Metatalktail Hour: Calling all Imaginary Architects October 21, 2017 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Let's design our dream homes -- what special room or feature would you have, in your perfect house/boat/compound? (Money is no object; if you want, we're talking awesome volcano lair with a roller rink and waterslides and the whole deal.)

As usual, the topic's just for fun, and all non-politics chatter is welcome.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 5:10 PM (124 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Library. So many shelves. Comfortable chairs and good reading lamps that aren't too bright.

So many shelves.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:16 PM on October 21, 2017 [17 favorites]

When I was a kid I used to dream of having a place with a long swimming pool that went between rooms, or from outdoors to indoors -- so you could swim under the wall into the next room, and maybe the wall would have cool cut-out passages, or swim-up nooks inside the wall between rooms.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:18 PM on October 21, 2017 [19 favorites]

I don't need a big house. Just something tiny for me and my son - two bedrooms with a big closet or three bedrooms, so I can make a sensory space for him. A garage I can turn into a little art studio. A fenced yard for a service dog. Enough of a front yard for a holiday inflatable. That's it. That's really all I need for it to be a dream home. If I wanted something extra special maybe cool playhouse thing in the backyard. Or a swing.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 5:31 PM on October 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

I had a sequential childhood dream which created a house that was above ground , yet was also hidden from view by a beautiful rolling grassed set of hills and elegant specimen trees. The giant trees were 'doorways/elevators' into the lair. I used to look forward to going to sleep to work on developing this creation. It stayed with me during the day and remained with me for months till it vanished. But I can recall the bliss it evoked whemever I happen to think of it, and wish I could retreat there again.

Nowadays, my dream home would have real walls since I've lived in mobile homes for all of my adult life. But I perversely also hope to someday sell everything and buy an RV and travel.

For a real dream home, I would love an indoor pool and poolboy to look after the upkeep. The pool would have a lush greenhouse as part of the enclosure with operable retractable roof, and the kitties would enjoys it immensely. I would sit on the step while reading books and be served sparkling spumanti and delectable cheeses.
posted by mightshould at 5:37 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

A secret room. Oh, how I long for a space that no one else knows about, that I decorate with pillows and colors and where I can curl up and just be ME.
posted by Liesl at 5:37 PM on October 21, 2017 [14 favorites]

An anti-gravity room. So badass. Imagine throwing house parties:

"Hey, do you think it'd be alright if I smoke this joint in your backyard?"
"Well, you could, or there's another option...."
posted by mannequito at 5:39 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I dream about something hobbity - round doors and windows, a fireplace, a front garden with a little gate.
posted by janepanic at 5:41 PM on October 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

Countertops at 46-ish inches off the floor and mirrors, lights, shelves, pictures, doorknobs, etc all mounted at a ‘normal’ height for a 6’7” person. I’m really tired of bending over and hitting my head. It sounds reasonably simple but it’s not something that can be done without everything being entirely custom work and it’s not practical for resale or for all of the other people around me. It would instantly make my life better. If I had all the money I’d be driving my old car and wearing my old clothes while I installed tall stuff.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 5:52 PM on October 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

I am pretty sure a sauna would be involved, with an adjacent pool for a refreshing dunk between/after. Or go whole hog and just cop to wanting a Roman bath.

Otherwise, fireplaces and bookshelves everywhere, and a really big open room with bright natural light (but moderate temperatures) with space for the loom - looms! - and book arts stuff. This studio space would of course have plumbing and floor drains and a dye kitchen and a board shear and a (book) guillotine and just enough human company to be creatively stimulating but never crowded. Ahhhhh.
posted by janell at 5:56 PM on October 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

For decades now, my main criteria for property has been - detached. So, as neighbors come and go, I never have to hear them through the walls or ceiling.

Being self-employed an important criteria is a comfortable and functional office. A lot of natural light, but minimal sun glare. A large desk. A chair comfortable enough to sit in for several hours. Nothing that ticks loudly. Absolutely no television or landline telephone.

Apart from that, I would also desire:

- a moat and drawbridge, of course, because I am an Englishman

- a living room with a large fireplace, wooden floor, rugs and candles, for whiling away the evening, sometimes the night, either on my own or with someone special

- a treehouse, where I can pull the ladder up, with great views but also in a discrete location, for possibly (careful) lovemaking with someone special

- an outdoor hot tub, big enough for two (but no larger), with a side-surface for tea making to share with someone special

- his and hers libraries, in case someone special turns out to unfortunately be one of those people who turns the pages in a book astonishingly loudly

- a turret, containing quarters for both the butler and the valet, and the top room containing a death ray machine with which I will impress my liberal special person by demonstrating it on {redacted because politics}

- on the other side of the lawns, an artisanal creamery, where I will employ a bearded man of fine standing named Hugh to make splendid cheeses to impress someone special

- a cricket pitch, where an annual cricket match will take place between MetaFilter moderators and MeFites for The Golden Teapot

- a dungeon, where... actually let's move on

- a videogame arcade, which will include as a minimum every Nintendo console and the Sega Dreamcast, as well as classic games

- a sauna for two, which will be heated by wood and coal, and contain a drinks cabinet, plus a bell for butler service

- a room for the cats, containing all manner of things for the kitties to climb

- stables, at each quadrant of the perimeter, for the guard badgers

Anyway, I'll keep it simple so will stop there. Kickstarter?
posted by Wordshore at 5:59 PM on October 21, 2017 [21 favorites]

I have a spare bedroom, and I have not yet figured out what I'm doing with it. My current, not-very-glamorous idea is to get a desk and a desktop computer with a dual monitor setup and an actual decent desk chair, so I can do computery things without hurting my back and neck. But I also think maybe I should make it into a workout room, and I'm also eyeing cute craft rooms on Pinterest. And my family wants me to put a spare bed in there, so I can have visitors and whatnot, but that doesn't seem very exciting, plus I don't believe that they're actually going to come visit me.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:00 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Radiant heating in the floors. A bathroom with a window, god, I am tired of my succession of tiny ill-ventilated bathrooms. A C A T I O. A bedroom with a door, not immediately adjacent to my child (but same floor is ok,) multiple bathrooms, one on the same floor as the bedrooms, all with windows ok maybe I am having feelings about my current house.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:04 PM on October 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

My dream home's special feature would be that it's somehow located in both the city and the country simultaneously, allowing me to enjoy the benefits and amenities of both. I could have some horses and goats, and it would be quiet and peaceful, but there would also be a 124-hour Korean deli within walking distance and an art-house movie theater and a good bookstore.
posted by scratch at 6:11 PM on October 21, 2017 [23 favorites]

Bookshelves and windows surrounded by trees. That's all I need. And coffee. And a bathroom.
posted by Fizz at 6:13 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

And high ceilings would be nice.
posted by Fizz at 6:14 PM on October 21, 2017

As someone who grew up in the suburbs but has lived in the city her entire adult life, I would like to have a house with a porch and backyard and a workshop where I can bang around with power tools and such, and have it located right in the middle of a walkable, lively diverse city neighbourhood connected to excellent public transportation.

on preview: scratch, HARD SAME.
posted by btfreek at 6:14 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

Countertops at 46-ish inches off the floor and mirrors, lights, shelves, pictures, doorknobs, etc all mounted at a ‘normal’ height for a 6’7” person. I’m really tired of bending over and hitting my head. It sounds reasonably simple but it’s not something that can be done without everything being entirely custom work and it’s not practical for resale or for all of the other people around me. It would instantly make my life better

I'm 6'4. All my counters are at 45 inches and fuck the resale. HUGE quality of life improvement. I'd advise you to just do it. It's not super hard - I build a frame for the cabinets to sit on, and then just got bigger kickboards (6" instead of 4"). It's not an expensive upgrade if you're already doing the work.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:14 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

I recently found out that my next-door-neighbors' dream home involves beehives. They are amateur beekeepers, which I now know because they warned me that they had collected honey and the bees were mad, so I should probably stay away from my garage. They decided to put their hives at the very edge of their property, which is coincidentally the very edge of my property. I am trying to maintain a sense of humor about this, but I am not sure that we have enough space to be conducive to beekeeping.

