Luxuries of Vacation

While there are many benefits to staying in your custom designed vacation home opposed to a hotel—don’t forget to include some of the luxuries you desire while on vacation. This could include ensuring your location is close enough for delivery from your favorite nearby restaurants, adding luxury outdoor living spaces, or adding a swimming pool, spa or sauna.

Screened Porch of The Sagecrest - House Design 1226

Entertainment for Your Downtime

Whether your dream vacation home plan is a small cottage or a golf course estate, make sure there is room for the entertainment you enjoy during your downtime. This can include everything from a billiards room, Ping-Pong table, small den to lounge and read, or a dining room table or seating area large enough to play games together as a family.

Billiards Room of The Clubwell Manor - Home Floor Plan 5037

Enough Room for Individual Interests

Make sure that your luxury home design allows enough flexibility and freedom for everyone to achieve the vacation of his or her dreams. While the kids may want to spend their time outdoors playing in the pool, you may prefer to spend some solo time soaking in a garden tub, or watching your favorite movie in a media/rec room. Even if your vacation home is small, make sure it has separate areas that allow everyone to enjoy both individual and group activities.

Rec Room / Media Room of The Vandenberg - House Plan 746-D

Timeless Décor

Regardless of the style of vacation home you have built, ensure that your décor is timeless. Since you may only be visiting your vacation home a few weeks or months out of the year, or sporadically throughout the year—it is not essential to decorate in the latest home trends. Instead, opt for timeless, comfortable décor that will ensure that your home never feels dated.

Great Room of The Lennon - Home Plan 1300

Creative Storage

Another all-important feature to take into consideration with your vacation home design is storage. Sometimes you may head to your vacation home for a week-long getaway, and other times you may want to be there for extended periods of time. This makes it essential to have thoughtful storage options, such as closets that will fit large suitcases, under the bed storage options, and enough closets, cabinets and drawers to keep the essentials you would like to leave in your vacation home year-round—such as toiletries and seasonal clothing that will make packing for vacation faster and easier.

Secondary Bedroom of The Gilchrist - House Plan 734-D

The tips above are an excellent way to ensure your vacation home plan is comfortable, luxurious, and fully functional. The building process for any new vacation home starts with finding the perfect home floor plans for your lifestyle. Let the experts at Donald A. Gardner Architects lend you a helping hand in your search. With over 1,000 house plans to choose from, you are guaranteed to find the timeless design and functionality you are looking for with your new vacation home plan. Make sure you are getting the most out of your search with a myDAG membership. This free, easy-to-use membership allows you to search easily and save your favorite home floor plans, streamlining your search for the perfect vacation home. The road to rest and relaxation is only a short step away, get started and browse Don Gardner’s selection of home floor plans today.

Choosing the Perfect Style for Your Dream Home

Choosing the Perfect Style for Your Dream Home

With hundreds of styles to choose from, finding the perfect solution for your dream home floor plans proves to be a daunting task for anyone. With each style designed to give off a different feel and atmosphere both inside and out, determining a specific style that meets all of your lifestyle needs may be a challenge. From classical country homes to small ranch house plans, understanding what each different style offers a homeowner can help one to better choose the home design that is perfect for their needs.

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Assessing Your Situation

Before you begin browsing the hundreds of different styles of home floor plans, it is important to first take the time to carefully plan out both your needs and limitations to make sure you choose the style that provides the best fit to your home needs. When looking at new home designs, think of the characteristics of homes you have lived in throughout your life. What features did you like? What did you dislike? How much living space do you need? Establishing a list of features to look for with your new home can help you to better select one that is suitable for you and your family.

Beyond the features, it is crucial that you take note of any restrictions of limitations you may have in place when choosing your home design. If there are any space limitations on the lot you plan to build on? What is your planned budget for your new home? Your answers to these questions can help you when it comes to selecting your home floor plans.

