Picturesque Michigan

This home design is meant for a scenic location such as a hillside or lakeside. It could be either a primary residence or a vacation home. It’s exterior has a modern appeal with rustic materials to complement natural surroundings.

Michigan Front Elevation

The first floor is arranged for family comfort with spacious areas for living, dining, lounging and enjoying the views. A large deck off the kitchen expands the living space outdoors. When the air is chilly outside, back-to-back central fireplaces will warm the home on both levels. Multiple window seats offer cozy nooks for curling up with a favorite book.

Off the dining room and kitchen is the mudroom, powder room, pantry, laundry, a roomy garage and stairs to the basement.

A short, private hall, leads to the first floor master suite with ample amenities including a sitting area with access to the deck, two closets, and a master bath with a large glass shower and wide vanity.

Michigan First Floor

On the second floor are three large bedrooms with ample closet space and a shared bath that you’ve probably noticed is a common feature in my designs. The best part about the second floor is the loft space overlooking the living room below. A common area for the kids or guests, the loft can be a lounge area, game room, media room, whatever the family desires. An added bonus is the set of french doors with a shallow balcony to take in the scenery from the height of the treetops.

Michigan Second Floor

This is one home where I would love to spend long weekends and holidays, for certain. I can already smell the cedar, pine and fresh air. Ahhhh!!!!

Next week…midnight train to Georgia!

The Finer Points of Connecticut

I hope you are enjoying this series of posts… a dream house for every state in the US!

When I was younger, from about twelve years old, my hobby was to spend hours looking at books of home plans and dreaming of which one would be mine when I grew up. Then I began drawing my own, dozens, then hundreds of plans. This series is a collection of my favorites, and this particular one, Connecticut, is one of my favorites of the favorites!

Connecticut Front Elevation

With a bit of European flair, the front view is full of fairytale charm. With a stucco finish on the exterior walls (commonly referred to as EIFS these days), windows with diamond panes, and a hip roof, all this home needs is a colorful cottage garden to make it worthy of a scene in a romantic film.

Connecticut First Floor

The floor plan is ideal for a family with children of any age, young to adult with their own children in tow. This is a true gathering place for the extended family where everyone comes together for important events and holidays. Yet, it is quite comfortable on regular days, too, with areas for all of the modern family’s needs.

The living, dining and kitchen are connected, yet each is defined as it’s own space with columns. A separate study near the entry foyer has double french doors so that it can be open to expand the living room, if desired. Off the kitchen is a generous mudroom for all the sneakers, jackets and sports equipment. A large pantry is next to the mudroom along with a door to the back yard for easy access to the grill or wood pile. If a garage is required, a detached one can easily be added off of the mudroom wing, as well, as long as the property has the room for it.

On the other side of the first floor is a private master suite with a large dressing room and pretty, light-filled bathroom. There is also a set of french doors leading out to a private patio area at the back of the house. If desired, the suite is large enough to add a fireplace, too. How lovely would that be?!

Connecticut Second Floor

A beautiful open stair, with a window at the landing overlooking the backyard, leads up to the spacious second floor. A loft greets one at the top, which can evolve from play room to game room to media room to library as the family grows and hobbies change. Three large bedrooms also have large closets, big enough to accommodate whatever life brings (or most of it). One smaller bedroom is still roomy enough for a set of fun bunk beds. And a compartmentalized bath makes it possible for more than one person to occupy it at a time.

As in most of my plans, the basement is a bonus space for a family/play room, hobby room, wine cellar, storage, mechanical, etc.

In my portfolio, this plan holds the longest record as my own personal dream home. If you could design your own dream home, what would it look like? What are all of the elements you would want to include? What are your visions of favorite life moments you would have there? These are the things I think of when designing a home. Truth be told, it’s my mental happy place!

Next week….picturesque Michigan.


When I was ten, my family took a road trip from our home in Kansas to a relative’s home in Texas. We drove quite a ways through Oklahoma, but I don’t remember much other than learning the term “tumbleweed” and being really excited when we finally saw the sign “Welcome to Texas”.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma isn’t commonly thought of as an exciting destination. Therefore, for this state’s home design in my portfolio, I wanted to make it a place where a family would find comfort and happiness every time they turn into the driveway.

With that in mind, I remembered an old Victorian house in a neighboring town to where we now live that is painted in many bright, cheery colors. Whenever we drive by it, my daughters will say, “Look! There’s the ice cream house!” It truly does remind us of a big ice cream sundae. So, I took a little of that vision and applied it to Oklahoma’s house design in hopes it would have a little of the same appeal in the midst of a vast, monotone prairie.

Oklahoma Front Elev

With the appeal of a traditional farmhouse, yet updated to fit in today’s neighborhoods, the front view of this home is quite welcoming. I see it as the gathering place for all the kids on the street, with bats and balls and bicycles galore.

For the many sets of feet running in and out, the floor plan is well thought out. The rooms are defined with several points of entry to keep footprints contained and to a minimum during the busy days, then transforming to a cozy respite for more relaxing evenings. The first floor offers everything that’s needed to accommodate a young family without wasting space.

Oklahoma First Floor

The second floor hall feels more spacious with a railing overlooking the stairs below. Off the hall are two generous sized kid bedrooms and a compartmentalized bath to allow for the comfort of multiple users. And a closet for a stackable washer and dryer eliminates the need to heft full laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

The Master Suite has two bays, adding charm to the parents’ private quarters. A light-filled dressing room leads to the master bath with a large steam shower.

Oklahoma Second Floor

For those who like to think ahead and have options, it wouldn’t be difficult to add a room above the garage. Don’t forget the basement for extra storage space and a play area for the kids on rainy days.

Isn’t Oklahoma looking like a great destination now? It is to me!

Next week…..the finer points of Connecticut.

Sir Washington


Sir Washington is a sweet little homestead meant for a hillside surrounded by evergreens. He has an air of the friendly, gentleman neighbor with a freshly pressed suit and cedar accents. One might almost sense a twinkle in his eye when climbing the steps to the entrance.

Inside, the layout is tidy and cozy, remaining comfortable from a starter home to a family home to the empty nest. An open living, dining and kitchen area is the central gathering place. There are a few different options for the kitchen, including a peninsula island instead of the square island that is shown.

A small library nook is tucked in neatly next to the stairs on the first floor, leading to a private study that can also double as a guest room. In the private corner of the first floor, there is a sizable master bedroom that opens up onto a wide back deck that spans much of the length of the house at the rear.

The craftsman style stair leads up to two bedrooms on the second floor, then down to a family room in the basement, adjacent to the “underground” garage.



Sir Washington’s gentle and noble spirit makes him one of my favorites. I hope you agree.

Next week’s feature plan….Ooooklahoma!

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