My goal for next year involves a garden. There are some complications, the biggest of which is that I'm phobic of earthworms. I think I may have to do exposure therapy and get over the earthworm thing, because I really want to grow basil and strawberries, and it is really stupid to be afraid of literally the most benign creatures on earth.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:17 PM on October 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

I would sure as shit like an apartment where at least one room is not facing an alley or a parking garage, a living arrangement i have not achieved since I graduated from college.

i have some other complaints about my current apartment, but living a five minute walk from a sort of prairie restoration area/arboretum is pretty wonderful.
posted by dismas at 6:18 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also, apparently one of the most well-equipped machine/fabrication shops in town is located in the basement of a local gazillionaire (who was an engineer prior to selling his company and spending his semi-retirement teaching and starting companies for fun). I would like that, too.
posted by btfreek at 6:20 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

As a kid I would have said castle-like with turrets and secret stair cases and hidden rooms and a library and huge ballrooms I could roller skate in. Plus a moat.

Adult me thinks, ugh, who is going to clean it, the heating will cost a fortune, sure if money is no object I can hire help but who manages the help, do I need a butler, butlers are kinda creepy. The moat is a massive safety risk, do I fence it, how does it affect my insurance?

Bloody hell, even in my fantasies I've turned into a boring adult. Kid me would be so ashamed.
posted by kitten magic at 6:31 PM on October 21, 2017 [15 favorites]

Honestly, my dream is to have some kind of cohousing arrangement, and in my fantasy we take over some structure that represents suburban isolation and refashion it into a communal space. So like, a dead mall, or several McMansion atrocities remade into small living spaces plus whatever larger shared spaces we want. So my biologist friend could have a room full of glass tanks where she raises her frogs, my librarian friend can make a reading room, and my husband and kids can have a big video game room we all share. My contribution will be a wave pool.
posted by selfmedicating at 6:32 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I want a steam running through my house.
posted by Grandysaur at 6:56 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

On reading the thread, I would also like to inhabit scratch and btfreak's geographical anomaly. I would also like my house to be built as solidly as houses a century ago, except with modern plumbing / electrical / foundation, which I suppose doesn't require messing with the space time continuum, just money.


- Big freaking windows that are also highly insulated
- Extra linen closets
- Cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling in the kitchen
- A nice big pantry
- Library, obvs
- Oh yeah a Roman-style bath would be nice. With underfloor heating.
- Wood-burning fireplace with a beefy mantelpiece that I can decorate seasonally
- Big freaking garden. Lots of nice raised beds for vegetables. A zen-style retreat for the spousal unit. Grape arbor. Apple orchard. Raspberry canes. A grotto. A pond full of frogs. A big patio with a big cedar dining table and lights strung up above it. A firepit with adirondack chairs around it.

Everyone's invited to my house for dinner.
posted by quaking fajita at 7:00 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

The BF and I have discussed the importance of a mudroom/laundry room with lots of lines and warm dry air, so you can hang up all your techie fabric garments and they are dry in a pinch. There should also be places for wet boots and enough room to hang up your tent/tarp/sleeping bag.

There should be a kitchen with a breakfast nook for tucking away and reading the paper with coffee. The south side of the house should have a big window that can let in lots of warm sun, with shutters to close in the summer. The bikes need a space for storage and lite-wrenching that is absolutely not the garage; this room should have an old comfy couch and a small fridge for beer. The main room should have a wood stove with a glass front. There should be a porch with big trees and lots of shade, with plenty of sun in the back for a garden. There should also be neighbors with fruit-bearing trees who love to share. Most important, there should be many window perches for the cats to watch the birds and squirrels.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:02 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

> I could have some horses and goats, and it would be quiet and peaceful, but there would also be a 124-hour Korean deli within walking distance and an art-house movie theater and a good bookstore.

I would like to have a house with a porch and backyard and a workshop where I can bang around with power tools and such, and have it located right in the middle of a walkable, lively diverse city neighbourhood connected to excellent public transportation.


....My sort-of dream house is actually on my block - and it is for sale, and I wants it precious - but I know I will never be able to afford it.

So - one detail I know I want in my house is to have TWO kitchens. The main one on the ground floor, but then a second kitchen in the basement, with a bigger-than-usual stovetop, sink, oven, and a chest freezer instead of a fridge. That second kitchen would be the canning/preserving kitchen, and the oversized stovetop would be so I can get a huge kettle on it to can things rather than trying to juggle with the stock pot and only do 4 jars at a time. I'd also be able to blanch vegetables for freezing a lot faster (see: the chest freezer).

For the main kitchen, I basically want my aunt's kitchen, which had a little side pantry at one end and a butler's pantry at the other, and three entire walls lined with cupboards and a big beat-up pine table in the middle. The big beat-up pine table is where most of the meals would happen because everyone hangs out in the kitchen anyway, and since it's beatup no one is worrying about spilling things. I mean, I'd have a dining room too, but the kitchen is where everyday meals would be. Using stuff from the extensive pantry in the basement (I also want to put a root cellar down there, come to think of it) and finishing with the compression ice cream maker I will have in the butler's pantry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:03 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Self-cleaning. Every bit of the house cleans itself.
And a turret.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:08 PM on October 21, 2017 [14 favorites]

The regular reference to butlers within this thread confirms one's long-held suspicion that MeFites are the aristocracy of the Internet.
posted by Wordshore at 7:09 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

OMG a preserving kitchen yes. Attached to the big pantry.

I would like a robot butler personally. One that I paid enough money for that it wasn't selling my data to some fiendish enterprise.
posted by quaking fajita at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

My dream home has a large laundry room. In addition to state of the art appliances, the room has a deep sink for hand washables, plenty of countertops for sorting and folding, an ironing board tucked into a hidden cabinet, and open space for drying racks. Oh, and maybe a sound system.
posted by kbar1 at 7:12 PM on October 21, 2017

My house would have the ability to expand and contract as needed. Most of the time, I am happiest living in a relatively small space because it keeps down the tendency to accumulate random "stuff" (e.g., current house is 2 bedrooms, ~800 sq ft, with precious little storage space). However, it would be so nice to have an extra bedroom appear when my son comes to visit, to have the kitchen stretch into the side yard when I want to have people over for dinner, or for the house to grow an attic that could house my current sewing project.

There would be a wood shop in the back so I could indulge in my fantasy hobby.

The backyard would be securely fenced for the cat-friendly dog (ideally, lab mix) and include some manageable water feature—maybe a pool, maybe a wading fountain—behind a privacy screen/fence.

Finally and most important, it would be magically portable.
posted by she's not there at 7:14 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I want one of those natural pools that's basically a man-made swimming pond where the water's all managed and filtered with its own little ecosystem. I've seen the prices on them, which at the size that I'd want is.. pretty astronomical. But I grew up spending summers at my grandparents' lake cottage, which was extremely rustic but also crammed onto a smallish lake with a ton of other houses. I want to get up in the morning and swim and be the only one there and be able to enjoy it without wondering what I look like to anybody else.
posted by Sequence at 7:21 PM on October 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Arbitrary and capricious, if you plant lemon cucumbers in your garden the bees will come and pollinate everything. They love these plants. Bees like a water disb with a rock, so they can walk down to the edge. My friend had bees next door, they were great for her garden, so many tomatoes!
posted by Oyéah at 7:31 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I just want a house that's done. We bought this place ten years ago and have been restoring it since and I love the place and am really happy at the way it's turning out, I just want to be done with it.
posted by octothorpe at 7:32 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I want a house with an inner courtyard, a spring, and an entrance to a cave system. I would like a whole lot of nothing nearby, except fot birds, clouds , the wind in trees.
posted by Oyéah at 7:35 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oooh, can my dream home be self-cleaning? I want self-mopping floors and self-dusting shelves and a refrigerator that automatically disposes of stuff when it's rotting.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:41 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd add a solarium. And a bigger bathtub. Maybe in the solarium.
posted by mochapickle at 7:42 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

No furniture. Wardrobes that are hinged into the ceiling and you pull them down like) attic stairs when you need them. I want my house to be completely empty.

