Our Custom Architecture Specialties

At 42º North, there are dozens of different custom architectural design styles we consider our specialties. Our residential design team can make any of these styles a reality for your home, whether you need a small renovation or are designing a brand-new house for your family.

What We Do Best as Residential Designers

Custom Home Designs

We specialize in creating custom residential architecture. While we certainly have our specialties and love showing off what we do best, we can design a new home in virtually any architectural style you want—even in combinations of different elements.

Home Renovation Designs

Our residential architecture design skills also extend to renovating and remodeling your home. Whether you want to install a new addition to your home or remodel the entire interior to breathe new life into a stale design you never really loved, we can renovate your home into a paradise you’re happy to return to every day.

Aging in Place

If you’re already happy with your architectural design home plans but need to adapt them for continued independent living as you grow older, we can help. In addition to our architectural design expertise, we’re also proud to be certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS).

We’ll adapt your home’s layout and design as it is currently to make it safer to navigate with age. Our residential designers know how to make all areas of your home safer, from the bedroom and living areas to the kitchen and bathroom.

Barns & Stables

As residential designers near you in Michigan, we don’t just stop at creating comfortable homes for humans. We love creating comfortable, state-of-the-art equestrian stables and barns so your horse companions can enjoy cool summer nights in style.

Our stables and barns are ideal for boarding livestock, storing large pieces of equipment, as hobby areas, or even as additional space for your home.

Our Classic & Traditional Home Design Plans

We’ve developed designs for homes throughout Michigan in an array of styles. These are just a few of our favorite mountain modern and rustic homes we’ve designed over the years.

Custom Architectural Design Styles We Love

These are just some of our residential architectural design style specialties that we’ve used to make houses into state-of-the-art homes over the years.

Prairie Home Design

Prairie-style architecture has served as an inspirational springboard for numerous styles that came after it since the late 19th century. It captures an essence of American ingenuity that architects and home designers still love, with its horizon-hugging lines and open floor plans. 

These homes serve as an homage to nature, and we’re proud to have received awards and recognition for what we can do with the style.

Mountain Modern & Rustic

Whether you want to set up your new home in the Colorado high country or the flattest plains Illinois has to offer, mountain modern and rustic-style homes marry charm, warmth, and style into a single package. Common features in mountain modern and rustic home architecture include:

  • Natural stone and wood elements
  • High, vaulted ceilings
  • Earthtones and natural color schemes
  • Outdoor living areas like porches and patios

Contemporary & Modern

Frequently described interchangeably, contemporary and modern architecture are sister styles born from changing artistic sensibilities and tastes. However, there are slight differences between these two styles that eagle-eyed architecture enthusiasts can spot right away.

For contemporary home designs, some notable features include:

  • Asymmetrical and geometric lines, both inside and out
  • Floor-to-ceiling or other large windows to let in natural and ambient light
  • Natural materials as design accents
  • Neutral color palettes

By contrast, these are some of the features you’re most likely to find in modern-style architecture:

  • Minimalist layout and ornamentation
  • Angular lines
  • Rows of windows
  • Low, horizontal layouts


For as timeless as they already are, farmhouses have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years—albeit with some updated elements. Some of the most common elements you’ll find in both original and newly built farmhouses are:

  • Exposed interior wood beams
  • Exterior shiplap paneling
  • White or light neutral exteriors
  • Emphasis on materials and textures over colors
  • Gable roofs

Traditional & Classic

While architects and home designers are always looking for new ways to innovate, traditional and classic architecture have stuck around for a reason—because they’re timeless. Some elements of these styles include:

  • Ornate trim
  • Greco-Roman columns
  • Transom windows
  • Symmetrical layouts

Low Country Home Architecture Design

Low Country homes are a staple in the Deep South. They draw influences from French and English designs, and use these elements to combine an airy, breathable feeling with formality:

  • Open layouts
  • High ceilings
  • Upper-level verandas
  • Blue ceilings on porches

Coastal Shingle and Beach Houses

It’s hard to go wrong with either of these architectural styles if you’re going to build along the waterfront. However, the two styles are distinct. Where coastal shingle homes are more ornate and tend to capture the architectural style in New England, beach houses tend to be more minimalist, contemporary-inspired, and sleeker in their designs.

Craftsman-Style Homes

Craftsman home designs are a rejection of industrialization and an homage to handcrafted designs all in one. Many of these bungalow and cottage-style homes feature ornate woodworking, built-in furniture, statement staircases, and covered front porches for a distinct character you won’t find in any other style.

European Residential Design

European home design captures multiple architectural styles originating in different regions of Europe. However, even in the United States, there’s some level of regionality to the types of European home designs.

For example, Spanish- and Italian-influenced home architecture is common in the Deep South and Southwest. French-inspired homes are also prevalent on the Southeast and Gulf Coasts, due to the presence of the French early in America’s history.

These homes tend to be stately and ornate, with numerous rooms and details in places one might not expect to find them.

Custom architecture

Connect with Our Home Designers Near You

Ready to work with experts in home architecture design near you? Tell us about the architectural styles that interest you and make us your home design partners.