Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Where I've Been

Soooooo......It's been awhile since I've "blogged." It's because I have a problem--a very serious problem that seems to have taken over my life. I'm addicted. It's not healthy. It makes me crazy. But I can't stop! I'm addicted at house plans online. Oh, the shame! The shame!

Ok, so there are worse things in life, right? The bad part is that I've seen EVERY stinking house plan that exists out in the world! There's not a house plan, floor plan, house designer, home architect web site that I haven't been to. I've Googled them all! And, boy am I picky when it comes to a house plan! Kevin and I really want to build a house at some point, but I the reality is we first have to "unload" this house which isn't going to be easy (or quick, for that matter) these days. We're surrounded by "for sale" signs already in our neighborhood. Both houses to the left and right of us are for sale, and the house directly in front of us is for sale (it's been for sale for 18 plus months.) It doesn't look promising, unfortunately. But I keep searching for just the right house.

This is my list of must haves:

1. Large, open kitchen with a huge island. The island must be large enough to demand it's own zip code. And I want miles and miles of counter space. I want so much counter space that I'll never use all of it!

2. 3-car garage. If Kevin is keeping the boat, by gosh I'll have a 3-car garage! And I prefer the garage be a side-load on the back of the house. A front-load garage is a deal breaker!

3. Large laundry room. I spend most of my time in the kitchen and laundry room so these two rooms must be up to par. I want a sink and enough counter space to fold clothes on.

4. Walk-in-closets in ALL bedrooms. A must, must, must! I grew up with a big walk-in-closet, and Olivia will too! It's a small luxury I want Olivia to enjoy!

5. I prefer to have a Jack-and-Jill bathroom between Olivia's room and the extra bedroom. A friend of mine had a Jack-and-Jill setup between her room and her sister's room. They each had their own toilet and sink, and they shared a bathtub. So cool! I like that idea. It's not a deal breaker if I can't get the Jack-and-Jill, but, if it can be done, I definitely want it!

6. The master bedroom must be secluded from the rest of the house. In 99.9% of the house plans that exist, the master is directly off either the great room or the kitchen. GAG! I'm thinking of the future. In a few short years, Olivia will be having sleepovers. I can just see it...lots of little girls with their sleeping bags and pillows on the floor of the living room watching movies and giggling. I want to be able to go to bed and not hear that. And not hear them popping popcorn and chitter-chattering. I want to be able to sleep!

7. I prefer not to have a formal dining room. (Go ahead and gasp!) It's true. I would much rather have the big kitchen island that can accommodate at least 6 bar stools and have an informal dining right off the kitchen large enough to accommodate a table that seats 8. Do you know how hard it is to find a floor plan that doesn't have a formal dining room? Near impossible. I've only found a very small handful. And for us, a formal dining room is a waste of square footage.

8. Must have a screened porch on the back. I care nothing about having a deck. We have a deck now, and we're only able to use it a few months out of the year because of mosquitos and the sun beating down on you. Early spring and late fall are the only times of the year that we use our deck. We would really enjoy a screened porch that we could use spring, summer and fall!

From all my searching, I've found that I like a country, neoclassical, traditional style house as far as the outside goes. Kevin and I really don't have a preferance on a 1-story or 2-story house. We like them both. I'm actually more drawn to a 1-story floor plan, but a 2-story is often cheaper to build.

Here are a few plans that Kevin and I like. They all need "tweeking" in some way or another, but they could all work.

The Calandre
What I love:
  • I'm in love with the kitchen!
  • No formal dining room
  • Garage is on back of house
  • Master is separated from great room by the study
What needs tweeking:
  • Add walk-in closests to bedrooms
  • Bigger laundry
  • Style of outside needs changing. I don't like the front of the house on the outside.
If you look at the Lexington, it's actually the same floor plan, but the outside is different (which I still don't like.) But you can see pictures of a house that's actually built. Gorgeous on the inside! The finishes are a little too "grand" for us and we would certainly scale them back, but it gives you a good idea.

The Neoclassical, Country 2-story

What I love:
  • The 3-car garage and work shop!!
  • The style of the outside
  • Walk-in closets in bedrooms
What needs tweeking:
  • Lose the staircase between the kitchen and family room and make kitchen bigger!
  • The upstairs needs an overhaul starting with the bathroom. It could be bigger and much better.
The Randolph
I have found 4 different variations of this same house plan, and each one has something that I like about it more than the others. I actually found this house plan many months ago, and I still like it. You can see pictures of the finished house from two different couples, Tim and Dina and Kelly and Janice.

The Chatham

This is a Schumacher home. It's a big house. Too big, really. But I love, love, love the downstairs!!

What I love:
  • Huge kitchen that's perfect!! And check out that walk-in pantry! Could you just die!? I could!
  • The "Drop Zone" right off of the garage. Absoultely geneous! Most Schumacher homes have this. It's a small area with a desk and cabinets--kinda like a mini home office where you "drop" the mail, your keys, purse, whatever! Our "drop zone" now is the tiny speck of counter space to the right of our stove. That's where all the junk gets "dropped" and it stays there until it rots. Most anoying! I love the idea of a drop zone!
What needs tweeking:
  • The upstairs needs shrinking! It's way, way too big. Let's face it, the whole house is too big. It overwhelms me. It's the 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and the big loft area that puts it over the top for me. It's just too much house. If the entire upstairs could shrink, it would be perfect!
So, these are some contenders I've run across in my many weeks and hours of searching. If I could piece together bits of each of these floor plans I would have the perfect house. And if we're going to build a house, I want it to be perfect for us!


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