Choosing an Open Floor Plan

When designing a home, whether a new build or renovation, creating a floor plan that meets your needs is crucial. Meeting with an architect is one of the first steps in creating the home of your dreams. Lundberg Builders, Inc. architect, Andrew Peterson, works with homeowners to bring their floor plan visions to life.

Andrew Peterson, architect, Lundberg Builders, Inc.

Open Vs. Traditional Floor Plans

A more traditional floor plan, or closed plan, has rooms with walls that define each space. One common type is the American Foursquare Colonial where the first floor has four distinct rooms, the kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room. An open floor plan removes the walls between all areas so that the kitchen, dining room, and living areas all appear to share the same large, open space. Both types of plans have their benefits, but it seems as though open-type plans are remaining popular, especially with those building custom homes.

What are homeowners looking for in 2021?

With people spending more time at home, Andrew has noticed that homeowners are looking to continue with the open floor plan trend to allow for a space that is flexible for both living and entertaining. Many buyers are even purchasing traditional homes and renovating them to create more open spaces.

“When designing an open floor plan, we aim to develop sightlines from the foyer, through the kitchen, and to the entertaining areas of the home. We also work to create panoramic views of the property, especially for waterfront homes. Enhancing these views is one of our primary goals. Weaving living and working spaces together in a cohesive manner offers areas of solitude and privacy in the homes as well. Open kitchens and great rooms are just the start of our iterative design process,” Andrew says.

Above is a sample of an open floor plan designed by Andrew Peterson, Lundberg Builders, Inc.
The open floor concept, designed by Bohl Architects, allows for views from every room. Photo credit: Curtis Martin Photography.

How to Extend the Open Concept Into Outdoor Spaces

The open floor concept has now extended beyond the home into the outdoor space. Multi-slider doors, like those from Loewen, allow for expansive views of the outside from inside the home. Panel doors, like the ones below, that sleeve into the wall accordion-style are a genius way to bring the outside “in.” They also allow for a seamless transition into the outdoor space.

Pool House with Loewen Accordion Doors, by Lundberg Builders. Photo credit: Geoff Hodgdon.

“Custom decks add to the open feel of a home by stretching the entertaining spaces outdoors. The deck layout is designed specifically for each unique home, which creates a flow between the interior and exterior spaces,” Peterson explains.

 

This Lundberg Builders’ home has expansive decks on every floor with cable railings to avoid blocking the incredible water views.

“Patios with outdoor kitchens and seating are also great ways to expand the function and space of a home,” explains Peterson.

Other Considerations When Designing Your “Open Home”

While creating an open floor plan and combining it with an outdoor space, there are other ways to add to the open feel of a home. We asked Andrew if there were any other considerations that a homeowner should talk to an architect about when working to create this type of space.

“It is important to pay attention to the details so we can make the most of how we layout the space,” he says. For example, “Consider the type of ceiling height you would like. Constructing a contemporary flat ceiling at 10 feet (or higher) can drastically update a space.”

Andrew also added that there are creative ways to keep the home open. Concealing the microwave in the pantry and creating spaces to hide appliances keep counters clear so that there are fewer objects obstructing the views. Grand staircases, atriums, lofts, double-height spaces, and inviting entryways incorporated in the floor plan allow for home designs that feel unrestricted.

An open foyer with vaulted ceilings, built by Lundberg Builders.

Utilizing an Interior Designer

While homeowners work with an architect to produce the perfect open floor plan, Andrew also encourages homeowners to work with an interior designer. This allows for an impeccable build where no detail is overlooked.

Not sure where to begin? We invite you to experience how well our quality will reflect on you.

Deck or Patio?

As the weather warms up, it is natural to want to create an outdoor space to relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors. Patios and decks are both fantastic options for extending the home outside. So which is right for you and your home?

