“There’s a place for us…Somewhere, a place for us…peace and quiet and open air, for us, Somewhere…” ~ Lyrics from West Side Story
Your CHIMERA HOME…It is a place that your DREAMS live and breathe.
If you were to interview a dozen people and ask them these same two questions, the answers would be a sundry of thoughts and ideas, as no two people share ‘exactly’ the same dream. #1 “If money was not an issue, where is the ‘one place’, in all the world that you would like to live and, #2,What would your DREAM HOUSE be like? ” I love these questions as they evoke the dreams within my soul…give me a hope and belief, that “God willing,” one day we will have the dreams of our hearts come true.
Where does one begin in their journey to find this dream home? This place of utopia, wonderland, blissfulness, fancy and fulfillment?
The home of my dreams came about through a potpourri of ways… my adoration of beauty, the ‘love of creating a winsome and romantic home’, traveling to different states, (especially breathtaking and serene coast lands, where life upon the sea and it’s myriad of gifts and mystique, called out to my spirit.) Life upon the sea, absolutely fascinates me. It was also brought about through books, ( enchanting stories of loveable, eccentric characters who lived life to the fullest in an old, historical mansion, or cottage upon the ocean,) magazine articles with their vignettes and stunning photographs of beautiful, cottage – decor style homes and lastly, a strong and innate desire my husband and I both share… a desire to help and serve others. Some of my inspirations have even been sparked through classic movies I have seen and adored, and last, (but surely not least, ) through much prayer. 🙂 Are we living in our dream home, now? Well, kind-of-sort-of. 🙂 It’s our blissful home because we love the home we have made together. We appreciate all the amenities that come with the land we are on, (undomesticated woods filled with all types of big (and little) critters. Deer, bunnies, foxes, groundhogs, squirrels, snakes, (not so adorable,) and a myriad of east coast birds that fill our trees with beautiful song and kaleidoscopic colors. I adore the snow geese and their unique calls and melodies to one another as they often fly over our home in their colossal, mystifying close knit clan … I cherish my life with my husband of 24 years and our dog of 12…I love our city, location and have met many a wondrous person and friend here…So yes, in a lot of ways, it is a ‘dream come true.’ BUT… there, still very much alive, within the depths of my soul and heart, is my real dream home….the home on the water, bedecked with beauty and charm, large enough to house people (who are worn out, tired and in need of a little R&R, home cooked cuisine and a touch of blissfulness in their lives,) to come and stay for a short or long respite. (Free of charge!)
A home is more than it’s property and exterior…It is made up of so many factors. Everyone has to discover the chimera of their own blithesome home within themselves.
Here are some light and fun quotes of what the perfect “HOME” means to different people.
“Home is everything you can walk to.”~ Jerry Spinelli
“Wherever WE ARE TOGETHER, that is Home!” ~ Author unknown
“A house is not a home without a dog.” ~Author unknown… and following right behind that would be the quote, “A house is not a home without a cat.” For all you cat lovers. :), (or a bird, or a pig…the list goes on… 🙂
“Home is where my habits have a habitat.” ~ Fiona Apple
“Home is where the heart is.” ~ Author Unknown
“It’s not the home I love, but the life that is lived here.” ~ Author Unknown
“Home is where the OCEAN is.” ~ Author Unknown..
“Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love.” ~ Nate Berkus
One of my all time favorite quotes comes from the renowned classic movie, (inspired by Frances Maye’s real life experiences as she bought and renovated a charming Tuscan Villa,) ‘Under the Tuscan sun.’ This prestigious and delightful author is an accomplished writer. Truly, each written page comes alive, evoking a desire within the reader to create, travel and celebrate life. In the movie version , (enlivened from the book,) the main character, (Francis,) played by Diane Lane, says something in the end of the story that I adore…(It is in my homemade notebook of quotes and phrases that are ‘Keepers!’ ) 🙂
“What are four walls anyway? They are what they contain…the house protects the dreamer, unthinkable things can happen, even if it is late in the game. It is such a surprise.”
In this heartwarming movie, a fictitious character, has a “chance discovery” that inspires her to realize not only her ‘dream home’ but her dream life in a superb villa, Bramasole. Her Polish, quirky, off beat and cheerful workmen that help her renovate her home, along with the beloved, short Italian neighbor who teaches her about olive trees, her charming “real estate agent” and the eccentric people she meets in the quaint city, become her family, as well as her HOME!…All of her dreams come true in this magical tale….A once downtrodden and very unhappy lady, discovers a new life and love in a country she had never visited! Don’t you just dote on “chance happenings?” 🙂
The author, Francis Mayes, still has her Villa of twenty years in Tuscany where she is busily writing books…new stories to captivate and charm her readers souls.
