We have to have an entry foyer.
This was one of my initial thoughts when thinking about the house we would build on our new land. This is the natural thought of a person who currently lives in a house with an entry foyer that is 3 feet by 3 feet. No where to greet guests. No where to pause. I would usually greet or say goodbye to guests from the top of the stairs, which you could see from the front door. I thought, if we are building a house, I want it to be what I want it to be. Yes, I wanted to simplify and minimize. But when you have subscriptions to House Beautiful and Dwell – and binders full of tear out sheets from those magazines – and you’re about to build a house, it’s easy to get caught up.
And we still didn’t get it, the ‘living simply’ thing. I mean, really understand.
We (I’m using “we” loosely here. Joe was pretty much cool with whatever – he’ll sleep in a hammock outside whenever he gets the chance) knew we didn’t need things like a formal dining room or a guest room. We figured we could just evict the girls from one of their rooms when out-of-town guests came to visit. But we still had our list. We wanted an entry foyer, 3 bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, an office, a mudroom… I know there were other items on the list, but don’t even remember what they were now.
We looked online for floor plans and came across one we really liked. There were a couple of things we wanted to tweak, so we took it to a draftsman to make those changes. And this is what he came back with:
2900 square feet. Over a basement. Because you know…we have the random tornado in Indiana, and we need a basement. So over four thousand square feet, because maybe we’ll finish the basement later. Uuhhhmm…not what we had in mind. More than double the size of what we currently lived in. Double the heating and cooling, double the cleaning, double the cost…all of the doubling happening here.
It’s easy to get caught up.
And then we remembered.
We remembered why we were moving. We remembered that we wanted more time outside, less time inside. And we remembered
we didn’t want to blow through our retirement savings and the girls’ college funds to build this house part of keeping it simple, was to keep the cost low and the footprint small.
I also remembered my Babi and Deda’s house (my grandparents on my mom’s side.) They farmed. They had a simple home. And when you entered the house, you walked right into the kitchen. Because when you are carrying a chicken who has recently had its head cut off, it’s handy to just walk into the kitchen. And when guests would come over, it’s easy to sit and have a drink, because you’re already in the kitchen. And their home was warm. And they were happy. Here they are:
So we made a decision and we came back to the initial thoughts that excited us. Build a small house. Do a lot of the work ourselves. Have nice finishes (because there is a better chance of being able to do that when the house is smaller). And fill it only with items we love.
So here we are. Finishing the inside of our 1600 square foot house. It is a cape cod style house, so it has an upstairs that is unfinished. We will eventually finish it, but not anytime soon.
And my entry foyer? No, no entry foyer in this house. We enter through the kitchen.