Category: Interior Design

Kitchen Designs Perfect for Family Gatherings

If you’ve ever envisioned your “perfect home,” you’ve probably thought a lot about the kitchen. After all, this is the room where you jumpstart your day, unwind in the evening, and cook and enjoy meals. Perhaps most importantly, though, this is the place in your home where you gather with family and friends. For these reasons, the layout and features of a kitchen are especially important. While it must be functional, this space should also be supremely inviting.


Popular Kitchen Designs for Entertaining

Large Kitchen Island

A large island is probably the most important (and most aesthetically pleasing) feature we include in a kitchen that’s meant for people to come together. A meal prepping station, serving station, and gathering place all in one, an island is a multi-purpose feature that adds function and style to your kitchen. In many of our designs, the sink is placed in the kitchen island facing out across the living area, so that you can continue working without ever turning your back on your family or your guests.

See the large kitchen island in the Aspen Ridge home plan. 



Keeping Room or Breakfast Room

A keeping room is a comfortable space just off the kitchen complete with a hearth where family or guests can keep you company while you’re preparing meals, without getting in the way. The history of the keeping room goes back to colonial America, when the home’s fireplace was used for both cooking and keeping warm. Home designers today have reimagined this room in new and different ways. You’ll often find a breakfast room just adjacent to the kitchen — a modern version of the keeping room where your family can gather for a more intimate breakfast or meal. 

See the vaulted keeping room in the Tuxedo Park home plan. 



Open to the Family Room

When the family gathers for holidays or special events, no one wants to feel left out because they need to prepare food, or because they want to relax on a comfortable couch. The best design for family gatherings is one where the kitchen is fully open to the family room, so that the entire family can enjoy special moments together. Opt for a space that’s large enough to create multiple seating arrangements, leaving room for everyone to gather around the table or island to sing Happy Birthday or give a toast. 

See the open-concept kitchen and living space in the Hanover Pointe home plan.



The kitchen is the heart of your home, and where your best family memories will be made. Choose a warm, welcoming space that accommodates everyone, while keeping you at the center of it all. Learn more about our made-for-gathering kitchen designs. 


Featured House Plan: Get Cozy This Season in Hickory Flat

3-4 Bedrooms

2.5-3.5 Baths

2-Car Garage

2,205 square feet


The Hickory Flat house plan is modern farmhouse style that’s warm and inviting, with a casual, yet elevated, feel. When you enter through the foyer, you’re greeted with elements like painted brick, hardwood floors, exposed wood beams, and galvanized metal fixtures — the perfect blend of traditional country and contemporary design. With large windows and sliding glass doors to outdoor living spaces, natural light is abundant throughout the home. 


Most of the living in the Hickory Flat occurs on the first floor. The center of the home is the vaulted family room with an enclosed fireplace — perfect for snuggling with the family for movie or game night. The family room flows effortlessly into the chef’s kitchen and dining room in one direction, and the oversized covered porch with built-in fireplace in the other. Entertaining is effortless as guests notice the natural flow of the interior space.


When it’s time to move outdoors, this home has plenty of spaces so that you can make the most of every season. Next to the covered back porch is a vaulted screen porch, so you have plenty of choices for how you want to spend your time. Whether it’s napping the afternoon away, enjoying a crackling fire, or soaking up the sunshine, there’s a space for it here. And of course, the welcoming front porch is perfect for chatting with friends and meeting new neighbors.  


Back inside the home, the expansive owners’ suite is the definition of luxury. With a vaulted bedroom ceiling, a spa-like bathroom with dual vanities, separate walk-in shower and soaking tub, and large walk-in closet, waking up and falling asleep each day will feel like a dream. The two additional first-floor bedrooms are tucked away on the other side of the home with their own private bath for ultimate privacy.


If you require more space, you have the option of building out the second floor, which includes a bonus room, full bath, and additional bedroom. This level is perfect for frequent house guests, a child’s playroom, a private study, or anything else your unique lifestyle requires. 


