Singing to the pets in an empty house

I found myself dancing around our almost empty house singing Inspector Gadget in sultry tones. And I realized at that moment I was absolutely positively happy. Well yes, doom may be coming but today we are happy. Yes, we are. (That is the royal “we”, not the mental patient “we” in case you couldn’t guess.) We have a pet fence going into our new house today and T & E slept over there last night so they wouldn’t have to drive over to be there at 8 am. They slept on the futon mattress that goes under E’s gymnastics bar since the beds haven’t been moved yet. I think both of them were thrilled at the camping out feel to it and spent quite a bit of time discussing whether or not the couches wouldn’t be better. We currently have a temporary plethora of couches since I found the most fabulous couch in the world at the Restore. For $18. And so comfy you could sleep on it. And did they? Inquiring minds want to know. I am thinking of going over now before work to have breakfast with them, hear the tale of the night and witness the arrival of the fence. Yes, I am definitely happy.

What is the reason for the outbreak in unforeseen gaiety? Could it be the four hours of sleep I had last night? Nay, my dear reader, it is the purchase of one 1800’s duplex on .115 acres of land on a quiet town street but within easy walking distance from the library, our favorite pet store, the natural food store, the pool, the park and a fabulous glass blowing studio. We are getting out of our cars, my friend! No more “car schooling” for these home schoolers, we are now officially “town schooling”.

60 Pine

Sadly, perhaps caving to silly level headed concerns about the house and it’s foundation, the tree to the left of the house is no longer in the picture.

But if I am going to get there in time I must leave now. And if anyone know the rest of the Inspector Gadget libretto- I should probably get beyond “Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum- Inspector Gadget! Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, woo-hoo!” if I am not to drive T & E absolutely batty. Ah, what the heck! I have places to go!



New T House and thoughts on wood bins

New T house 1st floor

I decided it would be nice to have the entry nearer the kitchen and this would also make the guest room/office feel a little quieter than when it was right off the entry. Some things I love about this house: a big entry with the kitchen and living right off of it; stairs and closet near the entry; central fireplace;  the kitchen/dining on the east side (I like sun in the morning); windows on three sides in the living room; a greenhouse for growing greens in the winter (yum!); two courtyard gardens and a huge porch on the front.

I have also decided that I officially LOVE heating with wood. Not entirely with wood, because I want to go away on a vacation in the winter without my pipes freezing. But yes, most of the time, I just don’t feel comfortable unless I am heating with wood. I am either too hot or too cold and continuously having to adjust the thermostat when, if I were heating with wood, I could just move into the zone that fits my current heat needs. I think I heard somewhere that humans don’t actually like just one temperature, but feel most comfortable in a continuum, and that is certainly true with me. But then, I grew up with a wood stove so I like them. I think the perfect heating choice is something automatic set to around fifty to fill in when you don’t feel like lugging in wood and some sort of wood stove with a nice big wood bin very close by. In this house, the wood bin is right near the entry and that’s nice because I hate making a huge mess when I bring the wood in (lets face it, wood just sheds).

In some of my house designs, I put a airlock to the outside on my indoor wood bin. It’s the ultimate in luxury and organizational genius (in my not so humble opinion), but having the wood bin near the front door is a very ok second best. Especially since it means that the wood pile is also near the front door. I just fantasize about pick up an arm load of wood every time I come in the house from the car! Ok, so I’ll have to wait until E gets a little older for that fantasy- I seem to always have a million things to carry in from the car at the moment. Also perhaps there is something twistedly puritanical about fantasizing about perfection in woodbins.

House in a Hill III


Another version of the house in a hill in which I return the bedroom to off the entry hall so it can be near the bathroom. This resolves some issues with the french door and proximity of the dining room to the kitchen. And it adds a little office to the end. But I am not sure I like it… I have found using space most efficiently doesn’t always make the most pleasing layout to a house. But I am not sure why yet. I think that the fact that the fireplace is so far from the seating is a real problem but I don’t want the bulk of the fireplace to be in the light of the french doors. I lived in a house that you could see through to the backyard when you came in the front door and it was very pleasing.  But the backyard was small and enclosed so perhaps seeing into didn’t take away from the sheltering feeling of the house.

Oops, I just realized that I colored in the counter to the right of the stove so it makes it look like a wall- that is not a wall, it’s a counter.

House in a Hill II


I just redid the House in a Hill to try and play with putting the kitchen by the front door where T likes it. He likes to come in and put the groceries right down. I love the kitchen, the bathroom, the stairs, the living room couch setup and how close it is to the fireplace and the outside. I love how much storage there is. What I don’t love is how far the downstairs bedroom is from the bathroom, the placement of the french doors in relation to the couches and there is something odd in the relationship between the dining room and the kitchen. I like it but I don’t.  I love the firewood airlock. I did an upstairs but I am not sure about the porch at the end…

Hancock House II 20×30


Here is the redesign of the Hancock house with the second floor on it. I did it a while ago and have been designing since, but I just didn’t feel like posting until today. It was a total redesign and we ended up giving up on it because we weren’t really prepared to do that much to this house. Plus the house next door was kind of creepy. If I were to continue working on this plan I would try and figure out the upstairs bathroom better. I love the outside porch & backyard and I actually like the downstairs quite a bit, how the living room is especially- and the huge pantry!

Hancock St. House 20×30


This is a first floor I designed for a renovation of a small house T and I were thinking of buying. I was thinking that somehow we might be able to put the small current house on top of this plan but now I think it would be better to just pop the roof up. I am thinking of doing a new plan for that. Before I changed my mind, I was contemplating switching the dining/kitchen with the living room so that the kitchen would have access to the back yard.


A little frog waiting to become a handsome princess

28x38ft House

Wonderful housesmall

I absolutely adore this new house- I can just imagine first coming in and seeing the lovely french doors and the garden beyond. I also really like rooms to be cul-de-sacs so that every room is easy to get to and once you are in a room it feels relaxed and settled.

I haven’t done the second story as of yet- I think I feel like all the work is figuring out the first floor but I am sure that I would have a second story I really liked if I spent more time on it!

A House in a Hill

When I designed the first story of this house I was thinking about the advantages (and disadvantages) of underground houses. While not actually underground, this house is set in a hillside for the warmth, so useful in this cold climate I live in, while still being open on three sides for plenty of light.
What did I end up liking the best about this plan? The outside porches and the way it seems all tucked away! The thing I liked least was the huge long living room at the end but that would be very nice for parties…


A New Fashioned House- Part II


Here is the finished first floor sketch for my take off on a plan from Craftsman Homes: More than 40 Plans for Building Classic Arts & Crafts-Style Cottages, Cabins, and Bungalows by Gustav Stickley, as I promised! It is on the large side for a regular house but much much smaller than some of the houses I see in plan books. I designed it to be a house for someone with a large budget who wants to build a “smaller” house with beautiful details perfectly proportioned. One thing that is flexible is the basement door. It can either be placed across from the pantry or, if the site allows, it could be a walk in basement.

As a special surprise, I did an elevation last night at 3:00am!


Many of the plans I have seen in books like to add a fancy window above the front door but here I like the elegance of a simpler second story. I also really love all the closets, it even has two closets outside the front door for skis and other outdoor equipment (such as snow shovels).

I forgot and made the interiors walls way too large, they should be more like 6 inches.