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HER Home - Design Trends, Articles and Resources

from Design Basics, LLC and our publication Her Home Magazine


Direct from Design Basics' HER Home Magazine, these design articles look at current design trends and products in home building and remodeling. Learn more about what's hot in designing, building and product selections for your home. Whether your interest is lighting, kitchen or bathroom design, building green, designing for live-in relatives, home office spaces, we have a resource for you.


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10 Things You Need to Consider in a Home Plan




Some builders measure a home’s size from the outside of the wall framing. Other builders measure to the outside of the siding material, so an all-brick home may be hundreds of square feet bigger than the exact same home with lap siding! Was the second-story area of a 2-story high entry foyer included? It’s heated space and can be a beautiful area in your home, but it isn’t “walkable” square footage. How about the staircase and its openings—was it counted once or twice? Such differences in calculating total square footage can have a dramatic impact on the home’s reported square footage and thus its cost per square foot! .



Read 10 Things You Need to Know Before Comaring Costs-Per-Square-Feet!



What's Your New Home Personality?

What's Your New Home Personality?


"What is Your New Home Personality?" Would you guess that your taste in jewelry…flowers...or travel could also predict your preferences in your home’s design, style and even product choices?


"A Home That's Truly Yours" From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires.


"Design reveals Desire" From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires.


Finally About Me® Quiz - TAKE THE QUIZ! What's Your New Home Personality? Would you guess that your taste in jewelry, flowers, or travel could also predict your preferences in your home's design styles and even product choices?



Livability at a Glance - How Does The Home Live?


Entertaining (yellow)
De-Stressing (blue)
Storing (orange)
Flexible Living (green)

Livability at a Glance


Turning the dream of building a home into reality can be a daunting challenge, with thousands of decisions along the way. Choosing a plan can be the most intimidating because it's often difficult to visualize the finished home and how it will live. To make it easy we have created a new way to present floor plans to help you narrow the search for a design that fits your personal lifestyle and needs.

Each Livability at a Glance™ floor plan is shown in a color-coded version that highlights four different categories especially important to understanding 'How a Home Plans Lives':


Read about Livability at a Glance and "How Your Home Plans Lives".


Livability at a Glance Home Plan Search - A Better Way to Search for Home Plans

Livability at a Glance ™ Quiz Discover Your Lifestyle Profile



15th Anniversary: Jan’s House of Hope

15th Anniversary: Jan’s House of Hope


Fifteen years ago, Jan’s House of Hope was constructed and sailed along the Eastern Seaboard. Design Basics was honored to be an integral part of this unique event. Read the reprint of the story


Read the reprint of the story!



Meet The Family of Lifestage Inspired Home Plans


Read Meet the Family!

Decade of Change


The past decade witnessed excessive fanfare for record high new home sales, followed by incessant media coverage of the housing recession. Almost lost amidst all the noise was the fact that home design preferences quietly continued to evolve.

We live an increasingly casual lifestyle. Formal dining rooms were still common 10 years ago, but already were heading the way of the formal living room. We heard comments like “360 days a year the dining room is a waste of space. And the other 5 days it’s really not big enough.” A single eating area, open to the kitchen and freely-flowing into an adjacent entertaining area became part of the new “entertaining core” plan design con . . .


Read Decade of Change!


Dreaming About Wood Floors


Whether for a special area or your whole home, the look of wood flooring presents an unrivaled aesthetic. From classic and elegant to contemporary and casual, the tremendous variety in wood species, finishes and plank sizes presents attractive options for just about every style and budget.


Besides its natural good looks, wood flooring is a popular choice because it is relatively low-maintenance. Compared with carpeting, spills and muddy shoe prints on wood flooring are generanlly much easier to clean up. Carpeting can also be a haven for dust, bacteria, mites and pet dander—all of which can present health risks, particularly for small children and individuals with respiratory ailments—making wood floors a...


Read Dreaming About Wood Floors!


PORCHES - Restful Retreats for all Ages


The porch beckons to every generation.


