A Better Version of Our Floor Plan

Anybody else like to go look at model homes? I love it…except that awkward part where you have to explain that you are just looking for fun, and you don’t want to build a house. A few years ago we stumbled upon this MI house a couple miles from us. We decided to take a look since that was also our builder. When we went in we realized they had basically taken our model and perfected it. We decided to go back a couple of weekends ago and take some pictures. We will compare them to our house and then talk about what we like better. While we are a bit jealous of this house, it definitely comes at a price. The base price (no upgrades) is significantly more than we paid for our house (aka out of budget). This finished model with its chosen upgrades is more than twice what we paid for our house!!

Let’s start with the outside:

Our House
Model that replaced our floor plan

A few things to discuss:

  • I love the front porch. However, we also could have added this onto ours. We just didn’t want to (couldn’t) fund it.
  • I love that there is brick AND stone on the front. I don’t think that was an option for us.
  • I love that there aren’t any rounded windows/moldings. I would love to have only straight windows. However, it wouldn’t quite look right over our garage, so I see why ours is the way that it is.
  • You’ll notice that there is not a room over the garage. That’s because its over the kitchen where we just have attic space. So basically on the newer model there is a room behind the room on the far right of the house.

Stepping In:

Our house (before mudroom – this picture was to show why we needed one)


Model that replaced our floor plan

A few things to discuss:

  • You can see right away that there are a lot of upgrades – wood floors, columns, moldings. These are things that we did not pay the builder for. We wanted to use our budget for things we couldn’t easily change. We can upgrade over time. Hence, the blog.
  • The foyer is not two story. However, it could be. This model opted for a jack and jill bathroom instead of a two story foyer. I like that our foyer is two story. I would probably not pay extra for a jack and jill bathroom since I like two story foyers and sharing a bathroom with all of your siblings builds character 🙂
  • You might also notice that where we have a sunroom (behind the great room), the model does not. There IS a sitting room on the back of the kitchen, but I definitely think our sunroom is more functional. Plus its bigger. Plus it gave us a two sided fireplace. The only downside is we don’t get as much light in the great room.


Ours NOW – office converted to mudroom by adding a door to the adjacent garage and installing lockers
Model that replaced our floor plan

A few things to discuss:

  • Our room is smaller and on a diagonal.
  • MI should take a page out of our book and make this a mudroom/office. They can even make it an option. Its much more current. MI has yet to jump on the mudroom bandwagon in any house I’ve seen of theirs. Lots of other builders are doing it. Now that I have one, I wouldn’t buy a house without one or the ability to have one.
  • This view allows me to explain a few differences in the office, bathroom, and laundry room. Where you see extra office space here by it not being on a diagonal, you would have a closet, bathroom, and part of the laundry room in our house. Where you see a laundry room at the end of this hall, you would see our basement entrance. In this house, the bathroom and basement entrance have been pushed to the right of the hallway.

    Dining Room:

Model that replaced our floor plan

Things to discuss:

  • Notice I am not sharing my dining room. Its just so blah. We have lots of ideas for it but nothing specific narrowed down. It just really doesn’t make sense for us to think about the dining room until we have our hardwoods. I think that will happen before the end of 2018, even though I think I’m on the record saying 2017. We just decided to put other things first (garage, first floor bathroom…I’ll update you on these soon)
  • I love the two windows on the far wall. We had the option to do windows here (full size though) and we chose not to. With room in our budget and with small windows as an option, I would totally do it!!
  • If you are familiar with our house (hello, its mostly friends and family that read this), you might also notice that there is no door in the dining room that leads to the kitchen. While I like having a door from kitchen to dining, what they did instead is what we love most about this house!! Here it comes….

The kitchen:


The newer model

Things to discuss:

  • We absolutely LOVE the more open kitchen. We really wish ours was set up this way!
  • While we would never spend the money to open ours like this, I think we can do a few things to bring our kitchen up a notch over time. After we replace our floors, we will probably try to paint our current cabinets white. In addition, I would like to replace our counter tops with something more attractive but cost efficient (I would not install something expensive like granite unless we were replacing our cabinets. That’s maybe something we would do far down the line). I would also like to bring our bar height counter down to counter height.
  • You can see that there is a sitting room to the left of the eat-in kitchen. While I think this is cool, I still like our sunroom better.

The great room:

The best view of our sunroom location behind the great room instead of behind the kitchen

Our house – the beige beauty 😉

Things to discuss:

  • We need some COLOR!
  • We have plans to address that in a few ways: 1) Wood floors and a rug 2) Some kind of railing update (maybe painting it) 3) Moldings
  • The wall that our tv is on really needs something to break it up. You can see that the model home did that with moldings and a tall tv cabinet. We would also like add moldings, but we would do a different style than the model home. We would also love to upgrade our tv cabinet. We brought our current tv cabinet from our old house; and I don’t think the size is right for this room, the finish is peeling, and I don’t like the open shelves. Too. much. dusting.
  • While our couch isn’t beautiful, it is very practical and we have no plans to replace it anytime soon. Our Target side chairs are also going strong. I’d like to eventually replace our $7 IKEA coffee table that has a hole in the top, and I would also love a side table next to the couch on the fireplace side. Finally, I think the couch would look better with a piece of furniture behind it. Furniture is expensive and our last expensive piece has not held up at all, so I’d love for Parker to build the furniture.
  • We also need to some more window coverings on our first floor. I need to learn to sew.

Ok. I think that is enough for one post. I might show you the other levels in a different post. Part of what makes this house so much like ours is the mid-level master and mid-level basement. I’d love to show you what they did with the basement. What do you think about our house vs the model house? Clearly the model is done and ours is a work in progress, but what are your thoughts on the floor plan differences?  What do you love about the model? Any thoughts on what we plan to do at our house? Thanks for reading!!

Note: It is not lost on me that I am very lucky to hem and haw about decorating my house when thousands of people are losing their homes to hurricanes and fires. Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with those people, and we also plan to donate financially to those causes.



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