Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by for the transcript of Episode #95. If you’d rather listen to this episode than read 8,000 words, you can click the player below or learn how to get our podcasts on your phone (for free) here.
[Intro theme music begins]
John: I’m John.
Sherry: And I’m Sherry.
John: We like home stuff.
Sherry: We like talking.
John: And we like the occasional game show sound effect. [Pulsing sound effect] So welcome to Young House Love Has A Podcast, where we have deep and not-so-deep conversations about DIY, design, and life at home.
Sherry: Today, we’re talking about why bigger isn’t always better when it comes to houses and where we wish we had less square footage in our home. Plus we take you behind the scenes of a charity makeover we did and I share my hunt for the perfect Mother’s Day gift.
[Intro theme music ends.]
Sherry: I’m really excited about this week’s what’s new update because I’ve shared some sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook but essentially what we’re doing is one of my favorite projects. I always love these fun charity things that we do and this year we were asked to team up with Ask. It’s a Childhood Cancer Foundation here in Richmond.
John: You just said, “Asked to team up with Ask.”
Sherry: Yes. We were asked to team up with Ask. And you know what we did? We didn’t have to ask our friends if we should do it. We didn’t have to ask ourselves. We just were like, “Yes.”
John: Yeah, because they’re this awesome foundation here in Central Virginia that helps families with kids going through cancer treatment. So we had the opportunity to help makeover bedrooms for these three deserving kids, whose families are emotionally and financially focussed on their kid’s health. And so they’re certainly deserving of a room makeover because as we learned, one of the kids right now, their bedroom is essentially a mattress on the floor. But it’s kind of a unique way that we’re getting their rooms made over.
Sherry: It’s a roundabout.
John: Yeah, a roundabout way. Do you guys remember like four years ago, in 2014 we did that big show house? It was with a local builder here for part of a show called Home-A-Rama where people got to come tour all these different homes that were built by custom home builders and then different designers and, in our case, bloggers worked on these houses to design them. Well, it’s with that group again. They reached out to us to team up for this Ask Charity thing.
Sherry: Yeah, and they were like, “Will you design these three bedrooms in the show house?” And then all of the furniture, everything, curtains, light fixtures, rugs, everything in the room will then move into these kid’s actual rooms at home where they can enjoy it and live with it all. And the reason it’s going this roundabout way, like why not just put it in their rooms, is because by putting it in the show house it shines a big spotlight on Ask and then people walking through the show houses might learn more about Ask. Might want to donate. Might want to volunteer and so it’s sort of like a great way to get a lot of foot traffic and the charity will be more well know than if we just went straight to these kid’s rooms and did these makeovers.
John: Right, so it was something we obviously really, really wanted to do because we love these projects where we actually get to help real people with something in the end, especially kids. So the challenge was though, because it was a relatively short timeline. I mean you found out about it, what? Like three, four weeks ago?
Sherry: Yeah, I think four weeks ago they said, “Would you do it? But the rooms aren’t ready yet. They’re not even drywalled” So we waited for the room to come together and to get dimensions and we were kind of looking around for things. But we didn’t get the actual bios about these kids and what they wanted until maybe two weeks ago. And so it became very quick, the turn around.
John: Yeah we basically had less than a week between when furniture first started arriving to when the rooms had to be finished to be photographed for the show. So the show opened this past week and I mean last week was really busy. And it came out great, but there were some challenges like if you found some really cool piece of furniture that was going to take like a month to arrive, we couldn’t get it.
Sherry: Yeah, but I’m scrappy. I found some great headboards on places like eBay. Found some awesome furniture locally. We got some things donated from people, so we pulled it together and I think the rooms are so cute. I love these rooms and you might be listening and saying, “Wait but if the show house is this shape, and the room is smaller and a different shape, how is everything you’re putting in the show house going to fit in the actual room?” Right?
John: And that is a question we asked ourselves.
Sherry: Right, we were like, “How do we do this?” Because a lot of the times these show houses are really grand.
Sherry: And they might have like a nook or a bay window or a connecting bathroom. And these are not always features that people have in their real homes. So what we did is we got measurements of the actual rooms and when anything conflicted, for example if I’d need a really big rug for the show house, but a smaller rug is what would fit in the actual room, we erred on the side of what fits in the actual room.
John: Well, yeah, you don’t want to buy a rug that the kid can’t fit into their room at home.
John: You know, that makes sense – but it does look a little funny when we loaded things in. You’ve got this like giant grandkids room in the show house with like this five by eight rug in the middle.
Sherry: Exactly. And so we’re adding some extra things and I thought it would be interesting to tell you guys some of the behind the scenes things going on in the background. One example is what I’ve been implementing is my double twin bed trick, which is basically the child has requested one twin bed, that’s what fits in their room. But the show house is huge, I’m just ordering a second twin bed.
