Post by Andrea Maitland

Happy New Year, everyone!  With the start of a new year, I resolve to stay on top of things and make sure I finish what I start, take accountability for my actions, and focus on what will most likely be the most significant project of my life…my dream home.  There is no floor plan to view in this blog; instead, I want to focus, get it?  Focus on something that happened over the holidays that pertains to my project.

I was grocery shopping and trying to get everything we needed for the weekend into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Well, to make a long story short I had a meltdown in the grocery store, and later, someone asked why “I SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF” followed by “SO WHAT IF IT’S NOT PERFECT.”  Aside from that being the core of who I am and there is no chance of changing, it got me thinking about when it comes to designing a floor plan.  It’s all about the small stuff!  The more details you can provide your builder, your salesman, and the drafting team, the better.  You can imagine my excitement.  So, I started to write things down and here is what I have come up with so far…Be sure to comment on what “little things” you would want to consider when designing your floor plan, OK?  One last thing you will notice throughout this blog is  bold, blue text.  I love to pin, so that indicates a link to a specific Structural Modulars Pinterest board.  Be sure to check them out.

Here is what I came up with so far…

OUTLETS.  Why is it that every time I need to plug something in, the outlet is behind the bed or a bookcase or a very heavy sofa?  I want easy access for anything that requires power.  The NEC or National Electric Code dictates mandatory distances of outlets.  So these outlets will be in addition to those.  Each bedroom will have a USB outlet next to the bed for recharging tablets, smartphones, etc. There will be plugs on either side of the sinks in the Jack & Jill bathroom, as well as a few installed along the kitchen island, and the wall behind the counter.  Check out It’s Electric for more ideas.

WIRES.  Let’s face it; technology is not going to go away.  Computers, mobile phones, televisions, DVD players, routers, modems, stereos, and gaming systems require electric, which means wires.  One thing I hate is seeing all those wires exposed for everyone else to see.  You could be the most organized person in the world, but one look at that mess and your reputation goes south.  During the design phase of your modular project, you should show your builder where your TVs, routers, and other technology will be so the wires and cords and connections can be installed in the walls — for instance, your cable or satellite connections.  I went out to Pinterest and designed a few boards…How To Hide Technology and TVs and How To Hide Them. ( I included this one just because I thought it was genius!)  Be sure to check them out.  There is one thing to keep in mind when hiding electronics.  Adequate air flow is a must, so they don’t overheat.  A good rule of thumb is to leave about 4 inches of space around each electronic.  This topic could start the conversation of a SMART home which involves more areas including HVAC, electrical, and appliance control.  For SMART information check out You So Smart!

LIGHTING.  My parents have under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, but they only have one switch that turns everything on or off, including the overhead light.  There is plenty of light when the switch is on but think of how nice it would be to have separate switches so they would have more control over the lighting.  An image comes to mind of getting up in the middle of the night for a glass of water and having to turn on the switch immediately blinded by the amount of light or attempting to feel for the edges of the counters to take the dog out.  If the under cabinet lighting was on a separate switch, it would reduce the chances of that stubbed pinky toe.  For more information about lighting and the many different types, check out Let There Be Light.  This board shows cool ways to use light as a necessity as well as decorative.

CLOSET SPACE.  Now you are probably wondering why I consider closet space small stuff.  It’s not the need for closet space it is what you do with it when you have added it to your floor plan.  There are so many DIY projects showing how to double your closet space, ways to incorporate shoe racks, pant rods, drawers for undergarments, a built-in laundry basket, and so much more.  Structural Modulars, Inc. works with many companies including ClosetMaid.  Seriously consider having them install it for you…you will not regret it.  And it is available nationwide so you can always find the material to update or redesign your closet down the road.  Check out Amazing Closets for more ideas.

PANTRY SPACE.  I remember as a little girl going to the pantry in our kitchen (which was the size of a broom closet, come to think of it, it was once a broom closet!) I would open the door and among the blueberry muffin mix, canned chicken, egg noodles, Campbell’s soup, and Mister Salty pretzel sticks there it was.  Nestle’s Strawberry Quik.  I want easy accessibility for my daughter and parents, because if it isn’t easy to find I will be sure to hear about it and then you buy another one only to find the first one later and then you have two and so on.  Be sure to check out Kitchen Pantry & Storage for clever ways to organize your food and appliances.

QUIET SPACE.  Now this one may seem silly, but over the holidays, it would have been awesome to have a quiet space to escape.  The other day I was talking with a friend of mine and when she needs some peace and quiet she reads standing up in her clothes closet.  She really needs some quiet space.  Whether it is a window seat, a chair with stool in your bedroom, or your office hidden from view, you need your own space.  Here are a couple of boards with ideas including Room Separators and Personal Spaces.  Be sure to check them out.

There you have it and the crazy thing is I have so much more I could write!  Make sure you comment with your ideas as well.  So in closing “when someone tells you “not to sweat the small stuff,” you tell them “unless it’s designing a floor plan!”.  The little things can create comfort and joy all year long.  It is small stuff, I know, but when you think about it, sometimes it’s the small stuff that makes a house a home.  Happy 2019!