Leaving the Old Behind or No Fruitcake Here- the Ashford Plan

You know what a tradition is- like eating that yummy fruitcake your grandmother always made during the holidays (grimace here) or having the whole family dress alike for group photos (grin here). Perhaps some traditions are better left behind-that way, you may begin new ones. Planning for a new house is definitely an adventure, and it is one that can blend the old with the new, especially with the Ashford plan from Living Concepts, a traditional home that is just over 3000 square feet with two stories, three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and two half-baths. And oh, so much more.

Say Yes to Progress

Decades ago, homes that were considered traditional were largely one-story brick with a carport. Architecture in the U.S. has progressed (European influence, modernist, etc.), yet has kept the “bones” of the homes we consider time-less. A traditional home, like the Ashford plan, is comfortable without being stodgy; it includes the modern conveniences inside while retaining the structure we expect on the outside. Peering at the front, the home has a stucco exterior with windows that reflect the beauty of your yard. Two circle windows and an arched window capture your attention, and the front door entreats you to come inside. First, let’s peek into the garage.

A Beemer and a Breezeway

The two-car garage has plenty of room for your car or truck with space leftover to organize those tools you want to keep in a secure place, such as that foldable ladder or your power tools.  You could line the back wall of your garage with cabinets and still have plenty of room for the standard vehicle or truck (both with an average length of considerably less than 21 feet). The door of the garage leads you into the breezeway (protection from the elements) and then up a few steps, into the house.

Mangez, you say?

The laundry room is immediately inside, with a space for the utility sink, washer, dryer and shelves to store your cleaning supplies. You walk through the next door and into the foyer. To your right, you will find the formal dining room. The space is open with light provided by the windows facing the front and the interior lighting you choose, such as a crystal chandelier. The dining room is as versatile as you choose to make it- use traditional furniture or add a contemporary flair with bolder colors and a glass dining room table.

A Jar of This and a Smidgen of That

The kitchen, morning room and gathering rooms are all open. Once inside the kitchen, the walk-in pantry is on your left. Even if you eat out or order in on a regular basis, a kitchen pantry is a necessity. Do you need a place to store extra Mason Jars? (and by the way, these jars are great for crafts, too, not just jams and jellies). Pasta sauce? Spices? King Arthur flour and the necessary bakeware? Then of course, you need a pantry. After you have grabbed the items needed for your next meal from here, you walk into the kitchen, which has a countertop on the left that extends the length of the room. The double sink and dishwasher allow for easy cleanup from the morning room, which is your informal dining space.  On the right side of the kitchen, the stovetop/oven and refrigerator are nestled between more counterspace.

We Gather Together

The names of the room where we do most of our “living” have evolved over the years. The den, the living room and now the gathering room are all names for the space we use to put our feet up after a hearty meal, a space to nap undisturbed or the space to draw our seats closer together while we share stories or news that just can’t wait. Windows along the back wall in the gathering room allow you to gaze outside. The gathering room in the Ashford plan has a fireplace in the corner and a door that leads outside to your deck, where you can place multiple chairs and a firepit for those cool evenings.

Tradition (not just a song)

Another door off of the deck takes you inside to the master suite. A tray ceiling (also called an inverted or recessed ceiling), draws your eyes upward. A second eye opener is that there are two walk-in closets. Two. So much room for yours- and his stuff, too. This is where the differentiation comes in with a traditional home- like the open spaces of the kitchen, morning and gathering rooms, and the addition of two walk-in closets– you can keep traditional on the outside but add your touch on the inside. A few more steps, and you have reached the master bath. His and her sinks on opposite walls both have counter space, which means room for your lotions and for his colognes, plus perhaps a subscription box or two for those trial sizes of almost-necessary items. A garden tub and walk-in shower make this room your personal spa. Leaving the master bath, you will find a powder room on the left and stairs going upwards on your right.

Walk Right Up, Sit Right Down

The stairs open up to a balcony and loft area. Make a left turn, and you will find yourself at the study, which has a walk-in closet. Not enough room downstairs for your seasonal clothes? Well, your problem is solved-or you could use that space for holiday decorations (can you ever really have too many plush penguins?). Throw a few pillows or a beanbag into the loft area and you have made a reading nook, suitable for any age. Two other bedroom suites can be found upstairs, both with walk-in closets. They share a bathroom (sometimes called a jack and jill bath) with a single tub in the middle; however, there are two sinks, once for each bedroom suite, and both conveniently located.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Next to the study there is the game loft. A few vintage arcade machines with casual seating for in between games, and your design is complete. Another idea for this space would be to use this special mirror, which is actually subscription based (I know- what will they think of next?). The idea is that, like the Peloton (another super idea), you exercise with encouragement on the other side. A lot of encouragement.

Inside and Out

A traditional home on the outside and your dream home on the inside- that is the Ashford plan by Living Concepts. Whether you choose the crystal chandelier or pendant lighting is a choice you will make after deciding on the plan. There is beauty in tradition (well, maybe not in fruitcake). Your job is to find it.

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