Tag Archives: house designs

Empty Nester House Plans: Affordable and Functional

old wesley empty nester small house plan
Old Wesley | Empty Nester House Plan | Archival Designs

Many times as empty nester’s begin preparing for retirement the need for a scaled down home becomes evident.   Small cottage designs and small luxury house plans are at the top of the list for these downsizing families.

Cumberland cottage house lan archival designs southern architectural style
At-a-glance: 4 Bedrooms | 3.5 Baths | 2-Car Garage

A small functional home plan demands different design elements.  Aging in place is important which makes ranch floor plans most fitting for empty nesters.  It is important for the house plan designer to use creativity to make use of smaller spaces and utilize every square inch available.  Lofts in these floor plans are often an attractive option because of their flexible nature.   In a ranch home, it can be built within the peak of the roof, under the main ridge, and overlook the finished area below. The loft can be utilized as a home office or a playroom for the grandchildren.

Pepperwood Place | Ranch House Plan | Archival Designs
At-a-glance: Pepperwood Place by Archival Designs |  2830 S.F. | 3 Beds | 2.5 Baths

The key to designing an empty nester house plan is to maximize seamless flow and flexibility from room to room.   For example, focusing on an open “family triangle” keeps the kitchen open to casual dining and into the family room.  The interior design of the home also play a large part in the functionality of smaller spaces.  Kitchen cabinets are installed at taller heights to make use of space and microwaves are built-in to free up valuable counter space.  In older homes, the space over a refrigerator was used for a cabinet close to the wall which was hard to reach and lacked functionality. In today’s home plans, that once unreachable cabinet is being brought to the front of the refrigerator this adds another area for valuable storage. Side by side refrigerators are popular as they make better use of a smaller space.

Clarita | Small Luxury House Plan | Archival Designs
At-a-glance: Clarita House | Archival Designs | 2619 S.F. | 3 Beds | 2.5 Baths
Fairhope | Open Layout House Plan | Archival Designs
At-a-glance: Fairlight House | Archival Designs | 2430 S.F. | 3 Beds | 2.5 Baths

The master bedroom is on one side of the ranch house plan while the secondary bedrooms are on the other side. This allows the long hallway to bedrooms to be eliminated and provides home owner’s the privacy they desire from family or guests.  Additional living space can be achieved when a design can blur the lines between inside and out.  A popular moveable glass wall of sliding doors or a screened porch adds to everyday living space.

Indoor & Outdoor Living

Today, builders and developers often market to consumers in need of cost effective homes.  Empty nester house plan are in demand as the 55+ housing market increases each year.

What are some elements you want to incorporate into your Archival Designs retirement home plan?


Photo credit: Atlanta Specialty Millwork


9 Tips: How To Hire the Right Builder for Your New Home

You’ve found the house of your dreams, and are ready to embark on the exciting journey of home building.  One of the most difficult decisions homeowners are faced with is choosing the dependable and skilled contractor.

Big Canoe House Plan by Archival Designs
The Big Canoe House by Archival Designs – Exclusive Collection – 3,500 sq. ft.- Luxury Home Plan

Here are 9 tips that will help you choose the right contractor for your dream home.

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Big canoe house plan archival designs mountain cottage lakefront style

Four Gourmet Kitchens: the Heart of Your Home

With the holidays around the corner, we begin to envision ourselves baking and enjoying warm home-cooked meals with our family and closest friends.

In recent times, kitchens have made the transition from a simple functional room for meal preparation to a cozy space for family to gather and unwind at the end of a long day.

Beautiful, and functional kitchen designs can be found in home plans of styles and sizes.   No matter how small or large your future home will be, you will enjoy Archival Designs‘ featured gourmet kitchen designs and their outstanding functionality.

Presente House Plan

Presente House Plan Archival Designs Luxury Home
The Presente House offers a chef-inspired kitchen with large kitchen island, breakfast nook, and floor-to-ceiling pantry in a 2,344 sq. ft. footprint.

The Presente House Plan (2,344 sq. ft.) features a large cooking island ideal for meal preparation while entertaining friends, or helping children with homework. A full window wall in the sink area allows for maximum daylight to flood the space. Wall ovens, and an over-sized refrigerator make this kitchen functional in all settings. Three large cabinets for floor to ceiling pantry space accommodate everyday items, as well as bulk purchases from large membership stores.

Fairhope House Plan

Fairhope house tres le fleur home plan archival designs luxury style
The Fairhope House Plan features an elegant kitchen with spacious central island in this 2,666 sq. ft. footprint.
fairhope house plan tres le fleur home archival designs luxury home styles
Wall overs and a pocket door into a walk-in pantry add elegance to the Fairhope House Plan kitchen.

