Your least favourite features of your childhood home?

A pendant to the other thread; What did you like most about your home as a child?

I’m asking this to gather ideas how to make my home a place where my son will be glad he grew up.

My own least favourite things about my home:

A space with boxes under my bed that I couldn’t see and was hard to clean. I slept above it in perpetual fear that there were spiders hiding there. There probably were.

Also, a there was wood fastened against the wall along my bed. That particular wall was moist, and the wood had a distinct mouldy odor, right where I slept. I remember niching my moms perfume and sraying the wood with it, whuch of course only made matters worse.

Our living room’s window looked out immediately on the street. If the curtains were open, and you sat on the couch , you were visible to anyone walking two yards away. It was like sitting in an aquarium, never being able to pick your nose in peace, always on the lookout if some enemy/classmate would pass (it was on the road to school, too).

We had a gas wall heater in the center of the house, but without any forced air ducts to spread it around. On cold mornings, I would stand in front of it to get dressed, and one day I backed into the grate and gave my self a nice set of grill marks on my ass. When I was nine, we moved into a new house with forced air heat, which seemed so modern.

I got my own room when I was 16 (yay!) but it was a room my stepdad had made in the basement, and he didn’t really do a great job with it, so it was constantly damp down there, there were spiders all over the place, and the flooring was buckling. Even with all of that, I’d still much rather have had my own room than still had to share with my sister, but it did get really old, not being able to store books down there because they’d mildew in under a month.

Gosh, we had the same thing. I’ve never, ever seen another house like that. I thought it was unique for some reason.

Oh hey, I appended that to my post in the other thread but I can rant about it here, too.

  1. The spiders. Real, actual spiders. And the centipedes. Earwigs, too. Continual ant trail coming from our kitchen window, requiring me to commit ant-genocide with dishsoap on a nightly basis because my parents didn’t want to waste money on an exterminator. And the one time I woke up at 5am covered in flying ants and my mom had to vacuum me and my sister off while I was going postal and crying my brains out. Bug-proof your home as much as possible!
  2. Carpeted kitchen, and getting yelled at for spilling things on it. Why anyone would carpet a kitchen with two small children is a mystery to me.
  3. Only ever having one operational bathroom at once, despite having two bathrooms. Especially when the operational bathroom was on a different floor than my bedroom. Having to trudge up the stairs to pee in the middle of the night is pretty scary.

oh and one time a real, live bat got into the bedroom shared by me and my sister when we were really little…

Our house was built in 1913. For some odd reason, the bedrooms in the front of the house had normal (although very small) closets with a hanging rod; the bedrooms in the back of the house (mine) had closets that were, I’m not kidding, 8"-10" deep. There were hooks on the closet walls to hang clothes as the closet was too shallow to put in a rod and hang the clothes normally. I had to hang the hangers flat against the wall on the hooks. Besides limiting the amount of clothing that could be hung, they were terribly wrinkled.

My parents were cheap and used kerosene heaters all the time instead of turning up the heat. I would get cold and they’d yell at me for turning the heaters on because I was wasting kerosene.

The horrible dark green swirly-looking tile on the floor and the puke green and white wallpaper that was so nictoine stained you really couldnt tell what the pattern was. The musty mud-colored “carpet” in the bedrooms. The peeling paint. The siding that was rotted out. And just about everything else in/about the house.

It was in a ghetto.

It was on a corner, with a stop sign, where people would conveniently throw their trash out while stopped.

There were a toilet & sink in the basement, but no shower.

The living room was not a destination. It was (and probably still is, although some other family now occupies it) in between the front door and the dining room and between the resto of the house and the upstairs. Other than a bedroom or the bathroom, there was no place in the house where you could have a confidential conversation. Somebody would always – accidentally or on purpose – be walking through in the middle.

Our first house was too small; I had to share a bedroom with my sister; my mother and father’s bedroom had been a living room although there was a parlor type thing that was occupied by my fraternal grandmother who had to sleep on a sofa while my maternal grandfather had a bedroom in the rear of the thing. There was only one bathroom, thus a never ending war as to who used it when. Not a good situation at all.

I didn’t really mind sharing a room with my brother and sister until I was 10. And didn’t know any different than having one bathroom for five people. But I didn’t like that our house looked just like every other house on the block, that the neighborhood had NO mature trees (and therefore no wildlife), and that we weren’t within walking (or even biking) distance of anything remotely fun to do.

My family was in it.

The picture of a tiger hanging in the rec room that I had to walk past when I went to bed (I was very young).

Many years later, my dad said that if he’d realized I was scared of it he’d have taken it down. :rolleyes:

Lead paint.


We had a wall of those terrible 60s mirror tiles (the kind with the gold veining on them) in our entryway. And no, it was not the 60s at the time. When I was about 6 I tripped running down the stairs, rolled the rest of the way down, and collided directly with the dreaded wall of mirrors. Several of them smashed and rained down mirror shards on me.

I never trusted that mirror wall again after that.

The 10-foot ceilings. I hate spiders and eliminate them immediately, but when they hid in the corners of those ceilings there was nothing you could do.

Oh, and the mice sucked. I spent an entire summer sleeping in the living room because we kept on catching them in the basement.

I’m working on getting my childhood home in shape so I can move into it.

The kitchen has five doors (back door, attic, basement, utility room/pantry, and dining room) so there has never been any counter space.

You have to go through one of the two bedrooms to get to the only bathroom.

There is only one closet and it connects to both bedrooms. That was a part I loved as a kid. We used it as a secret passage.

We hated how small it was when I was a kid because there were four kids and two adults. It’s fine for me, hubby, and the cat.

It was a trailer. Otherwise known as a “mobile home” but they will always be trailers to me. Cheap construction, lousy parks, and they depreciate like there is no tomorrow. The disadvantages of both home ownership and apartment living all rolled into one. Good idea in concept put poor in execution.

Ours was a late 1970’s split-level that reeked of everything 70’s. Rust colored carpet, wood paneling throughout, orange countertops and tile, glass mirrors with gold veining, decorative shingles inside the living room.

As bad as all that sounds I think the worst part was that all of us trailer park kids couldn’t venture out into the rest of the town. Just outside of our park was a major 4 lane highway that we couldn’t cross and we were too young to drive. I really envied the kids that could ride their bike to the park, or to school, or just to the corner store.