Thursday, January 15, 2009


Our friend Karen opened her Gas bill last night and stood in horrific shock - $900! Yes, $900 to heat her 100-year old 4000 sq. ft. home for one month. To me, it's not a surprise, but I certainly can see how it would rip the heart right out of a pocket book - oh, and the money, too!

Scott and I rested comfortably in our much smaller, (about 2300 sq. ft heated) home last night thinking about how we'd pined over those much larger homes in Karen's area - wishing we had more space, and more rooms, and more windows, and simply - more.

It became ever so apparent that for the two of us, a home that size didn't make sense, and what we really wanted was something meant for two, on the water, open and bright. So, I went in search of just that in floor plan search engines around the net, only to come up empty handed.

Now, I'm no architect, but it seems as though (from what I spent hours searching through) nothing has been submitted since the early 1990's. I turned to my trusty Microsoft Paint program (a standby for my design endeavors) and came up with this:
Small and Open. One bedroom, one and a half bath, but of course with a formal living and dining - you don't think I'm going to fore go entertaining do you? After I made the plan that many architects would say could never work, I started furnishing it, decorating it, even loving it - as silly as that may sound.

I layed dark walnut hardwood floors, 4" planks with a matte shine. The heavy baseboards and 12" crown moldings were painted a very light taupe, and the walls in every room a variation of gray. The 12' ceilings were painted a shade darker of the taupe used on the baseboards and moldings, and boasted recessed puck lights and the most stunning glass pendants and brushed silver chandeliers.

Rugs are a mix of antique kilims (like the ones I already own - and love) and seagrass, with a vintage zebra rug layering one of those seagrass rugs in the dining room.

When you enter through the glass double doors of the front of the house, this rustic table would be the perfect place to lay your mail and keys. A set of the stone lamps like I showed you from Hound Hill Designs would flank this nicely, a large cream frame mirror centered above. A fresh arrangement of hydrangeas and white roses would fill the hall with fragrance, and the house with joy. Large rattan baskets would line the bottom shelf of the table, a set of three - perfect for holding Abby's leash, D's winter and summer doggy clothes, and gloves and hats. Two simple antique chairs covered in a soft flax linen would rest on either side of the table. A collection of vintage turtle shells on stands, a set of 3 would join the lamp to the right, and an antique cast iron urn the lamp to the left.

The large pub sign, "The Navigation" hanging in our living room would fit perfectly to the left of the entry, across from the table - and would be lit perfectly by the puck lights in the ceiling.

Looking right, into the Formal living room:
Four of these chairs would surround a round ottoman covered in a brown and cream zebra hide. Tufted with leather buttons, it would be topped with a simple bamboo tray with silver handles and 2 glass apothecary jars filled with moss covered rocks and scatter crystals. A baby grand piano would further separate this space from the formal dining room - serving as the boundary between the two rooms, lit perfectly from the morning sun that would pour in from the banquet of windows in the dining room. A collection of antique skeleton keys would be framed and hung in 5 rows of 5 on the wall directly parallel with the windows, and the windows would boast ceiling to floor length silk drapery in a soft buttercream.

Moving past the baby grand, and into the dining room:
These beautiful chairs would surround a table closely resembling the one in the hall, only wider, and a bit more aged. With enough space to seat 10 comfortably, this dining room would be the perfect place to host Scott's birthday (this Sunday). A seagrass rug layered by a vintage zebra hide would anchor the table, while two matching brushed silver chandeliers would hang down over the table.

Around the corner, moving past the french doors leading out to the Dining Patio, you'd pass a butlers sink and pantry, and come into the very large and open Kitchen/Great Room area which boasts wonderful views to the Living Covered Porch through the three sets of french doors. Gray glass front cabinets would feature Scott's white Pfaltzgraff beautifully, while carerra marble counters on the main cabinets, and mahogany butcher block on the island would give him plenty of prep space for those 10-person parties!

The family room :

Three of these beautiful sofas would surround two old gardeners tables, cut to 19" and pushed together. Just for good measure, I'd toss in a few antique chairs:

And hang a 50" plasma over the fireplace for those nights by the television and the roaring fire. Moving past the living room, and down the hall to the master bedroom, you'd see this gorgeous sleigh bed:

Adorned with the most beautiful blue and white toile bedding and white monogrammed duvet set combination. Antique mismatched side tables would flank the bed, beneath the windows and a low chest in front of the bed would hide decorative pillows. A rattan wingback chair, and layered rugs, along with travelling keepsakes would make this room a joy to wake up to!
Ah, so there you have it, my non-architect rendering of our dream home, preferably on the water in an area where we can enjoy more than just 3-months of warm weather! More to follow on the decor of this "dream home" as well as my color artist renderings of the spaces within!


  1. A $900 heating bill!!! OY!! I'm so glad you didn't get one of those houses!

    I love your house on the water plans and your vision is, of course, fab. I especially love the rustic table slated for the entry and hydrangeas and roses are gorgeous!

    I have one question - where's my room?!

    xo Isa

  2. You win the award for dreaming in detail! It's so much fun to plot the future. I agree with you that we do not all need huge and expensive. It would take the fun out of life.

  3. All the furniture is so beautiful!

    White chairs like that wouldn't last a day in my house now, but someday.....