For a child, it is a dry place to play when it is raining. For a young couple, it is a quiet spot to catch up on each other’s day. Busy professionals find it a low-stress answer to casual entertaining. Retirees enjoy their morning coffee and the newspaper on the porch. For...


Read Porches!

Intelligent Traffic Flow


You’ve seen it on carpet. You’ve seen it on grass –a flattened path revealing the shortest walking distance between any two points! Similarly, inside our house we naturally choose the shortest distance as we flow through and between rooms. Intelligently placed circulation paths are a major determining factor in how comfortably your new home will function.


Interior designer, David Ferguson, writer of the syndicated newspaper column, Creative Space, states, “In my experience, traffic flow is possibly the Number One hindrance to a good furniture arrangement.” Since poorly placed traffic paths generate irritation and can even create safety hazards, identifying, analyzing and improving circulation routes in your proposed floor plan during the planning process will ensure your creation of a calming, stress-reducing new home design!


Read Intelligent Traffic Flow


Pocket Office Home Plans

Pocket Office Home Plans


Do you find yourself frequently bringing work home to finish because there's just not time enough at the office? Then do you wish that space could be shut off from other household activities? But does a dedicated, full-size home office just not make sense?


You may be a perfect candidate for what we call a "pocket office."


Read Pocket Office Home Plans


Design reveals Designers

Design reveals Desires


"From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires."


Your garage doors…flooring choices…the lighting in your bathroom… even your closets…everything in your home was designed. HER Home talked with several industry leaders about design’s role in delighting homeowners.


Read Design reveals Desires


The Practical Side of Design

The Practical Side of Design


beyond the visual and social appeals, it is often the thoughtful, practical side of good design which helps buyers choose one home over others on the market.


Careful study is sometimes required to discover these practical design aspects—precisely because they just make sense and would only be noticed by their absence.


Read The Practical Side of Design


The Three Faces of Design

The Three Faces of Design


Her Home Magazine spoke with some unlikely bedfellows: Kohler (plumbing products), ThermaTru (exterior doors,) InSinkErator (food waste disposers,) and Wilsonart (countertops,) to identify the appeals designed into some of their products for the home. Though the ingredients were different, their recipes were similar. . .


Read The Three Faces of Design


The Changing Faces of Concrete

The Changing Faces of Concrete!


We all remember the story of the ugly duckling. Oh come on, sure you do – the one where the little ugly duckling is magically transformed into a beautiful swan. Well, here’s a real-life transformation story that has nothing whatsoever to do with ducklings or swans, but rather, with concrete.


Read The Changing Faces of Concrete!


From Drab to Dramatic Decorative Lighting Trends!

From Drab to Dramatic Decorative Lighting Trends!


Next to new wall color, nothing changes a room’s appearance more dramatically than lighting. And today’s homeowners have more ways to transform their homes with light than ever before.


Layering light remains the most pervasive trend, notes Jeffrey Dross, product manager for Kichler Lighting. “Take the kitchen, for example. Previously, it often had a single lighting fixture in the middle of the ceiling. Today, there’s under-cabinet lighting, above cabinet lighting, inside-cabinet lighting, pendants over the island, a chandelier over the table, rope lighting in the toe kick and recessed lights wherever needed.”


Read From Drab to Dramatic Decorative Lighting Trends!


Home Design Dogma - Creating a Pet Friendly Home

Home Design Dogma - Creating a Pet Friendly Home

Cindy is an entrepreneurial mother of 4 running two home-based businesses. Lori is a newlywed and substitute teaches. Barb is a corporate accountant and happily single. Other than being neighbors, what do they have in common? They see their dogs as full-fledged family members! So it is with many of the 4 in 10 US households with dogs. Yet for most of these loving pet owners, their homes were not designed with pets in mind. From floorplan layouts to material selections to innovative amenities, pet-centric homes make life better for Snoopy and his owners.


Read Home Design Dogma.


