Category: Interior Design

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING YOUR MASTER SUITE

Besides the kitchen, the master suite is considered one of the most important areas of a home. It’s where you’ll be spending a good portion of your life, not only because it’s where you and your significant other sleep, but where you get ready for the day ahead. Taking the time to design a master suite that best fits your needs is well worth the effort. With a few design tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path to creating a well-planned master suite.

Chestnut Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

The matter of privacy
Because your master suite will act as a retreat from the hectic world, a sense of privacy should be woven into the design. Positioning these rooms near the back of the home and/or on the upper story is recommended. The privacy issue also comes in to play when locating windows and doors. Yes, you can add curtains or blinds, but it’s comforting to be able to dress and undress freely without having to worry about putting on a show for the neighbors.

Hickory Grove House Plan- Frank Betz

The size is right
The master suite most commonly consists of the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house.
Larger walk-in closets and sitting rooms are also popular features for these areas. When designing your home’s floorplan, assigning a generous percentage of the square footage for the master suite is advised. One should also consider the furniture that will go in these rooms. The size of the bed, dressers and sitting room chairs can help determine the amount of space needed.

Hartford Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

Closet space. More is more.
One of the most attractive features of a well-designed master suite is ample closet space. If the square footage is available, including two walk-in closets is the best course. This allows enough room for both occupants to keep their individual wardrobes. A master suite with two walk-in closets is also a huge advantage when selling your home.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

Bathroom zen
While the rest of your home’s bathrooms are purely functional in nature, the master suite bathroom can be extraordinary. Beyond function, this bathroom can be a place of relaxation.
Double sink vanities, spa tubs and steam showers are just a few examples of luxurious master suite amenities.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

Laundry convenience
Since the master suite is usually inhabited by two people, it will generate a significant amount of clothing and bedding. To conveniently handle the cleaning and upkeep of these items, designing easy access to the laundry is suggested. If the master suite is on the second floor and the laundry room on the first, a laundry shoot is a feature that can aid the accessibility and save time.

Hedgerow House Plan- Frank Betz

Every great home should have a master suite to match. As your own personal escape from the busy world, it should include the space and amenities that will enable both functionality and relaxation. As much if not more than any room in your home, the master suite should be a reflection of your style with the space and features that will complement the home as a whole.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MUDROOM DESIGN

Similar to an airlock on a space station, the mudroom is a vital transition area between the outdoors and indoors. Coming in from outside, it’s a place to take off and store your outerwear and other daily belongings. When leaving your home, it’s the last stop to gear up with the needed essentials. Coming or going, a well-designed mudroom is an essential part of any home.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Frank Betz

A heavy traffic area

One of the keys to a properly designed mudroom is making sure it’s located adjacent to the most used entry way. Consider what door your family will be using the most often and that is the place for the mudroom. This is probably the area where everyone’s shoes, boots, gloves, coats, backpacks, keys and hats will live. So, it should be designed into the floorplan according to convenience and easy access to your home’s most popular doorway.

Barrington Hills House Plan- Frank Betz

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Accessibility and organization are two very important components to a functional mudroom design.
Built-in shelving and cabinets are nice for storage. While racks and hooks to hang coats and hats make getting in and out of the house more efficient. If there is room for a bench, not only will it provide a comfortable place to sit while removing shoes and boots, but with the right design, the area under the bench can be utilized for storage, as well. Installing a small mirror is also a nice amenity, for a last-minute look before you head out the door.

Ingrams Mill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Size is relative

Beyond location, the size of your mudroom should be determined by the number of people and pets in your home. Remember, with each person comes at least one set of shoes, a coat and hat. And for our
four-legged family members, you’ll need room for a leash and outdoor toys. If there’s space for its own room great, but a mudroom can be designed into a hallway, laundry room or larger closet.

 

Pine Meadow House Plan- Frank Betz

Durable materials

The very definition of a mudroom describes a place where muddy and wet clothing is taken off before entering the rest of the home. It’s there to protect the rest of your home from the outdoor elements. With that, a mudroom should be designed using materials that can handle dirt and moisture. Tile flooring or an easy to clean rug will help keep things tidy. Metal hooks and wire baskets are also moisture resistant features that make for durable storage and organization.

