Thursday, February 4, 2016

HELP! House Necessities

I have been thinking lately how wonderful the blogging community is. I learn so much from other people. I have discovered countless great new products, tried some delicious recommended recipes, and used many travel tips on my own vacations. I am such a researcher and really value hearing from people that have gone through something prior to me. I never, ever pretend to be an expert on anything. I think there is always something more to know. And when I am thinking about doing something, buying something, or really making pretty much any decision other than what goes in my coffee, I seek others' advice. I figure everyone has something they can offer, or know someone that went through a similar experience. 

So I thought, why not ask for your thoughts on here? I'm thinking that any time I need advice or opinions on anything, I will reach out via a "HELP!" post and maybe some of you will be kind enough to help a girl out!

Which brings me to today's topic: What do you need/want in a house? Specifically in a floor plan?

Mike and I have been talking recently about our future home. We know we want to build with a developer and all the floorplans out there are overwhelming! We want this next house to be our forever home where we have and raise our kids. We don't want to move again unless it's to downsize after retirement. And since a floorplan is a huge decision that isn't easily reversible, I feel lots of pressure to get this right. There are some aspects that I really really want but I worry that I am overlooking some things that I don't know are important in this stage of my life. I am trying to think ahead to the baby/toddler/kid/teenager stages but I get really stuck on the baby/toddler details. 

So please weigh in! What do you love about your house? What do you wish you could change? Some little things that popped into my head are:

- How important is a playroom on the main level? I feel like having a dedicated spot for toys might help them from going all over the house. And if it's on the main level maybe the kids can play independently while I keep an eye on them?

- What do you do with a playroom after kids are done using it as a playroom? Maybe an office? But would we use it? Do you use an office in your home? With technology being more and more wireless, will we want to sit in a dedicated room for computer stuff? We don't work from home so I can't imagine myself using it a lot. Maybe kids homework? 

- Is a front porch one of your favourite features? I love the idea of a grand front porch but realistically, it's only warm enough to use 6 months of the year.

-Laundry upstairs? Laundry downstairs? What is your preference and why?

- Do you use a backyard a lot? Is having a spacious backyard great for kids? Or do you spend most of your time inside or away from the home?

- What is the ideal amount of bedrooms for a family of 4? Right now the plan is to have two kids. So I'm thinking a master bedroom, two kids' rooms, and a guest room. Does room sharing work well?

- Talk to me about storage in the kitchen! Storage in the bedrooms! Storage anywhere! How many  cabinets is enough? Right now our kitchen cabinets are exploding. Actually, all of our storage areas are exploding and it's only the two of us. I really want our next house to be equipped well to keep us organized. 

Please, please, please fill me in on anything related to house stuff. What are your must-haves and nice-to-haves in a home? 


  1. I can only imagine how overwhelming it can be to pick a floor plan! So much to take into consideration! Brian and I have a big backyard and a porch near the top of our list since we love to spend so much time outdoors!

  2. I personally love anything open floor plan - specifically the kitchen that leads into the living room - I think I'm pretty standard in my thinking, but my taste is way more modern than tradition so I like sleek lines...and things like that!! Can't wait to hear what you guys decide on! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  3. This is so exciting! What a fun project!!! I live our house, but it's but a forever home so I'll share about my folks house. When kids bring their spouses home it is a lot more comfortable if they have attached bathrooms or atleast non shared public bathrooms. Also our game room is on the second floor and has always been great for entertaining because the kids can play upstairs out of the way. Now they use it as a new kind of game room- they have shuffleboard and darts. It's great!

  4. I am all about an open floor plan! I love being able to be in the kitchen and still interact with people in the living room, etc. I have an at home office, which I never use, but I still love having it. I know that doesn't make any sense lol! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  5. So exciting! We decided to go through a builder as well with our house, and I'm so glad we did. We loved being able to pick the fixtures, counter tops, flooring, etc.. and of course the floorplan. We made sure to find a floorplan that included the master upstairs (a lot have them downstairs now) since we haven't started our family yet. I didn't want to be all the way downstairs every time a future baby cries and for middle of the night feedings. Another huge item was laundry upstairs instead of down. This way I'm not lugging laundry up and down the stairs when all the bedrooms are upstairs. We love the open floorplan, but what stinks is when I'm washing dishes and H is trying to watch tv, the sound carries right through but really not a big deal. The pros definitely outweigh the cons ;-)

    Green Fashionista

  6. I am so, so excited for you! Right before Andrew and I bought our first home last year, we had plans to build. We had customized a floor plan and let me tell you, it wasn't easy! There are just so many options but I just started looking to Houzz and Pinterest for inspiration. I work in the industry so it honestly makes it harder on me because I know what all of the options are when building a home! I know that I would definitely want a large backyard for grilling out and having friends over, also for kids in the future. An open floor plan is something we had planned for. I can't wait to see what you pick out!! xoxo

  7. Planning a house is so much fun! We did new construction (a town home) but opted to go with the model home, so we didn't get to do any of the fun stuff (although we loved the majority of our house as is when we bought it).

    I love our open floor plan, although I must admit - it makes it tough to contain our daughter and our dog when we want to.

    We have a basement playroom (slash man cave - lol) and rarely use it. If it was on our main level, I think it would get a bit more use, but not a ton. It's just easier for all of us to hang out in the living room.

    We have our laundry upstairs and I can't tell you how much I love that. It just so much easier on all accounts.

