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The Year's Top Plan Collections

The Year's Top Plan Collections
The top 5 plans collections for 2016 are, clockwise from top lef
December is the time to take stock of what plan collections have received the most traffic on during the past year. Here are the top five plan collections, so far.

Modern remains a huge draw to people looking for functional designs and a crisp contemporary roofline. Modern house plans offer clean lines, simple proportions, open layouts and abundant natural light, and are descendants of the International style of architecture, which developed in the 1920s. In the 1960s shed roofs inspired by house designs at the Sea Ranch, on the Northern California coast, became popular. In general, flat or shallow-pitched roofs, large expanses of glass, strong connections to outdoor space, and

spare, un-ornamented walls are characteristic of Modern house plans. The lot is often incorporated

into the Modern style home, turning outdoor space into alfresco living rooms, as  shown in Plan 892-14, with front and rear terraces, covered porches, and patios.

The Tiny House Movement continues to have romantic appeal for people wishing to live with less clutter, 

which is often somewhat difficult to do! Many of these designs, like Plan 917-4, shown here and in the collage at the top of this post, would work well as a guest house or Airbnb suite. These designs generally range between 200 and 900 square feet. Katrina Cottages comprise a related collection of plans by architects responding to the need for alternatives to the FEMA trailer.

Farmhouse Style is popular for its ability to be both contemporary and regional, and it suits a wide variety of

rural settings. Farmhouse designs, like Plan 928-10, above and below, offer expansive covered porches,

grilling porches, and screen porches (note the outdoor fireplace) that allow the house to expand in good weather.

Craftsman remains the all-time most poplar architectural style because of its woodsy warmth and rustic

features like exposed beams, brackets, and trusses. Plan 120-187, shown above and below, draws

inspiration from the Craftsman bungalows from the early 1910s, but with modern amenities like open great rooms, island kitchens, and lanais or living porches.

The Cottage Style offers similar amenities in what is usually a fairly compact layout. Cottage house plans are informal and woodsy, evoking a picturesque storybook charm. Cottage style homes, like Plan 546-4, shown

here, have clapboard, shingle, or stucco walls, gable roofs, balconies, small porches, and bay windows. Cottage style floor plans include cozy one- or two-story cabins and vacation homes.

Rounding out the top ten plan collections are, in order: Small House Plans; Bunaglow Plans; Ranch Style Plans; Contemporary Plans; and Country Style Plans. These collections received millions of page views over the course of the year.

Key to the Plan Collage at the top of this post
Clockwise from top left:
Plan 496-18
Plan 479-11
Plan 132-207
Plan 917-4
Plan 137-252

The Year's Top Plan Collections Inspiration

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