I know what I want next. In fact, I want so many things for my next home that it’s impossible to reconcile them.
There are the bare necessities: a dishwasher, on-site laundry, a bathroom guests can use without having to walk through our bedroom. A bedroom big enough for a queen-size bed complete with headboard and footboard. Enough space for my desk and papers and Cooper’s desk and papers to coexist comfortably along with a living room and a dining table that fits more than four people.
Whoa now, that’s already asking a lot, especially considering that we’ll still be renting at our next place, and it will most likely be an apartment. Let me make it more fantastical for you, though.
I dream of a guest bedroom/office, with a beautiful iron bed, an extra sofa or at least a pretty bench at the foot of the bed, a wall of bookshelves. I want a restful place for my friends to sleep when they visit, safe from cat fur and early wakers rumbling in the kitchen. I want doors that really close, sometimes, for the guests and for me.
I imagine a kitchen that can be clean. Fresh paint, truly flat and smooth surfaces, no weird grime. I think we might need a hood over the stove because of all the grease our current kitchen collects, but maybe cabinets without sticky paint and grooves in all the surfaces, without a forced air vent on the floor directly next to the stove, would be easy enough to clean. There’s a big table in the new kitchen, so we can cook dinners to share, with a bench or maybe a corner banquette on one or two sides.
(A home built with right angles, perhaps, although I plan on it predating World War II, and so maybe it’s too much to ask for straight floors.)
I hope for a real porch, if not at least a weird fire escape like we have now. I want to eat outside and each year, grow a few more plants than I did the year before. (All I really added to last year’s garden were prettier pots and some geraniums.)
And then sometimes, I dream really big. I see us buying a house that would be a lot more work, but probably also a lot of fun. We plant trees and fill our yard with flowers and herbs and vegetables and put solar panels on the roof. We try having our own chickens, like Ali and Drew, so we know the eggs we eat every day come from animals who are healthy and appreciated. We could host our parents for weeks at a time and give a dog a home and throw big parties.
But that’s a completely different life from the one we’re living now, and it’s not a life I’m really ready for. I want a little more space, and a different layout; I’m sick of coming up against the same limitations every time I try to make our home work better or look different. Mostly, I want to be able to better accommodate friends and family, and ease some burdens in our daily life (laundromat trips!!)—but without spending a whole lot more money, or widening our carbon footprint. I don’t want to upsize just because we can. I don’t want to accumulate anything we don’t need or truly want. I get frustrated now sometimes because we have too much furniture, not enough space for our things to breathe, no room to pull out couches to clean under them. It’s so easy for the cats to run from one piece of furniture to the next as they chase each other wildly in the evening, following the furniture packed into the perimeter and endangering the plants, the lamps, the external hard drives I haven’t put away because I’m not done with them yet. It’s only a matter of time before they cause a cataclysm.
But, you know, I really don’t know where I’ll be living next year. Anything could happen, be it a real bed or a laundry closet next to the bedroom or three bedrooms, a garage, and a chicken coop.
What else? What do you plan on changing when, or if, you move again?