How I Created the Home of My Dreams on a Budget …
We all dream of having a house that we can be proud of. A few years ago, my husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to build our own home. We wanted to make sure that we got everything exactly right – after all, this is the place that we are going to be living and raising our children in for the next couple of decades.
However, there was not a limitless pool of funds, so we had to make sure we were smart about the way we did things. Here are a few examples of the goals that I wanted to achieve and how we managed them without breaking the bank:
Plenty of Natural Light
I crave natural light. It was really important for us to ensure that there was plenty of sunlight streaming in. You can achieve this with either roof windows or tubular skylights – functioning as reflective devices that bring a really amazing amount of light into your home. We ended up going for a combination of the two and are ecstatic with the result. Best of all, these options were surprisingly affordable and over the long term will save us plenty on electricity bills.
Flexible Meals Area
We are big entertainers, but with 4 children aged 5 to 16, getting everyone to the dining room for meals can be a challenge. I’m forever in the kitchen cooking or preparing snacks for kids on the run. My husband usually gets home after the kids’ dinner time and I don’t want him to eat alone. So, we came up with the idea of using our kitchen counter as an informal meals area. That way I can still be productive, yet engaged with the kids while they eat.
We found an amazing online designer furniture store called Brosa and got much of our furniture from them. Brosa’s bar stools were the perfect solution to our little dilemma. We got exactly the look that we were going for at a really reasonable price.
The Hanging Fireplace
To be honest, this one was a bit of an extravagance.
I loved fireplaces ever since I was a little girl and desperately wanted one in our new home. However, the traditional fireplace just didn’t fit with the more modern feel that we were creating and we had some issues finding the right place to build one into the wall. I did some research, and found the most jaw-droppingly divine hanging fireplaces. The free standing fireplace solved our logistical problems, and building the flute into the ceiling was easily done.
With so many kids, it is great to be able to take advantage of summer with a well-equipped outdoor entertainment area. We built a beautiful pine deck over part of the lawn, got ourselves a decent barbeque and sturdy outdoor furniture from Ikea, and voila! The kids can run around, hubby gets his steak, everyone’s happy.
Creative Storage Ideas
As any parent knows, we are constantly accumulating insane amounts of stuff and finding places to store it is a never-ending challenge. Our architect came up with some really clever ideas to build storage into the existing features of the house.
For example, we build a set of pull out cupboards for the space under the stairs.
In the kids’ playroom, instead of a sofa, we simply installed a couple of rows of cubes, attached some comfy foam covered with nice fabric to the top, and got a bunch of storage baskets to stick into each cube. This way we saved space and had plenty of room for all the toys. Now, if we can just get them to clean up after themselves, everything will be perfect!