If you are ready to make the move into the Hickory Flat, contact us at 888-717-3003 to get started. 


2019 Kitchen Design Trends | Frank Betz Associates

At Frank Betz Associates, we know that the kitchen is where the heat happens — so we always incorporate the hottest trends into every design. From holiday brunches and celebrations to milestones and weeknight meals, there are so many memories waiting to be made in your kitchen, which means you deserve nothing less than the best. If the kitchen is the heart of the home… then one of our house plans is where you truly belong.


From more space to gather with guests to contemporary, sleek appliances, homeowners today are looking for entirely different kitchens than they were even five years ago. One of the reasons our Frank Betz team is so trustworthy is our ability to constantly stay on top of trends, and incorporate what matters most to you into your expertly designed house plan. Take a look at a few of our favorite things that we include in our beautiful kitchens: 


Massive Islands with Pendant Lighting and Seating:


Whether you’re a Sunday-morning-breakfast kind of person or a big fan of weeknight wine tastings, a large center island in your kitchen is the perfect place to relax, gather, and enjoy whatever it is you love most. Complete with pendant lighting and comfortable seating, there’s nowhere else you want to get “stranded.”


Built-In Refrigerators:


Refrigerators may do the most important job of all (keep our delicious foods safe and sound!) but let’s face it… they should take up the least amount of space as possible. When a refrigerator is built into the cabinetry of the kitchen, they make efficient use of space and look incredibly sleek while they’re at it.


Commercial Ranges with Decorative Hoods:


Who says that ranges can’t be stylish? While this part of the kitchen isn’t typically the first thing that comes to your mind, our sleek ranges serve as a focal point when they’re paired with a decorative hood. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time, this pair of appliances adds a trendy touch to your kitchen.


Open Shelving:


Openness in homes is now on the rise, and shelving in your kitchen is no exception. While traditional design called for closed cabinetry, our modern house plans incorporate shelving where everything can be seen. This way, you can get creative with how you display your items, and utilize pieces that enhance the vibe of the room.


If you’ve been looking for a house plan that lives the way that you do, Frank Betz Associates has the perfect fit. Our kitchens are expertly designed with contemporary trends to make your everyday life even more special, and we can’t wait for you to experience one for yourself. For more information, please call 888-717-3003.

Bathroom Trends 2019

A master bathroom is so much more than an addition to the bedroom — it’s where homeowners recharge in the morning and unwind at night, it’s what they rely on for relaxation and comfort at any moment. As one of the most personal spaces a person can have in their home, it’s safe to say that your master bathrooms play a big role in your homeowners’ satisfaction.

At Frank Betz Associates, we believe that high-quality features and a stylish, modern design can completely change the vibe of a master bathroom, in turn changing a person’s entire mood when they’re in there. That’s why we offer both custom and stock house plans that incorporate the very best of the best in bathroom design, from stand-alone tubs to roll-in showers to spacious master closets. Take a look at the features we can include to transform the master bathrooms you offer:

Stand-Alone Tubs: Modern, luxurious, and incredibly easy on the eyes, both the aesthetic and feel-good benefits of stand-alone tubs are truly timeless. One step inside and every care melts away…

Giant Showers: When it comes to a master shower, less is not more. In fact, the more room the better! A spacious shower makes getting ready in the morning or settling down at night so much more enjoyable.

Volume Ceilings: We’re firm believers in the power of “looking up.” The gorgeous new-construction trend of tall, dramatic ceilings gives the entire home an unbelievably elegant feel that never diminishes over time.

Laundry Room Next to Master Closet: There’s something to be said for practical design, which is why we put laundry rooms right next to where clothing is stored. Easy to access, these laundry rooms redefine “chore.”

Age-Targeted Items:

Roll-In Showers: These no-door, no-step showers aren’t just contemporary and stylish, they provide easy, comfortable access without the threat of accidents or injuries.

