Blogs

Your Home Style: A Craftsman Home Starter Guide

25Jun 2020

The great opportunity to work with Nelson Design Group fell into my lap by chance. Before that moment, my expertise in the home design world was limited to passing judgement on local homes for sale and occasional Facebook posts from realtor friends. My paltry experience with the architectural world was guided only by personal tastes. Of course, being immersed in floor plans, exterior materials, and structural design daily, I fancy myself a rather experienced novice in a fairly short time. Though I have not forgotten the early mistakes of assuming I preferred one home style only to learn I had completely confused it for another. This guide is designed to make your house plan search an easy, enjoyable mission. Understanding what makes a home craftsman, European, or modern will greatly help guide you to the perfect home plan!

The Craftsman Home History

History dedicates the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement to a variety artists and architects. The drive to create furniture, homes, and patterns to stray wildly from the rigid Victorian formality birthed a focus on honest simplicity –in both materials and styles.
In upstate New York, Gustav Stickley is commonly thought as a founder of the craftsman design. Stickley was a furniture maker and publisher in the early 1900s. Great importance was laid upon simplicity and preserving the natural beauty of the materials in each piece. Natural wood, stone, and canvas worked in tandem. Stickley founded the Arts and Crafts magazine, The Craftsman, to showcase his furniture and architectural designs, as well as articles and products relevant to middle-class homeowners. The first Craftsman home was Gustav Stickley’s home in Syracuse, New York, even! Interior photos of his home and that architectural floor plan were featured in The Craftsman and contributed greatly to the Arts and Crafts Movement.

What Makes A Craftsman Home

Interesting history aside, Craftsman homes are easily recognizable. A strong focus on natural exterior and interior elements and built-in details, a Craftsman house plan is one of America’s most popular home styles. Many of the delightful accents remain similar throughout the Craftsman style and have even been combined with differing home styles for a unique look.

o Open Floor Plans:
Craftsman homes are most often designed with open floor plans. Removing the stuffiness and “formality” of unnecessary walls or small rooms refocuses the center of the home in the Kitchen or Great Room. Not every Craftsman house plan will feature an open floor plan but this traditional design ties together the fine details and natural elements.

o Hand-crafted Natural Materials:
You will see exposed wood rafters, built-in shelving, and stonework all throughout a Craftsman home. Both exterior and interior attention to detail makes a Craftsman home visually stunning.

o Exposed Rafters & False Beams:
Part of embracing the natural materials in a Craftsman home is incorporating the architecture into the design. Exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, and false beams are charming elements often featured in a Craftsman home.

o Gable Roofs:
While the roofline will vary by home, most Craftsman homes (or Craftsman-inspired) will showcase gable or hip rooflines. A commonly shared feature is a low-pitch roof, though your roofline pitch may need to be altered if you choose to modify your house plan.

o Built-Ins Galore:
A Craftsman home takes all the charm of the exterior design and features them indoors, too! You will never lack for storage in a Craftsman home. With built-in shelving, bookcases, nooks, and window seats, a Craftsman home is the epitome of cozy comfort.

o Covered Porches & Pillars:
Popular Craftsman homes will feature covered porches and columns or pillars framing the entryway to the home. These elements will typically highlight the so-loved natural aspects of the architectural design. Plenty of wood and stone to elevate the exterior design!

Not all Craftsman homes will contain every expected feature of a classic Craftsman design. Many home plans are inspired by a design style and will reflect that appreciation. A Craftsman home plan is one of many stunning, ideal house styles. An unmistakable, timeless design perfect for growing families or empty-nesters. A Craftsman house plan values function as much as form leaving prospective new homeowners to decide what that means for their lifestyle. Natural elements take precedence over industrial and modern design for a home plan exuding peace and comfort!

If you love the Craftsman style but your selected house plan needs more of that natural look, call Nelson Design Group to discuss modifying your floor plan! Your personal touches turn a house into a home and our design team makes that dream home a reality. Modification and customization is a breeze. Don't settle for any home when you can have it all!

Your Multipurpose Mudroom and Garage Entry

19May 2020

Life is messy, generally speaking. With all your responsibilities, your hobbies, your children (furry or otherwise) requiring love, attention, and dedication. Maybe everyone else has their lives put together in a reasonable, logical fashion. Not in my house! Our constant on-the-go lifestyle has turned our garage and mudroom into a catch-all of school items, dog leashes, pantry items, and seasonal clothings. It’s a disaster zone.
We could have an entire wing of our home dedicated to storage space, organization, and cleaning supplies that wouldn’t make a dent in our exit and entry routine. With some serious reminding, we’ve managed to whip our mudroom and garage spaces into functioning multipurpose rooms! Now, I only forget something a few days a week when leaving the house! A magical transformation. You wouldn’t believe how much space you have once the shoes, backpacks, and briefcases all have a proper bin!

In all seriousness, revamping the way we use our garage entry has been a wonderful change for settling into the at-home vibe. Best yet, I can better explore my growing (ha) green thumb passions. There is now ample room for the dog’s gear and a smartly designed workbench. I fully believe other families struggle with a routine that doesn’t end up with a junk drawer (or room) collecting the odds and ends of your week. In an effort to ease the chaos of everyday life, I put together a few ideas we considered for our garage/mudroom.

In no order of importance, these practical ideas will help you on your way to a routine simplicity:

