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.

PLAN OF THE WEEK: European Influences

Our featured plans this week have European influences inside and out!

 The Baskerville Plan#1312

The Baskerville - House Plan 1312: European Influences

3 beds, 2 baths, 2004 square feet

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Side load garage ideal for corner lots.
  • Large utility room and linen closet.
  • Vaulted ceilings in each bedroom.
Rustic cottage

Mixed materials and arches create rich texture in this updated cottage with European influences. This house design features a large, single dining area that is open directly into the great room and kitchen, Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Baskerville - House Design 1312where a square island and nearby pantry optimize workspace. A side entry garage includes a side door for outside access and an enlarged utility/mud room features adjacent space for pet food and water bowls. Multiple porches are accessed from the dining room, great room, and master suite. Looking for something a little smaller? Check out the Ashton Ridge #1194!

First Floor Plan of The Baskerville - House Floor Plan 1312

The Verdelais Plan #1186

Front Exterior of The Verdelais - Home Plan 1186: European Influences

3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2979 square feet.
Built by Peak Contractors, Inc. in North Carolina

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Each bedroom has a bayed sitting area.
  • Chef-friendly island kitchen with pantry.
  • Unique circular study with curved windows and art niches.
Exceptional Details

European influences are ever present in this luxurious home plan. Arches and several stunning windows create beautiful curb appeal. The vaulted foyer gracefully leads into a formal dining room generous great room. Adjacent to the great room is the chef-friendly kitchen with a large breakfast room nearby. A sprawling screen porch with wet bar accesses the patio, which provides an enormous space to entertain.Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Verdelais - Home Floor Plan 1186

The master suite enjoys a bayed sitting area with shelves, a tray ceiling, an elegant bath and dual walk-in closets. Opposite the master suite, two spacious bedrooms each have walk-in closets and share a Jack-and-Jill bath. More photos are on our Flickr Page here!

First Floor Plan of The Verdelais - Home Design 1186

See these popular plans with European Influences on our website:

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Photographic Tour of the Lennon Plan on Pinterest

Take the photographic tour through this Craftsman-style cottage, featuring remarkable custom details and picturesque surroundings.

Photographic Tour of the Lennon Plan #1300 on Pinterest

Welcome to The Lennon Plan #1300, located in Bolivia, NC. Built by Allan Yuhasz with QRI Construction Corp. This home shines with impressive barrel ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors throughout and a grand master suite!

Take the photographic tour here

Open living space in the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

Panoramic view of the living spaces. This floor plan is open, but each room is set apart by ceiling and floor treatments and columns.

Modified to have a corner fireplace, the great room features white built-in shelving, custom flooring detail, and a vaulted ceiling.

Open living space from the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

From the great room you can see the formal dining room and kitchen. An ideal layout for entertaining!

Bedroom/Study from the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

Who wouldn’t want to work in this study with window seat and gorgeous barrel ceiling!

Master bedroom of the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

A painted tray ceiling frames this master bedroom where neutral colors and rear views welcome relaxation. Step out to the screened porch to enjoy Mother Nature.

Screen Porch of the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

This screened porch is the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee in the morning and enjoy the surroundings.

Rear exterior of the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

The rear of this home is as attractive as the front, with hip roof, Palladian window, and outdoor living space. A walkway leads to a special spot.

Landscape/back yard of the Lennon Plan #1300. Photographic Tour on Pinterest

View of the saltwater marsh from the private and secluded dock found at the end of a winding boardwalk.


There is much, much more to see on this Pinterest Board – Click here to see it!

See the floor plan and more details on our website HERE

Similar plans:

The Fieldstone - House Plan #1047The Fieldstone Plan #1047 has a similar exterior with a smaller footprint. See it here.

The Trinity Plan #1304The Trinity Plan #1304 is a similar plan with a single dining space. See it here.

PLAN OF THE WEEK: Three Bedroom Designs

Each of our featured plans this week are three bedroom designs. One luxury ranch and one brick cottage.

 The Padgett Plan #1124

Front Exterior of The Padgett - House Plan 1124

3 beds, 2 baths, 1784 sq. ft. Photographed home built by Kent Homes.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Suitable for narrow lots.
  • Volume ceilings throughout.
  • Master suite with dual walk-in closets.
Neighborhood cottage
First Floor Plan of The Padgett - Three Bedroom House Design 1124

Click for larger view

Graceful arches frame the garage, entryway and windows of the Padgett Plan. The front-entry garage is convenient for narrow lots, with low maintenance brick and siding.

Inside this house plan, cathedral ceilings draw the eye upward in the bedroom, great and dining rooms, while a tray ceiling crowns the master bedroom. With two walk-in closets, twin vanities and a separate tub and shower, the master suite is truly relaxing.

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Padgett - House floor Plan 1124

Click for larger view

Entertaining is easy in this floor plan as the kitchen spills into the dining room. With a bay window, buffet niche and ceiling treatment, this room is perfect for formal meals. When nature allows, the rear porch is an optimal outdoor entertaining space and is accessed through the great room.


The Spencer Hall Plan #5006

Front Rendering of The Spencer Hall - Home Plan 5006

3 beds, 3.5 baths, 2866 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • All three bedrooms positioned for rear views.
  • Large, walk-in pantry.
  • Formal dining room lined with columns.
European influences

Luxury one-story living is yours for the taking in the Spencer Hall. Massive stone columns support the front entry porch which leads to a grand foyer and a vaulted great room. The over-sized dining room is exceptionally open and features a stepped ceiling detail. The island kitchen has abundant counter space and a cozy breakfast nook with a bow window. Two secondary bedrooms each have a private bath and dual closets. The master suite is set off in its own wing and includes a private sitting room, a gigantic walk-in closet and a luxurious bath accented by columns over dual vanities. The screen porch on the rear is topped by a cathedral ceiling and the covered porch shades the great room and master bedroom.

First Floor Plan of The Spencer Hall - Three Bedroom Home Design 5006

See these popular three bedroom plans on our website:

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Brick Home Design #1362 is NOW AVAILABLE!

The Eliana Plan #1362 has a brick and stone exterior with whimsical details

The Eliana - House Plan 1362 - Brick Cottage

3 beds, 3 baths, 2742 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Brick and stone create a low-maintenance exterior.
  • Flexible exercise/office space.
  • Screened porch with fireplace and outdoor kitchen.
Brick cottage with European influences

Cupolas, curves, and an eyebrow dormer give storybook whimsy to the Eliana. Coffered ceilings top the dining room and great room, which are separated by an expansive kitchen and breakfast nook for casual meals. Nearby, a large utility room and flexible office/exercise space simplify house work and projects. Enjoy the outdoors in the screened porch with summer kitchen and fireplace, or relax in the private master suite with rear views and spacious bath. The bonus room features skylights and a curved dormer window.

First Floor Plan of The Eliana - Brick House Design 1362

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Eliana - Home Design Plan 1362

Get more information about the Eliana home design here.

Similar plans:

The Provence - House Plan #1005The Provence Plan #1005 has a similar front exterior. See it here.


The Kendrick Plan #873The Kendrick #873 has a similar layout with less square footage. See it here.