outdoor living

Featured Plan of the Month - Luna Lake

Luna Lake
5.00

LUNA LAKE MINI STUDY SET

  • 5260 Square Feet
  • Ranch Plan
  • Foot Print: 137’ x 90’ 
  • Main Level: 5260 Square Feet
  • 4 bedrooms · 4.5 bathrooms

LUNA LAKE WAS DESIGNED BY DEL DOTY DESIGNS

Please note that the square footage for a ranch plan reflects the main level only. Square footage for a two story plan reflects the main and upper levels only. Lower level square footage is considered optional.

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We've been writing this month about the health and happiness benefits that come from choosing a home with some degree of outdoor living space, so we've selected Luna Lake as September's Featured Plan of the Month! Please enjoy this Mini Study Set, yours free to download for this month only.

Luna Lake is a true high-roller estate, enveloping your family in comfort and luxury, and entertaining your guests with flash and substance. Luna Lake would be right at home in the Sun Belt, with its beautiful Spanish architectural style and glamorous outdoor living space, including a large covered patio for entertaining with evening cocktails, and a crystal clear pool for cooling off from the desert heat.

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The Enduring Appeal of Courtyards

A courtyard, simply stated, is a fully or partially enclosed area that is open to the sky. Courtyards have a long architectural history, with examples found as far back as 6400 BCE in the Jordan Valley, and the reasons for their enduring appeal are obvious. Courtyard homes satisfy the human needs for security and retreat while bringing the restorative power of nature to your daily life in a soothing, intimate manner.

 Dating back many thousands of years, the original purpose for courtyards seems to be as a cooking area, allowing for both privacy through containment behind walls and for smoke to escape from cooking over open flame. As is still true today with modern kitchens, this made the cooking area a gathering space for friends and family from the very beginning. 

By the time of the ancient Romans, courtyards were often used to entertain, still through shared meals, but now with hosted parties and traveling musicians. This ultimately led to the notion of what we think of as a royal “court” a term that takes its most basic meaning from the trusted friends and allies who would gather in a royal courtyard.

The Courtyard of the Maidens at the Alcázar of Seville  By Cat from Sevilla, Spain - Patio de las Doncellas, CC BY 2.0

The Courtyard of the Maidens at the Alcázar of Seville

By Cat from Sevilla, Spain - Patio de las Doncellas, CC BY 2.0

The sprawling, sumptuous courtyards of royalty and the elite are bound to impress any visitor, but courtyards can provide just as much peace and calm on a much smaller, more personal scale when designed as a central feature of your home.

The Courtyard of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the heart and soul of the museum, showing off everything Isabella loved most and conveying her aesthetic in a harmonious, light-filled space. It is at the center of the museum, visible from nearly every gallery space, and features an ancient Roman sculpture garden, a medieval European cloister, and a Renaissance Venetian canal-scape along with a stunning garden filled with flowers that change to reflect the season.

The Courtyard of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the heart and soul of the museum, showing off everything Isabella loved most and conveying her aesthetic in a harmonious, light-filled space. It is at the center of the museum, visible from nearly every gallery space, and features an ancient Roman sculpture garden, a medieval European cloister, and a Renaissance Venetian canal-scape along with a stunning garden filled with flowers that change to reflect the season.

Courtyards are a lovely way to bring a shared sense of serenity to your home, particularly because the walls and windows of many rooms form its enclosure. That means, for example, that you will be able to enjoy your sun filled sanctuary as a view from your office, your bedroom, and your family room, allowing you to enjoy nature and the changing seasons in your daily life.

Courtyards are a particularly common feature in Italian, Spanish, French, and Moroccan style homes, given the fact that outdoor living spaces have always been prevalent in temperate climates like the Mediterranean region, but they are just as lovely in more wintry environments as well. There are few things in life more serene than snow falling gently on an enclosed Zen garden.

Truly, the beautiful thing about courtyards and all outdoor living spaces is how they can be customized to your preferred style and scale. To see what this looks like on a floor plan, check out our petite Douglas Fir, or take a look at Cottonwood Lake’s contemporary ease. You may connect with the Tuscan warmth of Yampa River, Castle Lake’s French Country charm, or prefer the larger scale of Flint Lake with its dual courtyards.

We’re in the process of updating our website right now and adding our full collection of plans, but you can still see our extensive offerings here or browse through the pages of The Complete Home Collection, available on Amazon

Outdoor Living Spaces

Here in the Rocky Mountains, we know how lucky we are to have 300 days of bright sunshine a year, but no matter where you reside, spending some time reconnecting with nature is proven to make you feel happier, healthier, and more creative. That’s why we wanted to take the final week in August to talk about how outdoor living space can enhance your home and your lifestyle.