Hanging Clothes Rod: First things first, you need an area dedicated to your hanging items. If you frequently use your garage entry instead of the front door, especially. Traipsing across your (ideally) clean home after racing inside to escape the rain to hang your coats/scarves/umbrellas isn’t going to help your peace of mind at the end of the night. You may not have a dedicated closet space here, but a hanging rod or coat hooks will make a big difference!
Dedicated Drop-off Station: I find the mudroom is a perfect location for a drop-off station. A charming bench or buffet table to hold your purse, backpacks, and wallets makes the morning exit a breeze. Adding a corkboard or whiteboard for messages is a great addition to this mudroom upgrade, too! Even though I have a “designated spot” for my car keys, they don’t always end up there after a trip out. We picked up some darling key hooks to place with the message board for an easy all-in-one morning exit!
Some people also use the drop-off corner of their mudroom/garage for a charging station. If your lifestyle allows for some device-free evenings, add a charging zone to your mudroom! Come bedtime, simply dock all your devices until the next morning or device freeplay time.
Final Looks Mirror: With your coats, scarves, purses, and devices in hand, a mirror in the mudroom or near the garage entry gives everyone a chance to check one last time before walking out. This can help stem those teenage bathroom fights if a spare mirror is handy.
Pet Washing Sink: Somehow, no matter what size your pup is, the bathtub is always too short or too tall to comfortably get behind their ears. You are hunched over like a goblin while those deep, sad puppy eyes penetrate your soul. No one is happy here. If your four-legged friends hate the bath routine, give everyone in the home a break with a pet washing sink in the garage! Skip the occasional grooming session and rinse them off at home. Deep, tall sinks with a large extendable shower head will help everyone relax until the soap has rinsed away. Best part? After the washing is done, a quick shake in the garage won’t splatter the walls, towels, furniture, etc.! Add a cabinet above the sink and keep all the favorite treats, toys, and puppy supplies in one handy location.
Utility Sink: A utility sink is a great idea regardless off your pet parentage! This is an ideal way to clean up after yardwork or auto repair weekends. Easily rinse grease, oil, dirt, and fertilizers in the garage without filthy hands touching everything else on the way to the kitchen. A utility sink the in garage lets you freely explore your messier hobbies without risking the cleanliness of your home.
Storage Locker: Sports fans of all ages can benefit from a storage locker to hold all the gear! Whether you are a soccer mom or raising a herd of sports enthusiasts, a storage locker can keep those pads, cleats, bats, and balls organized without stinking up a bedroom closet. And when it’s game, everyone knows exactly where to find their equipment.
This is great for other passions, too! Fisher folk can keep their rods and lines tangle-free with a storage locker. Adding a small interior shelf lets your keep tackles boxes, life vests, and boating hats in one easy location.
Cleaning Closet: Mudrooms originally were used to quickly slip out of rain (and mud) soaked items. It makes sense to find your larger cleaning gear in the mudroom! Store brooms, mops, buckets, and vacuums in the mudroom to save space elsewhere! Your kitchen pantry doesn’t need to be bogged down with your Swiffer when you’ve got a mudroom!
Kitchen Extension: You will often find the garage entry and mudroom close to the kitchen, if not leading right into! Why not take advantage of this proximity and expand some of your kitchen features? Consider moving your deep freezer to the garage area. Or additional cabinets for dry goods! You might even love having another section of counterspace in your mudroom to easily unload your groceries after a shopping trip. You won’t regret the extra room!

This isn’t the end of your options, either! Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid all the mess life throws at us. These ideas might be just the thing you need to jumpstart your own home upgrades! Puddle-loving pups and active artist toddlers will keep you busy looking for the right way to ease the daily routine. When you are ready to upgrade your home altogether, Nelson Design Group designs a wide variety of home plans with mudrooms and garage entries! Follow the links below for some fan-favorite floor plans!
https://www.nelsondesigngroup.com/content/house-plan-5041-bellington-man...
https://www.nelsondesigngroup.com/content/house-plan-5237-st-thomas-plac...
https://www.nelsondesigngroup.com/content/house-plan-5205-chandlers-plac...

If these house plans nearly hit the mark for what you need in a home, all of our home plans can easily be modified! We also create custom home plans for anyone interested in a unique-to-you home!

Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to help find your dream home. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.
NDG Logo
Benefits of Nelson Design Group
If you are looking at building a house, check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.
Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.
If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Summer-Ready Waterfront Home

05May 2020

With the weather warming and swimsuit season looming, we are all thinking about when we can rush off to the beach or lake! Stunningly hot afternoons punctuated with lazy relief cooling in the water and soothing sunburns on your vacation home covered porch. Who else is ready life to resemble something a little more normal? I’ve got a craving for sandy toes and tan lines!

There are a few months yet until anyone can safely capitalize on these warm and sunny days. For empty-nesters, growing families, and everyone in between, turning your vacation home into a permanent residence is more than a pipe dream! I’ve gathered some of our best coastal vacation house plans to jumpstart your beach mode:

Waterfront Cove – NDG 311
2,610 sq.ft. | 2 bed | 2.5 bath

This floor plan is the quintessential beach house! Be it lake or seaside, Waterfront Cove boasts a spectacularly large wraparound covered porch and deck. All the better to soak in those glimmering water sunsets! Waterfront Cove features a marvelously expansive open floor plan with windows galore highlighting the rear grilling deck.

Waterfront Cove 311 has a wonderful bridge separating the Master Suite from the common rooms of the house plan. I love this ability to be included or private on demand. Of course, the Master Suite also has a private wraparound deck! Early mornings, late evenings, and all hours in between are yours to embrace in your own private wing!

The Clarion – NDG 561
1,976 sq.ft. | 4 bed | 2 bath


If you fancy the seaside Mediterranean look, The Clarion is waiting for your new build! You can almost smell the salty winds simply looking at this design. I love how clearly this house plan shouts “beach house.” The arched entry gives a stunningly refreshing spin to update the classic cabana-style beach house trope. This open floor plan promotes a smooth transition from formal mealtime to casual socialization!

This split bedroom home plan has a fireplace in the Master Suite perfect for stormy evenings by the sea. With a boxed ceiling and large rear-set windows, the Master Suite emphasizes the beauty of your natural setting. Bay windows in the Breakfast Room overlook the rear lanai, which can be screened for your outdoor gatherings! My favorite part of The Clarion beach house floor plan is the extravagant storage options. There is room for all your favorite summer pieces, lightweight linens, and rain gear all throughout!

Stone Brook II – NDG 1224
1,425 sq.ft. | 2 bed | 2 bath

As much as The Clarion is for beach lovers, Stone Brook II is for mountainside lake views! This delightful riverbend lake house is destined for bubbling streams and boating trips. The charming raised stone foundation gives you the best view of Mother Nature’s bounty and exceptional window views allow you to soak it in even while remaining indoors. Despite sporting smaller square footage, Stone Brook II utilizes the available space perfectly to promote comfortable intimacy with loved ones.


The Breakfast Room features grand window seating without minimizing table space for calm mornings and relaxing evenings. I particularly adore the dual staircases up to the front porch and the rear grilling porch. Never suffer the long walk around your deck again! The rear grilling porch even offers a cleaning table to prep your freshly caught fish before a home-cooked dinner. Better yet, a supply room off the grilling porch keeps your hiking gear handy for spontaneous trips to the great outdoors!

Alpine Ridge – NDG 1463
3,041 sq.ft. | 3 bed | 2.5 bath

Perhaps you want a home plan to fit in with a sweet seaside or lakeview neighborhood without being in-your-face with coastal style? Alpine Ridge satisfies your want for waterfront inspiration! A magnificently large wraparound porch follows the length of the home from the front covered entry to the rear outdoor living area. I cannot stress how incredible and huge this porch is! All of this before you step through the French doors, too. Best part? The Alpine Ridge home plan is designed for exterior customization. If you want a stone and brick pattern to better emphasize your area, find your right fit! This is ideal for homeowners looking to highlight or tone down the waterfront inspiration without losing design elements. Update your siding, stone, brick, and more!

