Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cottage Plans

I've been indulging myself in gathering together some house ideas. I guess it's not too early to be thinking about what we are looking for in a new home. We're still in the updating stage at the big house, but have made good progress on the inside, so it's possible that we would be ready to list our house by late Spring. So much still needs to be done, but while I'm busy cleaning out closets and sorting through kitchen stuff, I'm taking a little time to look for design ideas and inspiration for our new place.

This next house will be the house we retire in, so we're thinking long term. We already know we don't want an "upstairs", but would like a partially finished basement for storage and a large family area. I want to be able to do all our daily routine on the main level, but have a place in the basement where we can all go as a family when we get together to watch a movie, or the guys hang out.

And let's face it, we have lot's of stuff, so we need some storage. At some point when we're "settled" I'd like to open my Etsy Shop back up with some of my vintage goods. I have tons of dishes and fun stuff that need a home. I had hoped to start that last Fall but life had other plans.

My hubby's a collector too, so he needs his own area for guy stuff...lot's of guy stuff. AND we live in "Tornado Alley" sort of, so all of us like a little basement hideaway in bad weather.

Some of these plans show an upstairs, but I'm mainly looking for design elements. The peaked roof lines and use of decorative rock, brick, or shingles are what I'm interested in. Carriage House garage doors are another item on my list.

Living in this smaller lease house has shown us that we can be happy in less square footage if we have access to storage in a basement. I really am enjoying the fact that all I need can be focused in a smaller more compact space. The kitchen and great room are the center of the house with a split bedroom plan that enables hubby and I to each have an office on one side of the house with the master bedroom on the other.

We really want new construction, or almost new, without a lot of trees or large yard. We're just not into it anymore, and Hubbs isn't and has never been, a fan of yard and garden fun. I was always the one that mowed and did the flowers and shrubs. I enjoyed it, but that's just not happening now. Just give me a small yard with a fence, a patio, a tree, and I'll be good to go.

I'm not a fan of huge houses, with huge rooms. I can appreciate those lovely rooms, but I don't feel totally comfortable in them. I love a cozy space where you can curl up next to a fire and have a cup of tea. We're not big "entertaining" people so no need for large spaces for parties. The largest soiree I would want would be a "Girlfriend's Lunch", or a small dinner with family, that's about it.

One element of the English Cottage Design that I love is the timbered porches, posts, and gables. (see below). The multipaned windows with a transom or arch and shutters, always get my attention.

We're planning on building or buying "affordable and efficient". We're thinking around 2000 square feet give or take on the main level. I DO want a sunroom so I'm going to probably have to do some bargaining for that.

We want to be free of a mortgage so we can do some traveling at some point in life. Having a larger home with a lot of outside maintenance just doesn't thrill us any more. We'll leave that to the younger couples with some kiddos still at home.

So that's some of my inspiration for our new home. I have lot's of ideas for inside, but I've realized over the years, if a house has good bones you can add elements here and there to personalize it and make it your own.

All these homes can be found at their source on my Pinterest Board,

News on the home front... We have the granite counter tops in and new French Doors to the sunporch at the big house. We went to an open house on the street behind us and visited with a realtor that we were familiar with. He lives in our subdivision and has listed and sold many homes in our area. We're not ready to list, but feel like he will be our choice when the time is right. Things are rolling along, and the better weather will encourage us and help us get some outside work done.

I think the very top sketch with the gray rock and shingles is my favorite, but when it comes down to a choice, we always pray for God's leading and timing. So wherever and whatever we end up with, I know it will be where we are supposed to be. I'm just hoping God likes little English Cottages. te he.

 I'll be joining in with these great parties:

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Inspiration Exchange at City Farmhouse
From My Front Porch to Yours
Share Your Cup at Mrs. Olson's
Grey Dey Thursday at Petite Michelle Louise
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

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  1. Hi Debra! What great cottages to dream about! I wish you the best when you get your big house ready to sell. My hubby is retired but shortly after retirement he got his realtors license and plays at selling houses. Hope the market will be up when you're ready! It is exciting!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog for about a year now. Just had to comment because so much of what you said in this post could apply to me. My husband and I just entered our 50's and it has become our goal to downsize now. In fact, we just listed our home this afternoon. I am so over cleaning and maintaining a larger home. Such a coincidence, you hit on every point we have been thinking. I love the style and colors of the first, fourth, and tenth sketches. Hope all goes well. Kristal

