June 29, 2012

Dreaming of Our Dream Home

Recently, Bo and I have been watching a lot of House Hunters episodes on HGTV.  By a lot, I mean that we now DVR the show at watch approximately 2-4 episodes a day...we may have a problem.

I guess that we are getting to that age when buying a house starts to sounds like a good (albeit terrifying) idea.  Of course, in our situation, the United States Navy will play a very. large. role. in our decision to purchase our first home.  That massively large detail aside, over the past few weeks I have caught myself daydreaming about my "dream home" pretty regularly (and by regularly, I mean that I have bookmarked dozens of webpages, spent over an hour looking up the home of a decades-deceased family member (just because I have fond childhood memories of his home), and am now writing an entire blog post dedicated to this at-this-point-futile-exercise).

Hey, I never claimed to be exactly rationale when it comes to these sorts of things.

I go where my heart leads me, and in this case, it is to a blog post about our dream home (or maybe I should say "my dream home" since all of these ideas are pretty much mine - and mine alone - and I am praying that Bo goes along with them...).

OK, with that small detail aside, let's move on to our my specifications!

(1) First and foremost, I DO NOT want a cookie-cutter home!

Instead, it is absolutely imperative that the home be unique, full of character, quirks, and small details that make it endearing and "feel like home."  With that said, a (to some degree) fixer-upper is not out of the question.  We don't want to have to completely re-do or re-build a home, but we aren't opposed to paying for some upgrades either.

As you can see from these two pictures, both Bo and I like brick or stone homes.  That's not to say that we wouldn't buy a home in a different style, but brick and/or stone is certainly our preference.  We would also like:

  •  17,000-23,000 square feet;
  • wood floors throughout the majority (if not all) of the home;
  • one-story or split-level home (although this is not a total deal-breaker);
  • a large enough backyard for Lola; and
  • curb appeal.

A garage would be nice, but we recognize that a lot of older homes don't have them.  With that said, it might be an item that we would have to build ourselves...and we're OK with that.


(2)  Architectural details matter.

This goes back to point #1 above.  We I want a house that evokes a feeling, a history, and a story.  When we do finally go looking to buy our first home, I will be looking for original, built-in details.

Are the windows unique?  

Do the walls, floor, or ceiling have anything special about them?  

Are there any character-filled details or spaces in the home?


(3) Secret Garden Landscape.

My Great Uncle Al had a home that sat on over two acres of land.  Among that land, he had stables, a pasture for horses, a vegetable garden, and a small garden right off of the back of the house that seemed hidden, special, almost overgrown (but purposefully so), and more-than-vaguely reminiscent of The Secret Garden.  I used to play games in that garden, imagining that I was Mary Lennox working alongside Dickon to bring the plants back to life (although, in reality, this garden was already abounding with life!).

I'm not naive enough to believe that Bo and I will ever find a house that evokes exactly that same sort of feeling; but, I do believe that we can find a house that has some of that potential.  I do want a vegetable garden; and if my mother is willing to teach me, I would also love to learn how to grow a low-maintenance garden that gives me joy every time I look at it, and provides a safe place for my children to play and imagine...just like I did.

(4) A breakfast nook.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  As such, I would love to have a special place to eat, drink my hot tea, read a book, and enjoy the day that is being born.  Without a doubt, this space will need a window or two to let in the natural light, and the space will need to be large enough to sit at least two, if not three or four.


I envision this space as a serene one.  No doubt there will be children clamoring about as well, but I also see this space as a sweet escape and a calm beginning to the day.


(5) A Dining Room filled with light, and furnished with an exposed dish cabinet.

We want a house where we can have friends and family over for dinner, drinks, and a party.  With that said, the dining room needs to be functional both for our family and for larger gatherings.  Natural light would be a huge plus, and I have always dreamed of having an exposed cabinet to display the silver and china that were given to be as family heirlooms.


(6) A functional kitchen with an island, sufficient countertop and storage space, and a gas stovetop.

Obviously, as you all know from reading here on the ABC blog, I love to cook!  My Recipage is a perfect example of my love to experiment and play around in the kitchen.  With that said, I would like to have a kitchen that gives me enough room to:

  • cook multiple dishes at once;
  • display the frequently used appliances on the countertops; and
  • still have room to move around if several other people decide to congregate in the area (which, as we all know, is inevitable).  


An open floor-plan would be great, but let's be honest, a lot of older homes that have the character that I am looking for aren't designed that way.  So, I am willing to give that up if the kitchen ticks off the items on the list above.

(7) A library.

It's as simple as that.  You all know that I love to read, so our my dream home simply wouldn't be a dream home without a library.  Of all the specifications that I have discussed thus far, this is probably the room that I have the strongest opinions about.  For instance:

  • it needs to have at least one window;
  • I would prefer built-in bookshelves on almost all of the walls;
  • the room should be sparsely decorated with a comfortable chair, ottoman, small table, and lamp (and not much more); and
  • the room must have a door (so that when the time comes, I can have some "mommy alone time" or "wife alone time").

Who knows if  Bo and I will ever live in a home like the one that I have described above.  If not, I'm OK with that.  At the end of the day, I know that that is not what it is about.  Home truly is where the heart is.  But with that said, I also believe that when you send your dreams out into the world God has a way of listening.  

Who knows...dream house or not, I will always have the right to dream, and that alone makes this imagination-filled girl pretty happy!

Next time - a recipe using one of summer's most abundant vegetables!

Question of the Day:

What would your dream home look like?!

Ally and Bo

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