I’ve designed spaces for a long time now and I have to say a truly successful design comes down to practicality. Everyone wants an attractive home and that’s fine but if it doesn’t ‘’work’’ it’s not a successful design. This month I questioned some fairly new homeowners as to what they would do differently and what they are glad they included in their new homes. Remember, experience is the best teacher.
Rose Z. ‘’These are things suggested and at first we hesitated, now we’re so glad we went ahead with them: A second full size sink in the kitchen, an instant hot water faucet at the main sink, lighted base cabinets, bedroom light switches at the bedside not at the door, a hand shower in all the showers.’’
Theresa M. ‘’An air jet tub instead of a whirlpool (they are much easier to clean), towel warmers, and built-in seating in the shower, in the kitchen a refrigerator with a low drawer for the kids.’’
Mary W. ‘’Swinging doors for the pantry and the laundry room since arms tend to be full both coming and going.’’
John D. ‘’We had a beautiful custom backsplash designed and wanted to keep a seamless uninterrupted look so our designer placed the outlets under the cabinets instead of on the wall.’’
Joanne E. ‘’We both love to cook and can veggies and fruit from the garden so I love my pot filler at the cooktop and a nice deep farm sink with a high arc faucet for my big canning and pasta pots. I couldn’t live without my spice drawers and other cabinet build-ins—they keep everything I need right where I need it. When you think about how long you’ll have the cabinets and how they simply life they are worth every penny.’’
Hank O. ‘’At least two cable/internet outlets in each room, the time is when you’re building. Also build everything to be as energy efficient as possible and save tons of money in the long run’’
Jack B. ‘’Music is important to me so we put speaker wires in the wall before the drywall. Also built-in speakers in the ceiling.’’
Liz M. ‘’It’s a good idea to have a water faucet on each side of the house and one right out next to the garden. I have a potting shed with a hand shower for washing grass and mud off BEFORE going in the house.’’
Marge N. ‘’A nice walk-in pantry is a must. I have potato and onion bins and a pass through to the kitchen countertop.’’
Jan F. ‘’If you love plants think before you set your house—usually West and East are the best exposures for plants so if you like lots of plants in the kitchen, for instance, plan the kitchen to have one of these exposures.’’
Pat L. ‘’Give a lot of thought to the Holidays—outlets by your steps for low decorations, outlets up near the soffits for Christmas lights, avoids cords running all over the place. Make sure it’s wired so you can turn them off and on from inside. An outlet under each window inside for decorations and near the Christmas tree area, and have the outlet controlled by a wall switch. Also, if you’re going to have electric candles in all the windows have the ‘window outlets’ upstairs controlled by a switch downstairs.’’
Jan S. ‘’A pantry upstairs for towels, extra pillows/blankets, an upstairs vacuum cleaner, and for buying in bulk at Sam’s Club—paper goods and bathroom cleaning supplies.
Max K. ‘’Don’t forget a gas line to the patio for the grill and outlets for small appliances.’’
Janet V. ‘’We had a small shower installed in the mud room for washing the dog, it paid for itself in what we saved at the dog groomer.’’
I hope you got some ideas for your new home or remodel. Remember to build smart.