The Daily Post today asks us to describe our Dream Home. What would we build/buy if we won enough money to provide ourselves with our dream home? It’s a question I’ve been approaching for years; for decades even. I used to, as the geeky child I was, make shopping lists from catalogs of what I would buy if I had a million dollars.
I’m older now, though, and while I don’t make shopping lists anymore, I still dream about what I would do with a large amount of money.
For me the dream home isn’t as simple as it sounds. I have a lot of desires, a lot of wants. I would love to ideally have a couple of houses. Three would be perfect but I’d settle for two if I had enough money to travel. I would want one house at the ocean, and one in the mountains, and if I could I’d love one in the high desert as well. I’m not a huge fan of massive mansions, though they do fascinate me. I like the -idea- of the family home in Downton Abbey, for example, but anything I cannot manage to clean by myself, or that if I hurt myself I could not be heard calling for help, is too big for me.
My ocean home would be cozy, and would look out on the sea. I don’t necessarily have to be close to the beach, but I would want to see the water. Maybe with a path through the grasses and dunes that would take me to the water’s edge. Lots of windows in important though. Being close to the ocean energizes me, and I feel like if I lived near it, I’d want to see it at any given moment. Of course, I’d have to balance this want with the practicality of the situation: can’t have so many windows that the house becomes a death-trap in a hurricane.
My ideal beach home would have three bedrooms, so that friends can stay visit, and an open living area. The kitchen and living space would be connected, because for me, the kitchen should not be separate from the rest of the home. It’s the center of any home I make, my hearth, and I don’t want it to feel closed off. I’d also like to have a library/office, someplace I can retreat to and write, or maybe knit while watching the waves. Of course it would have a porch overlooking the ocean as well, another place to sit and relax with knitting, or spinning, or just the company of my friends and family.
I would probably want to decorate it a bit in a ‘beachy’ manner, but not overboard as you see at beach hotels and rentals. I want it to feel like a home, not like a rental. I’d also like to have a circle of stones on the property. Not a true ‘grove’ per se, but something that can become a spiritual focus, something I can connect to the spirit of place on the seashore. It has a different spirit than other parts of the land do, after all, and I wouldn’t need (or want) a grove of towering oaks to feel connected to that part of the land.
My mountain home would be where I connect to the great trees of the land, and would also be cozy and comfortable. I’d have fireplaces wherever it made sense – no fireplace in the bathroom, thanks – and once more, it’d have enough rooms that friends and family could visit. My own room would be like a den, a place of retreat, but like the ocean home, I’d want the rest of the living space to be open and inviting. I don’t ever want to feel closed off from others in my home. I’d want windows here too, because I’d have a home somewhere that it overlooked a valley, so I’d want to see the stars and moon at night, and the trees as the seasons pass during the day.
This is where I would want to have land enough to keep a quiet grove of oaks, or whatever tree best suits the land. The mountains allow me to connect with the spirit of the forest, and it’s from this grove that I would do this, although I imagine I could manage it even without a grove. It would just serve as a focal point, more than likely.
I think I’d want comfortable furniture here, and once more, while I might include some natural touches to the decorating, I’m much happier when my home doesn’t look like someone’s rental cabin. Lots of warm blankets and quilts, rugs on hardwood floors, probably natural colors everywhere, art on the walls that reflects the cozy environment. I want a library/office here, too. I think any place I live I want a room like that. Someplace that I can close the world out if I want to, a place that isn’t my bedroom.
If I were ever to have a larger home, something more than a dozen rooms tops, I think it’d be if I had a ranch out in the high desert. Somewhere in New Mexico, the Santa Fe/Taos area. I really love it out there, truly, though I worry that were I to move there I’d desperately miss the beach and the mountains. Yes, I know they have mountains there, but it’s not the same. If I lived there, I’d like to have a ranch. A working ranch, though I’ll be honest, I don’t want to work it. I’d like to have one that I owned, but paid other people to take care of. I want a fiber farm, alpaca and sheep and rabbits maybe. Maybe even goats and chickens too. I want to be there, but not have to have the animals relying solely on me for their lives. I know myself, I don’t think I could ever do that.
Were I to have a house like this, I imagine it’d be larger. In fact, it’s likely I’d have to have two houses on the property, because I’d want to have a place for the ranch staff if they wanted it, and then my own home, and I wouldn’t want them to be too close to one another. I’d also need a barn or three. I’d have horses, of course, too. In my own home, I’m sure I’d have the requisite three or four bedrooms, and plenty of living space, but I’d also want this to have a large area for crafting. Since I’d have the fiber available, I think this would be where I’d work with it most, from fleece to finished object. That’s a huge dream of mine too. But that, for certain, is another post.