Back to School: Great Design Elements for Busy Families
It’s that time of year, again. The time that parents everywhere both love and hate. It’s time for school to start back. This year I have one child on the Elementary school campus and one child at the High School campus, so my days just seem to get more and more hectic as the week moves on. We’ve all been there. It’s 5 minutes before the bus is supposed to run and you are desperately hunting for that one shoe that the kid wants to wear. (Never mind the fact that they have 4 pairs that would be so much better.)
We all want those hectic days to get a bit easier for us all, so let’s look at some of the design elements that can make your home more friendly toward kids and their schedules.
Top Back to School Design Elements
Here is a look at the design elements that make back to school easier on everyone. This list is in no particular order because I feel that each family is different and may need different things. So, let’s look at these elements and some house plans to go with them.
I know back to school at my house means that we are digging everything out of the closet to make sure we have enough clothes to start the new year in and that we also have all of the shoes and socks and jackets, etc. that they are going to need. So closet space is a must in our house.
Three Winds (MEN 5222)
Oh, how I love a good farmhouse plan! And this one is so pretty, too! This sweet little farmhouse plan gives you 2,000 square feet of living space with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and features a 2 car Garage. Like any good farmhouse plan, this one faces you with a large Covered Front Porch to give some great curb appeal.
As you enter the home, you find yourself in the Foyer that features high 10-foot ceilings. This gives the home a such a nice airy feeling. To the left of the Foyer is the formal Dining Room. This room also has the high 10-foot ceilings and is open to both the foyer and the Great Room.
To the right of the Foyer is the Guest Room/ Bedroom 3 / Study Area. This spacious room features the high ceiling as well as a large picture window facing the front of the home. This Bedroom has a large walk-in closet. This Bedroom connects to Bedroom 2 through their connecting jack and jill bathroom. Bedroom 2 also has a large walk-in closet and two windows facing the side of the home.
The Great Room features faux beams in the vaulted ceiling and a large brickwork fireplace. It also has 2 large entrances to the Grilling Porch on the rear of the home. The Great Room is part of an open floor plan that includes the Kitchen and Breakfast Room. This allows the styling from the Great Room to flow seamlessly to the Kitchen and Breakfast Room.
The Kitchen features a large bar with seating for 6 for those busy mornings with the kids. The Kitchen also features an entrance to a very large Pantry with built in shelves. The Breakfast Room features a large picture window that looks out on to the rear of the home. Moving further into the home you will find a large Laundry room. This has space for your appliances and for a large soaking sink for those tough stains.
The Master Suite finishes out the first floor of this home. The Master Bedroom features 10-foot boxed ceilings and two windows facing the rear of the home. There is also a private entrance to the Covered Walk moving out to the Grilling Porch with its optional fireplace and vaulted ceilings.
The Master Bathroom gives you both a freestanding tub and a corner glass shower. The freestanding tub is a staple in Farmhouse Style house plans and lends an old-world air to the room. The Master Bathroom also features a large walk-in closet to help store and sort all of your clothing.
Another great design element for back to school is definitely mudrooms or catch areas. If you have kids, you know exactly what they do. As soon as they hit the door the shoes come off and the backpacks get slung to the floor, right in the way. So, we need somewhere for them to put their things. The closer to the door, the better. Mine is actually a bookshelf with a laundry basket for shoes. It’s simple, but it works.
Windover Place (MEN 5157)
This house plan gives you just under 5,000 square feet of living space with 4 bedrooms, 4 full baths, 2 half baths and a 3 car Garage. It has everything that you could ever want in a house plan from an enormous Master Suite to a lovely formal Dining Area to a great Outdoor Living Area.
The first thing that you notice about this home is its fantastic curb appeal. This home just commands your attention as you approach it. The roofline is one of the most unique that I have seen and just makes you want to come in and see the rest of the home.
Stepping through the Covered Front Porch, you find yourself in the Foyer with a high 10-foot ceiling. This gives the home an airy feeling and lends light to the entryway. To the right you will find Bedroom 2 with its own in-suite bathroom and tile shower. To the left you will find the formal Dining Room featuring high vaulted ceilings and a large picture window facing the front of the home.
