Monday, July 13, 2009

My Ideal House

(FYI, this post has nothing to do with digiscrapping; just sharing my thoughts on houses:))

It's funny how opinions change over time. As a child, I dreamed of living in a huge castle-esque mansion. My sister and I would concoct elaborate designs for such homes. We had various software programs over the years that we used to aid us. One was just a 2D home design program with walls, rooms, and furniture you could put wherever you wanted. Then we upgraded to Sierra Home Architect, which is also insanely old now. But it was 3D and in color and you could go on a 3D tour of your creations! And then we discovered the Sims. LOL, even now, when I play Sims 2, I am much more interested in designing the houses than I am in playing with the people (a fact that drives my sister insane because I'll play each family for a couple of days in Sims time and then move on to another family and home). As a college graduate, I wonder why I never considered going into interior design. I think I'd enjoy it. Oh well, too late now! Maybe I'll take a class someday, just for fun.

Anyway. My idea of the perfect home has changed dramatically over the years. I used to want a gorgeous castle, but with all the modern ameneties; I like my indoor plumbing, electricty, and high speed internet too much;) I still want a decent sized house, but I don't want something that is ridiculously huge like I did as a child. Now that I've been the adult in a home, I realize that the bigger the home, the more cleaning I'd have to do. That, and houses are expensive. Now, my thoughts on the perfect home are more in tune with our actual needs as a family. I definitely want something bigger than my current 2 bedroom apartment!! However, that won't be an option for a long time. It is sufficient for now, but it won't be forever.

Recently I've been looking at floorplans online at, just for fun. We're nowhere NEAR being able to have our own house, but it's fun to dream! It's important to know what you want in a home before house hunting, I think. That, and I'm just a nerd who loves looking at floorplans. I've looked at 220 floorplans within the last week that met my search criteria (# of floors, bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage spaces). Some I like, some I don't, and some have areas of potential. Overall, I've come to a better understanding of precisely what I want in a home.

I used to be of the opinion that we'd need private bedrooms for each child. But, we're planning to have 5's hard to find a 6 bedroom house!! That, and sharing a room is good for kids anyway. Now, I've decided I want a 4 bedroom house. Ever since Emma was a tiny baby, I've had the distinct impression that we'll have 5 kids; 2 girls, 2 boys, and another girl. Of course, I have no idea if it will really end up that way, but that's what I have in mind as I look at potential floorplans. I'm thinking the older girls can share a room, the boys can share a room, and the baby gets a room of her own (closest to us). That is, going on the assumption that my impression is correct. John has had the same impression, so it very well could be. We'll see if we're close to that on August 3rd! Oh, and of course John and I would get the master suite;)

I mentioned I want a 4 bedroom house. John and I both prefer 2 story homes with all the bedrooms on the upper floor. We really don't need more than 2 floors, and we don't want just one. Two stories is perfect:) I also prefer to have the laundry room on the same floor as the bedrooms. It would be SO much more convenient for washing clothes if I didn't have to cart loads up and down the stairs! In our apartment, our laundry closet is next to Emma's room and across from the bathroom (which is next to OUR room). I love how easy it is to do laundry in our apartment. Why make it more difficult unnecessarily? Also, who wants to walk through the laundry room when they come in through the garage? That's how it is at my parents' house and it's kind of annoying...but mostly because that's where all the litter boxes are!

Speaking of garages, my ideal home would have a 2 car garage - that faces the same direction as the front door. I don't understand the whole side-of-the-house garage door thing I've seen in several floorplans. Or why people put WINDOWS in the garage! Um, isn't that just asking to be robbed? Seriously! A bad guy could very easily peek through the garage window to see if someone is home, or see if the car is worth stealing. No thanks. No windows in MY garage, thanks! But I've seen it in so many floorplans! I don't get it. But, everyone has their own individual preferences. And these are mine:) Oh, and the garage must be attached to the house. I don't want to have to walk outside to get to the garage.

