My folks and I have decided to move into a new home this summer. As a result, my mom has swapped her Instagram addiction for Pinterest—you’d be amazed at the number of hours that girl can spend looking up “small”, “house”, “storage”, “modern”, “white”, “kitchen”. I’m almost a little bit concerned, but truth is I have enough in my bowl to worry about without correcting her time management habits (or lack there of). Anyway, moving can be easy as long as you know what you’re looking for in a home. Thankfully I do. Here’s the rundown:
1. Square footage of house, per se, does not matter.
Yard space is the most important factor. I’ve always been confused as to why my people concern themselves so much with the amount of interior space. Their priorities are, in my ever so humble opinion, out of whack. Homes are for sleeping, the great outdoors are what really matters. Looks like living in Los Angeles is going to warrant some compromise, but I’ve been pushing for at least an acre or two of green grass.
2. Security to save you from yourself
The next (almost equally) important factor to consider when searching for a new home is protection—your enormous yard should have an impenetrable perimeter. Yes, this cannot be overstated. Back when I was just a pup I was hanging out in my friend Rupert’s gateless front yard when a poodle had the audacity to walk by! Nevermind what happened next, but I can assure you the whole thing could’ve been avoided had there been a wall, hedge or fence between me and the poof ball.
3. Neighbors are hit-or-miss, communicate often
Your yard is only as great as your next-door neighbors. (Feel free to quote me on that.) You can have the greenest grass in the hood but if you live next to a Chihuahua with separation anxiety you may as well live in a bottom floor apartment. Seriously. I happen to currently only have one neighbor and he’s a nice enough fellow—young pup, goes by Watson. Occasionally I have to bark orders at him, but he’s new in town and open to hearing what I have to say.
4. Kitchens are everything but…
Marble counter tops mean nothing. Neither does real or fake hardwood floors, closet space, blah, blah, blah—it’s all a marketing scheme to get your people to fork over some more dough. What really maters is the height of the kitchen counters. Assuming most of you reading this are blessed with a physique similar to mine, counter tops should never be over 36” high. This will ensure your ability to sample the Thanksgiving turkey, New Year’s caviar, a holiday roast or whatever your people forgot to put away in the morning. You can thank me later.
The science is clear, it’s important to sleep 20 hours per day, so it’s best to make this the coziest room in the house. May I suggest a super soft bed filled with goose feathers, pillows, tons of squishy pillows and 600+ thread count linens. I like my bed sheets like I like my sofa—soft and white.
This is the most unnecessary room in every house. Remove it entirely and use for peanut butter storage.
7. Living Room/Den
A home can never have too many sofas, especially if they’re right in front of a flat screen TV that has Cartoon Network. I prefer sofas that you can sink into—none of those stiff midcentury modern sectionals that bruise your elbows when you nap for more than three hours on ‘em. No thanks! Carpets are great and shag and Moroccan rugs never go out of style. Your people will try and persuade you to lean toward French oak floors but stand firm, orange shag is fun and hilarious.
8. Traditional/Modern/Contemporary/Minimal/Shabby Chic
Let loose when decorating. What aesthetic is right for you? This is a toughy because my father is a minimalist and my mother is a superficial hoarder of shoes and sweatpants. I’m personally leaning toward a modern look. While I’m a traditional English Bulldog, I feel like my years as a California gardener and blogger have helped me appreciate a more casual perspective on life. Ultimately, you have to choose a style that suits YOU and YOUR needs. Your parents love you and will eventually understand.
There is, however, only so much a dog can do to help guide his/her people in the right direction. Having a ginger for a mother, for example, has never been easy and training her is a daily struggle. Instead of an acre of grass and shag carpets she’s apparently settled on a decidedly smaller spot. She calls it “The Bungalow” and it’s currently undergoing renovations. In the end, I have no doubt they’ll do the right thing—tear out the bathroom and replace it with a garden full of rose bushes and hoses.