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The Design


You need to begin with some compelling ideas that work for you. We purchased various design books as well as looking all over the Internet at different styles, layouts, design, cost, features, size etc… until we eventually settled on what we liked best.  We got ideas from a multitude of websites and books and began sketching out the initial plans.

We also had (2) lists:

List #1 – Features We Never Wanted to See Again:

  1. Linoleum flooring & wall-to-wall carpeting
  2. Exhaust Fan over cooking range that leads (surprisingly) nowhere
  3. Hollow doors & vinyl windows (tract developers love these)
  4. Laundry room two floors away
  5. Small closets that are poorly lit
  6. Low ceilings
  7. A damp dark basement
  8. Countertops made of particle board
  9. Poor Insulation
  10. Dated lighting fixtures or dated wallpaper
  11. Electric Range/Oven

List #2 – Features We Wanted:

  1. Hardwood & Tile Flooring
  2. An exhaust hood over gas range that actually exhausts to the outside
  3. Real wood doors & French casement windows
  4. A laundry room that is super convenient
  5. Good sized, well-lit closet/storage spaces
  6. High ceilings
  7. No basement
  8. Countertops made from travertine marble
  9. Great insulation
  10. Classic lighting with dimmers
  11. Gas cooking range & convection oven

We also had various features we wanted on the outside of the house that we added as we went along. We spent a lot of time with graph paper drawing scale drawings of the house and making a lot of changes. You can get ideas from free house plans online and use them as a starting template for your project.

Sites we found helpful:

We also used pictures we took while in Spain, Costa Rica, and Mallorca. We loved elements we saw in MexiColor and MexiCasa by Melba Levick and the Belgium Pearls Blog. Architectural Digest was a great magazine source for architecture.