John: Yeah, and the builder will just buy the extra bed to reuse it in a future show home or a model or whatever. Like they have plenty of use for all that furniture.
Sherry: Right. To be clear anything donated to these kids is going to these kids and anything extra we need for the show is just being purchased by the builder. But it’s really fun. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you guys. We’re going to do a huge blog post from all the photos. We are not revealing a ton about these families obviously for privacy reasons but please know that each room is being specifically designed for what these kids want and what they like and everything from colors to interests to things they always dreamed of having like one of the little girls always wanted a loft bed and we got her one of those. So it’s really fun to give these totally deserving kids and their families these like little special room makeovers.
John: Yeah, I mean, the whole thing like the design part aside, it’s just like a helpful reminder to me that these kids are going through a tough thing and their families are going through a tough thing. They’re actively in treatment. And we obviously can’t make that go away for them. But just to give them something nice that they may not have had otherwise, you know just like a new bed, some new furniture or some new art that reflects something that they got to choose and have input on, I hope is a nice little bright spot for them.
Sherry: Yeah, I mean, the one thing that always strikes me when we do these projects and meet the families is it could be us. Every time we meet these awesome families and these kids, you just see yourself reflected in the families. And so it feels really good to get to do something.
John: And I know some of you may have seen sneak peeks of this on Instagram over the last couple weeks, but we’ll put some of the final pictures in the show notes at younghouselove.com/podcast.
Sherry: Yeah, maybe we’ll put some sneak peeks in there because we have to save the big reveals for a big post. Because we want to give this project it’s due. We want to talk more about Ask on the blog, we want to raise awareness for them, but you’ll get some decent sneak peeks in the show notes.
John: Well, I was going to say in the show notes we’ll also put a link to Ask so you guys can find out more about them. And also, if you’re in the Richmond area, or interested in traveling to the Richmond area, we’ll put information about the Home-A-Rama show, so you can go tour this house and all the other houses in it. It promises to be quite a feast for the eyes I think.
Sherry: Yeah, they’re really fancy houses this year, and they’re open for a few more weeks.
John: I think two more weekends like almost to the end of May. So all the info will be in the show notes because we don’t know that off the top of our heads. We’re not technically in the show this year except for these three rooms, so we have not memorized any of this information.
Sherry: We’re like people who popped out of a box and everyone’s like, oh, you’re here. We are definitely going to go see the show and take some friends too, so maybe if you’re there one weekend we’ll be there too. And definitely say hi to us because when people see us, but they don’t say hi and then they DM me and say, “Hey, I saw you and blah, blah, blah.” I am always convinced I’m like picking a wedgie or like getting something out of my teeth. Like, I need you to tell me you see me. So I know that I’m not doing something really embarrassing.
John: So she can stop acting weird and start acting normal.
Sherry: Exactly. Well, if you don’t tell me you saw me I’m like, it’s because I was doing something weird. And you backed away. And you didn’t tell me and what was it? Because I need to know.
John: Well and the other thing that’s new is we had the most awesome weekend at the beach house recently, because it’s starting to feel like summer there. And I am feeling the payoff of having worked hard all winter on it. I think we talked about in Episode 90 how we were kind of feeling a little bit like burnt out on the beach house for a while over those cold winter months. It felt like we were going there every other weekend and just spending like Friday evening to Sunday afternoon like the full 48 hours we were there just working.
Sherry: And it didn’t feel like we were making that much progress because we’d check something off the list like touch up all the baseboards, do another project and then you’d be like, “Oh crap, we just messed up those baseboards, I need to touch them up again.” Like there was a lot of going there thinking we’d complete these two big projects and leaving only completing one – like it was hard to deal with the lack of what felt like progress. Even though it was progress, it just was very slow and the list was very long.
John: Well, yeah, we talked about in that episode how you can only be so productive in a weekend you know, so it felt like it was taking us months to get something done. I mean, that laundry room that we shared, we started that, well we started shopping for that I think in January, and we finished it here the last weekend of April.
Sherry: Exactly. And we bought that cabinet and assembled that cabinet on previous trips. It was like we just got there and basically hung some shelves this time and finished it out with accessories and it seemed like it came together really quickly for everyone else but I feel like for us not quick.
John: It had been on our to-do list forever, but I didn’t want to talk about all this negative stuff. What I’m saying is it finally feels like the clouds have parted and this is what we have been waiting for because we went there this weekend specifically because there was a lot of stuff going on. It was kind of like the unofficial start to summer on the eastern shore. Like the big thing was historic garden week in Virginia where big gardens throughout the state are opened up for people to tour. The Eastern Shore House Tour was happening that weekend and for the first time I think ever most of the houses were in Cape Charles proper– Actually our real estate agent who helped us buy these houses, we bumped into her and she was like, “Yeah, Cape Charles was always too ugly to have the tour here.”
