If I Was a Rich (Wo)man: Adventures in Domestic Daydreaming

In recent years, I’ve started to come to terms with a part of me that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy burying or otherwise ignoring: I really like being domestic.

Home — in the sense that home is both as a physical place and a feeling of comfort — is incredibly important to me. We moved around a lot when I was little, and we finally settled in Colorado until I was 16. Then, the summer before my junior year in high school, we moved across the country to a small town in Pennsylvania. We only lived there for a few years, though, and I spent the next decade never being anywhere long enough to really put down roots.

I spent a long time feeling uprooted and unmoored, and I found that I consistently longed for a place I could call home.

I remember driving back from dinner one winter night during college and taking a route that happened to go through a neighborhood, only to feel incredibly envious of all the occupants of the houses I drove by. Their homes looked so cozy, so comforting, so soothing. I imagined them being filled with happy, loving families who’d sit together on an over-stuffed couch while sharing popcorn and watching a movie.

And I really, really, really wanted that for myself.

As a consequence of this, my nesting instincts have always resembled those of a pregnant lady on speed. I’m acutely attuned to my environment, and as I’ve realized lately, damned if I don’t really enjoy it.

So, here’s my confession: I love being domestic. I love making a house a home. I love decorating, I love feeling rooted, and I love simply spending time at home.

I’ve spent years denying that I actually enjoy all this, but I’ve recently decided to embrace that side of my personality. My attempts to repress it into an oblivion didn’t work (obviously…as if they ever do, right?), so my new policy has been to just roll with it. Ain’t no shame in that, y’all.

With all that in mind, I’m going to brazenly steal a post format from the lovely Sarah from Nourish and Flourish (side note: her blog is freakin’ awesome, and I hiiiiiiiiiighly recommend that you go check it out). In the spirit of her Totally Unnecessary Wish List post, I decided to do my own totally unnecessary wish list, but to focus it on embracing my love of all things domestic. Soooo…

If I had an outrageous amount of money, I’d build my ultimate dream house. (Side note: all the pictures below come from Pinterest. I once heard someone describe Pinterest as Fantasy Football for women, and I’m pretty sure that’s the most accurate possible description.) It’d be amazing, y’all. I’d rather go for quality over size — I wouldn’t want it to be some gargantuan monstrosity that eats up half a city block — but it’d have some pretty awesome stuff.

To wit:

Because I love cooking (and, since I’d have an outrageous amount of money in this scenario, I presumably would be able to work from home doing something I really love — and would thus have time to cook more elaborate dinners), my kitchen would look like this:

Kitchens Kitchens Kitchens!!!

And, because I’m a sucker for things like built-in bookshelves and quirky architectural details, I’d have cool and unexpected stuff like this breakfast nook:

LOVE the round nook, with interior windows!! Kitchen - living room - nook

Since a woman’s work is never done, I might as well experience some spa-ish, Zen-like calm and tranquility while slaving over the laundry. Woo-sah, y’all:

I would do laundry every day in this laundryroom!

I’m a serious nerd, which means I have more books than I know what to do with. (Thank God for my Kindle, which is the world’s greatest space-saver.) If I were obscenely wealthy, though, I’d make room for all my beloved books with some seriously innovative built-in shelves (replete with cozy spaces for reading):

Hawthorne House

Hall library

Because I’m a girl — and let’s call it like it is, I’m pretty girly in my love of clothes, shoes, and accessories — (read this part in the snobbiest possible way; think Anna Wintour meets the singing candelabra dude from Beauty and the Beast) adequate closet space would be crucial. Behold.

Closet Design, Pictures, Remodel, Decor and Ideas

Let’s not forget about the bathroom, either. As someone who currently does the hygiene dance (“You’re in the way of the sink, dude, and I need to wash my hands.” “Dude, I need to get to my toothbrush.” “Dude, I can’t reach my towels when the door is open and you’re standing in front of it brushing your teeth!”) with her husband, a big bathroom is key. I figure this should suffice (a walk-in shower? I suppose I could live with that):

Shower behind the sinks...... Its kinda like a cave...... you dont have to worry about cleaning shower door. So neat!!

The only difference would be that mine would be more Middle East-inspired; for example, I’d go with Moroccan-shaped arches instead of the Medieval European style arches. They’d look kind of like this:

Moroccan inspired massage room complete with Jacuzzi tub.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of bathrooms, I love me a good bath. A dedicated bathtub — better yet, a sunken-in bathtub that closely resembles a Turkish hammam — would be amazeballs.

a bathtub that is sunk into the floor! It's like a pool in your bathroom!

