Family-Friendly Farmhouse Plans

Family-Friendly Farmhouse Style House Plans

A popular variation on country homes, traditional farmhouse designs evoke the days when the kitchen served as the gathering place for the whole house. They're typically designed with a large footprint on a big lot, perfect for growing families that need the extra space. At once a throwback and a modern favorite, farmhouse plans are a great fit for suburban and rural settings. Could they be the solution for your family too?

What to Expect with a Farmhouse house Plan-  Farmhouses are crafted with simple, straightforward lines and a rectangular shape. They're often built with two stories, the upper of which typically features dormer windows, gables and the angles of a steeply pitched roof. Wood-frame construction, wooden siding, and rustic details create a warm, homey atmosphere reminiscent of a simpler time. Modern versions tend to incorporate open floor plans and other contemporary touches, but still retain a strong link to the past.

The farmhouse's most prominent feature, a large porch that appears on nearly every farmhouse plan, juts out at the front or wraps around the home - some even have a back porch to match. The concept of gathering space is key to understanding these structures; they reflect an era when families gathered in large country kitchens and open living rooms, so those two spaces (especially the kitchen) are a focal point in all farmhouse designs. A cozy fireplace and a rustic wooden table big enough for the whole family will complete the picture.

How to Customize Farmhouse Home Designs- Farmhouses are inherently flexible and allow quite a bit of latitude in choosing the design features that will truly make your new house a home. In the kitchen, for example, consider adding a snack bar or kitchen island for extra preparation and dining space. Swap out the wooden siding for stone or the two separate stories of windows for one large window wall that lets natural light pour in.

Farmhouses typically cluster several bedrooms together on the second floor. If you don't need very many bedrooms, could one become a home office, art studio or rec room instead? Alternatively, a bonus room on top of the garage could serve equally well as a guest room or a functional space for work or play. Some house plans add on walk-in pantries and closets, and a few even locate a second fireplace in the master bedroom for unbeatable coziness.

As you peruse house plans, think about how much entertaining you typically do outside. Could you use the extra porch space that a house plan with a rear or wraparound porch provides? If you're already entertaining outdoors quite a bit in your current arrangement and you could use the extra space, multiple porches might be worth the investment. Also consider what you'll do with the large, spacious backyard that typically complements a farmhouse. Traditional rural settings aren't known for having highly manicured landscapes or elaborate pool setups, so consider how you'll maximize the use of your backyard without going too over-the-top. For these designs, less is more - the simple design and imposing size of a farmhouse is a perfect match for easygoing, unfussy surroundings.

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