From inspiration to reality...
I thought it would be fun to share the sources of inspiration that come to us and how we reinterpret them to make it our own.
For example, this is the house we built. We were visiting Mom in FL and they had a huge development going in (over 1,000 homes) and they had 12 model homes open to look at so we went and visited. Got the brochure, and despite our years of struggle with design, it all came together when we went back to this one. So appropriate for our New England location, no?
Not exactly. But what it was, was I fell in love with the kitchen/family room arrangement. We were in that kitchen a long time with tape measure and note book in hand. We had abandoned this design for a long time, and it wasn't until we went back to it that it all came together.
This was the floor plan
But we had a long, narrow space on which to build given we wanted the home on our southern facing slope overlooking the pond, but it was close to the road in the front and wetlands in the back. So we shoved boxes around (thank you Lynette Jennings for helping me understand house design as a series of boxes...) to make a long and narrow floor plan. We started with the kitchen/FR, and moved the garage to the left and back....then we shoved the LR/DR up and created a "hallway" between the DR and LR that led to the bedrooms and bath which we stuck on the end. We had to tweak the dimensions and a few other things like how we enter the pantry, and put the entrance to the garage though the laundry/mud room. And in our plan, the stairs go down and not up and are L shaped, not curved....and so on. But it was that inspiration that really set us on the right path.
One of the big problems was getting an exterior that wasn't too....too colonial, too tudor, too contemporary...or whatever. We were building a ranch with a full finished open lower level, but didn't want it to look like a ranch. We wanted something that didn't look odd next to our 200 year old barn and out house. And, despite architect's objections, we wanted the garage doors facing front for the short driveway, and the convenience and because we wanted to make sure guests came to our front door, not through the garage as is often the case when the garage is sideways. It was a real struggle, until I came across a Clopay Garage door ad. The ad was in the back of a mag, and it was about the size of a thumbprint, but I saw it and loved it.
What's even more interesting is that I saw it in later versions where they had a light colored garage door and I didn't like it at all...in fact, had I only seen the photo with the light colored door, I would've kept on going. It was like fate that this version of the pic was there, struck me and became the inspiration for our home's exterior.