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What practical feature/item do you secretly crave for your house?

Tom Flanagan
7 years ago
Some dream of swimming pools or cinema rooms... but a recent chat at Houzz HQ revealed that domestic dreams aren't always so glamorous, with popular wants including – 'one of those adjustable shelf things to organise under-sink clutter'... 'a utility room'... 'a pegboard storage system for DIY equipment'...

What's on your sensible wish-list?

Converted Malthouse: artisan-built kitchen · More Info

Comments (98)

  • kchappell139
    7 years ago
    A larder or pantry in the kitchen and a linen cupboard upstairs.
    These seem to be things that have been lost in the design of new houses. All houses should have plenty of built in practical storage. We will be incorporating these when renovating our home.
  • Kate Burt
    7 years ago
    Somewhere out of the way to dry clothes would be a dream. They're either cluttering up the kitchen or a bedroom or at risk of being rained on in the garden on the line. With a very small garden, and none of it covered options are limited - and the kitchen has lots of windows that make a feature of the garden, it's a shame to fill it with drying clothes. I'd love to hang them from the ceiling but ours are very low (it's a 1970s townhouse). So anyone with a suggestion to make my dream come true will make me very happy!

    Baillie Scott Arts & Crafts House - The Cotswolds · More Info
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  • sizzlinghot
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Kate whoever does washing will have this problem. I have two clothes airer's but an eyesore with clothes hanging in the bedroom to dry. Only good thing is that with central heating on the clothes dry more quickly. As a child I remember the old pulley system and clothes hanging above our heads and as children darting in and out of sheets. And with 5 children in the family that was a whole lot of washing to get dry. But living years ago there was less pollution and one could hang clothes on the washing line and they always smelt fresh. So we have a double problem today with pollution and drying washing outdoors. I bought an expensive dryer and had to give it to my daughter (who has two young children) because of the energy bills and not being able to run this.
    If you had a spare room you could dedicate this to hanging the washing in a spare room and just close the door. I always wanted a utility room for this purpose of dealing with clothes drying and ironing. Sorry I couldn't be of more help but wanted to share the burden we all have and perhaps someone may come up with good solutions.
  • alliaki
    7 years ago
    Hidden storage in every room. Also a porch come boot room at the back of the house. No more dirty shoes in the house!
  • sootsprite
    7 years ago
    I would love to add fun features to my house - secret room, hall, cubbies. Indoor slide. Hanging "egg chair." Indoor pool. Outdoor lazy river.

