Monday, November 22, 2010

Design Like A Duggar: House Plans With Teens and Beyond

This one is dedicated to Heather again...thanks for the idea. Ok so we were talking about the Duggar house and the two large bedrooms--1 for boys and 1 for girls. Interestingly, there are no other bedrooms in the house, other than the parent's room, except for a guest suite off the laundry room that Jim Bob's mom lives in. To me that seems like a lack of forward thinking.

If you watch the 1 hour specials that began their show, you see them repeat over and over that the kids REALLY wanted to have 2 big rooms. Ok that's fine with me. I suppose what bothers me is that the boy's room is so much larger than the girl's room. Ok at the time there were only 6 girls and 10 boys, but knowing that they were likely to have more children, you'd think they would have planned that they might have more girls--and they've since had 3 more girls. There are now 9 boys and 9 girls living in the house and the boy's room is still incredibly large.

Part of the problem is the decorator's fault. She bought the girl's huge pieces of furniture that filled up their entire room. Even when they first moved in and there were only 5 girls living in it, there wasn't a lot of space to move around--there was furniture everywhere. I also never understood why some girls got double beds and some got twin beds. I understand that at the time there were older girls and younger girls, but still, those younger girls were going to grow up in a few years and then what? Also, there is no room to add any new beds.

There was a big argument going on one of the discussion boards about Johanna and Jordyn still being in Graco play cribs. I will point out that you can buy regular mattresses for the Graco play cribs--I have no idea if the Duggars did, but they are available. That being said, where are those two girls supposed to go from their cribs? Will they be sharing beds with the girls that have doubles? Are they going to have to abandon the nice beds and go with bunk beds?

I wonder if it ever occurred to them that at some point they'd have 20 year olds in the same room as 2 year olds. I wonder if the older girls and boys sometimes want some space of their own. I wonder if they are rethinking their house plans. And it wasn't like they didn't rethink them over and over as it was. Remember the special when Clark Wilson, their builder friend, commented how every day they were working on the previous day's revisions. It's also joked about in their book.

One of my biggest arguments to the "but the kids really wanted 2 big rooms" is...yes but you're the parents and you have the final say in things. It's possible to give kids input while still thinking ahead to what the future may bring.

So what do you think they'll do about the bedroom situation? What suggestions do you have? What would you have done if it had been your house?


  1. it makes you wonder if they have given thought to building the older girls a guest house of some kind elsewhere on the property? or an add on to the house for an younger girls? i am only going with girls because they are the ones with the serious lack of space while the boys are all big enough to pretty much know that they have the space to at least move around. i think that for the purposes of the buddy system they have worked out the add on for the younger girls (because the older girls room is already established with furniture) would be best so not to much would change except the girls would have more room.
    just a thought :)

  2. You could argue that it doesn't matter that there are 20-year-old sleeping in the same room as 2-year-olds... because the 20-year-olds are probably the ones who get up in the middle of the night with the 2-year-olds.

    Yes, yes-- this is an unsubstantiated claim. Nonetheless, I do believe the oldest Duggar girls do the lion's share of housework and childrearing... especially considering how long Michelle was absent or out-of-commission with Josie's birth and, later, gallbladder removal.

    Something else that gets me about the way the house is planned out-- why do the boys get a video-editing room AND access to the playroom? All the girls get is a sewing room! Sure, they might like sewing, but you could probably buy 10 sewing machines for the price of their video-editing equipment.

  3. I thought it was "cute" that everyone wanted to share a room in the beginning. Well now I've been wondering just how many more little girls are gonna fit in that room. I know there are families who have no choice, but the Duggar's house is big enough that everyone does not have to pile up in 2 rooms.

    JD, Joseph, and Josiah should have a room together since they are the oldest boys.

    The older girls should have a room separate from the toddlers and babies. In fact JB an Michelle should have just 1 room reserved as a nursery for all the toddlers and babies...near their room. Now I'm not saying the babies aren't close enough. If more babies come...then I think they should put the other rooms to some use.

    I'm wondering if the older girls mind sharing a room with baby siblings or is it something they are use to.

    If it had been my house, I would have paired older sisters to one room. Same for the boys.