    We have three bedrooms and hope to have two kids. Our third bedroom was a guest bedroom for a few years and I think it was used once. If you think you'll have overnight guests occasionally, I'd say go for the extra bedroom. If not, it may end up being just another room to clean. We're good with our three bedrooms and no guest bedroom.

    Get as much storage as possible, on every level! We don't have nearly enough and we're actually hoping to add a couple more closets sometime in the future.

  8. Ok so I am totally not a homeowner yet but I think I can provide perspective on a couple of these things from being a childcare worker/nanny for the last ten years and having been in a number of different homes. My first thought was laundry on whatever level the majority of the bedrooms are on. I've seen floor plans where the master was apart from the other bedrooms but that never made sense to me for family planning because then kids would be that much farther and middle of the night wake up calls would seem that much more exhausting. I've seen some guest rooms on the main floor. That seems pretty nice and wouldn't present a problem with the laundry because you wouldn't be taking clothes in there to put away most likely. I've seen playrooms of all different shapes, sizes and locations. I think that's just a matter of really where you'll be spending most of your time and what you feel most comfortable doing. As far as what to do with it afterwards, that could be left open for decision later because ya know, I know you say yall are planning for two kids but years down the road you never know what surprises life might give you so I'd say plan for an element of the unexpected as well. I think a fenced in back yard is always a plus. It's been great when working at homes with one because the kids have been able to be outside in the backyard playing while I was cooking, doing laundry or whatever else and I didn't have to worry about the kids because I could seem then and knew they were inside the fence. It was also good for the dogs. Not sure if you guys are allergic or anything like that but if there's a chance one day your kids could persuade you to let them have a dog...a fenced in yard is definitely going to be something you'll want. Last but not least (and this is just personal preference all the way) I say go for it on the porch! haha! I love big porches. Even if it's only warm enough 6 months out of the year that's still half the year and during the holidays you could decorate it with lights and all sorts of pretty things and have a nice welcoming space for super cute trick or treaters during cute! haha! Well hope any of that helps! xx

  9. Definitely an open floor plan so that you can cook and do things while still seeing the kids. We don't have a playroom so the living room is just a toy tornado haha.. I'd def get a playroom if you have the option.

    After the kids are older it can turn into a game room, or just a chill spot for teenagers. A private little area with a TV, games, e.t.c. I know when my kids are teenagers I don't want them hanging out in their bedrooms with their friends all the time.. if you know what I'm saying..

    YES to a front porch! It was a must-have for me and I'm obsessed. But I'm also in Charleston ha. Fun to decorate though!

    Laundry near the bedrooms for sure.

    I have a huge backyard and it's the reason we bought our house. I absolutely love it and we have enough space to dedicate areas of it to the kids, BBQ, the firepit, the dog. I want our children to play outside and want to being their friends over and hangout here, so this was important for me.

    I'm definitely going to have my kids share rooms because I hope for so many kids =) But I think 4 bedrooms is a good idea. We don't have a guest room yet.. maybe if you could have the guest room a little bit separated from your bedrooms? If we ever have a guest room I know I will want major privacy.

    My kitchen island is my favorite thing for storage and counter space. I don't have a pantry but that would be ideal.. definitely get one if you can. Also, pay attention to closets, like a linen closet, and an entryway closet. I don't have those. Also, a big walk-in closet for yourself. My drawers are exploding without one.

  10. My husband and I built six years ago (before we had kids) but we were careful to make sure that it was somewhere we could stay once we had kids, so everything was pretty well thought out. We now have two kids and we're still loving our house just as much as we did the day we built it, but we did have to do some tweaking along the way since then.

    First off, location is everything! You can always change things about your house, but you can't change anything about the location! Make sure you LOVE the location.

    A play room on the main level is SO IMPORTANT! When the kids are young they won't be able to go up and down the stairs on their own so you will want a designated space for them to play while you're cooking/cleaning, etc. We actually have our playroom on the second floor and that's the only thing that we regret. However, once both kids reach the age of four or so, they can go up and down the stairs as they please and that won't be a big deal anymore.

    Laundry room - UPSTAIRS FOR SURE! When we built, our builder suggested that and we thought he was crazy. However, he looked at us and said, "Where are all of the bedrooms?" And we replied with, "Upstairs." It definitely makes the most sense and I have loved every second of it! Nobody wants to be going up and down the stairs a million times with baskets of laundry.

    Front porch - yes, we love ours, but we love our back porch even more! When we built we made sure to include a covered back porch, but we recently extended it because we use it so much and we just wanted it to be bigger. So make sure to make it big enough the first time so you don't have to add on like we did. Haha.

    Finally, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY STORAGE CLOSETS!!!! I promise! When we added on to our porch we also added a giant indoor storage closet for Christmas decorations and other stuff and it's the best thing we ever did!

    Jeez, I could go on and on and on, but I've already written a book, so I guess I'll stop here! Lol.

  11. Love this post! There is so much to think about with houses. Currently, our laundry is in the basement and I hate walking up two flights of stairs with clothes! In our next house, it will definitely be upstairs!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  12. I wish I could give advice on this, but unfortunately we rent a small townhouse and all I have are dreams! I'd LOVE an open floor plan. Oh and you want LOTS of natural lighting (of which I have NONE - it's terrible). And you want an amazing kitchen. Basically I'm going to live vicariously through you because I'll probably never have a house. Womp womp. But in all seriousness, you will probably want an open floor plan!

  13. We are currently house hunting! We don't have to think about playrooms yet, but I love an open floor plan and a nice, bright kitchen! And yes... the neighborhood is the most important!