I am so excited to re-launch our popular Dream Home series with a “Must Haves” post! So much has happened at our job site over the last few weeks, walls have gone up, gas, plumbing, electrical, and heat & air are going in and I am pretty much on site daily to make sure each and every aspect of our new home goes exactly as planned. When you hear people say that building a custom home from the ground up is a lot of work, it’s not an understatement. It’s a TON of work! Months and months of planning, pricing, researching, comparing and overseeing go into it, but I absolutely LOVE the journey and if you have the right planning tools at your fingertips the process can be fun!
It’s a dream to be able to design and specify each and every detail of the house my family will call home. I have taken so much care to think through how we live our daily lives, how we entertain, what aspects of a home are important to us and what we want the memories we make in our new home to look like. For me, creating beautiful memories with my family is the inspiration for each of my design decisions. Honestly, we could be in a tiny cabin in the woods and still create beautiful memories together, but being in a carefully planned and thoughtfully designed home will only enhance our family time and the way we live our daily lives.
There are so many “must haves” in our new home, but a few of them were non-negotiable, and I think that when you’re building or renovating, those non-negotiable “Must Haves” are a great starting point for design and planning. They can be a road map for your decisions along the way, and can also help you keep focused on what’s most important to the overall design and how you and your family want to live in the space. I’m an avid brain-stormer, I make lists and write down ideas constantly. In typical creative right-brain style, I have to get all those ideas out of my mind and down on paper, so I can assess and organize them. I started making my “Must Haves” list years ago and have tweaked it along the way as my family has grown and our interests and needs have changed. I’ve loved refining my list and think the whole process has really helped the vision of our new home and how we want to live in it become a reality. Although my “Must Haves” list is pretty extensive, I am sharing a few of my favorite and most anticipated items. These are things I believe will bring beauty and joy to the way we experience our home.
Ashley’s Dream Home “Must Haves”
- Open, light filled first floor, with generous rooms for living and entertaining
- Vaulted great room with wall of doors/windows and focal fire place
- Open and airy chef’s kitchen with sight lines to both the great room and family room
- Large eat-in kitchen with banquette window
- Generous pantry
- Light filled master bathroom and closet with thoughtfully designed storage
- Media Room for family movie nights
- Art studio
- Gracious bedrooms, bathrooms and closets for Brighton and Cade
- Fitness room
- Outdoor spaces to entertain and take advantage of the natural surroundings
- Space for a vegetable garden, outdoor fireplace and rose garden
Seriously, this a dream list for me… and I’m so excited to see it all come together! These items have helped guide the design of our home from the very beginning. I love to entertain and cook for our family; it’s one of my greatest pleasures in life, so creating spaces for that were on the top of my list. I also wanted to take advantage of our 5-acre property and it’s gorgeous surroundings, so planning for and taking advantage of the outdoor spaces was a high priority. This “Must Have” list would look completely different for someone else. Maybe it’s your dream to have a craft room with endless storage for paints and papers or a library with gorgeous paneled walls and shelf after shelf of books. Maybe you are a grill master and an outdoor kitchen is the ultimate luxury for you or you have always envisioned quiet moments spent in a perfectly appointed reading nook. Whatever your dreams are, get them down on paper! Maybe you’re planning to build a new home or remodel your current home, or possibly you just want the space you live in to serve your dreams and needs better, it all starts with a “Must Haves” list to help guide the way.
The worksheet attached below is the first of an entire series of “Dream Home” worksheets, each designed to help tackle a specific area of building, renovating and creating your perfect home. You certainly don’t have to be building a new home from the ground up, or even renovating for that matter to take advantages of these worksheets. They can help you realize your needs and dreams even if you’re just sprucing up your space one room at a time. The first worksheet is designed to get your creative juices flowing and help get your “Must Haves” down on paper. It’s a great starting point, and you can use it over and over again to refine your list and help guide you as you plan your dream!
If you want to receive the rest of the worksheets in our “Dream Home” Series, as well as my first hand experiences and insights, be sure to sign up to receive all our posts straight to your inbox! I know each part of this series will be a helpful guide and resource in the planning and design of your Dream Home!