Your favourite features of your childhood home?

I’m wondering what kind of things, what kind of home improvement stuff, make a home attractive to a kid. Of course, all kids are different, but I would like to get some Doper memories and ideas. All of it have to be things one can make or buy. If you liked something mostly because of your dad or mom being there and doing stuff, it doesn’t count.

So, was it:
[li]The candy dish? [/li][li]That spot behind the sofa where you could sit and play/read hidden from adult eyes yet within hearing distance?[/li][li]The swing in the backyard? [/li][li]The canopy over your bed? Or the way your bed was decorated as a castle/car/pirateship? [/li][li]Your murals/posters? [/li][li]The old tree in the backyard? Was it that you could climb it, or perhaps the tree house? [/li][li]The mysterious attic or workshop with all the old stuff ? [/li][li]That corner where there might have been spiders or other monsters? [/li][li]Your own part of the vegetable garden?[/li][/ul]

We had a wall in the attic we were allowed to paint on, my parents would put a new coat of white paint on it once a month,

When we got a bit older and started writing dirty words on it, our painting privileges were revoked

The big backyard and the adjoining forest. I could run around for hours in that backyard and the forest was so full of mystery and magic. I went back about 25 years later and realized how small the forest actually was, just a little more than 2 city blocks. But when I was 7 it was endless!

Stairs in the middle of the house, and connections between rooms such that it was possible to circumnavigate the stairs by going room to room. Not sure why I like that in a house, but I do.

Porch Swing. And that space under the porch that the adults couldn’t fit into. this may be cheating as it was my Grandmother’s house. . .

If I’m limited to our house I’d say the trees. We had some great climbing trees and I spent a lot of time in them.

My bedroom had a loft. It had a vaulted ceiling, and a ladder up to a small, finished loft 8’ off the floor… the ceiling in the loft sloped from maybe 4’ to 2’. Perfect play-area and toy-hiding-area for a small child. I did have recurring dreams about falling out of it, though.

A dining room table with a tablecloth long enough to reach the ground made a perfect hideout.

Carpeted stairs for sliding down on our butts. Bump bump bump bump!

I had to share a bedroom with my sister, but we had a separate playroom where all of our toys that weren’t the favorite stuffed animals were kept. That room was great!

As I’ve posted before, I still live in my childhood home.
There’s a shelf in the back of the first-floor coat closet. Nobody knows I can sit on there and be concealed by all the coats.

I’ll be hiding there when they come for me.

The most memorable thing is the hot air register in the living room just off the kitchen where I could stand and heat up my pants before walking to school a mile away. All this was done with a rather unregulated coal furnace so the pants would almost singe the butt when making full contact. Only a foot away on the floor was a wooden grate that functioned as a cold air return. When unsupervised, that grate could be removed to reveal an abundance of treasures withing the dust.

An honorable mention should be to the garage that held literally quarts of mercury in glass containers. I played with that mercury and broke many containers. Of course I dragged mercury into the house to play with and shared it with friends.

Glad to be alive.

We moved a bit, but one house stands out:

[li]It was an acre of land with woods behind it (you can too buy that!).[/li][li]It had a front porch the width of the house and at the house level, so the space below it was huge, shady, and a great makeshift fort.[/li][li]We had several old farm shacks behind the house. One of them was a fantastic club house, which we painted with old paint (probably with lead!) found in the basement. The rest of the shacks provided nails, tar paper, and plenty of wood for our other fun projects.[/li][li]The basement was full of interesting abandoned stuff. An axe we got a hold of was a particular favorite. Remember that woods behind the house?[/li][/ul]

The giant peach tree that produced juicy, delicious freestone peaches the size of softballs. Peach pie, peach ice cream, peach preserves all summer long.

We also lived a half block from a huge vacant lot, about 30 acres. A great place for building forts, or playing tag and hide 'n seek when the grass grew high in the spring. Nearby orange groves were also a good place to roam around in.

Moved around a bit as a kid: One house had about a half-dozen big boulders in the front yard. Chipmunks scurried across them - and so did my little self. They were my fortress and my playground. When we moved, I begged my parents to add the boulders to the moving truck!

The next house we lived in had a big bumped-out bay window. I spent a lot of time reading in that window. I have a clear memory of paging through my Audobon bird guide, eating peanuts and tossing an occasional one - cleaned of its skin - to our dog. That house was in a woody area, and I deemed one of the big hemlocks to be mine - the area under the lowest branches was my little cave.