Sherry: Yeah, so she’s like, “It’s a big coup for us that they picked us this year.” And like it’s amazing. And there were six beautiful homes. One was like acres and acres of land with different outbuildings and brick walls and terraces.
John: Oh yeah.
Sherry: Marble flooring outside. Like we’re talking fancy.
John: That one was outside of town but we got to go to some in town also and it reminded me that there are some pretty grand houses in Cape Charles. Like I get so caught up in like we’re in this like cute little like 1800 square foot home you know that’s charming and not very grand, but there are some that are probably like twice the size of our home here.
Sherry: Right like some of them were bed and breakfasts. Some of them become bed and breakfasts. And some of them are just Vacation Rentals or even private family homes with a ton of grandkids who go there and bang around and bring the sand in and-
John: You know.
Sherry: Have all the fun.
John: What grandkids do. So I wish we had pictures to show you but there was not interior photography allowed.
Sherry: Oh, there was one that was so good, you guys. I’ll put the picture in the show notes at the exterior because I’m allowed to show the outside, but it had this gorgeous curved porch with a blue ceiling and the inside of the house was full of so much fun and interesting detail and I felt like it really had a ton of personality, if that makes sense.
John: Well and that wasn’t the only thing that was going on in Cape Charles. They also had like this blessing of the fleet and the harbor the night before we missed that because you got in too late. They have the blessing of the worms.
Sherry: We did not miss that.
John: We did not miss that. That was that the kids community garden that they have started there and so we didn’t know what this meant, but apparently it was going to be kid friendly. So we showed up and they had an actual pastor from one of the local churches give a blessing and then we all dumped a cup with a worm into the garden to sort of like-
Sherry: Help them do stuff to the soil.
John: Yeah, help do whatever worms do. At one point the pastor said, “Lord bless this poop.”
Sherry: She said, “I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the poop.” And we each dumped these little cups in that appeared to only be full of dirt and then at the very bottom was a wonderful, cute little worm.
John: One blessed worm.
Sherry: One blessed worm.
John: Going into the earth. But it also happened to be really hot that weekend too. So we got to go to the beach for the first time. That’s the first thing I should have mentioned is that we had our first beach day in Cape Charles, since we’ve been able to actually occupy the pink house.
Sherry: Yes, big day to like get to go back there and shower off and have an actual shower and have actual towels like so much nicer than doing that in the bathroom at the beach before getting back in the car and driving home.
John: Yeah. So it’s like a preview of what’s to come like a bunch of the shops were open. There’s a new candy shop, which coincidentally is owned, or at least operated by the people who are on HGTV Beachfront Bargain Hunt. Remember that episode that our house was in before it got renovated? I’ll put a link in the show notes.
Sherry: Yeah, you won’t understand this reference if you haven’t seen it. Go to the show notes, click and read this post about our house. It was our beach house falling apart, photo bombing the actual house next door that was featured. And you can tell the camera man is trying not to get our busted house in the frame but he just couldn’t help it.
John: Yeah, but the family that was featured, you know, it’s kind of like House Hunters but at the beach. That family I guess has opened this new candy shop. So it was tons of fun. It makes me really excited for the rest of summer. And we also got stuff done. We, you know, finished that laundry room area. I finished a table I was working on that I still have to take pictures of but all in all a good weekend. It makes me feel like I’ve set a new course for Cape Charles and the beach house.
Sherry: Yeah, like the momentum is back. The excitement is back. It was just those cold winter months, man, it’s hard to get through the winter.
John: The doldrums.
Sherry: It was.
John: As they call them. And real quick before we get into the main segment, I wanted to let you guys know that we have started an email newsletter as of last week.
Sherry: Guys, we went back in time 10 years and we’re doing what we should have done then.
John: Yeah, apparently email is hip again. No, I mean I think it’s one of those things where with all the social media, you know, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the blog, the podcast, like it seems like things are really fractured sometimes. I know adding another thing does not necessarily sound like the solution to that. But we hear from people all the time that they aren’t hearing all of the stuff going on. Like they aren’t on Instagram or they missed a blog post. So we figured: let’s create some central place where we can make sure that everyone is up to date on all the stuff that’s happening.
Sherry: Yeah. Because like algorithm stuff, people are saying: I didn’t know you had a new post up because I wait for you to tell me on Instagram and then I didn’t see it on Instagram and so I missed the new post. And so everyone’s saying to do an email newsletter because then people wouldn’t miss it because algorithms can’t control your email. So if you’re interested, I know it’s just one more thing to do. If you’re not interested in getting more email, don’t do it. But to make it interesting, instead of just being a recap of all the other things you might have seen, we’re also sharing bonus stuff that’s not seen before. Like in last week’s the very first email newsletter, I added this project I did to create really big affordable framed art for the beach. And it’s not on the blog and not on Instagram. So don’t think that the email is just like regurgitated stuff. It’s going to have new bonus stuff and behind the scenes stuff and some pictures and some links, but it’s also going to ensure that if you thought you saw everything on Instagram, but then you didn’t realize you didn’t, it will have little bullets to catch you up on everything else going on. So I feel like it’s a good catch-all plus bonus content. And we’ll put a link you can click in the show notes. And then you can subscribe if you want to. No pressure.