This is a photo of her Villa, Bramasole, in 2012 along with it’s stunning beauty, 9 years ago, (beneath) where the film was made in 2003.
I would like to share a few homes with you, bringing forth some spectacular and amazing ideas to spark and ignite your “dream thermometer.” 🙂 And REMEMBER, “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming after all, is a form of planning.” ~Gloria Steinem
If you have ever had the thought or vision of living in another country, how about a beautiful town home in London? This abode is nestled within a fabulously inviting and blissful location as you are close to all the wondrous and exciting allurements of the sterling city. You would be living amongst Royalty, fantastic weather with cold February’s and warm July’s. Your cuisine? British of course. Curry is the “in thing” there right now, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Fish and Chips with mushy peas and London’s renowned cottage pie. Some wonderful places to enjoy near by are the Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Eye, and Piccadilly Circus… You will also be blessed with the fine arts, theaters and stunning gardens. You know you will have to learn an entirely new vocabulary if you chose this home. 🙂 Pants are “trousers,” Q-Tips are “Cotton buds, and ” Women’s underwear are “Knickers.” If you are pulled over by the police, say “Good day Bobbie,” and lastly, if you are staying at an Inn, waiting for your moving van to arrive, do not be offended if the Inn Keeper asks you; “What time do you want to be “knocked up in the morning.” 🙂 He means “a wake up call.”
How about a prestigious estate in England? Living outside the big city in the quiet and serene country side would be an ideal way of life. Yes, it would be a bit more of a drive to get to the city and it’s festivities, but the peaceful ambiance would be worth it. Great places to frequent and delight in are The Westminster Abby, (they have wondrous Christmas Eve services,) St. Paul’s Cathedral, the lovely Covent Garden and the Shakespeare Globe theater. You will be living a life filled with delicious new cuisine…England’s traditional brown bread, Sage Derby and Lancashire cheeses, a sausage dish called “toad in the hole,” steak and kidney pie, monk fish and sea bass…(All popular British cuisine that sound delicious. Well, all except one.) 🙂 With this beautiful country comes many wonderful and relaxing, ‘Afternoon Teas,’ and serene, twilight naps. Here are a few more British vocabulary lessons for you. 🙂 Feeling up to a little take out one night? Call and order “take-away.” You’ll never vacuum your home again, you will “hoover” it. If someone offers you some “black pudding,” do not expect to be getting a dark chocolate, creamy dessert…you will be getting some “black sausage.” 🙂 Lastly, if you are running your own Business, you will not have clients, you will have “Punters.”
If you prefer fire flies in the evening, the smell of briny ocean air, warm and humid summers, freshly caught crab, shrimp and oysters, then a low country home within the enchanting, historical, Charleston area of South Carolina would be a perfect fit for you. One of my favorite cities in all the world is Charleston. When we lived in the south, we would frequent this magical city quite often. It was so charming, alluring and captivating, I never wanted to leave… The winters are calmer than the north eastern coast and the autumn season, breathtaking. I love low country cookin’. 🙂 She crab soup, Hoppin’ John, shrimp and grits and Huguenot Torte. (Can’t forget the fried Okra, rice and homemade gravy, shoe-fly pie and fried chicken done ‘the southern way.’) Be prepared to be treated like family, the minute you move in! And don’t forget, you can’t say “You guys,” to everyone like we do in California, you say “Y’all,” and you never say hi, it’s “Heeeyyyy,” along with a big smile and a welcoming wave. 🙂
A maritime home nestled upon the historical Sullivan’s Island, also in the low country of South Carolina, is a choice place to settle down in. Here is a synopsis of life on this enigmatic Island from the words of Dorethea Benton Frank, (one of my favorite authors and devoted story tellers of the south.) “The acres of live oaks, ( guardians of the house,) are festooned in sheets of breezy Spanish moss, the water is a shimmering blue and it is a land washed in MYSTERY.” If you adore grandiose thunderstorms, illuminating, dancing fireflies, catching Blue crab by the rocks, (steaming them and serving them fresh with drawn butter,) as well as searching the brambles for wild berries, you would love life on this magical Island. You are sure to find the people hospitable and friendly… you’ll feel like you’re amongst family! You will also be treated to superb low country food in your eateries as well as your newly found friend’s homes. ( My favorites being; red rice and beans, okra soup, sweet potato pone, oyster dressing, Benne cookies and fresh shrimp and crab chowder.)