Wellstone Place Floor Plan- Frank Betz

All told, the mudroom should be designed for function. It is a place to keep outdoor clothing and any other daily items used outside the home. But just because the mudroom is designed for utility, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attractive and complement your home. Incorporating the same color pallet and material styles will help weave this room into your home’s established décor. Yes, it is a mudroom, but it can be a beautiful room, as well.

5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

 

Most of us spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. In the last few decades, the kitchen has evolved from a purely utilitarian space to a central gathering area for the whole family. Having a better organized kitchen will enhance not only the efficiency of the room, but also its livability factor. As the workhorse of your home, maximizing the use of every inch of its space is important. Below you will find a list with 5 effective ways that will easily make your kitchen more enjoyable.

Hanover Pointe Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Organization Is Key

A great kitchen and an organized kitchen are one in the same. With so many items from food to flatware, having a defined place for each is a must. Beyond typical cabinetry and drawers, including a pantry for dry goods, open shelving for plates, bowls and glassware, and hanging racks for cooking utensils can bring needed order to the kitchen. Wine and spice racks are other examples of how you can increase organization, where everything is easy to find.

Ansley Cottage Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Space to Work

Kitchen storage is one thing, but you’ll also need room to work. When it comes to preparing meals, the more surface areas to cut, chop, peel, dice, and clean, the better. There are many countertop options that are very durable and easy to clean. Depending on the square footage of your kitchen, a central island can provide more room to work, as well as to dine. Small desks are also a common feature in the modern kitchen.

Aspen Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Dedicated Spaces for Small Appliances

A kitchen can easily look cramped and cluttered if small appliances end up in the wrong places. While it’s nice to have coffee machines, blenders, choppers, mixers, etc., they can take up valuable countertop space. This will reduce your workspace and make the kitchen appear smaller. Establishing dedicated spaces for these appliances and storage for less commonly used machines is a recommended solution.

Saint Denis Floor Plan- Frank Betz

 

An Open Floor Plan Will Expand the Size of Your Kitchen

If you want to make your kitchen appear larger, take advantage of an open floor plan. This will connect your kitchen with other living areas in your home. An open kitchen enables better interaction with family members in adjacent areas, like the living room or den. As stated before, the kitchen, especially an open kitchen, has become the heart of the modern home.

 

The importance of proper appliances

Modern technology has seen incredible advances in the common kitchen appliances. Items like in-counter dishwashers, convection ovens, gas stove tops, microwaves and smart refrigerators are just a few of the must haves for any new kitchen. It’s better to spend more for high-quality kitchen appliances. They will not only last longer, but offer a broader spectrum of features that will help you save time and effort.

Northfield Manor Floor Plan- Frank Betz

If there’s any room in your new home that desires more thought and attention to detail, it’s the kitchen. As the most popular space in most home designs, effort should be made to create a comfortable and easily workable environment.  The right kitchen can make your home. And if you ever opt to sell, a great kitchen is always a winning feature.

Getting reference for New home construction through online industry reports and home shows

As you approach the new home building process, there a number of ways to gain a base knowledge of construction that will help in the long run. A quick search online can lead you to applicable reference materials and various industry reports. Visiting local home shows are another beneficial method. Gathering as much information about the industry will help increase your building knowledge and thus be better prepared to start this quite big undertaking. You’ll get a broader, non-biased view of home building trends in your desired area, find information on credentialed builders and know what questions to ask going forward.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hemlock Falls

Before you get the keys to your dream home, there’s a long road ahead. As a first step, it is advised to research the topic on various online construction reporting websites. These sites include www.contructionmonitor.com, www.rakenapp.com, . While these sites are directed toward industry professionals, the content can be useful to someone looking to build a new home for the first time. By familiarizing yourself with industry terminology and processes, you’ll better understand what’s going on, as it’s going on. You’ll also get to see the major players, popular vendors and construction techniques in your area.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Tanglewood

Most of these sites focus on building permit data as the key resource to gauge market trends and activity.
Building professionals use this information to find new business opportunities, source general contractors, subcontractors and vendors, but you’ll be able to get a feel for who’s doing what and where, as well. Because these are sites for professionals, you’ll also be able to verify the credentials of your perspective builder and vendors. Additionally, they frequently have updates on the latest happenings in the building industry like vendor expos and home shows.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hickory Flat