Decks

Decks are raised to be at floor level with the home. Because of this, they are great for uneven ground. They are highly customizable with a variety of shapes, designs, and materials at your disposal. While decks have traditionally been made from wood, composite decking boards are becoming increasingly popular. Composite decking does not require regular staining or maintenance, comes with warranties against rot and wear, and is offered in a variety of grain textures and colors. Companies like Azek and Trex offer deck boards in different lines for different budgets, making a composite deck an attractive option for homeowners. Along with decking material, homeowners can also customize their railings. Instead of traditional wood railing, composite decking is matched with vinyl rail systems that can be pure vinyl or include baluster styles made from vinyl or aluminum. Cable railings are also gaining popularity. The latest creation in the decking world is aluminum decking boards by Nexan Building Products. Aluminum deck boards still come in a selection of colors and have the benefits of composite decking, however, boards do not hold heat and therefore are not hot to the touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The deck above was built by Lundberg Builders,  Inc. and includes Nexan Light gray aluminum decking, Nexan powder coated white aluminum framing, and a Nexan cable rail system with white aluminum posts.]

Patios

In contrast to decks, patios are ground level and therefore do not require railings. They are often less expensive than decks and have a quicker install time. Patios, too, can be customized in a variety of shapes and designs. When choosing materials for a patio, the main decision is on the type of hardscapes used to create the area. Choices include gravel, pavers, concrete, stamped concrete, stone, flagstone, and even wood. Most patios also incorporate landscaping. Patios can be used as an outdoor space that is an extension of the home or can be a standalone space in the yard. Patios are also great for finishing off areas around pools as seen in this picture below. Pavers can connect the pool area to the home, deck, and pool house providing a stunning frame for the inground pool. Porcelain pavers, like selections from Belgard,  are a great choice because they look like real stone but are not hot to the touch.

[Patio courtesy of Lundberg Builders]

Both decks and patios can incorporate added features like outdoor kitchens or fireplaces. Rain and sun cover can be added to through pergolas and roofs. Decks and patios can be custom designed by Lundberg Builders, Inc. to meet your needs and bring your vision to life.

Return on Investment

When creating your outdoor space, it is important to consider the return on the investment you are making. According to HomeAdvisor, decks have a return of investment between 60-80% while patios return of investment is slightly under 50%. Either choice will add some value to your home’s resale value and, most importantly, will add to your quality of life.

If you are thinking of building a deck or installing a patio, contact Lundberg Builders, Inc. so we can begin the design process and get you out enjoying your custom outdoor space.

 

Wash, Dry & Fold – Laundry Rooms as Good as Gold!

 
Custom Home reported recently, “Laundry Rooms Rank Highest on Most Wanted Home Features List” according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 2019 edition of What Home Buyers Want.  A whopping 91% of survey respondents ranked a laundry room as a home essential. And more and more, people are investing in making their laundry room a real hub in their home. Below are some new ways to reimagining your laundry room for the way we live today.

     

  • The new great room – Combine the utility closet, mudroom and laundry room into one practical space for all things dirty that need cleaning and storing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Design it into the floorplan – Design your home for accessibility and convenience to the laundry room from the garage entrance. Drop soiled towels and other dirty clothes and socks and shoes as you walk in.You can throw away trash, unload the car, store away travel items, organize and launder everyday items before entering the main house.  Drop off backpacks, briefcases and purses. Relax, you’re home! 
Courtesy of Plato Woodwork, Inc
  • Create a pet station – Animal friendly laundry rooms can play double-duty as a fantastic space for your pet. House food bowls, leashes, toys, treats, pet beds in one area. Add a pet-friendly farmhouse or utility sink or even a shower station big enough for washing your fur baby. Below features the BLANCO DIAMOND™ Single Bowl in Metallic Gray, the SONOMA™ Pull-Down faucet, and SONOMA Soap Dispenser.

    Photo credit to Lavin Label.

     

  • Elevate with countertops –  Countertops say laundry “room” instead of laundry “closet”. Whether you choose wood, metal, or marble, countertops give your laundry room that modern, designer look you’ve been craving. The second runner-up  functionality-wise to your washer and dryer, countertops give you room to not only neatly fold and corral frequently used items, it also gives you that decorator space to add vases, jars and other decorative items that make it another wow moment in your home instead of a cluttered, ho-hum room you dread.

