where the boys live

We got news yesterday that our house plans are finished. The builder, developer, and space planner are all in the same family, so we were really excited about them drawing up our house plans to fit the lot we selected.

Hopefully we will see the plans at some point today, and then we’ll get together to either finalize them, tweak them or regroup.

In our discussions, and throughout all of our house-hunting, one thing became more and more clear. We were willing to sacrifice square footage to have a house with great space for the whole family.

And when we sat down to give our “wish list,” we had a few small things that we wanted, like a playroom, a certain number of bedrooms, and a walk-in pantry. But we actually had more items that we didn’t want.

I think my exact words were, “I don’t want any ‘untouchable rooms.’ My boys live in the house. They will live in every single room of the house.”

So what this meant to us is that we didn’t want a formal living room or a master sitting room. Or really any kind of space that wasn’t kid-friendly. (Except for the master bedroom, which is kid-free. Except early in the morning for watching cartoons and playing in the bathroom floor while we get ready.) It’s not that I wouldn’t put those more formal rooms in my dream house, but this house is our real world house. And we have children who love to be in the same room with their mommy and daddy.

We make messes and we have fun making messes. We pick up our toys before naps and before bed, but not all throughout the day. We can see ourselves painting on the porch and playing with shaving cream in the bathroom mirror. And not wasting time feeling stressed about a stain.

This house of ours, when it is finished, is going to be a place where we are always living. This house is for growing boys- and maybe, hopefully, another baby someday. I expect it to look like little boys live there. And that’s what we’ve hoped for.

Because when they’re grown up, I want them to remember me as the mom who could let the messes go, and wasn’t always on them to keep our house looking magazine-perfect. I want them to remember that I was willing to initiate a big mess just to make a memory. And I want them to remember that they felt at home and comfortable in the home where they grew up.

Here’s to a smooth process and a messy, fun, wild, loud life in our next home.

 

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  1. How exciting! It’s so fun to see your ideas start to come together on paper. And I love your “lived in” philosophy. It’s the same reason our playroom opens to the living room and our dining area is not accompanied by a separate formal dining room. You’re a great mom, Erin!
    Amy recently posted..kitchen remodelMy Profile

    • We will have a dining room in addition to a breakfast room, but that’s mostly because our last house didn’t and I know we’d use it when we have company. But I’m so excited to have a very family-friendly house, and for it have our boys in mind. :)
      Blue-Eyed Bride recently posted..where the boys liveMy Profile

  2. I can remember visiting friends’ houses as a child and being told “we aren’t allowed in there” and wondering why not. My parents never had a room we weren’t allowed to play in and now that I’ve grown up I have the same philosophy. You’re definitely right. We shouldn’t curb the fun because we’re afraid of the mess it might make in our house. It’s the little one’s house too!
    Desiree recently posted..a little catch upMy Profile

    • Haha! I can remember the same thing. My mom had some rooms that were kind of like that. We were allowed in there, but the space was only used on very special occasions. I think times have changed a lot, and now my parents don’t have any “formal” rooms.

  3. Erin, we just finished came through our build last September, and I had these very same thoughts during the design! We actually took the square footage from the formal living and dining room in our original houseplan and moved it upstairs, to have extra space off our bonus room! It’s so much more of a versatile space for the whole family to enjoy! Good luck with the build–it’s so much fun :)
    Erin recently posted..Pretty {and Cheap} Storage for Oil and VinegarMy Profile

  4. I grew up in just the house you speak of and I love spending time in my “first home” still to this day. We lived in every room and nothing was perfect. My only piece of advice would be to lose the carpet and go for the hardwoods for stains and easier cleanup.

  5. I just got SO excited for you while reading this!
    Katie Ferguson recently posted..ConfessionsMy Profile

  6. We’re close to breaking ground on our custom home as well! We chose a Southern Living Plan that allows us to have a Playroom that we can close the door to, but it’s located right off the kitchen. We knew we wanted to forgo a formal living room. This is always such a waste of space to me–even my mother said she didn’t understand why they have one, as it NEVER gets used! We also have room over the garage to finish as the kids get older to have a “teenager hangout.” We can’t wait to see the finished product :) Good luck, and i can’t wait to hear your decorating ideas. I already follow you on pinterest, so I hope you start pinning away!!!