The heart of this idealistic floor plan is the grand open floor design and lower level bedrooms. Much of the main level is dedicated to your kitchen, Great Room, and dining area. All nestled warmly under a vaulted ceiling and overlooking your outdoor living area. Which just so happens to include an outdoor fireplace to match the one indoors! The lower level holds Bedroom 2 and Bedroom 3. And a luxuriously large game and media room! Pool tables and pinball machines, anyone?

Waterfront Cove – NDG 833
1,408 sq.ft. | 2 bed | 2 bath

When you haven’t quite decided whether you want to build on the lakeside or need a home to fit just as naturally on the Florida coasts, Waterfront Cove 833 the vacation house plan to match your locale! An extravagant front deck gives you the chance to absorb the surrounding view. I love how uniquely shaped the front Great Room is and how the large floor-to-roof windows will highlight every last ray of light at the end of the day. I’m a suckers for stunning windows and unconventional room shapes. Of course, one of the first things you will notice is how the chimney in the Great Room is a focal point. It’s such a wildly different way to display your home’s architectural design! Typically, chimneys are stuff away somewhere but Waterfront Cove 833 incorporates the neglected feature!

This natural beauty house plan focuses on tall ceilings and maximizing the open, wild feeling of your outdoor surroundings. If you aren’t a beach person, this home plan would do well in a mountain area, too! The Master Suite is on the main level and has access to the front deck through a gorgeous set of French doors. The Kitchen is loaded with counter space and opens onto a grilling porch to the left. You won’t have to worry about disturbing the view while cooking! Bedroom 2 is on the upper level meaning all family members and guests have plenty of privacy. I’m crazy about the vaulted ceilings and beams that continue through the upper level. Waterfront Cove – NDG 833 is a magical way to forget the bustle of the busy world and embrace the solitude of your private surroundings!




NDG Logo

At Nelson Design Group, we have a house plan for every lifestyle and climate! Be sure to look through more of our coastal waterfront plans to find your perfect permanent vacation home! Have you found a house plan that is almost what you need? We modify our home plans to fit your need. Don’t pass up a great new home build because you want a little more closet space! We ready and waiting to help find your forever home.

Benefits of Nelson Design Group

If you are looking at building a house, check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Rustic Vibe, Modern Living

22Apr 2020

The Aspen Retreat house plan is designed by award-winning designer Michael E. Nelson. Aspen Retreat is a rustic craftsman bungalow style house plan with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. With 3,698 square feet of living space, this pleasantly inviting home plan emphasizes togetherness and entertainment. From the vaulted ceilings in the Great Room to the angled rear covered porch to the expansive Media Room, Aspen Retreat brings modern-day to the rustic, mountain-inspired craftsman home!

It’s All In The Details

When you are searching for the perfect house plan, think about your morning, afternoon, and evening routine. You want a home that improves your average day or makes your daily steps peaceful. You see too many homes churned out with no thought for how it will feel to walk up the front steps or leave the garage every day. This is your home! I want my house to be a reprieve from the toils of the outside world and that begins with darling shutters, stone masonry, and a comfortable porch to warm up my mornings. Aspen Retreat just happens to check those boxes!


Aspen Retreat is a beautifully updated rendition of a rustic mountain home with lots of craftsman-style details. European-inspired and craftsman-style homes seem to drip with delightful elements that truly make the design more than four simple walls. Passing through the stone-gray columns, this porch leaves ample room for rocking chairs and a patio table to embrace to cool mornings while seeing the kids off to school. Or letting the pups out to play while you wipe the sleep from your eyes! A good home starts off with a great front entry. Stepping into the foyer, you see directly into the Great Room and Kitchen area. This open floor plan common space showcases vaulted ceilings and a lovely fireplace. Open floor plans truly highlight the space in your home. There is a freedom to decorate and unite your space while focusing on family bonding and personal time. There is a long-standing trend of open floor plans and I don’t see that changing any time soon. The Great Room and Kitchen overlook the rear covered porch, too! BBQ nights, bonfire parties, and summer pool time is a little more exciting and convenient knowing you can be a part of the activities from the comfort of your A/C-cooled Great Room!

The Aspen Retreat house plan does something a bit different with the Master Suite and I think it deserves some special attention. The Master Suite is much more private with a secluded entryway before entering the bedroom! Perfect for families with older children or elderly parents sharing the home, the Master Suite is generously sized. Not only did the bedroom receive careful attention to detail and privacy, the Master Bath is luxurious and uniquely shaped. With a vaguely L-shaped wrap-around, the Master Bath is designed for spa day relaxation with a free-standing tub and a gorgeous, gigantic shower space. The designer even included space for a tiled shower seat! Frankly, you could live in this bathroom alone. Not to oversell this fantastic Master Suite, but it has three walk-in closets. Yes, three of them! Never again battle for hanging space or prioritize which flats and heels deserve shelving room. With three walk-in closets, one of them can be dedicated to only winter clothes or business outfits while the remaining two are for daily wear!

Private Theatre and Outdoor Amenities

We all ooh and ahh over grand kitchens and expansive bedroom space. But it is so refreshing to see a spacious floor plan designed with social gatherings and extra amenities in mind. Aspen Retreat does not disappoint! Part of the character of this home plan is the angled media room. While it will depend on how and where you build your home, the angled design of your private theatre helps eliminate sun glare on the big screen. With a bathroom just off the Media Room, you are safe from missing your favorite parts! I am personally fond of the en suite media closet. Now that our favorite films and shows are available for streaming, we’ve lost a bit of the opportunity to show off our personal collection of movies. Force your friends and family to acknowledge your fascination with foreign documentaries in style!

Running nearly the entire length of the home is the stunningly large staggered covered porch. As much as I love this rustic style house plan, the back porch is the seal of approval for me. This porch follows the length of the Great Room down and around the Media Room. Remember, Aspen Retreat is no quaint tiny house! This is a nice, big space! The covered porch is lined in matching stone accent columns to coincide with the front porch design, which I adore. Far too often, the back wall of a house is sorely neglected blank walls. Boring look and unpleasant design choices, that. The first leg of the covered porch is perfect for garden chairs and potted plants with steps leading down to your backyard. Following to the right is the next staggered section designated for grilling and cook-outs. Continuing on yet, your covered porch opens into an outdoor living space with vaulted ceilings. This generous space is ideal for comfortable sitting and cool summer nights. The porch just keeps going!

Customizing This House Plan
Making this house plan onto your dream home!

We understand that when it comes to building a home you want it to be perfect for you. Our team of experience house plan specialists would love to be able to help you through the process of modifying this, or any of the other house plans found on our website, to better fit your needs.
Whether you know the exact changes you need made or just have some ideas that would like to discuss with our team send us an email at: info@nelsondesigngroup.com or give us a call at 870-931-5777
What to know a little more about the process of customizing one of our house plans? Check out our Modifications FAQ page.

