Designing the Modern American Home

 The first floor plan of the Modern Farm creates large, inviting, living spaces that are connected yet well defined.  Access to the wrap around porch from the kitchen is perfect for outdoor dining.

The first floor plan of the Modern Farm creates large, inviting, living spaces that are connected yet well defined.  Access to the wrap around porch from the kitchen is perfect for outdoor dining.

What defines the modern American Home? 

First, let’s look at some numbers from the 2016 US Census Bureau:
The average home size is between 1,800 and 2,400sf, with 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms.  2 story homes are more common than one story homes, and 2 car garages are by far the most popular choice.

But these numbers fall short of describing the qualities of the home that American homeowners are looking for.  When we look at websites like Pinterest and Houzz we can start to paint a picture of the modern American Home.  The most popular style of homes are Craftsman, Bungalows, and Cottage/ Farm houses.  These styles are warm, inviting, cozy and easily identifiable as “home.”  However, do the traditional floor plans that these styles typically offer reflect the way that we live today? 
 

 In the Baker's kitchen by Hoke Ley, the layout functions well for entertaining guests while actively cooking.

In the Baker's kitchen by Hoke Ley, the layout functions well for entertaining guests while actively cooking.

At Porch Light Plans, we understand the way that you live.  We bring our 20 years of custom residential design experience to the table, and serve up home plans that offer the same core elements that are found in our custom homes; elements that are hard to find in today’s home plans market.  We’ve removed all wasted formal spaces and focus on an open floor plan.   We place the kitchen at the heart of the home, because let’s face it, this is where everybody gathers for both daily and social interactions.  To allow greater interaction, the kitchen provides an eat-in area and is seamlessly connected to the living room to provide a great room experience.  Our living rooms embrace our love of TV and binge watching our favorite shows, and provide a needed place to relax and reconnect with our favorite people.

 A sun soaked dining room with a view to the mountains beyond.  The simple space, connected to the living room and deck, provides special place for meals alone or with friends.

A sun soaked dining room with a view to the mountains beyond.  The simple space, connected to the living room and deck, provides special place for meals alone or with friends.

Quick meals are often served at the kitchen island or even the sofa.  But don’t underestimate the power of a great dining room.  Transformed from a formal and stuffy experience to a respite used for all our meals, the dining room table is where we start and end our day.  Homework, bills, and great conversations all occur around our dining room table.  This is time well spent reconnecting and distancing ourselves from digital distractions.

 

 Bathrooms don't have to be large to feel like a spa.  In this bathroom remodel by Hoke Ley, they used a rich material pallet of Venetian plaster, a custom cedar soaking tub, and wall mounted toilet to maximize the small footprint.  The bathroom has a sliding glass screen that opens it up to the bedroom beyond, borrowing the view to the backyard and making the space feel larger.

Bathrooms don't have to be large to feel like a spa.  In this bathroom remodel by Hoke Ley, they used a rich material pallet of Venetian plaster, a custom cedar soaking tub, and wall mounted toilet to maximize the small footprint.  The bathroom has a sliding glass screen that opens it up to the bedroom beyond, borrowing the view to the backyard and making the space feel larger.

We cherish multiple, large bathrooms that are spa inspired and provide a sanctuary from our busy lives.  Our bedrooms have remained simple, yet we desire large walk-in closets to host our shopping obsessions.  Families want their bedrooms clustered together making it easy to stay connected to little ones during the night.  Since laundry consumes much of our down time, it needs to be placed near the bedrooms to make the never-ending task a bit more bearable. 

 The patio of the Hillside House by Hoke Ley, captures the incredible views and has plenty of room for entertaining.

The patio of the Hillside House by Hoke Ley, captures the incredible views and has plenty of room for entertaining.

Lastly, we embrace our outdoor spaces.  A private back yard deck is perfect for bbq’s and entertaining.  Gardens and native landscape enrich our homes and connect us back to our roots. And of course, a big front porch with a warm, glowing light to welcome our visitors and connect to our neighbors.

We found it easy to design our house plans around these fundamental values.  And as you will see, these elements all easily fit into the homes and keep them at a reasonable size of 1,800 – 2,200sf.  We specifically designed the homes to be simple in both plan and elevation to allow individual homeowners to customize based on their lifestyle and location.  We believe smaller, energy efficient homes that respond and embrace our modern lifestyles offer a long-term solution for American homeowners. And most importantly, we believe that good design should be accessible to everyone!