  7. I love this post! I try so hard to live this way in our current home. I know I must be doing something right when my neice or a friend’s kid comes over and says they wish they could live here. We make HUGE messes, run around the place being loud, race our plasma cars through the living room to the hall then through the dining room in a circle over and over and over. If your home can’t be LIVED in, what good is it! ;) The messes can easily be picked up but the memories can never be replaced!

  8. Yay! I love your approach.

  9. I absolutely cannot wait to see the house! I am sure it is going to be adorable.
    Leslie Lambert recently posted..Chocolate Chunk Red Velvet Bread Pudding RecipeMy Profile

  10. Are you going to share the floorplan on here? What about the build process and picking out finishes? I hope so!

  11. I love this post and wrote a similar one today about letting go and remembering that it’s ok to get messy to make memories. So hard for me sometimes but I know those are the things I want our kids to remember, too :)
    Aliya recently posted..Letting Kids Be KidsMy Profile

  12. Melissa Moran says:

    This is exactly how I feel about our home! My boys are welcome in every room, and no table is off limits, and I don’t have furniture I am afraid will get ruined. Infact, my coffee table is often a stage and the couches are trampolines….:) and I do find myself saying they aren’t (50 times a day)…..but somehow, they are!

  13. Oh, I love this SO much. It’s exactly how I feel about our home. (Though the puppy is still not allowed in many rooms, but I’m hoping that will change soon, too.)
    Emily (The Culinary Couple) recently posted..Valentine’s Day DessertsMy Profile

  14. What a fun adventure! Sometimes I get excited about building a house and other days it feels overwhelming. Can’t wait to follow along. I agree, a walk-in pantry is a must!
    Jennifer recently posted..Discovery PlaceMy Profile

  15. this is sooooo exciting erin! i think your playroom will be *most* lived in house at your new home. will you be able to build that adorable play house under the stairs? and now that we have one, i don’t know how i ever managed without a walk in pantry.

    and i’m 100% with you on that philosophy. when we moved into out current place, we flipped things around to suit us. our living room is what was supposed to be the dining room, but it just felt cosier and more comfy (plus it’s closer to the kitchen and back porch – where we eat every night in the summer). i want to figure out a different use for what is now our dining room (former living room)…because we really don’t use it. my friend joked that she could move into the front part of our apartment (dining room, sun room and spare bedroom) and we would wouldn’t notice for a week… lol! she’s right. we have a ton of space and still spend it all in our cozy living room…all on the same couch!

    you’ve motivated me to be bold in thinking outside of the box for our “dining room”. i’m kind of into the idea of having several smaller tables in that space – for crafts or to play games at for the 3 of us to eat a meal at (rather than rattling around at one end of a 6-8 person dining room table). heck, i’d even rather set it up as a home gym – if it was USED, you know?

    yikes – just looked at the time, gotta walk the dog, do some valentine’s decorating and start making dinner (a heart shaped pizza!) before soccer practice ends… can’t wait to hear more!

  16. Well said! I’ve always said I want a house that looks lived in because that is a HOME. A showroom is pretty but who wants to live in one??

    Look forward to hearing more about your house plans. Exciting! So happy for you guys!
    Jill recently posted..It’s a Valentine tea party…My Profile

  17. Angel cotton says:

    I can’t wait to see your new house. It’s sounds just like the next house I want to make my next house like that too! I can’t wait to have a playroom and more space for messes with my kids. :)

  18. Congrats Erin, I loved every stressful moment of the building process. We will be in our house one year this March and I am still pleased with all my decisions. However, Pinterest has inspired me to make a few changes : )

    Can’t wait to see all the things you pick out!

  19. Love this and love your heart. Right now our house is so small that we all live in every space, and I was just telling a friend the other day that living here has really changed how I view certain homes. We lived in a split level for just a few years when I was in high school, and I always felt like the family was so spread out. As a Jr and Sr in high school, I liked the privacy, but as a mom, I want us to all be together…not a dad holed up in the basement, mom in the kitchen and kids in spread out bedrooms you know? I’m trying to be very grateful for what I’ve learned from living in this tiny house while simultaneously hoping our days here are coming to an end. ;) Sorry to ramble.
    kodi recently posted..Fat MamaMy Profile

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