Discreet Grab Bars: In a “slippery” situation, grab bars offer invaluable support. But when they’re just as sleek as the rest of the shower, they help to maintain the luxurious vibe of the bathroom while providing comfort.

Radius’ Large Enough for Wheelchairs: Why should anyone in a wheelchair have to feel less than comfortable in their shower? With the best-designed shower, wheelchairs can fit easily with plenty of room left.

Luxury Items:

Heated-Tile Floors: Let’s face it — there’s nothing worse than a cold bathroom floor beneath your feet first thing in the morning, especially in the winter. With a heated-tile floor, every foot gets its own spa treatment…

Steam Showers: Who says you have to go to the sauna to feel the therapeutic effects of steam? A steam shower is not only as contemporary and lasting as can be, it makes every shower that much, well, steamier.

Heated Towel Racks: A hot, relaxing shower is one thing; it’s another thing to step out of it and wrap yourself in a fluffy, heated towel. Heated towel racks are the feature everyone never knew they absolutely needed.

If you’re ready to upgrade your house plans to what your buyers truly want — for now and in the future — Frank Betz Associates is your trusted team next door. For more information on our custom and stock plans, please call us at 888-717-3003. We can’t wait to work with you!


Besides the kitchen, the master suite is considered one of the most important areas of a home. It’s where you’ll be spending a good portion of your life, not only because it’s where you and your significant other sleep, but where you get ready for the day ahead. Taking the time to design a master suite that best fits your needs is well worth the effort. With a few design tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path to creating a well-planned master suite.

The matter of privacy
Because your master suite will act as a retreat from the hectic world, a sense of privacy should be woven into the design. Positioning these rooms near the back of the home and/or on the upper story is recommended. The privacy issue also comes in to play when locating windows and doors. Yes, you can add curtains or blinds, but it’s comforting to be able to dress and undress freely without having to worry about putting on a show for the neighbors.

The size is right
The master suite most commonly consists of the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house.
Larger walk-in closets and sitting rooms are also popular features for these areas. When designing your home’s floorplan, assigning a generous percentage of the square footage for the master suite is advised. One should also consider the furniture that will go in these rooms. The size of the bed, dressers and sitting room chairs can help determine the amount of space needed.

Closet space. More is more.
One of the most attractive features of a well-designed master suite is ample closet space. If the square footage is available, including two walk-in closets is the best course. This allows enough room for both occupants to keep their individual wardrobes. A master suite with two walk-in closets is also a huge advantage when selling your home.

Bathroom zen
While the rest of your home’s bathrooms are purely functional in nature, the master suite bathroom can be extraordinary. Beyond function, this bathroom can be a place of relaxation.
Double sink vanities, spa tubs and steam showers are just a few examples of luxurious master suite amenities.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

Laundry convenience
Since the master suite is usually inhabited by two people, it will generate a significant amount of clothing and bedding. To conveniently handle the cleaning and upkeep of these items, designing easy access to the laundry is suggested. If the master suite is on the second floor and the laundry room on the first, a laundry shoot is a feature that can aid the accessibility and save time.

Hedgerow House Plan- Frank Betz

Every great home should have a master suite to match. As your own personal escape from the busy world, it should include the space and amenities that will enable both functionality and relaxation. As much if not more than any room in your home, the master suite should be a reflection of your style with the space and features that will complement the home as a whole.


Similar to an airlock on a space station, the mudroom is a vital transition area between the outdoors and indoors. Coming in from outside, it’s a place to take off and store your outerwear and other daily belongings. When leaving your home, it’s the last stop to gear up with the needed essentials. Coming or going, a well-designed mudroom is an essential part of any home.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Frank Betz

A heavy traffic area

One of the keys to a properly designed mudroom is making sure it’s located adjacent to the most used entry way. Consider what door your family will be using the most often and that is the place for the mudroom. This is probably the area where everyone’s shoes, boots, gloves, coats, backpacks, keys and hats will live. So, it should be designed into the floorplan according to convenience and easy access to your home’s most popular doorway.

