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Can we plan together?

I am very fortunate to have this dilemma!  I love the process of imagining my new home. Our architects, QB3, the same guys who so brilliantly executed our loft remodel 6 years ago, asked me to start with a "Manifesto", what do I consider my ultimate living environment, who am I when I am at home and what's important to me in that setting.  Luckily we have Pinterest, and I started a board called Dream House. This is where I dump anything I love that has any chance of finding it's way to our future home.  I may want a swimming pool, but that isn't happening, so unrealistic stuff I try to keep away from, not always successfully.  
My next assignment is to make a list of things I want, and I see this as a list of "living" knowledge I've accumulated over the years, what I use, what I need, what really makes a difference to me.  I've been working on that list, below I've listed a few of the items.  But what if I could get help from all the years of experience you all have?  What if you could tell me what things you need in your living space? 
 Can I get your help?





Here is a sampling of my list:
  • We want to have a TV area not as part of the big living room.  It can be sectioned off with some sort of millwork, it doesn’t have to be a full wall, even a partial partition. We like the idea of sitting in a smaller setting with some sort of sectional that we can lay around on and eat snacks on, (and stitch on, of course!!)
  • We want a laundry room with a utility sink.  It doesn’t have to be big but somewhere I can fill buckets of water, do hand wash, keep the piles and piles of dirty laundry we always seem to accumulate so fast.  A closet isn’t going to be enough.
  • We need a  table for 4-6 people to eat on a daily basis.  If it could seat more than 4 that would be great.
  • We need enough storage space for large items.  (Suitcases, portable heaters in the summer, coolers, all the extra paper products, etc. etc.)
  • I want to live in a home with enough light so that I never have to turn on a light during the daytime.  Light = sanity for me.
What would your list have?

Reid and I thank you :)

Unknown  – (May 15, 2016 at 7:38 AM)  

Definitely double sinks in the master bath!

And, I've seen homes with a "butler's pantry". From what I've seen it's basically a room with lots of surfaces near the kitchen. So, mail and other papers (from school, if you have kiddos that age), receipts, etc have a home rather than staying on kitchen countertops.

And...a laundry room near the bedrooms. Our laundry room is just about as far away as it can be (and still be in the same house)! If we ever move, that's definitely something we'll consider.

LIZ  – (May 15, 2016 at 8:44 AM)  

A pantry is fabulous. We have one now and never did before. Couldn't live without it anymore. We put a motion detector switch on light in pantry and in master closet. Inspired!

Lots and lots of outlets. Including one inside the pantry! Pantry also needs venting.

Built in wiring for computers everywhere. Not just where you think you wAnt it now.

If you do a built in vacuum, make sure the location of the dust bin is such that it is easy to empty.

Utilize the space under stairs for storage.

Overhead lights in every room.

Alison –   – (May 15, 2016 at 9:39 AM)  

In the laundry room have space for ironing board, and maybe have your vacuum and other cleaning equipment plus storage for stuff like spare light bulbs, basic tool kit, shoe cleaning stuff.

Bedroom - reading lights which won't disturb your partner, full length mirror. Shoe storage. Look at all your clothes and have your wardrobes configured properly so you have the right mix of full and half hanging plus drawers and shelves the right depth.

If you are having a bathroom off the bedroom have motion activated floor level lighting. This means you can go to the loo in the night without putting on lights. Nice big bathroom cabinets with built in lighting and power sockets for shavers and toothbrushes plus mirrored doors. As big a shower as you can fit because it is lovely to have space to move out of the water and shampoo etc.

If music and movie watching is important to you make sure that all the wiring and cabling for multi room music is installed and that wiring is good for surround sound. Also make sure that network cabling goes in if you have computers in different places.

You need lots of electrical sockets above your kitchen work surfaces. If you are short consider having powered hinges on wall cabinets - I love mine. I also love my boiling water tap. Do you want a fridge in your dining room for drinks and ice? I find this useful. Make sure that all the finishes you choose for the kitchen are really easy to clean. For me this means no handles on my cupboards and long runs of work surface with no joins and I have glass splash backs. I hate cleaning so I like it easy. Soft close doors on everything from the drawers to the dishwasher to the loo seats...no more bang noises!

Do you need space for exercise stuff, space to do yoga, room for a treadmill?

Spend lots of money on anything you have to touch - handrails on stairs, door handles etc. It will be worth it.

Place to hang outdoor coats and shoes near the front door.

Underfloor heating everywhere with controls for each zone then you don't have to give wall space to radiators.


If you are having a lighting system have a switch by the bed which turns off all the lights - I have this on our Lutron system and love it. Also in our lounge we have no lighting visible, it is in recesses in the ceiling and behind strips on the walls and you get a wash of light with no glare.

Do you listen to music or play instruments? If so, you might want a room sound proofed for Lou's listening/playing.

Storage for spare bedding.

Orna Willis  – (May 15, 2016 at 12:58 PM)  

OH MAN!!! You guys are brilliant, keep them coming!!
Thank you!

jhm  – (May 16, 2016 at 10:52 AM)  

I love the idea of an outdoor courtyard - something like your pinterest photo. The outdoors with privacy, also gives the grandkids a safe play space.
I also like lots of windows. I like sliding/pocket doors. I also like glass and wood combo interior doors - old style New York. Nice to shut a door on noise or a hang a curtain for privacy and shut the door with no clean up required (good for my work space). In teh mid-west, basements are great, east coast not as much.
I love wood floors, even in the kitchen. As said before, lots of outlets especially where the computers and printers may be, overhead lights for ease, "quiet" areas (for me to hide and read or whatever, that is not the bedroom). Walls to hang my needlework. powder room for guests, bathrooms only for family and overnighters,

Good luck with your final decisions.

Lynn –   – (May 16, 2016 at 1:34 PM)  

Windows that open. One of my sons lives in a loft where they cannot get fresh air because the Windows do not open. Having dogs (2), we like having a separate closet with all their stuff together in one spot. There are hooks for leashes, collars etc., shelves for towels, shampoos, meds, tools, and open space on floor for roller trays with dog food containers & treats. We also put in a large walk-in shower with a convertible hand-held or on the wall shower wand. Great for walks in rain & muddy clean-ups for animals & humans. A coat closet by the main guest/front door entrance. Not everyone wants their coat on a hook or thrown on a bench or chair. And an area right with coat closet/storage for people to kick off their shoes but not have them in the way of entering home. We have wi-fi throughout the house. Eliminates a lot of computer cordage, especially if u all use laptops, iPads, etc. We have a central 'docking' spot where a multiple charging station is situated for recharging electronics. This also eliminates excess cords, outlets, etc. One of my pet peeves is electricians putting electrical outlets too high up on the walls. I prefer them low to the baseboards and not 12" up. And dimmer switches on all overhead/ceiling lights. You didn't say if this is remodel or new building? Either way, storage storage storage! Good luck!

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