Category: Custom home design

2019 Kitchen Design Trends | Frank Betz Associates

At Frank Betz Associates, we know that the kitchen is where the heat happens — so we always incorporate the hottest trends into every design. From holiday brunches and celebrations to milestones and weeknight meals, there are so many memories waiting to be made in your kitchen, which means you deserve nothing less than the best. If the kitchen is the heart of the home… then one of our house plans is where you truly belong.

 

From more space to gather with guests to contemporary, sleek appliances, homeowners today are looking for entirely different kitchens than they were even five years ago. One of the reasons our Frank Betz team is so trustworthy is our ability to constantly stay on top of trends, and incorporate what matters most to you into your expertly designed house plan. Take a look at a few of our favorite things that we include in our beautiful kitchens: 

 

Massive Islands with Pendant Lighting and Seating:

 

Whether you’re a Sunday-morning-breakfast kind of person or a big fan of weeknight wine tastings, a large center island in your kitchen is the perfect place to relax, gather, and enjoy whatever it is you love most. Complete with pendant lighting and comfortable seating, there’s nowhere else you want to get “stranded.”

 

Built-In Refrigerators:

 

Refrigerators may do the most important job of all (keep our delicious foods safe and sound!) but let’s face it… they should take up the least amount of space as possible. When a refrigerator is built into the cabinetry of the kitchen, they make efficient use of space and look incredibly sleek while they’re at it.

 

Commercial Ranges with Decorative Hoods:

 

Who says that ranges can’t be stylish? While this part of the kitchen isn’t typically the first thing that comes to your mind, our sleek ranges serve as a focal point when they’re paired with a decorative hood. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, this pair of appliances adds a trendy touch to your kitchen.

 

Open Shelving:

 

Openness in homes is now on the rise, and shelving in your kitchen is no exception. While traditional design called for closed cabinetry, our modern house plans incorporate shelving where everything can be seen. This way, you can get creative with how you display your items, and utilize pieces that enhance the vibe of the room.

 

If you’ve been looking for a house plan that lives the way that you do, Frank Betz Associates has the perfect fit. Our kitchens are expertly designed with contemporary trends to make your everyday life even more special, and we can’t wait for you to experience one for yourself. For more information, please call 888-717-3003.

Featured House Plan: Meet Mahogany Springs

When you finally come across “the one,” you’ll know it right away… With steeply pitched gables with brackets, mixed exteriors materials like stone and siding, and double columns on pedestals, our Mahogany Springs house plan is love at first sight — but wait until you step inside.

With a modern charm and timeless coziness, this gorgeous home offers the perfect blend of luxury and function. On the main floor, you finally get to enjoy the company of family and friends without the barrier of walls — in your warm and inviting open-concept living area, your best memories and meals are waiting to be made.

A flex room provides an abundance of space that can be used however you wish, from a formal dining room to a media space. Best of all, your stunning master suite is exactly what you’ve always envisioned, with elegant design and contemporary features, including a spa-like bathroom with a free-standing tub and walk-in shower.

On the second floor, you’ll fall in love with the convenience of a sleek tech center at the top of the stairs, which is ideal for computers, games, or homework, as well as secondary bedrooms that share a compartmentalized bathroom. If you want even more space, an optional bonus room can be turned into whatever you dream up.

Not to mention, a vaulted covered porch and front porch extend the beauty of your home to the great outdoors, so you can enjoy all of the little things that make life so sweet — from mornings with a good book and coffee to evening dinners with your family under the stars.

Whether you’re a growing family or a couple who loves to entertain and enjoy an abundance of personal space, this craftsman style house plan embraces and enhances any lifestyle. With an expert, thoughtful design that’s just as comfortable as it is contemporary, this home truly is a place unlike any other. For more information, please call us at 888-717-3003. All of us at Frank Betz Associates can’t wait to work with you!