    http://houzz.com/photos/2958647
  • PRO
    JML Garden Rooms
    7 years ago
    Ever since I read about this house, I want one sooo badly! What a way to wake up.. with a wee swim :)
  • jackydahlhaus
    7 years ago
    Now that would wake me up!
  • jackydahlhaus
    7 years ago
    @KateBurt. The weather in Holland is also not very accommodating to drying clothes outdoors and we didn't have a lot of space either. But what we used to do is have a clothes dryer rack that goes over the top of a door and hang it outside from a window sill in those sparse moments that were not wet. As long as it's not wet the clothes would dry in no time, so they didn't need to be outside for long. And if it started to rain you just hang the rack on the back of a door again...
  • Tim Price
    7 years ago
    @Sizzlinghot, Actually, many places are now less polluted than they were 50 years ago. Smokeless zones, low emission zones, more anti-pollution laws and the environmental agency to enforce them has seen to this. I think we are more aware of pollution than we were in the past. We just didn't think about it so much but then. Burning all the stubble in fields was expected, now banned. Fairground sights, sounds and smells used to be hotdogs with fried onions, diesel fumes, music and generators.
    Some of my early years were spent near a steel town. If the wind was in the wrong direction the smell of sulphur and the smoke could be bad. Even cars suffered from it with paint being pitted by the corrosive fallout.
    Go back a few more years and in many cities they suffered from smog so thick that traffic would basically have to stop. My late mother was from Nottingham and she used to tell about smog so thick due to industry that at times bus conductors would have to walk in front of their buses with their white shirt tails out for the driver to follow!
    I have been in out out of countries like China and others in the region for the last 5 years or so. The pollution there is awful, yet the children play outside and the washing is hung out to dry. I sometimes wonder whether their clothes get dirtier by washing and drying than if they just didn't bother to wash them. Hanging them out to dry when the smog is so bad you can't see across the road must mean the damp fabric catches loads of it.
    Where are you located to be experiencing such levels of pollution?
  • Tim Price
    7 years ago
    @Sootsprite, yes, the idea of a secret room and/or secret passageways appeals a lot to me too. My uncle used to have a house where in the kitchen one of the cupboard doors opened to reveal stairs that were so steep that they went up into a cupboard upstairs without it being obvious that this route existed. I liked that. Houses with passageways and room to room connecting doors so that you have a range of routes to get around the house always interest me. You just don't seem to get this anymore.
    In the Peak District I saw a stainless steel 'egg' suspended from a tree hanging over a river. It was made in such a way that you could see through it from all angles to a certain extent, but it was only open on one side. Inside it had a padded base, probably big enough for two people to relax hanging over the river as it gurgles along over the stones. I think I took a photo of it. I will have to try to find it to post here.
  • Tim Price
    7 years ago
    @sizzlinghot - many years ago a neighbour always used to dry their washing in a spare bedroom with the door closed. As a result they got mildew and mould all over the room since the moisture from the drying clothes went into the plaster and also the bedding and carpet in the room. Ventilation is important.
  • sizzlinghot
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Tim I agree with you. You just can't win. DAMP is a major problem with drying washing unless one can use a humidifier. But then would this be sufficient? Central Heating in a room I don't have this problem as the washing dries quickly. At the moment work has started on one of the two bathrooms. When the plumber put in our shower 2yrs. ago he did not put in the waste pipe correctly and it was kinked. It came off. Hence water crashing through the ceiling. He put one inch of sealant round a gap in the tiles and this also contributed to the leak, and then the pipe in the wall for the thermostat shower had a leak. So it is all getting sorted. To dry the wall out they are using a humidifier 24/7. Will update later.
  • sizzlinghot
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Tim now regarding the pollution problem. I grew up in a small Scottish Village and we had cleaner fresh air. But also had fog in the winter. At age 16 The family moved to England and I remember well the fog. How could I forget. I had endless Bronchitis and now Asthma. So you are right. I had forgotten this, you triggered off some memories.
    With more Air traffic, plus ash coming over from Iceland last year and other atmospheric problems we are now being given updates on Pollution problems with the weather forecast on T.V. People with Asthma or Respiratory problems are being told to be extra careful when outdoors. It is not uncommon now to get a forecast with the weather on POLUTION which is now becoming an issue here in the U.K. WE are also facing this problem Globally.
  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs
    7 years ago
    Personally I'd love both a studio space to be able to paint in ( miss getting canvasses up on the walls) and a tower room with a great view, large book cases and a comfy nook / window to read in... Heaven!
  • Sara Smith
    7 years ago
    No mortgage
  • Tim Price
    6 years ago

    Ocean Homes Design, I love the idea of the tower room with a great view. That would be something special.

  • info7236
    6 years ago

    A big double garage full of motorbikes


  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs
    6 years ago

    Thanks @Tim Price - Always wanted one to squirrel away in and lose an afternoon. Hopefully one day...!

  • Najeebah
    6 years ago
    A secret room. as in a walk-in safe. it doesn't need to have huge bolts and nobs, but it needs a code of sorts... and yes, I am being serious. how much more practical do you get?
  • Tim Price
    6 years ago

    Ocean Home Design, surely you mean GAIN an afternoon of picture memories.

  • Tim Price
    6 years ago

    Bikini Bathrooms Ltd. Close but I'd go for a double garage of big motorbikes rather than a big double garage of motorbikes.

  • geobrien
    6 years ago

    I would love a hot tub in a conservatory in cold wet Ireland. Ger.


  • PRO
    Fantastic Furniture Assembly
    6 years ago

    The "secret room".

  • Tim Price
    6 years ago

    I have received a lot of marketing materials for new builds recently from local developers here. I leafed through them and it struck me that the kitchens in many of them are smaller than pantry cupboards used to be 50 years ago! Some of them are less than 6' x 6' and they come without any fittings except for the sink (not even a cupboard base to that). There should be more emphasis on larger (not massive) kitchens so that people feel able to cook healthy meals rather than simply popping frozen meals in a microwave.

  • PRO
    Empatika Bespoke Fitted Furniture
    6 years ago

    I would love a dressing room too, to keep the bedroom nice and clean and tidy, and a utility room too for shoes, boots, coats and messy stuff, but my house is too small for all that :(

  • PRO
    stowed
    6 years ago

    Kate Burt I had the same issues re drying rack and found some excellent wall-hung racks from Ikea which can fold up or down depending on whether you're using them or not. From the Grundtal range I think...

