Save. Spend. Splurge.

Mockup #2: Designing my Future Dream Home

Okay so I showed IDEAS of what we wanted our home to be before, but we have completely redone things and while it’s still a work in progress, what’s rest is just stuff to decorate or whatever. The actual bones of the home and the ideas thus far, are as follows.


Top: Garage

On the left side off the garage:

  • Master closet
  • Master bedroom
  • Master ensuite
  • Bathroom
  • Kitchen

On the right side off the garage:

  • Mudroom
  • My closet / office (the third bedroom)
  • Little Bun’s bedroom
  • Pantry
  • Living area

Bottom: Patio

Here were our overarching needs for the home (then each room needed details):

  • Maximum 2000 square feet living space – We don’t want to have too big or too small of a home. Every inch has to be useful.
  • One level living – I don’t enjoy stairs and my future senior knees won’t either.
  • Basement – We added a basement for the entire length of the home as well, so technically the home is 4000 square feet, but we aren’t planning on living there at all. It’s just there if we need it, and good for resale value
  • Large garage – this one is 4 cars wide because I do not want to bother trying to park super carefully any more. I want to just drive in and be done with it. Also I am assuming we will store bicycles and things to the side and other things we do not necessarily want in a storage room or the house.
  • No wasted space – We dislike strange corners, oddly shaped rooms, so we kept everything into a rectangle so there is no wasted space, and we have corners without weird spots to fill. It may not feel very ‘homey’ but it’s simple and clear.
  • Large kitchen – We wanted a really big space. Everyone meets here.
  • 2 bathrooms – Master, and general because no one enjoys waiting for the bathroom.
  • Closet / Office – For me, it’s like a third bedroom that I am claiming as my space
  • Keep the plumbing in the same place – If possible. Saves on money, etc.

Now for each room in detail!


From the corner of the home with my back to the patio, this is what I am seeing:

  • Dining area big enough for more people – Today, we drag out the office tables and set up a dining section EACH TIME we want to have people over. Thankfully we only did this once a year, pre-Covid.
  • Counter to sit 4 people – Comfortably, and the one in the middle in front of the massive farmhouse wink WILL NOT have to eat beside the sink, as there will be space in front of them to have their place comfortably. We eat here all the time and hang out here to chat.

  • Two ovens – There is the oven under the cooktop and another one to the right. My partner wanted two – one for sweet, other for savoury.
  • Extra sink – Kitchen has a small side sink as you will note, beside the microwave and extra oven. We want this because it is always handy to have a sink for cooking – to get water, wash things quickly, and the other main sink could be filled with dirty dishes and we don’t need to clean it out each time (this is what he does) because he needs it for water or whatever.
  • Other than that, pretty standard.

  • Large Farmhouse sink in the island – Did I mention how massive this sink will be? We have big pots and I am annoyed it isn’t big enough.
  • Dishwasher – We have a dishwasher on the left (I left it sticking out so I could see it in the overview image)
  • Small bar fridge – My partner complains about my things like my smelly curries that apparently destroy the flavour of cheeses in the main fridge, so I am putting in a SPECIFIC bar fridge JUST FOR ME to put all the stuff that stinks/smells up the rest of the items in the main fridge.
  • Please note the wall to ceiling doors and windows off the house onto the patio. <3 Lots of light and space.
  • Two sets of doors on either side of the back – We have two sets of doors on either side so that we can open them both and have airflow come in. We were considering pocket patio doors to be able to open the whole back of the house like a window and have the living flow into the outside, but we are likely scrapping that idea as it is very expensive, we wouldn’t use it often living in Canada (only 3-4 real months of open space weather), lots of bugs would come in (HATE) and it may not be such a great idea with snow in the winter and so on, as it will seep in and maybe cause house issues.



The area is boring. We will put a desk here for my partner who likes to blare French TV everywhere, the piano.. but it is open for whatever we want it to end up being later on.


As mentioned above, we just have a space that is efficient as possible in terms of no wasted corners or strange things like that.

We have one hallway, at the end is the door to the garage (mudroom off the right), and doors open to different rooms.


This is the room off to the RIGHT of the house, beside the living area.

This is my partner’s domain.

  • Deep freezer for extra space
  • No cleaning supplies or brooms in here
  • Pure food / storage of food or food-related items only
  • This is not near the garage/mudroom because when you’re cooking it makes no sense to go back and forth down the hallway to grab items to cook with. We want things near to the kitchen to access.
  • No window – we don’t want the sunlight coming in and ruining food for whatever reason


He decorated it himself. He wanted hearts, a bookcase with some sunflowers on there, books, a bed, and a desk with a couch on the side. Plus he has a good sized closet…


And now we come to my crown jewel of the home. My SHE WING… Okay, more like a She Room, but it’s my own sanctum sanctorum.

