Today, I wanted to share with you Nick and I’s priority wishlist for the new house! This is the second blog post of the “new build” blog series, so if you missed the first one, check out the blog post explaining why we decided to build again. Nick and I have owned 3 houses, and after living in each of those houses, we’ve realized what we want and don’t want in a house. I love our previous home, but after living there for 3 years, there were some things I would do a little different. I sketched out my dream floor plan…it took me forever to even do the first floor! Nick approved it before we sent it out to our draftsman.
When I was working on the floor plan, I kept in mind our priority wishlist for the new house. Here’s our list!
Bigger laundry room – I joke that I practically live in the laundry room, but I’m legit not even joking. HA! I spend a lot of time in there, and with a household of 6, the laundry just never ends. In our previous houses, I would sit on the laundry room floor and fold clothes. Since there wasn’t much counter space, I would have stacks of clean clothes all over the floor. For the new house, I wanted a big enough laundry room to have 2 washers and 2 dryers and an island for folding. Does that sound obnoxious? Maybe…but you know what they say… happy wife, happy life 😉
Four Seasons Room – As most of you know, we had a screened-in porch in our last house. We loved hanging out in that space when it was nice outside, but once it started getting cold outside, we stopped using that area. I really wanted to convert the screened-in porch to a four seasons room while we were still living in our previous house, so when we were working on the new floor plan, having a four seasons room was on the top of my list. I wanted a space where we could hang out all year and enjoy the fire from the wood-burning fireplace. Whenever I would talk about a four seasons room, I would get comments/messages on Instagram asking what that is. It’s pretty much a sunroom that you can enjoy all year (four seasons). If you want to learn more about the differences between a sunroom and screened-in porch, check out this website!
Lower the ceiling in the living room – Okay, the number one question I get A LOT…why I’m not recreating my previous living room with the big windows and high ceilings. The living room in our last house was one of my favorite rooms. There was a wow factor to it..it was grand, it was big, it was a showstopper. While we were living in that house, I would go into the living room and sometimes think, “WOW. I can’t believe I live here!” As much as I loved how it looked (especially in pictures) and the amount of natural light that poured in there, it didn’t always feel “cozy” to me. That’s one challenge with having high ceilings. I actually had this thought when I toured the Southern Living Magazine Idea House with Hunter Fan Company last year. The rooms in that house weren’t grand, but it felt SO cozy and SO inviting to me. I loved it! When we were working on the new floor plan, I definitely wanted the new living room to feel more “cozy,” and that’s why we decided to lower the ceiling.
Separate foyer from living/kitchen – I mean lets be real, I’m a hotmess, and sometimes my house can be a hotmess too. When you see a clean and perfectly decorated house on Instagram, know that in real life it’s not like that all the time! In the previous houses we lived in, when you go through the front door and stand in the foyer, you can see the main living space (kitchen and/or living room). If you had an unexpected visitor and your house was a mess, they can see it all. There’s no hiding it. HA! When we were working on our new floor plan, I knew I wanted a separation between the foyer and the living room/kitchen for that reason. Now when guests come over to the new house, they can’t see my living room from the foyer. They can only see the formal dining room to the right, my office to the left, and a little bit of the kitchen through the walkway. Here’s an example:
Pool – We never got to put in a pool at the old house…it was actually in our 5 year plan. With the new house, we decided to put a pool in right away. I can’t wait for the pool parties with friends and family!
Smaller kids’ bedrooms & add loft space – In our last house, our kids’ bedrooms were way too big. The only time they were in their rooms was to sleep or if they were in timeout, so having the big bedrooms wasn’t really necessary. I should have utilized the square footage better on the second floor! That’s why in the new house, we made the kids’ bedrooms smaller and added a loft where the kids can hang out. The kids are SO excited about this!
Garage access in the front – The garage access to our last house was on the right side towards the back of the house. We rarely had visitors, but when we did, a lot of people went straight to the garage entry door instead of going around to the front of the house. (it drove me crazy) When you parked in the driveway, you couldn’t see the front door and the garage entry door was right there with a doorbell, so I can see why people would go there instead. We never knew if someone was at the front door or garage door when we would hear the doorbell. In the new house, I definitely wanted our garage accessed from the front so that you can go straight to the front door, and it didn’t feel like it was so far away from the driveway.
Theater room – Okay, some of you might be rolling your eyes at this point. HA! In the last house, I didn’t spend too much time on the layout of the basement. There was a lot of open space which we did like, but we also knew that we could have utilized that space better. We didn’t spend a lot of our time in the basement unless we were watching a movie or NFL game as a family, so the homebody in me loved the idea of having a designated area to watch movies/games. The kids are also excited about this room!
Nick’s office away from the main living room – Nick works from home 3 times a week, and in our previous houses, his office was usually by the living room. I don’t know why we would place it there when we have 4 kids, and I’m a stay at home mom. Just picture kids being loud and running around during the summer and Nick trying to work. If he had an important phone call, I would try to have the kids go outside or stay in the basement. We were like walking on eggshells when he was working from home! Ha! Sometimes when I thought we were quiet, he’d put his phone on mute and yell, “I’m on the phone!!” That is why in the new house, we made sure his office was at the farthest point from the living room/kitchen. Now we can have a party in the house without him yelling at us. 😉 Also, supposedly that’s his man cave too. *eye roll
Niña’s office – I didn’t care how small my office would be, but I wanted a room just for me. I still joke that I should have gotten Nick’s office 😉
Breezeway – I love the concept of having a hallway connecting the garage and the house.
Double Kitchen Island – The kitchen is where most of us gather when we have friends/family over at our house. I definitely wanted a double kitchen island for the new house…one island to be the prep island and the other island for eating/entertaining.
Formal Dining Room – I have no idea how often this would get used, but I wanted a designated room to enjoy family dinners.
Big sliding doors with screen system – This was actually in Nick’s wishlist. He wanted big sliding doors in the living room, and if the doors were open, a big screen door could be used to enjoy the outdoor weather without having to deal with bugs.
I hope you enjoyed our priority wishlist when designing the new house floor plan! What’s your favorite in our wishlist? I’d love to know! I’ll be sharing more inspo and my thought process on picking out certain design elements. Definitely stay tuned for that!