#house plans

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

Command Centers, Home Offices, and E-Spaces

Command centers and built-in desk areas are ideal for a multitude of tasks


E-space of The Newcastle House Plan #994

Built-in e-space in the kitchen of the Newcastle Plan #994

Stay organized with a dedicated workspace

Busy families need a home plan that not only emphasizes their personal style, but is also convenient and functional. More and more activities in the home are centered around the kitchen, and Don Gardner Architects has created the e-space to offer even greater  functionality in the area where family members congregate. An e-spaces are like the command centers of the home, and function as an accessible place for the family computer — perfect for looking up recipes, paying bills, doing homework or supervising younger users. E-spaces also serve as a place to charge cell phones, MP3 players and other electronic gadgets.

A larger e-space, like the one in the Drayton Hall Plan, is well suited to be a small home office or homework area. It’s open to the living areas, allowing conversation flow and a pleasant atmosphere.First Floor Plan of The Drayton Hall Design 1238

Small corner office

The large, semi-private e-space in the Fincannon Plan is almost a full home office. It’s still open, but is set back  from the living areas for a quieter place to focus. Cabinets and built-in L-shaped desk mean tons of storage and room to work.

E-space of The Fincannon House Plan 1234. Command Centers

Study/home office

If you do a lot of work from home, or prefer a workspace where you can shut out the busy world around you, a home design with a study or home office may be the best fit. The Laurelwood Plan has a study right off the foyer that welcomes you with French doors, a stately coffered ceiling, and a bay window. Many of our home plans include a bedroom/study, to use whichever way is ideal for your household.

Study of The Laurelwood House Plan 5024

Don Gardner offers over 60 plans with
e-spaces / command centers here!

Last Week to Enter Our 2014 Photo Contest!

2014 Photo Contest - One Week Left!May 31 is the last day to enter this year’s Photo Contest for a chance to win $500.

Submit your photos online here, or email them to info@dongardner.com

Here are some of our latest contest entries:

The Verdigre Plan #936:

The Verdigre - House Plan #936

Stone and siding create a stunning exterior, especially when combined with a sloped roofline and decorative wood bracket. Arches accent windows and the entryway. The loft makes a perfect sitting area, receiving a lot of light from the open, two-story great room, and a cathedral ceiling tops the master bedroom.

The Coltraine Plan #966:

The Coltraine - House Plan #966

This house plan combines stone, cedar shake, and siding for outstanding curb appeal. Columns in the dining room and a tray ceiling in the master bedroom add architectural interest, while built-ins, a kitchen island, and butler’s pantry add convenience. A screened porch perfects outdoor entertaining, and two upstairs bonus rooms await expansion.

The Edgewater Plan #1009:

The Edgewater - House Plan #1009

Promoting easy living, this home combines character with low maintenance. Doubled columns and stone accents create architectural interest, and the deck accommodates outdoor living. Double doors open into the study/bedroom, while art niches, fireplaces, a handy pass-thru in the kitchen and built-in cabinetry add beauty and convenience throughout.

2014 Photo Contest

From now until May 31, submit photos of your finished Don Gardner home for a chance to be published in our nationally distributed and best-selling magazine “Designer Dream Homes.” Plus, you could also win a $500 VISA gift card and have your photos featured on our website and Social Media sites: Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, Zillow, and more.

We want to see your interior and exterior photos. Builders – this applies to you as well – send photos of Donald A. Gardner house plans you have built, even if you don’t live in the home! Entering is easy – Click here to submit your photos online!


Plan of the Week: The Chesnee #1290

The Chesnee Plan has tons of open living space and extra storage on one level.

Read more about this Craftsman ranch:

Front Rendering of The Chesnee - House Plan #1290Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Decorative ceilings.
  • Walk-in closets.
  • Island kitchen.


Comfortable, open living

A stone and shingle façade and graceful lines highlight this expansive single-level home. Custom details can be found throughout The Chesnee, with elegant ceiling treatments in many rooms and built-in cabinetry flanking the great room fireplace. The chef’s kitchen opens to the large dining area and to the great room, providing a focal point for family life and entertaining.

First Floor Plan of The Chesnee - House Plan #1290

Everything has it’s place

One wing houses secondary bedrooms and utility space, helping to keep clutter out the formal living areas. The bedrooms each have a tray ceiling and their own walk-in closet. Just off the garage lies a utility room with ample work space, a large pantry, and convenient e-space. The oversized bonus room provides flexibility and access to plenty of attic storage.

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Chesnee - House Plan #1290

Ultimate in relaxation

The opposite wing is devoted to a roomy master suite with an attached sitting area to the rear. The suite accesses the rear porch, and includes two large walk-in closets. The highlight of the stunning master bath is the unique barrel vaulted ceiling over the garden tub. Dual vanities, a walk-in shower, and private privy complete the suite.

Get more information about the Chesnee home design here.

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Similar plans:

The Markham- House Plan #1299The Markham Plan #1299 is similar and smaller – see it here.

The Birchwood - House Plan #1239The Birchwood Plan #1239 is similar and bigger – see it here.


Have YOU built the Chesnee plan? Send us your photos for a chance to win $500 in our Photo Contest!

2014 Photo Contest


First Photos of the Ives Home Design

Julie submitted photos to our 2014 Photo Contest – there’s still time to enter!

Enjoy these photos of the Ives Plan #1075

Front Exterior of The Ives - House Plan #1075

Front exterior, with shingle and board & batten siding.

Eye-catching exterior

A unique dormer with Palladian window tops the front porch of this Country Craftsman home, with its vibrant green exterior and classic gabled roofline.

Kitchen of The Ives - House Plan #1075

Country kitchen with built-in, stainless steel appliances

Decorative ceilings

Ceiling designs create an open feel, and add architectural interest and dimension. The great room and master bedroom have cathedral ceilings, and the dining room has a tray ceiling .

Great Room of The Ives - House Plan #1075

Great room, modified with a relocated fireplace and open basement stairs.

Master Bedroom of The Ives - House Plan #1075

Master bedroom, modified with an octagonal tray ceiling.

Bonus room

A flexible bonus room above the garage is accessed near the master suite, making a perfect space for a rec room, media room, or even an extra bedroom.

Bonus Room of The Ives - House Plan #1075

The bonus room, finished in rustic exposed wood, is a cozy gathering space.

Custom finished basement

The Ives Plan is a one-story design, which Julie had modified to have a finished walkout basement – here’s a quick peek at the basement layout. View the entire Flickr Album to see more!
Plan #1075-The Ives - Customer Submitted Photos   Plan #1075-The Ives - Customer Submitted Photos   Plan #1075-The Ives - Customer Submitted Photos   Plan #1075-The Ives - Customer Submitted Photos

Similar plans:

The Runnymeade - House Plan Number 1164The Runnymeade Plan #1164 has a similar layout with a completely different exterior – see it here.

The Silvergate - House Plan Number 1254-DThe Snapdragon Plan #724 is a little bit bigger with a similar exterior and layout – see it here.

There’s still ONE WEEK LEFT to submit your photos for a chance to win $500 in our Photo Contest!

2014 Photo Contest