PUTTING THE GARAGE in back almost always improves the front elevation of a home, but it can cause problems, too. Namely, how practical is it for a family to cart groceries all the way from the garage to the kitchen? Architects Looney Ricks Kiss solved that problem with this 3,680-square-foot beauty by adding a covered “friend's entry” to the side of the house. Just inside is the perfect spot for a mudroom setup.

That side entry does a good job of adding some privacy to the first-floor guest suite, which also benefits from being just off a great-looking, flagstone-paved back porch. Other family-friendly features of the plan include an easy flow of formal rooms at the front of the downstairs area; a critical mass of informal rooms (family room, nook, kitchen) overlooking a central courtyard and porch; two secondary bedrooms, and a and plenty of space upstairs for a generous-sized playroom for the master suite with a sitting room, children.

CATEGORY: Production/Semi-custom, more than 3,000 square feet; ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: Looney Ricks Kiss, Memphis, Tenn.; BUILDER: Dixon/Kirby & Co., Cary, N.C.; INTERIOR DESIGNER: Sandi Dupree, Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Memphis, TN.