  • Make it light and bright

Ever noticed the areas you use the most – kitchen counters, office desks, laundry folding stations, work benches – have the least amount of light? The cabinet itself casts a shadow, making these spaces with the most detailed activities less functional. Cabinet lighting is designed to illuminate these high-use surfaces, and a whole lot more. Consider these uses when designing your space to get the most out of your lighting plan. Featured below is Kichler’s  4U 22″ 3000K LED Cabinet Light in Textured White.

Photo Courtesy of Kichler
  • Build custom cabinets – These can be customized to suit your unique needs and the items you want to store. Laundry built-ins have endless possibilities. House your dirty laundry hamper along with hanging rods for freshly ironed clothes. Include fold-out hanging rods for drying. Store laundry detergent, dryer sheets, cleaning products and paper goods. What makes a home look really special is keeping things neat, organized and dare we say it, hidden out of sight!

  • Hook you up – Top Knobs launched a collection of decorative hooks at KBIS this year that are perfect for laundry/mud rooms. Decorative hooks have a ton of great added value to these spaces, serving as additional storage and a method for staying organized and clutter free.
Reeded Hook Courtesy of Top Knobs

 

Need more help designing and building that perfectly functional and beautiful laundry room of your dreams? Bringing your unique vision to life is our specialty! Whatever you dream, we can build it. Call us or stop by and tell us about your next home project!

Modern Farmhouse Design Details

 

Modern Farmhouse – Courtesy of James Hardie

American Farmhouse home design has always been a common, classic style in our architectural history, originating with the first American colonists. However, with the rise in popularity  of HGTV’s Fixer Upper show starring Joanna Gaines and her husband, Chip, farmhouse style has enjoyed a significant revival and further evolved with a new twist now known as “Modern Farmhouse”.  Below we review what builder elements you can use to design your new construction or remodel with quintessential Modern Farmhouse style. (Main photo above – Modern Farmhouse, photo courtesy of James Hardie).

Vertical siding

Vertical siding – Courtesy of James Hardie

Applying  vertical lap or Board and Batten siding in a light (typically white) monochromatic exterior color is unmistakably Modern Farmhouse. It also helps accentuate the rectangular shape of the home while drawing the eye to the standing seam metal roof. This often will often also make the house appear taller as well.

Black window casings

Lundberg Builders custom home with black window casings

Black windows are the height of chic right now.  Black casings help add drama and modernity that defines today’s Modern Farmhouse. When black windows are paired with matching furnishes in the room they really make a room pop.  They also add stunning contrast to the light colors typically associated with the farmhouse aesthetic.

Standing seam metal roof

Standing seam metal roofs are more expensive initially, but the cost pays off in the long run as a more durable and long-lasting roofing material.  This type of metal roof system will less likely cause roof leaks in the future. Also, with not having the hardware exposed, it leaves the roof with a clean hard line finished look.

Sliding barn doors

Photo credit courtesy of Sun Mountain Custom Doors (www.sunmountaindoor.com).

Sliding barn doors are everywhere right now as the Rustic Farmhouse look trend continues.  In my experience with clients, sliding barn doors are desirable over traditional pocket doors because they allow a homeowner to gain more room in a space with the bonus of adding character as architectural décor while still retaining their functional purpose as a door to separate and define spaces. We’re even seeing now riffs on the solid wood sliding barn door in new transparent “french door-esque” glass and frame versions which up the ante on fresh and modern. The image above is a double barn door (Sun Mountain Design SQ-0100-D001-HX), with crossbucks, made of Reclaimed Barnwood with Clear Coat finish.

