A home that gives you pleasure is a fine thing indeed.

Do you have some particular things that you feel are essential to a comfortable home?

I am talking about practical or physical things as opposed to emotional ones.

As I was compiling this list I realized that several of these things I actually discovered the beauty of while living in Switzerland. The first 3 are practically standard issue there, and a few more are found in most new houses or apartments.

1) Faucets with single lever handles. As much as I love the look of traditional cross handles, I don’t like fiddling about cleaning them. The clean-lined simple to use, single handle is great for soapy or greasy hands, in the bathroom or kitchen. P.S. Remember the pull-out spray nozzle too (I guess that makes 11 things).

2) Heated floors. Growing up in a damp climate has made me really appreciate being warm. Nothing keeps me nice and toasty like floor heat. It is a nice even heat not like that drying dusty furnace air. If it is installed correctly you also don’t get cold areas of the room. I seem to stay warmer with this type of heating.

3) A heated towel rack. Where do I start with the positives of this unit? It keeps towels fresher longer because it dries them out quickly and thoroughly (it works especially well for face cloths). I love it for drying my delicate laundry and bathing suits, but the best thing of all is being able to wrap yourself in a warm towel when you step out of the bath or shower.

4) Zero-step entry. Lugging things in and out of the house is a breeze when you don’t have to worry about navigating stairs. I always seem to be carrying big loads of things in and out of the house like groceries, wood for the fireplace and large pieces of wheeled luggage. And your friends will thank you on moving day. Well. Maybe not.

5) Kitchen drawers. I am referring to the big fully extendable kitchen drawers that take the place of your lower cabinet shelves. They are one of the best inventions. Ever. They eliminate the need for you to get down on your knees and peer into the back of a dark void to find a little-used dish.

6) Large showers. I am kind of tall and really like my space in the shower. I prefer large zero-step, no shower door ones with lots of niches and plenty of light.

7) Motion-sensor outdoor lights. These are an absolute must for me. There is no excuse not to install them as it is really easy to retrofit your existing ones.  Don’t limit yourself to only one by the front door. Be sure you have them along your walkways and at other exterior doors. I can’t count the number of times I have arrived home in the pitch black and was thankful when they flicked on.

8) Easily accessible patio or deck area. These are wonderful to have just off the kitchen so you can grow a few pots of fresh herbs or pop out for a quick cup of tea on a sunny day. To make a door truly accessible it must be at least 32in/81cm wide and have a very low or zero-height threshold.

9) Tablet computer. It lives on my coffee table and I refer to it often when I see something on tv and want to find out more. Or sometimes things come up in conversation that need a little clarification.

10) Good lighting. I am talking about all over my home. You can really have some fun with lighting and find some truly beautiful and unique fixtures that really enhance your interior spaces. The 3 areas which are the most important for bright task lighting; is the kitchen, the bathroom and the area where you read and work. Especially as I seem to be now at that age where the fine print is too darn small for comfort.


What tops your list of things you can’t live without? Please share with us in the comment section below.