Friday, May 3, 2013

Writing Prompt # 9: Dream House

After yesterday's depressing post, I figured I should try to brighten things up around here.  What better way to do that than another prompt?  (you're thrilled, I know)

Technically, I suppose  you could say I'm living in my dream house (it's got everything I need, most of what I want, I love the setting, I love the look, I love the people I get to live with).  But for the purpose of this prompt, and a little more entertainment value, I'm going to try to show you what the house of my dreams would entail.

First of all, let's get some things straight.  I do not want to live in suburbia (West Des Moines) where all the houses look the same and all the insides look the same and I am forced to make Pottery Barn knock-off crafty things to hang on my walls.  Although, I admit that sometimes, I would love to live on a suburban cul-de-sac, brimming with neighbor friends and impromptu street-baseball games at night. Other times, I find myself longing for a bungalow style house in a well-established (old) neighborhood, where the trees are so large that they form a canopy above the street and grass grows from the cracks in the sidewalk.  The neighbors in the bungalow neighborhood would probably be too old to play baseball, but they might come out to sit on their porches and watch the game, remembering a time when the trees were just saplings.

Until yesterday, I was okay with living in the Northern Midwest, but now I'm pushing heavily for a move to St. Louis or Branson or maybe even Texas.  But no matter where we live, I always find myself dreaming about living on an acreage-- just a few miles out of town.   (And since I'm dreaming here, let's add a well-maintained bike trail that connects the acreage to town so that my dream-life children can safely ride their bikes to the pool in the summer without having to interrupt me from my novel or sun bathing or martini-drinking in the warm afternoon sun.)

(All images below were found on what a complete and inspirational time-waster!)

Before we get to the house, let's talk about the barn we'll have:

The ground floor of the barn will have big rustic sliding barn doors-- so people can enter and exit easily when we decide to throw a last minute summer party.  We'll have a bar stationed at the back of the ground floor, and a ledge running around the perimeter of the walls, perfect for resting your cup of beer or glass of lemonade.

We'll have a few couches and oversized comfy chairs for people to sink into when they watch the big game on the 12 foot screen that has been meticulously painted on one of the walls.  We'll make sure there are plenty of soft fuzzy area rugs in case our teenagers want to hang out there after a football game or high school musical or long day detassling.  (Don't worry, we'll lock up the booze and just pray to god that they won't smoke pot in there.)

The barn will have an upstairs hay-loft and M will install two basketball hoops on either end.  I'll paint a court on the wood floors and we'll let the kids draw with side-walk chalk all over the walls.  In the winter, M will set up a golf-simulator and create a winter golf barn league with his five friends.  On the far end of the barn, there will be an actual hay-loft.  We'll have piles of hay up there-- these can serve as bleachers for the family basketball game, or sleeping bags for elementary slumber parties, or soft lounge chairs for quiet conversations or lazy afternoons spent with a book.  If you glance out the windows in the hay-loft, you'll look across the long driveway and towards the side of the house.

Now here's where things get a little tricky.  I'm so indecisive when it comes to the look of my dream house.  (As if it really matters)  But I kind of feel like I should plan this stuff out-- just in case we receive a windfall.  Good to be prepared, right? I think I'd be really happy with something like this:

Or maybe less trendy but the same idea.  Like this: 
Traditional Landscape by Minneapolis Interior Designer Marie Meko, Allied ASID

My dream house will definitely have an entry way.  I'm all about the open-concept thing, I'm tired of walking into the living room so this is a MUST for me.  I think something nice and simple like this would work well:

But I'm in LOVE with something like below.  I'm c-r-a-z-y for tons of natural light and who can go wrong with pocket french doors?

Speaking of additional light, our house will be filled with transom windows.

And Spahnville definitely needs a porch of some kind.

And I really really really want a "family" staircase.  Do you remember kitchen stairs from the Cosby Show?  I dream of a staircase that gets used all the time, one that kids come trudging down with sleep in their eyes, or thundering down on the way out the door. A staircase that witnesses the most intimate family moments-- like when Peter surprises his family on Christmas morning with the Folgers coffee. Dreamy.

I used to dream of a room off the kitchen with the little organizer cubbies but I saw this and think it's awesome.  Separate spaces for separate people.  Lovely!

Of course, we'll need someplace wonderful to rest our heads and while I used to think that large master bedrooms were wasteful, I'm kind of loving the idea of a little retreat tucked away inside the house. I would love a little sunny sitting room, perfect for reading and writing.  And don't forget a fireplace. This should do it:

Speaking of books, it would only make sense that we have our own little family library.  Wouldn't this be a great place to host a reunion of the Bomgaars Bookclub?

While C & I are reading, M could enjoy his AV room. When he's not watching shows like Tree Man Diaries or I Should Have Died, we can host live children's theater on the stage.

Whew.  Dreaming is tiring!

But you know what?  If this dream house remains just that-- a dream, I'll bloom wherever we live.  We have more than most people in this world could ever dream of-- Spahnville would be a dream to so many.  Every day, even during my most cranky and selfish moments, I'm grateful for our beautiful warm house, complete with running hot water and a fridge filled with healthy food.  I'm grateful for the endless toys and books and games that provide us with entertainment. I'm especially grateful for our little town, with tons of fresh air and wide open spaces to stretch our legs.  I love our pitch-black summer night sky, where it's possible to see almost every star, and dream any impossible dream, right from our backyard.  And people across the world, living in such desperate conditions, living in such dire straights, stare at those same stars, and wonder if they'll even survive the night.  I don't need a dream house friends; we're already living the dream.

One more I just had to include... the last picture I saw while searching the Houzz site..... definitely my dream to have her back with us for a minute.


  1. Sigh... I love all of your photos!

    Houzz is dangerous. DANGEROUS, I tell you. Especially when you have no budget for renovation and you've fallen out of love with your house.

  2. well said, love that we are praying to God when it comes to pot smoking; how is that separate spaced carpet so clean? Great stuff...I like he end the most. Love that you are down to earth and in touch with it as well.

    1. Hindy, you might be surprised to know I pray sometimes. Yes, I admit it was usually for Charlie to sleep through the night or for him to be good on vacation, but it's still a prayer. As far as the pot smoking goes, well, I have a feeling I'll be praying a lot more when I have a teenager.

  3. We have very similar tastes in our "dream house" looks. Given your recent weather in Iowa I would guess any house without snow in the yard would be a dream house!