Livability at a Glance™


Livability at a GlanceThrough an ongoing series of consumer focus groups with people of all ages and backgrounds from around the country, a revelation emerged that changed Design Basics' understanding of how many people look at floor plans.

Rather than starting with the elevation when looking at home plans, people often began by looking at floor plans, which begged the question, “How do we look at home plans?” As we delved into this topic, we learned people look at a plan to determine “how the home lives.”  Further research helped us realize there were four primary filters, or lenses, through which women evaluate designs: how the home entertains; how the home helps her de-stress; the flexibility of the home’s design; and, the home’s ability to address her storage needs.

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.

Livability at a Glance™ Color Coded Floor Plans

Color Coded Floor Plans

Each Livability at a Glance floor plan is shown in a color-coded version that highlights four different lenses especially important to women: EntertainingDe-Stressing, Storage and Flexible Living.


If you never have enough storage, you’ll be drawn to homes with more orange areas that highlight:

  • Extra storage capacity in the garage or laundry room
  • Rear foyer storage
  • Generous kitchen pantries and linen closets
  • Over-sized bedroom closets
  • Additional unfinished areas in the basement or on the upper level
  • Stor-N-More™ bathroom storage concept
  • Display niches
  • Storage accessible from the outdoors

Learn more about Storage here.

Flexible Living

Green areas designate rooms that offer flexible living spaces that can adapt to unique situations:

  • Rooms that can be combined to create in-law-suites
  • Home offices (occasionally even his and her offices)
  • Bedroom/bath arrangements that work well for blended families
  • Music rooms
  • Homeschool rooms
  • Craft or gardening centers
  • Offices that can become dining rooms
  • Dens that become guest rooms

Learn more about Flexible Living here.


If you enjoy entertaining, yellow areas offer spaces for people to gather:

  • Formal rooms for entertaining
  • Informal, open living spaces
  • Outdoor “rooms” and kitchens
  • Kitchens that encourage guests to gather around a snack bar
  • Rooms for media-related get-togethers (watching movies, sports)
  • Areas idea for groups playing cards or board games
  • Billiard or game rooms

Learn more about Entertaining here.


If you’re looking for ways to de-stress your life, you’ll appreciate homes with a lot of blue spaces. Some blue areas offer relaxation such as:

  • Personal getaways
  • A privately located master suite
  • A walk-in shower or a soaking tub
  • A quiet porch or a craft area

Others provide organizational features such as:

  • Split, dual-height vanities
  • Rear foyer entry with lockers and bench seating
  • Drop zones that keep personal belongings in one convenient spot

Learn more about De-stressing here.

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