  • frango1
    6 years ago
    where does @Tim price live?
  • jmaryfinley
    6 years ago

    I also lived in Perth WA, for a time, and boy do I miss it. The space is fabulous. For the first time I had four bedrooms, a walk in wardrobe, an ensuite bathroom, two bathrooms, a laundry, a massive linen cupboard and a pantry - and that was just inside the house. I could not have existed without the pool outside. Hey ho, now I am back in the UK and have the tiniest laundry ever, a walk in wardrobe (which also includes shelving for linen) but no pantry. My practical side says I would love a pantry, my fanciful side thinks a dedicated flower room sounds fab!

  • PRO
    iCubed Home Cinema Ltd
    6 years ago

    It has to be a Cinema Room.............but we are biased

  • PRO
    GHS Special Projects
    6 years ago

    We'd have to echo the comment from iCubed Home Cinema Ltd but again we are biased too! Though do love this under stairs reading area and especially like the door for little people.

    https://www.houzz.co.uk/photos/canyon-oak-country-staircase-los-angeles-phvw-vp~28562823


  • maggieandrichard
    6 years ago
    I'm really surprised that so many people dry washing indoors or over radiators, given the danger from mold, especially to babies, the elderly and those susceptible to chest infections. I have a ceiling pully dryer in my small laundry room but it's only used in emergencies. I dry outside whenever possible and in a dryer when it's wet. I know it's costly to use a dryer but cheaper than getting sick.
  • Rachel Oakes
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Home in Toronto 8 · More Info

    A utility room with a dog shower in.

  • Tim Price
    6 years ago

    @frango1 - Malaysia, slap bang in the tropics.

  • PRO
    Hamlet HomesLtd
    6 years ago

    Many of clients have asked for pools such as this one

    Hamlet Homes Work · More Info

  • PRO
    SQUIRESprojects
    6 years ago

    Nice clean simple lines, must be very relaxing....(reality) then my two boys would jump in and start a water fight !!!

  • PRO
    AVINU - Home Technology
    5 years ago

    Something really practical for my household would be occupancy sensors around the home that turn lights on when entering all rooms - but more importantly for when rooms are left unattended!

    We've installed these for our customers and it's something they all love, and now even take for granted!

  • PRO
    McEvoy & Rowley
    5 years ago

    We sell a lot of wine fridges and larder cupboards, super handy and they can look great when fitted properly!

  • frango1
    5 years ago
    Can I go live with Tim?
  • Tim Price
    5 years ago

    Well, I'm looking to sell one of my properties here...

  • Shona Smart
    5 years ago
    Oh automatically closing drawers and cupboard doors all round the house...
  • Tanya Draper
    5 years ago
    We moved into our house a year ago and have a built in vacuum system. I have only used it a couple of times; the hose plugs into sockets in the wall. I find the hose too unwieldy and awkward, I prefer to use my Dyson!
  • Olena Tkach
    5 years ago

    Lights which automatically turn on when I enter a room (especially in the kitchen and in the hallway from the bedroom to the bathroom) and lights inside my wardrobes (especially inside the one in the bedroom: I often get up earlier than my hubby, and it may be still dark outside, and I don't want to wake him up while I'm looking for my stockings).

  • Olena Tkach
    5 years ago

    I also wonder if it's possible to make some doors to open automatically. I need those doors to reduce noise I make while making breakfast while others are still sleeping, but when it's ready and |'m trying to bring everything to the main room where we eat, I start thinking of removing all those doors.

  • junesid2000
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    A low maintenance makeover for my small square back Garden

  • Tim Price
    5 years ago

    @Olena Tkach, cupboard lights are readily available - that are either motion activated or activated by microswitch (where you mount the lamp close to the door). The battery operated ones are simply stuck on and are cheap. If doors are not left open all the time the LED bulbs mean long battery life.

  • Thomas Hanks
    5 years ago

    An underground car park with car lift would save me a lot of money on parking permits

  • Rachael Fletcher
    5 years ago

    That's right Tom! City parking is very costly

  • Tom Flanagan
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    Although an underground car park and a lift might just blow the budget in itself! ;)

  • PRO
    AVINU - Home Technology
    5 years ago

    It would take some time to justify one, but extra off-road parking is just a must-have for some:



  • Heidi Cullen
    5 years ago

    Easily accessible music in every room and a garden that I can use and is cat safe.

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