What's Your Ceiling Style?

17Apr 2020

We spend so much of our time focusing on the walls, the flooring, the very expensive (but wildly charming) crown molding all to improve and personalize our home. Far too often, the ceiling is left simple. Now, there is nothing wrong with simplicity. But choosing an alternative to the conventional ceiling is an amazing way to redefine your home! Opting for a specific ceiling type can emphasize your open floor plan or add depth to a Master Suite. I've gathered a list of unique ceiling alternatives to highlight your wide range of options when building your home:

Vaulted Ceilings

When looking through floor plans, a vaulted ceiling is a wildly popular choice. Vaulted ceilings immediately increase the feeling of space in your home. Many times, you will also find beams and trusses used to expand the openness. Vaulted ceilings with beam accents happen to both elegant and rustic. I like to think vaulted ceilings are the quintessential “simple and stunning” for any home.

The Rockford Place – MEN 5057 is a great rustic craftsman house plan that capitalizes on vaulted ceilings to enhance an open floor plan. Combining the vaulted ceilings with the curved high counter bar table creates a softness throughout the kitchen and Great Room. Rustic house plan styles and craftsman bungalow house plans frequently use beam trusses to accent the vaulted ceilings. Don't feel limited to exposed wooden beams! Talk to your builder about shaping with brick, stone, or even reinforced concrete.

Vaulted ceilings and Cathedral ceilings are commonly lumped together. How do you know what kind of open ceiling will work for your house plan? As always, talk to your builder! Communication is important every step of the building process. However, a fairly easy way for us non-builders to recognize a Cathedral ceiling is the tippy-top of the roof point! If the two sides of the roof are equal and the two sides meet directly in the middle with your ceiling following this direct shape (think about your ceiling following the entire triangle of your roof height), you are probably working with a Cathedral style ceiling! Because of the extremely high ceiling, you will see tall, expansive windows. All the better to absorb that natural lighting!

Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings are gorgeous. Just throwing my personal opinion out there, but these are my favorite style of ceiling. There is an exceptional elegance to a room with a coffered ceiling. Realistically, I probably won't put them in every room. Throw a stunning coffered ceiling in a large study or a formal dining room, though? My heart.

To refresh your memory, a coffered ceiling is a grid-like pattern of beams, usually in squares or rectangles, that create a look of sunken panels. Broken Arrow Farms uses a coffered ceiling style in the formal dining room. Award-winning designer, Michael E. Nelson chose to line the entrance to this elegant, chic dining room with columns to emphasize the sophisticated design of this dining space! The effect is truly stunning. The customization options for a coffered ceiling really give you the opportunity to express your style, too! Choose a bold wallpaper to line the sunken panels. Or try out an accent color on the grid beams. Bland, white ceilings are, no more!

Boxed Ceilings

Boxed ceilings are sometimes referred to as tray ceilings or recessed ceilings. Typically, boxed ceilings are rectangular or square in shape, though you can find angled boxed ceilings. A bold twist on traditional flat ceilings, a boxed ceiling has a deep cutout recess extending upwards to the roof, usually around 6” deep.

If you want an upgrade from the traditional ceiling, a boxed ceiling is a great way to enhance while keeping a clean profile. Customize your boxed ceiling inset with a darker paint color to give the illusion of a much deeper cutout. I've seen unique colors painted on the inside shelf as an accent! A boxed ceiling gives you twice as many options to stylize. Consider an elaborate molding or strip lighting to frame the cutout!

Don't limit your home build to a traditional ceiling if you yearn for something with substance! These are just a few examples of alternate ceiling types to help you find your right fit. Ask your builder about ceiling styles they've done in the past!



If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

NDG Logo

Check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

Plans With Room To Grow

15Apr 2020

Like most of the country right now, we’re all spending a fair portion of our life at home. Some of us are still working from home and the paperwork stacking up is highlighting how difficult working off the kitchen table can be. Some of us are trying to keep busy with housework and truly regret not adding extra shelving and storage space, I mean, honestly, where does all this stuff go? Others yet are managing both tasks with a small entourage of youths squeaking hungry demands every 20 minutes (Hang in there, folks).

The biggest thing happening to my family is a desperate need for more space on all fronts. An active part of our time at home now belongs to organizing what room we currently and planning on expanding. That dream home Pinterest board has really come in handy after all. To make the transition easier for anyone else cramped in not-so-cozy quarters, here are some of my favorite new house plans with plenty of room to move, grow, and breathe in! Find your favorite room and start envisioning the upgrade!

Heritage Manor – NDG 1670

I’m going to shamelessly begin with what I consider my personal favorite house plan. Let it be known, Nelson Design Group has around 1,800 house plans designed (not even counting all the specific modifications), I still think this is easily leading my Top Five Favorites. I love the shake siding elements. I love the stone exterior. I love the absolutely charming craftsmen elements and the endless gable roof peaks. I even love that, in sharp contrast to popular trends, this house plan exterior is a little dark and moody. This is all before opening the front door. I am sold. Hook, line, and sinker.

Heritage Manor – NDG 1670 is a stunning 2,683 square foot house plan with three bedrooms and 4 full baths. This house plan is designed with ample room to stretch out, even if just for one. The dedicated Master Suite spreads out in the rear corner of the home plan which is perfect for additional privacy. You can almost use this entire wing of the plan as private quarters. And I am wildly fond of the unique “corner” walk-in closet. It is fantastically large, and I adore the ability to see all my clothing options with a turn of my head instead of ducking under and around stacked clothes rods.

The first floor of this home plan has a dedicated guest room or study (your home, your choice) at the center of the house. For anyone working from home, a center-stage study office is great to keep you within easy access to the rest of the house (and the kitchen). Offices with window access are going to help keep your mental flow running smoothly. And it’s a great alternative to cubicle life. Of course, as your family grows, the office/guest room is reasonably close to the Master Suite and would do well as a possible nursery or kids’ room. Or a pet room. There is a huge range of possibilities with this craftsman-style house plan!

Bellington Manor – MEN 5041

Stretch your legs and take a stroll through the incredibly spacious and expansive Bellington Manor! This 3 bedroom/2.5 bath European style house plan sports a roomy 3,274 square feet of living space. Bellington Manor is perfect for those that don’t necessarily need extras rooms, but more room to live in. I’ve said before how much I adore European-inspired homes and Bellington Manor has it in spades. Check out those gables! This home plan exterior is designed in a mix of dark and light warm colors for an inviting, contemporary palette.

An oversized Great Room leads to a screened rear porch and separate grilling porch. More space to enjoy your yard means your home is truly a place to relax and unwind. Bellington Manor is a personal sanctuary. With over 3,200 square feet, each room is designed to maximize your living space. More rooms in a home don't always mean more space. This carefully constructed floor plan includes a formal dining room without sacrificing the privacy in the Master Suite or neglecting adequate storage!