Featured House Plan: Meet the Seneca Falls

There’s something undeniably charming about a modern, farmhouse-style home; it’s sleek but cozy, luxurious but warm, and of course, as stylish as a living space can get. At Frank Betz Associates, we’re always excited to design innovative, livable house plans that reflect what homebuyers want today — say hello to the Seneca Falls, a true beauty that proves the right home really does exist.

With a steeply pitched gable roof and wide porches, the exterior of this home is truly dazzling. In fact, it disproves the age-old idiom: don’t judge a book by its cover… Anyone who glances at the outside of the Seneca Falls can be sure that the inside is just as incredible!

Just past the charming foyer, a wide open living space waits with open arms for friends, family, and guests alike. A family room with a beamed ceiling and cozy fireplace connects to a beautiful kitchen with a casual dining area, large pantry, and home management center; perfect for both entertaining and relaxing.

From dinner parties and holiday brunches to weeknight family meals and morning coffee, the kitchen and open living area provide the thoughtful space needed to enjoy the little moments that make life so special. Best of all, a vaulted covered porch and outdoor dining area connected to the family room offer the added pleasure of the peace and privacy of the backyard.

Past the stylish main floor, which also comes with a mudroom, a convenient laundry area, and a guest suite, the second floor provides the essential comfort needed in day-to-day life. From the master suite and vaulted master bathroom ceiling to three spacious bedrooms, everything a family needs to rest and recharge is right up here. Plus, an optional bonus room adds more space (and personality) to this cozy, contemporary floor.

Whether for a growing family or for a couple who loves to entertain as much as enjoy an abundance of personal space, the Seneca Falls house plan enhances any lifestyle. With a high-quality design that’s every bit as detailed and thoughtful as you deserve, this home truly is a place unlike any other.

For more information on the gorgeous Seneca Falls house plan, please call us at 888-717-3003. All of us at Frank Betz Associates can’t wait to work with you!

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HOMES’ CURB APPEAL

Walk down any residential street and it’s the homes that make up most of the scenery. How your home looks from the curb point of view makes a statement. It’s a first impression that conveys a lot about who and what lives inside. Whether you’re looking to maximize your home’s curb appeal because it’s going on the market or you just want a great looking home, this article can help you get there.

Aspen Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Knock Knock

The front door is most often the centerpiece of a home’s front exterior. As people approach your home, they’re headed for the front door. As a major focal point, you should create a front doorway that is both strong and welcoming. Depending on your door type, this can be achieved with a fresh coat of paint or stain. While well-crafted hardware that includes the door knob, knocker and even the doorbell can dramatically contribute to the overall look of your front entry way. Long story short, a great front door is a must for curb appeal.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

A porch that says, “come on up.”

If your home has a front porch, it already has a head start in the curb appeal department.

Nothing says “come on up for a visit” like a well-appointed front porch. Taking into consideration the style of your home, furnish your front porch with comfortable chairs or even porch swing. Potted and hanging plants and other attractive ornaments like windchimes, a door mat and sculpture are additional ways to turn up the welcome factor in this out-in-front space.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz

Landscaping matters.

Attractive landscaping means more than just freshly cut grass. From the curb, is there a path leading to the door? Make sure this path is well kept and even. Trimmed bushes, flowering plants and carefully pruned trees all add up to create a beautiful landscape. And remember, it all starts at the curb. The sidewalk and driveway are also important areas to keep looking neat.

Maplegrove Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

A detailed approach.

Another step in increasing your home’s curb appeal is sprucing up the architectural details. These include any elements that can be seen from the curb. Make sure that any fencing is in order, the roofing and gutters look good and light fixtures and hardware are working and clean.

Even a neat mailbox can help. These items may seem insignificant alone, but together they have a substantial visual effect.

 

New Albany House Plan- Frank Betz

What a difference a color makes.

Finally, and quite important, is your home’s paint. Freshening up the exterior of your home with a shiny new coat of paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to boost its curb appeal. Shades of green and brown blend well with most landscapes. Light and dark tones of blue also work well to instill a look of calmness. And if your home is modern or traditional, white is a nice way to emphasize clean lines.