  3. All of your photo cottages look so inviting! We are still rambling around in 5000 sq ft, but we actually use most of it all the time~ hate the yard though! I can't wait to see what you do, I know it will inspire me :)

  4. Debra,
    Isn't it exciting to dream as you move forward towards your next adventure?
    I know the "right" house is out there waiting for you and your sweet husband.
    Keeping a journal with the truly important items is essential!
    You can not guess the times I chuckle about "Mr. Ed's" wanting a house with a fireplace.
    Ours is in the lower level Family Room. We have candles in the firebox which are lit once a year.
    When the time comes, I too, will embrace smaller living quarters.
    For now I am content.
    Thank you for sharing these lovely homes with us.
    Perhaps, we, too, may dream of new adventures somewhere in our future.

  5. Debra, Let me suggest you look at my home plan. It is a little more square footage than you are seeking, but it has many french doors, transoms across the dining windows, arched dormers (no 2nd floor) except over the garage. You can simply type in Southern Living House Plan # 575, Shadymont. There is a rendering of the outside in my header now. It has a sun room, screened porch, and we built it on a full basement. Love the pictures you showed. They are all so pretty! I know you are excited!

    1. Hi Kathy, wow, I just came from the Southern Living Home site and viewed your plans, just amazing!! what a gorgeous home, just pinned it so i can view it again. thanks so very much!

  6. How fun! Building a cottage! If I didn't already have a little cottage I love...I'd be so jealous. But because I do...I'll just enjoy your journey till you are in your's. This is all going to be such great content for the old blog!

  7. How exciting!!! Love all the cottage styles, esp. the first one. I live in a senior Patio Home development, l love it here. I choose the 2 story design because my 2 kids were with me at the time and needed that kind of space. It has a full basement, 2 car garage, and a small, cute, manageable lot. It has 1600 sq. ft., no association and no fees. Each owner is responsible for their own property. Some of the senior housing has services and fees. To each their own!! Sunrooms, decks, fireplaces and other features were available, but I built what I could afford. In a few years I'll be in my 70's and will move to a one story. These knees aren't what they used to be!!! Have fun with it!!!

  8. What fun you'll have putting your dreams into action Debra. We are beginning to talk seriously about where we want to be in a couple of years and the type of home we want to live in. It has always seemed sad to me that we spend so much of our lives accumulating and building bigger spaces only to downsize and simplify. We definitely want to have less money invested in a home but, like you, we both have our projects so we'll still need our work spaces. Praying God's guidance for you. I know you'll find just what you need and I can't wait for you to share your journey. Blessings, Patti

  9. have fun searching for your perfect home, debra:) kathy sure found a beaut!

  10. These are all attractive and cozy looking ! :)

  11. Lovely photos with lots of great ideas for inspiration. I got carriage-type garage doors for my house a few years back and have never regretted it. It made such a difference in the looks of the house and was worth every extra penny it cost.

  12. I am with you Debra...the first sketch is my favorite too. I love the idea of a smaller cozy home, a two story entry never feels very inviting to me.I am ready to downsize but I still have kiddies at home. Someday we will i am sure.
    Thank you for sharing your inspiration and congrats on the granite counter tops and new French doors!!!

    XO Barbara

  13. This is exciting, shopping houses vicariously through your picks! I like your first choice too!

  14. These are all gorgeous homes, Debra! I can see you have some specifics that you like that seems to be in most of them. I'm sure that will make it easy if you are going to be building new and go to an architect. The outside maintenance was one of the reason we chose a condo when we moved and downsized. Hubby didn't want to be spending his weekends taking care of a lawn. Our condo is 1790 sq. ft {with the sunroom} and that has worked out great for us. It is just about half the size of the house we were in previously.

  15. Debra, these plans are all really charming. I'll bet you're having fun in the dreaming phase. I understand about tornado alley (I live in Nebraska) and also about wanting a sunroom. I will enjoy watching all of your progress.

  16. oooh you are at the super fun stage - searching through plans!!! Love your choices so far.


  17. Oh, I love then all!
    I like your gray stoned choice
    and the third one from the bottom,
    because it has a large porch.

  18. Sounds like you're making a lot of progress. That's me: a small yard, a fence, a tree, and I'm good.

  19. I love your inspiration cottages, especially the idea of the timer front porch. But I can't help by being surprised at the difference of square footage of the average house between the US and France. 2000 square feet is a big house for a large family in France!

  20. Love them all it will be so fun to decorate too

  21. Debra, Sounds like we are both looking for the same thing...cottage style, smaller, no mortgage with money to travel, and somewhere to live the rest of our lives. I love all the homes you have shown.