The Master Suite includes a massive walk-in closet in the rear wing of the home plan. A 4-car garage offers room for your daily vehicle, as well as project cars or even a boat! A breakfast nook overlooking the rear screened porch and grilling porch is ideal for early morning reflection before settling into the study office. The generously open floor plan highlights valued family time and more than enough room to enjoy personal solitary time! Bellington Manor is great for introverts and extroverts alike!

Willow Creek Circle – SMN 1028

Have you ever wondered why a house plan has only one Master Suite? Willow Creek Circle is your solution! This delightfully bright and crisp European-style home plan grants two separate, graciously roomy Master Suites with individual full baths and walk-in closets. Clean, sharp lines frame enormous front-facing windows in the first Master Suite. Willow Creek Circle is a 3-bedroom/3.5 bath house plan with just over 3,000 square feet of living space. I love how the Master Suites are positioned at each end of the home. There is no blurred privacy line with this layout. The kitchen has plenty of counter space, but my favorite addition in the kitchen is the separate cooking prep area. What a unique and clever idea! The ability to prepare, clean, and organize your ingredients before diving into the cooking will be incredibly helpful for all chefs (and amateurs in the making). A small side patio off the kitchen gives a breath of fresh air if all those onions start getting to you, and the rear covered porch houses an outdoor fireplace ready for s’mores after dinner!

The 2-car garage has a dedicated storage room to keep your tools and holiday gear neatly organized with plenty of space to spare! Even the Great Room has a closet for coats, shoes, or whatever else you want stored away. Upstairs, the third bedroom maintains the Willow Creek Circle specialty of privacy with a full bath. This is the only bedroom upstairs, too. Bedroom 3 has a roomy step-in closet, and a second closet area just off the staircase landing! Willow Creek Circle will keep you and your family neat and tidy!

They say the Devil is in the details, but all the details in the Willow Creek Circle plan sure seem heavenly to me. There is built-in storage under the stairs. The floor plan calls for a gorgeous open brick archway between the kitchen and Great Room. The Great Room closet has a barn door closure! You will find small, high-end details even in the reinforced saferoom walk-in closet and the gas lanterns on the rear covered porch! Willow Creek Circle is loaded down with amenities and charming additions. All of these before you add your own personal touches!

St. Agnus – MEN 5029

This rustic traditional house plan showcases a natural exterior before opening into a very roomy 4 bedroom/4.5 bath layout! The original design exterior focused on warm, light-colored bricks, a rich, sandy shake siding, and dark fascia and trim. All the contrast I love about Heritage Manor shaded with inviting warmth and comfort. The steep roof peaks are a lovely twist that adds a special profile to the St. Agnus house plan! With 3,385 square feet of living space, the St. Agnus home plan is a wonderful mix of all the storage and details I adore in Willow Creek Circle combined with the intentionally spacious design of Bellington Manor. If you couldn’t decide which floor plan captured your heart, St. Agnus highlights the best of them all!

The Master Suite offers a secluded privacy nestled behind the garages in the rear of the home. I love this Master Suite layout. Featuring boxed ceilings, a brief hallway leads to the main bedroom, then into the Master Bath. For nearly any home, I consider the kitchen and the primary bathroom (or Master Bathroom if your plan is designed well) as the most important rooms to scrutinize. The St. Agnus Master Bath is phenomenal. An isolated linen closet in the bath means you won’t be stacking awkward shelves everywhere. Not only are there dual sinks, St. Agnus sports a separate vanity make-up counter. No longer will wives be forced to share tiny vanity space! The bathroom leads to the enormous walk-in closet with a truly awesome amount of storage space. Best part? You can head straight to the laundry room from the closet!

The Master Suite isn’t the only room with great attention to detail. The kitchen holds both a storage pantry and a butler’s pantry for extra counter space and prep room. A formal dining room just off the foyer and accessible through the butler’s pantry makes serving holiday dinners a welcome breeze! For a less important meal or for easy enjoyment, St. Agnus is designed with a casual dining breakfast area and a high-low bar island that seats up to six with full view of the Great Room fireplace. Media storage built-ins next to the fireplace allow you to display your favorite music and movies or just show off your collectibles and passions! Can anyone else picture a darling little plant corner here? Bedroom 2, 3, and 4 all house well-sized step-in closets and are situated on the opposite side of the Master Suite for additional privacy. French doors open into Bedroom 2 which gives it a great optional study office, too! I adore the separate full baths Bedroom 3 and Bedroom 4 each have. No more sibling rivalry over morning bathroom space!


NDG Logo

Maybe you're looking for something in particular? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Come check out Nelson Design Group’s collection of over 1,800 house plans. Come check out more house styles to find your perfect fit:


Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to make your dream home a reality. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.

Exclusive Partner Spotlight: FAKRO

08Apr 2020

FAKRO

Focusing on providing environmentally conscious skylights, roof windows, and attic ladders, FAKRO is one of our exclusive partners for builders and homeowners. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at the wide range of products FAKRO offers!

One of my favorite things about FAKRO roof windows and skylights is how they never fail to create unique and innovative ways to incorporate natural lighting in your home. You can see (pun aside) the dedication to quality materials and ease of use on the consumer end. FAKRO designs roof windows and skylights to be more than just a pane of glass to the outside world. The progressive products prioritize thinking outside the windowpane and maximizing previously neglected roof-space.

Skylights

Until I had the opportunity to experience FAKRO skylights firsthand, they were just a passive addition to any space. Typically in the Great Room living area or commercial business lobbies. But FAKRO skylights are so much more than your grandparents’ hole in the ceiling. Even the commonly known fixed skylights are double glazed with stunning frames. Simplicity is not the same as basic, and FAKRO works hard to bring out the best.

Fixed skylights are great for a huge range of roof pitches, ideally between 15-85°. Your builder can help you determine your roof pitch. And FAKRO carries several different sizes in the fixed skylight panes, too! Natural lighting has more than just aesthetic benefits; it positively influences health, too.

You can dramatically change the look of your space with a skylight of any kind. Vaulted ceilings are absolutely stunning, but you may find your area doesn’t get enough sunlight. FAKRO skylights are an easy solution to your new home build!

Venting Skylights

I won’t even pretend that venting skylights aren’t my personal favorite. I love the ability to open these skylights to capitalize on the fresh breeze and hear the soft sounds of the world around me. For anyone else concerned about wildlife trying to make your home their new home, FAKRO venting skylights come standard with an insect screen. Crank them open to your heart’s content!

While I personally use the manual venting skylight in my home, I am in love with the electric venting skylights. Remote-activated, the FAKRO electric venting skylight has sensors to close if the rain starts before notice the windows are still open.