I already sleep on the floor and have no furniture in the living room, but there aren't a lot of options in the kitchen or for clothes storage. I am working on it, though.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:43 PM on October 21, 2017

I want a big beautiful swimming pool. Warm enough that I can swim laps under the moon every night. Or in a warm climate, cool enough.

A basement in which I can learn to play drums.

A garage in which I can keep my motorcycle/s and learn to fix them.

A yard that I can fill with California poppies and whatever palm trees will survive here.
posted by bendy at 7:52 PM on October 21, 2017

I want a finished basement that will not leak, with room for storage plus an exercise room. I also want a kitchen with an island and magically expanding cabinets so I can indulge my need for interesting glassware and stoneware. I already have a loft that I’ve made into a library with fabulous bookcases, but I’d love it if the bookcases could magically become self-dusting.

In other news...I’ve recently begun going to a nearby wildlife preserve/bird sanctuary on weekend mornings to walk the trails. I’ve never really been an outdoorsy person but I’ve been battling work-related stress and sleep issues and thought this might help—and I am happily shocked at how much of a difference this has made in my attitude and outlook. I spend about an hour walking and working up a nice sweat and watching the birds and squirrels and ducks and occasionally crossing paths with joggers/bikers/dog walkers/photographers/fishermen and it’s been a wonderful way to start my weekend mornings and clear my mind.
posted by bookmammal at 8:04 PM on October 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'd like exactly the house I have with a very large shed added for my Hallowe'en props, and enough room for a separate yoga studio. This would all be possible if I got rid of the husband, but he makes pretty good waffles, so I guess the trade-off is okay.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:06 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

A tower for star gazing.

Secret tunnel to the backyard hot tub. An orchard.
posted by freethefeet at 8:07 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well, on the relatively modest scale, housewise I'd like a full guest bedroom with an en suite bathroom, and while we're talking bathrooms I'd like a 2nd bathroom for the regular house occupants, so I guess I'm saying upgrade the current place from 2 br/1 bath to at least 3 br/2.5 baths. But compound-wise....then I'd like another 20 acres minimum of nice pasture and a large indoor riding ring with maybe 16 attached stalls, and a second small house so I can invite in one of my young equestrian pro friends to be barn manager/instructor/trainer to help deal with it all/make use of it all. And robot robot mowers and stall cleaning machines and a robot pasture drag/manure vacuum which I don't think even exists but is pretty conceivable.
posted by drlith at 8:32 PM on October 21, 2017

The one thing I want? A proper sauna. My Finnish uncle taught me and it was an important life lesson. That, and loons at dusk, are things I miss most about living in Minne-snowta.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:38 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

We're on vacation up on the Sonoma coast, and this rental house has radiant heat, a hot tub, an outdoor shower, a deck with a railing at the correct height for putting your feet on, and window seats. And a meadow to look at, with the ocean beyond. These are all pretty great things.
posted by rtha at 8:44 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]



Outdoors will have FRUIT TREES and a TRELLISED WALK with plenty of GARDEN SEATING.

And lots more as well...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:50 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

Soundproofing. I’ve never really thought about it before. How much is it to soundproof the interior of a home? Tonight I’m home alone putting an irritable, restless 3-year-old and seriously peeved 4-month-old to bed. The baby cries, which sets the older one crying, and so the baby responds, attempting to top both his brother’s volume and tonal breadth. It’s like a woe-is-me fractal that keeps expanding infinitely. I love them with every atom of my being but I wouldn’t mind a couple soundproof sheds in the backyard tonight.
posted by not_the_water at 8:52 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tall tower. No door.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 9:05 PM on October 21, 2017

A large lawn for super serious competitive croquet matches.

To the death.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:16 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

cat room
posted by Anonymous at 9:34 PM on October 21, 2017

It occurs to me only at this late juncture that I never fully considered whether this house had the potential for secret passages or a treehouse. I do have a library room, though. Needs more shelves.

I also would like to have epoxy floors in a finished basement, with glow-in-the-dark and iridescent glitter. This, I could actually have done. It'd be nice to have a basement roller rink that's also a practice space.

Oh wow, there is such a thing as glitter grout. I think I need that in my life.

I also wish I had one or more turrets. I looked at every house I saw for sale that appeared to have one for like 2 years, but that's not what I ended up getting.

Also, a loft hangout space, filled with pillows and blankets, would be nice.

An enclosed pool would be great if I didn't have to take care of it.

A window-seat bed would be really nice. A super large porch swing too, please. Oh, and a real porch. I did think about that before moving here, but it also didn't seem like it'd ever work with this house.

posted by limeonaire at 9:39 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to paint my walls black and put white dots where the stars were. I also recognized that this wouldn't work by using one of those star projections unless the floor was knocked out and it was projected from below. In reality though, what I wanted was my own private planetarium. So, no need to knock out the floor. Just my own planetarium that I can watch the night sky from within my house.

I also really liked Casper Weinberger's indoor heated pool, so yeah... I'd like an indoor pool that didn't make the whole house smell like chlorine.

Oh, and as much of a liberal as I envision myself as, to have this, I really don't want to have to pay the additional property taxes for this stuff.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:41 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rotating Knives!
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:44 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

A little cottage out back for an art studio. No neighbors. The type of lawn I can set some goats or mini horses out to trim. Space for a dog and several cats. A round bedroom.
posted by xyzzy at 9:54 PM on October 21, 2017

I would start a college town. I'd come up with a basic set of guidelines (after doing a ton of research), but there would certainly be orchards in the streets.

Ped/bike/etc access only, though most streets would be designed to permit small motored emergency vehicles.
posted by aniola at 10:03 PM on October 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

did i say corpse hatch? i meant innocence tube.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:13 PM on October 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

-just, like, an entire giant fuckin tree growing in the middle of it. not a treehouse, you understand, the house itself is on solid ground. but a tree, in the middle.
-many cozy, cushioned window nooks
-courtyard(s) with beautiful tile and good-smelling plants
-enough trees in the front and/or back to have that ocean noise you get when the wind blows through the leaves
-nice kitchen, two ovens
-second floor main bedroom with balcony with a nice view
posted by yasaman at 10:22 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh right, I also want fruit trees and weird purple and blue potatoes and walking-stick kale and a katsura tree and a ginkgo tree. But none of those are solely in the realm of fantasy.
posted by limeonaire at 10:25 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

In Pat Wrede's Enchanted Forest books there's a witch who has a door in her house that opens to whichever room she needs at a given time. I'd love one of those.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:27 PM on October 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Our IRL house has foot-thick walls and is technically closer to the North Pole than the Equator but it's small enough that it pretty much doesn't need heat. Maybe body heat and fridge heat are enough or something? Or you can turn the heat on for like 5 minutes and then the whole house is most toasty.
posted by aniola at 10:36 PM on October 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Another thought: I need built-in display cases for my collections.
posted by limeonaire at 10:41 PM on October 21, 2017

cat room

Like this?
posted by aws17576 at 11:20 PM on October 21, 2017

Mine would be a brutal concrete volume with cabinetry and furniture cantilevered from the walls, or swinging from the ceiling. The floor would be concrete with a fall to channels so I could hose it out when the dog hair, ageing bladder issues, beach sand or the wine spills get too much.
posted by honey-barbara at 11:26 PM on October 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd go for a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle training course, or maybe a wrestling room, or maybe both. Mostly my dream room would be my dream gym, I guess. All the other stuff is pretty easy to cover.
posted by egregious theorem at 11:36 PM on October 21, 2017

... heated by wood and coal ...