The charm of living in beautiful Delaware offers it’s residents a very blessed and serene life. Let me say firsthand, the state of Delaware is a breathtaking, maritime land, filled with natural beauty and picturesque waterways. We have over 150 specialty outlets at the beach that people travel to, (aboard the prestigious Cape May Ferry in New Jersey,) just to spend a day shopping…(No taxes here…yeah!) Rehoboth and Lewes are historical and quaint shores that draw millions… We are close in vicinity to DC, Maryland and Virginia, have a myriad of diverse and ambrosial eateries, the famous horseshoe-crabs, fireflies, fascinating wildlife, fresh seafood and summer storms with an added ‘pizzazz.’ Two wondrous places my husband and I have on our “bucket list” for Delaware is the romantic Wintherthur Gardens, Museum and Library in Wilmington DE. and the stunning beauty of the wild horses running amongst the seashore at Assateague Island in Maryland. (A short drive from here.)
In Delaware, our winters have been calmer in the last few years, but the freshly fallen white snow is awesome and you can’t beat the weather in the autumn and spring seasons. In the summertime, the beaches are filled with visitors from all over the world. Our serene city fills up with all the ‘beach traffic’ and depending upon the volume of people and cars, we get a free forecast of when ‘not to go’ to the beach or a ‘big YES’ as the quantity of tourists has lessened. 🙂 The people here are very outgoing and friendly! Delaware is a lovely place to live and has certainly blessed our lives for many years.
I bet everyone has had dreams of a seafaring home in Corona Del Mar, California. Being a California native, I can again, attest firsthand that southern California is one of the most beautiful and magical states in the country. I especially love Dana Point, (where my husband and I first met, courted and got married,) Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach and Balboa island. I grew up in the quaint and beauteous city of Mission Viejo. There is an abundance of superb eateries, art galleries, the renowned Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Marine Land, relaxing, lovely beaches, glorious mountains and more shopping malls than you will ever be able to conquer. Is California your dream land? (I know it is for many people.) 🙂 I miss the boat parades at Christmas time in Newport beach, frequenting the authentic and memorable Rogers Gardens, Fashion Island, sunsets overlooking the ocean and the wondrous times with all my friends and siblings who still reside there…(very happily.) We have thought about settling there…I think I would miss all the wildlife, four seasons, fireflies and vibrant rain storms of the east coast to much. 🙂
Another lovely place to reside would be an elfin, charming home in Vermont…New England is by far my favorite place in all the world to live. We were graced by living in the the mysterious and awesome Mystic area of Connecticut for awhile and were also able to see other New England states… Every sight my eyes beheld was story-book like, epic and beautiful. (Seriously.) With all of it’s lush greens, the abundance of trees, glistening waterways and the romantic coves lit up with the glow of lights from the quaint cottages by the shoreline, this state alone is one of the most enchanting places I have ever seen. I adore the old ships upon the rivers and ocean, diverse sailboats, the wondrous, romantic homes on the water and the cuisine was extraordinary, everyplace we dined. There is an abundance of things to do in New England with all of its maritime museums, The Aquarium, lighthouse touring, dolphin watching, ship rides, beautiful beaches and plenty of quaint boutique for shopping and cozy coffeehouses. (They even gave Graham a dog-cookie at the coffee shop we stopped at.) Any state that would do that, has got to be a great one! 🙂
This gorgeous town home on the waterfront of the Potomac river in Alexandria VA. is ideal for anyone who adores quaint shops, touring Washington DC, live concerts, fishing, the ocean, eating freshly caught sea food, being surrounded by our nations history, beautiful weather, fireflies and regal, elegant hotels and eateries. With it’s splendid mixture of the exciting city life amongst the serene countryside and historical bridges, Alexandria Virginia is the ‘Cream de la Creme’ of areas to live in. I resided there as a small child as well as for three years with my husband, working in downtown DC. In just a short commute, we were home in our peaceful home, close to the Potomac River and we adored having the gifts of both extremes of life. Alexandria also has the wonderful pleasantry of public ‘Doggie-Parks.’ ( A must for large dogs, or small dogs that are going to be colossal.) 🙂 I can still remember taking Graham there at least three times a week as a puppy, to “socialize and meet the neighbors” 🙂 and there must have been 50 to 75 other pups there, ready to play, sniff and do all the things dog’s like to do. (One more reason to pick this select area for your Dream home.)