Probably my favorite thing about the electric venting and manual venting skylights is the ability to use them in more than a foyer or living area. The easy-open option makes them perfect for your loft (FAKRO has a ton of options I’m planning for our upstairs rooms), master bathroom, and kitchen.

Roof Windows

We don’t get to see true roof windows in the U.S. too often, which is a terrible shame because roof windows are a wonderful option for homes with a lot of architectural character. Roof windows look great in place of dormers if you prefer a sleeker roofline! And of course, your upstairs rooms will have the same access to natural lighting as your ground floors.

I’m a huge fan of European style homes and Canterbury Place – MEN 5081 is one of my favorites. I love this unique roofline and unusual spires. Most of all, I love how the additional bedrooms are upstairs with a covered veranda. Canterbury Place with a set of center pivot roof windows in the media game room is my dream home. It just so happens that center pivot windows are the more popular type of roof windows FAKRO sells in Europe. I know where I belong!

Canterbury Place - MEN 5081

Roof windows operate basically the same as a skylight, but with the option to open like your everyday window. These move on a side hinge or with a center or top pivot. FAKRO carries these beauties in both manual turn-handles and electrical opens for those Smart House fans! You have the same great options for style and size, with a slightly larger range for the 15-90° roof pitch. That only makes it easier to ensure your roof window is a simple addition!

For a more steep roofline, a high pivot roof window creates more space for you to gaze out and enjoy the open air. There is something very metropolitan about pivoting roof windows. They are everything I expect to see in a show/movie about a charming underdog character living in an apartment much too luxurious for their part-time bookstore job. I am begging homeowners and builders to stray from traditional windows in favor of something as stylish as it is functional.

Uncommon Excellence

While on the topic of nontraditional types of natural lighting and window styles, FAKRO carries balcony windows and light tunnels. Now, I’m familiar with balcony windows. This is another of those “too cool for real-life” home additions that FAKRO has made easily accessible for us everyday folk. No longer are these natural lighting options out of reach for the wealthy and glamorous, thanks to FAKRO!

Balcony windows are a super neat window option. I know the Tiny Home trend has lost a little mainstream attention, but it is still thriving and popular. Spacious luxury homes will always be many people’s life goals, but I cannot deny the allure of a cozy, well-designed home. Balcony windows are a fantastic alternative to a fixed window. Added bonus, they genuinely just look cool.

Maple Street is a charming, 2-story house plan with upstairs bedrooms. A balcony window off the Master Suite would be an excellent use of that wall space and would provide more natural lighting. I truly adore this cozy, affordable house plan. Cypress Drive has a stunning amount of exterior detail and ample room upstairs for a balcony window. Of these three plans, Cypress Drive is my favorite. I love a house plan with a variety of exterior textures. Another great NDG cozy home option is Bryce Cove. This 1.5-story floor plan has additional bedrooms upstairs with an open loft space perfectly suited for a step-out balcony window.

Now, I like to think I’m a fairly intelligent person (don’t we all). Light tunnels feel like a futuristic addition to your home in a completely normal, accessible way. I’m a little floored by how simple and easy FAKRO has designed these light tunnels to provide natural lighting to interior rooms. It has always been a personal struggle to keep interior rooms from being too dark or cluttered with a variety of lamps and light sources. For those as innocent to these devices as I was (and still am), light tunnels are these rigid or flexible tubes that transmit light into the rooms of your house from your roof. FAKRO offers a simple, unobtrusive dome or a flat inset on your roof.

The light is channeled through the tube to shine in a flat glass pane in your ceiling, much like commonplace recessed lighting. It’s a scientific marvel. I am blown away by this innovative option and I think this is a brilliant way to include (or add more) natural lighting in your home. The mechanics may appear something out of a submarine telescoping sight and using it in your home to amplify the lighting is wildly exciting. I’m confident there is a good chunk of science explaining how the light doesn’t just straight-line beam a hole through your wood floors, but I’ll leave that to the FAKRO professionals and your builder to work out.

FAKRO skylights and roof windows can be found online at Lowe's, Home Depot, Menard's, and Amazon for homeowners and builders alike.




Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to help find your dream home. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.

NDG Logo

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Outdoor Cleaning: A Springtime Spruce Up

27Mar 2020

It’s been nothing but wet and gray for weeks here. Not only is this the first sunny day in a hot minute; it’s also warming up to a toasty 80 degrees. I know we are still social distancing and isolating. If you’re looking for a good excuse to sit outside or keep busy, now is the time to plan your outdoor cleaning!

Yeah, I get spring cleaning and outdoor chores aren’t the way we planned to kick off the changing season. But there is a certain satisfaction to working with your hands and knowing your home is clean. In light of that, I’ve got a great set of starting places to keep you busy and in the fresh air for a few days. I like to start with smaller tasks as a warm-up to the heavy jobs, but you tackle your list in whatever order you prefer.

Survey The Grounds

Take your time walking around your home and property. Along the way, you can pick up any stray branches and yard debris. Make sure to look at your windows and gutters. There’s no rush during a quarantine and a little outdoor work will be a pleasant distraction. Now is a great time to check on sheds and workshops, too. As you stroll about and soak up the rays, try to look for any unexpected pooling water. Check the upper corners or your carport or garage for cobwebs and nests. Lastly, don’t forget to look at the exterior of your home. Look for any possible damage or gaps in your bricks and siding! After you’ve reviewed your home and cleared your head with the breeze, you can make your outdoor spring-cleaning plan.


Just really get in there and check things out

Trashcans and Clutter

Trashcans are way too often neglected. I’m horribly guilty of this. Summer flies and other pests are going to center on your trashcans as is. Keeping them relatively clean will help avoid attracting them. Break out the hose and some basic dish soap. If your trashcan grime is particularly intense, let it soak for a bit before hosing it out.


Bad idea. This is just a raccoon buffet.

Don’t forget to give the outside a good scrub, too! Those small spills and chunks that somehow end up everywhere are part of the smelly problem. Pick up the cheap, disposable sponges to give a thorough scrub and toss them when you’re done. That kind of dirt doesn’t belong in your kitchen sink! With a freshly cleaned trashcan, all you need to watch for is properly closing to keep out bugs and the local scavenging wildlife!

Cobwebs, Nests, and The Circle of Life

It’s a fact of life –bugs live outdoors. Whether you’re a fan or afraid of our crawling cohabitants, you are bound to see signs of their existence all around. Loosely dangling cobwebs gather dust and particles (and maybe the odd remaining bug meal or two) and are generally viewed as a sign of disuse and neglect. It’s not an immediate need to brush them away the second you see one, but it does make a big difference once you’ve cleared them off! Just grab a broom, a Swiffer, a really long stick from the yard, and whisk those dusty remnants off the ceiling. If you are feeling extra fancy, a damp cloth will pick up the leftover dirt and dust.


