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Intelligent Design Ideas

posted by: arsenalfan on 03.13.2012 at 10:13 am in Building a Home Forum

First GW Post! We are building a new old farmhouse design, and I greatly appreciate the crowd-sourced wisdom and experience shared here.

As we finish the design phase, I want to be sure we've considered all the neat home features out there. I think about buying our last car which came with keyless entry - we thought it was unnecessary, but wife now finds it essential.

Like that (or an Apple product) I want our home to be full of "wow, someone thought about this" concepts, that are helpful. Emphasis on thoughtful, not neccesarily techy.

I've read the excellent recent discussion that had 7-8 links to "what you can't live without" and "big mistakes" and "2 yrs later - what would you do different/same", and am going more for the 1-2 things that reflect design thought and make their houses a home.

I'll go first, knock out the low-hanging fruit, and show what I'm thinking about:

1. Big Mudroom - everyone's opinion is different, but it will be off garage, have lockers, next to laundry, half bath. Yet to find a shoe storage option I like (hold 8 pairs per person, wife has boots, want them paired up and not in a basket, but also not staring at a wall of shoes.

2. Unique kitchen cabinetry: The list here could be huge and is very personal. Beyond spice racks/appliance garages/all lower cabinetry being drawers, we like: built-in towel holder to free up counter space; kitchen aid mixer stand mixer storage mechanism that brings it up (although we expect to take mixer off this, as using the mixer on high makes a vibrating racket on the mechanism); pots/pans slide-out drawers under our gas range-top (wife doesn't like hanging pots). Please share any novel kitchen storage ideas!

3. Counter-weighted pocket doors - pull right door open and left door opens the same amount as well. When we saw these in our builder's home, it was great - a not-obvious feature that, when you use it, immediately implies quality workmanship.

4. Shower ceiling light with built-in fan - looks great to hide fan entry; hopefully they work as well. And fan timer.

5. Closet door-jamb light switches. Clearly a "someone thought about this" feature. Didn't know about these until we saw them in a new home.

6. Kitchen island 5" mini-wall to hide kitchen mess. We have a 7'x13' island with farmhouse sink on one side and 6 stools on the other, and wanted to hide sink clutter. A 2-level island wasn't for us. So 6" beyond the sink we're putting up a 4" wide and 6" tall mini-wall that will run about 6 feet. Good ledge for flower vases and whatnot, can still talk to folks on stools, they have to crane to see what's in sink.

7. Master Bed Room switch to control the outdoor floods. Weird noise outside? Flip all the floods on.

8. Instant hot water. Ok, I cheated and this is techy, not so much design and more "what can't you live without." But an example of something we never thought we'd need until our current home came with it - now we love it as we're french press coffee/tea people.

9. Outdoor holiday light outlets. No more extension cords thru the garage/storm windows!

10. Outdoor grilling area gas and electric outlets - ok, I know, this is very basic and no-duh.

Cool but not for us:
1. Central vac with hide-a-hose and vacuum pans.
2. The lighting systems that have different schemes that let you light up different paths/turn everything off, etc.

Your turn, and thanks in advance!

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clipped on: 06.14.2012 at 02:54 am    last updated on: 06.14.2012 at 02:54 am