 

There are many simple ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Start by standing on the curb and observing your home from an objective perspective. You’ll be able to identify key issues that can be easily addressed. With a little time and elbow grease, your home can be looking its best to you and anyone who happens by.

 

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.

DESIGNING A CRAFTSMAN STYLE HOME – IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

 

Gaining popularity in the early twentieth century, the Craftsman style house is easy to identify. Its distinct design characteristics set it apart from most other home styles. From its iconic front porch, exposed beams and grand fireplace, the Craftsman home has a character all its own. If you’re planning to build a new Craftsman home, this article will highlight a number of its classic design features.

A welcome like no other

Of all the defining features of a Craftsman home, the covered front porch is one of the most recognizable.

Anchored with brick or stone footers, Craftsman porch columns start wide at the bottom and taper toward the top. The front porch has deep overhanging eaves, visible knee braces and exposed rafter tails that extend beyond the roof line. Shingled eaves and handcrafted trim are also a notable detail found on examples of the style.

Castle Rock Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Definitive scale

Balanced proportion and scale are very important qualities of a Craftsman home. Standing vertical but solid, most Craftsman’s are only one or two stories. Their low-pitched roofs provide a squat facade which works proportionately with their wide floorplans. Intersecting roof lines also help to convey a textured dimension to the home when viewed from every angle.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Creature Comforts

Another hallmark of the Craftsman style is a large fireplace usually located in the living room. Working as the home’s centerpiece, it often uses the same stone and wood detailing found throughout the home.
As with other elements pulled from the Arts and Crafts movement, built-in cabinetry and shelving can a be found in the living spaces beyond the kitchen. More tell-tale interior details include multi-pane windows with wide trim wainscoting or chair rails, period light fixtures and paned doors. Intricate metal hardware on doors and windows add to the Craftsman charm.

Ventura House Plan- Frank Betz

Show the bones

Craftsman homes are known for shamelessly showing off their structural components. Exposed beams on the interior and exterior of the home act as signature architectural details. As mentioned above, the ends of the beams, called rafter tails notably extend outside of the roof line. Inside, natural wood rafters accent the ceilings in most every room. This treatment brings an element interest to an otherwise overlooked aspect of the home.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Naturally designed

With locally sourced wood and stone as the go-to materials, the Craftsman home exudes an earthy ambiance. The color palette of this style reflects the natural world, as well. Earth tones like browns and greens are most often used. While handcrafted dark wood detailing and accents add to rustic influence.

Altamonte Floor Plan- Frank Betz

There are many reasons the Craftsman style home is one of the most popular across the country. It’s iconic style fits in nicely from coastal to mountainous regions. And in addition to its historic architectural beauty, the style is still quite functional in our modern world. Featuring a deep-rooted essence of comfort and hand-crafted elegance, the Craftsman home has earned its illustrative name while standing the test of time for more than a century.

 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN TIPS FOR YOUR NEW LAKE HOUSE OR MOUNTAIN HOME

Building a home where your family spends most of its time can be a project of a lifetime. Building a second, vacation centered home on the water or in the mountains is an adventure on a whole other level. A vacation home is just that, for a vacation. With that means every facet of the home’s design should be geared to comfort and relaxation. This article will help illustrate some of the best practices when designing your dream vacation home.

Kensington Park Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Rooms with a view

 

Whether it’s on the water or in the mountains, the positioning of your vacation home should always be oriented to achieve the maximum view of the natural surroundings. When designing a floor plan, locate the most frequently used rooms toward the back of the home. This includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery by installing as many large windows and glass doors as possible. Not only will this expansive glass optimize your view, but the natural light can reduce electricity bills. Less used rooms like the garage, laundry and bedrooms should be situated toward the front of the home.

