We moved into our current house not quite three years ago (that’s almost a record for us; click on the “Parade of Homes” label on the right-side column for more on that). It was a new-build, and we got to make several of the choices, but some of the choices had already been made by the sales agent. We got quite a few upgrades at no cost because she had chosen them before we signed the contract. That was mostly a good thing, but having now lived in the house, I would make some changes if I could.
In the following diagram, the one on top is the base model. Notice how the kitchen does not go all the way across the back of the house. On the bottom is the optional enlarged kitchen, which goes all the way across, and is what we have, thanks to the sales agent.
I like having the extra space, for sure. We have more counter space, more cabinets, and the big laundry room. Since I had them put the laundry on the second floor with the bedrooms (love!), this laundry room has become the mudroom (double love!). We also got a bigger dining “room”, which was important since we don’t have a formal dining room.
However, it’s still not really big enough. The dining room dimensions on the enlarged floor plan are 9’4”x9’4”, which is pretty tiny to begin with, but you also have to have enough room to access the pantry and walk past the desk to get to the family room. In addition, the outside wall of the dining area has sliding doors which will be our access to the deck, whenever that becomes a reality. It will be a really tight squeeze to the have the table and enough room for the pantry and walk-thru on one side, and to be able to use the sliding doors on the other side.
Here’s what I wish we would/could have done had we realized all this upfront. First, I wish we had added the optional boxed bay window to the dining area, as shown in this photo of the model home. That alone would have solved the future deck access problem.
Second, I wish that we had said let’s keep the enlarged kitchen, but shorten the long countertop a little and add the peninsula that the original kitchen has. I would have lost a couple of upper cabinets, but I have more than I know what to do with anyway. I would have gained at least a couple feet of floor space in the dining area. Plus, I think it may have made the kitchen workflow a little more efficient.
If I had the peninsula, maybe I could even get a couple of modern bar stools, like this awesome Navy Barstool by Emeco. Never hurts to dream, right?