Secrets I Have Learned In New Builds...

So over the many years and having many type of clients I have picked up a few things along the way. I learn from each project and take what I have learned and apply it to my next client. If its simple interaction and responses or actual design needs its a way I am able to grow as a woman, business owner, decorator, mom, wife, friend, daughter, well you get the idea. As you know there are many things to consider when building a house… anything from basic needs to expressing your own personal style. Here is a compilation of lots of little things you may want to do or at least consider when going through the planning or design process of a new home. 

Closet & Organization

  • Make sure your closet has enough space for both double hung rods, and singles to accommodate long clothes( like long dresses)
  • Full size broom cupboard in pantry or laundry room to hide all the cleaning items out of sight
  • More closet/linen space than you think you’ll need! Always..... take a nook and add shelves
  • Plenty of storage for holiday or seasonal decoration
  • Cubbies in mudroom with an outlet in each one (may want to consider outlets with USB ports for charging phones, tablets, etc.)
  • Storage built just for you under washer and dryers

(picture via pinterest)

Bath

  • Outlets inside vanity cabinets (upper and lower) in bathroom for dryer, and other accessories
  • Heated towel racks or Floors
  • Don’t let them caulk the bottom of your toilet to the tile (which can hide potential leaks)
  • Make use of room in between wall studs and pony wall by turning it into extra storage- which you can never have enough of

 

Kitchen

  • Recess the fridge (there’s nothing worse than a beautifully designed kitchen where the refrigerator juts out too far)
  • Pasta filler faucet near the stove top (so you don’t have to lug the pots full of water from the sink to the stove top)
  • Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers
  • Warming drawer in dining room or butler’s pantry- great for entertaining
  • Outlets in pantry - you can make a coffee bar in there or use it for small kitchen appliances. Also a great place to store a small drink fridge.
  • Pantry door on swivel (easy access when your hands are full)
  • Pantry light on motion sensor
  • Knife drawer
  • Deep Pot Drawers 
  • Pull-out garbage/recycling/laundry (for dirty dish towels/napkins/bibs, etc.)
  • Drawers for all lower cabinets (more efficient use of space)
  • Drawers under the sink for cleaning products instead of cabinet space
  • Pull up Bread Box ( you can even tile behind it on the wall) 
  • Install and easy button on top of your counter for your garbage disposal so you it is always at your finger tips.
  • Electrical Outlets on the side of your island for kids to work on there computers and do homework

(kitchens unlimited )

Electrical & Plumbing

  • Pre-wire security system and cameras or look into automated home security systems (digital systems are cheaper from what I’ve heard and allow you to easily control settings while away from home)
  • Photos of electrical, plumbing and windows before drywall goes up for future reference
  • Separate 20z circuit with outlets at waist height in garage to plug in tools
  • Pre-wire for surround sound and music (inside and out)
  • iPad controllers in the walls to control whole house music systems
  • Pre-wire for generator to essential areas
  • Include a 220v to garage (tools, future electric car, etc.)
  • Measure the location of anything under the slab, and various utilities out in the yard
  • Run an electrical line with a few floor outlets, especially since we have very open floor plans these days and the couches are not always against the walls
  • Floor Outlets - a must in living room, family rooms,office.

Lighting

  • Light switch to the attic in the hallway ( always hard to find in the dark once in the attic)
  • In cabinet lights and outside lights on timers
  • If you can afford Kitchen Cabinets to the ceiling a lighting trick is to put lights on top so it has up lighting and makes the illusion of filled space
  • Check the cost ratings of ceiling fans and solar panels
  • 3 way switches 
  • Master switch from master bedroom that controls all exterior lights
  • A master switch at each exit (front, back or garage) that turns off all the power to the switches/lights in the house so you don’t have to go to each room)
  • Put every light on a dimmer — even the porch light.
  • 4 plug outlets near the bed in the master (again, consider the new outlets with USB ports for charging phones, tablets, etc.)
  • A light switch at the head of your bed so you can turn out the lights once you are in bed

Pets

  • Plan a specific place for your dog or cat food
  • Place for the kitty box if applicable
  • Place for dogs to be bathed
  • Place for dog crates

(pictures from houzz and pinterest)

Some Overall Thoughts......

  • Receptacles for fire extinguishers. Maybe plan some cutouts so they are flush to the wall.
  • Where possible, pocket doors
  • Line up tops of windows and doors. It gives you a clean line around the room
  • Soundproofing where needed (ex. in between laundry room and bedroom wall)
  • Additional support during framing on the top side of windows for curtains
  • Make sure Fireplaces are insulated for tv use 
  • Ensure builders don’t “box” off spaces where storage or shelving could go
  • Minimal walls, lots of windows
  • Actual laundry room (not a hall or closet, a room)
  • Spindles on hand rail made that can be removed for moving furniture ( small spaces)
  • Splurge Wisely 
  • Collecting and sorting magazine pages helped me focus my taste
  • LOOK UP Ceiling height is as important as the square footage of a room.

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