New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Two Story Great Room Vs Adding a Bonus Room

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 04:09 AM

Two Ways to Organize Your Home Layout:

One of the most frequently asked questions about new home floor plans is: can I add a bonus room upstairs, instead of the two story living room?

For most floor plans, the answer is YES. See two versions of the same floor plan built in Raleigh, NC.

The first has a two story great room. The second has an upstairs bonus room. Which layout would you pick for your new home?

Great Room Floor Plan | Raleigh Custom Home Builder

Side-by-Side Photos of the same Great Room:


Great Room Layout #1: Two Story Ceilings with curved window wall


Great Room Layout #2: Bonus Room above the great room

Two Story Great Room | Raleigh Brick Homes

Bonus Above the Great Room | Raleigh Brick Homes

While each of these great rooms has a two sided fireplace that looks into the sun room, the first photo has an entry cut-out on each side of the great room.

The first version has a larger built in bookcase, wainscoting above the fireplace, and hardwoods throughout.

Transom windows give the second version more natural light and the full wall makes space for additional furniture and storage.

Great Room Layout #1: Two Story Foyer Overlook and Great Room Overlook


Great Room Layout #2: Two Story Foyer (but no overlook to the great room)

Two Story Great Room | Raleigh Brick Homes

 Bonus Room Above Great Room | Raleigh Brick Homes

A two story ceiling calls for a hallway overlook along the great room. A single story ceiling makes room for a bonus space upstairs.

Upstairs Bonus Room

By keeping the downstairs great room to a single story ceiling height, you're able to add a second story bonus room with loft style overlook. The bonus room still gives you the second curved wall of windows, just in a separate space:

Upstairs Bonus Room Plans | Raleigh Brick Homes

Upstairs Bonus Room Plans | Raleigh Brick Homes

There are pros and cons to each layout. Which version of this floor plan is your favorite, the two story great room with huge window wall OR a bonus room above, which adds tons of square footage in a usable space?

See the Cotswold Floor Plan here.


bike trail guide


More Side-by-Side Photos of The Cotswold:


Great Room


Master Suite

Master Bath

Sun Room


Tags: design tips, two story living room design, raleigh nc homes

What you should think twice about putting in your master bathroom

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Five design tips for your master bathroom


How long do you plan to live in your next home? Keep resale value in mind, as you design your master bath: 

Master Bath
As you build your new home, always plan for the future.

Here are a few aspects to keep in mind:

Consider integrating aging-in-place design features.

Aging-in-place features can be seamlessly added to your master bathroom, so that everything is beautiful as well as adaptable.


Examples can include:  

- Shower grab bars 

- Textured tile flooring

- Distinct lighting

If you think you might put your home up for sale one day, aging-in-place design can add value and increase your resale potential.  Even a zero-threshold shower can be a great addition.

And if you intend to retire in it, you'll appreciate small details that make everyday movements more comfortable.  

Don't skimp on energy savings:

Master Bath

Think about future savings built-into energy features. 

Whole-home features, such as spray foam insulation, will make a huge difference to your monthly energy bills.

Low flow faucets and dual flush toilets can also add daily cost savings - while preserving our precious water resources.

Your builder can tell you a whole lot more about energy features that make cents for you.



Think twice before leaving out a tub:

What you should think twice about putting in your master bathroom

Love to take long, hot showers? Dual shower heads might be a good investment.

It can make getting clean a lot more interesting, and it's also a great feature for resale.



But don't get so focused on the shower that you forego a soaking tub. Even if you prefer showers, many people still want the versatility, and that can make a difference in your resale appeal.

Master Bath

Don't choose a kind of tile nobody else would want for the master bath: 

There are a tremendous amount of tile possibilities for custom homes. And the choice you make can make a huge impact on the ambiance of your master bathroom.

Master Bath

Sure, it's all about personality. But it helps to get the opinion of a professional interior designer to help make sure everything flows together seamlessly.

Top builders like Stanton Homes will install tiles of virtually any size, texture and color - you're not limited to four basic choices like many builders offer.

Ask your designer to help you see the difference it can make when you coordinate the entire room around your tile, with something warm and comforting.

Don't be conservative with your lighting or your paint: 

What you should think twice about putting in your master bathroomGo bold with your color choices.

Paint is something you can change, later, so don't hold back if your personality likes things bright.


Choose a couple of rooms that are personal spaces and decorate with abandon, from modern and white hanging lights to classic and bronze chandeliers - whatever feels like "you."


It's one of the least expensive ways to personalize your home, with light and color that sets special spaces apart. 






2014 Master Bathroom Design Trends:

Best Tile Shower Designs for 2014 | Top Five Custom Home Showers

Tile tub ideas that complement our top five custom home showers

Top five custom home showers - types of framed shower enclosures 

Accessible shower design - for wheelchair accessible homes

Tags: design tips, 2014 home design, 2014 home design trends, raleigh new homes, Master Bathroom Design