20 June 2009

My Dream Home I : green, airy, full of treasures

I have lived in many homes since graduating university (Dec 1970), in Australia, Israel and Britain. The concept of a personal dream home flitted in and out of my consciousness, but it never had any fixed form. Are other people as vague? Tonight I saw a picture in a mag­az­ine advertisement that might fill in some of the specifics, but I thought I better check other peoples’ ideal homes first.

Desire to Inspire blog wrote an interesting post called My dream home. She wrote that she adored absolutely everything about the home she photographed, including the incredible blue-black exterior, used to downplay the Victorian embellishments. Every lovely photo she displayed was going in her Inspiration Folder.

Alchemy Fine Living in Dream Home Blog Party (25/5/2009) was even more interesting since she was descriptive about the elements of the dream: “It is my dream to live in a home with Spanish architect­ure. I would love a courtyard with a huge fountain and tall palm tress scattered about the property. White stucco walls that look like adobe are my favourite, especially when topped off with a red tile roof. I adore terracotta tiles with a few hand painted tiles mixed in here and there. To me, there is nothing quite like entering into a home through a large, ornate carved wood door.”

Things That Inspire blog, with the posted photos, was the most useful of all. In French Inspired Houses (aka, My Dream Home 2009). My favourite style of architecture used to be Georgian with Adams influence. “So many of the house pict­ures in my Inspiration Files are Georgian, and I still love and app­r­eciate this style. How­ever over the past year I have found myself gravitating to homes with a French influence. It seems like more of a natural fit given the elements I like on the inside of a house: tall, large windows and doors, a light filled interior, high ceilings and a neutral palette.”

Dream Houses - The homes we imagine in Jackie's Architecture Blog asked the really detailed questions: What would that house look like? What would be the colour and texture of the walls, the shape of the rooms, the qual­ity of the light? “As I aged, Jackie wrote, “my dream house re­shaped itself. Instead of an inner courtyard, it developed sociable porches and big bay windows. The house of my dreams reflect­ed who I was becoming”. Craven cited a Professor of Architecture who wrote about the relationship between dwellings and the people who occupy them. She explored the meaning of "home" as a place of self-expression, of nurturance and of sociability.

So I better answer the really detailed questions myself, Jackie. There will be only one critical room in my dream home: a large living room. The bedrooms, study, kitchen and bathroom need to be only functional and airy. But the living room, the centre of the home, has to be perfect.

Spouse and I have two collections we are proud of. We have thousands of superb books and dozens of superb paintings, both of which would take centre place in our living room (paintings around the ground floor walls; books on the mezzanine gallery). The floor needs to be naturally cooling in our hot summer (slate) with a very large Persian rug over the floor for the winter. A very wide fireplace would be the focal point of one wall, almost like an inglenook in Arts and Crafts homes. The window must be floor to ceiling, and look out directly onto the garden.

Beachbungalow8 presented a room that achieved almost the same goals, but with a very different, more industrial aesthetic. Those floors are lovely and there is a ton of space for the piano, books and chairs. But the two opposing glass walls, from floor to very high ceiling, are sensational.

Green is important. All material needs to be natural: renewable tim­b­er, slate and stone – no plastics, concrete and steel. Since all the family activity would be in one room, any artificial heating and cooling would be limited to one, well insulated room of the house. We already grow our own fruit and vegetables, but in this dream home, the fruit trees and vegetable gardens would be visible from the windows.


Viola said...

I like the Georgian house with the French influence the best.

Our new apartment is probably the opposite of all of these in most ways - it's so modern. I sit there dreaming of a beautiful, historical house somewhere South or in Europe with a flower-filled English garden!

Anonymous said...

You have a definite gift with your wording because I can envision your dream home. I love the airy feel of a room when you enter, it is like a breath of fresh air.

Hels said...


Now our children are married and gone, it might be time to think of downsizing and of moving to a house that meets our needs, not the needs of the two lots of parents, the boys, their friends and the rest of Melbourne.

I am writing a brand new post called My Dream Home, but updating the thinking. Would you change anything, if you had the chance?

Hels said...


You are right! I love Victorian and Edwardian homes, but they are not light and definitely not airy.