  4. The Bates family have several different bedrooms decorated in different themes. I think I saw the pictures on their website. This seems like a better way to go

  5. I agree. It seems cute and fun when they are all little but if you are planning on adding other kids down the road like the Duggars then you should be thinking ahead to when you will have 20+ year olds and newborns. The Duggar kids might say they don't mind sharing a room with the new babies but really?? I'm 23 and I love kids but I wouldn't want to share my room with a 2 year old sibling. I need space and time away sometimes. If my future family ever looks like the Duggars and I was blessed enough to design my own house, I would have at least 4 rooms for the kids, all the same size. I would have 1 each for the older boys and girls and either 1 each for the younger boys and girls or 1 combined room for the younger boys/girls (under 8 shall we say) and then one "nursery" for the kids under 3 or 4. I would also have a good sized guest room to put guests in and maybe one of the older kids could use that when no guests are in town. It boggles my mind that the Duggars have no guest room in that huge (7000 sq foot) house! The boys have to give up their room and sleep in the bus when the guests come which is really nice of them but with a 7000sq foot house there should be room enough for everyone to sleep! I love the Duggar show so I am not trying to be rude toward them, I just don't really understand the bedroom situation and how the girls room is a lot smaller than the boys. Maybe they could partition (with a new wall or something) part of the boys room off and put a couple little girls in there?

  6. Something else that gets me about the way the house is planned out-- why do the boys get a video-editing room AND access to the playroom? All the girls get is a sewing room! Sure, they might like sewing, but you could probably buy 10 sewing machines for the price of their video-editing equipment.

    The Girls turned their closet into the sewing room, it's what THEY wanted. Josh and a few of the older boys wanted their closet turned into the audio visual room. The items in the audio room were years out of dated when it was first filmed and is being slowly updated piece by piece. 'Bout the same way the girls harps keep getting better and better.

    As for the bedrooms the sleigh beds are what the GIRLS wanted so it's what they got. Those full size beds can sleep up to 5 (2 adults and 3 kids lol and don't ask how I know but just trust me they will) so PERSONALLY I think those cribs are for nap time and at night they pile 4-5 of the smaller ones into a bed and then some of the older ones double up in the other double bed.

    The boys room has the slide to the play room because the BOYS room is over the play room, the girls room is on the other side of the house. REAL difficult to connect the girls room to the play room that way. EACH bed room has a loft above their bedroom that they store books and read in. AS for adding more rooms to the house, you would have to almost start over and since it took them over 3-5 years the LAST time they started this "little" project, I'm quite sure we have seen all the bedrooms they are going to have for quite some time. It would be almost cheaper and EASIER to build real dorm rooms out of those metal house kits they use, but then if they actually DID that all hades would break lose:

    "How DARE they build the kids dorm room style housing for the older children they already use as "slaves"." OR "I knew they were never going to let those girls live their own lives, they even built them slave quarters off the back of the house." If you think I'm being pessimistic; I've already read blogs that suggest the reason that the girls room is over the kitchen is so they can hear the little ones waking up from naps, over their heads while they work.

  7. If they did an add on it would have to be for the older girls as you wouldn't want the little girls on the main level with the parents on the second floor. Of course that would depend on whether or not the house can be added onto. A guest house would probably not be a good idea for the older girls as that would put them too far away from the rest of the family. I personally would not want to put my teenage daughters in a guest house and I don't think I am particularly over protective.

  8. i don't know why people think the audio visual room is the boy's and the boy's alone...the girls can use it any old time they want was josh's pet project, but the girls aren't forbidden to enter and use it...

    i think it was nice that the girls all got their names on their beds--it made it feel like something was theirs...but that's my question...why didn't they think ahead to having more girls? will the little girls get beds with their names on them too?

  9. I never really thought about it. I know when they built the house, the issues of the boys having more space to run was because they had more YOUNG boys. The girls were all older and more into playing music and not being monkeys in theirroom. I don't know if they really considered the possibility of having 3 more girls. After all, they had a trend going with boys. I do think they should have put some more thought into it, but I'm more interested in how they plan to fix it.

  10. I think it would be a great idea for the older YOUNG ADULTS - 18 and over - to live in a guest house. They have 20 acres, there is no reason why YOUNG ADULTS should not be able to live in a building an acre or so over from the main house. After all, Anna and Josh were married at the age Jana and John David are now... they seemed to be able to function in a house of their own.

    Of course, that would mean that Jana and Jill would not be available for middle of the night toddler 'I want a drink, I need to go to the batchroom', etc. It would also mean that maybe, just maybe, a young male adult might stop by.
    But that is no different than any female that goes off to college, or shares an apartment with her best friend. Maybe, if Jim Bob and Michelle built a house for each Jana and Jill, they could be persuaded to continue to live in it once they got married.
    Since that is why they bought 20 acres, so that their children could build homes close to them.