Life upon the water in bethnic and resplendent New England is heavenly. As earlier stated, the states of New England are absolutely sublime…it is an enchanting, fairy-tale like land with more gorgeous water ways, beaches, coves, ships, boats, lighthouses, sea life and breathtaking homes on the water than any area I have ever seen. Mystic Connecticut within itself is one of the most ornate, stunning, story-book villages I have ever been to, along with the animated village of Noank, and the historically beautiful town of Stonington. I would live in Mystic again in a heart beat… It’s one of my husbands and my favorite places in the entire world. The Skippers Dock in Stonington, (only minutes from the Mystic River,) has the best seafood and a view of the ocean that is mesmerizing. Their dining room is warm, cozy and inviting with it’s lovely ambiance as well as charming fire burning in the hearth. The people are extraordinary as well… always extending a cordial welcome and are exceedingly amicable. This area graces all of it’s residents with a glorious and animated display of all four beautiful seasons.
Lastly, an entirely different kind of dream home…a ranch home in Texas. I have never lived in Texas but dear friends say it is a beautiful state with a lot of diversity, great BBQ, an abundance of sports and hot summers. If you love horses, a serene life amongst the countryside, outdoor living with an abundance of land, cowboys, Tex Mex food, chili over a campfire and chicken fried steak, you would love this ideal state. Just like other areas,Texas is abounding in culture, fine arts, theaters, amusement parks, wondrous eateries and they posses a galaxy of museums. This charming state has also been a muse to many a country-western melody, bestselling novellas and classic films. A little vocabulary lesson is needed here as well, if you chose this picturesque state for your dream home. If you say hello, how are you doing today to someone and they answer you, “I’m Walkin’ Tall in the Cotton,” it means they are doing ‘aw ‘right. If you enjoy buttermilk dressing on your garden salad, ask for “clabber milk dressing.” When the thunderstorms hit, don’t be surprised if your neighbors tell you , “This storm sure is a ‘frog strangler’ or gully washer.” What they are really saying is there is an abundant amount of rain. And when you don’t want a second helping of pulled- pork Texas BBQ at a friends home for dinner, just say “Nu-Uh.” (Meaning, No!) 🙂
I hope that by now, your dream home thermometers are heating up… Perhaps you already have a dream home within your heart…or are in the process of creating one…If you are ready at this time in your life to begin to make that dream come true, or are still in the planning and creating stage, here are some helpful thoughts and ideas to think about.
Have you ever heard of the belief that when you are dating, you can meet the “right person” at the “wrong time”, thus making them the “wrong person?” Well, I have a theory of the three “R’s” in capturing your dream home…First, find out ‘what your dream home is.’ ( You can’t have a DREAM come true, unless you have a DREAM.) 🙂 Then… You will find that home when it is the “right house,” at the “right time,” in the “right state.” ( Just a theory.) 🙂
In the pursuit of your dream home, you could always travel and see the sights of different states, getting a feel for their culture, the people and what life would be like there. Another idea is to get acquainted with a Real Estate agent in the area you are thinking about making your home. Allow them to educate you with the current listings and luxuries of that particular area. I like Frances’ story…travel to Italy, (or another romantic and inciting country,) (doesn’t have to be after a midlife crisis,) 🙂 and perhaps you too, will ‘stumble upon’ a gorgeous Villa on the countryside. 🙂 How about putting all of your things in storage, buying a one way ticket to Alaska, purchase your “dream houseboat,” and run a Charter fishing company in Glacier Bay? (I think spending a year or two amongst the phenomenal beauty of this majestic area would be worth it.) 🙂 It could be that you would love it so much that you would want to move all of your belongings, buy another ‘dream home’ and reside there for life. (Just remember that in Alaska, they go months without sunlight so if you enjoy looking sleek and tan, you might pick another state.) 🙂 My older brother, in our high school years was known as “The really cute, tan, surfer guy.” He actually had a harem of girls, following him around the campus. After graduation, he traveled to Alaska and lived there for awhile. When he returned, I did not recognize him…his blonde hair was dark brown and his skin, well, it was as white as Usher’s teeth. 🙂 (True story!) (He was still very cute though!) 🙂 Maybe they have tanning salons there now…
For all of you who are still looking for the home of your dreams, I hope this blog will inspire you to think about two things…. If money was not an issue, where is the ‘one place’ in all the world that you would like to live and what would your dream home look like? As your answering these questions, sum up your DREAM HOME with the quote by Nate Berkus above…and remember these lyrics in Garth Brooks inspirational song, “Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the skies.” Believe in your dreams and until the time you are living in that utopia, create your dream home in the house you are living in right now.
