Building Tips

Designing a Functional House: The Thought Process Behind Our Floor Plan

Ok, Im not going to lie and tell you the entire process of designing your own home is easy. In fact, purchasing a stock plan would have been more of my style and maybe kept me a little younger. You see, I’m the one who takes the easy road and Henry not so much. He is always up for a challenge.

He had his mind set that we were going for unique, our own design, but of course functional for our family. But with our architect, Frusterio Design, I truly feel we accomplished exactly what we were going for: the perfect match of timeless style and functionality. After a few long weeks, it was well worth it!

We wanted the look of our new home to be a timeless design. One that would grow old with us if we did live here forever. One that would never go out of style. One that would be new, but look like it had been there for years.


For the exterior finishes, we will be using brick and Hardie plank. Both brick and Hardie plank are very low maintenance and very durable. Other than painting every so many years, both materials should withstand time and weather.

We will be doing a solid wood front door and side entrance door. We did debate this, but couldn’t resist the beauty of solid wood.

Exterior with dark windows.

We have solid wood doors now and absolutely love them! The front door is under a covered porch which will help with weathering. Neither front or side doors get direct sunlight due to the many trees, so this is also a plus.

On the other hand, the garage doors will be faux wood. After thinking about the wear and tear of garage doors we felt this would be more functional. It will also save us from restaining every few years.

First Floor: Master Bedroom

click to view larger

Going into this process we had several things on our list that we wanted to include on the first floor. The first thing we were set on was having the master bedroom downstairs. Not only is it great for resale value, we know we aren’t getting any younger. As you know, we aren’t the type of people to say “forever home,” but who knows, so we did take this into consideration. Also, with two teenagers and no small kids at home, it is kind of nice being somewhat separated from them. This allows everyone to have their own space.

Separate Mudroom and Laundry Room

Henry and I chose to have a separate mudroom and laundry room. We wanted the master bedroom to be near the laundry room for convenience. This would make doing laundry much easier. We will be doing a laundry shoot from the bedrooms upstairs to the laundry room. Anything to make my laundry a little easier is a must have!

The mudroom will be on the other end of the house near the garage. It will be a place where we can leave the junk before coming into the rest of the house. Im also loving how the plans calls for an entrance into the kitchen from this area. This will make carrying in groceries much easier. I know this mudroom is going to be used and very functional!

Covered Back Porch

We know first hand that a covered back porch is a must have for us. We love our current back porch and use it all the time! When planning this new build, we knew we wanted this area for entertainment and relaxation. Considering this is a much used area for us, we are even adding a fireplace. And, I think another necessity will be a porch swing!

Downstairs Office/Bedroom

Another area we wanted and really needed in this house was a designated office area. We chose to put this room downstairs for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because for resale purposes we wanted a guest bedroom on the main floor. It will have a closet and an attached bathroom which in return will count as a 5th bedroom if on the market. The other reason we wanted to do an office on the main level was for separation from the children. This allows for us to get more work accomplished during the summer and winter breaks while they are at home. Not to mention, we plan on having a very cool office space, so who wouldn’t want to make it more visible, right.

Kitchen/Family Room

Our thinking behind this area of our home was family! Our family spend more time in the kitchen and family room more than any other are on the inside of the home. We are very close and tend to migrate to the same area. I may be cooking, the kids doing homework, and Henry watching a ball game, but we love being in the same area. So, we made this more of an open area with vaulted ceilings. This will definitely make it feel more roomy and will also be great for entertaining.

Another cool feature we are thinking about doing is a panoramic door between the family room and covered porch area. This door will allow more of an open flow to the porch during warmer weather.

The Upstairs

click to view larger

The upstairs is really pretty basic. It houses three bedroom and two baths. This allows each child to have his/her own bathroom. Having both a boy and a girl this is kind of nice. We will use the third bedroom for a tv/game room for them to give them more space when they have friends over.

We are very excited about our upcoming build and feel like we nailed it with this house as far as functionality for our family.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Tim Roach

    Amazing house! My wife and I just finalized our plans with an architect. After seeing your layout I’m having second thoughts on our plans 🙂 You guys have great content – thanks for sharing!

    April 18, 2019 at 2:26 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thank you so much! I’m sure your plan is great as well. 🙂

      April 22, 2019 at 7:56 pm
  • Reply Robbin

    Looks absolutely gorgeous!!! I love the layout!! How many square feet will you have on the main and upper levels?