Yeah, a damp rag will take that riiiiiiiight off.

And while you are in bug-removal mode, keep your eyes peeled for hives or nests. Birds and wasps are fantastic builders and will use even the smallest ledge to start a home. Pop on some gloves before you handle a bird’s nest, though!

Windows and Gutters

These can be a little bit trickier. For single-story homes, cleaning your windows will be fairly easy. Only washing the interior windows leaves you with a half-done job. There are a variety of cleaning products and tools special to window cleaning specifically, but a classic window cleaner and microfiber rag works well, too. You will be amazed at how much better the natural lighting in your home will shine! I leave my windows open frequently and have to take an extra step to remove and rinse the window screen. You wouldn’t believe how dusty and grimy a window screen gets! I suggest cleaning these out in the yard to avoid the run-off water mess.

Windows up high in multiple story homes and your gutters are more complicated. Before you begin cleaning, make sure you have all the proper equipment. A solid, sturdy ladder is an absolute must. For gutter cleaning, you will want a set of work gloves to protect against stray sticks and debris. Plus, it’s probably going to be a little gross if you don’t get a chance to clean them annually. You will also want tools that reach without you leaning or stretching.


Not remotely OSHA compliant.

In all seriousness, it’s better to hire a professional crew fully equipped for these kinds of cleaning jobs. It is much better to ensure your health and integrity of your home even if you end up shelling out some money for it. If cost is an issue, look for seasonal deals. Many companies offer off-season discounts or early season cleaning deals.

Your Home Exterior

It’s time to make your home look like new again! If you’ve never had a chance to experiment with power washing, you’ve got an opportunity now! This is great for stone and brick exterior homes. Now, don’t go crazy and blast a hole in your stone exterior. But you can rent or purchase power washing equipment easily! There are a wide range of brick cleansers, too. Find something eco-friendly cleaning products and you won’t have to worry about damaging your lawn. For siding and softer facades, go for a brush hose wand. All the scrubbing, cleaning power with risking holes and cracks in your siding. Best part? Most of these tools come with extendable arms for you to safely stay on the ground.

Porch and Patio

A good sweeping goes a long way to improve your curb appeal. My patio collects leaves as if that is it’s sole purpose in life. If you are primed and ready with a power washer, give your deck and porch a good scour. I thought for the longest time my deck was an ash-gray color. It’s all I’ve ever seen. Nope! A solid wash later and I have a stunning warm wood deck again. It was mind-blowing.


No, your deck's natural color probably isn't "dirty moss."

While you’re at it, now is a great time to clean off and arrange your patio furniture. A decent spray and scrub will leave your patio furniture looking like new again. They are meant to survive the weather, but dust and dirt are going to inevitably settle. Once you’ve given a thorough cleaning, you have a great excuse to look at new seat cushions and pillows! And now that you’ve worked up a good sweat cleaning, you have earned time to sit down and browse online for cute outdoor lighting accessories.

There are plenty of other outdoor cleaning options to add to your list such as the garage cleanout and driveway/carport washes. If you have the time (stay at home, folks), energy, and need to be productive during this quarantine downtime, this is a good starting place! Not only will you be satisfied with a job well done, you get to revel in the new cleanliness, too.

If you missed out NDG Talk Blog Post with our “Spring Cleaning: Inside Edition” you can read it here: http://ndgtalk.blogspot.com/2017/03/spring-cleaning.html
Remember to take a break from all the news articles and social media scares. Reach out to your neighbors, your family, your friends, and your community. We are all in this boat together.

When you're stuck at home, every little thing you'd change about your current house is staring you in the face. Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to help find your dream home. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.

NDG Logo

Benefits of Nelson Design Group

If you are looking at building a house, check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Tips for a First Time Stay-At-Home Life

Stay-At-Home Survival Tips

24Mar 2020

Homeschool In Your New Home

COVID-19 has everyone wary of big gatherings. We are all practicing social distancing, refreshing our hand-washing technique, and staying home as often as possible. If you are feeling a little stir-crazy or have little ones roaming about the home, I’ve gathered some sanity-saving ideas, as well as free programs and activities to keep everyone entertained and healthy.

Keep A Routine

I know it is difficult to find interesting activities and plan for fun days when the malls are closed, theaters are shut down, and even libraries are out of service. It would be so easy to spend the days watching Netflix, Instagram, and YouTube just to sleep in late again the next day. To help combat the cabin fever, make a routine. If you have kids at home, they are used to a dependable, structured plan for each day. They know what class comes next and when lunch will be. Keep the kiddos (and yourself) sane by coming up with a daily plan!

Photographer Jessica McHale created a handy hourly guide for those of us new to the homeschool scene. I really like this daily schedule. It allows for exercise, creativity, and electronic time. And you can adjust this as needed! It’s a great starting point to help define your time throughout the day. Personally, I am using this time to reinforce and share life skills learning. How to properly do laundry, cooking basic and staple meals, even some advanced baking attempts! Thanks to WikiHow, we’ve managed to tackle a leaky faucet, too. Tweak the guide for the best way to make your family happy.

Honestly, this is great for anyone unused to working from home, too. Section off chunks of time throughout the day to ensure your work is completed while making time to take a breather and throw the ball around with the dogs. There are endless benefits to working from home (if you can), but you do need to watch for the major pitfalls. Sleeping in is fine and well if you don’t have hard deadlines or scheduled calls. A daily plan will help you stay on target without cramping your new relaxed work flow (and attire).

Define A Space

It can be helpful to define a working space and a free-time area. The first step is to keep your bedroom free of work (if possible). This will help you sleep easier once your work is done, too. If you are working in a smaller space or your desktop is centered in your room, just try to keep the desk for work and the bed for sleeping. Setting mental boundaries for your stay-at-home life is necessary to staving off the cabin fever.

This is helpful for those with school-aged children, too! Cordoning a section of the room and house to center on crafts or school work encourages focus when it is time to dive into those homework packets. After a homey breakfast and clean-up, getting everyone settled at your kitchen island allows you to continue your own personal list of work or chores while staying involved! Wherever you decide to set your work and homework base of operations, try to maintain that invisible boundary of work and play. Knowing that once you get up from the desk or leave the kitchen table that you finished with Work Mode allows you to freely enjoy the rest of your day.

Enjoy The Little Moments

Seriously though, none of us are really prepared to be staying home if that wasn't already your lifestyle. Not you, not your kids, not your pets. We are all just doing the best we can while hoping to cut this quarantine off at the knees. If you didn’t already have a homeschool or work-from-home station, you are managing like most of us. While it may help to try out a few of these tips, remember this is an unprecedented situation for everyone. It’s okay to ignore all these ideas and just take care of yourself and your family. When are your kids going to have another chunk of time where they MUST be around you? Soak it up. Make cookies. Play with the Legos. Binge watch cartoons from your childhood. It’s okay to spend the whole day dressing your pup in little hats and ties.

