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Old 06-07-2019, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,680 posts, read 49,443,611 times
Reputation: 19129

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
I'm a little surprised at the number of retirees who mention having or wanting high ceilings.

I get the whole "makes the space look bigger" thing, but I'm wondering if most who favor them perhaps live in a warmer climate? Because in areas with cold winters a cathedral ceiling is the most inefficient. Heat rises and cold air sinks, so ideally you would have your heating duct or baseboard at floor level, from which the heat rises up and stops/spreads out when it hits the 8 ft ceiling. But in those cathedral ceiling rooms the heat just keeps rising and "collects" and sits at the highest point which may be 12, 15 or even 20 ft above where the occupants are. Which means you ned a mechanical means to circulate it. Fine if you are okay with ceiling fans but personally I hate those with a passion, so I'd never want a room with a high ceiling.

Obviously this isn't a problem in those parts of the country where the heating season is short or practically nonexistent but I have always questioned the wisdom of cathedral ceilings in cold-winter areas.

Then again, I dislike many of the things that other people think are pluses in a home's design (I don't like skylights or fireplaces and would much rather have a solid wall than lots of glass) so my anti-high-ceiling stance is probably just another apple in the same basket, lol
We have high ceilings.

We have two ceiling fans. Both of our ceiling fans sit directly over a woodstove. One woodstove is used for producing heat and heating the water of our radiant heating system, and the other woodstove is a cookstove/oven for cooking and baking.

The air mass in our home is kept circulating by our ceiling fans.

When we fire0up either woodstove that heat may want to rise, but it can not rise because the ceiling fans push it down and across the room.

Ceiling fans on the lowest setting are not a big load and seem to do fine on our battery-bank over night.



After serving 20 years on US Navy submarines, I find that I like high ceilings. [and lots of windows]
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,561 posts, read 3,662,092 times
Reputation: 12338
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
My house is so small that the only way I was going to fit a real table into it was to remove load bearing walls. I have lots of posts and laminated beams in the house. Fully deployed, I can seat eight but it spills out into the living room. When I remodeled, everything was a puzzle to make it all fit in very limited space.
It looks great and very comfortable. Bright and cheery -- good colors. There's a real plus to having "good bones" in a house but it is a challenge when you have to move them or work around them. I like this.
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,241 posts, read 4,136,323 times
Reputation: 15643
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
I grew up in a circa-1950 house that was 800 sq ft. It was a Cape Cod, only 4 rooms on the main floor: two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen/dinette combo, and a bathroom. My bedroom was only 7' x 10'; I know because as soon as I got my first job I took out a loan to make it bigger. My parents' bedroom was probably 10 x 10 or at most 10 x 12. They paid $10,000 for it in 1950; they put $1000 down and my dad took out a $9000 GI Mortgage.

There was a full basement and a walk-up attic but both were unfinished and only used for storage, not living space. The size of the house didn't bother me until I was about 12 years old and started needing more space. In high school I remember my tiny closet being so jammed that it was hard to pull clothing out, LOL.

I could never live in a house that small again. It has taken me more than five years to stop feeling cramped in the 1400 square feet (just pulled out my interior floorplan to doublecheck the numbers) that I now have. There is no way that I could ever live in this house with another person though. I got rid of tons of stuff and maximized every inch of space but still wish there were more. I'd rather have 2000 sq ft, and 2500 sf would be perfect for me at my stage of life. So I am about 600 sf shy of my "personal minimum" and 900 shy of my ideal. Since leaving my parents' house I've always had houses that were larger and so this one feels really small by comparison.

The upside to having this house is that there is zero room for overnight guests (the 3 bedrooms are Bedroom, Closet Room, and Library/Computer Room) so I have a readymade excuse. I deliberately have chairs in the tv room rather than a sofa, for that reason, too. I don't want to stay overnight in anyone else's home and don't want any overnight guests in mine; I would rather pay for a hotel room for them instead (or for me.)
Your problem isn't "not enough house", it's "way too much stuff".
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,233 posts, read 44,903,829 times
Reputation: 12813
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgardener View Post
Our style is "rustic cabin in the woods", which suits our personalities...we're both nature lovers, neither of us are style conscious, and we don't care about updating to keep up with current trends. We have no intention of trying to please anyone other than ourselves, so if we built again, we would likely stay rustic.