Less is More

Less is More


Waxing and waning since its beginnings in the latter half of the 20th century, contemporary home design is currently enjoying a renewed popularity. Demanding careers and hectic lifestyles have led many homeowners to embrace its clean, simple lines. Often suffering from “opportunity overload,” they find respite in homes with less fuss and fewer details.


Read Less is More


Creating Intimacy in Open Floor Plans

Creating Intimacy in Open Floor Plans

Over the last two decades, homes have become increasingly open. Improved building products now allow designers to eliminate walls previously needed to bear loads. The resulting floor plans feel considerably more spacious than older homes divided by additional walls.


Adjoining kitchens, dining areas, hearth rooms and great rooms are ideal for today’s casual entertaining, encouraging guests to mingle freely. Open living spaces also allow cooks to interact with family members during meal preparation.


Read Creating Intimacy Open Floor Plans


Quartz Your Hardest Choice In Countertops

Quartz Your Hardest Choice In Countertops


Time is precious. Whether you’re a young mother trying to keep up with preschoolers, a busy career woman or an active retiree, you’re probably looking for ways to carve out more time to do the things that matter most to you.


Perhaps that’s why quartz surfacing has become the fastest-growing countertop material in the United States. With the distinctive depth and glimmering radiance of natural stone, this material offers easier maintenance than granite, marble or limestone.


Read More. . .


Feels So Good

Feels So Good

- Taking Natural Light to a Whole New Level


We are drawn to places in our homes that are bathed in natural light. We don’t even think about it. But whether we’re having friends over or simply curling up with a good book, chances are we can be found in sunny spaces.


So we ask for more windows in our homes, to create those “light, bright and airy” spaces. And therein begins the tradeoffs. Adding windows adds cost. No matter how advanced, windows are nowhere near as energy efficient as walls. Window placement may dictate furniture arrangements and even our landscaping plans. Then to top it all off, we spend more money covering up those windows for privacy. Looking Up . . .


Read More . . .


Building Green - As a Nations, We can do Better

Building Green - As a Nations, We can do Better

According to the U.S. EPA, the average home creates more pollution than the average automobile. It’s not surprising there is increasing interest in building environmentally responsible homes, and today it is possible to build “green” without sacrificing aesthetics or livability.


Minimizing the negative impact homes have on the environment is critical. While home plans themselves are not necessarily 'Green', simple choices in the home’s design and selection of environment-friendly home products can make a huge, positive impact.


Read Building Green


The French Country style combines the best of old world elegance with comfortable interiors. With it's roots in the sunny hillsides of rural France, where each province has its own colloquial style, French Country architecture reflects a wealth of diversity. Old and new, formal and informal elements are mixed in Houses ranging from humble cottages and farmhouses to grand chateaus.

French Country Design Style


Viva la Difference.  Their architecture is no exception. So it's not particularly surprising that French Country homes are becoming as popular as the latest styles from Paris.


Read French Country Design Style


Craftsman / Art and Crafts Homes

The Craftsman Home


SOLID AND SECURE.  WARM AND INVITING.  Such are the words that describe-what has become the "comfort food" of American residential architecture - the Craftsman home.


Read The Craftsman Home




Garage Door Decor

Garage Door Decor


The biggest doors don't have to be boring.  Not your ordinary door. the architectural styling of each of these homes is greatly enhanced by thoughtful door selections.


Read Garage Door Decor


Carefree Exteriors

Carefree Exteriors


Good-Looking, Time-Saving Products for your Home.  What’s behind the trend toward low-maintenance products for the home? We went one-on-one with home buyers and builders to discover the perceptions and values behind the surge. The insights just might surprise you!


Read More . . .


Design Basics' home plan #8509 ~ The Weaver

Exquisite Exteriors


What are the most common mistakes homeowners make when choosing exterior paint colors?  What opportunities do homeowners commonly miss when selecting and placing colors on their homes' exteriors?  These questions and others are answered with "Tips for Choosing a Color Scheme."


Read More . . .




An Island of Dreams

An Island of Dream


No item represents the 21st century kitchen more than the island. Whether you’re building or remodeling, your new kitchen will undoubtedly include one. As kitchens have grown in size and importance, islands have also sprung up in increasing numbers and varieties.