Ideally, we won’t see another critical episode like this again in our lifetime. We’re all stressed. We are panic watching the news for every snippet of updated information. Maybe a routine is going to keep you anxious and wired. Instead of setting up boundaries, your entire home becomes a self-care spa. You eat those cupcakes and wear your comfiest yoga pants for two weeks. If the best thing for you and your family is picking up a bird-watching hobby on the hiking trails, spend your time investing in that! So long as you are happy, healthy, and social distancing, there’s no wrong or right way to process the unexpected changes. I’ve found it therapeutic to spend the weekends social media free. A small break from the epidemic has helped me stay aware and unpanicked. Find your own reprieve.

There are a lot of people who feel pressured to "use this time wisely." Don't let the guilt of your interrupted work schedule force you into a status quo. Cleaning the attic can wait. The most important thing right now is to wash your hands, practice good hygiene, and social distance. Outside (or inside, these days) of that, do what is going to make your days the most exciting. If that means oatmeal and bad rom-coms at 3 am, live your best live.

Here are a few great links to keep you and your family entertained from the safety of your home. Hopefully your newest passion or hobby is right about the corner.

California Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cam
https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams
Georgia Aquarium Sea Otters Cam
https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/southern-sea-otter-webcam/
Berlin Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall
https://www.digitalconcerthall.com/en/home
Scholastic Learn At Home
https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/home-learning-resource...
ABC Mouse has free membership right now with the code SCHOOL7771
https://www.abcmouse.com/
Open Culture
http://www.openculture.com/
NASA STEM
https://www.nasa.gov/stem
Harvard CS50 coding/programming courses
https://cs50.harvard.edu/x/2020/

These are some good places to start your stay-at-home adventure! Remember to take a break from all the news articles and social media scares. Reach out to your neighbors, your family, your friends, and your community. We are all in this boat together.

When you're stuck at home, every little thing you'd change about your current house is staring you in the face. Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to help find your dream home. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.

NDG Logo

Benefits of Nelson Design Group

If you are looking at building a house, check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Landscaping and where to begin

Landscaping Expectations

13Mar 2020

My neck of the woods didn’t get a true winter this year. It was soggy and dreary, that’s for sure! Now that spring is starting to show, we all are chomping at the bit to get outdoors again. Fresh air, sunshine, and flowers blooming begging our attention outdoors. Unfortunately, we don’t always like what we see when we do finally get outside. Luckily, you’ve chosen a Nelson Design Group house plan to stand out from the cookie-cutter homes in your neighborhood. How do you create a lawn to match?

Finding a starting place for a landscape upgrade can be a daunting task. You aren’t sure of the soil quality. There’s brush remaining in prime gardening spots. And you just aren’t sure how much time you have to tend to new plants. The one thing you are determined to see if bright, healthy greenery as you pull in the drive every day. There is hope for your lawn improvement yet! Start with a little research on where you want your new garden to flow and grow. Even a simple sketch of the space you absolutely want to see plant life flourish is a good jumping-off point! Think about where the kids or pets may be playing, if you have plans to add a shed, gazebo, or expand your deck. It would be heartbreaking to fall in love with your new garden and a year down the line need to tear up and relocate your favorite flowers. Make sure to note where you have any existing plants and trees to work with and around! Now is a great time to think about your watering system. In-ground sprinklers or manual watering by the hose! Anticipating your wanted level of involvement is an important step.

You don't need to Bob Ross your sketch.

You’ve got a rough idea of how you would like to see it begin. You know you want in-ground sprinklers on a timer. And you know you want a pool installed next summer. Take a minute to do a little research on garden plants! Do you want nice, tall shrubbery for privacy and windbreak? Are you interested in attracting bees and hummingbirds? Maybe you just want something exotic and unusual! A quick dip into Google will give you great inspiration for garden layouts, but I suggest talking to your local plant nursery to find out what grows best in your area. Don’t forget to ask about any specific plants and flowers that have caught your eye! Having an idea of what grows well together and what plants need extra growing room is vital to planning your landscaping project.

"This is going to die the second I walk through the door."

What’s next for the average homeowner with average knowledge of lawn maintenance? You have your sketch, your vague layout ideas, and a rough selection of plants to include in your garden. Ready to grab a shovel?

Not even a shovel. Please go with a professional.

Of course not. Leave it to the professionals! You dedicated time to selecting just the right house plan to build your future. Nelson Design Group is your trusted house plan provider and it’s time to trust a landscape professional! Good news for all the work you’ve already started. Your landscape team has a huge jump on figuring out just how to deliver your personal Eden! Most even offer free estimates...that helps big time when you want to compare providers and get the best deal. Call around to your local landscapers and ask details for their process. You will absolutely need a site analysis to begin. Ask if your landscaper can provide different options for their landscaping design.

Next, check some references! A little drive-by to see a home will give you much more trust in your team than a series of photos. You aren’t walking a stranger’s property, mind. But it will be good to see a newly completed project and one from a while back to see how moderate maintenance looks. Many landscapers also install irrigation and outdoor lighting! Examples of their work is important to finding the right landscaping team for your project.

Just remember to choose a provider based on what YOU want! Don’t let someone persuade you to grow exotic plants if all you really want is some simple daisies. Your home, your garden, and your wallet! Make sure you get what you want and what you can afford. Remember, you can call us for help finding that perfect home plan, or even creating your dream home! We are here to help! 870.931.5777

Here at Nelson Design Group, we are always ready to make your dream home a reality. If we don’t have the plan that is right for you, we’ll make one. We are experts in our field and have been doing this for over 30 years. Give us a call today and we will be glad to help.

NDG Logo

Benefits of Nelson Design Group

If you are looking at building a house, check out our Building Your Dream Home blog series. This series walks you through step by step on how to build a house and is updated regularly.

If you haven’t found a builder yet, we have a Find-a-Builder tool right here on our website. These are builders from around the country that we have vetted just for you! They are skilled in their professions and do a great job.

Nelson Design Group has over 1,800 house plans for you to choose from. If you’re unsure about finding what you need, give us a call at (870) 931-5777. Our representatives are always happy to help.

If you are a builder looking to buy plans, sign up for our Builder’s Program. We offer discounts you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

We also have resources that are just for you like access to our Master Planned Communities and Marketing Services.

Pages

 
 
Best House Plan Designer
House Plans with Customizable Exteriors
Earn CASH for buying NDG plans!
NDG SmartChoice Home Products™
Best House Plan Designer
House Plans with Customizable Exteriors
Earn CASH for buying NDG plans!
NDG SmartChoice Home Products™