Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Little Houses with Big Surprises

 Imagine having this view in your backyard.  It's my idea of heaven, actually.  I love the mountains, but open fields and big skies - ah.  Nothing better than lying out at night and looking at the stars.

The surprise is that this amazing backyard view is behind a cute starter ranch on a main road.  From the street, you'd never expect it.

In fact, the front yard also looks out at a lovely view - one I'd never noticed when I was driving.

It's a surprise - a happy one.

I like houses with surprises.

There's a fairy tale cottage for sale in our town with a little door midway up one bedroom wall.  When you open it, you discover a huge, peaked roofed room that looks like the perfect place for all  the grandkids to line up their sleeping bags, giggling in the summer night as the grownups admonish, "It's time to go to sleep!"

Here's what I picture it could be on a smaller scale, though right now it's just empty space.

It's not sold despite being on the market a long time. I hope someone falls in love with its surprises soon.

I fell in love with a surprise house once.  Downstairs veered between dreamy and ridiculous - lots of old cast iron casement windows, a big fireplace, mountain views and a pond - plus a long, hard-to-categorize cement-walled room with deep brown carpets that my guy immediately christened "The Mr. Hankey Suite,"  and a crazy little head-sized window beside the fireplace that looked down from the master bedroom stairs.

There was only the master bedroom and bath upstairs, but what a bathroom it was!  French doors led out to a long porch on the roof of the Mr. Hankey Suite.  Sunlight poured in and yet it was completely private - a very, very secret garden.

A home I recently saw had delightful surprises everywhere - odd little steps up and steps down, little sitting areas, gardens scattered around the yard with chairs conveniently placed to enjoy them. Kind of like this...

I think when we say a house has charm, that might be what we're talking about....happy little surprises,  little quirks, things that give it a personality.  And when you find a house that has a personality that suits yours, you're home.

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