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One Level House Plans: Stylish Living Without Stairs

The One-Story Home: Stylish Living Without Stairs


The one-story home is emerging as a fashionable and sought-after style on the American horizon. With no stairs to navigate, a one-story house plan can be versatile and adaptable. Today people from coast to coast are finding a number of creative design options. There are cozy Cape Cods, bungalows, ranches, artsy Craftsman, chic European and Mediterranean, comfortable Southern and country styles.


Plan1061276 Main Image Craftsman 26390

Wouldn’t you love living in this amazing one-story, three bedroom Craftsman home? The impressive exterior includes a roof of asphalt shingles, a delightful courtyard, and a covered front porch. Walk into the foyer to a vaulted family room, kitchen (below) and a covered rear patio. Lots of windows mean plenty of natural light around the house. (Plan # 106-1276)

106-1276 front rendering

Here’s a gorgeous modern kitchen with a kitchen island, breakfast nook, and abundant cabinets. Hanging lamps and windows provide a lot of light.



Features of One-Story Homes


1.  Main level with all the living and social spaces (bedrooms baths, kitchen, dining, Great Room, etc.).

2.  Open floor plan.

117-1092 front 3d rendering

This amazing country house plan has three bedrooms and two-and-half baths. Exterior amenities include a lanai, pool, and BBQ porch. The spacious interior includes a family room, study, dining, kitchen with breakfast nook and a pantry.  (Plan # 117-1092).


Here is a look at the spacious interior – family room with a glimpse of the kitchen/breakfast nook and the pool.

3.  Basement space option.

4.  No stairs.



Who’s Buying One-Story Homes?

While two-story homes and split levels are popular, there has been a steady climb in the construction of one story homes since 2011.

Plan 1351060 European 24469

An attractive rock/brick exterior plus an eye-catching front yard with lush shrubbery enhance the curb appeal of this one-story, three bedroom European home. There is a combined Great Room/kitchen, sunroom, and deck/patio.   (Plan # 135-1060)


It’s a good sign that a broad spectrum of the population has been buying and/or constructing one-story homes. Among the particular groups are:

1.  Young couples/families with babies and/or little children can keep the kids within watching distance in a one-story home. They may also want a “forever” home that can be expanded and improved as their families grow.

2.  Single professionals have the option of keeping their home small or adding to it if there is a need. 

3.  Empty nesters can downsize and still maintain enough space for returning children, to accommodate in-laws long-term, or entertain overnight guests.

4.  A one-story home, without stairs is most attractive to the “Baby Boomer” generation and retirees who can move around their home easily and comfortably.  



The Ups and Downs of One-Story Homes

At the height of the housing boom and the days of the McMansion, the simple one-story home was relegated to the background as Americans looked to build up in order to display their economic status. Ranch styles and other one-story home plans that were the rage in the early to mid-1900s were now considered out-of-fashion.

Summerview front rendering  Plan 1691022 Main Image 26323     

Here’s a charming one-story country cottage (left) with two bedrooms and two full baths.  The covered porch opens to a spacious Great Room/kitchen/dining area with a large bay window for terrific views. (Plan # 138-1003). On the right is a modern three-bedroom, two-bath ranch with a gabled roof, an inviting courtyard, and covered front and rear porches. (Plan # 169-1022)


By the late ‘60s and ‘70s, American homes were bigger, more elaborate with intricate ornamentation on their rooflines and entryways. Soon, stately two-story to three-story homes – the symbols of wealth and success of a new American generation – were lining suburban areas, and heralding the decline of the one-story home.


A two-story, four-bedroom Texas style home (left), with a master bedroom on the main level. There is a family room, kitchen with breakfast nook, and a library. Three bedrooms plus a bonus room are on the second floor.  (Plan #106-1169). A two-story luxury home (right) with three bedrooms and three baths packs great views and lots of space. It comes with a private deck, home office, guest room, and modern kitchen with a kitchen island, peninsula/eating bar, breakfast nook and walk-in pantry.  (Plan #161-1051)


Pushed to the background during those decades - but not totally out of the architectural picture - the one-story home still remained popular in some areas of the U.S. As styles and tastes shifted over the years, a resurgence of the one-story house plan has been taking root across America. In fact, a recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that in 2013, there were 233,000 new single-family one-story homes completed.  



What Makes One-Story Homes Attractive?

A “new-look” one-story home is back on the scene – a combination of the simple, functional, traditional, trendy, chic and elegant. Here are some of its benefits:

1.  Versatility and adaptability may very well define the 21st century one-story home.    You want cozy? There’s the bungalow, Cape Cod or cottage. Comfort and ease – try the Southern or country plan. Go for Old World charm with the European or Mediterranean; and take a look at the artsy Craftsman designs. 

A very cozy bungalow nestled in the country side features two bedrooms – each with a bathroom and walk-in closet. An open floor plan accommodates a Great Room – dining area/kitchen/laundry room.  (Plan #123-1071)


A charming ranch with an extended covered porch, two bedrooms, full bath with laundry facilities, a Great Room, dining area, kitchen with snack bar (House Plan #126-1300)

Main image for house plan #144-1019   

This Craftsman house plan tailor-made for retirees or empty nesters has two bedrooms, two baths, a family room, a fireplace, and a kitchen with breakfast nook (House Plan #144-1019)


2.  Living with no stairs is an ideal environment for Baby Boomers, retirees, and those with health issues because it minimizes accidents and risks of falling.

3.  Safer for children and older people and easier to navigate. 

4.  With living and entertaining areas all on one level, a one-story home is easy to maintain and clean.

5.  Cheaper to heat and cool  - a one-story plan conserves energy resulting in savings on utility bills. 

6.  With today’s emphasis on outdoor living spaces, a single level home provides the option to expand – a covered/screened porch and a rear patio for social events/gatherings are welcome additions. In some cases, families have added rooms on top of the garage, the rear or sides of the home.  


Consider how much you can do with a one-story home plan. There are endless style and decorating possibilities. So, are you ready for some trendy living?



One story house plans

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