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Dream House Plans: Finding Your Ideal Home Design

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Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've been involved in design-and-build residential building projects.

What is your idea of a dream abode? What features must it possess before you can call it the house of your dreams?

Does a house of one's dream have to be large and luxurious, quaint and cosy, or something in-between? A multi-family home where everyone has their privacy, or one that is stylishly modern, a single-family residence that highlights clean lines and geometric shapes?


Many questions no doubt. That is because we all have diverse reasons to be house proud. However, one thing is clear, an ideal home, its environs, and its interior must satisfy its occupants' needs. It must be functional while being aesthetically pleasant. It must also complement its residents' lifestyle and, most importantly, offer a relaxed mood for everyone.

Building a New House or Renovating an Existing One

If you plan to build, you are taking a commendable step toward owning your property. It is a good investment, perhaps the best you will ever make. But making that decision is just the first step to actualizing your dream. It is also the easiest. The real deal begins when you consult with an architect if you are building a new house. If you are renovating or upgrading your existing home, you need to consult with an interior designer. What you desire should be translated through the floor plans they design and present to you. But you will need to give them a clear picture of your dream home.

A great way to achieve this is to plan. Careful planning of your preferences from the onset will ensure you achieve your goals. This preparation is easier than you envisage.

Even before you commence with building or upgrading plans, start your research. Magazines, publications, Pinterest, and similar media will supply you with more than you need. Start with cuttings, print-outs, and home design books. Cut out and paste what you like on the pages of a physical book. Going digital with this can be risky. You don’t want to lose all you have stored in one fell swoop if your computer crashes.

Organize Your Vision and Mood in One Tidy Place

Create vision pages and mood boards in one tidy place. Identify products you feel are must-gets and document their vendors and suppliers. Keep swatches and samples of what you like, colors and textures inclusive. And when the time comes to speak with an architect/designer, they will have a pretty good idea of the concepts you like.

Using a journal organizer will help to refine your style. Add anything that catches your fancy. Illustrations of spacious living areas, high vaulted ceilings, cosy alcove work-from-home stations, fitness rooms with modern gym equipment, etc... It is the book you require to store all your design ideas and concepts. It is the place to express your dream choices in preparation for your new house.


Features of Great House Plans

What determines a residential building’s status that qualifies it to be tagged ‘dream’? Is it any of the following features?:

  1. Size
  2. Neighbourhood
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spacious outdoors
  5. Luxurious interior design

It can be a combination of all, or just one or any other. It can be anything from a Mediterranean style house or a small country home to a penthouse apartment “in the sky”, a terrace house, or a container home. Preferences can be based on architectural style or interior floor plans.

More prospective homeowners now believe “great things come in small packages” because this applies to homes. Their preferred choice lies in modest homes with lavish interiors. Many opt for medium to small-size homes with over-the-top interior layouts that are a dream to behold. They love features like open floor plans, split levels, ensuite bedrooms, walk-in closets, home offices, and multi-purpose spaces with plenty of storage facilities.

A beautiful architectural style that is worthy to be tagged a dream house.

A beautiful architectural style that is worthy to be tagged a dream house.

Below, you will find some features that you may wish your architect or designer to incorporate into your home design. Perhaps they are some of the features that make a home a dream house.

Landscaping - Some homeowners prefer a low maintenance lawn with minimum shedding plants. The landscape and garden are typical of dream houses.

Two-door garage - Even with owning just one car, the other garage is usually converted to a workshop, games room, a work-at-home station, or a utility room.

Open plan layouts - Open plans give visual effects of large open spaces flowing into each other. They are great for entertaining guests. Usually, there are no demarcating walls between the living, dining, and kitchen areas.

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Energy-saving fixtures and appliances - We are in the age of technology and find we have more fixtures and appliances than we did in the past. This, therefore, calls for energy saving methods with the use of energy-saving appliances and light fittings.

Patio or outdoor living areas - Patios and decks are for relaxation or entertaining. Having any of the two or even a large outdoor living area that extends from the interior out, styled with comfortable furniture, is typical of a home that's a dream.