John: I can put a little email form right in the show notes, so you can put your email right there in the show notes if you want to check it out. You can get one and then unsubscribe if you don’t want it.
Sherry: Yeah, I just like it because I can be random. I have lots of things to say. Who are we to stop at a certain word count?
John: It is not going to be that long. I should warn people, it will be a brief email. While I’m speaking of things that are not too big.
John: You don’t like that segue? Well and speaking of things that are appropriately sized. How about that?
Sherry: [laughs] That’s better.
John: Okay. Sherry and I have come to a realization recently and it’s that our house is too big.
Sherry: We never thought we’d say that. I mean, when we bought this house we thought it was just going to be just perfect. And before you think we’re moving we’re not. Disclaimer, this is not a big announcement.
John: It’s not that it’s not perfect. But I think in having the beach house, we realized that we have more space here than we need.
Sherry: Yes. It’s so weird. It’s never happened that we stay at a hotel or even an Airbnb and we say like, we want to live tiny. We don’t like look at tiny houses on TV and say like, let’s do that. But it’s weird when I think back to when we were looking for a second house. Because in our first house, we had 1250 square feet or something.
John: Yeah, I think it was like 1300 if you counted this sunroom.
Sherry: Right, which wasn’t technically a room.
John: Technically, yeah.
Sherry: And that only had one full bathroom. So that was a huge issue for us. We just wanted another full bathroom. It was like if you wanted to shower, there’s just one. And when guests came when our daughter was born, it just felt like really inefficient and hard to live in. So what we were shopping for, do you remember because this is very ironic to me now looking back?
John: No, I don’t remember.
Sherry: We were looking for an 1800 square foot house. That’s what we thought would be perfect because we were at around 1300.
Sherry: We thought okay, you add in that extra 500 square feet. That’s like another big bathroom. Maybe another space that’s like an office. So our office and guest room didn’t have to share a room.
John: Right. That’s basically what we wanted it’s just like one more bedroom and an ensuite bathroom.
Sherry: Exactly. And the weird thing is when we started looking, we never changed that. We never upped the square footage parameter. But what we did get more picky about was location and how close things were and neighborhoods and where we wanted to be.
John: Well and condition because we wanted a fixer-upper again.
Sherry: Right. We didn’t want to buy a small home that was more expensive, because it was already fancy. We wanted to personalize it ourselves and make those upgrades ourselves. I think what happened is our second house just had so much potential for a makeover and it was in such a good location, and it was great schools that we just sprung on it. And we didn’t think, “Wait, but it’s not meeting our criteria of square footage.” And you know why? Because it exceeded it.
John: Yeah, I think the instinct is that more is better.
John: And so like why stop yourself from buying a larger house if you can afford it?
Sherry: Right. I think you look at your list and if you say like at least three bathrooms and then you find one with five you’re like well it does have at least three bathrooms.
John: Ours didn’t have five, it just had three full bathrooms. But our second house was 2600 square feet so it was basically twice the size of our first house.
Sherry: And we were like, “Oh this is great value. Right?” That’s another thing I wanted to talk about is I was walking with John and I was saying, “Isn’t it funny how we perceive value to be “more”? Like you buy the giant size paper towels because you get more for your money. Or you buy the big can of peanut butter because you get more peanut butter per ounce or whatever.”
John: And whoever said no to more peanut butter?
Sherry: [laughs] I mean I do love peanut butter. But I realized in houses I don’t necessarily think more is better. If we really think about value, there is a tipping point where you have too much and then you lose value because you’re spending money filling it. Right? You’re buying more furniture and rugs and all the things to fill it. You’re stuffing it was more things that you’re spending money to buy. And you have to clean it all. I guess, mo house mo problems is what I’m here to say you guys.
John: Well, and I feel like we should tie up the story too that our second house was 2600 square feet. And then our third house, the house that we live in right now is 2600 square feet too. Like I know it always looked bigger in photos because it was two stories, whereas the second house was just a ranch. It was a very deep ranch. So this house has always looked bigger, but when we bought it, it was the exact same size. Now we have made it a little bit bigger by finishing that bonus room above the garage. So it’s probably closer to 3000 square feet right now. I’ve not measured this precisely but that’s my guess.
