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Building a Home

4 Things I would Definitely Change if I Built my Home Again (and 4 Things I would Never Change!)

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


I have been asked by several readers on Instagram what I would change if I built my home again.

Honestly, there isn’t much I would change, but I will share my shortlist below. Possibly something on this list will help you in making your own home building decisions!

I can’t stress enough how happy I am with my home! Obviously, trends and my design style evolve over time so there are some cosmetic things I would change, but this post is all about the actual house structure.

I don’t want to share the negatives without sharing some of my absolute favorite things about my home too! I hope both of these lists inspire you when creating your own home and floor plan!


If you purchase my FLOOR PLAN, you CAN make these changes … and I will be SO envious of you and your home!!


This is the NUMBER ONE thing I would change if I built my home again! I even had this on my list of MUSTS when creating my floor plan, and yet I didn’t do it!

My husband and I have always shared a closet; we each have our own side … but this just is NOT the same as having my own closet!

I dream about a beautiful, feminine closet with gorgeous wallpaper and modern glam accents! I will DEFINITELY do this in my next home!

dream walk-in closet



I would LOVE a huge kitchen island to accommodate several people. My island is 8’ x 4’ … we can comfortably fit three people at the island, but I want to comfortably fit at least my family of four!

When creating my floor plan, I did consider enlarging the island. However, this would have increased the square footage of my kitchen, and consequently increased the square footage of the second floor.

Increasing square footage increases the cost of a home. Unfortunately, that large island didn’t fit in our budget BUT I will get that dream island in my next home … hopefully!

white kitchen caroline on design



I have a fairly large combined mudroom/laundry room, but I do wish it was a little bigger (a girl can dream)!

This room works HARD, and we could use a dedicated space to set up drying racks because they seem to be out daily!

Unfortunately, I would have the same issue as above with the kitchen island … increasing the size of my mudroom/laundry room would have increased the square footage (and $$$) of our overall floor plan.


I SO wish I had a window in my laundry room! I see many beautiful laundry rooms on Instagram that are flooded with natural light. That would be amazing!!!

I did have the forethought to add windows in my girls’ bedroom closets so that I can see outside when putting away laundry. Why oh why didn’t I have the forethought to put a window in the laundry room so I can see outside while DOING that said laundry?!

change if I built my home again


 You can read about more floor plan aspects I love in 5 Considerations for Creating a Custom Floor Plan.


This was a MUST when creating my home! I wanted a tiny room that was all MINE … and it had to have a door to keep noise out when needed!

This room started as my Online Shopping Room (as my husband dubbed it), but it has grown into so much more as I am slowly building an online business!

Aside from the door, the best part of the room is the large window! I LOVE natural light pouring into the house, and I love looking outside at nature to feel inspired.

feminine home office design


We did not skimp in the window department! We added as many windows as possible to really take advantage of natural light in our home!

There are a few things we did that might be helpful to you when thinking about natural light. We added large windows in our stairway to allow for abundant light in the second-floor hall. We also added a large window in the basement stair landing and large above ground windows to provide natural light flowing into the basement.

caroline on design


I originally had a completely different floor plan with a dramatic two-story family room. While I do love this look, I love our 10’ ceilings even more! This gives our home a cozy feel, yet doesn’t feel too cramped.

We have 9’ ceilings on the second floor. This was a lucky mistake! Our second floor plan was drawn up incorrectly … it was supposed to have 8’ ceilings. I am SO thankful for that mistake! The extra foot of height really makes a difference!


We live on a corner lot so we had two options of how to position our home. We went back and forth on how we wanted to place the house.

We live in farmland country, so the views aren’t fabulous in our area, but we do have some woods behind our home and I love that we overlook the woods when standing at the kitchen island, or from virtually anywhere in the house.

beverage sink


I hope my lists of what I would and would NOT change if I built my home again inspire you in creating your own home and floor plan! You can visit my HOME TOUR if you are interested in seeing more photos of my home!

If you are preparing to build or already in the thick of it, I think you’ll love my absolutely *FREE* Custom Home Build Prep Guide to help you build your dream home with less stress, more confidence, and a strategic plan to stay on budget!

  1. Ashley says:

    After reading this post, I went and looked at your home tour -Swooning over your home, it is beautiful!!!! ???? we build at some point and I can reference this!!

  2. Jackie says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights. We are currently in the floor plan process.
    Thanks Jackie

  3. Halley says:

    The things you would change are the actual items I had to compromise on with our house.:) The kitchen island is 8.5×5 and I wish it was a bit larger but there isn’t room. The master closet situation. This was one thing everyone told me I would want but it’s just not possible so I will live it. 🙁 Also, I am sharing an office with my husband so we will see how things go. Lol! The laundry room! I will say that even though I do not get this big glorious laundry room I have always wanted, I do get an upstairs laundry and a downstaora laundry so maybe one day my boys will actually do all of their own laundry. A girl can dream.????Literally, your list are the things I had on our list to start that I had to let go of.

    • Haha! I think two laundry rooms is FABULOUS! Also, I’ve been in my house for six years and lived without the list of things I wish I had … and I’m doing just fine! Like you, I would love to have the extra space, but it just isn’t possible with the budget sometimes! Keep me posted on your home build :)!

  4. […] Here is a post of mine that can give you some ideas: 4 THINGS I WOULD DEFINITELY CHANGE IF I BUILT MY HOME AGAIN (AND 4 THINGS I WOULD NEVER CHANGE) […]

  5. […] Hopefully, you will be VERY happy with most of your choices BUT there will be at least one thing you wish you did differently! This is totally normal and OK! Just make a mental note for what you want to do differently in a future build! Haha! You can learn about what I would change in my home HERE. […]

  6. Tosha says:

    I LOVE your home!!!???? Are your kitchen cabinets white or an off white color? You have done an amazing job decorating as well!!

  7. Susan Broderick says:

    Would you please share the office wall paper name and Manufacturer? I love it!

  8. Kayla says:

    I love your kitchen.! Can you please tell me what color and material you used for your countertops? Thank you!

  9. […] You might enjoy reading 4 Things I Would Definitely Change if I Built Again. […]

  10. Ina Hopkins says:

    I turned an extra laundry room into my office, using a beautiful, custom stain. My favorite part is that the desk is 30 inches deep. I need that much space!

  11. Mary Beth says:

    Kitchen is fabulous. I am presently remodeling my kitchen and searching for some true gray counter height bar stools. Could you share where these were purchased or the brand? Thank you.

  12. Dana says:

    Good Morning,
    I am wondering what you used (Color and Brand) for your metal roof, same for the regular roof shingles, what color?

  13. Evita says:

    Beautiful!! Did you use kitchen cabinets as your office desk? I think we are getting ready to do the same!

  14. Lynsey says:

    We’re about to close on our new construction loan. I’m curious though… what is the size of your office? We’re thinking about taking a little of the office sq ft and making our pantry walk-in. The office right now is 11×10. Not sure how much we can or should take though.

  15. Karen says:

    What is the exterior paint called and brand? It’s perfect!

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

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a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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