  • I have it divided into three zones: Closet/Dressing Area (right when you walk in), Reading Nook on the left and Office on the Right.
  • Closets – You will notice something strange. Closets on the left, and a massive picture on the right? Well, it’s because I am planning on having frosted glass doors on the left when you walk in, and plain doors on the right where I shall wallpaper them into a split mural look kind of like this so I will have a massive mural that hides my closets on one side (I won’t do both sides, it’s far too busy otherwise):

  • Privacy screen – I want a curtain or some sort of privacy screen because I HATE being snuck up on when I am working or doing something. When people open the door to the side of behind me, it freaks me out, so I want a privacy screen that I can open or close at will. So that’s what that brown thing is.

  • This is from the point of view at the back by the corner of the room so you can see everything from another angle.
  • Privacy screen – You can see it a bit better here – it blocks the office from view.
  • The office desk is at the back – Some shelves are there – I need space to put all the papers and things I have, but away from view, so I am considering a cabinet of some sort in addition to shelving. Haven’t decided on it yet, kind of need to see the space

  • Reading Nook – You can see the nook at the back I have created for myself. I am re-introducing back the chill chair to sit in with a blanket and books. I will obviously need a small side table that is open so I can put my e-reader there, a charging station, snacks, and so on.
  • I am strongly considering an Eames chair. Or something similar because I’ve always found them elegant and ridiculously comfy
  • The back of the wall there, will either just have art or some open shelving, probably art as I do not like having shelves over my head no matter how secure. I am actually considering something like this by the back (higher shelves though), and my chair underneath, like a display section for some of my favourite purses.


  • To the right you will see a LARGE white dresser. This will be my accessories armoire, where I will have all my necklaces, bracelets and the like stored there. I need a separate cabinet completely for my jewellery once and for all. I don’t mind if it’s massive either as it will have shallow drawers and should have more than enough space for my jewellery plus all my upcycled works.
  • The back of that dresser on the wall where you see this mesh kind of artwork, I plan on maybe putting up a mirror in the middle and having my necklaces all around it like artwork on display, kind of like this in this gorgeous bathroom by J.J. Martin for Architectural Digest. I can choose my favourite pieces (light ones that won’t bring the wall down), and are interesting. Plus I will be able to still reach them to wear on occasion but they will be on display.



Down at the end of the hall, beside my cloffice, you will have the mudroom before the garage. We have always wanted a mudroom that was big enough for everything to come in from the garage, and this is it.

  • Door to the garage/cars off to the side on the left
  • A small table near the front of the door where you can set bags and things down (groceries)
  • Longer benches across the back if there are more people who need to sit and remove their shoes and so on plus storage underneath
  • On the other side: small bench to set things down on or to sit down on quickly before heading out the door (if need be)

This is the view from the mudroom itself, as you come down the hall, I put a massive mirror so you can check yourself before you leave through the garage door.

  • We put a big open bookcase idea there on the left as our drop zone. We can drop keys, wallet, have sunscreen, sunglasses, things we need to grab before we head out the door. Little Bun will have his shelves as well, maybe a schoolbag drop zone? We also want a tray to put papers in there before we head out – like a postage / postal reminder of “hey we need to mail these packages or letters”
  • Big mirror in the hallway to check yourself before you leave the house (must-have)
  • The door you see beside the big mirror is what leads into the basement
  • We have a small stool beside the table because it is where my partner likes to put his boots there to lace up or unlace (it’s harder on your back when you sit on a bench and bend over to do it, and better if you can keep your back straight)


  • Enough space for 4 cars (it takes two, 2-car garage doors for the length)
  • That little section you see off to the left is the spot for storage and things for the garage.
  • We can also keep things in the garage itself (bicycles and the like), but it is nice to have a little room where you can hang up tools as well.

Now moving onto the other half of the house, going back inside.


This is right off the garage (well technically the master closet is off the garage first), and then the master bedroom is after it:

  • Little Bun decorated it. It’s just a big bed (we sleep on a futon however)
  • The door you see in front by that floating cabinet in white is the master bathroom
  • The door you see to the right of the bed, is to the walk-in master closet and it is only for my partner’s use. That weird bump out is the section for the stairs to go into the basement.

Then the master bathroom:

  • In the end, we decided against a bathtub because we really don’t use one, and we are building it with showers instead. But, there’s space to put a bathtub if needed, or even rip out the shower and put a bathtub instead. Up to whoever buys it.