    It is nice to dream, isn't it??

  4. Be still my the rustic table.

  5. You have it all planned out! It sounds beautiful!

    I can't believe your friend had a $900 gas bill. Woah! My good friend's house is alomost 10,000 sq. ft. so I can't imagine what her bill is! It's not as cold here as it is where you live though. I hope you get your dream home soon! Kristen

  6. I would have a heart attack if I got a bill of $900.00 I did get one for 700.00 about 3 years ago and thats with Geo-thermo heating..great design Artie..I love all the white you are going to use..thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gloria

  7. That's an outrageous heating bill, Artieness! Poor thing! She just may decide to sell her big house.
    Artieness, I love the house plans you've put together and that first white chair, minus the rollers, I want it!! lol
    I hope your dreams come true, Dear One!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. What a creative imagination you have my dear Artie. May your dream home be not too far away in the future.

    A $900.00 heating bill, yikes!!!! I bet her blood pressure went up a notch or two. Living in a Southern Hemisphere is DEFINITELY cheaper.

    Hugs, hugs

  9. Wow, $900. heating bill..... We haven't had our heat on all year!!!

    Oh, and I adore your dream home, Love you style! Your furniture selections are to die for.....


  10. $900 for heat in one month? I'd open a vein for sure over that one. It's -23 where I live tonight and my bill is no where near that!!
    Can't wait to see what else you do with your Dream Home. Artie, you've missed your calling. You'd better get on Design Star!!!!!

  11. Very descriptive Artie, I could follow along perfectly. You know how I said I always like to tweak home plans...well there is nothing to tweak, okay well, you forgot your laundry room and BIG closets throughout! It's funny how Shelia said she loved the first chair minus the rollers and I was thinking the same thing. I do love that foyer table, hydrangeas, roses and all. I see you are now back to the tufted sleigh bed, I thought you wanted the handsome wingback version? ~ Robyn

  12. to sleep, per chance to dream...
    yes i often think for larger "digs" but that really isn't me... :)
    a few hours playing in my little nest..i realize how much a simple addition will do! :)

    thanks for a vivid view of your dreams:)

  13. It's great Artie and I really like the table and the antique chair. I want to hear about the private terrace and outside landscaping too!

    The temperature here is ten degrees below zero this morning. I am having to leave faucets dripping to keep everything going. Last winter, my oil bill was over $1,000 a month. So far this winter, it's averaged about $450 a month. Oil and gas prices changed places this winter. Gas is through the roof! Well, I need to go push the dogs out to do their business....

    G in CT

  14. I love it and that is how you get it ....dream! vickydarnell

  15. I like your dream, Artie, which is so similar to our dream. We're close, with the condo, but would be nice to have a stand alone place on the water. Till then, we continue painting and redoing, here at our little place at the lake.

    I cannot even imagine a heating bill of $900!!!

  16. Wouldn't that be a hoot to just get a whole new house and whole new dream!

    Love all your choices!

  17. Artie, I'm totally with you on the open floorplan for entertaining. I love all your white upholstery choice. Yum!

  18. Wow Artie - what a dream-home!! Thanks for sharing your space with us - it looks like it will someday be simply gorg!!

    $900 - I would simply croak over and die!!

    Have a good weekend!!

  19. Wow! Great plans! I love the wooden table, and the chair with the nail head trim would look divine in my house. You have made some changes to your blog...Looks Great! ~Cindy~

  20. I dream of the day we can downsize (and ditch the big utility bills)to a smaller place customized to fit just what we need. I already have a file full of ideas! Love what you have planned...I wouldn't be able to give up the entertaining either!

  21. Excellent plan - now follow your dreams! Thanks for the mention of the stone lamps from my shop. Make sure that the table in your dream is very sturdy to hold these!

  22. ...and I thought MY daydreams were vivid! Your little dream home sounds just about perfect to me. I would opt for reclaimed wood for the floors and maybe a more rustic theme. Isn't dreaming fun? I have a folder in "My Pictures" devoted to dream floor plans/decorating ideas ... I look at it often and naturally, I add to it often.

  23. Holy Mohito!!! :)
    That is quite a bill.

    Love all your ideas!

    Some of the chairs are the prettiest I've ever seen.

  24. Love the furniture... and the tufted sleigh bed is to die for. I guess me and my 4 cheeto-orange-fingered children won't be coming for a visit! (i joke!)

    I adore all that white and taupe... but not realistic for little ones.

    Hopefully your dogs won't get hair all over it!

    But to dream...

  25. Your 'daydream' house is fantastic. Two questions, how will you keep your dogs off all that white furniture(especially 'D', we 'Ds' like our comfort) ;) And like Robyn, I wondered what happened to the wingback bed from last week's day dream?

    I can understand your friend's shock over her heating bill. I was at the dentist on Tuesday, went to pay when finished, the girl said "That will be $825 for today". It was $95 just the week before. As far as I knew, the dentist was going to drill a hole in the tooth and inject medication. He told me this four times the week before. But he went ahead and did a root canal without my knowledge. I left feeling so betrayed by my dentist and that feeling still lingers. Can't trust anyone these days. :(

    Of course that comment doesn't pertain to any of our blog friends.....