A wish list for a new home can be quite lengthy and detailed. After you have found the right neighbourhood for you and your family, here are some “must haves” we have found to be quite popular with home owners today.
1. Mudroom/Large Entrance
Mudrooms don’t have to be a “room”, but can be a wider hallway (minimum of 5’) or a large entrance. Things to look for in a functional mudroom/entrance
Having enough space to suit your family in the entrance is essential. Determine your needs; do you have a large family, need storage for the kids/sports equipment, entertain a lot, or have visiting family.
Lighting for your home is both functional and aesthetic. There are several types of lighting to consider in and around your home.
General lighting, like your pot lights, sconces and bedroom/bathroom fixtures.
Task lighting focuses on a work area; good for kitchens, home offices, workshops, and living/family rooms.
Accent lighting highlights areas or objects of interest in your home.
Don’t forget to install dimmer switches in places like family/living rooms and bedrooms. Any room you may want softer, dimmer lighting.
Statement fixtures in the front entrance, dining room or master bedroom are also a must!
3. Walk in Closet
Walk in closets can eliminate the need for large dressers in the master bedroom, giving you more space. Closet organizers can be installed so you utilize all the space to suit your needs. They aren’t just to hang your clothes; you can have shelving units, drawers, tie/belt hangers and shoe storage to name a few. Create your own closet organizer from your local hardware store or hire a professional to design and install to save yourself a few headaches.
4. En-Suite Bathroom
No more sharing a bathroom with kids and company… need I say more!
Keep in mind if you would prefer a 3 or 4 piece bathroom when building or looking for a new home. Some homeowners must have a bathtub in their ensuite, while others are fine with just a shower. If you want a spa feel, look for a soaker tub with jets and separate shower. Not all showers are equal either! A basic corner shower may be a little tight for your liking, look at larger rectangular showers or even custom install showers with steam.
You can always change out the fixtures and shower heads in your bathroom to change the look without breaking the bank.
5. Double Attached Garage
Living in the extreme climates, we would prefer to park our vehicles in a garage to make mornings a little easier. A standard double car garage is 20’ x20’ for 2 cars. If you own something larger like a truck or SUV, you will definitely want your garage to be a minimum 24’ x 24’. Garages are also a great place for a workbench, storage for tools, holiday decorations, sporting equipment and bicycles. Don’t forget about installing shelves, hooks and organizers to help make your belongings less cluttered.
Other items to look into too is lighting, windows (natural lighting), entrances to house or yard, floor drains and having it heated. Make sure your garage suits your needs and lifestyle!
6. Main Floor Laundry
This is becoming more common in new home builds. Having laundry on the same floor you spend most of your time (family room, bedroom), can be a great convenience. Certain measures will need to be made to the floor to make sure your washer and dryer function properly and quietly on your main floor. If possible make this room as large as you can. Most laundry rooms only hold the washer, dryer and a small cupboard but you need space to iron, sort and fold laundry. This is where the extra room will come in handy or you’ll have piles of dir ty clothes in the hallway on laundry day.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think you could ever have too much storage! Linen closets are a must to hold all your extra linens, pillows and even extra cleaners on the top shelf. Everyone needs a pantry…possibly two! A corner panty in your kitchen offers a lot of space for dry foods, large counter top appliances and more. If you don’t have enough room in your kitchen pantry, housing one in the basement is a great place for extra bulk items, multiples and canning. Creating proper storage in your home can make rooms feel less cluttered and your life a little easier. If you live in a smaller home, look for storage built into furniture pieces as well, to serve double duty or just to hide away stuff when company comes over! -DYH