My parents still live in my childhood home. I still live in the same neighborhood but the #1 thing I am envious of is their house sits in front of woods.

When I moved in to my house the first thing I thought was “where the hell do people throw their dog poop when they don’t live in front of the woods?!” (answer, for me at least, is a doggie septic tank which is 10x less convenient than the woods).

Oh, and it’s also hella nice to look out over woods. Luckily for me I at least get to look out over someone’s back yard across a field so it’s not that intrusive. But man, do I miss the woods…

A bit similar to Sattua’s loft — I had a dormer. Sometimes my twin bed was pushed halfway in it, sometimes it held my dresser (boring but more floorspace in the rest of the room) and when I got older I decorated it with plants. It was my little mini-room right in my room and I loved it deeply.

Outdoor hammock because I liked to read a lot. It was in a shady-ish area but I could move it into the sun too. And being allowed to pick the color of the carpet and walls in my bedroom when we remodeled (blue and blue, respectively). Those were my 2 favorite aspects of my childhood home.

Least favorite aspect: being yelled at for spilling things in the kitchen because it was carpeted. NEVER AGAIN! You don’t carpet kitchens, for fuck’s sake!

The finished basement.

My parents still own the same house where my sister and I grew up. One of the things I remember best is the upstairs heating vent - it’s an old house with forced-air heating installed decades after the original construction so there’s only one hot air vent on the 2nd floor, and it’s a big one, right at the top of the stairs and nestled in a corner.

That corner is exactly the right size for two little kids to cuddle up and read books for hours. Or for one full-size teenager and his cat to snooze together.

Big front porch with a porch swing. It was probably dangerous but whoever put it up made it where you can swing off the side of the porch a little bit. It was like flying to a little kid. The front porch was where all the neighborhood kids came to hang out. We were allowed to draw with chalk on the slate wall and cement floor. It was just the perfect place to play.

The secret passage from the basement/root cellar to the garage (passing under the crawlspace of the kitchen).

The huge foyer/landing room/whatever you call a room at the top of the stairs. I think it was originally meant to be another bedroom and a hallway, but the wall must have not gotten completed. The only other place I’ve seen something like it is in my grandparents home, which was also an old farmhouse. (But was not the inspiration for my mom to buy my childhoom home, since my g-parents bought it after my mom moved out.)

Here is the house I grew up in, in Google Street View. It was an incredible house to grow up in as a little kid. It is a large house even by adult standards but as a kid, it was a gigantic mysterious place to explore.

It used to be covered in ivy, with gigantic fir trees lining the front. As you can now see, the current owners have chopped down all the foliage. This is one of the oldest houses in Bloomington and was built by master stonemasons out of local limestone. It has a Spanish tile roof.

That section on the left side used to be the garage, and once had an amazing 70s multicolor striped garage door. My dad later converted it into an office and had it totally redone. On top of it is a big tarpaper balcony; my bedroom had French doors that opened out onto the roof and I used to love walking out there as a little kid during the summer.

The backyard, fenced in front yard and adjoining side yard were as dense as the Amazon jungle, or at least seemed that way to me. The stone wall between the side yard and the neighbor’s yard could be climbed up on and there was a huge mulberry tree hanging over it that I used to eat berries from all the time. There was also a stand of bamboo growing in a small courtyard in the back. I don’t know if it was planted by my parents or the people that lived there before us.

There was a “sunroom” with giant glass doors on one side, which looked like something from Boogie Nights. Very cool place to hang out as a kid with a great view of the yard. The upper floor was really beautiful and had great wood paneling in the hallway; there was a little recessed glass-doored phone booth or something in the hallway, and directly to the left, a door that opened to a tiny balcony over the front door. The closet in my sister’s room had a window in it, which I thought was totally bizarre.

The basement was a gigantic old-school dungeon basement with many interesting rooms. One of them was called the “gun room” and the walls were all recessed wood paneled gun cases with glass doors. My dad used this as an office at one time. There were many other small, mysterious rooms in the basement, mostly just used as storage space. One of them, at the end of a narrow corridor, was a vast room filled with old packing materials and chicken wire. I was deathly afraid of that room, for some reason.

The guy who first built the house, I think, intended for the basement to be part of the living space. It had a stone bathtub in one area, with these concrete sculptures of fish that spouted out water. I can’t imagine anyone actually taking a bath in that dark, decrepit, creepy basement!