Houseplans — house plans

Kitchen Trends

Kitchen Trends

No matter what style townhouse you are considering, there's no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. While once relegated to rear of the home, the kitchen is now front and center in any modern design. 

Homes today, whether they are two story townhouse floor plans or larger 4 story townhouse floor plans, all feature a kitchen that is the main gathering place of the home. Living space is designed around the kitchen with multiple options for eating in and formal dining. 

Kitchen design is always evolving, but here are some of the current trends in kitchen design that we are loving.

Kitchen Trends We Love


AI is making its way into the kitchen and other areas of the home. These days you can tell your oven to turn itself on and ask the fridge if you're about out of milk. Hands free faucets that are motion activated are both accessible and energy efficient. Home automation will continue to evolve and we can't wait to see what's next.

Blending Design Styles

With open floor plan where one room blends into another, it stands to reason that the design characteristics would carryover into other rooms. Counters and islands in the kitchen are designed to accentuate the built-ins in the main living area and dining spaces. 

Neutral Palette

You may have noticed that many homes today feature a neutral color palette. A neutral kitchen won't look dated in 5 years when trends change. Neutral doesn't have to be boring, you can add a pop of color with less permanent fixtures like drapes or window covering or you can go bold and install a brightly colored sink - more widely available now that this has been trending for a while.

The Pantry

The pantry used to be found in larger more luxurious homes, not anymore. Most homes designed today have a pantry for storage and organization. Not only does a pantry provide a place to keep dry goods, cans and bulk items, but it also provides a place to store appliances that might not be used regularly but that still need easy access. Keep your countertops clear by placing small appliances in the pantry.



There's never been a time when we have appreciate the uncluttered look like we do today. Lockdown will spur even those who tend toward hoarding to get rid of that which does not bring joy. Kitchens today are designed with ample storage so the counters don't ever have to be cluttered. 


Common Residential Plan Permit Application Mistakes

Common Residential Plan Permit Application Mistakes

The following list comprises the top ten mistakes that are made in permit applications. Review the list and make sure you’re not making the same mistake!

Another way to avoid any mistakes when applying for a permit, is to hire a professional permitting agency. They’ll help you through the permitting process so that you can start building your home as quickly as possible.

Submitting Additional Information Without the Proper Forms.

Make sure all of the information you’re submitting regarding your home is accompanied by the proper forms. You may think that as long as you send in the proper information, that the city will be able to find the accompanying forms, but that is not the case. If you don’t include the correct forms your application process could be extended by months.

Plans Containing Title Blocks not Signed

A completed permit application needs to have Title Blocks that are signed in ink by a licensed design professional.

Site Plans are not Drawn to Scale 

When you prepare your permit application it is important to ensure that your floor and site plans are drawn to scale. The person reviewing your information should be able to build your home based on the information you submit to them.

Energy Code Requirements are not Provided in the Plans Submitted

Before an application is approved it must go through a test to ensure that it meets certain energy efficiency standards.

Site Plan not Submitted when Projects are Increasing the Footprint of the Property

If you change anything about your project that could make the information you provided to the city become false, you need to submit the new information and receive a new permit. If you don’t you could be issued a stop work order, or be issued a fee.

Design Loads and Standards are Omitted from Submittal

A licensed engineer should prepare calculations and drawing that demonstrate how the structure will resist vertical and lateral loads and is a part of the structural design requirements.

Smoke Detector Locations are not Included in Submittal

One purpose of the permitting process is to ensure that the home you are building is safe and up to code for those that will be living in it. If you forget to include the smoke detector locations your application will be denied. This a very simple yet common mistake to avoid.

Incorrect Insulation Values are Listed on the Plans

When you submit your permit application double check to make sure that all of your values listed are correct. If not this could cause your application to be denied or cause problems down the road.

Things to do While Stuck at Home

Things to do While Stuck at Home

If you're working from home, you've got enough to do managing your new environment, if you need some tips and tricks for working from home, click here. If you're not working at home, but are stuck at home, you might be looking for something to do. Of course, we've got a full library of townhouse floor plans for you to search, but you might be looking for something slightly more entertaining. 

Don't worry, we've got you covered!

We've rounded up a list of 100+ free or near free things you can do while self isolating. You can travel through the internet and visit some of the great museums ever including The Louvre, Guggenheim Museum, National Gallery of Art and the British Museum - just to name a few. If the outdoors are calling your name you can take a virtual tour of 5 amazing national parks including Bryce Canyon, The Hawaiian Volcanoes, and even Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. There are zoos filled with Animal Cams, and just about every kind of free online class available. We've even found some cooking courses and yoga for you to try.

100+ Things to do Online While Stuck at Home


The Louvre (requires Flash)

Guggenheim Museum

National Gallery of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art




Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

British Museum

Getty Museum

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum


MN DNR Eagle Cam

Smithsonian National Zoo Panda Cam

San Diego Zoo

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Cincinnati Zoo

Atlanta Zoo

Houston Zoo

The Shedd Aquarium 

National Parks 

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks from Google. It includes digital tours of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska.

Fitness & Exercise

Planet Fitness


Down Dog

Core Power Yoga

Do Yoga With Me

Gold’s Gym

Orange Theory Fitness


Workout with Chris Hemsworth


Instructables – Choose from hundreds of great instructional videos and online course including everything you need to know about cooking. Bread baking, canning and preserving, the science behind cooking and even how to make pasta!

Food Techniques



Cooking with the New York Times

America’s Test Kitchen - $1 for three months

Delia Online Cooking School

Better Homes & Gardens How to Cook


Addiction Games

AOL Games

Apple Arcade

Big Fish Games


Girls Go Games


Makeup Tutorials


The Makeup Chair

Brianna Fox

Beautifully Clean Living

Kelly Strack

Bobbi Brown

Christen Dominique

Nikki Tutorials

Teni Panosian


Arts & Crafts

Instructables – Classes include leather making, hand sewing, jewelry making, knitting, paper mache and even a class on how to start a handmade business.


Creative Bug


Color Our Collection 


Garden Planner

Vegetable Garden Online

BBC Gardening 




Virtual Field Trips

The Great Courses


Khan Academy

Time for Kids

PBS Kids

Stuck at Home Science

Frost Science @home

Nova Labs at PBS

Ranger Rick

Teachable Moments


Outschool – not free, but many of the courses are inexpensive.


Niall Horan Together at Home

Chris Martin at Home


The Metropolitan Opera

Fender Guitar Lessons


Phoenix Public Library



Storyline Online - Storyline Online is another award-winning, interactive children’s literacy site that features famous actors like Kevin Costner, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, and others reading children’s books alongside minor animation elements.

Audible for Kids

Stories for Kids

Storyberries – Free fairy tales, bedtime stories and poems for kids.

Oxford Owl - Discover expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children's learning at primary school and at home, from Oxford University Press.

Mrs P’s Magic Library

Open Library - Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a web page for every book ever published.

ManyBooks - Great selection of modern and classic books waiting to be discovered. All free and available in most ereader formats.

Gutenberg - A library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.


A Mighty Blaze – Due to travel restrictions many book tours have been postponed or cancelled, A Mighty Blaze was created to bring readers and authors together – a virtual book tour with new books released every Tuesday.

Wordpress – Start your own blog for free on Free hosting and themes as well as plenty of support for building your own blog.


Etsy – after spending weeks at home you may have produced enough crafts to open your own virtual store – you can do just that on Etsy.

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