    April 18, 2019 at 2:54 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! First floor is 2584 and second is 1105.

      April 22, 2019 at 7:58 pm
  • Reply JaNae Sumsion

    Your “click to enlarge” isn’t working on the second floor plans 😉

    Also-we are looking at building in the near future and this layout and style is almost EXACTLY what I was going for. Are these plans going to be available to purchase?

    April 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      We fixed that. Thanks for letting us know. You can contact Frusterio Design about acquiring this plan.

      April 22, 2019 at 7:59 pm
  • Reply Zoe Hunt

    I can’t wait to watch it come together! You nailed the “new house that looks like it’s been there for years” thing. The sloped roofline makes all the difference!

    April 18, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! That is good to hear. That’s exactly what we are going for, and hope it turns out that way when we are finished. 🙂

      April 22, 2019 at 8:00 pm
  • Reply Shay

    Gorgeous! I am glad I am not the only person who wants/needs an office/bedroom and master on main floor. That is so hard to find in house plans! Can’t wait to see your journey! 💙

    April 18, 2019 at 10:53 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Shay. It is very difficult to find everything that you need in a stock plan. That’s one of the reasons we went the custom route. So glad you’re here for the journey!

      April 22, 2019 at 8:01 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    I love it!! What is your depth and width of these plans?

    April 30, 2019 at 7:16 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Rachel! Our plan is 80×74.

      May 22, 2019 at 6:40 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thank you so much…we are super excited!

      May 22, 2019 at 6:40 pm
  • Reply Selena

    Brooke, I love this direction! The exterior and the layout are gorgeous and charming! Excited for you!

    May 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Selena! Thank you so much for the kind words! We are very excited about this new adventure!

      May 22, 2019 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply Mica

    My Parents have the panoramic doors which look amazing…but realistically we nevvvvver use them to leave the rooms wide open as there would be bugs and everything else blowing inside the house. The doors are also a pain to clean and the tracks need to be maintained to keep sliding effortlessly. Great content though! Good luck with the build! We are awaiting our first set of plans next week! Can’t wait!

    June 29, 2019 at 1:35 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! We actually ended up not putting in the panoramic door, but instead added three large windows on that wall. We knew we would never use it. 🙂

      September 6, 2019 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Helen

    I really enjoy all your content and the guidance you provide! We are also thinking about building our second custom home (people think we are crazy) on some land that just fell on our laps. We have been in our first home about 2 years and it’s lovely home but we have an amazing opportunity to do it again and this time debt free! We learned so much from the first build and we would do things a bit differently for a higher level of functionality and cost efficiency. For example we have a 1 story and we didn’t realize how much more expensive it is to build a 1 story. We realized that having some 1-2 room upstairs wouldn’t be so terrible especially with the cost savings. Would you agree? Love your plan by the way!!

    September 5, 2019 at 1:43 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks and congratulations. I don’t think you’re crazy at all. 🙂 Yes, anytime you can reduce the footprint of your home and add square footage up instead of out, you will get off cheaper. It means, less foundation, less roof, and in most cases less framing material. Good luck with your build!

      September 6, 2019 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    Hi! Love this updated layout and the fact that the laundry is not the mud room! Is this plan available now to purchase? We are searching!

    October 31, 2019 at 11:30 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hi Kristin. Yes, we love the placement of the laundry as well. You should get in touch with our architect to check on that.

      October 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply James Bradford

    Hello, you did an excellent job with your home. It truly is beautiful. My wife and I are in the process of constructing our home. Shingle selection has been a challenge. Do you mind sharing what shingle manufacturer and color you went with? I really like what you selected. I’m stuck between Atlas Pinnacle Pristine Pewter and Owens Corning Estate Gray.

    September 20, 2020 at 10:37 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Is your plan available on the website if so what is the name of it.

    September 24, 2021 at 1:12 am
  • Reply Alyssa Moore

    Interested to see the final product, did you share pictures of the completed home inside and out? Beautiful!!

    January 2, 2022 at 7:30 pm
  • Reply Braden Bills

    My wife and I want to get a new home made, but we’re not sure how to put together a home plan. It makes sense that a good blueprint would be a good idea. I’ll be sure to work with someone who has a lot experience with making this kind of thing.

    March 9, 2022 at 2:39 pm
  • Leave a Reply