By Luisella Alfonsina. Home Plan. Published at Saturday, April 14th, 2018 - 09:45:27 AM.
Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, homebuilders saw the open living plan as a way to efficiently design a home using less square footage. Ranch and split-level homes became very popular. Today, architecture and interior design still take their cues from economic considerations, but they also are influenced by cultural norms and a desire for convenience (multitasking, anyone?). We have blurred gender roles; both parents simultaneously share cooking and child-care responsibilities. And we live in a tech- and media-driven world in which catching up on the day’s news during dinner is not only acceptable, but expected.
For example, Plan 890-1, shown above and in the lead image, provides a small, easily maintained home in only 800 square feet yet lives large due to the many porches that extend the interior space outdoors. Another plan type that we’ll see more of is the classic Florida Split Plan, as in Plan 481-5, shown below. With a large group gathering area between owner and guest bedroom areas, resident Boomers can have their children and grandchildren visit for as long as they want without everyone being on top of each other. A nice feature of this type of plan is the ability to close off the guest bedrooms from the rest of the house. All it takes is a pocket door in the right location to give each, owner and guest, their own private area.
Tiny Home with a View, This striking design, plan 479-12, takes splendid advantage of a scenic lot. Walls of windows let light stream inside to illuminate the open living spaces. On the main level, the kitchen invites everyone to hang out at the island, where there's seating for four (and the range also lives here, letting you saute dinner without turning your back on guests). The upper level lets you store tons of books in a row of bookshelves. Grab a volume and hop into your big bed.
Thinking Ahead to Holiday Parties. It would be a mistake to design an entire house around holiday meals and parties that only happen a few times a year. That said, plenty of new party-oriented homes are built each year for empty nesters in markets such as Palm Springs, Phoenix, and Dallas. The homes tend to have a big, central open space for gatherings that flows out onto a broad back porch, with a bar in the corner. That much open space may translate into wasted space for most families.
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