the more i search for houseplans, the pickier i am becoming. i've looked at hundreds (thousands?) of houseplans. i've actually always enjoyed looking at blueprints, so finding a house that suits us has been really fun for me. but i want something particular (i guess). i can tell if it's wrong or right within a second of it popping up on the computer screen. why aren't all houses open concept nowadays? even when i click 'open concept,' i end up looking at closed off galley kitchens. houseplans tend to be peninsula-city (and i want an island!)

so, as i'm looking (and looking, and looking) i've noticed some things that are deal-breakers for me.

here are the things i need in a layout:
  • powder room (not off kitchen or dining room!)
  • open concept
  • dining room + breakfast area in kitchen (i can be swayed on this one)
  • kitchen island (even a decent peninsula would work)
  • if one-story -- split bedrooms (that's: master on one side, "kids" on the other)
  • if two-story -- master and laundry on main floor
  • foyer
  • laundry room/mudroom (with a window would be nice)
  • jack-and-jill bathroom (hello? these are few and far between)
  • water closet in master bath
  • separate tub and shower in master
  • pantry (walk-in would be great. decent sized cabinet-style would be fine. c'mon)
  • loft area upstairs for computer
  • deck
i have found a plan that i can't seem to get out of my head. it checks all the boxes (minus jack-and-jill bathroom, window in laundry room, loft) plus it has 'future bonus space' above the garage. i'm just not sure what we'll be approved for (square footage-wise), and this one is at the max of what i'm assuming.


paying off debt

we've got a lot of debt. after a few years of living off of a single income, we've learned how to make it work--but that doesn't mean we didn't lean on a few credit cards (and mom and dad! love you!) to get us through some tough[er] times.

so, lately we've been super diligent in playing off debt. my new favorite hobby is looking at/updating a spreadsheet i created to see what debt is left and what our smartest next steps are. it's fun (i'm weird) seeing the utilizations, payment dates, interest rates(!), etc side-by-side.

and my second favorite hobby is clicking the little bubble next to "Balance" on payments. that's a new one for me. i'm very accustomed to auto-pay taking out the minimum payment every month. i know, i know, yikes.

today i paid off the balance of my (our?) target card. can't say he had a hand in that one. double yikes.

guys, this one was in the quadruple digits! not proud.

but anyway! we are seeing our debt-to-income ratio dwindling before our eyes. and that. is. fun.
we've vowed to pay off our credit card debt + my car before we move. we've got a pretty sweet setup where we are--we love our house and the mortgage payment is next to nothing. it'll be hard to say goodbye to that, knowing our next house will be bigger and in a nicer area aka more expensive.

dream laundry/mudroom mood board

laundry room mood board
okay, i had way too much fun with this one! after seeing brick pavers in a mudroom on pinterest, i'm sold. and how cute is that laundromat-style cart? i want a farmhouse sink like in the kitchen, and a frosted door that says LAUNDRY. wasn't sure if subway tile backsplash was too much with the flooring, so white beadboard is an option. not sure on countertops, but it will be the same in the kitchen and bathrooms ;)

dream living room mood board

i decided to put together a little mood board to show the vibe i'm feeling for a light, airy living room. (what i'm picturing for our future forever home.

dream living room

what i see: dark wood floors, a staircase with white risers (with built-in storage underneath) a big, cozy couch with bright pillows, grownup seating, bright & airy white curtains with bamboo blinds, a neutral rug like this one, brick fireplace & hearth with white planking to the ceiling. i can't decide if having a tv mounted over a fireplace makes the tv too high. still contemplating. a pretty table like this with blanket baskets underneath would do nicely if i decide against a fireplace-mount. 

dream house exterior: mood board

dream exterior
can you believe it? another mood board. i've definitely been having fun dreaming up what i want our forever house to look like. in detail. i'm decorating a fake house in my head when i can't fall asleep at night.
anyway! i have always loved the look of cedar shingles on the eaves of houses (and have even contemplated adding it to our current house for curb appeal), and am definitely feeling them for this craftsman-esque image i have in my mind. sherwin williams' naval blue is pretty perfect. my dream door is pictured--craftsman style with dentil molding. stained beadboard ceilings, wooden railing, beefed up pillars and nice, cozy outdoor furniture on the deck. boom.


dream kitchen mood board

dream kitchen

went ahead and made a kitchen mood board for the dream house. go ahead and ready yourself for mood board city. side note: in the dream, this kitchen is open to the previously mentioned living room.

what i'm picturing: real, handscraped wood floors, exposed beams, farmhouse sink, a mix of natural woods (table, light fixtures, cutting boards on display, floors, etc), cup pulls on the cabinets, a round table with a settee in an eat-in kitchen nook, flat island with bar stools centering the room. is this asking too much?

also, question: do light fixtures have to match door hardware and faucets? in my head they do, but pictures of kitchens i like say otherwise..