In closing, I want to share some Real Estate agents with you…some of them I know well and believe me, they are great people and wonderful at what they do. I also want to leave you with my husbands and my answer to the questions I have asked you to ponder. Happy Creating, Planning and DREAMING! 🙂
Okay Nate, the story of who we are and a collection of what we love.That’s easy 411! 🙂
Our dream home ? Our hearts desire is to one day host a Bed and Breakfast home, on the ocean, enjoying a maritime life upon the water, creating a place of refreshment and reprieve for those who are aweary, bushed and tuckered out. We would like to have an enchanting cobble stone wall or ‘White Pickett fence,’ (I really did not want to use that cliche,) 🙂 around a portion of the property to keep our four ‘dream dogs’ safe and secure, when they want to go outside, be rambunctious, ‘run and play the Eskimo way.’ (Hey, they are apart of the DREAM) 🙂 We desire to live near great restaurants that have fresh seafood, be close to movie theaters, enchanting boutiques to shop in and a train near by to travel to the big cities. It would be nice to live within a friendly community, enjoy long walks by the water, boat rides on a the rivers and enjoy the serene, quiet and peacefulness of our surroundings. The Kitchen has got to be galactic and gourmet, as my husband and I adore creating and cooking delectable cuisine, (especially for a house full of guests.)
Our Dream home in pictures…
I think that is a fireplace in the back … 🙂
There is nothing like an Alfresco dinner, sharing fresh grilled salmon with a view of the gallant and heroic boats, bobbing up and down amongst the veering waves as they are docked at the harbor.
OK, we did have to make one small compromise on this part of the dream…( But hey, that is pretty good to only have one thing to have to negotiate on… 🙂 We both want a “Newphie, English Sheepdog and of course, Briard…Kit’s 4th dog in his dream is a Golden Retriever…mine was a Bouvier des Flandres…he wins! 🙂
OH! And it needs to have at least five to seven guest bedrooms for our guests…(gosh would that be a lot of fun to decorate)…a different style for each room…one in Shabby Chic, one in Ralph Lauren, etc…. (Maybe a bathroom fireplace as well.) Hey, it’s our dream, so we’re chancing the rapids and dancing the skies. 🙂
I just HAD to show you my 4th Dream Dog…. Isn’t he just so cute? I already even had a name picked out for her…. 🙂
Happy House Dreaming!
PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the graphics or photos, it will display where the picture originated from.
Here are some wonderful real Estate agents who come highly recommended. I’ve know Lisa since High school and she is the very best at what she does. You will absolutely love her!
For Southern California , a dear and cherished lifelong friend, Lisa Heaney.
Office number: (949) 837-5700
Direct number: (949) 294-1114
For Delaware I have several agents my husband or I have worked with and they to are wondrous people who would help you find your Dream home.
Kathy Lougheed – Burton Realty, Inc.
Office number: (302) 945-5100
Fred Sponseller – Cooper Realty Associates
Office Number: (302) 629-6693
Connie Cooper – Cooper Realty Associates
Office Number: (302) 644-2266
Lewis Briggs II – Cooper Realty Associates
Office Number: (302) 856-6434
Woody Hunsberger – Cooper Realty Associates
Office Number: (302) 629-9963
For homes (or ranches ) in Texas, Leigh S. Marcus with Remax, comes highly recommended.
Website : www.kingswoodlife.com/ Leigh S. Marcus
For South Carolina, ask for John Trask with Low Country real Estate.
Website : wwwlowcountryrealestate.com/John Trask
For New England, a great Realtor is Annie Sullivan with Remax.
Her website is : www.asullivan.remax-newengland.com
In London and England, there are quality and noteworthy Real Estate Agents with RE/MAX Elite, Lancaster
Their website is : www.remax.co.uk/elite/ Lancaster