The plans for the new house were actually quite simple for us to dream up. It, of course, ended up being more square footage than we hoped for (930 sq ft on main floor with a finished basement), but we are happy with the layout of our smaller home. We focused mainly on an open floor plan on the main level and bedrooms in the walkout basement.
The biggest obstacle for me was the fact that I used to be a realtor, so the looming thought in the back of my mind was, ‘resale.’ There are some things that most people want in a home- three bedrooms, a bathroom for every bedroom, a fireplace, marble floors, media room, a pizza oven- the list is really endless. Once I got over that thought, I was able to focus on what WE wanted.
The Main Floor
One of the most important things for me was NOT having a dining room. In fact, I didn’t even want space for a dining room table. I was happy with a nice, large kitchen island that could be used for prep space as well as where we would eat. So many people tried talking us out of this, but we knew it was right for our small family. We decided that if we ever needed more seating that we could extend a fold-up table with fold-up chairs. The deck is also directly off from the kitchen, where we plan to have a table and chairs in the summer months. We want to enjoy the view and the outdoors as much as possible. We decided to have a dishwasher, although my mindset is so far from a dishwasher. We currently use one but I’d really like to wash the dishes by hand and save on water usage. We are putting one in for now.
There was not enough space in the kitchen for a pantry closet, so we compromised and planned for a tall cupboard to keep most of our dry goods. Because we will have a (hopefully) successful garden, we don’t really want to have too many processed foods around, which will free up cupboard space. We’d like to have an abundance of fresh food cooked and delivered right to the table (or island in our case.) We’ve also purged all of our old pots, pans and Tupperware. Next up is cups. Why do we have 238 different cups? My goal is 8 regular cups and 6 coffee cups. Any-who, I digress.
The living room. My sanctuary. Large, bright, big windows overlooking our beautiful view. A place I could spend all day, curled up on the couch, reading a book and listening to music. Because our home is smaller, we decided to opt for vaulted ceilings in the living room so the space feels less confined. We are still deciding on flooring options. We’ve decided against carpet, but instead some type of hardwood or vinyl with a large area rug. The area rug will serve two purposes, add comfort and hold heat. If you have any ideas for energy efficient, minimalistic flooring, we’d value your feedback below! I can feel a whole separate post coming on…
We’ll have a mudroom, study and full bathroom to finish up the main floor.
I could not get over how large the master bedroom turned out to be. I hated it… at first, but the best use of the space ended up being a large master bedroom. There is no living area in the basement, so our architect threw on some double doors to the master and voila! You open them up to a small living space, but still part of our bedroom. Walk through a hallway with his and her closets on each side and you’ve arrived at the master bathroom. We decided on a shower only. I really don’t shower that often, let alone take a bath so I was good with this. Showers also help conserve water versus taking a bath.
Brooks’s bedroom is a decent size but it was important to me that it wasn’t dark. Being that it’s in the basement, I was afraid of this. But he was able to have a nice, large window to let in a lot of sun. A small laundry room, another full bathroom and the mechanical space finishes out the lower level
There are so many things we are considering when it comes to the house’s mechanicals. We know we will have electric, but also know in the future we will be investing in solar panels. It is not in the budget now, but we will plan for those shortly. We are also considering geothermal heating. Since we don’t have a significant space to heat and we keep our house cooler than most, a geothermal should be plenty efficient. It also acts as a central air-conditioning in the warmer months.
So let’s talk storage for a moment. Small houses tend to lack on storage, but that’s okay with us. We’d rather have less “stuff” to store. Of course we will have all of Rory’s keepsakes, but we will proudly display those. Our master closet is much larger than I had hoped for, so we will utilize that space for additional storage. There is a decent size closet at the bottom of the stairs and a small linen closet outside of the bathroom. Mudroom will have floor to ceiling lockers and the garage is deeper to accommodate tools. Other than that, we don’t really need storage.
As we grow our homestead, we may discuss a pole barn for equipment, meat processing and other uses, but for now, we’ll call this home.