For young buyers stepping up from condo to detached home, architect Michael Woodley designed a one-story house with a simple, open floor plan and airy spaces that ring fresh, clean, and contemporary. And did we mention flexible? “Designing for this kind of buyer involves a different process,” says Woodley. “It has to be an efficient house that can flex for kids, as well as a brother, sister, or parent.” The house adapts beautifully to a young couple starting out with a baby in the near-term plan (or a new arrival). Yet the home accommodates much more. The front bedroom could be a guest room, but it also works as a child’s room, or a bedroom for a roommate or sibling who has come to stay for a while. The adjoining den space can flex from TV room to yoga studio to baby’s room. Could be there’s a parent or grandparent who visits from afar, flying in once a year to be with the family for a month or more. With this in mind, Woodley included a detached guest casita with its own entrance off the front courtyard. The casita has a kitchenette and feels separate enough for privacy, but it’s close enough to feel a part of the house. If one member of the household works from home, the office space adjacent to the kitchen and dining area is equipped with sliding doors that can be opened so there’s connection to the rest of the house and to the view out back. But when it’s time for concentration and conference calls, the doors close it off easily.

Like other homes in this multigenerational community by Centerline Homes, the house takes full advantage of its warm-weather locale, increasing the living space—and making 2,000 square feet feel much bigger—with telescoping sliding glass doors that open out to thoughtfully planned outdoor spaces. In the courtyard entryway, there’s room to shoot hoops, as well as a peaceful spot to sit and read. Out back, the pool and hot tub areas are delineated by separate levels, making for a clean, open space that’s great for gatherings. At night, the pool’s alternating-color illumination adds a touch of drama in the form of a light show. The master bedroom and bathroom are separate enough from the rest of the house so there’s plenty of privacy (check out the private door that leads from bedroom to pool area—perfect for a midnight dip).

Gen Y buyers may be a good 30 years younger than their Boomer counterparts, but Woodley noticed that these two groups have more in common with each other than with the Gen Xers in between them. While Gen Y is just getting started, Boomers may be starting to wind down: Both types of buyers likely have household incomes that are less than a dual-income Gen X couple. Sometimes called “bookenders,” both generations probably have fewer people living with them full time, so they need less house. A compact, open plan home such as this one holds appeal for buyers at both ends of the spectrum.

Plan Y In this layout, the rooms spill gracefully into one another, resulting in a home that’s open, airy, and efficient. The entire plan flexes beautifully for a growing family, for working at home, and for visiting relatives and friends. 

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