Monday, November 3, 2014

A word to the wise (maybe?)

It started with a small spiral notebook and grew to an organized list on a computer. As we visited open houses, MLS listings of interest, and looked at pictures, periodically we would notice an element we wanted to include in any future house we would build. This list was compiled over the course of twenty-plus years.


When it came time to build, it was also time to sort through "the list" and figure out which items were actually workable and which items needed to be deleted. One item on the list was a turret. We always thought it was fun to have a stone house with a stairway in a turret, so that item was included on the list.

But a turret in an old plantation style southern home?  Since that idea wasn't workable it became a casualty of the delete button. Yet, ANYTHING we liked might have shown up on the list. We included toilet styles and photos, door styles, beautiful paint colors, an out-of-the main hallway location for a powder room, and so much more.

My suggestions for anyone who is considering the idea of EVER building a new home:
  • Start making a list of items that are important to your family
    Is a larger than normal shower in the master bathroom important? Write it down.
    Do you have a kitchen table that requires an over-sized space? Keep the measurements on your list.
    Are you a fan of beadboard? Include that in your notes
  • Clip photos and add to your list
    I've used different methods with photos. Accordian file envelopes are great to organizing these ideas. A binder with see-through page protectors is another option. Staple or glue them to a hole-punched page and organize in a binder. Keep a computer folder where you can store these photos.
  • Never read a magazine the same way again:
    If you see a room/house/facade in a magazine, see if there is ANYTHING in that photo you want to remember. Circle that particular item and tear out the page. You might not care about the whole kitchen, but might love the pendant lamps over the island. Circle those lamps so you'll remember WHY you kept that page or picture.
  • You might see 1,234 ceiling lights that you like. Stop looking for things you "like" and concentrate on what you would "LOVE" to have in your home. This isn't greed, but brainstorming. You may never get a specific light, but you can find something that matches the style. It's easier to show a salesman what you like through pictures than with words.
  • When you invest in furniture, buy pieces that will last. Consider various styles that you like best, then invest in furniture that you can enjoy now and in a future home.
  •  When it's time to start considering whether or not to build, it is homework time. Organize your notes, photos and clippings to present to your architect, builder and/or designer. Let them see exactly what you like because it helps them as they work to create a space that is perfect for your family.

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