David and I knew long before I would go to school to become an architect that we would build our forever home. It wasn’t really an option: we would be building, no matter what the naysayers would, well, say haha. Now that my educational path is clear, it’s become so much more than a personal family investment, but an imperative part of my growth as a residential architect, and a showcase of my creativity and design.

The items on this list are my personal favorites if you are going to be building a home. When you build, there are endless ways of personalization for your families needs; one of my absolute favorite aspects of custom home design! With that in mind, let’s just imagine that all of the necessity boxes have been checked (bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.) and the items listed are the “splurges”. There are so many fun options for custom homes, but these are my picks! I’d love to know what you think!

1 | Butler’s Pantry

Photo Cred: House Beautiful

Beyond the essentials, this is my absolute favorite feature of custom homes, and the first thing I’d request in my own! Not only is it incredibly functional, but often beautiful as well! I am a sucker for organized spaces, and these walk-in pantries really take the cake. It can even be used to hide the things you use often, but aren’t necessarily the most attractive feature in your kitchen (coffee maker, microwave, etc.) I just love the STORAGE. Maybe that’s because I’m currently living in a shoebox, and it’s the thing I crave most… but who doesn’t love more storage, am I right?!

2 | Pantry Pass-Through

This feature goes right along with your butler’s pantry: a garage grocery pass-through door! I think this is absolutely brilliant. Sure, it might be a bit superficial, but WHO CARES. The option to pass my groceries right from the trunk of my car into my pantry?? Steal my heart. I’m all about convenience, and this solution is simply brilliance.

3 | Dog Washing Station

Photo Cred: The Glam Pad

David and I are avid dog lovers. To the point that I maaaaaybe have mentioned having my own dog rescue several times to him over the two and a half years we’ve been married. He’ll come around. (; Regardless, we’re settled on the fact that having dogs will inevitably be a part of our home and family life, so any dog-friendly spaces are ingenious in my book. This dog washing station is perfect for a family that will spend time outside with their dogs! No more muddy paw prints all through the house just to get Fido into the bath.

4 | Home Theater

We are huge movie lovers. So much of our quality time comes from gas station snacks, and movies, and we LOVE it. Having a home theater is the perfect gathering place for families, as well as the party spot for teenage kids bringing their friends over on a Friday night! (Fun fact about me: I absolutely love teenagers, and I can’t wait until we have kids that age in our home, bringing their high school drama and bad attitudes with them. Am I crazy? You could say that.)

5 | Retractable Window Walls

Space to entertain is so important to me. Not to mention I have serious passion about homes being less like a brick, and more like a lantern, so walls of windows give me heart eyes. Every. Single. Time. For me, indoor-outdoor space to have friends and family over for big get togethers, cook outs, and parties require a beautiful window wall that can be pushed back to bring the outdoors in with ease.

6 | Library or Book Nook

Everyone loves curling up with a good book! (Some people, only in their minds. Guilty as charged.) I’m a sucker for quiet, serene spaces to sit and read. These fairytale conjuring places entice us to escape reality to another world. I think we all need that every once in a while, don’t you?

7 | Weight Room

David’s been lifting weights for about a year now, and loves it. Since we want to live in a more rural area than we do currently, having our own weight room would save so much time for him not having to travel to and from the gym! I love these examples, again, with their open windows and inside-outside integration. Perfect for a yoga studio… mm yes, I like that idea.

8 | Sleepover Bunks

Am I the only one that thinks these are just awesome?? I would have been in kid heaven with these awesome bunks in my bedroom when I was young! I love the idea of all the cousins getting together and hanging out, or even just having your own space away from your siblings for a little while. For when we get old, the grandkids could all be together too! What a great use of space, especially if your budget doesn’t allow for a one-room-per-kid situation.

9 | Walk In Closet with Windows and Seating

I love a good window seat, and one in the closet just makes so much sense! No more struggle with your socks and shoes in the morning. (Is that just me?) Now, you may be thinking “I don’t know how I feel about windows in the closet…” and I totally get you! Something awesome I came across the other day was Switch Glass that provides a perfect solution! There’s a laminated film inside two pieces of glass filled with liquid crystals that are transparent when dormant, and turn into privacy glass when electrically charged with the flick of a switch! They can also be hooked up to a remote, so you can turn it on any time you want. Brilliant!

Here’s an example of the Switch Glass I was talking about! Cool right?

10 | Mudroom

This borderlines on the “essentials” list, but not everyone feels they need an entirely separate room for backpacks and boots. For us–kids and dogs running around–our future definitely needs a catch-all space to save our floors and furniture from inevitable mess. Huge bonus for me is the dutch door. Steal my heart x2!

What did you think of my top 10 choices to include in building a home? I’d love to hear what your must-haves are! Let me know in the comments below! Until next time, à bientôt!

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