10 Things I Hate About Our House
I shouldn’t complain. We live in a beautiful house that we built as a spec home several years back. About the time of its completion, the economy decided to take a tumble. We had just gotten married and made the decision to move in, since selling it wasn’t going to happen. Our home is the foundation and gathering spot for our family. Every year we look forward to hosting the family “Turkey Day” feast as well as Christmas dinner, and do it with room to spare. We have and continue to make wonderful memories in in our home, but now that we’re beginning to raise a family, I have become keenly aware of the things that DON’T work. There are several things about this house I have come to hate. Perhaps despite my better judgment, I’ve decided to share them with you today.
Here are 10 things that I hate about our home. Consider these when planning your home.
Cooktop on an island
A cooktop on an island sounds like a great idea, right? In theory it provides more counter space and allows ease of movement to the refrigerator or the sink. In reality, by putting the cooktop in the island I end up losing great kitchen workspace. I LOVE to cook and it pains me every time I’m in the throws of my latest experiment and find myself trying to work around the cooktop. (Not to mention everything ends up spilling on it during the process, which means cleaning the cooktop every time I use the island). It’s such a well lit space – it would be perfect for food prep. and getting my son involved. ARRRGGG!!!
Open kitchen with almost no exhaust
Our island cooktop has a downdraft exhaust instead of a hood. BIG MISTAKE. While the downdraft exhaust takes some of the excess heat away, it isn’t tall enough to pull away any steam or grease. So, for us, the light fixtures hanging over the cooktop get coated with a layer of greasy-nasty-mess, which of course, requires I dawn a pair of big rubber gloves and break out the industrial strength grease cutter. To make things more aggravating, our kitchen is open into the living room, so additional wiping down is required in there as well. YUCK.
A useless kitchen desk
This is another item that sounds great in theory but never really worked out for us. It should be a space to collect and pay bills, clip and store recipes, or sort through the mail. Ours ends up more of a junk collector and apparently a place to store the WetOnes antibacterial wipes and old cards. I pay my bills online and find most recipes on Pinterest, so if I had it to do over again, I would use this area for more cabinetry storage or, better yet —-take out that whole bank of cabinets and put in a 60″ Wolf double oven range dual fuel WITH vent hood (sigh……).
Our kitchen has a side-by-side refrigerator. Since it’s purchase, more convenient French door models have come on the market. I know this is a matter of personal preference, but the narrow width of both sides restricts the size of items going in. When I’m hosting a party or holiday and have large trays of food, getting them to fit in that frig is simply not happening. Along those same lines, I can’t keep large items frozen either, such as a large turkey. These items necessitate a spare standard refrigerator and a deep freezer in our basement. And, believe me, traversing two flights of stairs to and from the basement with tray after tray of food gets old, fast.
Cabinets are too dark
This is another thing that I shouldn’t complaint about…..but have to because I just hate them. I suppose our kitchen cabinets could be a whole lot worse, but they are too dark (as you can see in the pictures above). The kitchen is on the north side of the house so, especially in the winter, the room gets limited sunlight. The light that we do get is absorbed by the darker cabinets and wood floor, making it DARK – too, dark. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely go with a lighter cabinet color. Whether it’s wood stain, paint color or flooring, this is a great example of how you can get a “perfect storm of darkness” in an area with limited light to begin with.
Laundry room is too small and in the wrong place
Our laundry room and mudroom is off our kitchen and is waaaay too small. If it were only a mudroom it would be adequate, but with the laundry it’s impossibly tight. Winter is really the worst time. Coming in with wet and snowy shoes requires that I keep a mop leaning up against the wall to wipe up execss water. There is nothing worse than the feeling of cold, wet socks as you’re holding a full basket of laundry, with a toddler (who now also has wet socks) clung to your legs. No worries, though, by the time I can set the laundry basket down in the laundry room, he has already taken his socks off and thrown them in the garbage. 🙂
Most people plan their homes thinking that having laundry on the ground floor or basement keeps it out of the way for more living space, but laundry is part of living and I’d rather not drag clothes between floors.
It’s much easier to have laundry near the bedrooms, especially with little ones. That’s where all dirty clothes end up and where clean clothes are stored. It makes perfect sense to keep them close together. Many of our clients end up putting a stackable washer/dryer in the upstairs with a larger laundry room for bed and bath linens (and really filthy work clothes) downstairs and I see why!
Limited linen space
Everyone loves their walk-in bedroom closets, but you need to consider extra closet space for linens. We have a few sets of sheets for each bedroom and ample towels, but almost no space to store them outside of someone’s bedroom closet. A large closet space outside of the bedroom would give us one place to keep everything and more room for our clothes in the individual closets.
Heating and air conditioning is not zoned
We have one thermostat for the whole house. With every summer, the thermostat says that the house is at set temperature, but our upstairs is always too hot still and the basement is too cold. In the winter this switches, with a cold upstairs and hot basement.
Our bedrooms are upstairs, so we’re like Goldilocks and can never get a temperature that is “just right.” By zoning heating and air conditioning we could control the path of the cooled or heated air to the places that need it most.
Window muntins that never stay in place
Our windows all have decorative muntins (the wood or plastic that divides a window into a grid). They look charming, but they are thorn in my side. To clean them I have to either spray each panel individually or take the muntin out to clean the whole thing at once. Cue my 2 1/2 year old son: Once he saw that mommy can “take the windows off” he constantly takes them off of every window he can get his hands on, AND has attempted to climb them on more than one occasion. After all of this, I would rather have them with the muntin built-in or not have them at all.
Cedar deck is rotting
Ahhhhh yesssss, our deck. This year, out of the blue, our deck started disintegrating. There’s no question that a cedar deck looks (and smells) great when it’s first installed, but it requires a lot of maintenance. With our close proximity to Lake Michigan, our deck has to endure a lot of brutal winter weather. With the change of seasons, year-after-year, a wooden deck requires regular replacement.
Our previous home had a no-maintenance composite deck that was great. It never needed work, gave splinters, or showed signs of aging. It’s a bigger investment up front, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Considerations for your home
All of these things I have grown to hate about our house are perfectly well accepted and even popular choices. But it’s these small considerations though, that can really make a difference in how your home affects your day-to-day life. It’s through these experiences, we can steer our clients away from making some of these same mistakes. And, I’m sure Henrik will be making some changes to our home soon (HINT!). 🙂