Plan ahead and know what you want. If you take the time to look at different modern home plans, you will have a much better idea of what you can expect from your designer. Once you know what you want, you can find a professional that fits your style and demands.
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.
Plan your budget accordingly so that you don't get your hopes too high or settle for less than you deserve. That is, plan your budget based on what you can afford. If a half-million dollar home is in your dreams, make sure you can finance it - visit your accountant and bank manager beforehand so you know what budget you can realistically work with.
Green : The trend for caring for our environment whilst building and living in our homes continues with many new products and ideas coming onto the market all the time. This is definitely an area that anyone building a home should take time to consider and incorporate, particularly with rising power costs and long term environmental impact that housing has, even adding solar water heating can greatly impact the running costs of your home in a very beneficial way, along with incorporating passive solar energy materials such as a concrete floor and block walls. As you can see there are plenty of great new ideas to discover and consider incorporating in your modern home plans, have fun and enjoy your new home.