Design J-35 pretty much screams "wanna-be plantation house." Some architects would criticize this type of design, calling it "referential." But, I'm not an architect. And, as we say in the south: I think this dog is gonna hunt.
Why is this house plan a winner? For one thing, its negatives -- a narrow front porch, excessively high ceilings in some areas, and a frantic over-use of interior double-doors -- are minor (and fixable) compared to the considerable amenities in Design J-35.
Check out the small touches: coat closets off both entries; a secondary bath that's secluded instead of sticking out; a skylight that lightens the interior; a laundry near the master suite; and appliances placed in a reasonable layout.
This is an easy-to-live-with design. The only aggravations I see are a disappointing linen closet in the master bath and a fussy set of double doors between the eating and living areas.
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Outside, the garage is thoughtfully turned, the porch steps are broad, and there's a symmetry that's pleasing in Design J-35. Symmetry is two-edged, though. On the one hand, it makes this house particularly pleasing to the eye. On the other, it makes it difficult to tinker with the layout without throwing off the exterior balance.
My only concern is that the three dormers on the roof are purely decorative. This is an expensive touch. I'd like to see an upstairs bonus room, but this is one design that doesn't have much wiggle room to add stairs, going up or down.
Though the facade of Design J-35 is distinctively southern, there's no reason why it couldn't be adapted to other areas of the country. A good designer could tone done the southern accent of Design J-35 and have this house plan speaking Craftsman or Farmhouse in no time at all.
(Reviewed by Emily Smith, house plan consultant. Searching for a house plan? Or, have you found a house plan and want a second opinion? Call (336) 361-0972 or go to www.houseplanadvisor.com for valuable advice.)
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