The great thing about building your own family home is that I got to do all the things I had always dreamed about (like this incredible DIY penny floor). Given how much we put into it, we’re not planning to move any time soon, but if we were, these are the over-the-top home features I would definitely want in my house. (What? A man can dream!).
A Greenhouse for All Seasons
In southern Ontario, the gardening season is way too short. Gardening is a big part of my life and I would love to be able to extend it through the winter. A greenhouse would allow me to do that. Gardening is like my meditation – it’s relaxing, it’s a great way to spend time with my kids and it helps the whole family lead a healthier life.
A Bowling Alley for Parties
Remember when Aaron Spelling built that massive house in LA back in the late ’80s? Everyone made a big deal about the fact it had a bowling alley in it. It became the benchmark of crazy, over-the-top houses and everyone thought it was nuts. But all I could think was “wow, someday I want one of those.” In the end I didn’t do it because it just seemed silly, but I haven’t ruled it out for the next house!
An Epic Water Slide
If we’re talking pure fantasy here, I would love to have a giant water slide. I’ve seen those shows about wild, over-the-top pools with slides that come down from the second floor of the house and I’ve dreamed about doing something similar. I know it’s ridiculous and not even remotely practical, but it’s fun to think about. Pool party game on fleek! (Are the kids still saying that?).
A Recording Studio
I feel like I spend half my life driving to studios to do voice-overs and I would love to save time by having a studio at my house. It sounds like something only Grammy-winning musicians and Real Housewives do (or so I’m told), but in reality, it’s actually pretty easy and relatively inexpensive. I kind of regret not doing it the first time around.
An Awesome Arcade
Is it practical? No. Is it awesome? Yes. Sure, you could get a gaming console and play all sorts of newfangled games on the TV, but there’s a certain nostalgia factor that comes into play with old-fashioned, stand-up arcade games. Pac-Man or Skee-Ball anyone?
A Second Staircase
When I was designing my home I decided to put in an elevator instead of a second staircase. One of the reasons was because with aging parents and other family members spending time in our home, accessibility was a priority. The other reason was that it was actually less expensive. But in retrospect, I should have found a way to put in a staircase closer to the kitchen and side entrance. If I’m on my way out the door and I realize I’ve forgotten my phone in the bedroom it takes forever to go back and get it. I’ve even been known to get a bit winded on the journey.
An Outdoor Pizza Oven
I love to cook and entertain, particularly in the summer when we can spend time outside. I love our back patio and I’ve got an awesome BBQ, but the one thing it’s missing is a pizza oven. I’ve always wanted one and just never thought about it when we were designing the patio. #regrets
A Spectacular Bedroom Balcony
So, I was planning on a small balcony off the master bedroom. But then during the final weeks of construction, someone on the crew drove around the back of the house and drove right into the balcony’s support structure. True story. I’d really like to have that balcony, but perhaps it’s not meant to be.
An Outdoor Theatre
One thing I keep seeing on Pinterest is outdoor theatres that you can see from the patio or pool. I LOVE the idea of lying on a pool float and watching a movie on a summer night. It’s not a reality now, but maybe someday.
An Income Suite
I have an in-law suite in the basement that we reserve for family. But given the cost of all these features I’m dreaming about, I may have to rent it out instead to make the money to pay for it all!