Now, as to the master suite, I want a spacious walk in closet (I have a TON of clothes...hopefully someday I'll be small enough to wear most of them again) attached to the master bath, an awesome master bath with a shower, whirlpool tub, 2 sinks, and lots of counter space. I prefer when counters and cabinets curve around the corner of a room, too. I've also found I like the idea of having the toilet a separate "room" from the rest of the bathroom. John also wants a fireplace in the master suite;) I would like one, too, but it's not at the very top of my list. We don't really need a sitting area there, though. It'd be nice, but not necessary.

As for other bathrooms, I want at least 2.5-3 total bathrooms. Obviously, there's the master bath. Then, I want another full bath upstairs for the kids, and either a half bath or full bath downstairs (either is fine, though half would be easier and cheaper). I find I like the idea of having the toilet and tub area separate from the sink/vanity portion of the bathroom. Especially if it's going to be shared between a bunch of kids, who will eventually be teens! I want 2 sinks in the non-master upstairs bath as well.

Now that we've covered bedrooms and bathrooms, let's move on to the kitchen!! I want a nice, spacious kitchen with lots of counter and cabinet space. I'm picky about the shape of kitchens. I don't like the kitchens with no shape whatsoever; you know, the ones that are just a straight line of counter and cabinets. Boring! And not very usable. I like square or triangular shaped kitchens, with either a bar or an island. I think I prefer a bar, since it allows for more walking space in the kitchen, but either would be acceptable - it all depends on the design, really! Also, I want my sink to be under a window facing the backyard, so I can see kids playing out there while washing dishes. And the dishwasher (an absolute necessity - otherwise I'd never do dishes) has to be on the righthand side of the sink. Any other way is backwards. We also want a VERY large pantry - big enough to hold at least a year's supply of food. It's easier to rotate food storage if it's all in the same place:) The pantry should be right off the kitchen, of course. Oh, and I also want to keep my stove and oven together in one unit, and I HATE built in microwaves. I LOVE my microwave with a grill element and have no intention of using anything else! We're short in our family, so putting the microwave in the upper cabinets doesn't work so well for us. My parents have theirs in up higher, and it's really annoying to take hot food out of it, and for someone as short as me, impossible to watch things cook properly. No, I want my microwave on the counter, in the corner.

We also want a very open study area, with room for several computer desks. We want it to be open to other rooms of the house, such as the entry, kitchen, family room, or whatever. Just as long as it's open and not closed in and private. No actual doors to it, just open archways - at least 2 from different directions. We also want a nice library. When looking at floorplans, in my mind, I replace the living and dining rooms with these. Depending on the floorplan, that is.

Most of the plans I've looked at had a breakfast nook area and dining room. I don't really need a dining room AND a breakfast nook; I'd be more likely to use the breakfast nook for my dining room honestly. We don't need 2 separate dining is sufficient. If we're having a lot of people over for holidays or whatever, we'll just get some cheap plastic folding tables and spread out into the family room. Oh, and I want the kitchen, dining/breakfast nook, and family room to be open and connected, in that order. And for the garage to be near the kitchen for convenience of bringing in groceries.

Also, I'd like a lot of storage space. It doesn't necessarily have to be it's own room, but that'd be preferable. Attic storage would be fine, as long as the entrance isn't in one of the kid bedrooms. I've seen that in some floorplans and it bugs me. Garage storage is nice, too, but I'd probably add a wall in so I wouldn't have to stare at all my storage containers every time I drove into the garage!

We want a large yard as well. It doesn't have to be ginormous or anything; just sufficient for a good sized produce garden, a play structure of some sort, and space for kids to run around and play. Oh, and lots of trees. Too many houses have no trees! A lot of the new construction houses are gorgeous, but they have virtually no yard. For some people, that works. For us, it wouldn't. Not with the size of family we want to have and the garden we want to grow.