Ensuite bedrooms - Another attractive feature is ensuite bedrooms. Each and everyone has a private bathroom with all the necessary amenities. Smaller room bathrooms can have shower cubicles fitted instead of a bathtub. Master bedrooms come with both showers and separate bathtubs.

Master bedroom walk-in closet - Nothing pleases most homeowners more than having a spacious walk-in closet with great organisation systems in their master bedrooms.

Ample storage space -To have everything stored in allotted spaces is a must-have. There are so many places you can build storage facilities within a home with smart storage systems.

Large kitchen with island - Large open kitchens lined with built-in cabinets with stone countertops (granite, quartz) and tall hanging units. Having a kitchen island unit is also a popular feature.

Pantry - A kitchen must-have. Well designed homes require a pantry, no matter how small the available space is. A walk-in pantry is a bonus.

Work-at-home station - Working from home is almost the norm for more and more individuals. Because of this, workstations are always a welcome addition to today's home. Home offices can be built under staircases, in dead-end corners, in alcoves or niches, or in garages.

Pet resting zones - A place for pets to rest or sleep without taking over that expensive couch. Private pet zones with furniture and furnishings are typically found in modern homes. The four-legged members of the family also require their own space, just as other family members do.

House floor plan.

House floor plan.

Buy House Plans Online Or Employ the Services of an Architect?

The digital age has made things so easy to achieve that you can purchase house design blueprints from online stores and vendors like ePlans. If you wish to add more to, or, reduce features that are included in their set of blueprints, you can have the plans modified to suit your taste and style. For a small fee, their in-house architect can change things around to your specifications.

Amazon is another place where you will find affordable new house plans. The Ultimate Book of Home Plans (Color interior) not only consists of 650+ unique house designs, but it also includes practical tips and advice on all you need to do and know about building. From choosing the right site and employing contractors to adding aesthetic touches like trim works, special lighting, and landscaping. Once you find what you desire, you can get customizable construction plans, cost estimates, materials lists, and CAD files.

And if you prefer to employ the services of an architect or home designer, that is great as well. However, the downside is that their design services come very expensive and are out of the reach of most who are desirous of building a new home.

Influence of the Times

Our needs are changing. It is the 21st Century; many prospective homeowners are opting for a downsized style of living. Now, the younger generation resides in smaller but elegant homes. And as the interest in architectural styles appears to wane, it is now more about the interior design and what it has to offer the household in terms of function and aesthetics.

Who needs such spaces as were popular in the past? Some of the 20th-century's popular rooms - big halls, separate dining rooms, and smoking rooms are near-extinct, except in the homes and palaces of royalty. The only spaces people dream to have are the ones that accommodate their 21st-century lifestyles.

A modest home design with a chimney and cute garden.

A modest home design with a chimney and cute garden.

Where to Find Inspiration

If you are in the decision-making stage and need dream houses to inspire you, sites like YouTube, Pinterest, and Houzz will stir your imagination. Study their diverse home styles closely. Print them out to add to your vision collection. You will also find design ideas from books that include photo illustrations of floor plans. You can also visit online stock floor plan vendors like ePlans. They can customise house plans and blueprints you purchase from them. They have thousands of new house plans that you can choose from.

© 2010 viryabo


Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 18, 2020:

Thank you for sharing :) I an blessed to have any type of shelter over my head but it is fun to play with the idea of a dream home. Mine would be no larger than 2500 sq ft, maybe a two car garage and places to park for family. A few slate fireplaces, 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths. Maybe a pool etc.

Alexander Okelo from Nairobi, Kenya on September 18, 2019:

Great information.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on November 08, 2016:

Thank you for visiting Rachel :)

Rachel from Adelaide on November 08, 2016:

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Colinsmith0000 on September 06, 2012:

Good post thanks for sharing post

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 08, 2011:

Thank you for the kind compliments ANW, and thank you for visiting.


Architects North Wales on March 08, 2011:

This is a fantastic hub, very informative but also free flowing and an easy read.

You are clearly passionate on the subject and know what you are talking about. I find it refreshing to see someone taking an active interest. Keep up the good work!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on May 04, 2010:

Thanks habee for being my 1st visitor and for your nice comments.


Holle Abee from Georgia on May 03, 2010:

This is wonderful information!

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