From an early age, I have loved houses. I feel every house has a possibility. I do get sort of frustrated with the HDTV shows where they take a house, tear out fireplaces, knock down walls, and completely change the floor plans. I, myself, like to look at a house, work with for the most part what it has, update it, and make decorating changes to make it functional and beautiful. Not everyone has the money to practically tear up the whole house and begin from scratch. It is a lovely idea, but not probable or practical.
When I was in high school I took a course called Home Design. My teacher, Mr. Stenike, taught this class and contrary to his age and how he came across, had some really good ideas. One idea he stated that I find to be true is to never purchase the most expensive house on the block. In regards to decorating, don’t fall for the ads of one room of furniture and the other one free. He had us design what we would call our dream house. Well, at the early age of sixteen, it was interesting to see what everyone would come up with. I happened to come up with a tri-level home, four bedrooms, two baths, an eat-in kitchen, a large living room, dining room, family room, and laundry Being that I really had not seen that many homes, I had actually been in a home like this and was impressed.
My taste today is very eclectic meaning there is no one particular design that I don’t like or can’t work with. For example, I love to work with architectural items, vintage mixed in with modern, and color as well as monochromatic. I also don’t believe the home has to be big to be great. I go from loving medium size homes as well as small quaint cottage type of dwellings.
Today, at my age, I would want a quaint, cozy, vine-covered cottage on the lake, of course. I love the water and the location is very important. I feel garages are not a focal point and should be placed either in the back or the side of the home, not in the front. I also love porches, screened-in porches, fireplaces, and lots and lots of windows. If the home doesn’t have architectural items such as moldings, or fretwork, you can always add your own. Speaking of screened-in porches it always confuses me when people put on a screened-in porch (to keep out the bugs and enjoy the wonderful outdoors), and then end us closing them up with windows. Sure the windows open up, but the total outdoors feel is gone. Screened-in porches can be three season by adding a couple of cushy blankets, and fireplaces, to allow for those cooler evenings, but still, have the wonderful nature sounds.
I worked for many years in a wonderful old Victorian home that was tastefully turned into a law office.
I loved to decorate it as I was allowed for the seasons. It had cutouts in the walls where you could create items of interest. Also, there were leaded glass doors, wonderful woodwork and ceiling moldings and fretwork. It also had a circular staircase and just a lot of charm. One thing is these wonderful old homes are usually built in undesirable locations as they were the first homes built which put them on very busy roads and close to the downtown districts.
There are books out there on creating the not-so-big house that I find really interesting. You see, when I have a large open space, what do I do? I create small conversation areas and break this large space up into small areas.
Writing this gets my creative juices flowing. On to the next project.