Why Livability at a Glance®?

Through an ongoing series of consumer focus groups with women of all ages and backgrounds from around the country, a revelation emerged that changed our understanding of how many women look at floor plans.

Rather than starting with the elevation when looking at home plans, women often began by looking at floor plans.  Which begged the question, “How do women look at home plans?” As we delved into this topic, we learned women look at a plan to determine “how the home lives.”  Further research helped us realize there were four primary filters through which women evaluate designs: how the home entertains; how the home helps her de-stress; the flexibility of the home’s design; and the home’s ability to address her storage needs.

Turning the dream of building a home into reality can be a daunting challenge, with thousands of decisions along the way. Choosing a plan can be the most intimidating because it’s often difficult to visualize the finished home and how it will live. To make it easy we have created a new way to present floor plans to help you narrow the search for a design that fits your personal lifestyle and needs.

Color-Coded Floor Plans

Each Livability At A Glance® floor plan is shown in a color-coded version that highlights four different categories especially important to women: Entertaining (yellow), De-Stressing (blue), Storing (orange) and Flexible Living (green).


Yellow areas indicate where you will entertain family and friends:

  • Formal rooms for entertaining
  • Informal, open living spaces
  • Outdoor “rooms”
  • Kitchens that encourage guests to gather around a snack bar
  • Rooms for media-related get-togethers (watching movies or sports events)
  • Areas idea for groups playing cards or board games


If you’re looking for ways to de-stress your life, you’ll appreciate homes with a lot of blue spaces. Some blue areas offer relaxation such as:

  • Personal gateways
  • A privately located master suite
  • A walk-in shower or whirlpool
  • A quiet porch or a craft area

Others provide unusual organizational features such as:

  • Split vanities
  • Mudrooms
  • Drop zones that keep keys, briefcases, umbrellas, cell phones, and laptops in one convenient spot


If you never have enough storage, you’ll be drawn to homes with more orange areas that highlight:

  • Extra storage capacity in the garage or laundry room
  • Rear foyer storage
  • Generous kitchen pantries and linen closets
  • Over-sized bedroom closets
  • Additional unfinished areas in the basement or on the upper level

Flexible Living

Green areas designate rooms that offer flexible living spaces that can adapt to unique situations:

  • Rooms that can be combined to create in-law-suites
  • Home offices (occasionally even his and her offices)
  • Bedroom/bath arrangements that work well for blended families
  • Music rooms
  • Homeschool rooms
  • Craft or gardening centers
  • Offices that can become dining rooms
  • Dens that become guest rooms