A bed that doesn’t require a ladder to reach, where I don’t have to perform acrobatics to change the sheets, and where I can comfortably sit up.
Japanese-style bathroom – handheld shower (with wall mount) takes up most of the space, the whole floor is the drain pan, no need for a soaking tub but I wouldn’t complain.
A toilet that doesn’t smell (I need to take a composting toilet for a test run because I find it hard to believe there are no odour problems).
Small kitchen (I don’t really like cooking — I just want the basics).
Some way to wash clothes without going to the laundromat (preferably a washing machine, but a scrubba washbag might do in a pinch).
Hardwood floors (I’m allergic to dust).
Practicality — easy to clean, maintain and operate.
A little space to sit outside, like a porch or fold-down deck.
Probably some kind of low-ceiling nook areas, e.g. a living area above the bedroom area or something like that.
A place to sit at a desk and use a computer.
A comfy place to sit and relax while knitting, reading, watching TV, whatever.
Aesthetically pleasing in a way that suits my personality — quirky, bold, a bit weird, not too safe, not too fussy.
Okay not safe in terms of aesthetic, but definitely safe in terms of feeling sturdy, secure, non-slip, hand-holds all over the place and no awkward corners to bang one’s head upon. (This becomes more important the older I get and the more wobbly I get.)
Built-in storage and features everywhere.
Hanging space for clothes (I prefer hangers to folded clothes in drawers).
Super-insulated walls and double-glazed windows to minimize heating and cooling costs.
Good air circulation — I especially like fans.
I’d love to have a wood-burning rocket stove, even if it’s not strictly necessary from a practical standpoint.
Storage for craft supplies, travel gear, tools, a few books and papers.
A dog door.
Space for two small dog crates and some doggy supplies.
Some rainwater collection and storage (not necessarily full off-grid).
Some electricity generation and storage (ditto).
A way to deal with grey water (and possibly black water if I decide the composting toilet is a no-go).
A secure place for bike storage (even if it’s just something I can lock the bike onto).
Everything I own has a designated place that makes sense in terms of the item’s purpose and typical use.
There’s not a lot of space allocated for things I might use someday, or I’m keeping as back-ups, or whatever.
General design principle — think of everything I need and want for my home, and plan how I’m going to use it and store it within the home. Form follows function.
If the function is not that important, can I find a way to outsource or do without? e.g. I like baths, but I might only have a bath once a week. If I live near friends and family members who have baths, can I arrange to bring them a cooked meal and spend time with them and also use their bath?