Because of the sheer multitude of options available in today’s islands, thorough research and a thoughtful assessment of your particular needs is essential to ensure your finished island is everything you desire. The following questions will get you started.


Read An Island of Dreams


The Entertaining Kitchen

The Entertaining Kitchen


Many of the best times of our lives revolve around being with family and friends. Whether it’s hosting a formal get-together, holiday dinners or your children’s birthday parties, the kitchen is the hub of activity. A little extra attention spent planning flow, layout and product selections will reward you with a kitchen that is more functional and efficient.


Due to the popularity of today’s open floor plans with kitchens in full view, designing kitchens is all about zones related to the flow of activity. Kitchen design is being further refined by an emerging knowledge of how layout and product choices can actually help reduce stress, particularly while entertaining.


Read The Entertaining Kitchen


Company's Coming - Kitchens that Ease Entertaining

Company's Coming - Kitchens that Ease Entertaining

Many of the best times of our lives revolve around being with family and friends. But did you ever stop to think about the influence your home’s design has on your entertaining? Whether it’s hosting formal get-togethers, holiday dinners or your children’s birthday parties, the kitchen is the hub of activity. A little extra attention spent planning flow, layout and product selections will reward you with a kitchen that is more functional and efficient.


Read More . . .


Kitchen Essentials

Kitchen Essentials


Creating a kitchen people will want to live in.  Whether it's one person preparing a sophisticated gourmet meal or the whole family pitching in on a hurried supper - enjoying a cup of coffee with the morning paper or casually entertaining a group of friends - paying bills at the computer or helping a youngster with homework ...homeowners are spending more time in their kitchens.


Read Kitchen Essentials




Rub A Dub-Dub Get Rid Of That Tub?


Such was a response from New York Sales Professional Jim Cotungo in a recent Linked in® discussion on whether or not to build master bathrooms with a tub plus separate shower or forgo the tub in favor of oversized spa-type showers. Please understand, we’re discussing homes with two or more bathrooms and there is always a tub in another bathroom.


Throughout the home, today’s buyers are showing more practical housing preferences, such as the great room concept replacing formal living rooms. Buyers don’t want to pay for something they’re not going to use! So many, many women we spoke with said the master suite bathtub is something they don’t . . .


Read Rub A Dub-Dub Get Rid Of That Tub?


Start the Day Right in an Efficient Bath

Start the Day Right in an Efficient Bath


Courtesy of Her Home Magazine. What does your bath look like on a typical morning? A place for everything and everything in its place? Or, a floor covered with wet towels and dirty clothes and a countertop cluttered with hair products, lotions, cosmetics and a tangle of cords? If the second description fits your bath – or your children’s bath – this article is for you.




In The Bath

In The Bath


Of all the rooms in our homes, kitchens and baths (especially master baths) have changed the most dramatically over the years.


Read In The Bath



Organized Rear Foyers

Organized Rear Foyers


Her Home asked women what contributes stress to their daily lives at home. One of the most frequent replies was: “Getting my family out the door on time in the morning, with everything they need.” Another common response was simply: “Clutter.”


Thankfully, an organized rear foyer can de-stress take-offs and provide pleasant landings by eliminating clutter that may otherwise accumulate in the kitchen or family room. Because efficient, practical service entries are emphasized in all. . .


Read Organized Rear Foyers


Garages - The New Flex Room <empty>

Garages - The New Flex Room

Evolving from mere auto storage units, today’s garages are often serving multiple roles. The most common is storage. But increasingly, garages are being used for a variety of other purposes, dictated by the activity(s) envisioned. Here are issues and solutions for expanding the usability of your garage, based on what we’ve been hearing from you . .


Read Garages - The New Flex Room


Flex Appeal<empty>

Flex Appeal

What makes you feel most welcome when you're an overnight guest? I like being shown to a cozy, tucked-away room with a bed dressed up in catalog linens and a down duvet, adjoining a full bath stocked with fluffy towels and wrapped soaps . .