Outdoor living is an essential component to every Rocky Mountain Plan Company plan, and we’re always looking for clever ways to tuck in a courtyard, a private deck, or a firepit on our smaller plans, or add dramatic patios, covered decks, and even outdoor kitchens to our larger plans. 

We’re in the process of updating our website right now and adding our full collection of plans, but you can still see our extensive offerings here or browse through the pages of The Complete Home Collection, available on Amazon

A home with a strong indoor/outdoor connection feels larger and airier, allowing more natural light to filter through your space, but an added bonus is how well-designed outdoor living space allows you to dramatically expand your square footage for special events and parties, while keeping your indoor space tidy and perfectly sized for your daily life.

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk in more detail about courtyards, including a bit of history and how many ways you can make your outdoor living space suit your preferred architectural style. See you then!

Design with a Purpose: Our Primrose Plan Expanded

Rocky Mountain Plan Company members competed in the 2014 NAHB International Builders Show Live competition to design an accessible home for a very special client. Utilizing our passion for the charrette process to brainstorm ideas, pool our talents, and be creative, we collaborated on a home to fit the needs of a wounded veteran. 

At the 2014 International Builders Show in Las Vegas, the NAHB Design Committee partnered with the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) and Building Homes for Heroes to put on a LIVE design competition on the IBS exhibit floor, focused on designing a home for one of America’s wounded veterans returning from war. Working within set parameters, design teams had nine hours to complete their designs.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Plan Company—under the team name of the Collaborative Design Group—were one of just four teams selected from the NAHB to participate in the live design competition. The parameters of the project were revealed the morning the design competition began. 

Rocky Mountain Plan Company BALA elevation

THE CLIENT:

The client was a war veteran in his mid-twenties who is missing both legs and half of his pelvis and requires the use of a wheelchair 100% of the time. He had also been diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury that periodically affected his hearing. 

He enjoys sky-diving and had done it once already. He would like to pursue a career with either the Department of Homeland Security or the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. Because of his injuries, family members often visited him to help out and they would need a place to stay for a day or two at his home. 

THE PROJECT:

The project scope included the following: each team was required to design a single-family detached home between 2000-2500 square feet, with three bedrooms, a study, and a minimum of two bathrooms. The home was to be built in Northern Virginia, on a lot that would accommodate a home no wider than 50 feet and would include space for a two-car garage, with one of the vehicles being a custom van with a ramp. 

The home needed to include universal design features that would be wrapped into the plan and would not necessarily be obvious to the owner or houseguests, but would make daily life easier. In addition to the client stipulations, the design needed to take into consideration life-cycle costs and should be energy efficient and low maintenance. Surrounding neighborhoods of the chosen lot featured many different architectural styles, including Colonial, Shingle, Nantucket, Modern, and Craftsman homes. 

Rocky Mountain Plan Company BALA floor plan

The team members of the Rocky Mountain Plan Company came up with a design that impressed many of the participants at the IBS convention. Our design features an easy, accessible, walk-through floor plan, with an open kitchen and a great room with an astounding view out the rear of the home, and includes an accessible covered patio with an outdoor fireplace.

The open entry and driveway provide easy turnaround space for maneuvering a wheelchair, and the plan provides unobstructed access from the garage into the home as well as an area to drop off bags and personal belongings. 

The attention grabber of the home is the massive great room with large windows from the front that draw the eye through to the back of the home, giving an uplifting, positive energy to the space and filtering natural light throughout. The master bedroom and adjoining three bedrooms provide easy access from one room to another.

The final design our team came up with and refined from this design competition became our Primrose plan, a fully accessible one-level home with plenty of Arts and Crafts architectural charm. We’re proud of the design story behind this great plan, and we believe that the power of thoughtful design truly can empower you and should serve to make your day to day life easier. Check out Primrose below:

Primrose

PRIMROSE MINI STUDY SET

  • 2450 Square Feet
  • Ranch Plan
  • Foot Print: 50’ x 94’
  • Main Level: 2450 Square Feet
  • 3 bedrooms · 2 bathrooms

PRIMROSE WAS DESIGNED BY COLLABORATIVE DESIGN GROUP

Please note that the square footage for a ranch plan reflects the main level only. Square footage for a two story plan reflects the main and upper levels only. Lower level square footage is considered optional.