See why we chose this design for the 2017 Idea House.
Southern Living 2017 Idea House Exterior
Credit: Laurey W Glenn

Beaufort, South Carolina architect Eric Moser designed this 3281 square-foot, 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath house for our 2017 Idea House on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. Moser packed tons of privacy and storage into this open floor plan home. Here are six reasons why we love this house plan:

1. It's simply a crowd pleaser.

"I looked to historical homes along the Southeastern coast for inspiration to design this home," says Moser. He purposely left the exterior free of fancy ornamentation, but built on extensive porches with long overhangs on both the front and back and back of the house. "This protects people from the sun and rain and also pulls them to the outdoors," he says.

2. The main living areas are only one room deep.

The open living, dining, and kitchen areas align with windows and porches on both sides to max out natural light, views, and cross venelation for cooling. Moser designed to make the home as energy efficient as possible.

3. There's a huge hidden storage zone.

Closet space can be tricky in an open floor plan, but Moser hid a large storage room (called the sand room) with sliding barn doors behind the refrigerator. Sliding doors and pocket doors are one of Moser's best tricks. "If a door will be open 90% of the time, use a pocket or sliding door to save space," he advises.

4. He minimized useless hallways.

Rather than let a hallway go to waste, Moser concealed the washer and dryer with cabinetry and placed it in a pass through space between the master bath and sand room creating a low-profile, centrally located laundry room.

5. He treated porches like private retreats.

Upstairs, there's a screened sleeping porch off the landing and an open air porch right off the second story master. Moser also ensured that his porches were designed for real life living. "To furnish them and allow for good air circulation, porches need to be at least 8 feet x 8 feet. If you're doing a screened porch, it's best to go up to 10-feet x 10-feet," he says.

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6. It's designed to accomodate renters (possibly).

Above the garage is a bedroom, bath and kitchenette with its own private entrance via a breezeway. This smart amenity can be used as an office, mother-in-law-suite or even for rental income. That's a quite a bonus in today's airbnb world!