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!!!!! :)

41 comments:

Lilacs In May said...

It was worth the rewriting Lauren, thank you for sharing, some lovely images there.

Al said...

What a beautiful post! These images are simply divine. I love the large windows on these homes. Your space is always fun to visit. I am having a vintage holiday brooch giveaway at my blog, please stop by...
www.skylarkmanor.com

Marissa Waddell said...

I totally identify with your desire to mix styles that seem TOTALLY opposite! I am so crazy for those glass houses, but I love old Southern plantation style, too. Maybe one day I'll have a glass house with shutters? :)

Marissa
www.roost-home.blogspot.com

Bethany said...

Lauren - my hubs is totally in love with the Cullen's house too! I mean - who isn't, really? But so funny you said that. I have always loved the slate roofs - quite a few in Clifton and I LOVE to look at them. I am saving my pennies for a metal roof, only becase we live in the woods and the roofs take a beating. but BOY is thatched charming! and SO english :) LOVE LOVE LOVE.

How's your pregnancy going so far?

Bethany
http://powellbrower.blogspot.com/2011/12/dreaming-in-color.html

Blayne Beacham said...

Bobby Mcalpine's home is so beautiful.... I love it every time I see it!

Maurie said...

I am with you on designing homes. In my next life, in heaven, I will be an architect. I love your fresh idea of Cotswold meets Wright. Keep the charm but add the light. Happy dreaming.

mommyiscoocoo said...

Beautiful! My dream house includes a turret. My husband once jokingly said we could get a play house with a turret if we never move again. :)
Also, FYI-David B just did a one hour Color Splash based on the Cullen's home. It was awesome.

Leslie said...

Those are beautiful images. My dream house is a brick home with shutters; it's perfectly symmetrical from the outside. But really, I'll be ecstatic when we get any house.

pve design said...

My starter home....that we just renovated is my dream home. I love the way you dream and I know one day your dreams shall be realized.
I also think a "one" room cottage would be nice to live in....sort of like Snow White....now if I could just find seven dwarves.
pve

mimi said...

Hi Lauren,

I love so many of the same "must haves" as you! I also am constantly imagining my dream house. I have just begun a new blog aforeverhouse.com (LOL) because of my never ending quest for the house of my dreams!

I love some of your ideas and will keep them in my head!

Barbara Jordan Dettweiler said...

I have definitely designed my dream home, down to what will go in which kitchen cabinets! It's crazy I know but sounds like you can relate! And, it includes lots of steel windows and doors like you have here. :) We even have land but that will have to wait a bit as life is taking some unexpected turns for us right now. I have posted about my dream beach house as well as a series for my dream home with a few "ideas of perfection" for rooms so far...more to come on that! Beach house here: http://bjdhausdesign.blogspot.com/2011/10/beach-house-in-oregon.html
"My idea of perfection" can be found here: http://bjdhausdesign.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-idea-of-perfection-master-bath.html Would love to hear what you think! Beautiful post Lauren and hope your pregnancy is going well!

Ruthie's Renewed Treasures said...

So much fun to dream and even more fun when you have a husband that dreams with you! I grew up in thatch roof houses and they are stunning. I remember the rounded curves of the house and specifically remember laying in bed looking at all the beams wondering how they placed every piece of thatch in the perfect spot. Enjoyed the images in this post. Keep dreaming!!! It will come true!

Karen said...

Lauren,
I too love the idea of a thatched roof, and I have seen the "look" with a specially styled asphalt shingle. Bobby McAlpine's first house is probably the exact image (the exterior) of what I envision when I dream of my dream house. Very fun post.
Karen at Garden, Home and Party

classic • casual • home said...

I think over the years, my dream house has gotten smaller...I do love a slate roof (we put one in on our remodel--added expense but so pretty) and steel windows...I wish we could have done that--but hey, our new wood inside and metal outside ones are a big improvement. Your ideas are so homey but modern. It is GOOD to dream!

Joanna said...

We have a townhome and you're exactly right--we're constantly stacking things on the stairs to haul up and stacking things on the ledge upstairs to bring down.

I'm in love with the thatched roofs! When we're ready for our dream home, you're designing it, because what you described sounds perfect.

5th and State said...

i thought i was the only crazy american that wants a thatched roof! the anglophile in me craves this. when mentioning to my hubby that we should investigate it i was thoroughly knocked down. would even settle for just a thatched protruding entryway. keep me posted lauren if you ever have luck with that!
ps; my other suggestion is to move to england, that too is not flying....sigh
xoxo
debra

Debbie said...

I've also cut out the stairs in my dream house! I definitely think my house would be neater if it was one level. Stairs are psychologically limiting.

I frequently wish I were back in my studio apartment just because then everything was easily accessible.

Acquired Objects said...

Never stop dreaming of the home within you I had been dreaming of my home since I was a little girl. I’m living in the house I’ve always pictured in my head but it’s even better. BTW you can encourage moss to grow on a slate roof, provided you live where moss will grow, and it won’t hurt the roof. We have moss growing on our shingled roof and it doesn’t hurt anything. The house you dream of might always be changing since as we grow and learn our tastes change but keep dreaming!!

Mommabelle said...

I love that first house. I just have a love hate relationship with the tree. All I can think about are squirrels (and other critters...shudder) getting in the roof!

Heather Peterson said...

I love this--sort of seeing your thought process illustrated. I also love that you are thinking without limitations--thinking about what you want, whether or not it exists. I may be inspired to do the same...

Heather
loveyourspace.blogspot.com

Teresa said...