Barrington Hills House Plan- Frank Betz

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Accessibility and organization are two very important components to a functional mudroom design.
Built-in shelving and cabinets are nice for storage. While racks and hooks to hang coats and hats make getting in and out of the house more efficient. If there is room for a bench, not only will it provide a comfortable place to sit while removing shoes and boots, but with the right design, the area under the bench can be utilized for storage, as well. Installing a small mirror is also a nice amenity, for a last-minute look before you head out the door.

Ingrams Mill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Size is relative

Beyond location, the size of your mudroom should be determined by the number of people and pets in your home. Remember, with each person comes at least one set of shoes, a coat and hat. And for our
four-legged family members, you’ll need room for a leash and outdoor toys. If there’s space for its own room great, but a mudroom can be designed into a hallway, laundry room or larger closet.


Pine Meadow House Plan- Frank Betz

Durable materials

The very definition of a mudroom describes a place where muddy and wet clothing is taken off before entering the rest of the home. It’s there to protect the rest of your home from the outdoor elements. With that, a mudroom should be designed using materials that can handle dirt and moisture. Tile flooring or an easy to clean rug will help keep things tidy. Metal hooks and wire baskets are also moisture resistant features that make for durable storage and organization.

Wellstone Place Floor Plan- Frank Betz

All told, the mudroom should be designed for function. It is a place to keep outdoor clothing and any other daily items used outside the home. But just because the mudroom is designed for utility, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attractive and complement your home. Incorporating the same color pallet and material styles will help weave this room into your home’s established décor. Yes, it is a mudroom, but it can be a beautiful room, as well.

5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You


Most of us spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. In the last few decades, the kitchen has evolved from a purely utilitarian space to a central gathering area for the whole family. Having a better organized kitchen will enhance not only the efficiency of the room, but also its livability factor. As the workhorse of your home, maximizing the use of every inch of its space is important. Below you will find a list with 5 effective ways that will easily make your kitchen more enjoyable.

Hanover Pointe Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Organization Is Key

A great kitchen and an organized kitchen are one in the same. With so many items from food to flatware, having a defined place for each is a must. Beyond typical cabinetry and drawers, including a pantry for dry goods, open shelving for plates, bowls and glassware, and hanging racks for cooking utensils can bring needed order to the kitchen. Wine and spice racks are other examples of how you can increase organization, where everything is easy to find.

Ansley Cottage Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Space to Work

Kitchen storage is one thing, but you’ll also need room to work. When it comes to preparing meals, the more surface areas to cut, chop, peel, dice, and clean, the better. There are many countertop options that are very durable and easy to clean. Depending on the square footage of your kitchen, a central island can provide more room to work, as well as to dine. Small desks are also a common feature in the modern kitchen.

Aspen Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Dedicated Spaces for Small Appliances

A kitchen can easily look cramped and cluttered if small appliances end up in the wrong places. While it’s nice to have coffee machines, blenders, choppers, mixers, etc., they can take up valuable countertop space. This will reduce your workspace and make the kitchen appear smaller. Establishing dedicated spaces for these appliances and storage for less commonly used machines is a recommended solution.

Saint Denis Floor Plan- Frank Betz


An Open Floor Plan Will Expand the Size of Your Kitchen

If you want to make your kitchen appear larger, take advantage of an open floor plan. This will connect your kitchen with other living areas in your home. An open kitchen enables better interaction with family members in adjacent areas, like the living room or den. As stated before, the kitchen, especially an open kitchen, has become the heart of the modern home.


The importance of proper appliances

Modern technology has seen incredible advances in the common kitchen appliances. Items like in-counter dishwashers, convection ovens, gas stove tops, microwaves and smart refrigerators are just a few of the must haves for any new kitchen. It’s better to spend more for high-quality kitchen appliances. They will not only last longer, but offer a broader spectrum of features that will help you save time and effort.

