Tuesday, February 18, 2020

What I would choose all over again in our home {and those I wish I hadn't!}

Can you believe we've been in our home almost two and a half years already? It feels like we've been here much longer...it felt like home even before we moved in.

I forgot how long it takes to really get a new home the way you want it -- not just decor, but things placed where they work best, organization, figuring how we use the spaces. It's been a really fun process for me!

There are things I LOVE about our home that I would recommend to anyone, and there are a few items I kick myself almost daily for doing the way I did. I thought I'd share them here in case you're considering any of these projects or building your own home!

Let's start with the parts I love, shall we? I adore our whole house, so this is easy. But there are certain things in particular that would hard to go without now.

1. Master bath upgrades

Our master bathroom is HUGE and I love it. I am SO thrilled with our big shower -- it is a dream come true! We had a tiny shower before and this still feels so luxurious:
Large shower and soaking tub bathroom

If you have the ability to add a bigger shower -- go for it!! You won't regret it. We didn't add double shower heads, it's an expense I'm glad we didn't add on. (Although I do kind of wish we added a rainhead fixture.) 

**My husband thinks the bigger shower is colder -- I think it's just as toasty. Something to consider! 

Another bathroom upgrade that I absolutely love is our soaking tub: 
Soaking tub or jetted?

We had a corner jetted tub in the old house and loved it -- we actually used the jets quite often.

We priced out a stand alone tub with jets because we thought we'd really miss it. It was going to be another three grand or something crazy like that, so that was a nope.

Turns out I ADORE the deep soaking tub. I've taken more baths in this tub in two years than our old one in 14 years! It's so warm and toasty and I would never go back! :)

2. Our open layout

Ten years ago or so the master on main floorplans were gaining in popularity. With a toddler at the time, I told my husband there was no way I'd consider it.

Now, it's probably my favorite thing about this house. :) Living on (mostly) one level is amaaaaazing. :) Can you tell I like it?
Master on main level benefits

One thing I noticed immediately was how clean our master stays compared to our old one. We can easily take trash or dishes out where they belong. It's also much easier to keep up with laundry and just putting things away in general. 

I know it's not an option for many with young kids, but if you're building a house and plan to stay there for a long time, I encourage you to think past the baby/toddler years. It's the number one recommendation I make to anyone building!

Also, overall the layout of this house just fits our lifestyle better. We entertain a lot and LOVE having the open layout. Our family room, kitchen and morning room are all one big space and it is ideal when we have friends or family over: 
Great room with tall ceilings and fireplace

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Instead of dining, living and family rooms, we just have the one large space. Because I turned our old dining room into a library, we used those rooms more than most do, but we would have preferred to have that square footage in the family space. 

If you are building or renovating and want less rooms but more space, I don't think you'll regret one big living area. 

3. Door handles instead of knobs

This is such a little thing but it's something I think about nearly every day! 

I am SO glad I chose handles instead of knobs for our doors: 
Matte black door handles on white door

I picked them because I loved the look of them...no other reason. But we've learned they're so much easier to use. 

I especially love the handle on the door from the mud room to the garage. It's SO nice when our hands our full -- we can just push it with our elbow and open the door. If you have little ones I'm not sure you'd love them (I'm sure they have some kind of baby proofing gadgets for them) but if not, I highly recommend the handles! (And they just look good! These have a bit of a curve to them but are the same matte black.)

4. Mud/laundry combo

I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this because we had this combo in the last house and I hated it! I eventually moved our laundry to the basement because I disliked it so much. 

The key to this working is SPACE. If you don't have enough space for both, don't do it (ours in the old house was basically a hallway). But if you have room, go for it!: 
Pros of combo mud and laundry room

I love having this utility space all in one. We have a lot going on in here -- a cleaning closet that serves multiple needs and a folding table that hides our cat litter as well. We keep our messes in here and most guests would never know. 

I also LOVE that when we walk in from traveling, I can just open the suitcases and throw the laundry in the machines. It's pretty awesome. :) 

Now, a very short list of the things I'd change if I could go back in time. All of these items are really lovely...but they don't function great. 

1. Our bathroom vanities 

I hate them. I hate them so much. 😂 I am an idiot for choosing them from all the options we had!: 
Bathroom vanity with no storage

Now I LOVE having the vanities separate -- that's not what bothers me. It's that they have very little storage. 

For some reason I thought I picked an option with drawers down the sides. I didn't. 😢 What makes it worse is they middle section can't be used for bins or storage because the plumbing was run right through the middle. I just hate them all around. Loathe. Ha!

My advice -- think STORAGE in the bathroom!!

2. Our son's segmented bathroom

I've talked about this before and how I've kicked myself for doing this. I had just finished knocking down a wall in his old bathroom and making his two room bath into one before moving into this house. 

I thought this one wouldn't bother me for some reason, but it does. Oh yes. It does:
Two room or one room bathroom layout

It's not a big bathroom anyway, so having it cut in two (sinks in one section, toilet and shower in the other) makes it feel SO tight. 

If I had just made it one room, I could have saved myself a ton of work. But now this is on my project list for the year because it's bugged me so much. 

3. Our engineered hardwood floors

I love the color and look of our floors. And overall they have held up OK to moisture, animals and life in general:
Cons of engineered hardwood floors

But they are MUCH softer than our old floors. Every time we drop something it dents or damages the wood. EVERY time.

Thankfully I have a stain pencil that fills the nicks in well enough that no one would see it, but the dents are still noticeable. We had finished on-site hardwoods at the old house and they are more expensive, but worth it. I wish I would have at least priced out the difference for this house.

(Our flooring is from Diamond Living but was discontinued right after we moved in.)

Again, the things that I would change are still beautiful, they just don't function quite as well as I'd like. I need both form and function! :) I'm pretty thrilled that those are my only problem areas in this house, especially considering how quickly I had to make decisions. We LOVE our home!

Do you have any of my favorites or problem items in your home? What would you have on your list? Hopefully this is helpful to any of you who are remodeling or building a home in the future!

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

First look: The guest room tour!

I did some small updates to our guest room this week that I'm sharing with you today! I found a few new items but this room is mostly made up of items we've used before. It turned out so pretty, I had to show you. :) 

I don't think I've ever shared this room in our new house! Maybe one photo? So I'm excited to share it with you today. 

You can take a tour of our old guest room here, and you'll see that a lot of the pieces are the same: 
Farmhouse bedroom grid accent wall

My decor style has never been full out farmhouse, but our old house I definitely had touches of it, especially in this room! 

I haven't leaned farmhouse in our new home, but there's something about this room that feels so cozy and sweet with it! I adore that metal bed so I went from there with the little updates I made this week. 

I'll share all the details shortly, but here's your first look at our guest room in this house: