Listening: Beige by Yoke Lore
Weather: Cold. Polar Vortex Cold.
Words: Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece, after all.
Choosing house plans for your forever home, turns out, is a pretty difficult thing to do. And by pretty difficult, I mean it’s almost impossible.
There’s just SO MUCH pressure. It has to be able to meet the needs of our family in so many phases of life. Right now, we still have a young daughter. We have a teenager. In a few years, we’ll have TWO teenagers. And a few years after that, we’ll have young adults, and after that – our nest will be empty. And then, maybe grandkids. And then, hopefully retirement and a couple of old farmers scootin’ around the house with wrecked knees and old bones.
It needs to be big. And then small. Warm and cozy but bright and open. Efficient but beautiful. Easy to maintain, but with lots of storage. Single floor living for us, with room to expand for the kids and grandkids. Stylish but not trendy.
Impossible, but not.
I know farmhouses are on trend right now, but I’ve always loved them. I’ve always pictured us in a portrait-ready white farmhouse with wood floors and outdoor spaces that make you want to sip sweet tea in a hammock under a big shade tree. Beautiful wood fencing protecting a collection of farm animals that would make Noah proud. A swimming pool with kids splashing and a driveway that winds off into the trees. A gorgeous field of native bluestem, another field of wildflowers, a pond to reflect the moonlight and a big fluffy white dog to protect it all.
I’m sure it sounds hokey and boring to most. But that simplicity is so very appealing to us. We both have stressful jobs – the kinds of jobs where you have to put on a happy face and talk to people, all day long. The kind of jobs that require you to always be on your game. The kind of jobs that are exhausting for two introverts posing as extroverts.
Couple those “wants and needs” with 800-bazillion options, Pinterest-boards, trends, magazine covers and -oh yeah – a budget. But, since we’ve been looking at house plans for years and years and years and years, I feel confident that we know what we want. Our personal tastes land us on a variety of styles – from modern prairie to modern farmhouse, craftsman to coastal. But, when it comes right down to it, the white farmhouse always wins out.
The problem, we’ve found, with farmhouse plans is finding the layout we want stuffed into the shell of a true farm house. Our list of requirements: large walk-in pantry, first floor master, vaulted/two-story living area, huge kitchen island, walk-in closets for the girl’s rooms, a true foyer, and a split staircase with a landing, fireplace, outdoor living area that are sympathetic with the house and indoor living areas, no “formal” dining room, but a large dining area, two or three living areas, window nooks, a real front porch, a storm room, upper and lower laundry, and a not-too-big but not-too-small mudroom.
Easy enough, right?
The plan we settled on meets 80% of our requirements. We are modifying it to meet another 15%, and 5% is just going to be how it is. No split staircase, and the pantry is not huge. Neither is our closet. But they are both fine. The window nook got axed, but I gained a loft living area. I lost a fireplace. I also lost the upper laundry room, but the main floor laundry is big enough that it doesn’t matter.
I am fully aware that this is the point in the process that we doubt everything. We question our choices, we wonder if we should move forward or scrap everything and start fresh. I am also aware that in the vastness of the universe, these decisions are small, minute and unimportant. But in the scope of our lives and our family, they are some of the most important decisions that we’ll make together. Because Wild Bloom Farm is where we will do our life, and we want it to be just. right.
Wish us luck.