It’s been an eventful weekend here – my middle son turned 16, which means we have (gulp) another teen driver in the house. My husband appears to have broken a toe, after stubbing it on our sectional (even though it’s been in the same place for, um, five years). But, hey, these things can sneak up on you, right?
Back to the subject at hand – we’ve lived in our home for more than six years now, and given that I write about a lot of DIY/design ideas, sometimes I look at our house and think about what I would change, if I could wave a magic wand. Don’t get me wrong – I love our home. But you all know, that after you live in a place for awhile, you find out what works, and what doesn’t. And really, even if you built your home, I know there are things that you would change after living there, right? There is no such thing as a “perfect” home – no matter how beautiful. These are just a few things that I would do differently if I had that magic wand. And if you’re looking to build or buy a home soon, just look at these as a few more items to consider on your list. 😉
Ditch the Dining Room
This is one that I would definitely reconsider if I were building a home. I am all about a functional home, and would rather have a smaller, functional home, where the space was well utilized, than a larger home, with formal rooms that were used a couple times a year. If I could take my dining room space and move it around, I would have one dining area in my home, that I used for both casual and formal occasions. It just makes sense.
Look at how this kitchen is set up – yes, it’s big and beautiful, but I can’t imagine needing a formal dining room in addition to this space, if I lived here. Plenty of room for a large group to gather and break bread.
You can see that this dining room is right off the kitchen, but look how cozy and inviting it is. I could envision sitting here and sharing a meal with friends and family, couldn’t you?
Kill the Corner Fireplace
I know many of us can get caught up in the idea of a corner fireplace, because it sounds custom and high end, right? But the truth of the matter is that a corner fireplace limits your options when it comes to the function of the room. It limits your options in terms of furniture arrangement. Trust me, I know. Remember? I have one. Yes, we’ve jazzed it up, and made it a lot prettier, but if I could do it differently, I would.
Imagine if the fireplace was part of the bookcase/tv wall instead.
Look how this room is opened up with everything along one wall:
See what I mean? The whole room is easier to work with when there isn’t a corner fireplace messing with the mojo.
Just ask Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick – she knows the pain of a corner fireplace, and went to great lengths to change hers. It wasn’t an easy project by any stretch, but I think the end result was worth it.
She went from this:
And ultimately ended up with this beauty with her finished fireplace makeover.
Fancy Jetted Shower Systems
I’ll preface this by saying that I’m a shower girl all the way, and have only used our jacuzzi tub a handful of times (although my daughter likes it). If I had my way, I’d ditch the tub altogether, but I know there are some tub devotees out there who couldn’t live without one. One thing I don’t care for in our shower is the body jets and all of the different shower settings we have.
One thing no one told me about the body jets is that when you change from say, the overhead shower head to the body jets, is that the water is COLD when the switch takes place. No fun, when you’re in the middle of a nice hot shower. Perhaps technology has changed, and that’s no longer the case (I hope so). But regardless, we really don’t change the settings, unless we’re trying to wash one of the dogs – the handheld option comes in handy for that. Plus, I have to imagine that the cost to install these things is high, given all of the plumbing work behind the scenes. Give me a nice rain shower head with some great water pressure, and I’m happy.
Walk-through Laundry Rooms
We don’t have this in our current home, but we had it in our previous one, and I hated it. I can only imagine that a man came up with this design idea. “Let’s put the laundry room right off of the garage, that’s a great idea. Because I never do laundry and have no idea of how this will work in the lives of real people.” Ok, yes, that was probably a bit sexist on my part, and maybe it’s just me who has a problem with laundry
piling up everywhere. But come on, even if you only have a couple of loads of laundry to do – no one wants to look at that when they walk through the door every day. Because let’s face it, most laundry rooms have dirty clothes in them at some point, and it’s not realistic for them to look like this.
A friend of mine (and mother of four) turned her walk-through laundry room into a mudroom and moved her laundry room to the basement. Definitely a better setup and function (even if it means there are more stairs involved). I think I would make that trade-off. Something similar to this setup from Honey We’re Home:
Thankfully, I don’t have to walk through my laundry room anymore, and can close the door
and pretend I don’t have any dirty laundry.
Thankfully, these seem to be out of style, but I would love to drywall over all of the niches we have in our home, and just have smooth walls in their place. They’re difficult to decorate, since you’re so limited with what you can place in them, depending upon their size and shape. We have them throughout our home, and while I’m sure they were intended to be a cool feature, they’re not at all practical. I’ve gotten rid of the one above our fireplace, and made tweaks here and there, but they remain.
This long one was changed into a little chalkboard gallery wall, but really, what could you put here??
A Few Words About Flooring
I know that everyone has to work within a budget, whether you’re building or buying an existing home. When we bought our home, we had three different types of flooring on the main floor – carpet (in the bedrooms and family room), hardwood floors (in the office), and tile in all of the other spaces. If I had my druthers, I would have the same flooring throughout the main floor – or at least as much that is reasonably possible. I think consistent flooring throughout a home allows for a better flow, and is more aesthetically pleasing as well. And if you’re going to do carpet, avoid super-light colors, as I’m assuming you plan on living in the house.
What would you change in your home if you had a magic wand? Again, I love my home, but I know I’m not the only person who has thought about doing things differently if given the opportunity. It’s kind of fun to entertain the possibilities.
Have a great day!