Read Flex Appeal


Creating the Home Office that is Right for You!

Creating the Home Office that is Right for You!


Have it Your Way. It’s no wonder millions of Americans are now working from home.  Unlike a commercial office, a home office can reflect your personality, likes and dislikes. Having a completely individualized work space can make the difference between having to work and wanting to work.  In fact, after moving home, you may find yourself staying at your desk a little longer – which balances out time-wise since there’s no commuting!

Read Creating the Home Office that is Right for You!


Hobby Rooms 

Hobby Rooms 

Creative Get-Away Spaces
You’ve probably heard the saying, “I’m not messy – I’m creative.” You may have said it yourself, but, imagine a home without interesting piles here and there. Imagine a home with a well-laid out hobby room.

Read Hobby Rooms 




10 Things You Need to Consider in a Home Plan

10 Things You Need to Consider in a Home Plan


Like picking a university or falling in love and deciding to marry, choosing to build a new home can be one of life’s most rewarding and stressful experiences. The house plan – your dream on paper – becomes the manuscript which weaves to¬gether the various people (developer, builder, sub-contractors, lender, etc.) and products that will bring your vision to reality


Read More . . .


10 Things You Need To Know Before Comparing Cost Per Square Foot



Read More . . .


10 Things to Consider Before You Sign on the Dotted Line

10 Things to Consider Before You Sign on the Dotted Line


Making the decision to build a new home is a thrilling prospect. For many, it is the realization of a dream. But many potential new home owners don’t realize that some of the decisions made after signing a contract would be less expensive and better negotiated if they researched their needs before inking the deal.


Read More . . .


10 Things to Remember After You Sign the Contract!

10 Things to Remember After You Sign the Contract!


Lessons From Real-Life Experiences, Part Two. Lisa Albrecht shares more lessons she's learned while building her dream home. In the second part of her journey, Lisa provides advice for the framing stage.


Read More . . .


Setting the Stage for Reasale!

Setting the Stage for Resale


Sprucing up a home before putting it on the market is hardly a new idea. Most of us have been through the process of repainting walls, replacing carpets, scouring kitchens and bathrooms and meticulously manicuring the yard.


Professional Presentation to Help Sell Your Homes.


Read Setting the Stage for Resale



 Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters, & Retirement

house Plans for Baby Boomers

For Boomers From Boomers


Born between 1946 and 1964, there are 77 million Boomers or about 26% of the population. Boomers represent 45% of the work force and control the largest amount of discretionary income in history.


Like everything else in life, not all boomers want the same things. Most boomers are not interested in down-sizing, Boomers are interested in "right-sizing." In the not to distant future you may be looking for that perfect "right-sized" home. Maybe that means building a smaller house designed for easy living. Maybe that means building a house with interior and exterior entertaining areas. In many cases, it means . . .


Read For Boomers From Boomers



When Smaller is Smarter


Retirement's just around the corner. Their 2,700 square foot two-story served its purpose well, but it's been too big for the two of them for years. They want to build a new home. Something they can live in for a long time -maybe forever. What's it look like?


Read When Smaller is Smarter


Email or call us with your question!

New Homes for Aging Boomers


Throughout their lives, baby boomers have viewed the world and lived their lives differently than other generations. So it’s not surprising that as they reach middle age, their dream retirement home also differs from that of their predecessors.


Read New Homes for Aging Boomers


The In-Law Suite

The In-Law Suite

The Ideal Solution for a Multi-Generational Suite
According to the 2000 Census, 3.9 million American homes have three or more generations living together. (Seventy-eight thousand households contain four generations.)   One segment of this growing population is baby boomers caring for aging parents.


“Another group consists of younger families who live with able-bodied parents in order to pool finances in expensive housing markets or so they both can afford to live in a nicer home. Having grandparents involved in their grandchildren’s lives and available for babysitting is an added bonus.


Read The In-Law Suite



Updated: Friday, January 5, 2018 7:37 AM


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