There I was, happily gallivanting through life…
I was writing full time, keeping one foot (my toes at least) in a part time role at a health system in improvement and planning. And finally, after 10 long years, I finished remodeling my home, foolishly believing I could retire the wet saw and put away my pink tool box.
When life is going that well, you know something’s going to shake it up.
My husband was promoted to a position in a different city (closer to our families) and I received an offer to come back to full time, 9-5, suit-wearing-day-job. I love writing, but I also love my role in healthcare, so I decided to take it. But these career moves meant we would need to relocate. After ten years of tearing off out-of-date wall paper and changing out white carpet (I have kids, as if that was ever going to work) until I’d created my “almost dream home,” I was sad, but excited to start over.
It was time to build! I knew what I wanted, why not build from scratch? I turned to history for inspiration.
Obligatory Historical Tidbits
During the Regency, a more classical design aesthetic was used to inspire architecture. Think columns and arches with the interior often mirroring a similar motif. At this time, terrace housing became popular. Not the terrace most of us think of with a nice bistro set and some potted plants, but terrace as in row housing, with structures standing side by side, sharing a common wall.
Gothic Revival was also stylish during the Regency, maintaining popularity well into the Victorian era (hence the term, Victorian Gothic). You’ve probably seen examples on college campuses and as backdrops in horror films. Lots of points, finials, and decoration.
But as much as my Romantic soul would have loved to build a Victorian masterpiece in a contrasting yellow and green, I have a husband who has his own ideas. I thought he’d be more of a Christian Gray, opting for sleek, cold, marble, and a black and white color scheme (didn’t go where you thought I was going, did I?), but he’s surprised me by learning more about Craftsman architecture and helping design the exterior of our dream home in that style.
Craftsman architecture became popular at the turn of the century (not this one, but the one before). Homes in this style stand in stark contrast to the overly ornate homes of the Victorian era, a backlash to the scallops and turrets. Original Craftsman homes featured handiwork of skilled workers, with more simplistic structures and clean lines. Think lots of wood and built-ins.
Of course, building a home hasn’t been all wine and roses. I’ve been in the process since October and I still don’t even have a hole in the ground (there’s stakes though!). My preteen doesn’t want to share a bathroom with her sister, and my sweet Craftsman loving husband wants a shower that looks like something Liberace would have come up with. Wine and roses? More like the War of the Roses, but that’s another blog post.
So, tell me about your dream home.
Craftsman home photo credit – By David Sawyer (Flickr: Craftsman House) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Classical example photo credit – “<a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cumberland_Terrace.JPG#/media/File:Cumberland_Terrace.JPG”>Cumberland Terrace</a>” by <a title=”de:Main Page” class=”extiw” href=”//de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page”>English Wikipedia</a> user <a title=”de:User:Viosan” class=”extiw” href=”//de.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Viosan”>Viosan</a>. Licensed under <a title=”Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 <p></p>” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/”>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> via <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/”>Wikimedia Commons</a>.
Victorian Gothic example photo credit -“<a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StPancrasMidlandHotel.jpg#/media/File:StPancrasMidlandHotel.jpg”>StPancrasMidlandHotel</a>”. Licensed under <a title=”Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0″ href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0″>CC BY-SA 2.0</a> via <a href=”//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/”>Wikimedia Commons</a>.-