As many of my friends and family know, my wife and I have been talking about building a house for a long time now. Our most recent attempt was 2 years ago. As it turns out, banks don’t favor borrowers who quit their jobs and start a new business. Something about needing money to pay the mortgage…picky, picky.
Now that Studio m Architecture + Design is a “viable business” (Two full years seems to be a “make or break” point), we’re starting the conversation again, and like we do with most things, we’ve involved our 3 year old as much as we can. He’s gone over the plans with us several times and gives us his thoughts. Of course, the most recognizable part of the drawing is the car in the garage, so that’s where he focuses most of his input.
We’ve also asked him what he wants his room to look like. I think we were expecting him to let us know what color he wants it to be. . . but we got full design specifications:
- “Make it look like Radiator Springs.”
This involves a “mud carpet”, “mountains on the walls”, a racecar bed, and “tires in the closet.” Further questioning about the tires in the closet revealed that they were “not real tires….like….pretend tires so it looks like I can stop there and put more gas in my bed.”
- “A telescope in the window so I can look for treasure…but not one like at the playground where you see colors. A REAL telescope that I can find REAL treasure with.”
Before we get there….here’s a little bit about how we got to this point.
The epicenter of the House
The general layout of the house was decided a while ago, based on function and our wants/needs as a family. This was done almost in isolation of what the exterior looks like…although as an Architect, I made sure that we weren’t making moves that were detrimental to the look and feel of the exterior. Like most families, we spend most of our time in the kitchen and have seen what happens when he host a party: everyone ends up in the kitchen. So, our layout accommodates that and enhances it.
The design of the Kitchen area hasn’t changed all that much over the past few years. Every time we look at a new layout for the house, this area tends to remain the same. The proximity of the garage / pantry / kitchen allow for easier flow when coming home with weekly grocery orders as well as exporting trash and recycling. These sound like such mundane issues, but they are things that we do on a daily basis so why not try to make them easier?
Primarily, the kitchen itself is designed to accommodate large groups of people. During the holidays especially, there is a tremendous amount of time spent preparing food. During the warmer months, we spend a LOT of time outside and eat most of our meals there. Immediate access to the outdoors & proximity to a grilling area was vital. Actually, we grill throughout the winter months as well. All of this means that there is a lot of traffic in/out and around the kitchen area. We’ve over-sized the island (12 feet long by 4 feet wide) and left plenty of room around it. Not only do we intend people to gather here, but it will become the landing zone for appetizers, beverages, etc. while leaving plenty of room for preparation to continue elsewhere in the kitchen. On a regular day, the island becomes a place to eat breakfast and for kids to do homework, again, while not interfering with the function of the kitchen.
My plan is to take the next few posts to walk thru the house as we prepare to break ground. Meanwhile, I’ll be researching how to make a mud carpet for my son’s room!