Why wood and coal? Just in case one or the other runs short?

I think you also need a grove, to supply all the wood for the fireplaces and sauna.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:49 PM on October 21, 2017

This is hard 'cause we moved in August to a place that is just so much better than anywhere I've lived as an adult.

If I had to pick further refinements, detached and a lot more rural would be high up the list, with a decent piece of land and lots of trees. A separate garage building and room that I could have more than one vehicle, maybe a classic car (absurd luxury when we're only two people and only one of us can drive).

Laundry room sounds excellent and I would like a basement even though this is not really a standard feature in England.

A totally silent heating system would also be incredible. I hate boiler noises and radiator clunking so much, and one of the very few downsides to our new place compared to our last place is that the shower runs off the hot water rather than being heated separately, so I can't turn the boiler off at night and get some blissful silent sleeping time like I used to if I want to be able to bathe in the morning.

More space for crafts would be nice too, as would an actual custom-built studio with proper soundproofing (right now we have all the instruments and recording gear in what is nominally the living room). Also I like lying down enough that some kind of recliner chair setup with a screen in the ceiling so I could play games horizontally would be great.

And a conservatory full of ferns and green stuff, and a summer house-style office outside with big windows and a napping couch.
posted by terretu at 12:00 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I want Rourke's house from the Eve Dallas books.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:08 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

A truck height loading dock, disguised as a porch so it wouldn't look too industrial.

Terrazzo floors in the kitchen(s) and bath(s), coved up at the wall.

I also endorse the silent heating system.

A doorbell that includes an actual bell made from an oxygen tank. BONG!

A shower large enough or arranged cleverly enough that no door or curtain is required.

All doors at least 36 inches wide. 42 inches would be better. When I came home from the nursing home after breaking my leg, it was really annoying to have to go through the bathroom door sideways with my walker.

If the house were in snow country, provision to heat or cool the walks and driveway. I would cool them just before the snow starts so pedestrian traffic wouldn't pack the snow to ice, then heat them when it's time to shovel so the snow comes off easily. (Of course I could just run them hot enough that the snow never sticks, but that takes a lot of energy and you have to think carefully about where the melt water drains to.)

Light switches arranged so I never have to cross a dark room to turn on the light.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:37 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would like a fully wheelchair-accessible Victorian mansion modeled after Mark Twain's house, but larger and with all the modern conveniences. Must have solar panels and a PowerWall to run my ventilator in case of blackouts. Must have an elevator shaft in the turret. Top of the turret must also have a section of the roof that is retractable for easy telescope access, and a flagpole for raising the black flag on Talk like a Pirate Day. Robots scurry around doing my bidding, weeding my garden/heirloom apple tree orchard and cooking my food. Plenty of rooms for caregivers, fellow disabled people, foster children, service dogs, and feline footwarmers to live in. A voice-activated electric wheelchair van in the garage. I'm having trouble deciding whether to call it "Cripple Heaven" or "Miss Jane's Boardinghouse".
posted by Soliloquy at 12:47 AM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

The more I think about it, I want my old high school. Giant library, pool, basketball court. Shops and labs. Theater and music rooms. Large commercial kitchen with seating for 200+. Room for 30-40 apartments for artists in residence. Large halls and doors for complete wheelchair accessibility. Tons of storage (2000+ lockers.) Room in the "back yard" for a small airstrip and an orchard.

But I'd have to be a Powerball winner to afford the upkeep.

Or maybe just tear down the wall between the dining room and the kitchen, and add a mudroom/laundry room.
posted by Marky at 12:56 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Hm. I am pretty happy with our apartment now (it's quiet. Traffic noise, but that doesn't bother me, unlike the sound of other people's conversations and music and TVs. Heaven), but, let's see. A view out the window containing a) trains, b) pretty buildings, c) a body of water. Tatami mats which are magically cat-claw safe so we could have a cat. Murphy-bed type bookshelves, are those a thing? Some kind of a loft, just because lofts are neat...
posted by huimangm at 1:08 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like my house a lot, and the few things that it is still lacking (roofed patio in the back, new bathroom with a 2 person tub) I will be getting added in the next few years. The thing that I have to just wistfully wish for, though, is a backyard like my last house - it had tall walls and fences around all sides so it was totally private. I would sometimes nap on an air mattress on the lawn in the summer. My place now has low fences on either side of the backyard, and though my neighbours are all super nice people, I really miss having a bit of outdoors that is just mine and I don't have to interact with anyone I haven't invited there. I had thought of building taller fences, but then during a conversation I had with my lovely, sweet neighbours they mentioned how much they like the way all the backyards in our area are open to each other, and now I would feel like a monster if I messed that up for them. sigh...
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:52 AM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I want a juggling hall. And a Project Room with a big long bench down the middle for all kinds of half finished sewing and music and electronics and jigsaws and a marble run. Also there must be a slide that goes down next to the stairs and a bunch of climbing wall hold thingies on the way back up. And a wall in the bedroom behind which is an open wet room style shower and then one of those full body hairdryer things.

All the windows should go down to Seat Height and then have a nice deep window seat full of cushions.

There should be a train that goes around the walls all the way around inside the house and you can use it to send people drinks.

Also a swing, suspended from a beam.
posted by quacks like a duck at 2:56 AM on October 22, 2017

I imagine a clean, well-lighted place. (Minus the implied alcohol.)
> Our IRL house has foot-thick walls and is technically closer to the North Pole than the Equator but it's small enough that it pretty much doesn't need heat. Maybe body heat and fridge heat are enough or something? Or you can turn the heat on for like 5 minutes and then the whole house is most toasty.
It's the superb insulation. Congratulations!

I once had a chat with a friend from southern France about his parent's home (also technically "closer to the Pole than to the Equator"). Their view was that with sufficiently well-designed and implemented insulation, heating should be unnecessary. Granted, climate played a role, but insulation does save heating bills by a lot.


Off-topic, I think I'm making progress with psychotherapy. I made lots of connections, of memory, feelings, and insights. As I make them sometimes I get tearful. I write and write and remember and feel and think and read and write.

Also, I'm reading Judith Herman's book Trauma and Recovery. The paperback bundle of pages feels like a box of lightening in my hand. It's a testament to the evil that men can do, and also to the resilience of the downtrodden, the power of the most powerless. I cannot read that book without tears.
posted by runcifex at 3:41 AM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

When my partner and I were house-hunting, nothing we saw was what we wanted, so we got the house that had the most potential to become what we wanted. So, in a sense, we have our dream house, it just calls on us to cover the difference ourselves (thankfully, there's no HOA to stand in the way of changing the exterior). The only thing the building lacks that I can't add is a basement to fill with various woodworking and crafts equipment. I could use the garage except for how hot it gets in the summers here, and similarly most varieties of outbuilding are going to lead to big electric bills from A/C usage.