I’m also pretty sure Brandon would love a dedicated space for movie watching and sports spectating from afar (aka: watching the Spurs on TBS), so I figure he wouldn’t object to a media room. Who needs a man cave when you can have a theater?

home theatre

Since, in this scenario, I’d be obnoxiously wealthy and money would be no object, I’d also get myself a house in the desert. As you may have gathered from my bajillon posts about how homesick I am, I really miss the West. For lack of ability to live there full-time, I’d get us a vacation home in the desert that we could visit in order to calm the overwhelming pull Westward:

desert home

This house would have a garden of succulents and cacti, which are among my favorite plants:

from Bohemian homes - bohemian gardens

It’d have a pool where I could relax and read to my nerdy little heart’s content:

I could deal with this...

And, perhaps most importantly, it’d have a huge skylight in the bedroom:

Skylight above bed. Too cool!

One of my favorite childhood memories was created on a fall evening a few months after we’d moved to Colorado, when my dad and I sat outside and looked at the stars. As we sat on lawn chairs in the back yard, he pointed out the different constellations that I’d been learning about in school. I’d never seen so many stars in my life, and I was awe-struck. The night was clear, there was no light pollution — a relic of old-timey Colorado that has since gone the way of the velociraptor — and I was able to see the Milky Way. I was amazed, and to this day, I get incredibly excited at the thought of being able to see the Milky Way. In this magical desert house, I’d be able to see this each night:

A look into the center of the Milky Way Galaxy from the Moab Desert- Bret Webster Photography

Now, if only I could win the lottery! πŸ™‚

So tell me, lovely readers: if you could live anywhere, where would you go? What do you think is the most important feature in a house? What would you do if you won the lottery? What’s your favorite childhood memory?

22 thoughts on “If I Was a Rich (Wo)man: Adventures in Domestic Daydreaming

  1. Alex @ therunwithin April 26, 2013 / 10:42 am

    I love hearing and learning about this side of you. I am like you, while people know me as the busy, never home girl I do dream of having a comfy but small home. I am all about the houses that are on the smaller side but with enough room to live.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:13 pm

      I can completely relate: I’m always busy and people have tended to equate my ambition with a desire to be totally not domestic, but lo and behold, domesticity is awesome. πŸ™‚ Here’s hoping we get our cozy homes someday!

  2. chasingchels April 26, 2013 / 10:55 am

    I love this Lillian πŸ™‚ i would love a house in ireland, with a huge kitchen, equally large library, decent bathrooom and enough bedrooms for everyone to visit when they want. Oh and a beautiful garden out back to relax in when it isn’t raining πŸ™‚ if i won the lottery, i would travel all over the world for as long as i could, enter races all over the place and send my parents on a dream vacation to france. To me, the most important part of a home are the people in it….as long as they feel comfortable and loved, anything else can be changed

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:11 pm

      Ooooh, a house in Ireland sounds amazing! Also, I love that you’d enter races around the world — combining travel and running is an awesome idea. πŸ™‚

  3. Taryn April 26, 2013 / 11:55 am

    My boyfriend and I were having the “what would you do if you won the lottery?” chat yesterday because I saw a thing about what different zodiac signs would do, and both of ours were dead on. I would save most of it, but I’d travel too. I have absolutely no idea where I’d live. If I had basically unlimited funds, I might live somewhere completely new because flying to see my friends wouldn’t be an issue. Because “home” really comes down to the people – home is where the heart is, right?

    Love all your Pinterest pics – I have a few pics like that pinned with the intention that if I ever end up being rich, I will put at least one of them in my future house.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:10 pm

      Amen, sister soultrain. If I had unlimited funds, travel would be a huge part of my spending plan as well. There are so many fascinating places in the world that I want to see!

  4. Caitlyn April 26, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    Pinterest is so much fun for stuff like this! I loveeeeeeeee looking at all the amazing homes and what they do with each room, landscaping, etc. I think about my dream home a lot now, haha. If I were to win library, I’d buy a big house with a lot of backyard and make sure one room was a ginormous library πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:09 pm

      Aaaaah to have an in-home library! All us bookworms would be thrilled with such a thing — just imagine all the book collecting we could do!

  5. The Siren's Tale April 26, 2013 / 2:01 pm

    This post makes me so happy! I spend far too many hours on Pinterest looking for dream home designs and DIY projects for said home. It’s nice to take a moment and just dream of what could be… especially when you have a domestic streak in you! When your dream home comes to be, please invite me over ASAP so I can enjoy those starlight skylights!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:07 pm

      Hell yes! The DIY projects sound incredibly fun, too — someday when I have more space in which to do all that crafty stuff, I’m going to be a DIY machine. Woohoo!