  • Full tiling – We will be tiling all the walls and the floors because water condensation… and we want it easy to clean and be ‘waterproof’. I am not ruling out tiling the ceiling as well so it is easy to wipe down and clean.
  • Water closet – We are toying with the idea of a water closet, basically a separate section for the bathroom. My partner’s reasoning is if someone is showering, they don’t want to see you using the toilet at the same time if need be (it has totally happened where Little Bun ran in and HAD TO USE THE BATHROOM) Anyway, he likes the idea because it’s what they do in fancy hotels. We’ve got the space so why not?
  • The sink is beside the shower, and we have a cupboard against the wall to store things.

  • We also have the laundry room to the side and an area for cleaning supplies and brooms.
  • I want a valet rod to be able to hang my items to steam.
  • We put a table in there because it’s handy to put a laundry basket on top or to use it to fold things.
  • Shelving for things on the side, and a drying rack in the corner because there are some things I only air dry.

And that’s it!

Oh and the patio outside. I have to work on this as part three, but we also have lots of ideas for our outside:

  • A type of red thyme to avoid having to cut grass ever again
  • Raised garden beds outside (so we don’t have to bend)
  • Patio area for BBQ – obviously
  • Heated driveways are a MUST
  • Solar panels – not as many as we wanted originally, maybe just a few instead to help with the bills/store energy etc.

We have the space pretty much ‘optimized’ for efficiency and considering what it will need for space (e.g. stairs going to the basement), as well as thinking of pipes being all together to make it easier, from a plumbing standpoint (both bathrooms and laundry room in the same area, right off the kitchen).

In each room, I am changing things every day in terms of layout, thinking of what we would need based on how we live now – like those tables and benches in the mudroom, space for the coats, shoes and boots (I AM NOT keeping footwear in the bedroom / closet because I actually find it a bit disgusting as the shoes have been outside and on the ground, and now they’re IN MY CLOSET? No.)


I am still reading the book recommended to me – The Not So Big House that covers EXACTLY what I want to build in our future home – something that is going to meet OUR needs as individuals (like my cloffice nook area for instance).

So that does it for me. That’s our current design, pending a few design changes, or extra things added.


  • StackingCash

    Huge fan of this process. I do have one question, I’m assuming the patio backyard will be facing south to collect the most sunlight? Will you have a patio cover? In regards to solar would it be viable to build a solar battery shed? Will you have access to natural gas? Tankless water heater? Will you need traditional air conditioning and heating? Curious on how you will work the utility aspect.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh I don’t know any of this yet. It all depends on the land, then we have to decide the orientation, THEN fix all the windows and doors to make sure it makes sense.

      As for a shed – yes I think that would be possible. With natural gas – it all depends on the land as well. We have to figure out where it is, then go through the checklist. We aren’t planning on buying a non-residential piece of land either. The pipes should be already there, or close by….

      For the A/C and heating, I saw something that looked like it could do both. I have to hunt in my notes but it was pretty efficient, about $10K for the unit for the size of our ideal home. That said, until we get a developer and actually start realizing the plans, a lot of things might change.

  • Jennifer

    I enjoy looking at your layout and reading your thought processes about how you will use your space.

    My suggestion is to also think about how your space may accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility/aging supporting gear. There are some changes that would be easy to fix if mobility was an issue but other things may become more difficult.

    How wide are the doors? How high are the light switches, are the electrical sockets easily reached? Would a chair be able to enter the pantry? Would the chair move easily around the island? Is it easy to open the windows from a sitting position? Are you able to reach the water taps at the sink and in the shower? Are you able to turn the shower on without being under the showerhead? How easy is the reach for the toilet? I’m sure there are more things to consider once you really start going over your plans. It may make sense to find a person who specializes in this style of planning look over your designs and offer suggestions. I am aware that having these design features has been positive on resale as well.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      !!! BRILLIANT. I am adding that in my list. We have everything at one level, the basement is just a nice to have/must have. I suspect we do have space for all that but I did not consider light switches and so on.

      Thank you for adding this extra nuance to my thinking.

      • Jennifer

        I think having the full basement is great – because Canada! One floor living takes a lot of the guesswork out on being able to stay in your own home as well. This is all the fun part of the planning!

  • livingalmostlarge

    How much will this cost to build? Nicely thought out for you. I always think custom homes are whatever people want.

  • evelin

    Thank you for sharing, and the thoughts behind your decisions. I love floor plans! I miss a regular house door. Where is the parcel man ringing? where are little bun or neighbours, friends coming in? do they all walk through your garage? or entering via the little storage between garage and mudroom?

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Okay, so the parcel person will be ringing at the side door of the garage. As far as we have planned it, we do not want a grand front door or anything like that. I am rethinking this only because.. CURB APPEAL.. but we need to reflect on this more.

      They just walk through the garage, through the mudroom. That’s the plan…. as they all do anyway. Front doors are just a thing for show as far as I recall (we never had people come in our front doors as children), so I am thinking maybe we will put one off the side of the garage.

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