Modern home plans don't have to be expensive, but you definitely have to think about your budget so that you can compare it to the designs that are available and the ideas that you already have about the house that you want.
In fact, cottages - by which is meant small, asymmetrical, (usually) rural dwellings of one or two stories and stone, brick, or stucco exteriors, come in a large variety of architectural styles. European-type cottages can incorporate design traits from Tudor, Georgian, French, and Italian architectural styles, with open rooms and high ceilings, fireplaces, and even luxurious elements such as gourmet kitchens, formal dining rooms, private master bedrooms, and French doors. What all cottage styles have in common is their livability - their human scale and design for relaxing, unstressful enjoyment of life.
The basic idea behind the ranch style is that the major room areas in the house flow one into the other, rather than being small divided-up spaces as in other architectural styles. The access from the attached garage flows into the kitchen, to the dining area, to the living area, and to the bedrooms. The feeling of a ranch style house is one of openness and sweeping - sweeping vistas of the out-of-doors through picture windows and sliding glass panels, which open onto patios or porches where much summer living takes place.
Modern home plans are created en masse to suit the needs of people who don't want to customise the design of their new home. However, if you have chosen to customise and personalise your floor plan, you can do that too as long as you are prepared to tell the architect what you want. Professional architectural services cannot be replaced when it comes to building a home, so the matter is just to choose the one that suits you.