In this section each Sunday, the Deseret News runs an artist's rendering and, if space permits, a floor plan of the "Homestyle of the Week.'
And each year we announce the "Home-style of the Year," the plan that readers liked best during the previous year. The voting is very democratic: The winner is decided by the number of people who send in $7.50 to Landmark Designs Inc. - the Eugene, Ore., firm that provides us with the designs - for a study plan of the house.For 1990, the winner is the Marion, a traditional 2,406 square-foot house with a covered porch that runs across the entire front and around one side - ideally suited for a detached garage and breezeway on the opposite side.
The home has gables and bay windows, giving it a slightly Victorian look. On the inside everything except the two secondary bedrooms with their shared bath is on the main floor. The house has a formal entry leading to living and dining rooms on either side. The back of the house is given over to a vaulted great room.
The master suite occupies its own wing off the great room and double doors lead to a back deck.
The Marion was so popular, said James McAlexander, Landmark president, that it drew twice as many reader requests as the second-place winner, the Prescott, which featured 1,971 square feet, multiple peaked roofs, a covered porch, bay windows, half-round windows and an impressive double-door entry.
Taking third place was Astral 2, a modern-looking house designed for a sloping lot. Inside, it includes a hexagonal great room and a wood stove in the center of a six-sided hearth.
"Our three most popular home plans of 1990 all include a master suite that is totally separated from the other bedrooms," said McAlexander. "This is a substantially new direction in home design, particularly for smaller houses."
Traditionally, designers have worked three basic areas
into their plans: service (kitchen, utility, garage); living (living, dining and family rooms); and sleeping (bedrooms, bathrooms). Now there are four, said McAlexander. Designers have to think of the master bedroom as distinctly separate from the others - a "home within a home."
Every other year, Landmark asks readers to describe their "dream home." McAlexander said the most recent survey confirms that buyers want their master bedroom isolated, oversized and comfortable, and they want it with its own full-size bath and dressing area, a tub, shower and double vanity - and all are featured in the Marion.
He said the survey also shows a resurgence in the popularity of living rooms or parlors for formal entertaining, but great rooms or country kitchens, where family and friends can gather informally for various activities, are still the top priority.
McAlexander, a designer himself, is a firm believer in the benefits of a custom designed home. "Families that take the time and effort to create an environment tailored to their needs are richly rewarded," he said. "In no other project do dreams and practicality come together to make such a strong impact on family members' day-to-day and long-term satisfaction."