Sherry: Right, which makes it 1000 square feet bigger than the pink house. Remember I was saying it’s ironic, we were looking for an 1800 square foot house way back then. The beach house is like 1850 or something so close to that number. And whenever we stay there, I say this is the perfect size. It’s basically the living rooms open to the dining room. It’s open to the kitchen. So if you’re downstairs, you’re together. Our family is together. And I might live to regret that when the kids are teenagers, but right now I love it. I don’t feel separated. I don’t feel like we’re screaming across the house to hear each other. I don’t feel like there’s extra. I mean, we do have two extra bedrooms there. But that’s nice because we always plan to have other families and friends stay with us, and when people rent it, we assume it’s going to be larger groups renting it.
John: Well yeah, and realistically let’s add some disclaimers to this discussion. Like if we lived there full time our kids could not share the bunk room as a bedroom. They would need more room for their toys and their clothes. Like they would not fit in there. So I think it’s a little bit impractical to assume that our life could just transfer over the beach house full time, because I don’t think it is built to hold all the things that we use in our day to day life. Like it doesn’t have an office. Like where would we work at the beach house?
Sherry: On the beach?
John: We would not work on the beach.
Sherry: We would never work on the beach.
John: We would quit our jobs and just sit on the beach.
Sherry: We would live in that house as it fell apart around us because we didn’t have money for fixing it up.
John: Right, exactly. So I think we should acknowledge that. I think the other thing to acknowledge as a disclaimer is that we only have two children.
Sherry: Right. And they’re young.
John: Yeah. And so our perception of how much space we need may change as they get older. I know we finished the bonus room, one because we knew as they became like tweens and teens and had friends over that it might be nice for them to have a space like that.
John: So like 10 years from now, we could say thank goodness for the bonus room.
Sherry: Right. They can go in there watch TV, and we can watch a different show downstairs. We could put them in there for sleepovers and not worry about them and they feel contained and having their own space and feel like they have a little more privacy.
John: Right. And if we had more children, we would probably need this much space or more. You know, like, we caught a little bit of flack for saying that people should only have one fridge. Meanwhile, our friend Katie Bower has two fridges which makes a lot of sense because she has a family of seven. We have a family of four.
Sherry: And also they’re both in her kitchen. I was just saying what about the fridge in the garage? Is that really the best solution?
John: You caught flack for that as well.
Sherry: I did. I did. The flack, and it came a-flying.
John: Yeah. So disclaimer that I think for our particular family, we’re realizing that we could live with less than what we have.
Sherry: Right. And obviously that’s different for everyone. Like someone listening might say, “Oh my gosh, you’re describing your first house as small? 1250 square feet is giant because I live in a tiny city and that’s huge.” I mean, when I lived in New York City, my apartment was like 10 feet by 10 feet. You couldn’t have a sofa, you had a bed and you watched TV on the bed.
John: And she lived there with her first husband and her four children that she doesn’t see anymore.
Sherry: No, I did not. But I’m telling you, there’s always going to be someone who has more kids and needs more space. There’s always going to be someone who has more kids and they need less space, but we’re all very different.
John: Right. Exactly. There’s a lot of probably listening to this like first world problems.
John: Like, oh my gosh, my 2900 square foot house is too big. Woe is me.
Sherry: It is too big. And I’m saying it out loud because I think it’s very easy for everyone to be self-elitist, or at least to act like their choices are perfect. And I think we really feel better. It’s like cathartic to say we kind of messed this up or I wish I did this differently. I love this house. I love this location. People say why don’t you move to the beach house? I would move to the beach house if I were you. We love our kids School District. They’re really tight with neighbors. We are really tight with our neighbors. We love the location, this neighborhood, this community. We’re not going anywhere.
Sherry: This house is our house.
John: Well, I think that’s another thing to just give ourselves some grace on and making the decision to live here because it wasn’t like we bought this saying this was too much house, but like this was a pretty modestly size house for this neighborhood.
Sherry: Yeah, one of the littlest.
John: Well, I mean, I think it was probably averaged when the neighborhood was first constructed. But there’s just been, you know, lots of additions and improvements that people have made or, you know, finishing rooms or finishing attics, and so a lot of the houses have gotten bigger. So I think we set our sights on this neighborhood. That’s how we ended up here. I don’t think we really would have been able to choose a smaller house had we wanted it here.
Sherry: Right. And I think the reason I’m just saying out loud, like, I would be happy if this house were smaller is just if anyone listening is debating between two homes, right? Let’s say you have two houses you like, and they’re both locations you like and they’re both in school districts you like, like everything’s the same, but one’s bigger. I would just say take a second to think about if bigger is always better in houses? Because I would argue it’s more maintenance, more to clean, more to buy, more that can fill up with crap and then you’re trying to retire and get rid of your stuff and you have 1000 things to get rid of in a yard sale. Nobody wants them. Like it’s a lot.
John: You sound like you sound like such a millennial right now.
Sherry: I just, I’m feeling it like you guys have heard me say over and over again that the beach house has fewer things and there’s a lot of breathing room and I just love it. And I think it’s easier to keep a small house that way. And I think bigger houses, it’s easier to say, “Oh that chair is so cheap in a yard sale I’ll just buy it and I’ll throw it in this room and if it doesn’t work in that room, I have another room and I have another room.” Like it’s so easy to fill up these bigger spaces.
