The perfect size would be a 40x48 ft. barn. Here is the plan for the interior layout:
The living room leads into the dining room (this whole side of the house -living/dining/kitchen is open concept). The dining room will be big enough for our entire family to sit around the table without anyone being trapped in their seat and not having enough room to walk around. Along the wall: built in mega pantry of the WORLD! I want enough space in my pantry to can enough food for at least 6 months (preferable a year) - I also want addition storage in here for large stock pots, bowls, and crock pots etc.
The kitchen will be perfect. The sink will have a window in front to be able to look out while washing dishes. A dishwasher is a MUST - I know there is a "green" debate on dishwashers - but last I read, if you have a very efficient dishwasher you use less water than you would hand washing. Plus, we spend SO much of our time hand washing dishes - if we had a dishwasher, during canning season especially, life would be SO much easier. I'd like to have a stove/oven combo and a wall oven - we cook SO much and on the farm we'd be home cooking even more often and having the ability to cook at multiple temperatures. I also want a HUGE island to be able to use as a prep area for canning, baking etc. I want both a fridge/freezer combo and a stand up deep freeze to have easy access to stored food.
In the main hall the runs the length of the barn we'd like a nice wood burning stove to keep us warm - we don't plan on having a furnace. Also, we'd like a large, but narrow storage area on the side to store our Christmas and memory boxes etc.
Opposite of all that will be mine and Mark's bedroom - we are happy with a simple room - we just want enough room to walk the bed without having to turn sideways or crawl over something. Our bathroom will be roomy - we want a big bathtub...because frankly sometimes we like to relax in the tub, together. Next is our office area that has built in storage under the stairs going to the loft/kids bedroom area. and then the laundry room, that has a 1/2 bed off to one side and walks through to an extra bedroom. In the laundry area - I want retractable clothes lines to hang clothes during the winter and rainy days. I still want a dryer - but hope to only use it in emergency situations. **Up near Cora's bedroom, I want a laundry shoot so it makes it easier for the kids to throw their dirty laundry downstairs.
Speaking of the kids - lets talk about the upstairs. I want the central area to be an open loft area with games, a library/reading spots, a pool table??? If it is open, then we can still be connected to the kids even if they are doing something different. On either end of the loft area will be a bedroom - Cora gets her own with either a double bed, or a single with a trundle. The boys will either share a bedroom - or have smaller separate bedrooms - depending on what they decide at the time (we go back and forth on this one).
I love the idea of having the suspended, sliding barn doors, instead of the swing open doors. I'm thinking something along the lines of this:
Having doors like this just allows more room for better furniture placement etc.
Outside we want a nice deck space with an area to cook outside (we REALLY enjoy grilling out). I'd love some of the deck area to be covered to be able to get out of the sun, but still enjoy the outside area. We want a smaller barn area to house whatever animals we have (but big enough for them to be comfortable). We also want a CUTE chicken coop - yes, we are one of those...who want our coop to be cute, with flower window boxes for the ladies etc.
We'd love to have a minimum of 5 acres - but honestly the more the better! My dream is like 30 acres. We wouldn't farm all 30 acres - I don't think that is necessary. We only want enough to sustain our family and some extra to help others. I'd like for us to have plenty of room for our barn, our pasture and animals, a play yard for the kids, garden, wooded area for hiking and exploring - a creek would be AMAZING!!!! In a perfect world, we will also have enough property to add a few (hopefully 5) "shanties" - MUCH smaller homes on the property to allow our children a place (Tiff and Kait could stay there now, the kids when they are older) to still live close to home to go to school, work on their career, start their families - without the stress of HAVING to pay for an apartment - but having individual space so we aren't all right on top of each other. While the little ones are still little we'd only need a couple shanties and build them as we need to.
So what are we waiting for? Credit score, down payment and to know where work is going to take us. The hope is that by the kids are done with school in June we will have all the direction, credit worthiness and savings to get everything we need...or at least enough to get us in the right spot and we are willing to work on building the rest.