Builders generally don't do basements hereabouts, and I've heard a couple excuses about how local climate or soil makes them impractical, but it looks to me more fundamentally a problem of builders being too cheap to do it properly and using their failures as excuses to deter buyers. When we were house-hunting, the few houses that had half- or full-basements looked like horror movie sets, walls and sometimes ceiling blackened with mould, which flippers would sometimes cover with KILZ or drywall (which would subsequently begin wrinkling and staining from perpetual dampness) rather than clean and seal properly. Other houses would reek of random flavors of air freshener on the upper floors and of dank and dry rot below. By contrast, the houses far above our price range almost always had basements, and those basements were always clean, dry, and had foundations lined on the outside with gravel backfill, and this would seem to disprove the "climate and/or soil" excuses.
posted by ardgedee at 4:32 AM on October 22, 2017

An office/studio with good natural light and a door that closes.
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd like a house high up in the mountains with a deepwater dock.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:08 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I always loved how Frank Lloyd Wright designed his gutters to work as irrigators for planters, so that's a must. My home would be very small, but have a wrap-around partially screened in porch, a big big sunroom (like half of the square footage in the house) full of happy plants and comfy places for my cat to lounge, a big fenced yard for the dog, a big kitchen with a gas stove, and a bathroom with a window in the shower. Done.
posted by sockermom at 6:20 AM on October 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

I think as long as I have window seats with overstuffed pillows and back rests, a fluffy blanket, and a cat or two, I can make anything work.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:01 AM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

A solarium, a hidden room that I enter by pulling on a statue and having a bookcase spin around, and a train that runs through the house like they had on Silver Spoons.
posted by kimberussell at 8:01 AM on October 22, 2017

Heated floors. A turret. A wrap around porch. Leaded windows. Every closet designed within an inch of its life with shelves or drawers and hanging bars (every closet wallpapered, too, but not the rooms)
posted by crush at 8:08 AM on October 22, 2017

This is a question I think about quite a bit!

Hot tub, indoor, outdoor, I don’t care.
Underfloor heating with a nice dense wood/engineered wood

Heated towel racks. A deep soaking tub. A great showerhead. I don’t take long showers, but I like the water pressure to be good. Tankless water heater, again, not for long showers, but I don't want to be heating water and then just...keeping it warm.

Heated mattress pad…perhaps you’re noticing a theme here…
Well vented bathroom and kitchen, everywhere really because I want to be able to be very hygge and burn candles. Good plants. Maybe an indoor lemon tree that fruits!

Double oven with a big gas stovetop, perhaps with an ancillary burner offset for the canner. Cold storage for potatoes and onions and aging cheeses and forcing bulbs. Deep freeze that’s giant and a tiny fridge. I really just want to keep a stick of butter, a jar of sourdough starter, a couple open jars of pickles and jams, leftover dinner, oh damn, I just realized that if I’m living in my dream house I’m probably getting the CSA to my place. That takes a lot of fridge space. I guess a normal fridge. But nothing huge. Pantry for canned goods/storing the empty jars, the freezer could live in the pantry. Pull out shelves in all the low cabinets. Toe kick drawers for cookie sheets and other shallow items underneath the lower cabinets. Shelves in the kitchen under the cabinets/above the sink. I don’t like clutter on the counter but there are things in every kitchen that just need to be easy to get to/see, whether that’s the sponge or the measuring cups, depends on the kitchen. Also, extra sets of identical measuring cups/spoons. I’m always pitching the wet 1/2 teaspoon measure in to the sink and then realizing I need to measure 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Thank goodness for the 1/4 teaspoon….unless it is also wet.

Wool rugs and throw blankets and a couch that’s good for snuggling.
Art for the walls
Giant windows with remote control blinds/shades

Washing machine. I could give two shits about a dryer, but definitely a washer and a retractable drying line, plus expandable drying rack mounted to the wall. Maybe a drying horse, for days with lots of laundry. All in a well ventilated area. And if other people are going to use the space, they must know not to close the washing machine while it’s empty, so that it dries out and doesn’t develop a funk. Let's put some kind of storage in the space where the dryer would go.

A vacuuming robot that can handle rugs. Or rugs that can handle the vacuuming robot. I’d also want the home wired for sound so that I don’t have to worry about plonking my phone into a bundt pan to hear music, audiobooks or podcasts. Without having to deal with any of the eavesdropping services like amazon or google.

If I’m dreaming big and staying in NYC, I’d like it if this could be near the Highline, or in the East Village, though if someone gave me an Upper West Side apartment of nearly any sort, I would not flinch. I could also enjoy all of these things in a Brooklyn building, I just really like Manhattan.

If I’m leaving the city for this fantasy home, then it should also have a garden with dwarf or espaliered apples, asparagus, and rhubarb that already produce and are well cared for. I would also rejoice in a small sour cherry tree, and neighbors that help pick it. Let’s put this house near a good trail for riding and put two horses in a barn with a couple acres to graze. Some bit of it flat enough for bocce. There can be a kiln out there somewhere so that I can make terrible pinch pots and play with glaze. Let’s catch all the rainwater and use it for the gardens/horses. Rock climbing wall and, at least to start, someone to set interesting courses for me. Maybe in the barn?
posted by bilabial at 8:14 AM on October 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

If I had all the money I’d be driving my old car and wearing my old clothes while I installed tall stuff.

Same, only I am short. So for a 5' 2" person. No high cabinets, or some sort of steps built in to get to all of them.

Otherwise, I am conflicted. There are things I like but I also think that it's useful and important to learn to be okay with what you have, desire is the root of all suffering etc. So sometimes when I am working on my dream house (which is a good way for me to go to sleep) I flip back and forth between a list of criteria but then also trying to appreciate what I have (which I do!). That said, here is what I'd really like

- a bedroom that is dark as a tomb and nearly as cold and has the woosh woosh sound of airport lobbies but also maybe a window or two that will raise their shades (silently!) after I've been asleep for eight hours. Maybe a murphy bed.
- guestrooms somewhere really far away so I could have people visit but not making noise right next to me at night.
- a place where I could walk out my door and be in nature without having to cross a street (I have this now, it's great)
- project room with giant table and also storage space
- one good well-lit chair for reading
- the biggest deepest bathtub and a hot water heater that could fill it (I usually have one but not both of these)
- humidity control that doesn't involve schlepping water at some point
- an invisible cleaning robot/spirit thing that is made happy by restoring order to chaos who makes the place 25% more clean while I am away

The big thing about a lot of these being dreams is that they're attainable but take work. I would like them to magically happen. That is the dream house part of this. Or, you know, just putting up a little cabin at Forevertron and calling it a day.
posted by jessamyn (temp) at 8:18 AM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

Maybe a murphy bed.
I want a murphy bed! I don't think I can justify the expense, but my parents have one in their spare bedroom, and it is literally the best thing ever.

The one thing that I miss from my old apartment is having a little grocery store across the street. I would like that, although I don't know if my across-the-street neighbors would appreciate having a grocery store in their house.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:27 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I want secret rooms and passageways! In fact I actually have a room at the end of a hallway that could more or less be hidden with a Murphy door. There are more pressing projects around here though. Which is why I’m in bed at 12:30 on a beautiful fall Sunday, typing on my iPad.

I also want every room to have windows on at least 2 walls.
posted by TedW at 9:25 AM on October 22, 2017

Zeppelin hangar.

(I thought I posted this last night but must have dreamt it?)

My dream architect home is not a single structure, but a collection of smallish, purpose built structures linked by covered paths. A sleeping hut, a dining hut, a meeting/entertaining hut, etc.

My other dream is like a Mexican hacienda: a donut around an open courtyard/garden. You know, for the zeppelin tower.
posted by notyou at 9:37 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would be fine in a tiny house (not a Tiny House, just a tiny house :) ), kind of like the Irish fisherman's cottages, but with with one or two bedrooms to the side and the middle living space stretching wall to wall, big windows, with an ocean view on one side, and rolling wild meadows and tree groves on the other. Five minutes walk to the town with at least some grocery stores.

Kitchen door opening on half-wild garden, with a stone stoop to sit on with a cup of coffee. Local cats and dogs who would visit daily for noms and philosophical conversation about passing seasons.

Honestly, that's it. Everything else doesn't matter :)
posted by Ender's Friend at 10:14 AM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

A small house just like the house I have connected via a tree route rope and plank passageway to a Very Large House which is THE LIBRARY with all my books, where there are comfortable but oldish leather chairs and lots of windows with dappled sunlight on the floor, and cake, all the time.

And an outdoor shower.
posted by barchan at 11:16 AM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

As someone who hopes to spend the rest of my life in the densest parts of the densest cities and who has neither prospects nor ambition for making enough money to buy more than the interior walls of a home in a location where I'd actually want to live. . . it's a bit of an academic exercise. (Not that I'm complaining. I'm living in one of the tens of thousands of homes within walking distance that are close enough to my ideal home, after moderate renovation, as makes essentially no difference. Which is fantastic and incredibly lucky.)

