My Design Bucket List

By Lesley Myrick

5 home improvements I’m hoping for in 2019

There’s no better time than the new year to think about the future. Like most people, I use the first few days of January to come up with short-term goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. But let’s face it, 95 percent of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February anyway, so this year I am doing something a little different. Instead of making myself a super serious list of goals that have an intimidating deadline, I’ve come up with a bucket list of design ideas that I would love to make a reality in 2019 — or maybe just in the distant future. Fun, right?

The first thing on my list is something I have wanted for a while but don’t have space for — a wine fridge. I’m a working mom with two young children, and, let me be real with you here, sometimes mama needs wine. (Have you tried the Jalapino wine from H-E-B? It is ridiculously good.) As it is, if I want to have a couple of bottles chilled on hand, they take up precious space in the refrigerator. So really, I might actually be doing my family a favor by having a separate wine fridge. Maybe this one will happen sooner rather than later.

Bucket list item No. 2 is the stuff of fantasy. Picture this: You’re sitting in bed reading a book, all warm and comfy, when all of a sudden you realize that the shirt you need for tomorrow is at the very bottom of your dirty laundry. Panic hits. But then you remember, you don’t have to put on your robe, drag the basket of laundry all the way across the house, pausing every 10 feet to see if you’ve dropped anything along the way, and enter the cold garage to dump the laundry in the washer, only to make the trek twice more to put your clothes in the dryer and bring them in when they’re done. No, you can do your laundry all from the comfort of your room because you have — drum roll, please — a washer and dryer right there in the master suite.

This one is a little aspirational and requires some renovation to make it work well. Did you actually think that I would just shove a washer and dryer into any old corner of my bedroom? Nope, this one’s not happening until I’m ready to tear down a wall or two and build a closet to conceal my mini laundry room.

My third bucket list item is something that I would campaign to make standard in all homes: kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. I am a sucker for a good storage space, and I am a strong believer in the ethos “You can never have too much storage.” I have always been confused as to why bulkheads above cabinets are the norm in the kitchen when they don’t serve a functional purpose like concealing ductwork. All that space could easily give you another full shelf or two. Even if it requires a step ladder to reach, it makes much more sense to have those rarely used pots and platters in the kitchen rather than tucked away in a poorly labeled box in the attic.

Also on my design bucket list: a deep soaker tub. My current tub is a relic from the ’50s and feels like it was designed for a toddler. If I tried to take a bath in it, my knees would stay dry and I’d find myself indecently exposed. I would love to be able to soak after a long day and make use of the approximately 324 candles and bath bombs I have received as gifts over the years. Maybe this is something I can work on at the same time as my master suite laundry space?

My final design bucket list item, a little less ambitious, is upholstered dining chairs. I get it — this is an easy one. I could have this in my house by next week if I wanted. But with two little kids running around, anything that can get dirty or damaged is just not worth the investment yet. There’s always the option of using a stain-resistant performance fabric, but metal chairs that can be wiped down in a flash helps me keep my sanity after a messy meal. So for now, I will just drink wine from my awesome new wine fridge and wait for upholstered chairs until my kids aren’t smearing spaghetti sauce all over my kitchen chairs.

When it comes to your home, sometimes you need to play the long game. Depending on what point you are at in your life, your career or your homeownership journey, your needs can fluctuate wildly. As a parent of young children, I recognize that not all the things on this list make sense for me and my family right now. But a girl can dream, can’t she?