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Building a Home

5 Things I Wish I Included in my Custom Floor Plan

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Carrie Barker


Are you in the process of creating your custom floor plan and want to learn from others’ experiences so you can avoid making any ‘mistakes’? You’re in luck because I’m sharing five things I wish I included in my custom floor plan.

Honestly, there is very little I would change about my custom home.  Our floor plan is cozy, functional, and perfect for the way my family lives, and I’m still happy with my timeless design decisions SEVEN years later.

HOWEVER, you’re here to find out what I WOULD change if I were to build again … so keep scrolling to find out!

Things I wish I included in my custom floor plan


These are ALL things I can certainly live without BUT I do plan to incorporate in my next home build.


I SO wish I had added sloped ceilings in my girls’ bedrooms on the second floor.

I love how even a small bedroom can look open and spacious with a sloped ceiling that follows the roofline.

I will 100% include sloped ceilings in all of our bedrooms (hopefully) next time around.


Our current closet is large, completely adequate, AND we each have our own side (although I’ve crept into some of Brad’s drawer space). However, I want my own closet!

Not only will my future closet be a little cleaner (because I will be the only one using it), but it will also be beautiful, have plenty of closed storage to avoid dust on my hanging clothes, and it will have at least one window.


We currently have a combined mudroom and laundry room. It seemed like a good idea when I created my floor plan.

This is legit the hardest working room in our house. It’s always a disaster (which guests love because they comment on how happy they are to see a messy room in my house).

Next time around, I will have a separate laundry room with plenty of dedicated space for our drying racks.

My future separate(!) mudroom will have plenty of closed cubbies to hide the mess and larger shoe drawers (than we currently have) for us to store shoes.


We love to be outside on summer evenings, but the bugs can get really annoying.

I prefer to hang out on our screened-in porch. Unfortunately, it’s only big enough for a small sectional and a chair.

I would love to have a screened-in porch large enough to fit a full-size dining table in addition to a cozy seating area.


A bonus room was definitely NOT  in our budget, BUT it’s something we could have roughed out and then finished later (which is exactly what we did with our basement … we waited two years to finish it after moving in).

We have a massive garage and could have roughed out the coolest playroom/teen room! But nope … I didn’t think to do this back in 2013 when we created our floor plan :(.


There you go … five things I wish I included in my custom floor plan. I truly don’t have any ‘regrets’ or feel like I made any ‘mistakes’ with my custom home. 

However, there are a few things I will do differently in my future home and the top five things were included in this post.

If you want to learn more from my home build experience, be sure to read ‘The Top 9 Things I Wish I had Known Before Building a House’.

  1. Jen says:

    I love posts like this! They are so helpful, thank you for sharing! It’s interesting that a large screened in porch is my biggest (and pretty much only) regret from our second custom build 5 years ago. It blocks all the natural light from the room it’s “behind” which is our family room. We added sola tubes to the family room to bring some natural light into the space. Just thought this may be helpful for people to consider the cost – benefit of a screened in porch. For me natural light is too important and outweighs any positives of having the screened in porch.

    • Hi Jen! I totally understand where you are coming from. I LOVE natural light and windows. I also don’t want any obstructed views and that is why we put our screened-in porch off to the side in the back of our house … if that makes any sense. It is completely hidden from the main area of the house, so it doesn’t obstruct any views at all. I’m SO glad we positioned it that way … I just wish it was bigger :). xo, Carrie

  2. Cindi says:

    It’s not clear to me what your problem was in having the mud/laundry combined. It sounds like you didn’t have all the features you wanted for either function, but that is unrelated to whether they are combined or separate. So what is the real problem with having them combined? Thanks

    • Hi Cindi … like I mentioned in my blog post, this is the hardest working room in my house and always a mess. I would love to be able to walk into my laundry room (if separated from my mud room) and not trip over shoes when I have a pile of laundry in my hands blocking my view of my feet. If the rooms were separated, I wouldn’t constantly trip over all of our shoes.

      • Cindi says:

        Thanks. I guess I’m still not sure why the rooms need to be separated. Sounds like you just need more storage (specifically show storage.) I don’t have kids but maybe the issue is that kids make a mess of a mud room in general, but stay out of a laundry room.

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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?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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