Summerlake Floor Plan- Frank Betz

The positives of a sloping lot

 

Due to their remote locations, vacation homes are often set on rougher terrain. This usually means the lot will be located on a hill or mountain. These slopes can work in your favor if planned correctly. By putting the foundation into the slope and building upwards, you’ll have at least two stories that are open to the views and sunlight. A proper retaining wall will be needed to address water drainage from the downward slope.

Tillman Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Make every square foot count
Because it’s a vacation home you’ll want to maximize every inch of space. If you like to entertain, friends and family will probably be visiting and staying overnight. Designing a terraced home with multiple levels will allow you to pack in as many sleeping quarters as possible. Basement bedrooms are also a less expensive way to make room for guests.

Blue Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Outside is the new inside

Your vacation home will hopefully be located smack dab in the middle of nature’s beauty. To best enjoy the surroundings, try to include as many exterior spaces as possible. Porches, decks and even outside kitchens and fireplaces are great ways to enjoy nature in functional comfort. An abundance of fresh air and sunlight are the keys to relaxation. A true vacation home will take these resources into account and blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.

Summerlyn Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Designing a vacation home is a perfect opportunity to push the bounds of creating a dwelling that embraces the tranquility of the natural world. A home with expansive views of the surroundings, cozy and ample sleeping quarters, as well as generous outdoor amenities should all be cornerstones of the design. Again, this home should be a place of serenity and outdoor fun. So, design with nature in mind.

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.

PLAN MODIFICATIONS – DO I NEED AN ARCHITECT OR CAN MY BUILDER JUST MAKE CHANGES IN THE FIELD?

Building a new home is an exciting but complicated process. What begins as simple drawings on a page, evolves into an ever-changing and growing endeavor. Because of that, anticipating the need for adjustments during the building process is paramount. Retaining an Architect throughout the whole project can be expensive, but worth the money when it comes to making big changes in the field. On the other hand, a qualified builder with a solid and detailed set of plans should also be able to handle in-field building adjustments. The following article will touch on some recommendations for managing variables during your build.

Ansonborough House plan- Frank Betz

It’s all in the plans

If there’s one element that will set the tone for your entire home building process, it’s the building plans. Making sure your house plans are complete, detailed and correct will save you both money and time in the long run. A skilled Architect will deliver comprehensive plans that can take into account shifting build variables. Before the build begins it’s a good idea to get your builder and Architect together to review the plans and discuss any possible variations. The planning stage is where you will have the most time to make adjustments. Once the building process starts, things start to kick into a higher gear and time becomes a precious commodity.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz Associates

Accurate plans mean accurate bids

Another benefit to a well-crafted set of house plans comes into play during the bidding stage.

With the details included in a thought-out home plan, builders are able to deliver more accurate bids. Square footage and floorplans are a major factor in the bidding process, but material specs and finishes are also instrumental calculating costs. A more precise timeline can also be better developed when it comes to material lead times.

Kensington Creek- Frank Betz

Red-lining your plans

The term red-lining refers to making changes to an existing home plans with a red pen. This process is an easy way to record and plan for changes in the field. Sometimes these changes are taken and formally redrawn into the house plan, but more often the marked-up plans are used as is. The builder is usually responsible for red-lining. They are knowledgeable about local codes and what can and can’t be adjusted in the field. Red-lining is a cost-effective method of making changes. They can be done on-site where time is money.

Frank Betz House Plan- Hemlock Falls

Mistakes mean money

Making changes during a home build comes with a price. But mistakes in the field are infinitely costlier. It’s another reason meticulous and comprehensive house plans are worthwhile. While no home build happens without hiccups, open communication between the Architect and builder can help mitigate the effects of mistakes in the field. Sometimes what looks plausible on paper doesn’t always work well in the real world.

Panola House Plan- Frank Betz

Taking the initial home design through a completed build is never a perfect process. Plan modifications on site will always be a factor. The right builder can address these modifications but keeping your Architect in the loop can assist in the needed adjustments. Again, thorough house plans before the build will always result in a smoother project, but a cohesive Architect and builder team is vitally important to handling and solving variables in the field.