Outdoor Living

Landscape Design Trends for 2015

Landscape Design Trends for 2015: Back yard of the Arbordale Plan #452

By Charles Richardson

One of the main differences of homeowners today versus 40 or 50 years ago is a distinct emphasis on outdoor living spaces. This trend actually hearkens back to the 17th and 18th Centuries, when large estate owners in Europe went to great lengths to cultivate manicured gardens, meticulously cropped lawns, and tranquil nature pools. Although less palatial and grand than storied aristocratic estates, homes today in the United States have witnessed a resurgence in landscape design that features mixed gardens, pronounced water features, privacy areas, outdoor living space, and more.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the most popular trends for 2015.

NEW HOUSING TRENDS 2015: Time to hit the deck

By Chuck Tripp

And the patio…and the porch…and whatever else adds value and sophistication to your home’s inviting, outdoor gathering spaces. We recently wrote about the popularity of taking hospitality outdoors (see our recent blog, The Great Outdoors). We want to take that a step further, or rather, a step closer to the house proper, while extending the outdoor living experience in a way that is attractive, functional, and ultimately charming to friends and family alike.

NEW HOUSING TRENDS 2015: The Great Outdoors

By Chuck Tripp

Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, most people love the outdoors. Especially in mild, temperate climates that afford numerous opportunities for getting outside for a little R-and-R. One trend we have noticed at Donald A. Gardner Architects in recent years is that homeowners value living spaces that extend beyond the walls of their house proper. Depending on your interests and imagination, there are seemingly unlimited possibilities to bring the outdside in…or rather, to expand your living experience beyond walls, doors, and windows to the great outdoors.

NEW HOUSING TRENDS 2015: The Great Outdoors. View from the Jasper Hill Plan #5020

PLAN OF THE WEEK: Sizable Porches

Each of our featured home designs this week are lined with relaxing covered porches. Check out these house plans designed for outdoor living!

The Hartwell Plan #1221:

The Hartwell - House Plan with large porches 1221

3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2817 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Exceptionally open, with a uniquely angled kitchen.
  • Huge mud room, utility room, and pantry.
  • Master suite with fireplace, porch access, and a circular sitting room.
Angled Craftsman ranch

Stone and siding create a striking façade, and an arched portico mirrors the graceful curves of exterior windows. French doors and windows usher in light and views, while columns and a fireplace complement the cathedral great room. The gourmet kitchen features an angled island, and is open to the living spaces. Accented by a banquette and French doors, the dining room leads to a screened porch and adjacent side porch. The exquisite master suite Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Hartwell - House Plan 1221includes a circular sitting nook, fireplace, porch access, huge walk-in closet, and well-appointed bath. Two bedrooms share a dual-vanity bath and a versatile study/bedroom in the front of the home creates optimal space for a home office or library. Numerous porches provide an abundance of space for outdoor living, including the screened porch with fireplace and summer kitchen, perfect for alfresco dining and entertaining.

First Floor Plan of The Hartwell - House Design 1221

The Jonesboro Plan #983:

Front Exterior of The Jonesboro - Home Plan 983

3 beds, 2 baths, 1700 sq. ft.

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Wraparound porches front and rear meet at the breakfast nook.
  • Fits on narrow lots with its front-entry garage.
  • Formal dining room with columns and tray ceiling.
Small Country cottage

Bonus Room Floor Plan of The Jonesboro - Home Plan 983An abundance of windows invite the natural surroundings inside, while two gracious porches create spaces for outdoor living. Custom-styled features include a tray ceiling in the dining room, cathedral ceilings in the great room and master bedroom, columns, French doors that lead to the rear porch and two kitchen pass-throughs.

First Floor Plan of The Jonesboro - Home Design with Wraparound Porches 983

Get more information on these featured house plans with expansive porches:

The Hartwell Plan #1221
The Jonesboro Plan #983

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NOW AVAILABLE: The Bantry Plan #1336!

The Bantry is a two-story Craftsman design that’s inspired by an old favorite.

Front rendering of The Bantry House Plan #1336

Front rendering

Home Design Quick Facts:

  • Pantry, laundry room, and walk-in closet by the garage.
  • Covered porch, and screen porch with summer kitchen.
  • Bedrooms, bathroom, and bonus room upstairs.
 A brand new option

Our Silvergate plan is very popular, but not everyone has the sloping lot required for a walkout basement home. So here it is re-imagined as a two story design!

The Bantry Plan has an angled floor plan that allows it to take advantage of rear views. The dining room, master bedroom, and screened porch are bayed, adding architectural interest, and the rear porch is topped with a cathedral ceiling and skylights. The spacious kitchen is right by the screened porch with summer kitchen, making outdoor entertaining easy. A pantry, coat closet, and large utility room lead the way to the garage.

First Floor Plan of The Bantry House Plan #1336


Two additional with plenty of closet space are on the second floor, and share a bathroom. Linen closets provide extra storage, and sun tunnels bring natural light into the hallway.  A massive bonus room could serve as rec space or an extra bedroom.

Second Floor Plan of The Bantry House Plan #1336

  • See the details on the Bantry Plan here.

Check out our Conceptual Designs page to see what’s next on the drawing board!

House Plans on the Drawing Board by Don Gardner