• Two Master Bedrooms, The Floor Plan Feature That Promises a Good Nights Sleep

    Two Master Bedrooms
    The Floor Plan Feature that Promises a Good Night's Sleep

    Bruce Arant


    I'm a crazy sleeper (if what my wife says is actually true). Allegedly, I snore...but besides that, I've been known to hide from assassins (in our bedroom -- at 3:00 am) and one time, I nearly broke my foot while kicking at an attacking goose (in our bedroom -- at approximately the same hour of the night). Truth be told, I can vaguely remember moving a really heavy potted plant from the nightstand on her side of the bed, across to my side -- over the top of her sleeping head, whilst on my knees, barely keeping my balance and my grip. (What could've gone wrong?) So, with people like me in mind, let's take a brief look at something that's a growing trend in home design -- the inclusion of two master bedrooms on the floor plan.

     

    Rochester, 2 Master Suite Floor Plan

    Until recently, the concept of two master suites in a home was rare -- or at least, it was rarely suggested -- because of the stigma that was attached to the implication of couples not sharing the same bedroom. But the reality is, more and more homeowners are seeking out house plans that include two master bedrooms -- and for a number of good reasons.

    Of course, there's always the aforementioned issue of snoring. His snoring. Her snoring. Or perhaps, mutual snoring, celebrated in nightly snore fests. In any case, listening to someone's snoring can destroy one's hopes for a good night's sleep (or, so I'm told) and separate master suites can provide the ultimate fix for that particular problem. (...a solution that is, by far, more socially acceptable than murder)

    Beyond snoring, however, is the reality that as Baby Boomers age into their 60s and 70s, multi-generational households are becoming more and more common. Second master suites can provide a greater sense of personal space and independence for Boomers' aging parents, when retirement home options are not desired or feasible. Likewise, a second master offers a more comfortable space for homeowners' boomerang children who might "return to the nest" for any number of reasons.

    Another motive for considering a second master might be the accommodation of a couple's differing and/or demanding work schedules. A spouse leaving early or coming home late due to work can cause major disruptions, and at some point, it is bound to cause friction in the relationship.

    Additionally, some homeowners frequently host out-of-town visitors and may want to provide their temporary guests a real sense of home away from home -- a sleeping space that's more comfortable than "the spare bedroom."

    Here at Advanced House Plans, we offer a number of existing designs that feature two master bedrooms. All of our house plans, however, can be customized to accommodate a second master in any number of ways, depending on the home's original design. For instance, you may desire two masters on the same level, or one on the main level and another upstairs, or on the lower level. Perhaps you're needing a second master that has its own entrance to the outside -- a feature that is especially appreciated by those seeking a sense of independence, such as an in-law or adult child.

    Whatever the reasons for including a second master suite in a home, this design trend is here to stay, and it is likely to become more and more common as the population ages. The associated stigma of having a "broken marital relationship" is on its way out -- replaced instead by practical, realistic and intelligent design considerations.

    As for me, I'm hoping my wife learns to sleep through my nightly assassin invasions, goose attacks and house plant relocations. (And I need to remember to remind her...murder is not a socially acceptable option.)

     

    Posted by Keith Thornton
  • Looking Beyond Front Elevation Styles

    Looking Beyond Front Elevation Styles

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    "The Kiwi Principle"

    Bruce Arant


    Picky eaters.   We've all known them.  Many of us have attempted to feed them.  Perhaps some of us still are them.   When I was a kid, I was anything but a picky eater.   If it looked remotely edible, I devoured it.   I do, however, remember my first encounter with a kiwi fruit.  Brown, fuzzy, sort of mushy...like a potato-gone-bad.   No way, was it going to make its way into my mouth -- until someone peeled it and offered me a slice of heaven that was on the inside, beneath its less-than-appealing exterior.   

    That experience with the kiwi provided me a first-hand example of the old adage, "You can't read a book by its cover" and I would say it's certainly something to keep in mind when looking at house plans.  More often than not, it seems that we seek house plans based on how they look on the outside.   Maybe  you've always liked the look of a particular style of home -- a Colonial, French-Country, Mediterranean, etc.  With your desired style in mind, you thumb through the pages of a house plan catalog, or scroll through a website, ignoring any design that doesn't have the right exterior appearance.   

    Being attracted to the outward appearance of anything is just part of human nature, but sadly, it's like going to the produce section of your grocery store and ignoring the delicious kiwi because of its looks.   If you do this while searching for house plans, you could easily be overlooking "slices of heaven" that lie within the designs' exteriors.   We call it, "The Kiwi Principle."

    What most people don't realize is, the exterior style of almost any house design can be changed.   A Mediterranean style can become a Traditional style, a French Country can become a Craftsman, etc., etc.    What we should really be focused on while choosing house plans is the floor plan.   The floor plan dictates how well a home supports our lifestyles on a daily basis.   Do you want open interaction between all of the living areas on the main floor, or would you prefer certain areas to be separated?  Do you want a common area or loft upstairs that will accommodate playtime or homework?   How about a private suite on the main floor for a live-in parent?   All of these lifestyle accommodations, and many more, are addressed in the floor plan -- not the exterior's style (a.k.a., the front elevation).   

    Here at Advanced House Plans, we regularly change front elevation styles (and floor plans) to accommodate our clients' preferences.   Not finding a Colonial style design with a floor plan that matches your family's lifestyle?   Keep looking -- not at Colonials per se, but for floor plans that you like.  We'll take it from there and make changes to the front elevation that will give you the best of both worlds -- a house plan that looks and lives the way you want it to.

    We offer several front elevation styles on our house plans.   Here is a brief overview of some of the more popular styles our clients seek.

    French Country style houses often exude a sense of storybook charm and/or a stately European character.  A blend of exterior materials, such as stone, brick and stucco is often incorporated along with fairly steep roof pitches and sometime dormers.  

      

    Mediterranean style houses generally have a sleek, uncluttered appearance that is usually accentuated by a smooth stucco-like exterior finish.  Shallow rooflines commonly rise above repeating arches, columns and balconies that communicate a sense of sun-drenched elegance.

    Traditional style houses often incorporate 45 degree roof pitches (6/12) with repeating gables and/or hip roof designs.  Front porches and/or stoops are common and provide a sense of welcome within this style that is often associated with everyday family life.

    Colonial style homes traditionally have a symmetrical configuration of their upper and lower level front windows, with a perfectly centered front door, beneath a simple front-to-back roof (sometimes with dormers).  Front stoops, instead of porches, are the norm.  These historic-looking homes are exude a sense of charm and warmth -- especially when adorned by candle-lit windows.  

    Farmhouse style homes offer a sense of warmth and welcome with front porches that sometimes sprawl across the entire front and/or wrap around one or both sides.  Gables, dormers and shuttered windows often complete the farmhouse "look," to make this appealing front elevation style one of today's most popular.   

    Craftsman style homes have an unmistakably solid character that is bolstered by thick, tapered columns on deep front porches.  Decorative brackets on the soffits, along with stout trim details, provide further evidence that these beautifully sturdy homes "aren't going anywhere."

     

    Once again, as you review our extensive selection of house plans, remember "The Kiwi Principal."   Be mindful to focus on what's on the inside -- the floor plan -- rather than the front elevation style.  In most cases, we at Advanced House Plans will be able to marry the look you've always loved, with a floor plan that's perfect for your lifestyle.  In other words, you'll receive a slice of "architectural heaven," both inside and out.
    Posted by Jason Diederich
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