Sunday, July 31, 2011


When you build a house, it's all about priorities.  What are the most important things to you in a home.  You scour magazines and books and drool over photos, ideas and interesting concepts.  You pick out your ideal components in a home and maybe those photos sit on your kitchen counter or coffee table for months while you ponder and plan.

Then reality sets in.  How much house can you afford?  What is practical and what isn't?  What resources are available in the area in which you are building?  How much can you hire out and how much must you do yourselves, whether you want to or not?  All of a sudden your dream home takes on an entirely different look.  It's not that you can't have your heart's desire, it's just that when it gets real and becomes an actual working project, those grandiose ideas tend to become more about care, comfort and longevity.

Marble or granite may become linoleum and tile.  Radiant floor heating might just be a wood or pellet stove.  That luxury bath with multiple sinks might just be more about how much to clean rather than how many you really want.  You start looking for places that dust collects.  Especially if you've lived where dust is a daily nusiance.  You start compromising.  Especially if you have other opinions to consider.

When we built our first home, we were young and dumb.  It's amazing it was finished at all.  We did most of the work ourselves and several projects never did get finished.  It was a labor of love and we poured our hearts into that home.  We lived that project and we learned.  Boy did we learn.

This new home is different.  Maybe that's because we are older and possibly wiser.  The priorities have changed.  Sure we looked at the books and magazines and drooled, but when it came right down to putting the plan on paper it was about simplicity and comfort.  How much do we really need?  What do we have to have?  Living room, eating area, kitchen.  I insisted on a mud/laundry room because I've never had one before and since we are moving to the woods and snow country, it just seemed like a good idea to have a place to unload and for extra freezer space.

I've always wanted a pantry too.  I'm not much of a shopper and the stores are not close, so it's nice to plan ahead.  Under the stairs?  That works for me.  Two bedrooms with enough room in one for a small office to pay the bills (and check email).  And two practical bathrooms, one for each floor because it's harder and harder to "hold it" these days.  Oh and a garage attached because hey, it might be snowing outside.

Two things I would NOT compromise on.  The first is my bathtub.  I have to have a big soaking tub to sit in every night and read my book.  This is my form of relaxation and it works for me.  I am having a heck of a time finding the perfect tub (unless I steal it out of my last house), but I won't compromise.  It has to fit perfect and I have to try it on for fit.

The other item is a porch.  A big old gather round for meals or sit and drink a beer and ponder porch.  It must be covered and we may have to screen in part of it for bug season.  I believe many great ideas were started by someone who was pondering on their porch.  I see my big lazy cat sitting there next to me and the dog at my feet.  A porch is an American necessity. 

Which brings me to today's pictures.  Look at this porch I am getting.  My ponder place is in place.  I can't wait to try it out.  I hope you come visit me one day and we can ponder on this porch together, or just philosophize about what's up in the world.  I am looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, creature comforts are most important - especially as we age. And I wouldn't let go of the mud room, you will ALL be glad it's there when the weather is white! ;) Ahh yes - then there's the favorite pass time when the weather IS white, a good book in a nice hot tub! Life is good! Can it get any better?