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How Did Your House Hold Up Over The Holidays

David O'Doherty
Published on January 16, 2017

How Did Your House Hold Up Over The Holidays

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What Did You Learn About Your Home During The Holidays?

So the holidays are over for another year and what did you learn about your house that you would change if you could redesign it or what would you put in a new house if you were to build one. I dare say anyone who had guests stay with them for a few days, entertained friends or co-workers in their home or cooked a meal for extended family members ran into something they would change about their home if they could. Even if you just had your immediate family with you, you probably added more stuff to the house that will have to be stored or a place found for it. As the time comes to put it all away it is often the time people think about their space and how to improve it.

Planning A Remodel…This Is The Perfect Time To Make Changes

Smiling Contractor Holding Blueprints Over Custom Kitchen Drawing and Photo Combination.

New Kitchen

For anyone planning a major remodel this is a great time to sit down and take notes of what part of the house caused problems, what appliances could have been more useful and how can the flow of the house be changed to be more practical, not just for the holidays but everyday use as well. Is the dining room obsolete and would it serve a better purpose being incorporated in to say the living room and/or kitchen. What part of your current house is never used and could be turned into a practical functioning space. Does the furniture you have now work best for the way the house is laid out? Most of us have bought furniture as it was needed, replacing pieces with something that caught our eye often leading to a mishmash of chairs and sofas, etc. Would a sofa bed or two be something that could be used all year round and when guests come to stay.

 

Maybe A New House Is On The Cards

If you’re thinking of buying a new house this year make a list of the features you wished you had when your house was full of people. Perhaps you’re able to work with a builder or designer who can put your ideas into practice or could show you design feature that they know work. The Internet is a treasure trove of websites and blogs that cover all manner of home decorating and design ideas that can help anyone put together a decent floor plan.

 

The Areas Of A Home That Get The Most Workout Over The Holidays

There are three main areas of a house that get the lion’s share of use and abuse during the holidays. The kitchen is in constant use from morning to night and nearly always has someone in it. Bedrooms that might be empty all year now have bodies and the adjoining bathrooms will be getting a workout daily. Storage is at a premium for a few days as food is brought in to feed the hoards of people staying or visiting.

  • Kitchen/Dining
  • Bedrooms/Bathrooms
  • Storage/Parking

Kitchen And Dining Room…The Center Of Attention

Picture of an over stuffed refrigerator.

Home For The Holidays

The holidays are nearly always centered around food and entertaining and the center for all that food is the kitchen. It isn’t until you have to cook for 20 or make appetizers for 50 that you really see the strengths and weakness of your kitchen. Refrigeration, storage and cooking space are all at a premium when the family comes to town.

A spacious well organized pantry can be a life saver when the holidays come around. While the food purchases easily double for most host families the easy part is buying it all now where do you put it? This is also a good time to do some clearing out of all of the food items you bought for recipes but never got around to using and purge those out of date items. Refrigerators get a work out over the holidays and keeping everything cold or frozen can require some creative thinking and the use of additional resources. The second fridge in the garage comes in extremely handy at this time of the year. Careful planning of when you buy the important foods that need to kept cold is key. A 20 pound turkey takes up a lot of space and a cooler filled with ice will do just as good a job for a day or two.This is when it’s nice to have a neighbor going away for the holidays who would let you use their refrigerator or oven for the day.

Counter space is one of the most important parts of a busy kitchen or any kitchen for that matter. What with all the Keurig’s, kettles and toasters in every home there needs to space for them all. And where does everyone congregate when there is a get together, in the kitchen, so the cook needs space to work and space to put food for people. A center island comes in handy allowing a space for the appetizers and people to gather around while the food is still being prepared. These days new homes in certain price points are starting to incorporate a butler’s pantry which could be as simple as a countertop with storage above and below or an elaborate annex to a walk in pantry. They function well as a drinks counter especially when they have a wine cooler underneath. Dual ovens or a warming oven may seem like a luxury that may not get used much but is invaluable when entertaining or cooking for large groups. One piece of advice about cleaning your oven which a lot of people do right before the holidays. The high heat clean feature on many new ovens can cause all sorts of problems so if you’re going to use it allow for some time to get a repairman out to fix it long before the guests arrive.

Picture of appetizers on a table

Home For The Holidays

Then there is the dining room that in many cases never gets used from one end of the year to the next. Most dining rooms are set up for a table that seats 6-8 maybe 10-12 and in a lot of families that means you still need a second dining table set up somewhere else to accommodate the overflow… also know as the teenagers/grandparents. Is it worth it to have that space idle for all that time versus a more practical usable living space that can be used for big gatherings. The separate dining room is still being included in new homes although open floor plans that make better use of the space are the trend these days.

Storage Is Paramount For A Lot Of Homeowners

Adequate storage is probably one of the most requested features of a home for new homeowners. Especially for folks who are moving up to a bigger home, they always have a lot of stuff. Even people who are downsizing will look for their new smaller new home to have plenty of storage, years of family treasures that they can’t part with have to go somewhere if not going on display. Christmas decorations seem to be at the forefront of people who celebrate the holiday when they look at storage if they are buying a new house. Walk out storage always gets a double thumbs up over a walk up attic. Combining all the other holidays that people decorate for it is not surprising that storage for all these once a year occasions take up a lot of room. Halloween is becoming very extravagant with how people decorate these days and all those skeletons and tombstones need to go somewhere. A lack of storage has become such an issue either because people have more possessions than they can fit in their house or some of the newer trends in home building to maximize every square inch of the home into living space leaving no room for storage. Making the most of spaces to store all these boxes and organizing them all is key to reducing the stress levels.

 

Double Parked For The Holidays

Where does everyone park when they come to stay…wherever they can really. This is when it’s good to live in a neighborhood with a flexible HOA! Most of the HOA’s have rules about parking on the street some even control the number of cars allowed in the driveway. It’s easy enough to park all the cars, the fun part comes when someone has to get out. A parking pad is really useful anytime of the year, allowing the homeowner to have a place to park if they are using the garage for something else. A place to store an extra vehicle or work on a home improvement project. When the teenagers start driving it can be particularly useful…no more musical chairs when someone has to go somewhere.  

For more real estate related articles from professionals around the country check out these articles.

How To Know It’s Time To Downsize Your Home by Bill Gassett

Holiday Home Staging by Teresa Cowert

How Do The Holidays Affect My Home Sale by Paul Sian

Selling Your Home During The Holidays by Anita Clark

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How Did Your House Hold Up Over The Holidays
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