Northfield Manor Floor Plan- Frank Betz

If there’s any room in your new home that desires more thought and attention to detail, it’s the kitchen. As the most popular space in most home designs, effort should be made to create a comfortable and easily workable environment.  The right kitchen can make your home. And if you ever opt to sell, a great kitchen is always a winning feature.

Getting reference for New home construction through online industry reports and home shows

As you approach the new home building process, there a number of ways to gain a base knowledge of construction that will help in the long run. A quick search online can lead you to applicable reference materials and various industry reports. Visiting local home shows are another beneficial method. Gathering as much information about the industry will help increase your building knowledge and thus be better prepared to start this quite big undertaking. You’ll get a broader, non-biased view of home building trends in your desired area, find information on credentialed builders and know what questions to ask going forward.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hemlock Falls

Before you get the keys to your dream home, there’s a long road ahead. As a first step, it is advised to research the topic on various online construction reporting websites. These sites include,, While these sites are directed toward industry professionals, the content can be useful to someone looking to build a new home for the first time. By familiarizing yourself with industry terminology and processes, you’ll better understand what’s going on, as it’s going on. You’ll also get to see the major players, popular vendors and construction techniques in your area.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Tanglewood

Most of these sites focus on building permit data as the key resource to gauge market trends and activity.
Building professionals use this information to find new business opportunities, source general contractors, subcontractors and vendors, but you’ll be able to get a feel for who’s doing what and where, as well. Because these are sites for professionals, you’ll also be able to verify the credentials of your perspective builder and vendors. Additionally, they frequently have updates on the latest happenings in the building industry like vendor expos and home shows.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hickory Flat

Home shows feature exhibits, product demonstrations and seminars on a variety of home building topics.
Anything and everything having to do with the home can be found at a decent sized home show. Here you’ll find info on house plans, building materials, landscaping and lawn care, kitchen appliances, fixtures, flooring, roofing, siding, concrete, windows, heating and air conditioning, patios, insulation, and more. If you’re interested in building a green home, there are many shows that travel the U.S., specifically geared to that topic. There you’ll learn about green building methods and products that include the latest insulation, radiant floor heating, energy efficient appliances, zero VOC paint and green roofs. And no green home show would be complete without clean energy alternatives like solar panels and wind power.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Gulfport

Doing your new home, homework ahead of time, will get you better prepared for your building adventure. Knowing the process, the players and building language, will be a major advantage as you move forward. Spend some time online and attending a home show or two. It’s a great way to get ideas, get inspired and most importantly, get educated.

Do I need an interior designer?

When building a new home, an interior designer may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but one you might want to consider before getting too far deep into your home design. An interior designer isn’t just for the rich and famous – anyone who wants to make their home unique but consistent can benefit from the skills of a good interior design specialist. Taking on this task yourself might leave you with some unexpected (and unfortunate) results. Here’s a few good reasons to high a professional interior designer.

Gastonia- Frank Betz House Plan

They keep communication between builder/homeowner on track

For most of us, Architects and home builders speak a different language than we’re accustomed too. An interior designer speaks this language and can make sure clear communication is kept between both parties. As a member of your team, an interior designer can help lead you through the steps of the home building process and keep your vision on course.


Can assess your personality and ensure your home is a true reflection

Everyone has different wants and needs from their new home. A good interior designer is adept at interpreting those desires and helping to convey your personal style throughout the home. With an interior designer, you won’t need to describe every minute detail of your ideal home. A professional will take your personality into account and try to weave those unique nuances across your home’s design.

Aspen Ridge – Frank Betz House Plan


Mindful of the budget

Though an interior designer will come with a fee, they can actually save you money in the long run. Perhaps the most important skill an interior designer has is making sure a homeowner’s wishes can be carried out while staying under the assigned budget. DIY home design is a great way to spend more than you really want to. Designing homes is what interior designers do everyday. They know the ins and outs of home design and their associated costs. If you need to stay on a budget, an interior designer can be your best ally.