Exposed Beams

Custom kitchen with exposed beams, Lundberg Builders

Having Exposed beams in your project also adds drama and character to your Modern Farmhouse home. These beams can be structural if you had an old barn that was then turned into a house, which would be called a Timber Frame. The most common construction now is Stick frame which includes smaller beams and metal fasteners. You can still achieve this beam look by adding exposed beams for purely aesthetic aim. These beams can either show off the beautiful raw wood grain, or showcase a  salvaged or reclaimed wood. You can also paint or stain them to match the ceiling or to provide a contrast. Exposed beams also do not have to be made of wood at all. Steel or other materials can also be used and either left as is, or finished with a wrap made from reclaimed barnwood or even hardwood flooring.

Tongue and groove paneling, ship lap and Buttboard

When you walk into an old farmhouse,  you typically won’t see drywall, but rather wood planks on the wall. The Modern Farmhouse often comes with not only exposed beams on the ceiling, but the treatment of the ceiling itself is often a focal point, utilizing tongue and groove paneling.  Adding wood planks to either the walls or ceiling of  your Modern Farmhouse adds a rustic, cozy and crafted home feeling that adds dimension and depth of interest with the layering of building textures.

So what happens when you want to incorporate some Modern Farmhouse builder elements but also really love elements from other styles of home? This is often how new twists like Modern Farmhouse come into fruition in the first place. Styles marry and evolve into something new. This also is exactly why homeowners choose to work with us! As a custom builder, we aren’t boxed into a specific home design plan. We also know the rules of different architectural styles but are not afraid to break them to fulfill your wish list! We look forward to helping you design and build a home that is custom-made for YOU!

2019 Home Design Trends in Review

Award-winning custom home we built on the Eastern Shore.

Taking stock of research from home building and design industry experts, we’ve cherry picked articles from the past year to deliver you an overview of the hottest trends and most valuable features you can build into your new custom home, remodel or renovation. 

Most Popular Home Styles in 2019

Better Homes & Gardens reports that Cape Cod, Country French, Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, Cottage, Mediterranean, Traditional Ranch and Contemporary are the 10 Most Popular House Styles in architecture. 

Outdoor Living Gains Momentum

We receive a lot of requests for deck and porch additions from homeowners who want to enjoy more of the outdoors year-round.

The outdoor living trend is evolving with how we live. “Improved indoor-outdoor connections” top the Best in American Living’s Trends That Impress for 2019 and Beyond.

Screened porches off the kitchen and living rooms in this custom built home are designed with lift- and-slide glass doors that in an instant connect indoor kitchen and dining area with the outdoors for maximum enjoyment of the river views and breezes.

The article also lists “quiet but purposeful architecture” at the top of their trends in architecture list. Homeowners favor cleaner lines on both the interior and exterior and form with purpose, such as floor-to-ceiling windows.

White, Stone and Open Design Reign in the Kitchen

In a report entitled, What Home Buyers Really Want, 2019 Edition, the  National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveyed 4,000 home buyers who ranked 175 home features on which they based their home purchasing choice.  According to the survey, 86% of home buyers prefer their kitchen and dining room to be completely or partially open. Top finishes include stainless steel appliances (67%), granite or natural stone kitchen countertops (57%) and white kitchen cabinetry (32%).

2019 Most Popular Bathroom Feature: The Linen Closet 

Beautiful bathroom we built in Baltimore. This renovation project was featured in Home & Design Magazine!

Survey respondents chose a linen closet as their top desired bathroom feature! While it may not be the most obvious feature, it’s certainly speaks to homebuyers’ desire for ample storage. Contractor magazine covered the study, reporting also higher-end fixture installations in the bathroom, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets and toilets.

2019 Top Renovations that Pay Off 

Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost Vs. Value Report compares average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in that region. Kitchen and bathroom remodels dominate, but upscale master suite additions, patios, metal roof upgrades and Age-in-Place accessibility features also prove a high return on investment.  Click here to reveal the Top 10 projects for highest resale value in the South Atlantic 2019 (that includes Maryland).

This year and every year, Lundberg Builders has worked closely with our clients to help them design and build the home, remodel, or renovation that honors the way they live. And while reviewing trends is fun and helps us to discover new ideas, ultimately, we know our job as custom builders is to help you realize your unique vision. We look forward to working with you on your next project!