If I were exiled to the country with plenty of cash and in a land with lenient zoning laws and building codes, I'd love to build a fully-underground home whose entire surface footprint is a garden with plants and large sculptures into which are built openings for light pipes, air ducts, and doors. It would take thoughtful engineering - especially when it comes to not having to pump water out of it - but a home that has passive temperature regulation and looks otherwise like a park sounds fantastic. I'd probably settle for something like a thick-walled (e.g., straw-bale) home built into the side of a mountain with a nice view, though.

Above ground architecture can occasionally be neat, but the conflict between making something that's interesting on the outside and actually useful as a house on the inside strikes me as nearly insurmountable. No matter how much frosting you apply to a box, it's still just going to look like a box. Unless it's not a box, in which case it's a nearly unusable pain in the neck to actually live in.

Give me a hand full of underground boxes at slightly different levels with vaulted ceilings and save the fancy exterior architecture for public spaces that don't need to accommodate bookshelves and beds. (If only Frank Lloyd Wright had spent more time making Unity Temples and less time drawing rectangles on rich people's chairs. . . *sigh*)

And, while we're at it, let's also put in an large indoor heated pool. Go ahead and give it glass walls and surround the whole thing with a salt water tank full of brightly colored fish. And a water slide. And a pool-level sunken wet bar. And we'll set up an annuity to provide for well-paid cleaning staff to maintain it. That shouldn't be too hard to include, since we'll save so much on roofing and not needing to build a garage. Maybe we can filter the water that comes from the sump pump and use that to top up the tanks.
posted by eotvos at 11:16 AM on October 22, 2017

On reading other answers,
When I was a kid I used to dream of having a place with a long swimming pool that went between rooms, or from outdoors to indoors -- so you could swim under the wall into the next room, and maybe the wall would have cool cut-out passages, or swim-up nooks inside the wall between rooms.
Wow! I had almost exactly the same dream as a kid and have never heard anyone else talk about it. Although I took swimming lessons and would occasionally go to public and motel pools, swimming wasn't really a big part of my childhood. But, for some reason the idea of a house that was actually a multi-room pool sure was exciting. Neat!
posted by eotvos at 11:24 AM on October 22, 2017

A multifamily home built around a large shared atrium and garden. Give it a flexible design so an extended family could share space or live independently according to what they want and need at the time. When parents grow older and kids marry and have their own kids, the house can be adapted to handle them. Instead of growing up and moving out, you could just divide off part of the house into your own small apartment. When mom and dad turn into grandma and grandpa, they might want to downsize without going anywhere. The atrium would be a safe and private place for kids and pets and gardens and wandered old ones. And build some home office space into the home itself or in a separate building. Locate it in or near a good city like Boston, and within easy walking or bicycling distance of grocery shopping and good public transport.
posted by pracowity at 11:32 AM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

When I was a kid I used to dream of having a place with a long swimming pool that went between rooms, or from outdoors to indoors -- so you could swim under the wall into the next room, and maybe the wall would have cool cut-out passages, or swim-up nooks inside the wall between rooms.

Setting it up to swim from floor to floor would be even more interesting, though perhaps trickier to engineer. (Some system of airlocks, perhaps?)
posted by Dip Flash at 12:40 PM on October 22, 2017

A little tiny room in which there is exactly enough money to pay off the house, pay all taxes and insurance and upkeep expenses, until the day I die.
posted by davejay at 12:46 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I designed a two-story hexagonal dream house in my head. It had a central atrium which would serve as living room. The atrium was also a hexagon but rotated from the exterior hexagon so the exterior rooms were somewhat flattened pentagons with three oblique angles and two right angles for the rooms' exterior corners. The windows of the atrium ended up being lozenges because of the way roofing systems came together. I imagined how the light would come in through them in the morning and evening.

It had a kitchen that consisted of two conjoined pentagons open to the living room atrium area. The atrium was going to have a parquet floor that picked up on the house's geometry. There was going to be a second-floor walkway overlooking the atrium that gave access to the second floor rooms (mostly bedrooms). The second-floor rooms would have tongue-and-grove wooden batten ceilings. I also wanted it to have a two-story library, but I couldn't get that to work within the constraints of the hexagon-within-a-hexagon design.

I'm a carpenter, so I spent a lot of time working on design of the framing for this thing. I was pretty happy with how it came out, though there were some details I couldn't get, and I was especially happy with the roofing system. I'm sure I still have drawings around somewhere.

The thing is, this house was designed for a family. A master bedroom with storage space at each end for two people's clothes. A kitchen big enough for two people to work in without getting in each other's way too much and laid out with that in mind. It was a house designed for two people who are both fairly private and might need to get away from from each other sometimes and need to have spaces to do that, who might have kids who need their own bedrooms, who might need to take in an elderly relative at some point who can't handle stairs, and who the family might need to maintain some privacy from and vice-versa. I'd worked on enough house remodel jobs to think about how the flow of a house and the layout of public and private spaces affects the social and family dynamics of the people living there, and seen how different architects had addressed these issues in their designs, and especially redesigns when a couple wasn't happy with their how house worked.

In reality, I'm a middle aged bachelor now, and I never really thought I'd have kids, even then. So my dream house isn't just beyond my means; my life would have had to gone differently for me to have somebody to share it with. That's a design problem carpentry and math skills couldn't help me with. It was a dream about more than just geometry and complicated roofing and framing systems.
posted by nangar at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

We are probably going to move to Portland, Oregon soon, and Mrs. Gamera has been scouring the real estate web sites. She came across this place which looks like it was a church/museum of some sort. It's a dream house in the sense of "place I would likely be wandering around in a dream" rather than "Place I would love to live in." and I've been dying to have an excuse to post it to metafilter.

When I was a kid I saw the Spies House in a magazine. It was the house I was wanted to live in IN THE FUTURE, although I was torn between it and a rustic French farmhouse in the same magazine.
posted by gamera at 12:54 PM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am going to order the high, glass-ceilinged hummingbird aviary filled with amazing blooming tropical plants and small fountains, please, including the world's most comfortable hammock that fits two napping people side by side.
posted by flourpot at 12:56 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I wrote a story once where my hero couldn't find room in his converted castle for a bedroom; so he put a bed in his library. I still think that is a pretty good idea.
posted by Segundus at 1:18 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I always wanted one or more fancy houseboats tethered inside a partially-filled decommissioned water tower. Of course, swimming would be possible, so probably some floating dock things too.

There would be a spiral staircase leading up to a deck on top where you could sit and survey the world, play tennis, etc.

Entry would be via elevator (or really long staircase for the physically-fit) up the center of the tower.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 1:42 PM on October 22, 2017

For me it's anything that'll make people want to come over and hang...well-equipped guest rooms, a home theater, but especially some lovely outdoor living space. I knew some people who had a beautiful outdoor kitchen and a giant pizza oven in their backyard and they threw delicious amazing pizza parties all the time. I think that's the dream.
posted by mosst at 2:34 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

You said boat, so that's pretty much it, but sails of course, well shaped very reefalble, dual headsails for balanced downwind runs. Simple heavy duty autopilot with a redundant windvane. Seriously insulated fridge , solar panels and a watermaker. Lots of line. And three or four good anchors and I'd have an open deep water meetup planned anytime and quite literally anyplace!
posted by sammyo at 2:35 PM on October 22, 2017

Also I'm really looking forward to the upcoming show Animal Cribs where they do pet-focused additions and renovations to add more ridiculousless to my wishlist.
posted by mosst at 2:36 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Four words: Indoor. Heated. Lazy. River.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:36 PM on October 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

I’m really not too picky about the house. Sane neighbors. Decently modern kitchen and furniture. Garage. RV parking. Enough room for the cats, a yard for the dog and of course no HOA or anything of the sort to ban the animals or RV parking.

