With duplexes going upscale, it might be time to look at multifamily designs with fresh eyes. Large, modern kitchens, luxurious master bathrooms, and private porches make these floor plans stand out.

Open Island Kitchens + Main-Floor Masters

Photo by Julia McDonald
Photo by Julia McDonald
Photo by Julia McDonald
Photo by Julia McDonald

Each side of this Craftsman-style duplex offers contemporary amenities and enough space for a family. Large islands flow into the open living and dining spaces, and master suites (each with an adjoining covered porch) are easy for homeowners to reach on the main floor. Upstairs, two more bedrooms in each unit feature walk-in closets and Jack and Jill bathrooms. See more images, information, and the floor plans.


Lower Unit Ideal for College Grads or In-Laws

You'd never guess from its sleek elevation that this contemporary home is actually a duplex. The lower level offers a one-bedroom apartment that's particularly well suited for a young adult or an elderly relative who wants to live independently. Upstairs, the larger unit showcases an open layout that puts the island kitchen at the center of activity, with a snack bar that seats four. Two bedrooms share a full hall bath that boasts a large shower and a separate tub. A generous upper-level deck extends living space outside. Walk-in closets add storage space in both units. See more images, information, and the floor plans.


Three Levels of Spacious Living

Photo by Bob Greenspan
Photo by Bob Greenspan

From the master suite's luxurious bathroom to the convenient elevator that makes it easier to age in place, this home is full of modern amenities. Ideal for a hillside lot, the layout (mirrored on each side) begins with the lower level's parking and storage space, plus a media room and shop. On the main floor, the open kitchen displays a six-burner range, an island with a snack bar, and access to the back porch. The top level holds three bedrooms in each unit, including the ultra-spacious master suite with its walk-in closet and private porch. See more images, information, and the floor plans.


Ready for a Scenic Lot

Here's a vacation duplex that offers each owner (or two groups in a large, extended family) plenty of privacy with only a breezeway connecting the units. Porches in front and back maximize the view. Inside, each unit offers an open layout that revolves around the island kitchen. With seating for six, the snack bar invites casual meals. A corner fireplace adds ambiance to the great room. Two bedrooms on this level share a hall bath, while the master suite enjoys a private bathroom (and a great view) upstairs. An extra bedroom up here can be used as a nursery or storage. See more images, information, and the floor plans.