Home shows feature exhibits, product demonstrations and seminars on a variety of home building topics.
Anything and everything having to do with the home can be found at a decent sized home show. Here you’ll find info on house plans, building materials, landscaping and lawn care, kitchen appliances, fixtures, flooring, roofing, siding, concrete, windows, heating and air conditioning, patios, insulation, and more. If you’re interested in building a green home, there are many shows that travel the U.S., specifically geared to that topic. There you’ll learn about green building methods and products that include the latest insulation, radiant floor heating, energy efficient appliances, zero VOC paint and green roofs. And no green home show would be complete without clean energy alternatives like solar panels and wind power.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Gulfport

Doing your new home, homework ahead of time, will get you better prepared for your building adventure. Knowing the process, the players and building language, will be a major advantage as you move forward. Spend some time online and attending a home show or two. It’s a great way to get ideas, get inspired and most importantly, get educated.

Do I need an interior designer?

When building a new home, an interior designer may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but one you might want to consider before getting too far deep into your home design. An interior designer isn’t just for the rich and famous – anyone who wants to make their home unique but consistent can benefit from the skills of a good interior design specialist. Taking on this task yourself might leave you with some unexpected (and unfortunate) results. Here’s a few good reasons to high a professional interior designer.

Gastonia- Frank Betz House Plan

They keep communication between builder/homeowner on track

For most of us, Architects and home builders speak a different language than we’re accustomed too. An interior designer speaks this language and can make sure clear communication is kept between both parties. As a member of your team, an interior designer can help lead you through the steps of the home building process and keep your vision on course.

 

Can assess your personality and ensure your home is a true reflection

Everyone has different wants and needs from their new home. A good interior designer is adept at interpreting those desires and helping to convey your personal style throughout the home. With an interior designer, you won’t need to describe every minute detail of your ideal home. A professional will take your personality into account and try to weave those unique nuances across your home’s design.

Aspen Ridge – Frank Betz House Plan

 

Mindful of the budget

Though an interior designer will come with a fee, they can actually save you money in the long run. Perhaps the most important skill an interior designer has is making sure a homeowner’s wishes can be carried out while staying under the assigned budget. DIY home design is a great way to spend more than you really want to. Designing homes is what interior designers do everyday. They know the ins and outs of home design and their associated costs. If you need to stay on a budget, an interior designer can be your best ally.

Northfield Manor- Frank Betz House Plans

 

Does some of the “behind-the-scenes” work that is tedious and not so glamorous

It may seem like an easy/fun job, but designing the interior of your new home takes a lot of work and hours. An interior designer knows the home building process inside and out and hiring one will save you a lot of time/money. They have the inside connections to source materials and samples. And once they’ve helped you choose a design direction, your interior designer will do all the homework regarding material acquisition and getting them to the builder.

 

If not for anything else, a capable interior design will keep tabs on all the above while also keeping  an eye on the big design picture. As a future home owner, sometimes it’s hard to see the whole picture when you’re moving through the process on a step by step basis. You might get caught up on something happening in the kitchen and completely neglect an issue in another part of the home. Your interior designer sees all the pieces and knows how they all have to fit. In the end, your home will have your unique theme that’s consistent from the ground floor to the top.

 

The latest product trends for new home construction

 

Now is an exciting time to build a new home. Beyond advances in building technology and energy efficient materials, current product and home plan design trends are making today’s new homes quite remarkable. These products include unique patterned flooring, wide bi-fold/sliding doors, free standing bath tubs, interior shiplap siding, exposed beams, and bold and bright paint color schemes.

 

Gone are the days of boring home floors. Patterned wood and tile have made their way into homes across the nation. From fumed wood, which dramatically enhances the grain, to blanched wood for a distressed but clean look, wood flooring has taken a prominent step forward. We’re seeing mixed-width planks used to create distinct patterns to the more traditional herringbone arrangement. Marble, slate and ceramic tiles with patterns and textures are also being used to create floors that are an integral part of the home decor scheme.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

 

New door trends are also finding their way into homes these days. What was once just a utilitarian item has now become a unique design feature. Incorporating wide sliding glass doors or large bi-folding doors into the design of home plans with covered porches, patios or decks provides living spaces with natural light and more generous views. Weather permitting, opening these wide doors also extends the home’s living space to the outside creating large, flowing floor plans perfect for entertaining and family gatherings.

