Lately, we’ve been talking about houses.
“What! That’s crazy! Why would you ever move!?” you might be thinking. Trust me, the day I moved in here I vowed never to leave of my own free will. But let me explain. Yes, we live in the most beautiful old farmhouse in the Willamette Valley. Yes, I’ve wanted to live here since the day I laid eyes on this place. Yes, we live a mile away from the farm and across the field from my in-laws. Yes, it’s overflowing with character and charm. Screaming with potential. Begging to be fixed up.
But you know what else? It’s attached to 120 acres of some of the most fertile land in the country. Land that has strict rules about division and building sites. Land that was set aside for farming long before either of us were even a twinkle in anyone’s eye. And land that comes with a HEFTY price tag. And even if we won the lottery, or received a sizable inheritance from an unknown relative, and were able to buy said land, we’d still be left with an 82-year-old house that needs a considerable amount of time and money to bring it back to life.
I dreamed the dream for a long time. Kept my hope alive that someday this place would be ours, amidst many many voices telling me otherwise. But finally, after nearly a decade of loving this place and three years of living here, the dream has died.
The good news is, a new dream has been born to take it’s place! The dream that we will find (or someday build) a home that we can actually call our own. Now don’t get too excited. This is going to be a looooong process. One that most likely starts simply with being very patient and saving our pennies. But I thought I’d channel my excitement into something productive and put together a list of things I’d like/dream about for our home someday.
Here’s a list of basic criteria we made together:
LOCATION: Probably number one on both of our lists is location; more specifically, proximity to the farm. We need to be within about a three mile radius of the farm so that Taylor can come home for lunch. This may not seem like a big deal, but for 3-4 months out of the year we don’t see him except at lunch time, so it’s a pretty big deal for our family. Location is also a factor as far as school districts go. We’d like our kiddos to go to one of the smaller farm schools in the area, if not the very one my husband went to, so we need to be within a certain range.
SIZE: Somewhere between 1,800-2,400 square feet. I think our current place is 2,200 and it’s just about perfect. 3-4 bedrooms. 2-2.25 baths.
OUTBUILDING(s): We’d really like to buy (or build!) a place with potential for in-law living, most likely in the form of garage or outbuilding where they could add an apartment. We’d really like for Grammy and Pop to be able to spend an extended amount of time with us, but have their own space to come and go as they please. We’ve also talked about maybe trying to use the space for Airbnb when they weren’t planning on being with us, giving us the potential for rental income.
LAND: It would be nice to find something with at least an acre. Preferably a bit more. We are obviously flexible on this, but I’ve gotten used to country living and most of the places in this area are attached to some amount of land anyway.
So that’s our basic list. I feel like our priorities, and intention to customize whatever we find anyway, leave us pretty open to the look of the house itself. Obviously I have my own ideas about the ideal place, so I put together some of the aesthetic hopes I have for our home someday. Keep in mind, by no means do I expect the house to start out this beautiful, but with a little hope and a lot of hard work and savings, these are all ideas we could implement eventually. Doesn’t hurt to have a builder Dad in my back pocket, either.
As far as style goes, I guess you could say I like an interesting combination of farmhouse and cabin. I like simple. I like white. I like wood. And I like timeless. Clean and rustic. Natural textures and finishes. Functional, easy to maintain and just the right amount of open space.
When I originally wrote this post, I had a loooong list of very specific ideas, broken down into categories, each with several images attached. Explaining what I wanted in or needed for each space, the finishes I would choose, the look I wanted to achieve, etc. I spent most of my Friday night in my office (mama needed some alone time) putting the post together. As soon as I finished, quite pleased with myself, I intended to hop in the shower, but not before picking up Emmett’s bath toys that were still strewn about the tub. As I picked each one up and put it away, I smiled to myself remembering him playing so happily in the bath earlier that night. And then, like a ton of bricks, it hit me.
Sure, I love a good white farmhouse. I would love big windows and green spaces and subway tile. I’d die to have wide plank floors and exposed beams and a giant stone fireplace. But all I REALLY want is a little space in this world to love and raise my family. A place where we can enjoy each other’s company, eat good food, watch our kiddos grow up and focus on the things that are really important to us. Sure I’d love to find a beautiful old farmhouse, or build the custom farm-cottage-cabin of my dreams, but all I really NEED is a simple little place to make my own and I’ll be as happy as can be. And most of the things I love in homes- white subway tile or painted cabinets- can be applied to almost any home you can imagine.
So, here we go! Time to save those pennies.
What are the things you find important in a home?
All images can be found on my Pinterest page. Sorry to be lazy about the links, there’s just so many!