Most important however — it has to come with someone who cleans the house. And fix things. And remove various substances as they need to be removed (grass, leaves, snow).
posted by cgg at 2:40 PM on October 22, 2017

I want a house designed by Christopher Alexander with special twerks just for me, like a screened porch, Japanese bath (furo), pool. And a landscape designed by Charles Jencks, who does the most gorgeous water features I've ever seen, with lovely sitting and watching places. And a housekeeper.
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:36 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Addressing a point first:

The regular reference to butlers within this thread confirms one's long-held suspicion that MeFites are the aristocracy of the Internet.

I was one of the people who used the word "butler", but did so in reference to a "butler's pantry". That is actually the name of the room, and in my dream house no butlers would be involved. It's something my aunt had in the aforementioned Dream Kitchen; it was, like, a passageway between the kitchen and the dining room, but there were cupboards and some counter space and a dishwasher and a little sink there, and that's where she kept all the plates and silverware and linens, and it was where everything that was done cooking and ready for serving got placed to wait out of the way while she finished the other dishes so she could then bring everything out to the dining room when everything was done. It also was where the dirty plates and cups went; she washed the pots and pans in the kitchen, and the plates and cups in this little extra sink. (or, she washed things in the kitchen while my father pitched in and washed things in the other sink, so they could halve the labor.) Before I knew that this little thing was called a "butler's pantry" I just thought it was an extremely convenient hallway.

I'm back with more Design Elements for my Dream House.

* I want a front porch, so I can hang out there on afternoons when I want to be outside but don't want to actually go anywhere.
* I also want a back deck or a back yard, so I can hang out there on afternoons when I want to be outside, but not only don't I want to go anywhere, I also don't want to wear pants.
* There must be a hammock.
* I want a little kitchen garden.
* One of the rooms on the top floor needs a skylight, so I can over-winter some plants in there.
* I want at least three bedrooms so I can accomodate guests.
* An office/workroom that is actually a room, as opposed to the half-assed dark corner of a hallway that I have now. Half for writing/bureaucratic tasks, half for random craft shit.
* A stillroom for drying herbs/mixing essential oils/making candles/other crunchy granola shit like that.
* There will be some kind of exercise machine in the basement so I can just stumble down there first thing in the morning rather than hauling ass to a gym.
* One bathroom must have a really DEEP bathtub. I like to soak up to my neck, and have to use this suction-cup thingy to cover over the existing drain so my tub can fill as deep as I want it; it'd be easier to just have a deeper tub. ....Clawfoot, too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 PM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I want a compound, with several houses and cottages for family and community. I would love to be able to have my grandbaby walk to my house. Things I would enjoy, like a pool, a paddock and small horse barn for retired horses, a terrace up high for a good telescope, maple grove for sugaring in spring, fenced dog play area are things that can be shared.

I have a house and have re-done a bunch of it in an attempt to put back some of the cottage charm that was thoroughly excised. I love the big deck, the view of the lake, the wood stove. It's small, which is good, but poorly laid out and not very well built. Instead of 1 door to the deck, I'd have 2, and a fireplace on the deck. I'd site the house for better solar gain, install solar panels, and it would be well insulated. The 1st floor has lots of windows but the 2nd floor has low ceilings and only a couple small windows. I'd find that brilliant builder who can scavenge interesting architectural elements to use.
I'd like to have:
A pantry.
Japanese soaking tub
sunny spot for a veg. garden
room for a chicken coop and yard
Window seats
shop/ craft space
Wood floors covered in beautiful rugs
space for art
space for a piano
tiny woodstove on the 2nd floor (they are against building code in bedrooms, but falling asleep watching the fire is very pleasant)

I would love to have a housecleaner and an annual visit from a landscape architect.
posted by theora55 at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I actually went to architecture school and worked for high-end residential architects for about 10 years. I'm really glad that most people here are coming up with fantastic (as in, having to do with fantasy) ideas for houses, because people with lots of money can't seem to want anything other than a replica of an Italian farmhouse from 1540. Oh, and they also want electrical faceplates in the kitchen painted to match their decorative tile (actually happened). They might also want a 6-car basement garage that's completely paved in stone imported from France and has fiber optic color wheel cove lighting so that they can host large parties there; and since that basement garage is actually right next to the pool, why not make a window from the garage into the pool - no, wait - why not have the pool actually suspended above the floor of the garage with glass walls and when you drive into the garage you drive under it? (basement disco actually happened; we investigated the pool situations but they remain unbuilt; the suspended version we figured would add "only" about $300K to the cost of what we were doing). I've heard other architects wish for an unlimited budget on projects, but that's a total monkey's paw desire.

Personally, I'd like to have a home that is modern in style, but also feels "comfortable", and I'm not quite sure how to do that. "Comfort" seems to be as elusive to define as "quality" is in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I'm trying to fight the idea of Sea Ranch as being my secret platonic ideal. When I was in school, high-modern stuff like Richard Meier or some Corbusier homes were interesting, but those aren't the kinds of places I actually want to live in; FLW homes are a little too far in the other direction towards Victorianism. What probably got me thinking about it in the first place was reading a couple books by Witold Rybczynski, that basically covered the idea of what made homes work and actually feel like homes. The only definitive conclusion I've been able to come to, at least for myself, is that open-plan homes are the work of the devil and almost every home remodeling show on HGTV can suck it. I want a bunch of small rooms. I used to want a library, but after moving 8 times in 10 years, my book collection has been decimated and I no longer really form attachments to the ones I have left. Aside from reference and how-to books that are current, my carefully winnowed selection of picture books (architecture monographs and such) and a select few pieces of literature, I don't plan on keeping any of my books after I've read them, and all I have right now fits in one bookcase.

nangar, you might want to look into John Lautner buildings if you want a scratch an itch.
posted by LionIndex at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

> snow
When I lived in Colorado Springs, the very dry climate and abundant sunshine magicked the snow away quite soon after even solid snowfalls. Back in Maine, it helps that my driveway is asphalt and faces south.
posted by theora55 at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2017

I want ONE short kitchen counter. Even just a rolling island! For chopping, because I am short.

Master bath. Two sinks. I have three children and they make the bathroom disgusting, and my husband is always leaving beard bits on the sink. Heaven seems like a master bath and MY OWN SINK.

I know someone with a thingie in the floor of their kitchen, like a vent cover sort-of, and they flip it up and SWEEP THE CRUMBS INTO IT. And then pull it out and dump it in the trash and then put it back and I have NEVER WANTED ANYTHING SO BADLY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

Sunroom and/or sleeping porch.

Remember how old houses had a phone cabinet built into a wall? Like a medicine-cabinet-height thing put between two studs, except trimmed like a doorway or window opening (no cabinet front)? I want something like that, but with plugs and USB ports, for stashing and charging phones and tablets.

When I renovated my bathroom I had one of these put in, the toe-kick of the cabinet turned into a step for toddlers. I HAAAAAAAAATE holding toddlers up to wash their hands, and for an extra $100 I never had to do it again!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:13 PM on October 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seasonal Affective Disorder lights in the bedroom ceiling. On a timer.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:15 AM on October 23, 2017

Master bath. Two sinks. I have three children and they make the bathroom disgusting, and my husband is always leaving beard bits on the sink. Heaven seems like a master bath and MY OWN SINK.

We have two sinks currently, and to us it mostly seems like a waste of space. We've ended up using one for tooth brushing and the other for handwashing, just so that both get used, but I'd much rather have that space used for storage or a larger bathtub.