Frank Betz House Plan- Tuxedo Park

In the master bathrooms, the large soaking tubs are breaking free from their typical built-in platforms as the stand-alone tub is fast becoming a hot new item. These free standing tubs, both tranquil and beautiful, make a great design focal point and many master bathrooms are being designed around these icons of luxury and relaxation to create a more spa like feel.  With this increased interest, many companies have designed a wide array of tub styles that are both sculpturally beautiful and affordable.

Frank Betz House Plan-Beaufort

Another trending design element made popular by the modern farmhouse plan is the use of shiplap siding as an interior feature.  Bringing this common exterior finish to the inside of the house gives instant character to any space. Whether used as an accent on a fireplace or covering the walls of a room, shiplap siding provides clean, simple lines that exemplifies the “less is more” design concept while impacting the home’s aesthetic appeal.

Frank Betz House Plan -Northfield Manor

Next on the new product trend list are exposed beams. Inspired by the roughhewn beams of old barns and traditional farm houses, leaving these bones of the ceiling exposed, adds texture and depth to family rooms, keeping rooms, bedrooms and even kitchens. Architecturally, this technique can work in many different home styles from farmhouse traditional to modern. Whether made from reclaimed or new timbers, exposed beams celebrate the engineering of a home while bringing the ceiling into the forefront of the design pallet.

Frank Betz House Plan-Ansonborough

And finally, what’s new on the home construction front wouldn’t be complete without a mention of trending paint colors. Bold is back. Striking paint color choices like dark navy, rich golds and berry reds are finding their way onto the walls of new homes. Homeowners are embracing intense color schemes, from deep earth tones to vibrant jewel tones, to establish personality and character for their rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

All told, conventional home construction has made way for a brave new world of exciting product trends. These products help create a new home that breaks from the norm and better fits the needs and style of the individual family. More than ever, the home has become an extension of a family’s lifestyle. These trends help enable that expression.

The modern farmhouse style. It’s come a long way from the farm.

 

The term “farmhouse style” describes a home that is a bit different than it was a century ago. Back then, a farmhouse was just that, a house on a farm. It’s where the farmers lived. Today, it’s a very popular design for new homes and has dramatically broadened from a style standpoint. In fact, farmhouse style homes are being built throughout urban and suburban areas. And while the modern farmhouse style has definitely evolved from its days on the farm, its enduring appeal comes from the simple, clean lines, functionality and natural materials.

Latimer Farm House Plan- Weather Vane

 

If the farmhouse style is what you want out of your home, there are a number of exterior and interior key features that will make it so. First and foremost is the front porch. The front porch provides a nice transition from the exterior to interior. Back on the farm, shoes fresh from the fields needed to stay outside and the porch was that place. That may not be the case today, where a front porch allows for casual seating and a warm welcome.

Brookshire Manor House plan – Front Elevation

The farmhouse style floor plan gives ample room for a growing family with a large kitchen and dining area for entertaining. It usually features 3 plus bedrooms, a fireplace in the family room, a mudroom to keep coats, shoes and bags, and a covered back porch for additional living space. Vaulted ceilings and large windows for natural light are also telling elements of the farmhouse style.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Mud room

 

The kitchen is a place where the farmhouse style can really shine. A farmhouse style kitchen is large enough to be the central gathering room for the family and an area for dining and entertaining. A most recognized mark of the farmhouse kitchen, is the farmhouse sink. Originally the workhorse of the old farm kitchen, its distinctive style and large size make it a go-to sink for the farmhouse look. Other interior kitchen accents include the use of natural and rustic materials like shiplap and reclaimed wood. The farmhouse style kitchen’s large, open floor plan also provides room for a kitchen island and a sizeable dining table.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Kitchen

Overall, the farmhouse style works nicely in an urban, suburban and even coastal location.
One of its most attractive attributes comes from its broad style flexibility. It’s clean and simple exterior and interior design allows for modern finishes and furnishings, as well as, the more traditional country décor. Anything with a handcrafted and practical look helps capture the farmhouse style. In our hectic, modern world, the farmhouse style has gained popularity as a way to connect and recapture the true essence of home. The farmhouse style represents an authentic and inviting American lifestyle, where the house is truly part of the family.