Northfield Manor- Frank Betz House Plans


Does some of the “behind-the-scenes” work that is tedious and not so glamorous

It may seem like an easy/fun job, but designing the interior of your new home takes a lot of work and hours. An interior designer knows the home building process inside and out and hiring one will save you a lot of time/money. They have the inside connections to source materials and samples. And once they’ve helped you choose a design direction, your interior designer will do all the homework regarding material acquisition and getting them to the builder.


If not for anything else, a capable interior design will keep tabs on all the above while also keeping  an eye on the big design picture. As a future home owner, sometimes it’s hard to see the whole picture when you’re moving through the process on a step by step basis. You might get caught up on something happening in the kitchen and completely neglect an issue in another part of the home. Your interior designer sees all the pieces and knows how they all have to fit. In the end, your home will have your unique theme that’s consistent from the ground floor to the top.


The latest product trends for new home construction


Now is an exciting time to build a new home. Beyond advances in building technology and energy efficient materials, current product and home plan design trends are making today’s new homes quite remarkable. These products include unique patterned flooring, wide bi-fold/sliding doors, free standing bath tubs, interior shiplap siding, exposed beams, and bold and bright paint color schemes.


Gone are the days of boring home floors. Patterned wood and tile have made their way into homes across the nation. From fumed wood, which dramatically enhances the grain, to blanched wood for a distressed but clean look, wood flooring has taken a prominent step forward. We’re seeing mixed-width planks used to create distinct patterns to the more traditional herringbone arrangement. Marble, slate and ceramic tiles with patterns and textures are also being used to create floors that are an integral part of the home decor scheme.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage


New door trends are also finding their way into homes these days. What was once just a utilitarian item has now become a unique design feature. Incorporating wide sliding glass doors or large bi-folding doors into the design of home plans with covered porches, patios or decks provides living spaces with natural light and more generous views. Weather permitting, opening these wide doors also extends the home’s living space to the outside creating large, flowing floor plans perfect for entertaining and family gatherings.

Frank Betz House Plan- Tuxedo Park

In the master bathrooms, the large soaking tubs are breaking free from their typical built-in platforms as the stand-alone tub is fast becoming a hot new item. These free standing tubs, both tranquil and beautiful, make a great design focal point and many master bathrooms are being designed around these icons of luxury and relaxation to create a more spa like feel.  With this increased interest, many companies have designed a wide array of tub styles that are both sculpturally beautiful and affordable.

Frank Betz House Plan-Beaufort

Another trending design element made popular by the modern farmhouse plan is the use of shiplap siding as an interior feature.  Bringing this common exterior finish to the inside of the house gives instant character to any space. Whether used as an accent on a fireplace or covering the walls of a room, shiplap siding provides clean, simple lines that exemplifies the “less is more” design concept while impacting the home’s aesthetic appeal.

Frank Betz House Plan -Northfield Manor

Next on the new product trend list are exposed beams. Inspired by the roughhewn beams of old barns and traditional farm houses, leaving these bones of the ceiling exposed, adds texture and depth to family rooms, keeping rooms, bedrooms and even kitchens. Architecturally, this technique can work in many different home styles from farmhouse traditional to modern. Whether made from reclaimed or new timbers, exposed beams celebrate the engineering of a home while bringing the ceiling into the forefront of the design pallet.

Frank Betz House Plan-Ansonborough

And finally, what’s new on the home construction front wouldn’t be complete without a mention of trending paint colors. Bold is back. Striking paint color choices like dark navy, rich golds and berry reds are finding their way onto the walls of new homes. Homeowners are embracing intense color schemes, from deep earth tones to vibrant jewel tones, to establish personality and character for their rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

All told, conventional home construction has made way for a brave new world of exciting product trends. These products help create a new home that breaks from the norm and better fits the needs and style of the individual family. More than ever, the home has become an extension of a family’s lifestyle. These trends help enable that expression.