Shortly after hearing a powerful homily about poverty by a Franciscan friar, I headed north of town this afternoon to the Southern Living 2013 Idea House. Or shall I say “dream home”? Sitting on the fabulous back porch, I had to keep reminding myself of that homily on poverty. Because suddenly I wanted it. All.
The place is gorgeous. It’s obviously unrealistic for everyone who desires a family (there were no playrooms) or isn’t independently wealthy. (You would have to work so much to pay for the house you’d never be home to enjoy it.) But it made for a fantastically fun afternoon on an absolutely beautiful day. And it was a great way to get ideas for my own home — which was the whole point. Yes, I’ll never be able to afford anything they have in there. But I just may have convinced myself to consider window treatments for my floor to ceiling windows.
There were five buildings in all, three of which were connected with a marvelous front porch. (I feel like my friend Luke right now, because all I want to keep saying is “fantastic.” Because everything was just that.)
The staff made sure we knew to make ourselves at home — everything could be touched, opened, sat upon, turned on. (Except the water closets. They made sure to put on the door that you weren’t supposed to take advantage of those.) I may have even curled up on one of the beds…
From the minute the house(s) came into sight, attention to detail became evident. Check out these “gutters” — awesome.
It took us awhile to even go inside… when there are beautiful porches to enjoy, why rush? (Manda was much more excited than she looks in this picture. In fact, this was her favorite part of the house. I think the look on her face is “contentment.”)
Sorry the picture below is rather blurry — it’s the only decent one I have of the awesome doors that separated the large living room from the beautiful kitchen. Huge barn doors on rollers. Awesome. They popped up in a few other rooms, too. That plus the exposed beams? Gorgeous.
On the thing was really impressive in this front room was the beautiful mix and match of patterns while not being over the top. The color pallet was simple and clean – white, blue, green – and they chose to have fun with the materials and patterns instead. It was perfect.
And all the built-ins on the wall — fantastic, if I can use that word again. You almost didn’t notice them, and yet think of the amount of storage that gives you. One of my favorite features of the house.
And if you look through that door, you’ll see the room that made me squeal…
This one. Built in bookshelves? Yes, please.
It was a little too green for me, but I loved the layout.
I thought I had wanted to save money and not buy a “real” bed — just a bed frame from Sam’s and a mattress and save money for things like couches… until I saw the four poster. I need to find one at an estate sale, stat. My room is calling out for a four poster bed.
And everyone needs a good bathtub.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to show you every room in every house. But here are some highlights from the guest houses.
Another barn door showed up in the lower floor bedroom of the bigger guest house:
Some elk showed up in one of the “bunkies”:
The bunkies were the smallest buildings — basically a single hotel room, with two double beds (maybe they were queens?), a little nook with a refrigerator and dishes, and a bath. There was one on either side — one decorated more femininely and one on the masculine side.
And I couldn’t pass up this weathervane. Because of course a house this perfect needs a Westie. (the doghouse was sponsored by Cesar. Natch.)
The Idea House is on the grounds of Fontanel, Barbara Mandrell’s former home. It is now a concert venue and a nice tourist destination. The grounds were really nice — lots of places to wander and sit and enjoy the beautiful fall day. Oh, and there’s a Goo Goo Cluster store. Genius.
So the beautiful day was topped off with Goo Goo Cluster ice cream. Of course it was.
All in all, it was definitely worth the drive and the price of admission. I don’t think I’d ever want a house that nice … I’d rather have a house that could be lived in and loved, rather than displayed and kept clean. But it’s fun to dream.