New Home Must Haves

As a home designer, I wanted to know what people are looking for in their homes. So I asked the smartest, most helpful people I know: my Instagram friends! They/Y’all really came through with some stellar lists and ideas. I think this list is so valuable for those moving or thinking of building to give them ideas for things they may want or need and haven’t really thought to ask their realtor or builder. It’s also very useful for me to make sure I’m putting these items into the homes I’m designing too! If you contributed by answering my survey questions, THANK YOU!!

The list below is categorized and consolidated. For example, in my survey, multiple people said they wanted outlets in the pantry, but I only list it once. I do point out some of the more popular answers on my lists below, meaning many contributors mentioned those particular items in my survey.

Without further ado, here’s a list of

New House Must Haves:

Exterior :

  • Charming
  • Front porch (The #1 answer) (AKA Farmer’s Porch)
  • Hardie board/ board and batten/wood siding
  • Wrap around porch
  • Screened in porch
  • Big back deck/patio for entertaining
  • Pool
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Stone
  • Welcoming front door
  • Porch swing
  • Not boxy
  • Flat driveway
  • Pretty garage
  • Trees
  • Curb appeal
  • Texture/multiple/mixed materials like stone and siding
  • Dormers
  • Nice, plentiful windows
  • Side-facing garage
  • Painted white
  • Wood garage doors

Kitchen:

  • (Large) island (with seating) (This was the #1 answer in the kitchen category)
  • Loads of storage
  • Lots of counter space
  • Mostly drawers (instead of cabinets in lowers)
  • Pull-out shelves in lower cabinets
  • Window(s) over sink
  • Walk-in (large) pantry (with outlets inside, see also outlet category)
  • Hidden garbage (and recycle cans
  • 2 dishwashers
  • Industrial (XL) refrigerator/freezer
  • Natural light
  • Special cabinets with storage solutions, ex: KitchenAid mixer, coffee maker, paper towel drawer
  • White cabinets
  • Wood accents
  • Good flow/no bottlenecks
  • Farmhouse sink
  • Pot filler
  • Cabinets up to the ceiling
  • Built-in griddle
  • Open shelves
  • Double islands
  • Instant hot water tap
  • Built-in refrigerator/cabinet or panel-ready refrigerator
  • Charging drawer
  • 2 side by side ranges/double ovens
  • Side by side full sized refrigerator and freezer
  • Dark/Moody cabinets
  • Eat-in nook
  • Built-in microwave (microwave drawer)
  • Ice-maker

Storage:

  • Under the stairs storage
  • Basement as storage
  • Mudroom/Lockers for purses & backpacks, drawers for shoes
  • In garage for bikes and toys
  • Walk-out attic
  • Big pantry
  • Drop zone near garage entry
  • Storage for holiday decor
  • For off-season clothes/ High-up closet rods that pull down
  • Safe Room
  • Food Storage/Bulk/Costco
  • Linens
  • Coat closet/storage (for family, not just guests) by garage/mudroom
  • Storage above garage with stairs, not attic ladder
  • Mudroom with laundry area in it
  • A decor walk-in closet/room
  • Every bedroom needs a walk-in closet

Bathrooms:

  • Double vanity in primary bath
  • Deep/soaker tub
  • Space for hamper
  • Separate tub and shower
  • Water closet/separate toilet room
  • Walk-in shower (with bench)
  • Not builder grade faucets
  • Nice lighting
  • Laundry chute from upstairs bath
  • No glass shower doors to clean (this was mentioned multiple times, people are tired of cleaning glass doors)
  • Natural light
  • Lots of drawers
  • Sconces on each side of mirror
  • Shower niche/storage for shampoo, etc out of sight
  • Claw foot tub
  • Heated floors
  • Bigger tile, therefore less grout to clean
  • Exterior (pool, lawn) access to one bathroom
  • Shiplap
  • hidden outlets (for hair dryers, etc)
  • Tall counters
  • Steam shower
  • Storage for cleaning supplies in each bathroom
  • Tile surrounding toilet (This contributor says its a “game changer” … I agree it would definitely be good for boys’ bathrooms, just sayin’!)
  • Spray wands in every shower, if only for easily cleaning the shower itself
  • Linen closet
  • Cabinet above toilet for TP, etc.
  • A bathroom for each bedroom

Laundry Room:

  • Sink (popular answer)
  • Folding counter
  • Broom/mops/vacuum closet or cabinet (with outlet)
  • Cabinets for cleaning supplies
  • Big and bright
  • Dog (kid/husband (ha!)) shower/washing station (popular answer)
  • Hanging rod
  • Washer/Dryer in Owner’s Closet
  • An Upstairs W/D for upstairs bedrooms
  • An island
  • A place for pet bowls, food storage, litter
  • A place to iron
  • Built-in hampers
  • built-in (fold away/slide-out) drying rack
  • Cabinets for laundry detergents
  • Close proximity to mudroom/combined with mudroom
  • Basket storage for clean (folded) clothes that are waiting to be put away
  • Place for extra refrigerator or freezer
  • Connected to Owner’s Closet
  • Brick floors

Special Outlets/electrical:

  • Under counters in kitchen
  • Plenty of outside outlets
  • Eave outlets for string/party lights and Christmas lights
  • On mantel for holiday decor
  • In Pantry for small appliances, stick vac, dustbuster
  • On wall behind wall hung TVs
  • Coat closet for cordless vacuum
  • Inside drawers in bathrooms for toothbrushes, hair dryers, etc
  • Outlets in bedroom closets (for iron, steamer, charging, etc)
  • Floor outlet near sofa
  • Outlets in storm shelter, designated safe place/ Safe Room
  • Under Kitchen island by seating
  • Outlets in drop zone (for charging)
  • Inside appliance garage, coffee cabinet, special KitchenAid cabinet
  • Use Smart outlets wherever possible
  • Outlets with USB jacks
  • Nighlight outlets in bathrooms
  • Under each window for electric holiday candles
  • Each end of the stairs for lighted Christmas garland
  • Behind Owner’s headboard for charging/lamps
  • Inside Mudroom lockers

Miscellaneous/General:

  • Big windows/Lots of natural light
  • French doors
  • Foyer (not just walk right into Living Room)
  • Mudroom
  • Kitchen with lots of windows
  • Basement
  • Primary/Owner’s bedroom downstairs
  • Fireplace
  • Sunroom/Screened porch
  • Open concept
  • Pantry with window(s)
  • Office that can double as guest room (Murphy bed)
  • Hidden printer drawer, large
  • Lots of character/doesn’t look newly built/cookie cutter
  • Modern light fixtures and hardware
  • 2 living areas
  • No formal Dining or Living Rooms
  • Outdoor entertaining space
  • A place for the piano
  • French doors that go out to porch
  • Mudroom with doggie bath
  • Large open living spaces
  • A good vent hood for stove/range
  • “Costco” door from garage to pantry
  • Home office space
  • Closet from bedroom
  • His/her closets
  • His/her toilets
  • Ample closet space
  • Workout space
  • Indoor gardening space with access to backyard
  • Outdoor shower
  • Gameroom

When I was typing up this list, I realized many, if not most, of the items on this list are incorporated into the Floor Plan I created for my own family home. My FLOOR PLANS are now available for sale as a complete construction set. Here’s a LINK. More photos of my home can be found on Instagram @the.old.barn . I’d love to see you there and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Home Building? You may also like this Post: Money Saving Questions to Ask Yourself When Building a Home



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