I recently binge-watched re-runs of Fixer Upper. And it has left me wanting to buy a house more than ever!
I don’t have many complaints about this military life. We have been blessed far beyond anything we could ever deserve. However, I am jealous of my friends that are buying and renovating houses.
We know many military families that buy homes at their duty stations, but (for many reasons) we choose to rent. Renting definitely has it’s downsides – not being able to plant a garden or choose paint colors and ‘wasting’ money being among the top complaints.
However, living in all these different houses has given us a lot of insight into the things that we know we will want in our forever home one day. I’ve compiled a list of all the things we have liked about the various houses we have called home over the last 10 years.
A Laundry Room
The houses that we’ve lived in have had all kinds of laundry situations, but more often than not, we did not have a laundry room.
In my dream house, I want a decent-sized laundry room that has a large counter where I can fold and stack clothes. Ideally, it would also have somewhere to hang clothes while they dry.
Lots of Natural Light
At every house we’ve lived in, I have found something that I loved. What I loved about our house at Fort Polk was all of the natural light in our living room. There was a sliding glass door and a window that faced the tree-less back yard.
This meant that our living room received lots of beautiful natural light all day long. I loved that the pictures I took in there didn’t turn out yellow. And people always commented on how clean my house was, but I think it was because the natural light made everything look all pretty and clean.
My dream house would have plenty of windows and french doors to let in plenty of natural light.
A Big Kitchen/Dining Room
Many of the houses that we have lived in have had small, galley-style kitchens. While they have their upsides, I prefer larger kitchens.
Our dream house would have a spacious kitchen and open dining area.
Most of our houses have had light-colored walls. Perhaps that is just standard for military bases and rentals homes.
Admittedly, at first I didn’t like these neutral color palettes. I complained that they were ‘bland’ and I couldn’t wait for a house with more color. The rental house that we are living in now is painted multiple different colors and I don’t like it at all. Red and yellow in the living room, green kitchen and bathrooms, and a brown den – it’s more than I can handle.
The colors clash with some of our furniture, buying curtains was much harder than it had to be, and pictures taken inside look funky because of the yellow light and color clash. My dream house will definitely have a neutral color palette with light-colored walls.
Anything but Carpet
Joanna Gaines uses almost exclusively hardwood in all of the spaces she creates. Our houses at Fort Lewis and Fort Polk were almost exclusively carpet. And that carpet was the bane of my existence!
I WISH I could get back all of the hours that I spent scrubbing, vacuuming, and shampooing that carpet. My dream house will have very little, if any, carpet. My husband insists that we should have carpet in the bedrooms and I’m not against it, but our living room and other high traffic areas will have hardwood or tile or anything BUT carpet.
A Big Front Porch
Growing up in the south, front-porch-sittin’ was always a regular occurrence. However, all of the houses that we have lived in have either had a small stoop or a tiny front porch.
When we have a house of our own, we will definitely have a decent-sized front porch, complete with a porch swing. A ceiling fan would be the icing on top of the cake.
A Covered Carport
Some of our houses have featured covered carports, one has even had a garage, and some have had no parking covers at all. Out of the 3 options, I prefer a carport.
Our dream home will have a carport that will keep us out of the rain while unloading groceries and be as pretty as it is functional.
A Decent-Sized Master Bathroom
It must be some unwritten rule that if you have a rental house, it must have a tiny bathroom. Every house we have lived in has had the same tiny bathroom (8’x5′).
I’m not a huge primp-er, I don’t spend hours in front of the mirror, and I don’t need to be able to turn cartwheels in my bathroom, but I would LOVE to be able to set down my hair straightener and hairbrush at the same time!
We have had the tiniest vanities. It is so hard to set anything down on the counter and not knock it off a few seconds later.
Our dream house would have a decent-sized master bathroom, complete with a large vanity. The examples below picture a double vanity. However, I’m not set on having 2 sinks, but I would love more counter-space in the bathroom. Also, having both a tub and a shower would be amazing!
Garage or Workshop
Since we moved to Fort Bragg 2 years ago, my husband has really taken to wood-working/furniture building. It’s something that he has always had interest in, but due to our living arrangements, didn’t have the space for.
Now that we have a house with an attached garage, he has had the space to house some tools and work in. And we both LOVE it!
Our dream house would also have a garage or workshop of some kind. It doesn’t have to be heated and cooled, but simply a place to keep his tools secure and out of the weather.
Wooden Exterior Doors
One thing I’ve noticed through-out our binge-watch of Fixer-Upper is that Joanna Gaines is fond of using exterior wooden doors in her designs. And I am too!
These doors look good with just about any exterior medium, from brick to vinyl-siding, and look good from the inside too!
Our dream home will definitely feature a wooden exterior door!
Living on post at Fort Polk spoiled us since we were able to visit the community center pool (for free!) any time we wanted. The kids loved swimming any time we wanted and I loved that it was right down the street.
Our dream house would have a nice in-ground pool in the backyard. We could have the best barbeques, throw pool parties for the kids’ birthdays, and beat the heat without leaving the house!
Isn’t our dream house, well, dreamy?
It seems like all it will ever be is a dream, but one day we will be out of the Army. One day will put down some real roots and start working on the house of our dreams.
Until then, I’ll be sprucing up these rental houses and stalking Joanna’s social media.