[Note: that picture is from last year. Don't worry!!]
Our house is practically perfect, especially in the summer. Wonderful light, great cross-ventilation with the doors open, and the big porch to expand the livable area. Come the colder weather though, there are two things I wish we had: a wood-burning stove and mudroom.
It's certainly not cold now—after our crazy snow day the weather has been positively balmy the last couple days—but the smell of wood smoke on my commute this morning made me think once again how much I'd like to have a cozy warm fire to gather around on evenings like the one in the picture above. Unfortunately, not only is there no way we can afford the stove and its installation, there's also not really a good place for us to put one if we could; we'd have to give up about half of the current seats in our living room, I figure. Oh well, we'll just have to rely on good old natural gas for the foreseeable future: less cozy but just as warming.
And I don't need to tell you why I'd like a mudroom, especially as the number of potentially muddy feet around here continues to increase. And it's not just boots that are troublesome: coats, hats, mittens, the occasional scarf... winter's demands on the wardrobe are severe. And unfortunately our wardrobe is located some small yet psychologically significant distance away from the door, which opens directly onto the living room. You can imagine, then, what the floor looks like after we've come in from a wintertime family walk. In the summer we can leave wet coats and boots on the porch to avoid overwhelming the interior spaces, but that's obviously not a long-term option in the colder months. Even more than the stove I know that a having the sort of space that can mediate between outdoors and in- is a dream that's not going to be realized anytime soon, but that doesn't stop me from considering what kind of addition we might put on to allow a mudroom; you know, after we win the lottery or whatever. I guess I'd better start buying tickets!
Still, even without those two longed-for luxuries, we have it pretty good—I can safely say I'm very much looking forward to winter, never mind cluttered floors and heat diffused through baseboard radiators!