I wanted a spiral staircase when I grew up. Not anything overly ornate, but a substantially sized one that looked like a cool corkscrew and would provide access to a room of my own. I’m not positive where my childhood self got the idea from—honestly, most likely Mia’s room in The Princess Diaries—but it stuck for years. I knew, with deep assuredness, that living in a home with one would be a sign that I’d made it.
In middle school, when I attended a slumber party at an admittedly well-off friend’s house, my association with such a stairway and success was reaffirmed. In her sprawling home, a spiral staircase provided just one way of getting to the second floor (in the living room, a larger, even more dramatic staircase led the way up).
These days, I don’t think about spiral staircases too much, lest I see a cool one on Instagram. Now my definition of making it big is to live in an apartment with an in-unit washer/dryer so I no longer have to carry my laundry down to the basement of my building and begrudgingly insert an obscene amount of quarters into subpar machines. The same goes for a place with central air-conditioning or one that doesn’t require me to walk up three flights of stairs to get home (though in this regard, I know I’m already lucky compared to many other New Yorkers).
My spiral staircase fantasy may have dissipated, but I still think it says a lot about what I prioritized in a home as a child: a sense of whimsy and extravagance. Actually, I still value those things. In my apartment today, I’ve appealed to those desires, just in a much more reasonable way; a velvet sofa and a small but mighty art collection do the trick. Now “making it” has to do with practicality—though I’m not above a bit of frivolity either.
What home features did you covet as a kid? We asked on Instagram, and you answered. Here are some of your dream details. Prepare to exclaim “Same!” over and over again.
- Window seat
- Indoor pool
- Glass roof (to see the stars at night)
- Laundry chute
- Pocket doors
- Slide (instead of stairs)
- Secret doors
- Bookcase with a ladder
- Firehouse pole
- Tree house
- Canopy bed
- Sunken living room
- Claw-foot tub
- Glass bricks
- Wraparound porch
- French doors
- Attic bedroom
- A room full of pillows (inspired by Beyoncé’s episode of Cribs)
Don’t see your childhood fantasy fixture here? Let us know yours in the comments.