The coolest house on the block

I cannot wait to be in our new house.

But alas, wait I shall.

Waiting is apparently the name of the game while building a house.

In case you are not up to speed, we bought a tear-down house when I was over-due with Carter, and now we are in the process of getting permits to build.

The permitting process is the least fun part (I hope), and we are essentially in line to get an appointment, which then gets us in line to get a permit.  So we are in line to get in line.  Ugh.

Outside of that slog, we are crazy excited about how our plans turned out.  

We went through a few rounds of revisions and I think we have it perfect now...or as pretty close to perfect as we can.
Front of the house
Chris and I each have our "things" that were non-negotiable about the house. Some things we agree on, others we don't. 

My absolute-non-negotiable-item/hill-I-was-willing-to-die-on revolves around the boys (human and canine).  To me, if we are going to go to the time and expense of building a custom home, we damn well better make it unique and custom to us.

What I mean, is that I wanted to make rooms in our house that were specially designed with our family in mind, rather than just the resale value. 

So, when it came time to finalizing the house, I had one mission- make this the coolest house on the block... for the boys.

For me, that meant a "secret room" for Hunter & Carter and a special dog shower for Ketchy.

The secret room took a few different shapes, but always was essentially a special playroom for the boys that would be accessed in a "cool" way.

We decided to utilize the attic space above their bedrooms to build out their secret room. We went through rounds and rounds of options of how they would access that room- ideas went from ladders, to pull down stairs, fireman poles and rope ladders.

While we were still circling around the possibilities, our architect realized that she had read the building code wrong and our house was 5 feet too long.


So, she had to essentially move every wall in the house by a few inches/feet to be able to chop 5 feet off the length. When she did this, it elimitated some of the space for our playroom access- leaving us with limited options.

She presented the idea of an exposed spiral staircase, which was not exactly my cup of tea.

I hated the idea of having a bulky spiral staircase being visible in our upstairs living area. I don't love the look of them and I felt like it conflicted with the craftsman style of the house.

With very limited options, we finally decided to go with the spiral stair on one condition...I concocted an idea that seemed a bit crazy, but a lot cool.

We scooted the spiral stairs into our master closet by just a few feet, which gave us enough space to build a wall around the stairs and enclose them. Then, we added a sliding wall to completely hide them.

So, to the untrained eye, it will appear to be a simple built-in bookshelf in a hallway.

To my kids, it will be the coolest party trick ever.

Heck, it may be my go-to party trick too!

We are still refining the details, but either the bookshelf with have a hidden latch and swing open, or the hallway wall will slide.  Either way, it's going to be awesome.

The stairs will take you to the attic, which will have ample ceiling height, dormer windows on 3 sides, and plenty of space to pretend they are stowaways on a train, pirates out in the ocean, or whatever they can dream up that day.

And I'd like to think that someday, if we ever sell this house, that another family with small children will buy it and appreciate this little detail.

For Ketchy, he was not left out of the design process at all. He's going to enjoy having a circular yard to run around, not to mention the dog park 2 houses away. 

He doesn't even realize that he will have the luxury of having his own shower in the basement.  So, after a long day or digging muddy holes in my brand new yard, he can trot down the deck stairs to the basement and walk into his very own shower.
I can't guarantee that he will get to be alone in that shower.  I'm sure the boys will think a small shower is a novelty, but I bet he won't mind.

He'll be happy, the boys will be happy and I will be happy, because I will no longer have to carry a muddy 70 pound dog across the living room and heave him into a clawfoot tub.

There are plenty of other cool features in the house, but these were the ones I cared most about. 

Once I have a free moment (so maybe sometime when the boys are in middle school), I'll clean up our plans and post them all. Start holding your breath now.

With luck, we will be through the permitting process by June and can finally break ground....and then all of this is going to finally feel real.