89: My Dream House
Updated: 6 days ago
Howdy! So, my husband and I have very different likes and styles. If we didn't live together, his home would have minimal decoration, and depending on the budget, everything would be a set. I, on the other hand, have a more maximalist take on interior design, and with free reign and more money. my home would be a lot louder than it currently is. And if you follow me on TikTok, you can see I already have no wall space left.
Marriage is compromise. Bla, bla, bla, we make it work. But, just for fun, I'm going to remove his preferences from the fantasy home equation, and while I'm at it, I'll be completely impractical regarding what, and where, I can afford. What are creatives if not dreamers?
First off, I want to live in a city. Which city? Philadelphia was a little rough around the edges, Vegas is running out of water, and New Orleans is sadly, physically falling apart. NYC is fun, but there aren't many houses, and while I don't want a big house, I also don't want to live somewhere I have to drag my dogs on the elevator every time I take them for a walk. Austin could work. Or Miami. Texas and Florida can't have transphobes for governor forever, right? Both of those cities have art scenes, festivals, and are warm. Similar cities could work. It's important the neighborhood is walkable and that there is good public transport nearby, since I don't drive.
As I said before, I want a house. It doesn't have to be big, and I'd prefer a small back & front yard, as opposed to big. Less to maintain. I've never mowed a lawn and I'm not looking to start. So, in the back yard we would grow flowers around the edge, that are safe for the dogs. The back would have a privacy fence, tall enough where the dogs can't jump it. Rather than grass, which is expensive and a lot of effort to maintain, there would be a mosaic path through ground clover, or some other low maintenance equivalent, that naturally grows in the area. There would be a big charcoal grill, maybe a smoker, and/or a brick oven, for my husband to cook with. I'd have a small firepit too, for when guests come over. There would be a doggy door so in an emergency, if my husband and I weren't home or were otherwise incapacitated, the dogs could escape to safety.
In the front yard, we would grow vegetables, fruits if possible, depending on the climate, and herbs. I'm open to fruit trees. I would have to google before planting, making sure I wasn't growing anything invasive, or toxic for cats and dogs. I know a family that grows a surplus of vegetables for their household. They have a wooden cart in front of their driveway, full of baskets offering free produce for passersby. That always seemed nice to me, so I'd do that. I'd have a little library on the other side of the driveway too. It wouldn't need a "leave a book, take a book" sign. It would be where I put books I've bought, read, and won't reread. I'm sure neighbors would contribute too, making room at home for new books. The front yard wouldn't need a fence.
The style of house would be painted lady, chalet, Victorian, Queen Anne, or something equally stylized, and colorful. That means buying an older home, from before houses were built assembly-line-style. Nowadays, contractors have to account for every screw, and the cost of lumber keeps going up. There would be a small tower with big windows, and benches covered in pillows, creating a cozy reading nook. There would be a bedroom, a guest room, an office for my husband, a studio space for me (which could simply be a screened in patio, front or back), a kitchen with an island, a living room, at least a bathroom and a half bathroom, and a laundry room. A dining room would be nice, but if there is a counter with stools between the kitchen and living room, that could work. The main bedroom would have a walk-in closet and the pantry, beside the kitchen, would be large. The living room and office would have full, ceiling height book shelves, that we'd need a foot stool or ladder for. My studio space would be a disaster, with a tarp on the floor, and over at least the wall I paint in front of, to shield it from splatter. The living room would be dark green with gold molding. The ceiling would either be patterned with gold, some sort of sun or compass design, spiraling outward from the fan, or painted dark green to create the illusion that the room is especially tall. The bed frames would have a cushioned back.
The furniture would be bright, garish, of fun shapes, but abiding by the palette and vibe of each room. Paintings, and accompanying frames, would be placed in whichever space they best suit, not all pell-mell like they are in my apartment.
The appliances would be new, and under warranty, at the time of purchase. Every room would have vibrant molding and either elaborate wall paper of colorful painted walls. There would be at least one mural in the house. We would have a garage where my husband could roast coffee, safely, abiding by regulations, to sell small batches locally.
We would have solar panels over the garage and a means of collecting and filtering rain water, likely for the garden. There would be gnomes out front and little fairy homes tucked in amongst the plants. The roof tiles would make a pattern, like those on some Victorian homes, and there would be a wind compass.
Now, would I be able to find this property in a city, let alone afford to purchase it? No. I did find a house, similar to how I've described, with no yard, in a small, probably depressed city, with old appliances, that are definitely not under warranty, that would be within budget. However, we aren't ready to buy right now, so we didn't make an offer, and it has since sold, but it was probably the closest I can expect to finding the dream.
Well, my dream house anyway. My husband's dream home is either a cabin with a huge, self sufficient property, in the middle of nowhere, or a nice, big, bland house, in the middle of the suburbs, with a large yard, where activities and good foreign food have been traded away in return for less crime. We both agree that we need a fence, and want to grow some of our own produce, though he insists on raising chickens, a hassle I'd rather not have to deal with. The dogs are basically my responsibility, and while I love them, I'm not looking to take on any new pets. All things cooking are set to his preferences because I barely handle our meals, and the garage would be for him. It's probably best I don't paint in the same space he'd be roasting coffee.
Realistically, the compromise will be a medium-sized, bland, newish house in the suburbs, maybe an hour to a half hour outside of a safe-ish small city, complete with a yard and a garage. He would like a kitchen island, but I doubt we'll find a place we can afford that has one. Walkability is a pipe dream, but maybe there will be a bus or two that will take me to the mall. I assume there will be a dog park nearby, at least. We've agreed that I'll have free reign to style one room the way I want, and that would be the living room, since it's how we'll welcome folks into our home.
Prioritizing walkability with our budget, would mean renting an apartment, or buying a small condo, not a house. And the dogs benefit from having a yard to run around in.
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