  22. I had to laugh .... some of your comments were exactly the same as "comments" I made on Monday to my sister! I sooo want to downsize to a "Cottage" type home ... with a "small" yard... enough space to have my kids and grands over on occasion for family dinners, etc. ... but small enough to be cozy and not overwhelming!!! These plans that you posted are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  23. Debra,
    You have some goodies favorites are #1 and #5. I have a small front yard...just wished that my backyard was small...oh well.


  24. You've found a nice collection of cottages to choose from. I love that style! We will have to do the same thing one day too. Our house is not meant for the elderly. Too many stairs everywhere.

  25. Oh my gosh, those are soooooo cute. I LOVE the first photo and the eighth photo the best. They're beyond charming. It's amazing what you can do with a small yard as far as flowers and gardening go!


  26. Oh SO much fun:) A new place sounds wonderful! I know you will pick the BEST one:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

  27. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who isn't interested in "entertaining" spaces... Seems like it's all you hear about in some HGTV show ~ bleah!
    All best luck with your selling & buying journey!

  28. Oh, gosh, I think I could live in any one of those, Debra! They're all gorgeous. Best of luck with selling your home! I'd love to have 2,000 sq. ft. Our little split level is about 840 sq. ft. which is why we put a family room off the back when the girls were little. Will be looking forward to hearing about your search for the perfect cottage!!!

  29. Wow, such pretty homes. I live in a cottage and I love it, not too big, not too small. It is one floor, with a finished basement and a very, very short walk to the beach (which makes all that tiny living so worth it!)...good luck on your hunt! :)

  30. So many pretty choices, Debra. As I get older I find that I like living on one floor. Just don't want to do all of those steps anymore. A small garden is perfect. xo Laura

  31. Beautiful home choices Debra! I love the cottage/shaker influence in most of them. You really need to have a sun porch. It would not seem like your home without one! I'm very impressed that you are leaving room for God in all your decisions. I pray that He guide you into a home you will love!

  32. How perfect Debra to build a little cottage. All of the choices are gorgeous. I am so happy you are planning a sunroom on the new home. That is perfect for you and will make you so happy.

  33. Oh how fun! I'm glad you are getting in some "dreaming and planning" time : ) I love all the choices you shared. I know when it's time you'll have what's just right for you and your husband!


  34. We're thinking about downsizing to a similar house like you described. I'll be following you as I love the homes you've pinned. I still do like the outside work so flower gardens are in my future. Hubby enjoys woodworking so there'll be a workshop again and hopefully a small greenhouse on the end. Isn't it fun to dream!! Good luck with finishing up your projects and selling your current home. We're probably 2 years away from that. I'll be anxious to hear about progress!

  35. We're at a similar stage, looking at houses and getting our big house ready to go on the market. We will not be looking at new-builds, as we want to live within walking distance of amenities, so are looking at older homes. I want to be able to live on the main floor, but don't mind a bed and bath upstairs for guests. Good luck with your search! I'll be back to keep up to date.

  36. Well we bought a tiny little cottage and all I can say is BUY NEW - lol - you're right on with that Debra - I am absolutely drowning in reno's and horrible surprises and at 54 it's not as fun as it used to be !
    Love your inspiration photos - can't wait to see what you choose :)

  37. I don't know how you can choose one...they are all so pretty!

  38. We downsized a few years ago, and I think we might be ready to downsize further in a couple more years. This is a pretty collection of inspiration cottages!

  39. Hi Debra, you have got some great inspiration going on there! Love that #1 home also. I'm sure that it made the good Lord smile. lol! I will be the first to tell you that you hit the nail on the head. As much as I love our home with it's open space. Simply because it works so well with our larger extended family, it does not have the same cozy feel as our previous home does. I actually suggested to hubby that after he retire we sell and move to a cottage on a lake or close to the ocean. He looked at me like, "are you crazy?" He loves to fish so I thought he would go for it. I just don't think he wants to start over again. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  40. i can't eben imagine making a final decision..they are all SO lovely. but i do especially like the 1st one...the very same one you chose for Grey Dey. SO sweet!

  41. Lot's of great inspiration pictures. Angels to you!

  42. Beautiful inspiration cottages. You know now that I have blogged, I often think of a space and what I would do with the light. So a cottage with great maybe even amazing natural light would be at the top of my list. May God guide you to the perfect Home Sweet Home.


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