  6. musingsoftheamusingmuse April 26, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    I’m Domestically-inclined but I’m more of a Minimalist than Decorator. I “un-decorate”??

    I feel ya on the desert scenario, however, as I am in lust with the West. Even though I live in Wisconsin, my front yard is a study in Western Prairie and raised beds of natural lime- and sandstone. I have Yuccas and cactus all over. πŸ˜‰

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:02 pm

      Hooray for yuccas and cacti! They’re gorgeous, and I love that they’re featured so prominently in a Wisconsinite’s yard. πŸ™‚

  7. Mariette April 26, 2013 / 7:24 pm

    Oh my goodness! I have the “what if I had tons of money and ample amounts of free time to spend it the best way possible” thoughts ALL-THE-TIME! Ugh and I can just drool over gorgeous home photos on pinterest for hours… And that freaking pool you have pictured? To die for! Love it.

    We can all dream I guess πŸ™‚ And in the mean-time I’ll settle for the cheaper DIY things I actually CAN do to warm this place up. Oh and Estate Sales! My new obsession! Find a way to get in on Estate Sales in your area, they’re hit or miss, but sometimes you hit the jackpot! πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 3:01 pm

      Oh, estate sales sound like a great idea! I love hitting up yard sales in affluent neighborhoods, too — my dad and I used to do that when I lived in Colorado, and I scored some seriously awesome stuff. πŸ™‚ As you said, it’s hit or miss, but when you hit the jackpot, it’s a huge win.

  8. Robin April 27, 2013 / 10:36 am

    wow, love those bookshelves, and the laundry….really zen! funny I was just thinking about joining pinterest and wondering what the heck I’d do on there if I did, now I know I’d be dreaming of houses! Well, I’d live where I do now because it’s beautiful (Vermont) but I’d have a gorgeous, newly redone historic home instead of the weirdly-angled one with purple kitchen countertops and way too many quirks that I have now…..ah, dreaming….and by the way, there isn’t anything wrong w/being domestic πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 2:59 pm

      Omigod, purple counter tops? I mean, some quirks are good, but there comes a point when they become overkill. The idea of the newly redone historic home sounds fantastic, especially in gorgeous Vermont. We all need winning Powerball tickets! πŸ™‚

      Also, many thanks for the validation on being domestic — I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. πŸ™‚

  9. quartercenturysouthernliving April 27, 2013 / 12:56 pm

    This is absolutely amazing. I would love to live in North Carolina. My absolute dream goal is to have a house on the beach where I can write. I would also love to own a bakery πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 2:56 pm

      Ooooh, a beach house specifically for writing sounds AMAZING. And a bakery sounds awesome too — such fabulous ideas!

  10. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish April 27, 2013 / 4:45 pm

    I loooooove this post, and may have to re-steal the idea from you! πŸ˜‰ First, the analogy of Pinterest being the equivalent of fantasy football for women is spot-on…Except the only difference is that Pinterest consumes my time ALL year long, rather than just a few months/year. Gah!

    Your dream home is my dream home, girl. Can I move in with you? I promise I’m a good roommate. And I bake really good brownies. Deal? The kitchen is GORGEOUS, and I adore the unique bookshelves, but I really want is access to that bathtub. Swoooon. I take a bath almost every night, so that pool of luxury would get good use.

    My dream home would be somewhere in the West as well—preferably Southern California, where the weather is *perfect.* I’d have views of the ocean and my own private beach, of course. πŸ˜€

    Happy weekend! xoxoxo ❀

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 27, 2013 / 10:50 pm

      Of course you can join me in my dream house! There’ll be nightly cocktails and GF brownies, and it’ll be fabulous. πŸ™‚

      I agree on SoCal — my grandfather was originally from Newport Beach, and he apparently hated East Coast weather just as much as I do. Aaaaah, how the West spoils us!

  11. Meredith April 28, 2013 / 8:27 am

    I love this post! I think it’s great to make wish-lists, and I love your domestic one. Those pictures are unreal.
    If I could live anywhere, it’d be wherever my family is. Most important feature of a house to me is a large kitchen, and it needs to have a couch in it! If I won the lottery, I’d pay off my parents mortgage, and build us all homes in the same development. My favorite childhood memories all involve being with my family in Cape Cod. Have a great weekend!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 28, 2013 / 12:44 pm

      I completely agree – it’d be amazing to live right around the block from our families!

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