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.
Nowadays cottages are often used as summer or weekend getaways - often by lakes or the seaside - by urban dwellers seeking to escape the noise and rat race. They are often built as rental properties in popular tourist areas. But usually when people think of a cottage they mean a rural dwelling in the traditional English country cottage house plans style with stone or stucco siding, asymmetrical lines, one-and-a-half stories high, and with hip roof and steep gables - the overall impression being a cozy, storybook appearance.
This style of architecture became quite popular in the United States between the 1890's and 1940's. Interiors, because they are small, can give a cluttered but utterly functional appearance, with artistic niches and nooks, and knick-knick decor. Cottages are designed for a relaxed, simple lifestyle - places to come home to, kick off your shoes, and flop on the furniture. They are not designed to impress other people, but to make their owners feel good. Cottage living often involves gardening, and most cottage owners spend their weekends and vacations outside in their backyards, digging in the dirt and growing flowers and vegetables.
Modern home plans come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It will be up to you to find the one that best suits your needs. If that's a contemporary plan that includes an open layout, you can find plenty of great plans available to choose from. Of course, you also have the option of creating your own home plans based on your requirements, be they extra bathrooms for the teens, home office or workout space. Perhaps you want an open kitchen and lounge area, but a private dining room. Maybe you prefer the entire lower level to be open but want the sleeping areas divided accordingly. It really doesn't matter because you can get whatever you want.