Life design - Part 2 'Home'

This is a follows up on the first post on life design. In there I explained that in this series I will have a look inside and discover what my like could look like. To be honest, not much is wrong with my life right now. Whenever I am thinking about this subject, the conclusion is that my life is currently pretty great! But, like so many people do, I would love to think about what I would change if I could.

I am starting to believe that I can change it though. Not that I won the lottery or anything, but in writing down these dreams, being able to read them back, means I get better focus. These posts are outlets for the mind and as soon as they are written, they are real. And with being real comes that I can touch them, they are here. A fantasy is just that, a fantasy. A volatile idea that gets moved to the background as soon as something comes up and reality needs you back on earth. Well, the first step for me to get those dreams in reality, means writing them down.

So, home. Home is where the heart is. I love to put my heart into my home. It is a place where my family and I love to come back to. Every day. It is a constant in a very variable world. After happiness or sadness, home is where we end up. So, it better be a comfortable place, both for the body as well as the mind.

My dream house would be big enough. Not big. Big enough. That means for example, that each child will have his or her own bedroom. It means it has the space to do the activities we want to do, but is not so big that you have rooms to spare, which only fill up with stuff. They would need to be heated. It would be unnecessary  balast. The kitchen would be one where we can eat with the whole family. Or sit at the diner table while someone is cooking. It would the place where everybody gathers as the day ends. The living room or area would be small and cozy. Big enough for the family to enjoy a movie together. Somehow the space would also be flexible enough to house a few dozen friends and family on the occassional birthday- or summerparty we like to throw.

Music is very important to my family. Both my wife and I enjoy making music and in our house are currently several guitars and small rythmic  instruments and devices to get a groove going. Listening to music is also very important to us. I am currently building a new speaker set (I love to make things myself), so enjoying music in great detail is important. We do not watch a lot of TV. So, no need for a huge flatscreen. I had won a 46" one a few years ago, when 46" inch was still a big tv. We have had it in our living room for a few weeks and decided to remove it. Watching movies on it was awesome, but when off it was a large black space in our small living room, drawing attention even when off. We moved it to our hobby room, where I decided it was time to build a digital pinball machine around it! More on that in another post.

The house itself could be something old or new. I lived in a few houses or appartments that were build around the 1900's and they are great, they have seen a lot, have character a lot of wood, sqeaky floors, etc. On the other hand, I am currently more leaning towards something new, that we could possibly have a hand in designing. It would allow us to build the environmentally friendly house we keep bringing up in our conversations. Store rainwater, use solar power to heat water and generate electricity. Well isolated. Smart technologies to control heat and lighting for example. Great materials. Ample natural light. It would be great if the house could support itself in its energy usage. Off-grid so to speak.

Last weekend, we spoke about this subject with some friends and I came to the conclusion that somehow, I seem to like scandinavian designed houses (or scandinavian design in general), where the inside resembles the comfort and atmosphere of a relaxing beach house, with a porch and hammocks, relaxing chairs. The house would allow us to see or be outside a lot.

The garden would have hints from a japanses garden. Here, space would be very welcome :-) A lawn with a large japanese maple tree for example. But also an area in the garden to grow (some of) our own vegetables, a small greenhouse and some animals. Rabbits, chickens and a beehive. To support the bees, and ourselves, an area with wild flowers and grasses would be nice. How that would all fit together, I have no idea. But the place would allow children and adults to play and relax. Enjoy meals outside, grow food, pet the animals. 

The location of this dream castle? Not far from where we currently live. We have many friends and family close that we would not want to miss for the world. We live in a small city of about 30.000 people in the province of Drenthe, in Holland. And just on the outskirts of that city, this house would sit. With a view over the flatlands, but still be able to grab our bicycles and pedal to the city centre to get groceries or grab a coffee or tea with friends. And since Holland is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. But, the province of Drenthe is the least densely populated. There is quite a bit of space here, all while still a 90 minute drive from Amsterdam. I have lived in several cities (Utrecht, The Hague, Santa Rosa, London), but was  born and raised in a small village. As this point I quite like to be away from the immediate noise and business of a city. 

Anyway, that is my daydream for today :-) 

Image credit: "Japanese Maple" by Eric Kilby