Having a separate bathroom for guests (or kids, etc) is a huge luxury that I really love.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 AM on October 23, 2017

I've been thinking about this question a lot, and while I've been really inspired by others' answers (a moat, what a great idea!), what I really really really want out of a house is the ability to stay in it all day and not have to go to work. Not so easy to architect that, phooey.
posted by JanetLand at 6:48 AM on October 23, 2017 [5 favorites]

Lately I've been thinking about barges a lot. Last spring I saw a piece of land adjacent to a big pond - building was not allowed on it but I thought that putting a barge (and I mean a beast that's ~50 feet long and 12 feet wide, of the European variety, maybe even a sailing Dutch one) on the land and calling it a day. I've got a thing with boats so it makes a lot of sense.
Our current apartment is close to my ideal house, if we lived in a more vibrant neighborhood: ceiling are very high (3.3 meters) and the rooms are mostly big, importantly three of them are interconnected. I've often thought this set up on a lawn facing a body of water would be pretty damn comfortable. Plus a boat house and a guest house and a workshop. And a garden.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:57 AM on October 23, 2017

A door leads to the basement, and each time you enter it, you are in a different D&D module. You want Keep on the Borderlands? Get in there and slay some kobolds, you beautiful bastard! Queen of the Demonweb Pits? OK--keep your balance! White Plume Mountain? Hell to the yes.

I guess what I really want is the holodeck.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:12 PM on October 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

One of my biggest fantasies is that I want to build a log cabin using only hand tools. I've read a bunch of books on historic construction methods, and I have spent many hours thinking over how I would want to interlock the logs in the walls, and what angle the roof should be at. Don't even get me started on chimney design.

If I'm going to have a really unrealistic fantasy, I would also build a bunch of the buildings in Barns and Outbuildings: and How to Build Them, from 1893, which is one of my favorite books. I could have an ice house with a dairy room for making cheese!

I guess it's not that creative as far as buildings go -- I mean, some of the stuff people are talking about is amazing -- but man, I can't imagine anything better. I love building stuff, I study history, and I hate noisy machinery. I'm also, obviously, a big fan of The Woodwright's Shop on PBS.

(I'm the person who sees vacation listings for "rustic" cabins and gets really annoyed when they have, like, running water.)
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:08 PM on October 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Home to be built into the side of an equator-facing slope, with at least two metres of earth cover. 2.8 metre interior ceiling height. Slate floors with area rugs. All rooms in a single long east-west line, each with a glazed wall giving onto the deck, except the pantry (off the back of the kitchen area) and the recording studio (dug well in underground and accessed via serial airlocks with well sealed heavy doors yielding at least -120dB attenuation; I wish to be able to play my drum kit in an uninhibited fashion while the rest of the family is sleeping). Central living space with an island bench for food prep/consumption and a small free-standing pot belly stove where the TV would go in most houses, with a rear corridor for access to bedrooms, bathroom and studio. All rooms wired with multiple power outlets and at least two groups of 6 RJ45 sockets. Living space, bedrooms and bathroom each to have a sliding door built into the glazing for access to the deck out front. Front eave and interior garden beds arranged to control seasonal insolation, and ventilation via heat exchanger, to keep the interior at 21-23°C year round without active heating or cooling. Lap pool running the length of the deck in front. Hardwood deck planks over a steel frame, with corrugated roofing steel underneath the frame and fibreglass batts between; frame to be fitted with hinge pins and hoisting chains to let it double as a drawbridge providing 100% radiation cover for the glazed front in case of bushfire.

Other than those loose guidelines, I'm pretty flexible.
posted by flabdablet at 9:37 AM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah: no separated shower recess in bathroom - entire floor properly drained, and as well as an overhead shower with a decent flow rate I'll have a clawfoot cast iron bath and an Indonesian-style splash basin, thanks.

And a composting toilet.
posted by flabdablet at 9:43 AM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

My Dream House would have two very important things:

1) a giant kitchen, with big island, double ovens, and cabinets and pantry space for miles. It could hold my appliances, have space for rolling out pie dough, with a drink fridge/bar area and basically be the kind of kitchen you host your own PBS cooking show in.

2) a library with gorgeous built in bookshelves and a big window seat. There will be a tea cart for drinks, and a cozy sound system, with possibly a nice desk with a big comfy leather desk chair in the middle of the room. It's a space for working and reading and daydreaming.

Otherwise, a living room, 3-4 bedrooms, a decent dining area, and a housekeeper could round out the dream house and I'd be set.
posted by PearlRose at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2017

I dream of a library that's perfectly designed to capture that lovely mellow, midday light. There needs to be a arched window, facing south. There needs to be a big, friendly tree outside that window, so that the light can filter through the leaves and branches to dapple on the window-seat, and on the cats.

There needs to be a big, comfortable chair and ottoman where books can be read and cat-naps taken. There also needs to be a snuggly corner framed by sheer curtains, and filled with big pillows just perfect for nestling into and getting lost in another world for a while.

There need to be soft carpets, and warm colors. there needs to be quiet.

There needs to be a big kitchen with lots of light and storage. And an island, because kitchen islands are awesome.

There need to be unobtrusive, beautiful structures for our cats to climb on and nest in.

There needs to be a wine cellar, because wine.

There need to be hammocks, because chilling out.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would dearly love either a hot tub or a deep soaking tub, preferably one that had the weekly services of a massage therapist already paid for in perpetuity with the lease, to do something about my perennial neck/shoulder tension. A living room big enough to accommodate seating for 8 or so people, where it's actually conducive to having a conversation without craning anyone's neck, and one of those herb walls in the kitchen that stayed looking as cute as they do in pictures. A magic robot that handles all house maintainance tasks when I leave.

Outside, a little palapa for sitting and watching the sunset, and a dock out to a protected tropical reef, on a property magically free of mosquitoes and hurricanes. Preferably with neighbors I like enough to hang out with, and near enough to civilization to have reliable water/power and decent Internet. Also close to either a gym or a regular training partner.

(I will never own a home where I currently live unless I find a magic wealth genie, sigh.)
posted by tautological at 9:15 PM on October 24, 2017

By coincidence, the topic of this thread is appropriate to the news that ... Nintendo are bringing out an Animal Crossing for mobile devices imminently and it looks surprisingly good. Like, well, Animal Crossing. Leaving me with three questions:

1. How much of winter am I going to dedicate to this? (If I go very quiet here and on social media, that's probably the answer)
2. How far can I get into this before I start giving Tom Nook real world cash?
3. How will I furnish my abode?
posted by Wordshore at 2:59 AM on October 25, 2017

My dream house:
In the metal stand opposite the hearth where a fire now blazed up warmly, a cigar popped out, half an inch
of soft gray ash on it, smoking, waiting.
Nine o'clock. The beds warmed their hidden circuits, for nights were cool here.
Nine-five. A voice spoke from the study ceiling:
"Mrs. McClellan, which poem would you like this evening?"
The house was silent.
The voice said at last, "Since you express no preference, I shall select a poem at random."
Quiet music rose to back the voice. "Sara Teasdale. As I recall, your favorite….
"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
if mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone."
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:18 AM on October 25, 2017

From the Department of Weird and Specific: I've always wanted a linen cupboard made out of an upright piano.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:16 PM on October 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I want almost every non-consumable, non-decorative thing in my house to be in a database and stored in an automated storage room. It would need an interface from which I could request any specific container and have it delivered to a designated spot (one upstairs and one downstairs). I want to be able to tag each container with multiple tags.

I imagine being able to put every last piece of winter outerwear that we own in a single box. Whenever I find another scarf or hat, I call up the box and put it away. Then the box goes away until I call it back. Another would hold all of our holiday tablecloths and/or bowls or wrapping paper. Both would have the "Winter" tag and I could call them up in early November to go through and pull out what I need. This sounds like a recipe for just sorting clutter, but I would add other attributes to the interface like Date Created and Date Last Opened. When you haven't reviewed a container in 2 years, it comes up in a queue for you to review. Tags can be formatted like Owner:Name for households with more than one person.
posted by soelo at 9:40 AM on October 26, 2017

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