15 great ideas from leaders in residential design

Architects and designers present their best design ideas for jump-starting home building

By David Barista, Editor-in-Chief, Professional Builder | July 24, 2012

Can design innovation jump-start home building?

That's the question we posed to more than a dozen leading architects and designers in our special Design Innovation Report, published in the July 2012 issue of Professional Builder.

The group, which includes Robert Hidey, Aram Bassenian, Phil Kean, John Thatch, Arthur Danielian, Dave Kosco, Donald Evans, Larry Garnett, Sarah Susanka, Jerry Messman, Jeff Larsen, Bill Warwick, and Dale Patton, responded with their best ideas and concepts for helping builders sell more homes — today.

Here's a roundup of their design ideas:


1. Rethinking great room design

Bassenian Lagoni's Aram Bassenian presents a house plan that solves some of the design tradeoffs typical in great room homes. MORE

2. The Ability House

This plan by Art Danielian of Danielian Associates Architecture + Planning is designed to serve multi-generational living with its detached “casita” unit. MORE

3. Ten development opportunities for builders

Donald Evans of the Evans Group presents 10 hot design opportunities for the home-building community. MORE

4. The courtyard neighborhood concept

Larry Garnett's design concept blends the setting of a cozy courtyard neighborhood with a narrow footprint that wraps the home around an inviting and functional side yard. MORE

5. Detached garage with flexible living space

Larry Garnett presents a design reminiscent of a historic carriage house, with a garage that has room for two cars and a fully equipped living quarters above. MORE

6. High-density detached housing development

Robert Hidey says high-density detached housing offers an alternative product design that has proven to be popular with both buyers and builders. MORE

7. Next-gen home design maximizes outdoor living

Phil Kean's design concept for the New American Home features movable glass panels and a large lanai to maximize outdoor living. MORE

8. Single-family feel, carriage home style

Bassenian Lagoni's Dave Kosco offers a multi-family plan designed to live differently than other multi-family options on the market and build more affordably as well. MORE

9. The keyed garage configuration

Jeff Larsen of MVE & Partners presents a rowhouse concept with an interlocking or keyed garage configuration that achieves higher densities than conventional rear-loaded rowhouses. MORE

10. The living apart together house

Jerry Messman of BSB Design presents a unique house plan geared for people who are looking to share housing. MORE

11. The One-and-One Great Room scheme

In smaller homes, a typical great room can become uncomfortably tight. The One-and-One Great Room by Dale Patton of Danielian Associates not only feels large, it lives large. MORE

12. The up-front kitchen configuration

Sarah Susanka's latest Not So Big House project places the kitchen and eating area adjacent to the front porch, making the outdoor space a natural extension of the kitchen’s habitable area. MORE

13. Community-focused front porches

Sarah Susanka's Not So Big Showhouse project places the primary living spaces adjacent to the front porch to facilitate movement outside. MORE

14. The Legacy House

Dahlin Group's John Thatch presents a house design concept that can serve multiple generations as a family moves through life. MORE

15. The flexible townhouse plan

Bill Warwick of BartonPartners Architects talks about a luxury townhome community with flexible home designs that appeal to a wide array of buyers. MORE


For more articles from Professional Builder's special Design Innovation Report, click here.


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