What Makes It a Dream House Anyway?

Lately, my dreams have become more ‘daydreams’ then nighttime ones.  It’s probably because by the time I go to sleep I am more comatose and unable to remember anything.  But I’ve been daydreaming of houses, and dream homes. But what makes it a dream house anyway?

coastal cottage design

What Dreams are Made of

My dreams are less exciting, consisting of choices for faucets, door knobs, window treatments, toilets, moulding, paint swatches, etc.  Tis the mind through a renovation, but I got to thinking, what makes a house a dream anyway?  Bobby Flay as the resident chef, Mark Wahlberg as the pool boy, maybe Hugh Jackman as the postman?  Oops, wait, I got distracted.

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Family Makes it A Dream House

Frankly, these days, any house could be my dream house as long as it was filled with these:


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Okay, maybe not WITH all of us, but down the street or next door would be ideal!


And these two little ones (who were napping when we took the family pictures at the wedding, ugh!):

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Love these faces soooo much!


House Ideals

But I’m sure that is not the classic answer of what constitutes the house being ideal?  Is it the view? A stunning view is always something anyone would enjoy.

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Or maybe it is the amount of space? Doesn’t everyone dream of a huge house to fill with gorgeous antiques and art, or dogs and kids?

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The location would definitely be a plus. After all, location is the three rules of real estate.

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The decor could get me going. I love this room decorated by the designer Kathryn Ireland.

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Must-haves for a Dream House

As I busy myself trying to figure out how to stick our life of stuff into a house half the size, and finally make each decision of what we really want to live with, I have to ponder about what my dreams are for this house?  When we were looking for a house to purchase, I asked myself in each space, could we still host Thanksgiving here?

Now I realize, that is only one day out of the year, but it’s a biggee at our place.  We have friends and family in each year, sometimes up to 25 people, cook for days, eat too much, pause to discuss what we are thankful for, and share hilarious family stories that seem to never get old.  If you ask our youngest daughter what her favorite holiday is, she will blurt out “Thanksgiving” before you are even done with your question!  So I could not disappoint the masses.  

We could have a house with a smaller garage, less grass to mow, fewer bathrooms, way less closets, but we could not have a house that would not accommodate a gathering.

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I would be happy to host Thanksgiving in this dining room designed by Sarah Richardson


Dream House Ideals Change

It’s funny how over time, my idea of the ‘dream house’ has changed.  Maybe that is because at one point, 20 years ago, we built our dream house.  It was a large family home, nestled in the woods on a cul de sac on 3.5 acres.  At the time, I think I thought we would live there forever, but as time changes all things, it took a turn that lead us back home to California and so we sold it.  

The bummer was, two years later, we ended up coming back to Michigan to the same town, but the house was already someone else’s.  My dream had already been realized and I had to move on.  

My thoughts have evolved as our kids have grown and I long for that simple life, that is lived in a farm house.  Not that I know what that is like and since I am not the farming type (I was born and raised in Los Angeles and never even saw a cow until I was 17 years old) I don’t know why this is so appealing. For more about how my history has influenced my decorating style, check out this blog post.

 But I would freak out if I could live in a cute farm house that looked out at something like this:

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Just add a few cute cows in the field and a beautiful brown horse and I would be a happy girl


The Best Inspiration

Pinterest is obviously the ultimate daydream spot to see houses.  As I look through pictures and admire a variety of different styles and colors, I always wonder if I could live with this or that choice.  And still, what makes the house a dream?  

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Elsie de Wolfe, who was one of the first interior decorators (as a profession) over a hundred years ago.  I wrote this on the studs of our dream house with a Sharpie before they drywalled, it is my mantra.  She said…

quote about home

Home is where we spend time with those we love, where we go to unwind and feel safe.  It is the place we rest and ready for another day.  So what dream choice should be in our home to make the life we live comfortable, stylish or whatever else is important to us?  We may not be able to have our dream home, in my case the farm house I do not have, but we can have little things that are meaningful around us and make our life easier.  

For now, I will make the house on the corner be part of a dream, and be grateful each day that we have a lovely roof over our heads!  Please leave a comment and share with us what constitutes a dreamhouse for you, we’d love to hear what you think!

Follow my Pinterest boards for more inspiration.

Be happy, Jill



  1. Bungalow 47 says:

    Sarah, I hear ya! I am so grateful to have a lovely home, just wishing my kids were still in it more often! Empty nesting is a bummer sometimes!

  2. We moved. Retired and moved from east Michigan to the west side in a lovely lakeside town. The house is vintage with its quirks but filled with stories and charm. It’s not large, but enough and for these design/ project people there are some things we’d like to “Jo Jo Up” (my brother in laws reference to Fixer Upper). In maturity, I know the best part of any home is being grateful….for a floor that’s not my style, for bathroom tile that would not be my first choice and for previous lack of design imagination! I don’t ever not want to be grateful.

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