Even though they just moved in, Megan was kind enough to participate in sharing a few things in her new home that are organizational, functional, and not to mention nice on the eyes!
Here she is with her wonderful family...
Hi everyone! We started building our home in early 2011 and just moved in a couple months ago. My husband, Will, and I purchased a home design program and, after hours and hours(correction: Will just read this and informed me that should read "months and months") huddled around the computer screen, ended up with a home design of our very own. Once we had a design we got to work and did most of the work ourselves, with the help of friends and family.
We designed our home with a few criteria in mind. We wanted a welcoming space where our guests could feel at home. We wanted room for our family of five, and enough storage and space for all that kid gear(and the grown-up gear, too). We wanted a mud room that could handle the endless coats, hats, gloves, and dirty boots that a ranching family requires. And, we also wanted a space that would be easy on my body and that we will be able to use even as we grow old. I developed rheumatoid arthritis after my 3rd baby and, while physical debilitation isn't a certainty, it is a very good possibility.
First, we chose finishes that would be good for hiding
For most of the upstairs, we chose circle-sawn fir flooring.
It is so rustic and unique, and no one will ever notice a ding or scratch, they'll just become part of the character. Play dough cleans up nicely, too. Our trim is stained wood, and, man, there is a lot of trim in this house. I know this because I handled almost every piece, several times. Sanding, staining, polyurethane-ing, and repeat. I was so blessed to have help from quite a few friends during this process, or I think we still wouldn't be in this house. The perk to the stained wood is that is doesn't show every little mark like white painted trim can. And, while I do love that crisp contrast you get with painted trim, the stained wood just really seems to go with our ranch setting better.
We worked with a kitchen designer, who helped polish our initial kitchen design and suggested some ergonomic features that would never have crossed our minds. One of those features is this dish drawer:
Pegs inside keep the dishes separated, and, best of all, it's easy for the kids to reach when they're setting the table.
Another awesome idea she had was a raised dishwasher. I don't have to bend over at all to do dishes, now. Sold!
Other favorites of mine in the kitchen include the double oven, pot filler, butcher block island, and the giant sink.
Our washer and dryer is in our master closet. You can't see it, but there is a double rod for hanging clothes behind the door.
And our second washer and dryer set is downstairs. Can I just say how much I love not hauling laundry baskets up and down stairs?!
For flooring in the mud room, porch, and majority of the downstairs we went with stained concrete. It's so durable, and was a great choice for us because we installed hot water floor heat throughout the house. It conducts the heat nicely, and feels pretty good on the tootsies, too.
We have 9' ceilings in our upstairs, so, in order to maximize efficiency, we added little doors above all of our closets, like you see here above our pantry.
These little storage areas are awesome for storing those items you don't use all the time. This one has the ice cream maker, juicer, casserole carriers, etc.
Our downstairs bathroom is fairly unique. I have 3 sisters and memories of getting ready for school with them/fighting for the bathroom inspired us to design a bathroom similar to those you see in hotels.
The sink and mirror are open to the main room downstairs, while the shower and toilet are in their own small room. So far, this setup has worked very well.
These days, most people have flat screen tvs. We knew we wanted to mount ours on the wall, and we knew we wanted to hide all the stuff that goes with the tv, so we planned on putting our media cabinet into the wall next to the television. Our very talented brother-in-law, who did all the beautiful trim work, took our idea and turned it into a reality.
The frosted glass obscures the receivers, wires, and such, while still letting the remote control signals pass through. A little pipe goes through the wall to an opening behind the tv for connections. At some point, I'd love to get a little table to put beneath the tv, but mostly so I have somewhere to put pretty things. The media cabinet extends into our office, but you don't get to see a picture of that because I'm still not quite moved in there.
Last on my list, but first in our hearts is our mud room. It has two huge closets, one just for Will and all his cowboy duds. And, best of all, it has lockers. One for each of us. They're pretty big, about 4 feet wide, and have plenty of shelf room and hooks. They each also have an outlet, so you can charge your cell phone, or your spotlight if you happen to have pulled night-calving duty.
The mud room is the only room in the house that doesn't have floor heat. That's because my very smart and handy husband decided to heat it with radiators.
The radiators sit just across the hall from the lockers. They do an awesome job of drying our wet clothes, and the hooks above them are really handy for the very wet items. You can see it's been a muddy April here.
As with everything, the mud room is a work in progress. I'd like to paint the backs of the lockers some fun color, but at this point I'd be happy to find homes for the multitude of orphaned items that seem to end up in my locker.
I hope you enjoyed your tour of our new digs. I am so grateful to live in this space. And, thanks, Tyson, for having me here and for all the times you let me bounce ideas off of you during this planning and building process.
Ha, she thanks me for bouncing around ideas, I was more than happy too. I enjoy still talking "shop", even though I'm pretty rusty after all this time. I LOVE all those extra details for organization and ease. You better believe she belongs right in that gourmet kitchen as well... not to take anything away from Pioneer Woman... but I think Megan could certainly give her a run for her money. I don't know about you, I think she should come back and guest post again to give a full house tour don't you think? :) I'll give her some time, since they just moved in! Her post brought back some design school memories for me with their integration of universal design. Which is design that it's more accessible to everyone now and in the future no matter their physical condition. Thank you, thank you, thank you Megan for sharing, I do hope you'll come back sometime and show us more of your beautiful home.