John: I think it’s good for us to acknowledge for ourselves you know, again, not that we’re moving or changing this anytime soon. It’s not like I’m going to go demo a room just to get rid of some square footage in here.
Sherry: I did think like should we lock the bonus room and not go in there and then it was like, “No, the kids do use it.”
John: No. I mean it’s impractical now to kind of go back in a way but it’s helpful to think about and again for anyone listening that maybe the money you’re saving for a house should go for either a better house or a better location or some better feature than just more square footage.
John: I feel like the other thing that would be helpful is we should tell people if we could reduce the square footage like magically here like just make part of it disappear, what would we change? Like what will we remove? What would we make smaller?
Sherry: Hmm. I would make our bedroom smaller for sure. That bedroom is weirdly big.
John: I feel like that’s a trend I hope disappears soon – the ginormous bedroom thing where you have to have a couch or a seating area just to make sense of it.
Sherry: That’s what I was just going to say, “How about no more couches in our bedrooms?” And then I was like, uh-oh I’m getting vibes of the no more second fridge and then I’ll get some flack if you like a couch in your bedroom. So if you have one and like it, please keep it.
John: Maybe you sleep on a couch full time.
Sherry: Maybe that’s where you put all your laundry and you like how it looks all over that couch.
John: Yeah, we just have a laundry chair, if you enjoy having a laundry couch, like, go for it.
Sherry: [laughs] Go for it. My laundry chair is necessary.
John: Yeah, no, I think the main bedroom could be smaller. I would take some more square footage in the bathroom, I will say.
Sherry: Yeah, well maybe we would just break that up differently.
John: Yes, but we can’t because of our hallway.
John: So don’t send us that suggestion.
John: I think I would totally nix our dining room. I’m getting a look guys.
Sherry: I’m thinking about it. Well, I think I like the promise of the dining room because we do occasionally use that like when we host people more than four people who need to sit at our island we do use the dining room. It doesn’t make me think I couldn’t figure out another solution because we could just like break out a table and chairs next to the island. There’s still room in the kitchen that people could-
John: Well, a small one.
Sherry: I mean, I feel like our dining table would fit right here between the living room in the kitchen. You don’t think so?
John: Maybe. It would look a little funny. I mean, if we didn’t have a dining room, I probably would have renovated the kitchen differently so we would have a table in there.
Sherry: That’s true. Okay, okay. I didn’t know if you’re saying it just disappears, but the kitchen stays like this.
John: If I look at the rooms in the house that don’t get as much use as the ones we use every day. It’s definitely the dining room. It’s definitely the guest room.
John: I mean, besides your mom lately, we haven’t had guests in there for a while.
Sherry: Yeah, totally.
John: And our kids are at the ages where like if a guest were staying, they could just share the room for the night. And then the guests could have like our daughter’s bed or something like that. That’s what happened when I was growing up. Like we did not have a guest room. There were four kids in my family. It was just like, okay, kids got to sleep on the couch and the guests got the best kids’ room basically.
Sherry: Oh yeah, we would host like 10 people at my house and there were four kids in the house and we’d all sleep in the basement and they’d get all four of our bedroom.
John: Yeah, like a guest room was not a thing growing up.
John: I think we can mix that. I think we could lose the bonus room like you said. Like I think it made sense for this house and for the value of this house and for eventual resale of this house when, you know, whenever that comes decades from now to have that room finished. I mean, heck we’re saying this all now, I could see us finishing the attic at some point because we have the space up there. And it might make the house sell for more eventually.
Sherry: [laughs] And we like projects.
John: Right. Sherry really wants to put a podcast studio up there. But I was like, that’s one of those weird things when people are at a showing where they’re like, why did they put a recording studio up here?
Sherry: No, I’ve changed my mind. You know why? Proximity to snacks.
John: That’s a good point.
Sherry: Because I like to pause while we’re recording and I’ll just go in the fridge. I’ll get like a drink of water. I’ll get some salami.
John: We could put a full kitchen up there, you know, it’s a big attic.
Sherry: That does make me reconsider, except now I’m into the small house thing. So I don’t want two kitchens, I’d have to clean a second kitchen.
John: Well, exactly. So I feel like there’s some competing forces as to what makes sense for this house as a property and the best things for this house and how we actually use it. So I think that bonus room made sense for the house, but I don’t think that we need it. Like I think our kids do pretty well most of the time playing down here in the living room, playing in the office, playing in their own rooms, to have that extra space. Yes, it’s good for the occasional sleepover or when friends are over but that is just a small portion of the time that we’re actually here at home.
