Lately I was asked to imagine that I was a house. In detail, tell what kind of house I would be and why. This is what I came up with. I have not been asked that kind of question in a very long time. It was fun to use my imagination and I thought about this and I came up with a story that included both my imagination and based on real life. I imagined a house that would have been ideal for the six of us as a family, and mom still could have had her beauty shop in the house so she could be home with us and not have to hire a sitter.
I had to stop and think about when I was a child and what kind of a house we lived in when we were growing up. There were five of us kids, and our mom, and only 3 actual bedrooms. Of course mom got a bedroom all to herself, and now there are two bedrooms. Since my sister was a teenager and eight years older than me, she got the bedroom upstairs. Now there is only one bedroom left. The twins were small, and so they got their own bedroom which was the last one; which left my brother and I without a room to sleep in. My mother was a single mom in the 50’s, so she was good at making do with what she had. There was a space that was small, it was part of the attic and there was a chimney running straight through it with just enough room on each side of the chimney for a twin bed. So we now had a make-shift bedroom. My brother and I slept in the attic, one on each side of the chimney. Of course, since this was just a space not an actual room, there were no doors. It didn’t really matter, we were both under ten.
I took a long look at the house as I would have liked it, only from an adults’ eyes; and based on my mothers’ experiences, what would have made her comfortable and able to cope with life without a lot of the hassles, and inconveniences she had to put up with which would have made life a bit more easy to cope with.
Her beauty shop would be in the basement too, a walkout so the customers could come in and visit each other with no disruptive children, as they wait for their appointment time. Mom would have the option of doing laundry between customers, or waiting until her weekend, it would be her choice. The sixth bedroom is another master suite in the lower-level walk-out. This is the guest room. Also on this level is a laundry room with plenty of space for a washer and dryer, a utility sink, a table for folding clothes, cabinets for storing laundry products, a rack for hanging clothes, and an ironing board that folds into the wall. Then when the clothes were done, she would send them up the dumbwaiter, and when the kids took their clothes out on the third floor, they could send it back to the basement and mom could put her clothes along with the twins in the dumbwaiter and send them to the first floor for her to put away at her convenience. How organized this would have been; and can you imagine how many stairs this would have saved her from going up and down?
The lower level also holds an exercise room with equipment. A TV/activity room occupies some of the space along with another 1/2 bath. There would also be three large closets each for storing either extra canned goods, cleaning products, or paper goods. A huge deck flows just outside the eat-in kitchen and I love to show off my finesse by giving guests a smooth stone path to the fenced-in swimming pool and my house sports a small cottage in the pool area with a full bath, two dressing rooms, and a snack bar.
I am not a house, I’m a home. I have finesse because that is the way my personal architect designed and built our house himself. I am designed with a delicate mix of formal and informal. This home has been enjoyed by us for 20 years now and to make a long story short; I am a show-off with my own architect and am a a two-story home with only five bedrooms, I have a walkout basement, a laundry chute with a dumbwaiter in the laundry room. The formal living room is absolutely gorgeous with its velvet drapes and large windows for lots of natural light, and so is the formal dining room. Our family room is off of our large eat in kitchen. There is a deck outside the kitchen that leads down to the walk to the pool area. The rest of the house is as described. I love it.
As I said, I thought that a house like this would have been exactly what my mom would have needed at the time she was raising us. It would have made her life easier with not having to run up and down the stairs many times a day. The kids would have been seen once in a while during the day, and heard sometimes. The yard was fenced in and they had toys, swings, and a big sand box with a cover for when it was not being used, so the cats didn’t have an outdoor liter. Mom had a job that was difficult to do alone in the 50’s. Raising kids in that time period was a full time job and most times the woman was a stay at home mom, but my mom worked and raised five kids alone. What a strong woman she was.
This is what I thought I would be if I were a house. I’d be a three level, six bedroom house with a Master suite on the main floor. Mom would have loved it. It would be a good size bedroom with a small sitting area so mom could relax , sit and think and have some quiet solitude. She’d have a large walk in closet to herself. The ensuite would be a full bath with a jetted jacuzzi where she could soak her aching body in quiet, and a separate shower with a bench and a handheld shower head. Mom really would have loved that. Then there would be another bedroom for the twins right next to the master suite, that way if one of the twins needed her she could hear them and attend to them. The kids over four years old would have their bedrooms upstairs and keep the noise level tolerable. Each would have their own room and share a bathroom with a double sink, tub/shower combo. The benefits to mom would have been immeasurable. Let the noise take place, if it must, upstairs and the mess stay wp there too until the end of the week. Then on Sunday, mom could go upstairs, inspect rooms, clean the rooms, collect all the dirty laundry and toss it all down the laundry chute that goes to the laundry room in the third level; down under the main floor.