The Fairhope house plan is a top-selling luxury design in a smaller size.  The luxurious kitchen upgrades take this 2,666 sq. ft. home to the level of a mansion.  Enjoy an over-sized island ideal for serving during the holidays, or a quiet breakfast area to enjoy with the kids.  Plentiful counter space allows for family cooked meals, while additional space between the island and sink area ensure comfortable working space for more than one.

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Single-family housing production at its highest

Single-Family starts are up 4.2% and the housing production in October reached its highest level since November 2013.

This rise of single-family starts gives the nation more certainty that the economy is improving and consumer confidence is growing.

This continued recovery will have a ripple effect to empower the overall recovery of the United States.

According to the NAHB, issuance of building permits for single-family dwellings increased 1.4 percent to 640,000 units in the month of October.

For more information, please visit www.nahb.org.

luxury humber house mansion archival designs architectural home plan
The Humber House by Archival Designs. Spring 2015 – Newfoundland, Canada

Builder confidence is not only increasing in the United States, but also in Canada.    Archival Designs is seeing an increase in design commissions in North America, one of which is a new 10,000 sq. ft. home to be built Spring 2015 in Newfoundland, Canada.

To learn more about our custom home plan services visit www.ArchivalDesigns.com or call our home plan specialists at 770-831-6363.


What Today’s Home Buyers Really Want

Highlights from a popular new NAHB Economics study indicate that energy-efficient appliances and laundry rooms top buyers’ wish lists, while elevators and tub-less master bathrooms fall flat.

NAHB’s newly published study, What Home Buyers Really Want, is a treasure trove of information on consumer preferences in today’s marketplace, and was the subject of a recent episode of Housing Now TV. As a helpful entry on this in NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog explains, today’s buyers seem to be more focused on practical vs. luxurious amenities in their homes. In support of this observation, four of the top most wanted features in a home have to do with saving energy, with 94% of home buyers desiring energy-star rated appliances, 91% preferring an energy-star rated home, 89% demanding energy-star rated windows, and 88% saying they want ceiling fans. Continuing with the practical theme, fully 93% of buyers want a laundry room, with 57% considering it essential to their home selection. Moreover, nine out of 10 buyers want a linen closet in the bathroom to help keep towels and toiletries organized, while space in the garage to store bikes, sports equipment or gardening tools is on 86% of buyers’ wish lists.

Just as important, according to 85% of survey respondents, is having a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.

On the flip side, 70% of buyers said they would be unlikely to buy a home that included an elevator and 51% discarded the option of having only a shower stall in the master bathroom with no tub.

Looking at community preferences, 66% of buyers do not want to live in a golf course community, while 56% reject the idea of living in a high density community, 48% do not want a gated community, and 44% would not buy a home in a mixed-use community.

Also growing out of favor are two-story family rooms and entry foyers, with 43% and 38% of buyers saying “no” to those features in the survey, respectively.

New Study Looks at Builders’ and Remodelers’ Use of Info Technology

A newly published NAHB Economics study sheds new light on how builders and remodelers are employing various forms of information technology in their daily work. Interestingly, the survey finds that, while the use of common information technology such as smart phones, laptops, I-pads, mobile aps and GPS has become fairly commonplace among today’s builders and remodelers, so far, these tools have been used more for managing internal operations than interacting with customers. A handy summary of the findings on the NAHB Eye on Housing blog notes that at least 80% of builders use the technology for internal management of their businesses, management of individual projects and internal communications with staff, while about half use the technology to select products and to help make client presentations. Further use of the technology to interact with customers — either by allowing customers to track progress of a project or allowing the builder to track customer satisfaction after the project is completed — is limited to about 20% of builders.

Meanwhile, remodelers are slightly less likely to use technology for staff communications, but slightly more likely to use the technology for client presentations and product selection.  Remodelers are also more likely than single-family builders to use GPS, possibly reflecting the relative difficulty of locating isolated addresses in existing neighborhoods vs. construction sites in a new subdivision.

Choose from more than 400 house plan designs that we offer in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and palladian homes, English manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and colonial house plans.  Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 14,814 sf. Our Newport classic house designs range from 1500 to 5000 sf. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world.  Please feel free to search our house designs we offer.  Our plans have been built around the globe, from Canada to Dubain, and one could be just for you!

Today’s photos are those of Archival Designs‘ Luxury House Plan, Corrineaux Esatate.