Summerlake House Plan- Reclaimed wood barn door
Spacious bathroom in gray tones with heated floors, walk-in shower, double sink vanity and skylights

3 Reasons to Choose a Walk-In Shower

When it comes to your bathroom, wouldn’t you like it to be a place of escape and relaxation? Whether you’re coming home from work, the gym or even a long day outside, nothing can help ease stress better than a hot shower. If you are considering what type of shower to put in your home’s bathroom, a walk-in might be a good option.

A traditional bathroom style typically includes a bathtub/shower combo, but modern times call for modern bathroom layouts. The walk-in shower has now become a staple piece in bathrooms, particularly in master baths.

So what defines a walk-in shower? Essentially, it’s a waterproof bathing space that is built without doors, allowing you to simply walk in. Typically, the floors and walls are tiled, but another common feature is a frameless glass barricade that protects the rest of the room from the spray of water. Now that we know what a walk-in shower is, here are a few reasons why you should consider choosing one for your new bathroom.

1. They are practical.

 

Artlantica, Savoy
Artlantica, Savoy

Not only are they practical in the way that they are easily accessible, but they are also easy to clean. The water-proof floor allows for quick cleaning and can be washed down in seconds. Another great thing about this type of enclosure is that it is ideal for people with less mobility, such as the elderly, children, or anyone else that struggles lifting their legs over a bath.

2. They are modern and design-friendly.

Artlantica, Ansley Cottage
Artlantica, Ansley Cottage

One of the great things about a walk-in shower is that there is not a singular way to design it. While many builders opt for natural stone, tile is also a popular choice. With that said, you do not have to stick with only one type of material. Often times, designers and homebuilders will choose two different types of tile or stone to mix and match.

3. It adds the illusion of more space.

Artlantica, Defoors Mill
Artlantica, Defoors Mill

Compared to the bulky bath/shower combo that traditional homes typically have, a walk-in shower allows for maximum utilization of a room’s square footage. Whether you choose a completely open space or opt for a frameless glass screen, the room will appear larger and bring in more natural light due to there not being any visual interruptions.

Whether you’re remodeling your home or constructing a new one, a walk-in shower is a feature that should definitely be considered. For more interior design tips or to create a custom house plan with your dream bathroom included, contact the experts at Artlantica today.

Master Bedroom Touches That Anyone Can Do

Your master bedroom should be a place to relax and unwind. It’s one of the few rooms in a house that can be considered a space to get away. Whether you’re building a brand new house or just revamping your current one, these tips and tricks are sure to make you feel right at home in your master.

1. Use cool-toned colors.

One of the keys to creating a tranquil and calm space, is using a neutral and serene color palette. Colors such as grey, blue, green, white, etc. will be pleasing to the eye and create immediate stress relief to your senses. This example shows a deep heather grey used on the walls, while the carpet and ceiling remain a stark white. The clean lines and cool-toned colors create a harmonious and continuous design.

Artlantica, Savoy
Artlantica, Savoy

While grey was used in the example above, many other color combinations can create the same feeling for your master bedroom. Pale blue, natural green or light purple are a few other popular color choices and would all match well with clean white as an accent. The key is to keep the designs simple and the lines clean, which brings us to our next tip.

2. Keep everything simple and clean.

From the furniture and décor to the small details such as door handles and hardware: keep them simple. By doing this, you are creating a room that is stylish, but maintains just enough detail to keep it from being uninteresting. Choosing fixtures that match and keeping lines clean instantly creates a bedroom that is soothing and inviting.

Artlantica, Hennefield
Artlantica, Hennefield

Now, when we say the word “simple,” we don’t mean boring and mundane. In fact, it can mean quite the opposite. Simple just means that clutter is eliminated from the space and that the eye isn’t stuck on one specific part of the room. By designing the bedroom to be coordinated, it automatically becomes more comfortable and will give you the relaxing master that you’re wanting.

3. Give it some character.

It doesn’t matter how large or small your space is, just give it a little touch of personality. It’s easy to have a room with character while maintaining serenity. This can mean adding hardwood floors rather than carpet, adding a unique light fixture or even adding a tray ceiling like the example shown below. The master bedroom pictured would be beautiful regardless, but the vaulted tray ceiling really gives it a special and memorable touch. The added headspace above not only makes the room appear larger, but it accentuates the cool-toned colors and simple furnishings the homeowners chose.

Artlantica, Liberty Ridge
Artlantica, Liberty Ridge

For more tips on designing your master bedroom or find your perfect custom home plans, call the experts and Frank Betz and Associates today.

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