Tuesday, March 16, 2010

great exteriors

I have a serious house fixation.
I love houses.

I love insides and outsides.

I've fallen in love with many a great house.

I will frequently take the long way just to drive by a house I love, or plan my running route around a way that I know has pretty houses that I like to look at. (That doesn't make me a nut, right?)

Lucky for me, I married a guy that likes houses too. He will humor me when I want to take the long way. We have "dream house" discussions all of the time, and he not only listens, he participates and adds ideas too. He's perfect for me, that's for sure.

We started adding to our "someday" house file right before we were engaged. It started with one picture of a house we saw and loved (and tried to discreetly snap without making anyone think we were terrorists or stalkers, hence the van blocking the garage!)

Our preferences have changed in the almost 6 years since then, I wouldn't choose that exact same thing now, but I still love the basic idea and shape of it... and it kind of leads into what I love now days, so that's the fun of it, I guess.

That file has grown, and we now have a big one on our computer and a paper file with pictures, sketches, and torn out magazine pages. Having a house file has really helped me to see what our style is, just by looking at the pages and images we've collected. I'll talk more about the file later, I'll show it to you in another post.

Anyway... my dream house...

I don't think I ever want a huge grand house. My dream house is a casual, comfortable home with lots of architectural details, lots of white trim, and warm inviting spaces suited for a family (with small boys I might add.)

Here are a few favorites lately:
This one is my #1 favorite right now.

I love that it doesn't look like every other house, I love the craftsman elements, the tapered columns are my favorite. I love the shingle style siding (rather than typical Utah stucco.) The colors are fun, it's visually pleasing. The front door is perfect for it. I *love*, love, LOVE this house.
I think this house should win a prize or something. Isn't it great?

Here's my #2 right now.

This cape cod style is just down the street from our home. It's fairly new, but has lots of "old house" character (another thing on my dream house list.) It's timeless. Every time we drive by I tell my Hubby I want to build a house similar to this one. It's simple and I love the big porch. Maybe you can't tell, but the front door is red. If it where my little house, I would want the inside to be kind of farm style.

Oh! And check out the back...

It's gorgeous when it's not snowy... the landscaping is amazing. I envision my daughter's wedding in the back yard with pretty paper lanterns and twinkly lights... but wait...I'm getting ahead of myself... I don't have a daughter yet. :)
Oh well, someday, right?
I think the back of this house is just as charming as the front.

And here's the part where I bombard you with 9 billion images from my dream house file... I love different elements of all of these beauties.

And right now we're thinking of a way to add a little of this...

to our back patio. LOVE IT!

We've only been in our new home for 4 months or so, and I'm not planning on another move any time soon. It's plenty big enough for us, 3400 square feet for our little family is enough. I'm happy with what I have for now. I'm content to work on it and make it how we like it, but it's not the "end all" house for us. It's fun to dream and plan for our "someday" house.

It made me giggle when two people in the last month drove by our house and un-discreetly snapped a picture out the window... only because I can totally relate, and I've been that crazy person before... although my house isn't setting the bar very high... yet. We'll get it looking good soon enough. :)

So how about the rest of you? Are there any other house crazies out there? Do you ever drive or walk the long way just to see a great house, or un-discreetly drive by and take a sneaky picture of a house you love? Do you have a favorite architectural style or a dream house file?


Staci said...

This is SO me! My husband kind of plays along but mostly just asks "who's the weather is Staci's world today" A girl can dream right. I am really bad. We just spent a while looking for our house and are set to close next Friday but I am still online looking at houses. Nuts I know!!! We thought this would be our dream house but without building ourselves we could not find anything that was dream house material. So we will live in our almost dream house for a while then build later. it gives us something to look forward to.

Staci said...


Mindy said...

Staci, we are on the same page here! I've been a perpetual "home shopper" since before we bought our first house. When I want some "me time" that's what I do, search the MLS listings for great houses. Your comment makes me laugh, and I'm so glad to know I'm not the only NUT out there!

Holly said...

I have a file with hundreds of photos... many of which I've "casually snapped" as we drove by. Totally know what you're talking about there. :) I too had all these "architectural ideals" for our exterior, but when it came time to build we did so from the inside out. I like the outside of our home and love the materials and craftsman style we're using, but it's not shaped exactly as I'd dreamt of all these years. (Let's be honest, it's tricky fitting spaces like a studio into a traditional house design, especially when there's no basement.) But I LOVE everything about our floor plan and think we'll be there for a long... long time.

michele said...

somehow i landed on your site, liked what i read, and just kept reading. but now, at this post, i have to actually stop to reply. i read every word with accompanying head-nods. yes, i'm obsessed with houses. i love to drive around or take walks at night so i can catch a glimpse inside, especially in the old neighborhoods, with their 100 year old arts & crafts bungalows and four-squares and mediterranean villas. (which, in minneapolis, is a little weird. but there you have it.) i've been keeping a binder on dream ideas for so long that it's now 4" thick ... and that's *after* annual purges of things that no longer appeal to me. all this comes in handy, though, because we just bought some land and will be building our close-enough-to-a-dream house in the spring, and i can't wait. the styles you posted here look so similar to the home we will build, and it makes me even more giddy to think about it!! you are SO not alone! (but i think you know that! ;o) )

Melanie @ Mailbox Journey said...

Where did you get the picture of you #1 favorite?

Mindy said...

Hi Melanie, it's either one that I took myself or one that I found online and saved in a file on my hard drive. Most of these are photos I found by googling "craftsman homes" for inspiration images. The white cape cod is fit sure one if my own that I took, it's right by my neighborhood. I can't think of where that #1 house would be located though... Do it might just have been an image from a search. Thanks for stopping by!

Erick Bush said...

Getting a house is a big decision a couple should both agree to. You're both lucky to share same interest with each other. The references you have here are all looking great! It's good that you didn't stick to just one house for reference. Many patterns combined will give you one fantastic result. I hope that someday, you would be able to achieve all the additions to your house files in your current house.

Erick Bush