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Old 09-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
cherylchoo's Avatar
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Location: a Texan in the northern Detroit 'burbs
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Re: What features do you wish your house had?

You know I'd have to really think about it, because we just bought what is fairly close to our dream home. There are just some things that need to be updated, like the 25yo roof, they 20yo A/C unit, the gutters which may fall off the house at any moment , the original bathrooms from 1962 . But the rest of it is pretty close to perfect for us.

We have a formal living room and a family room. We use the family room as our real living room and the formal living room as a library, which is full of our books plus the 50-100 we have checked out at the library at any given time. I never dreamed we would ever have a library, but it the kids love it and read in there more time than they do playing with toys or TV/Wii. Neither room is open to the kitchen (nor is the dining room) like some people want, but there are open doorways between all of them. Personally, I like to be able to retire to any of the other three rooms on the main floor and NOT see the pile of dishes in the sink, or the pile of unfinished homework or art projects on the kitchen table, etc. The only thing I'd change is the living room has the original 10' long sliding glass door and it doesn't work, and I'd LOVE to put accordion doors there but will likely have to settle for a more inexpensive slider or french door replacement.

The kitchen was also original to the house, but we gutted it and are 90% finished with the reno. Due to budget constraints, I did have to compromise on a few things but nothing I can't live with. Like PP said, I'd love to have deep drawers but it was way cheaper to get regular cabinets with no organizer upgrades, and I make it work. I have matching stainless appliances that all work well, but they are not high end by any means, and I have a double oven range instead of separate cooktop and ovens. It's large but the layout doesn't allow for a island, but it fits a table big enough for 6, which makes it a true eat-in kitchen. Not a barstools at the counter eat-in kitchen, LOL. We got granite, we got real tile floors, I'm in the process of installing the glass tile backsplash. It has more storage than I'd ever use. It's awesome - I've never had a kitchen that ever really worked for me. Then only change I'd make is redo the reach-in pantry to match the rest of the kitchen, instead of the curtain covering up the original pantry.

Upstairs it has a bedroom for each kid, a sizeable bathroom they share, and a master suite for us. I really prefer to only have beds and clothing storage in bedrooms and not use them for any other purposes, but we do have a desk for DH in our room so when he has to work at home, which is not often, he can be in a room with a closed door and away from kid noise. Our bathroom is a typical tiny 1960s room with a single sink next to a toilet across from a small shower and linen closet. Our hope is to eventually expand it into the two reach-in closets right outside, so there will be a tub, a shower, and two sinks. Then we'd just line one of the other walls with those PAX closet things from IKEA to replace the closets. The kids' bathroom is totally functional but very dated, so the only changes I'd make there are cosmetic.

This house also has an awesome HUGE basement, and half of it is finished. That half serves as the kid playroom, so there's no toys upstairs on the main floor - only books and whatever board game or puzzle they are working on in the dining room. The other half is unfinished, and the previous owner outfitted it with a giant work bench and industrial strength shelving. So the workshop/hobby stuff/extra storage can all go there. This is all something I never dreamed we would have, and I can't imagine living without it now. The finished basement has carpet which I'd rather have something that won't mold, but I can live with it for now.

Also this house has four extra other sizeable closets in the hallways, which we've never had and are half-empty. And it has a large laundry/mudroom off the attached two car garage, big enough for a washer/dryer/mop sink with cabinets above, upright freezer, 4' reach in closet, plus plenty of wall space covered with hooks for coats/backpacks/bags/hats with shoe cubbies and boot racks underneath.

So again, even though the house still needs tons of work, it still has everything we really need. And even though it is a much bigger house than we have ever lived in, the layout has made the transition to becoming more minimalist so much easier. It's so nice to see the big rooms not crammed full of stuff.
Detroit-area SAHM to Rose 12/03, Ginger 11/05, and little Ian 4/08.
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