Sherry: Right. I don’t think we’d die without any of those rooms. You’re totally right. We could make do and make it make sense and I don’t think we’d ever buy a new house because we didn’t have those rooms. Like if we didn’t have room for our home office, I think that might be a reason like we need to move or figure something out because that’s a room we use all the time, we work from home. And so I really think there are certain things that we would miss and might need to move or reconfigure and those rooms that we’re listing, we’d miss them a little, but it wouldn’t be necessary to uproot everyone and move.
John: Yeah, yeah. I will say I’m glad we have the shed. I know that doesn’t necessarily count as finished square footage in the house footprint but like having a separate space or the garage, I guess too, where you would have like outdoor things. Random tools, like that’s what I miss at the beach house is a place to put all that stuff because our shed is not constructed yet and at the rate things are going, we’re looking at maybe mid to late summer for that puppy and I need it.
Sherry: Sure, 2021.
John: I need it now. I’m about to say like, forget the duplex.
Sherry: I know if we pull people off the duplex to do the shed, the duplex freezes in time and the duplex is open to the elements. We need to get the duplex closed. But I am dying for the shed as well.
John: Maybe what we do is we get them to finish the duplex and I’ll store all my tools in the duplex.
John: Except that it doesn’t have doors or windows right now. So it would not be very secure.
Sherry: Long road.
John: So anyways, that’s the realization that we have come to recently that our house is bigger than we need. And we’re saying it out loud because maybe some of you guys have the same confession about your home. We can all come to terms with the size of our homes. Maybe your house does need to be bigger.
Sherry: I know. Well, I think there are people on the other side of it, too. I wonder if we should put a quiz in the show notes for you guys to take.
John: That’s called a poll.
Sherry: Oh yeah, a poll. We’ll do a poll because I want to know if anyone feels this way. And also, if there was a weird moment when you were shopping for a house and you had your eye in a certain range, and then you were presented with something bigger and you thought it was better, because I feel a little bit like that.
John: That’s going to be a tough poll question.
Sherry: I don’t know. Well, maybe one of my questions is, does your house feel too big? You know, I don’t know how we’ll do it. I feel like the question would have to be like did you always intend to get a house this big and now it feels too big?
John: You know what just tell us via comments on Instagram or something.
Sherry: Yeah, maybe that’s what I’ll do. Look out on Instagram and Facebook because maybe I’ll share a picture and say like, “What do you guys think?” Then I can use a lot more words than a poll.
John: Just make us feel like we’re not alone in feeling this. And actually speaking of the size theme, I’m trying to thread this segue all the way to we’re digging. I’m digging something that changes its size right before your eyes.
Sherry: [Laughs] It’s very mystical you guys.
John: Oh, it was so mystical, I took a video.
[Fresh funky beat that just makes you want to dance.]
John: So back when we were doing some of the landscaping at the beach house, you know, we planted some plants around the front so it didn’t look so dusty and mid-construction.
Sherry: Yeah, it was very dusty for a while. There were just random nails in the ground.
John: Yes, but we don’t have any irrigation there, so we did have to figure out a way to actually water these plants. And I ended up buying this thing called the pocket hose, which is kind of like an As Seen On TV type product.
Sherry: Exactly. [laughs] Perfect description.
John: I don’t know how I got lured into it, but I wanted something. [Sherry laughs.] It was a moment I just, I went blind and I ordered this thing.
Sherry: This is before the spending freeze, when we had any sort of self-control.
John: Exactly. Well, I knew we needed something so I could spray the bushes around the front and our closest hose hookup is around the side like back by the side stairs. So I knew I needed something that was long, but I didn’t want a big heavy hose that I had to either store or haul around. And so this thing called to me. I mean pocket, right? Tiny.
Sherry: The pocket hose.
John: And so what it is, is an expanding and contracting hose. I’m not going to [Sherry laughs]. I’m not going to describe the technology accurately. So you’ll just have to look at it in the show notes to understand, but basically what it looks like when it’s not on is just this very lightweight kind of black fabric. It’s super light is the important thing because you can pull it and maneuver it without like heaving this water-logged hose like I do here at home.
Sherry: Okay, here’s my metaphor. Ready? It’s like nylon stockings without a leg in them versus with a leg in them. [Laughs].
John: Okay, I’ll give that to you. Anyways, when you turn the water on, this thing expands and I think the one I bought gets 75 feet and so I can easily drag it around to the far side of the house and spray all the plants and everything like that. And then when you turn the water off and you like release the pressure by like pressing the trigger again, it shrinks back again. And it’s the coolest thing to watch and I guess to use.
Sherry: It’s a little creepy though, it looks like a black snake.
John: It does kind of look like a snake that is magically growing in size in front of you.
Sherry: We have to share the video. We’re going to put the video in the show notes, we’re going to turn the sound off because it’s just our kids screaming with glee. It was very exciting for all of us. But you have to watch it because it literally looks like it’s alive. Like when it fills with water or it’s emptied it moves dramatically. Like it doesn’t just like deflate, it like unwinds and twists and shivers and-
John: It comes alive.