  11. I don't see them having that many more girls or any children for that matter. I know they are open to more but Michelle is 43 so realistically she could be done or maybe have one more. I do t really see it as do much of a problem. So they may need to get bunk beds at some point for the girls or whatever bur as he smaller girls grow up (Johanna and hose younger) some of the older ones may marry and move out so I think it won't be that big of an issue. And with a family of that size homeschooling with kids around all day, I hinkhey were more focused on living space and less on sleeping space since they spend less time sleeping! Just my opinion! I'm sure they are Sooooo grateful foe that house and that space considering the size of their last house.

  12. Anonymous--you misunderstood...i don't mean having more girls from NOW...i meant from the time they were designing the house--and since they've moved into the house, they've had 3 more girls (jennifer, jordyn, and josie)...and at the time they moved in, the girl's room was without any extra space for any more girls--including Johanna who was sleeping with her parents at the time--they had the 6th girl already but didn't bother to think of getting her a "big girl" bed to match her sisters' beds or think of place to even PUT a big girl bed...that was my whole point...there doesn't appear to be much forward-planning in the childrens' rooms--especially the girl's room...

  13. While we're all speculating... here's my two cents. Perhaps, Jim Bob and Michelle anticipated the older children (the girls especially) would not stay at home as long as they have (Josh moved out pretty quickly and married young, afterall), thus "making room" for more little ones as the older ones move out. And furthermore, who's to say that if more children come and the number of little girls increases that they couldn't swap the bedrooms? I'm sure that no matter what, the current house feels ginormous to the older kids regardless of how crowded the bedrooms are given what they were living in before.

  14. I think it's a real shame you stopped updating your blog. It was enjoyable & informative, and I'm sure you've left a lot of readers hanging.

  15. ProudMrs beat me to it. I was thinking that perhaps they anticipated that future little girls would be sleeping in play cribs for a while and by the time they would need big girl beds, at least a couple of the older ones would be married and moved out. You should never anticipate stuff like that though. You can't just assume that all your kids are going to find a mate by a certain age, or that they will want to get married at all. Life isn't just about marriage and babies.

    That said, it does seem silly that they didn't exactly plan ahead, but I think they do have plenty of options. If necessary they could move some furniture into storage and replace with bunk beds, or even move the sewing machines somewhere else for now and open the closet into more living space (I don't know the layout of the room that well so I'm not sure if it is plausible, but its a suggestion). I'm pretty sure the upper level of the home has other rooms too so they could use another room as a temporary bedroom until some move out and make space. Or if some of the older boys get married/move out first, they could trade rooms if they were really out of options.

    Hopefully they've already started thinking of this, as they have yet to add Josie to the girls room, as well as any other children that might come along. I don't think they'll have many more though, as Michelle is approaching the end of her childbearing years. Also, I wonder if the older girls will take their beds with them when they move out, as they do have their names on them. If so, that will leave more space in which to put big girl beds or bunk beds.

  16. i think for me's the name thing that got me the most...with the beds...they made such a big deal to keep using J's because--and we hear it EVERY TIME--"we didn't want anyone to be left out"...that since all the girls had beds the same with their names on it, what would happen if more girls would be born?? And guess what?? More girls were born!...It's just that dichotomy of thinking that goes on with them that I personally don't understand. You can be left out of having matching beds but you can't be left out of having a matching name.

  17. What I've always wanted to know is why they didn't build a room to be used as a classroom. They knew they'd be doing it for a long time, and it could easily be used for another purpose after the schooling (such as it is), is finished.

  18. My goodness !! Arent you all just little busy bodies. They are a wonderful family. They are happy living in the home as is, leave them at that. What they do & how they live their lives puts the rest of us puts to shame. They'll figure it out if they need more space. They are very bright folks. Shame on you all for trying to live their lives for them. May God bless them all just as they are & live...AMEN

  19. Sad very sad! zero respect to privacy or a space to their own! Forced to share everything every second is just not living! But I must say they are all amazing people! Although I disagree with their birth control even the lack of inability to even abstain from sex and they expect their kids not to be sexual at all (zero bedroom bathroom privacy) feels like they are very selfish! maybe they need to take the door off their bedroom!!!