This was so much fun to read. I spend lots of time thinking of my dream home and now that I'm a home owner what I want has changed and continues to do so. I too am happiest when I have a dream, it is the best part to mull over all these wonderful ideas and maybe someday we'll get to realize them in our home.
http://teresadboyd.blogspot.com/

Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

Lauren,
With all you have in the works, you'll find the perfect roost one day. Yes, the steel windows and doors are the cat's meow! If I had no fears of over-building for the neighborhood, or taking too large a chunk of savings, they'd be a done-deal. I'm sure your ideas will continue to evolve and no matter what, there's always going to be a compromise for most of us. I'm in a different stage of life and feel so blessed to have the wonderful home I have. It sure doesnt keep me from admiring the latest and greatest styles and adornments. Keep dreaming!
Barbara

Christina Marie said...

I'm new to your blog and I'm really enjoying it! Your fabric line is fantastic! I'm keeping it in mind for some of my upcoming projects.
My husband and I hope to start building our first home next year. We have the land but have been held up by technicalities. It's probably a good thing though because I've had more time to really think about what I want. I tend toward classic european style architecture but I love big windows and lots of doors for easy indoor/outdoor living. I did a post a while back with a couple inspriation images of my dream house.

Christina
http://www.christinamarieinteriors.com/2010/12/building-my-dream-home.html

Fiona said...

I thought this was a really sweet post! (However, I hate Ayn Rand, so I'm blocking that part out!)

Apparently, thatched roofs (according to my grandmother in South Africa, where they still had quite a few thatched roofs) attract mice. Just letting you know before you make that leap! I was sad when I learned, because I think they are charming, too.

Jenna said...

I love this post! I think about my "dream home" all the time! I guess we have to when we love interior design, and also live in the "real" world of budgets! Seriously though, I loved reading about your dream home. You have some very beautiful and intriguing ideas. Mine definitely has the big, paned windows too... I just love them, they feel classic and fresh at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

Wow. It is so neat that you found so many inspiration images. My dream house is still a series of spaces that are rather disconnected but most of it is in a large, old center hall colonial. I think, like yours, the back would be a little more surprising.

greg tankersley said...

FYI The roof on Bobby's house is a hand split cedar shingle. And, yes, moss does grow on it! Thanks for including our work on your blog.

Gaidig said...

The things you picture and your desire for extensive windows in combination with an old-style roof and a certain feeling of age without too much fussiness remind me of a number of French houses that I have seen. The slate roof, huge windows with smaller panes, and thick plastered masonry walls with simple geometries are all present in traditional construction. Also, your image of the turf-roofed house makes me think of the typical lines of rammed-earth houses. Of course, it also makes me think of the fact that my man wants to live in Bilbo Baggins' house...

Beth said...

I know what you mean about changing what you think you want. When we were house shopping this summer, I was fixated for a while on a Craftsman era home because they are plentiful in my area and they are so full of charm. We wound up in an ordinary 1950's ranch, and I have found that my taste is adjusting to meet the house where it is. I love its clean lines and sensible layout, etc. Great post!

Ellen said...

I loved reading about your dream home! Have you thought about a green roof? While it doesn't have the heft of a thatched one, it is modern, ecologically sound, fun, and in some ways embodies the spirit of a thatched roof.

bevy said...

I've thought about my dream home for most of my life. My daughter and I currently live with my parents. I'm a bit in a transitional phase in my life, but I'm desperately eager to have my own home. My own true home, not a rental, that I can do with it what I want. Reading all these decor blogs can depress me at times because I see so much I want to do in my future home, but I know in time it will happen. Your dream home sounds lovely. I hope when it does happen for you, you'll post it on your blog.

angelo h said...

This design is truly a master. To those who work in there, they are all talented in making a place like this. Mentioning on the last photo. :)

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Lester King said...

Awesome post! So great designs. It's like they are one-of-a-kind. Yeah! We all have our dream house and the best thing about this is that when you finally own it.

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Carmella said...

I'm not the only one with a house in my head!! I wondered what you were up to with all the thatched pins on pinterest! A lovely home in your head, indeed, and yes, these homes do change over time, don't they?

Velvet and Linen said...

Love!
Yes, we are feeling the modern vibe too. It seems like Patina Farm is getting simpler and simpler with sheets of glass mixed with rustic elements.
Your inspiration is divine.
I sympathize with your post experience. I've lost many a post after hours of writing. Ugh, indeed.
Hope you had a gorgeous weekend with your fam..
Oh, I owe you a phone call. Will call you tomorrow.

xo xo
Brooke

Lindsay said...

I love the mix of modern and old! It's funny how much your style can change - what I liked 6 months ago is already different from what I like now.

Jennifer said...

If anyone could bring your vision to life, it would be McAlpine Tankersley!

Heidi S. said...

It is funny how ones tastes change over the years. We have a beautiful house with a turret, although lately I have been craving a house in the woods with lots of glass.

Have you considered an actual green roof? Hydrotech makes a special product that is designed to allow a green (mostly succulents) roof on a slope. There website doesn't have any great pictures but I have used their flat version on several institutional products. You get the benefits of water retention and the cooling from the plants, plus they will change colors in the seasons.

http://www.hydrotechusa.com/extensive.html

It would look like this:
http://www.igra-world.com/engineering/pitched_green_roofs.php

Mrs. SE said...

It's fun to mix styles and I totally get where you're going. My husband and I are moving across the country right now, and it's fun to try and imagine what your next home will look like!

Mac said...

the fourth image is my dream home, being near with the nature. Its owners must be so proud!







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Kevin Noel said...

My eyes widened upon looking at these beautiful houses. Oh my! Those houses look like the ones I see in fairy tales. So, they really do exist, huh? I hope you’ve finally decided on what to do and decorate on your new house. With these as inspirations, I’m sure it will look just fine.

Kevin Noel