10 home-design pet peeves

It may dazzle, but is it practical?

As a child, all vacations were arranged to coincide with a Street of Dreams or Tour of Homes event. Sure, my brother and I thought we were going to Disney World and the crocodile farm, but that was after we took a look at the best housing Orlando had to offer. I thought we would fare better in Europe, but when we got home dad made us watch his video: two hours of crossbeams and stone masonry. (Note: Dad is a builder.)

I knew then: It is my fate. I tour new construction. And whether visiting a new-home event in Oregon or Florida, there are some things that seemingly never change. And I’ve decided to share with builders, designers and architects and all of you: a top 10 list of new-home pet peeves. (Some of these design flaws are apparent in "used" homes, too.)

Fix these glaring errors and I guarantee real estate agents can sell that house faster.

1. The master suite bathtub. I am a fairly athletic girl — a veritable elliptical genius. I can even tandem-cycle 20 miles. But one thing I can’t do is catapult naked over 4 feet of decorative tiles into a soaking tub tucked into a bay window. Getting high-centered on that gorgeous Italian travertine is a potential risk I won’t take. So here’s a thought: Move the tub closer to the people trying to get in it; or a step would help; or a small trampoline.