Sherry: [laughs] It really does.
John: But I think it’s a great solution for anyone who needs a hose but doesn’t want it to take up a lot of space. And it says it’s all those things like it doesn’t leak or tear or whatever. I haven’t had it long enough to prove that but I am really happy with it. So I will put a link in the show notes for anyone who needs a like small space solution for hose.
Sherry: Do you guys know that the show notes are younghouselove.com/podcast? I feel like we stopped saying that.
John: Did we say it four times?
Sherry: No, we never say that anymore. We just say the show notes, the show notes, the show notes. So you have to go to younghouselove.com/podcast. You can find them there. Click into any episode, you can find everything we’re referencing.
John: I thought you were making fun of me for saying it a lot.
Sherry: No, I think we just forgot to say that.
John: Well, there it is.
Sherry: Okay. And what I’m digging this week is actually something I sort of mentioned in a previous episode. I said we went to that craft fair, and I was looking for a gift for my mom. And we didn’t end up finding it. I was looking for some very specific jewelry. So my mom has four grandkids, and she used to have three. And when she had three, I bought it this necklace with three little birds, just a tiny silver necklace. And she freakin loves that thing. And the second her fourth grandchild was born, she was like, “I need another bird.” But that’s not the way the necklace works. Like it’s three fused birds. You can’t like just loop on a different bird.
John: Just like tape one on there.
Sherry: Exactly. Well, I was like, it was so easy to find three, I’ll just find four little birds. It’s shockingly hard. You can find four eggs in a nest or four feathers or four birthstones or four circles with initials, but she really likes the bird.
John: Well and I feel like you’re having the challenge of a lot of these things that try to represent children seem like it’s about mother and child, not grandmother and grandchildren.
Sherry: Exactly. It was tough. And especially since she liked the little silver birds, it was like, “Okay, I just need to find little silver birds.”
John: You had set a bar and you didn’t want to deliver under it.
Sherry: Oh my gosh. So there was nothing at that craft fair. I looked online just like Google searching. And then I was like, “No, I think this is a job for Etsy.” And it was you guys. I found this vendor. And she makes these little silver necklaces. They do have a big bird on the branch with the little birds. And they are described as mother bird with baby birds. So at first I was like, “John, do you think it’s too much like it looks like they’re her kids?” And he’s like, “No, it’s grandma.”
John: You can’t really tell the age of the bird.
Sherry: [laughs] Guys, it’s like a silhouette and silver. And actually, it comes in one bird, two birds, three birds or four birds. It stops at four birds so I got really lucky.
John: Well, I mean, that’s the thing that I’ve been thinking about because I thought this might be a good gift for my mom who’s listening so I’m not spoiling anything. Because I didn’t get it because she has eight grandkids, I don’t feel like they make necklaces with like eight birds on them. It’d be kind of an overbearing neckwear moment.
Sherry: It would be like a statement necklace like Luann.
John: There it is everyone, the weekly Bravo reference.
Sherry: [laughs] Here’s this thing. Check that box and on to the next thing.
John: We’re under contract by Bravo.
Sherry: I must talk about housewives you guys. But anyway I love this vendor it was $32 you could choose the difference in the length of the chain you could do 16 inch, 18 inch 20 inch. My mom is tiny so I did the 16 inch. It arrived early. I already got the text with the picture of it. She included my brother and sister in law because two of the grandkids are theirs. And so she just is thrilled that she’s got like the right amount of birds on her neck again.
John: And if anyone knows someone who makes like a giant nest of birds with eight on them for my mom let me know. It’s probably too late for this Mother’s Day but I can always plan for next year.
[Outro music playing.]
Sherry: Thanks for listening to Young House Love Has A Podcast.
John: And since Young House Love now has a newsletter, thank you in advance to anyone who is signed up for our email. If you want to get it, there will be a subscription box right in the show notes and you can sign up with just one click. This week we’re going to be sharing a design trick we saw on the Home-A-Rama house that we are totally stealing for the duplex.
Sherry: Oh my gosh you guys it’s so good. And keep telling us what you do while you listen like Shandi on Instagram who listens while preparing for a meeting with the President of Uruguay and the Princess of Jordan. How insane is that?
John: I can’t even wrap my head around it.
Sherry: And check out younghouselove.com/podcast for all the bonus links, photos, and info from this episode.
John: Like the video of that magical pocket hose and the poll about if you think your house is too big.
Sherry: And some sneak peeks to those kids’ rooms we did.
[Theme music ends.]
John: Sure, do you want to test it?
Sherry: Test, test, test?
John: Okay. [laughs]
Sherry: Hey man. Oh my goodness.
John: Have to wake up.
Sherry: It’s Christen Wig here.
John: That’s how you’re testing our sound?
[John and Sherry laugh]