My wife and I are hitting that wonderful moment in our lives where we’re setting our goals to the next milestone:
A (Dream) House
We’re starting the process now–getting our finances in check, calculating what range we’d want our home price to be within (so we’re not shackled to a mortgage), getting pre-approved for a mortgage, checking out neighborhoods, commute times, school systems… It’s an overwhelming process that is punishing, as every mistake we make will cost us chunks of money. Still, though, we want to go through with it. We want a home for our growing family, for our parents to retire in, and for the rest of our lives.
We want to set forth a pretty solid plan for expectations for our home, so we don’t end up compromising on a home that doesn’t provide what we want. This means planning out the heavy stuff like mortgage and payment plans. This also means planning out the “light” stuff that people tend to scoff at, because it’s not as important as the foundational stuff: what we want our home to look, feel, and be like. Well, that’s the purpose of this series: thought exercises where I (in tandem with my wife even though she’s not writing any of these pieces) dwell and decide on what we’d like in our home.
To start off, I don’t want to bog down with all the little things like “I need an Alexa in every room” or “purple lights and a ‘Live. Laugh. Love. sign in the kitchen”.
To ground our home and dictate the direction and focus of it all, are some key themes:
1. Easy to Clean and Maintain
This is the most important key directive in the designing, furnishing, and placement of everything in our home. Without it, it all goes to crap, and our dream home turns into another decrepit waste of space. The furniture should not have any unnecessary frills that make it too difficult to clean. The shoes (which will be taken off in the house) must be arranged and stored properly at the entrance to the house. The bathroom must be easy to clean. When dust eventually finds its way to every crevice of our home, I want full confidence that each nook and cranny of dirt can be addressed.
This also means that everything must be organized so that all the cleaning supplies must be placed in ideal, ergonomic, and central locations. I don’t want to go to the other side of the house to grab a bottle of all-purpose cleaner. When garbage day rolls by, I don’t want to empty a small garbage bin out of every single room. Oh, and I want a Roomba, because it allows us to passively maintain a clean space.
2. Minimal and Pragmatic
My father is a hoarder. I’ve seen massive livable spaces compromised because of his desire to keep everything, tendency to pick up junk, and reluctance to let go. It brings on clutter, and clutter pollutes a space. My wife and I want as little junk as possible in our home. This means that we reduce as much excess as we can.
- We don’t need a thousand pots and pans, but we need enough to cater to our every need in the majority of cooking scenarios (because we’re going to entertain plenty).
- As mentioned above, not every room needs to have a garbage bin in it. Not every bathroom needs to have a full stock of toilet paper and toothpaste. Some redundancy is nice, but too much can lead to clutter.
- No mono-use items! Even then, any appliance, tool, or any item in the house for that matter should serve a purely singular purpose if it is a big item. Versatility is key, and mono-use is only justified if the item is used often enough.
However, do not mistake this for a desire for few things in our home–essential and pragmatic is what we’re going for. Everything will have a purpose. If there is something in the house that does not serve its purpose or does not serve it well, then it will be relinquished!
3. Eclectic and Cute
This is more my wife’s taste and expertise, as my sense of design is pretty limited and tame. The way my wife sees it, everything within your home–from the furniture you choose to the salt and pepper shaker you arrange on the dining table–is to be viewed a like a collection. Each and every single decision in your home is a reflection of your taste and style. So when it comes to every piece that is in our home, it will be personal. My wife (and her whole family for that matter) has an infatuation with cute things. Their idea of cute doesn’t seem to align with traditional American cute: things that are pink and have polka dots or whatever. They’re interesting, unique items that carry a special aura that I can’t seem to describe very well. All I can say is that my wife’s decorating skills will fill our home with some very cute objects.
4. It NEEDS Central Air
This is less a guideline but more an absolute necessity. I sweat easily, and I sweat a lot. This actually coincides with #1 and #2 because it ultimately will save us money, clear clutter, and be a massive contributor to our standard of living.
Thus begins our adventure. I’m looking forward into this brainstorming exercise; it’ll be a nice way for us to start taking inventory and discern what truly matters in our future home.