See an unfamiliar term? Here you’ll find a primer with definitions for the little details that make all the difference in your home’s design. Need more information about a design element? We’re happy to answer your questions.
Garage Load refers to the way that you drive up to your home and where your garage is located. It can vary depending on your home’s lot size, front elevation, and road orientation.
This is a very popular option for homes with smaller lot sizes. With a front-load garage, you can easily pull directly in and out of your garage without having to navigate tight turns.
Requires a larger plot of land so that cars can pull into the driveway and around to the side of the home. A side-load garage offers you more privacy when entering and leaving your home and guest cars parked in your driveway won’t block the front view.
This garage load style combines the ease of a front load with the enhanced facade of a side load. The home’s entrance is situated between the separate garage bays, allowing interior access from two sides of the home while preserving front entry access.
For homes with street access in the rear of the property, a rear load garage makes an elegant choice. It entirely preserves the home’s front facade while still allowing convenient access from the road, similar to a front load style.
A split load garage combines the best aspects of front load and side load styles, with perpendicular entrances at the side of the home. Like a carriage load, this allows interior access to two different parts of the home while preserving front entry access.
Lot features can vary depending on their size, shape, elevation, and road orientation. In addition, natural elements like mature landscaping, water features, and views can affect the way the home is situated.
A wide, shallow lot greater than 80 ft. in width constitutes acreage. These oversized lots are more commonly seen in estate home communities.
Homes located at an intersection, typically featuring larger lot sizes and rectangular lot shapes. Corner homes require a side load garage.
These lots are typically narrow at the front, expanding as you progress towards the back of the house. In some cul-de-sacs, lots are set far back from the road with long driveways in order to provide a more traditional lot shape.
Zero Lot Line
A zero-lot-line house is one in which the front facade comes up to, or very near to, the edge of the property line. Rowhouses, garden homes, patio homes, and townhomes may be zero-lot-line homes, and may be single-story or multi-story, attached — like a townhome — or detached.
There are a host of features to consider in designing your new home — both indoors and out. These features affect your home’s livability, and utility as well as its aesthetic appeal.
Master bedroom is located on the main level of home.
Location – Upper Level
Master bedroom is located on the upper level of home.
His & Hers Closets
Two separate closets, typically both walk-in designs.
A separate area, typically with windows, for additional seating, or for use as a reading room or home office.
A highly desirable feature for both living spaces and bedrooms. Fireplaces may be wood-burning or gas-fueled.
Additional counter space designed for preparing and staging serving dishes and trays while entertaining guests. When located between the kitchen and dining area, it becomes an ideal location to serve as a wet bar or buffet. Built-in storage is a common feature, with space for china, glassware, flatware, and table linens along with decorative tableware.
A built-in space designed as a scheduling hub for the busy family, as a correspondence desk, or as a small kitchen library.
This central workstation hub allows the cook to prep, cook, serve, entertain, and clean up while still being part of the flow of traffic and conversation through the living space.
An open area adjacent to the kitchen, often with a large window, allowing room for a table and chairs for informal dining.
Oversized Kitchen Island
A standard island measures 8 ft x 4 ft. An oversized kitchen island either combines two islands or measures 10 ft x 5 ft or more.
A small, secondary sink station meant to compliment your larger, primary sink, especially when prepping ingredients.
Extra space for storage of shelf-stable canned and dried foods, beverages, or cleaning supplies. A walk-in pantry should have enough space for an individual to stand inside while accessing stored items.
Window Over Sink
A highly desirable feature for both modern and traditional designs.
Bedroom & Bath
In this layout, the master suite is separated or “split” off from the other sleeping zone or area. Bedrooms are on the same level of the home, but on the opposite side from the master bedroom.
A bedroom closet with enough space for someone to stand entirely inside while accessing stored items.
A partially self-contained bedroom, sitting room, and en suite bathroom or a second bedroom suite designed to maximize privacy for guests.
Connected to Master Suite
A laundry room can be connected with Master either through the bath or through a closet.
Connected to Drop Zone
A laundry room may be located in an area directly off of the garage with lockers or storage for coats, shoes, sports apparel, and other outdoor items.
Washer & Dryer in Master Closet
A laundry room may be attached to the Master Closet.
A window in the laundry room offers extra light and a source of ventilation.
This type of garage is free-standing and completely separated from your home, whether by a few feet or several yards.
A parking space is typically 20-22′ deep and the width of a garage door with several feet of clearance on each side. If there is extra storage at the back or to the side of the parking spaces, it is considered oversized.
This is a two-car garage built so that one car parks in front of the other. Typically, this will mean two cars in the main bay with a tandem third car behind one of those spaces.
A terrace enclosed by a wall or balustrade, accessible from an upper-floor window or door.
An open-air terrace located in the center of a building and surrounded on three or four sides by the building’s walls.
Large Covered Back Patio
This will be an oversized patio, either spanning the entire back of the home or protruding several feet into the rear lot.
Large Front Porch
Rather than an entry tower or stoop, a large front porch offers room for additional outdoor seating.
The paved area in common use between two opposing garages.
A stunning focal point for an outdoor seating or dining space as well as a source of warmth.
An outdoor structure typically consisting of wood columns and rafters supporting an open roof designed to block direct sunlight while allowing air to circulate.
This covered driveway allows vehicles to pass through into a hidden garage area or courtyard.
A covered terrace enclosed by mesh screens in order to keep out insects, leaves, and other undesirable objects.
Wrap Around Porch
A shallow porch enclosing two or three sides of a house and typically found on Low Country-inspired designs.
Two Stairways to Upper Level
Separate stairways typically in different areas of the home’s interior to allow easy access between floors without a large central staircase.
A room or space with no designated function, typically found on a home’s lower level or in an upstairs loft space.
A room designed for multiple users or as temporary sleeping quarters for guests.
A space designed for fitness equipment, wellness features, or physical activity.
Formal Dining Room
A room designated for formal dining and typically closed off from the kitchen. A formal dining area may be part of an open concept floorplan living space or may be an entirely separate room.
A space designed for work at home, usually with a desk and storage. A home office may be located in a den, extra bedroom, or as part of a larger bonus room.
A space usually featuring enhanced audio-visual infrastructure and extra seating for media viewing.
Game Room Downstairs
A game room can be located in a finished basement and include built-in storage spaces.
Game Room Upstairs
A game room can be located in an upstairs loft area and can include built-in storage spaces.
Game Room Over Garage
This bonus space is located on the upper level directly above a garage and may also be used as a bonus room or guest room.
This is a sitting room or parlor with many large windows and sometimes a glass roof or skylight.
A small bar designed for mixing and serving alcoholic beverages which includes a sink with hot and cold water and, perhaps, an ice maker or wine cooler.
A room with storage and temperature control designed for the purpose of storing wine at optimum temperatures. May include a seating area.
The portion of a home that is partially or entirely below ground level. Basements may be finished, partially finished, or unfinished.
A finished basement with access to the exterior of the home, often featuring a terrace or outdoor seating area.