Sunday, February 17, 2019

Touring for Ideas: Day Two

Well, we managed to get through all twenty-six houses over the course of three days.  Talk about a whirlwind tour.
 We were getting a little dizzy waltzing through all of them.
The largest house on the tour was very impressive at 5000+ sq. ft and an $800K+ cost. 
It was listed as a 1 1/2 story.  Gee, just like ours.  Ha.

This house has separate living quarters on all three floors.  When we came in the back door off of the garage, I was eagerly anticipating what the mudroom would be like.  No, I was actually fantasizing about it ever since we started this tour, this being the largest of all the houses, I expected a the Mudroom to end all mudrooms.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this in the corner:

Yup, that was it.  The mudroom.  Don't get me wrong, it is very nice; I don't mean to sound like the kid at Christmas who has opened a boatload of presents and then petulantly asks, "Is this all I get?"  But I kinda felt that way.

I was still looking around for the rest of the mudroom when a door in the wall opened and a young man stepped out.

 "Good morning, would you like to see the elevator?  I can take you to the third floor and you can start your tour from there."

Well, heck, why not?  We stepped into the elegant wood-paneled elevator and were whisked to the third floor suite.

When we stepped off the elevator, we could see down the hall on the third floor and the balcony overlooking the second floor living room.

There's Carl, walking through the living room (and telling me to quit taking his picture.)

 I was trying to get pictures of the ceiling here, we'd like to add a bit of a coffered ceiling in our house, too, but we have no room for something as grand as this.

 The bathrooms were all very large and glamorous.  Backlighting was a problem today, and the fact that there were people everywhere, so I couldn't take pictures from the angles I would have liked to.
 Tray ceilings in one of the bedrooms and of course, a fireplace.

 I don't remember what floor we were on anymore, there are too many rooms to keep track of.

 Same thing with the bathrooms, I don't remember which one goes on which floor, but they were all different.

 There was a stained glass window leading to the sun room out of the formal dining room.

I think this was the main floor kitchen, but don't hold me to it.

 Granite as far as the eye can see, countertops, that is.

There were mini-sliding barn doors for the kid's playroom, think of this as a 3' tall doorway that opens up into a huge playroom.

 All three floors of this house just went on and on.  I can see why an elevator would be handy.

 It was a treat to explore.

On to the next homes, here follows a bunch of random photos:
Carl held up the basket so I could take a picture, this one was in a mudroom and is just what I need.
Open floor plans rule.   All of the houses had kitchens open to the dining room and living room beyond.

 Hardwood floors aren't as prevalent as they used to be, most of the homes had luxury vinyl plank instead of hardwood, though there were a few that had actual wood installed.

Lighting fixtures; well, being a stained glass nut, I have to admit most of the modern lighting does absolutely nothing for me, and some of it is downright hard to look at due to the bright light bulbs glaring at you. 
Kitchen islands were almost universally either granite or quartz, and I would say quartz was more prevalent.  

 Staggered height cabinets were very popular, and I was surprised to see that some of the cabinets were actually unpainted, easing away from the trend of everything painted white.
Although some kitchens had white and wood cabinets:

 And open floor plans.

 I admire the open concept in some ways, but it wouldn't work for us since our house is small and there's a pesky upstairs staircase smack dab in the middle of the house which wouldn't allow a truly open floor plan.

But in a way, I'm kind of glad the open concept wouldn't work because there is something to be said for getting away from the kitchen, too.  

In our house, we can see into the dining room from the living room, but the kitchen is out of sight, which suits me just fine.  If I haven't gotten to the dishes in the kitchen immediately after a meal, I can sit in the living room and 'forget' about the mess in the kitchen.  With an open concept house, there's no getting away from those dang dishes, now is there?  (See, this is how I make myself feel better.)

 With the floor plan seen below, I took this picture from the living room back towards the kitchen.  Everything is visible from the living room.  Maybe if I didn't make such a mess when I cook, it wouldn't be so bad.  But who am I kidding?  I won't change at this late date.
I did read an article the other day where a lady said she was mighty tired of her open floor plan because every time she sliced a tomato in the kitchen, the juice would hit her couch in the living room.  Yep, that would be my luck, too.

 Acoustics are another thing: in many of these houses, the noise level is a bit out of hand.  The hardwood floors and high ceilings echo all over the place.  I was wondering what it would sound like with a herd of kids running around.  The houses are so big they'd have to use their 'outside voices' and I think earplugs will be in order. 


I must be getting older and more grumpy by the day.  But I do wonder if that's why so many of these houses have offices?  I can see the need.  

Walls do serve a purpose.  A few of the homes had very small rooms like the one below, just big enough for the two chairs.  A reading nook, I suppose, and a place to escape from the wide open spaces.
Bathrooms are on my list of things to look at, too.  It was interesting to see the tile work.

Tile detail
 Mudrooms were hit and miss today.  I wasn't terribly impressed by many of them.  

The mudrooms look nice and tidy now, don't they?  But what about when someone actually hangs up a coat (or doesn't?) and there are piles of shoes accumulated under that bench?  Then what?  

The mudroom above is right in line with the kitchen.  
 A handy entrance when bringing in groceries, but if there are shoes in the way in the mudroom, it could be dangerous.  I know how we are, Carl's big steel-toed workboots and my Birkenstocks, along with my house shoes and, knowing me, depending on the season, everything from trowels to cross-country skis will be crammed in this small area.  Ain't gonna work for us.  I'm going to want doors on the mudroom closet.

Not to pick on the homeowners, but this is a remodeled house we toured on Saturday, a home where people were already living.  The picture is blurry, but this is Real Life with a mudroom, the way I know it would be with us:
 I will need a door on my closet.  And I'm thinking drawers to pull out for the shoes under the bench.

I don't have a picture of one of the nicest mudrooms I've ever seen because it was years ago before I had a cellphone.   Anyway, the back door opened into a hallway that went straight into the kitchen.  There was a mudroom to the right with closets and shoe storage, and to the left was a powder room and laundry.  When not using the two rooms, there were doors that could be closed, leaving the entry open to walk through, nice and tidy.  That must have been an oddity of a mudroom, because I haven't seen one since.  

On the way home tonight, Carl and I discussed this upcoming year.  It's going to be a rough one, no doubt about it.  I've been having a lot of back pain which comes and goes, and we have to keep on going through our forty years of stuff here before anything can happen with remodeling; not to mention the upcoming hosta convention and a garden that needs to be in top form in June. 

There's more work to do than ever, and will we be up for it?  Stupid back of mine, always being a diva.  

Carl said we'll just have to take it one day at a time.  He's right, it's all anyone can do. 
It will be an uphill battle.
 As Bette Davis says:




Anonymous said...

Wise words from your husband, but it DOES sound like the first half of the year will be a challenge! The compartmentalized mud room sounds perfect - all those lovely built ins would be obscured by actual mud at my place.


chavliness said...

Open concept is all the rage now, but I'm not sure I'm a fan. Acoustics probably don't get enough considerations; what it would be like with guests and kids running around. Wonderful ideas for bathroom tiling; how can one decides which to go with?

Indie said...

That is a tiny mudroom for such a giant house. I am glad they are moving away from white kitchens. I feel like every single kitchen I see in magazines or online look exactly the same. Good luck with your search for ideas, and I hope your back feels better!

outlawgardener said...

Those huge open concept homes are pretty to look at but keeping so much space tidy would be a problem. Fortunately, our old house has lots of rooms that can be closed off when messy. Like you, I'm not a fan of most of the new light fixtures. Sorry about your backs and the bumpy ride to come. Seatbelts fastened?