I also want to have decent decks. I want a nice covered front porch that has room for a bench or 2 at least, and a large back deck with room for a nice BBQ and patio furniture. I prefer to have the back deck NOT covered - I want it open - especially if we're BBQing out there!

As for fireplaces, we want at least one, in the family room, and possibly one in the master suite as well. MAYBE another in the study area? Not as important, though.

A bonus or rec room would be nice, but it's not necessary. We'd use it for a play room, but kids can play in the family room or their own rooms, or even in the study area if it's big enough (they'd likely be playing compy games in there anyway - I know I would be!). We DO need somewhere to hide John's unsightly treadmill where I don't have to see it all the time. Hmm, maybe we'll stick it in his side of the walk in closet;) As long as it's usable there. And I'd rather keep it away from small children if possible. Of course, who knows how old our kids will be when we finally DO get a real house.

Now for some stylistic preferences. I'm picky about the size and shape of rooms. I don't like long rectangular shaped rooms; I prefer more of a square shape, though it doesn't have to be perfect. Rectangular rooms are harder to work with furniture-wise. I don't like for rooms to be teeny tiny, either. But they don't have to be ridiculously huge. I want all the non-master bedrooms to be approximately the same size, with plenty of closet space. I don't want kids to argue over "her room is bigger than mine" and such. I also LOOOOVE bay windows. Love them. I'd love to have some in my house, ideally in the master suite, breakfast nook/dining area, study area, and library. Not necessarily in all of them, though it'd be nice;)

Also, I prefer houses with exterior dimension. The house I grew up in was literally a rectangular box. Boring! (And split entry with the garage literally as far as humanly possible from the kitchen. What were architects THINKING in the 60s?! Ugh!) Ironically, that house has been on the market for 3 years or so now. They're asking around $400,000 for it and it is SOOO not worth that!! I should know, I lived there for 16 years! No, I want a house that has some shape to it. Something with personality, but not one of those ultra-modern sci-fi designs. No, I lean more towards Victorian, craftsman, European type styles. I also like curves on the interior, like partial spiral staircases and such. Not necessary, but definitely preferable.

And now for the fun part! Well, the funnest part. I've enjoyed this; how bout you? Anyway. Now I'll share some of my favorite floorplans that I found! I was going to post my favorite at the top, but I can't find it ANYwhere! I looked through my saved plans and then back through all 22 pages, but I can't find it. Either I missed it, imagined it, or it got deleted from the site. But I've "only" looked at 220 on this site. 22 search pages with 10 plans each - and there are 219 pages under my search criteria. Will I get through them all? LOL, maybe!! Anyway, on to the floorplans!! Most of these don't meet ALL my wants, but can either be modified to do so or are floorplans I could see myself living in:)


Hahaha, sorry it's such a long list! This is more for my benefit than for yours anyway;) This is about half my saved list...;) I hope someone other than me enjoys this post! LOL, hopefully someone besides me READS this post;) I enjoyed putting it together. Anyway, that's basically what I'd like my ideal home to be like. Someday, I hope to get it - whether that means we have it built or we miraculously find the perfect home for us on the market. Either way, I hope to find the right home for us when the time comes:)


  1. Haha.. Sims is fun.. I actually just got Sims 3. And my favorite is decorating as well.. only right now there's not really alot of things to decorate with as they've not came out with additions yet.
    As for the house! It sounds almost like my floorplan.. only we do not have a fireplace in our bedroom or a spa tub.. I thought I would never find a house.. but realized that the further out the better off the houses are.. I drive an hour to work one way.. but then the closer you get in town the more the house costs so it's totally worth the drive! $268 is a lot better than the $400's on the Eastside... =)
    I enjoyed reading your blog! I'm now thinking about the things I want in my next house.. haha that is if we ever move in the future.. I always dreamed of having my kids grow up in their first home..

  2. Thanks for posting this! Now I want to look through and find the perfect house for us!!

  3. lol at this point, I'm just wanting a basement, so I can hide stuff away without seeing it every day. :)

    Its fun to daydream, isn't it?