Choosing a Floor Plan Style that is Right for You

After you have carefully assessed your needs and restrictions, you can then begin to identify a specific style that is the best fit for your home. When looking into different styles, work to understand the pros and cons of each. Prioritize the features that you simply cannot live without and make certain that the final floor plan you choose either has these features in place or can be easily modified to include them.

When narrowing down your decision, look at the other home styles in the area of the lot you plan to build on. Consider if your dream home will be a welcome fit to the neighborhood. Most importantly, the floor plan you choose should feel like “home” to you. When looking at home floor plans online, focus on how you can make your home even more personalized. Think of your home floor plans as the blank canvas for which to paint your dream home and design style onto.

Choosing a home style suitable for your floor plan needs may be one of the biggest decisions you face, so do not hesitate to consult the professional advice of architects or designers. Not only can they help you determine the home floor plan that best fits your needs, but they may be able to modify an existing home floor plan to help turn your dream home into a reality.

No matter what design you make with your home floor plans, it is important that you purchase your plans from a professionally respected architect. Choosing from the hundreds of floor plans and home designs available through Donald A. Gardner Architects guarantees you just that. Since 1978, every home plan designed by Donald A. Gardner Architects is guaranteed to provide functional living and timeless design. Additionally, our home floor plans are easily modifiable to fit any lot limitations or your specific needs. Contact Donald A. Gardner Architects today, and let us help you move one step closer to making your dream home a reality.

Free Download: Choosing the Perfect Style for Your Dream Home by Donald Gardner

Gallery: Decorative Ceilings

Cathedral, Vaulted, Coffered . . . Decorative ceilings add style and volume to any space!

Here’s a brief photo-guide to some common types of decorative ceilings. From simple cathedrals to unique custom creations, learn more about the different options and find the style that’s right for you!

 

Cathedral: A ceiling that symmetrically projects upward in an inverted “V” shape.

Cathedral: The Adelaide - Plan #866-D

Beams and dormer windows embellish this cathedral ceiling from the great room of the Adelaide Plan #866-D.

 

Vaulted: A ceiling which springs from a lower wall up to a higher wall. Includes Cathedral ceilings.

Vaulted Ceilings: The Jerivale - Plan #1033

Exposed wood and a stone fireplace give a rustic feel to The Jerivale Plan #1033

 

Tray: Constructed with four or more sides angling upward to a higher, flat ceiling. This style resembles an upside-down tray and is commonly seen in breakfast areas, dining rooms and bedrooms.

Tray: The Zeller - Plan #1014

This contemporary tray ceiling adds subtle elegance to the master bedroom in the Zeller Plan #1014.

 

Stepped: A series of trays, one inside the other, at different planes.

Stepped Ceilings: The Clarkson - Plan #1117

Custom, modified stepped ceiling in the master bedroom of The Clarkson Plan #1117

 

Coffered: Showcasing recessed paneling, typically in rectangular or square configurations. Most common in formal rooms of a floor plan.

Coffered: The Runnymeade - Plan #1164

Neutral colors and gallery lighting showcase the coffered ceiling in the great room of The Runnymeade Plan #1164

 

Barrel Vaulted: A simple, continuous vault, typically arched or tunnel-shaped.

Barrel Vaulted Ceilings: The Clarkson - Plan #1117

This impressive design was a custom modification in what would have been a cathedral ceiling in The Clarkson Plan #1117

 

Custom: What was drawn as a standard tray or cathedral ceiling can be redesigned with unique, artistic elements to create a one-of-a-kind ceiling.

Custom Ceilings: The Runnymeade - Plan #1164

This custom-designed ceiling in the master bedroom of The Runnymeade Plan #1164 is a modified tray, with curved sides and coffered details.

 

Look for the dashed lines on our floor plans to see what type of ceiling is in each room, and contact our Customer Sales & Support Team with any questions.

Follow Us on Pinterest to see beautiful interior photography from our home plans!