Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Five Things

I enjoy reading the Design Notebook blog by Austin American-Statesman design columnist, Melanie Spencer. Her Monday Mood Lifter this week was a list of five things she loves about her home. She asked readers to share their own list of five things. So here is my list of five things I love about our current home and my list of five things I want to love at our next home.

Current home:

1. I love the layout of our house. The sleeping rooms are at one end of the house and the social rooms are at the other end. The house has a great flow.

2. I love our original hardwood floors. The floors are a gorgeous dark-honey color and no one will ever mistake them for veneer or laminate. We have a few area rugs, but I don't ever want a home with carpet again if possible.

3. I love that we have customized our home with paint colors we chose. No shiny white walls here. No concern about getting a deposit back. No reverence paid to resale value.

4. I love the deck. The weather here is nice most of the year, so I love having more area to entertain or lounge.

5. I love our driveway. The interlocking paver stone driveway has a quiet elegance to it. It makes the whole curb-appeal greater. The paver stones can shift without exposing unsightly cracks the way that concrete does. Our driveway is just wide enough for Chad and I to get our cars past each other, which means we don't have to move each other's cars to get in or out of the driveway.

Next home:

1. A fireplace -- Chad and I both miss the fireplace we had at our posh condo for the year that we lived there. On cold nights, we would make a fire and warm ourselves in its glow. We didn't like to leave the warm living room to trudge up the stairs to our not-as-warm bedroom.

2. Not located on a major road -- during our married life, Chad and I have always lived on major, high-traffic roads. Now we live at the corner of a major thoroughfare. Next house/condo must be tucked away on a quiet, lazy, low-traffic street.

3. At least two bathrooms -- we only have one bathroom now. It's not a hardship, but I really liked the two-and-a-half bathroom situation at our aforementioned posh condo. I had my own full bathroom in the hallway. I gave Chad the master bathroom. Guests had the half-bathroom down on the main floor/living level.

4. Lots of mature trees -- We have two good shade trees right now. We've planted three teenage trees and one baby tree. For me, nothing says "established home" like an abundance of mature shade trees.

5. Indoor laundry room -- The posh condo had an indoor laundry room just off the kitchen with a door you could close to hide the drying rack full of unmentionables. Our current house has a laundry closet at the end of the carport outside. The doors are big shed doors that in let in dirt, leaves, bugs, slugs, toads and other junk you don't associate with clean laundry. I want to be able to do the laundry in my jammies in our next home, and not have to constantly wipe dirt and grime off of our expensive high-efficiency washer and dryer.

You may wonder why we didn't buy the aforementioned posh condo when we had the chance. We agonized and flip-flopped over that decision for two months. The condo was offered at a great price. We loved the interior of the condo. We liked the wooded setting of the hillside on the west side of our building. The condo had a two-car garage with plenty of storage and big closets. However, the homeowner's association was in major turmoil with allegations of embezzlement by the property management company. The location was just outside of central Austin, on a road with notoriously bad traffic and dangerous curves and hills. The AC system needed to be completely replaced. Both garage doors and both garage door openers needed to be replaced. Ultimately, we decided we didn't want to jump into the homeowner's association fray and the location wasn't right for us. Our 1952 house in a more central location is the perfect starter home for us. We look forward to at least five more years here.