Moving through the small hallway from the Dining Room, you find a Pantry to you left and the Kitchen directly ahead of you. This Kitchen features a large island with seating for 5 and room for a large gas range and double oven. The Kitchen blends into the Breakfast Room which is perfect for those busy mornings or late evening doing homework. This room also features an Optional Coffee Bar. (OK this plan may have just become my favorite. I need a coffee bar in my house.)
The Great Room features a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams as well as a large fireplace. It also has a row of patio doors that open out onto the Outdoor Living Space. This outdoors space gives you both a gas fireplace and room for your grill with a half wall.
Moving further to the left in the plan you find the Laundry Room which features a large counter space for folding and a closet to store off season clothing. The Laundry Room can be reached from the Garage and the hallway outside of it can be used as a mudroom. It gives you a perfect space to let the kids drop off their backpacks and shoes before they come into the rest of the home.
The Master Suite features an 8-foot boxed ceiling and a private entrance to the Outdoor Living Area. The Master Baath gives you both a soaking tub and a glass shower as well as a large walk-in closet. But wait! There’s the basement!
The basement features Bedrooms 3 and 4 that have their own in-suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. Down here you are also going to find a great office space with a built-in computer center that has a large picture window that overlooks the Covered Porch under the Outdoor Living Area. There is also a secondary Living Area in the basement that is perfect to help contain all of those messes that kids tend to bring with them. The basement also features a Home Theater with a built-in wet bar. (Again, I think this may be my favorite plan now.)
Even with everything in the world becoming wireless, sometimes getting your kids to sit down and actually DO their homework requires a space dedicated to that sort of thing. That’s where a computer center or study center can come in really handy.
La Dessa (NDG 1306)
This house plan gives you 3,200 square feet of living space with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and features a 2 car Garage. This is a great plan for a growing family because it features a large laundry room and Kitchen with plenty of space for sorting and staying organized.
As you step into the home from the Covered Porch you find yourself in an open floor plan with the Foyer, Dining Room and Living Room. The Foyer opens up to the study on the left through French Doors and features a great built-in computer center. This would be wonderful for kids to do homework or for someone to work from home. To the right of the Foyer is the Dining Room that features a great bay window overlooking the front of the home.
The Living Room features both a brickwork fireplace and patio doors opening onto the Grilling Porch at the rear of the home. Moving further into the home you find yourself in the Great Room with 10-foot boxed ceilings and loads of windows. It also features another brickwork fireplace that gives you place to curl up on a cold winter night. The Kitchen area is a large “C" shape with lots of counter space for prepping. The Kitchen also features a coffee bar and a computer desk as well as a raised bar with seating for 4.
The Breakfast room gives you space for informal meals and features a window seat that looks out onto the side of the home. The Laundry Room is spacious has a large countertop for sorting and folding as well as a small soaking sink to help get rid of those tough stains.
The Master Suite finishes out this floor and features large windows facing the rear of the home as well as a Niche to help ensure privacy. The Master Bath features both a whirlpool tub as well as a corner glass shower with a seat. Don’t forget about the large walk-in closets on either side of the bathroom!
The second-floor features Bedrooms 2 and 3 that each have their own in-suite Bathroom as well as their own walk-in closets. There is also a computer center on the second floor as well as an optional bonus room.
Maybe you're looking for something in particular? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Come check out Nelson Design Group’s collection of over 1,800 house plans. And come check out the past blog posts in our house plan series:
- Farmhouse style
- Farmhouse House Plans
- Contemporary Modern style
- Contemporary Modern House Plans
- Rustic Style
- Rustic House plans
- Mountain and Cabins House Style
- Mountain and Cabin House Plans
- Examining House Styles: Pool Houses
- House Plan Spotlight: Pool Houses
- Examining House Styles: The Florida Collection
- House Plan Spotlight: The Florida Collection
- Outdoor Buildings: Garages and Pool Houses
- American Style House Plans
- Starter Homes Spotlight: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
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