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Townhome Designs That Suit the Neighborhood (and the Neighbors)

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Townhome Designs That Suit the Neighborhood (and the Neighbors)

These townhouses play well with the detached homes around them, while offering greater density

By Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, House Review Lead Designer October 5, 2023
Larry Garnett design for townhomes
A rendering of the exterior of Larry Garnett's Jill townhomes. Scroll down for more images and info.
This article first appeared in the September/October 2023 issue of Pro Builder.

A combination of high land costs and limited lots calls for projects that simply must accommodate more units per acre with smaller footprints and verticality, including single-family attached units, or townhomes. As a result, some communities are adjusting zoning codes to allow for increased density and the inclusion of attached homes and multifamily structures in single-family neighborhoods. 

Townhomes are challenged to maintain the design integrity and aesthetic of nearby detached homes, so the concepts offered by our design team incorporate careful material selections, along with appropriate scale, proportion, landscaping, and site planning to ease that task and meld different housing types. 

The result: designs that embrace the character of single-family homes in higher-density attached housing.


Redwoods at Montecito – Plan C

ARCHITECT: Dahlin Architecture | Planning | Interiors, marketing@dahlingroup.com, 925.251.7200

DIMENSIONS: Width: 24 feet / Depth: 42 feet  / Living area: approx. 1,865 sf

This enclave of townhouse-style homes embraces the heritage of Craftsman architecture, replacing single-story apartments with a higher level of density and providing homeownership opportunities.

Several mature redwood trees were preserved and add character and natural beauty to this infill site. Six of the seven buildings front directly onto a central paseo of outdoor amenities, including a fireplace and water fountain, seating areas, barbecue, and green space.

Plan C is a three-bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home that is always located at the corners of the buildings; as such, it includes architectural details on the elevation that create additional articulation.

Dahlin design for townhomes, Redwoods at Montecito, floor plans

A  A second-floor deck connected to the living space softens the corners of the elevation

A generous number of windows are concentrated at the corners, optimizing views to the paseo and natural light into the home

C  A large open-style great room includes generously sized living, kitchen, and dining spaces, as well as room for a pocket-style office

Exterior view of Dahlin Group's design for the Redwoods at Montecito townhomes
Photos: Douglas Johnson Photography
Interior of Dahlin Group's design for the Redwoods at Montecito townhomes


Kitchen in Dahlin Group's design for the Redwoods at Montecito townhomes


Dining space in Dahlin Group's design for the Redwoods at Montecito townhomes


Bedroom in Dahlin Group's design for the Redwoods at Montecito townhomes


The Pinnacle

DESIGNER: Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, larrygarnett@larrygarnettdesigns.com, 254.205.2597

DIMENSIONS: Width: 30 feet / Depth: 26 feet / Living area: 1,528 sf

Renderings: Larry Garnett

With a compact footprint, these three-level, two-bedroom townhomes provide an option for a high-density component in a planned neighborhood of single-family homes.

A subtle combination of siding, textures, and color, along with bracket details, result in an appealing yet economical exterior design. The open interiors feature light-filled rooms and exceptional storage.

Larry Garnett design for The Pinnacle townhomes, floor plans


Two-car garage with storage

Entry porch

Open kitchen-dining-living space

D French doors open to a secluded home office or flex space

The primary suite features generous closet space, built-in storage, and a spacious shower

Larry Garnett design for The Pinnacle townhomes, exterior view


Larry Garnett design for The Pinnacle townhomes, front of homes


Infill Plan 1 

DESIGNER: Omar Lopez, DTJ Design, olopez@dtjdesign.com, 303.443.7533

DIMENSIONS: Width: 20 feet / Depth: 50 feet / Living area: 1,317 sf (1,980 sf with bonus room option)

This concept plan was developed as an infill opportunity to bring density-driven solutions to established communities. The goal was to seamlessly integrate four two-story units into the surrounding context, both in scale and in styling. 

DTJ Design section drawing for Infill Plan 1 townhomes


For such a compact footprint, the plan offers sought-after features including a dog-washing station in the mudroom/laundry, vaulted ceilings at the stairs that maximize natural light, outdoor living spaces on every floor, and an optional bonus space that tucks into the attic. 

Clipped ceilings on the third level maintain a low building height that fits within the surrounding context. Dormers and third-level roof decks create architectural expressions that also minimize the size of the roof and match surrounding detailing.

DTJ Design floor plans for Infill Plan 1 townhomes


The open staircase creates a memorable, artistic feature that anchors the home and connects all levels 

Dormers break up the roof form and create more livable interior spaces

Colors, materials, and familiar roof forms provide continuity to the existing streetscape, while window patterns and detailing project a more modern image

Every room has access to an outdoor patio or deck to increase livability and engage the street

DTJ Design elevation from street for Infill Plan 1 townhomes



ARCHITECT: Todd Hallett, AIA, TK Design & Associates, thallett@tkhomedesign.com, 248.446.1960

DIMENSIONS: Width: 41 feet, 2 inches / Depth: 24 feet / Living area: 1,047 sf

The townhome market is becoming increasingly competitive and price sensitive. This project is designed to provide a fresh look at a contemporary-styled townhome on a small footprint. The Lean-designed, three-unit project takes full advantage of its compact lot by utilizing a three-story approach and near-identical floor plans for construction efficiency.

Extreriors of the Jill townhomes designed by Todd Hallett, TK Design.


Meanwhile, the open floor plans make the homes feel larger as one visually reads the entire space upon entry.


Jill townhomes designed by Todd Hallett, TK Design, first level floor plans


A  Open floor plan on the first level

B  A simple, efficient stairway minimizes wasted space by tucking a powder room underneath

The second level features a bedroom with plenty of natural light, a bath, and a laundry area

D  The third level features a suite with a walk-in closet

Jill townhomes designed by Todd Hallett, TK Design, second level floor plans



Jill townhomes designed by Todd Hallett, TK Design, third level floor plans



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