Since you intend to retire there, I think making it your own style is important, since you won't be worrying about resell value after you're, well, no longer retired.

I think "updating" your house, tearing out fixtures and replacing appliances that still work fine, is effectively a mental illness.



Our house is an old farmhouse from about 1950 - honestly it is what it is.



I don't like much recent construction. So much of it seems to be optimized to increase builder profit, not to make a good serious house that is actually a good place to live for real people.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:16 PM
 
6,248 posts, read 4,728,813 times
Reputation: 12808
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
Your problem isn't "not enough house", it's "way too much stuff".
It is not possible to have way too much stuff. It is just a matter of having enough space to accommodate the stuff. That is one reason I mentioned thinking about getting rid of the house in exchange for living in a warehouse with way more space.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:37 PM
 
2,232 posts, read 1,101,378 times
Reputation: 9105
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBCjunkie View Post
I'm a little surprised at the number of retirees who mention having or wanting high ceilings.
We have high ceilings and like it for several reasons, but partly because we only have to heat the downstairs. The upstairs bedroom is a loft, and warm air from downstairs rises up to heat that area. Having to heat only part of the house is a big plus.

We don't even have to use the ceiling fan to circulate the air.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:06 PM
 
996 posts, read 348,218 times
Reputation: 3175
My house is an 18 year old custom built Colonial with a double front porch and rear garage. It is rather large - too large. While it is a more traditional floor plan, the family room is mostly open to the kitchen and has french doors connecting it to the study/library. It has high ceilings, extensive interior moldings, and hardwood floors. The house is beautiful, but it is a little more formal than I prefer at this stage of my life. I have been redecorating the interior over the past year to better align with our current lifestyle. The yard has extensive landscaping that is in the process of being culled and re-designed.

Both the interior and exterior are just too much for us. My husband and I are no longer interested in the amount of time and money this house requires. We will probably downsize in a few years. He would love to downsize sooner, but it makes little sense to do so because we do not plan to stay in this area after his early retirement. Also, I am not quite ready to give up my "family home."

Our retirement plans are an old small (~1600sq ft) beach house in Maine and a small modern downtown condo in another city.


I love seeing the pictures of everyone's houses. All of them are very lovely and inviting.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:37 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,225 posts, read 6,326,744 times
Reputation: 9833
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
It is not possible to have way too much stuff. It is just a matter of having enough space to accommodate the stuff. That is one reason I mentioned thinking about getting rid of the house in exchange for living in a warehouse with way more space.
I have one of my bedrooms to store my paintings. I was thinking, I did add more storage space, I need to fill them up to.
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:44 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,907 posts, read 1,586,973 times
Reputation: 7941
I live in a condo, about 850 sf, so I consciously chose to have a single color unifying the space in order to give a feeling of spaciousness. I’ve chosen various shades of light, warm grays for the walls as well as the main room’s rug & sofa, the primary accent color is a deep gold, mustard color. This edited down palette plus a semi open plan really helps to create a restful feel. I previously had a sort of umber or Tuscan color on the walls but got tired of it & it seemed like it’s time had passed. There are a couple of exposed brick walls too & im pretty ready to paint the large bedroom one white/off-white.

I painted the oak kitchen cabinets gray - what a job that was - & replaced all the hardware with simple, clean, brushed-silver ones. All the appliances, door handles, ceiling fans... any metal, is brushed silver.
My style is more modern than not, “transitional” I’ve been told, but warm. Most of the wood is dark or black, a bit of blond, but no brown wood pieces. I try to have a lot of distinctive art on my walls too.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,642 posts, read 4,699,473 times
Reputation: 27938
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I think "updating" your house, tearing out fixtures and replacing appliances that still work fine, is effectively a mental illness.
I don't think people who want new improved appliances with nifty features are crazy, especially if those appliances are safer than the old ones.

I'll be replacing not one but two electric cooktops with induction versions, since the prices on induction have come down. They're safer than the old electric glass tops. The electromagnetic field below the glass surface heats up the magnetic pan directly. If either of us should we accidentally leave a burner on out of absentmindedness, we won't be burned by touching it. It won't be hot at all. And induction cooks faster than any other technology. It will take a little getting used to, I'm sure.

It sounds like you think we should all still be cooking on cast iron stoves.
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