December 15, 2011

The House in My Head

I always have a dream house or “future” house in my head.  I keep a file with floorplans that I’ve drawn of it and exterior & interior inspiration pics.  I always find myself thinking about what would make a house perfect for me & my family.  I think about it more frequently sometimes than others.  When I lived in my parents’ basement with my husband & our first baby a couple of years ago (to recover financially from buying a townhome at the height of the market & selling almost at the low) I used to think about it so much my heart would literally ache.  (Honestly I thought about ANY house at that time, but my dream house got me excited.)  This was a bit what it looked like:  (from Cottage Living)

But after we moved into our 70s bilevel fixer-upper, my idea of our dream house started to change.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m in looooove with the house above, but it’s not where the house in my head is at anymore.)  I started to appreciate & crave a more modern feeling for my dream house yet I still wanted the charm of an older house.  I love the walls of windows in our house now, and wish they were even bigger.  I know that I now want glass walls leading straight outdoors all over my future house.  Even though my 70s house is architecturally uninteresting, I started to appreciate its “plain box” qualities & have reimagined how I might have something similar in a new home one day:
{Our “box” before we moved in…. It feels like we’re almost outside or in a tree house.}
I also love the easy living of its floorplan.  All of our main rooms are on one level and our addittional spaces like family room, office & guest room are all on the lower level.  I love this one-floor living and definitely want to keep this easy way of living in our new place.  (In our townhouse I used to leave piles of things at the top and bottom of all the stairs to go up & down…  I used to feel like keeping the house neat was a series of moving things up and down the stairs.)  My husband, who used to be super-traditional is now craving something simple & modern.  (more than me!)  He loves the Cullens’ house from Twilight.  (I made him watch it 😉
Every once in a while my husband & I will read a book that makes us think about architecture & we talk about what we want in a house & how we can make our own house better.  When we read Bobby McAlpine’s The Home Within Us I really started to think of architecture a bit differently.  I started realizing that it didn’t have to be something we’d seen before & that we could one day make something that was really “us.”  The thatched roof idea is one I can’t shake.
I recently read Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead and it really got me excited about our “dream house” again so I decided to hit the drawing board with all of the ideas that had been floating around in my head, unformed, for the past year or so.  I haven’t quite finished working out the floorplan but the main living areas are all on the first floor and the back of the house U-shaped and almost all steel floor-to-celing glass windows & doors opening to the yard.   I want the front of the house to have a crazily-pitched roof that swings low onto the front door & windows & I want more privacy in the front than in the back.   And I want the look of a thatched roof:
{We did a little research on thatched roofs & probably will never be able to have one.  They’re hard to insure (due to perceived risk of fire) and expensive if you live in an area where they’re not done.}  But I’m open to other materials that I can get a similar look from.  I want that old, natural & quaint feeling but mixed with a modern & seamless edge.
{Bobby McAlpine’s first home built by his firm…  I can’t get over it or its roof.  I think maybe it’s slate & even though it’s not thatched, it has the feeling I’m after.  I wonder if you can encourage moss to grow on your slate roof without it hurting anything??  ****  UPDATE:  Greg Tankersley of McAlpine Tankersley Architecture let me know that the roof is actually handsplit cedar shingle, and yes, moss does grow on it!!  Thanks so much Greg!! }
Like I mentioned before, I want the back of my house to be almost completely open so it will definitely be a challenge to mix these two styles without making a total mess.
{love this feeling – oh my goodness!!!!}
I want it to feel as if you’re almost outside when you’re inside.
I know these two styles are totally different but I think “where there’s a will there’s a way” and I have a LOT of time to figure it out before we can actually have a dream home anyway. 😉
… The windows in most of these modern homes are mostly glass without the interruption of the steel…
But I’m thinking I like the charm of the paned windows and I’d like a sort of modern conservatory-feeling…
{crazy over the steel windows & doors in Jill Brinson Sharp’s home}
It’s one detail (of many) I’m still thinking on…  I don’t know if we’d feel caged with an entire back wall in them or if it could work for what I want.  I came across this house when searching for inspiration images:
I’d never seen anything like it & am definitely intrigued.  It’s not what I’m looking to do but I think it’s really interesting in how it combined what reminds me of a barn with a glass contemporary house.
I was floored when I came across this thatched-roof house:
{image via klikk.com}
…It is so close to what I want in style.  The back is all open just like I’d envisioned and it even has a thatched roof!!  The feeling I’m after is a different though.  (This is so pretty & fresh & white & modern-feeling whereas I want a more textured, natural, aged feeling.  If you look to the right where you see a more private space with smaller windows… I like that a lot.  I definitely want some “cozy” & private spaces towards the front of the house.)
And finally, I came across this old house which combines my windows with the thatched crazy-sloped roof & this embodies a bit more of the feeling I’m after:
{I would probably want it a little more seamless -without the diagonal bars  btwen the roof & windows- but I think it shows how the glass walls can actually work beautifully with a low roofline.}
Anyway, by the time we’re actually able to build this house, I’m sure it will have changed considerably, but for now, I’m really excited about getting this house in my head all figured out.  (Or as figured out as it would need to be before getting an architect involved 😉   I’m always happiest when I have a dream.
What about you:  Do you have a house in your head or a dream house that you think of?  (And if you’ve written a post on yours, be sure to link to it in the comments section!! 🙂

xoxo, Lauren

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

ps- I found all of these images on pinterest & listed original sources where I had them.

AND… I wrote this entire post yesterday (which took hours) & when I hit “Publish” on blogger, the WHOLE THING DELETED….  ahhhhh!!!!! 🙂

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