The House In My Head

Do you have a house in your head?  You know the one that is perfect for the way you want to live right now down to the smallest detail – I know I do and I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  It would be different from all the other houses I have lived in.

the-House-in-my-head-by-Dorothy Rodgers

It would not be huge or cost millions, but be just right for the way I want to live now.

I have lived in many houses – from my childhood home and then out on my own after college where I started to put my personal style into the decor.   Ed and I moved 5 times early in our marriage and have settled in PA for the past 20 years.  With each house I learned a little bit more about how to make each one a home designed for the way we lived at that moment in time.

House Life Style quote Lifestyle-quote House Quote


Now that we have been empty nesters for a few years and both Ed’s parents and my parents have passed away, life has taken on a different quality for us. That and the fact that we still are living in limbo waiting for good news on the job front for Ed. The possibility of moving has got me thinking about what the perfect house would be for us now.  I have checked out many online real estate sites and am drawn to simple, open, and airy homes.

All photos are credited below:

I love our home now and it was perfect for raising our daughters, but if I could be selfish and create the home I crave now…

White living room

It would have lots of white…

White horizontal paneling

and plenty of windows that bring in the light.

House in my head white paneled wall

It would have unique doors…

White decor

and natural floors.

House in my head

It would have no clutter…

House with a view

and would have to have a view.

2 house in my head Atlanta Homes

It would have an outdoor shower…

sleeping porch

and a sleeping porch with beds that swing.

Home Gym by mrodgersltd

A home gym to keep my body in motion.


And of course a place to call my own.

White kitchen

What the house in my head would not have – a formal living or dining room.  No need for them. When company comes I would rather they gather around a big kitchen table. It is more comfy cozy.

Hopefully soon I will be able to make all this come true. For now it is in just the house in my head.

Do you have a house in your head?   How would it be different from the one you live in now?

Photo credits:  Fresh Home | Muskoka Living Interiors | House and Home | Kolbe Windows | Pinterest | Atlanta Homes | Coastal Living | M. Rodgers Ltd | BHG | Muskoka Living Interiors |



  1. Judy H. says

    Hi Diane, I didn’t read your post in any way other than how it was intended. :)
    You remind me so much of myself. My husband and I are empty nesters. We’ve lived in this house for 20 years. Unfortunately and out of the blue, two years ago, my husband lost his job as vice president of a major company. He had worked for them for 24 years and 9 months.
    I had thought about moving for a few years, but I couldn’t imagine a house I’d rather live in. What I could imagine was the house we live in now with a major renovation and what it would look like and how it would feel to re-make this house for ourselves and love it in a different way all over again. The day after our loan was approved for the renovation, my husband lost his job.
    Trying to find work has been “trying”. There isn’t much call for a 61 year old ad agency executive these days.
    Still, I dream about this house and the way I would do it if given the chance. Curiously, what I would like looks much the same as your dream house. Lots of white, that formal dining room gone and a beautiful space just for me. It’s interesting what are thoughts and tastes turn to after we’ve worn our old house for awhile. I hope you get that house of your dreams, I can’t wait to see the pictures!

  2. Laura O. says

    Oh Diane! I want to move in that house with you guys. Such a great place to be ;-) So beatiful and inspiring pictures.

  3. debbie says

    I do design my dream home often in my head and sometimes even on paper. I have so many tear sheets and great ideas that I hope to carry out some day. Yours is beautiful and I love it. Mine has to be light, open and airy. Lots of whites, soft grays and blues. We love our furkids and it has to be just as comfortable for them too. I see in our home now (it’s a lovely home and I like it) so much room for improvement, so much wasted space. I believe every square inch should be used to its full potential. I hope you and I both have ours someday and also you too Judy H. Keep the faith and take care. One more thing – it should be near a lake or the ocean – must be able to have a water view.

  4. Stacy says

    Oh how I loved your house in your head! We’re empty nesters as well w/3 sons. However our youngest is a “bounce back” child (employed full time)…and to be quite honest – he is a HUGE HELP for me ( I have MS) and his dad, in maintaining this 27 year old 5000 s.f. well “lived-in” home, complete with a beautiful un-used pool, large lot w/many large trees — & the most gorgeous views of nuthin’ but nature from our patio.
    When we moved in 15 yrs ago – & completely renovated this home…it was quite literally my “dream home”. Kids were young, house was ALWAYS full, we entertained & really used every square foot!
    But now…we are also living in limbo. Husband desperately wants to “retire” from the major defense co. where he’s worked the past 30 years – and is actively looking for a good “fit” w/another company…he says he wants to work in the field until he’s 70+ , God willing.
    So what to do??? Sell THIS dream home w/the perfect everything…or downsize & not have the glorious one of a kind view??? If money were no object – I’d live here forever. With my husband’s travel schedule & my son’s eventual departure… an on-call handyman/helper would be PERFECT! We just wouldn’t eat or run the a/c in the hot Dallas summertime! OMGosh…do I need a therapist or WHAT???!!!
    MY DREAM HOUSE IN MY HEAD: My house now -but WITHOUT A STUPID FORMAL DINING ROOM, more windows/skylights, a cozy cov’d patio off the master bedroom, my very own area!!!, a dog room complete w/doggy bath/shower, NO HEAVY DRAPERY PANELS, NO FRINGE, NO CARPET – except bedrooms?, Grass-looking turf instead of grass, workshop in back for husband’s toys, so I could park my Bentley in the garage! I AM SO, SO KIDDING!!! I drive a 9 y.o. Mid size SUV, and hubby drives a 99 Lexus with ????? miles on it!!!
    Sorry for submitting a NOVEL – this just resonated with me on several levels. I apologize if I sound like an arrogant spoiled diva. I thank God everyday for His incredible grace & abundant blessings!

    • says

      Stacy, sounds to me that you truly love your home. Maybe some simple cosmetic changes would do wonders. Paint? Lighter weight draperies….or none in rooms where privacy isn’t an issue? etc. Simple things can make wonderful changes for very little money.

      In my decorating business I do a lot of redesign/restyling. Budgets are always small and yet we some cosmetic changes to where the client says “I love my home!” where there before they might have said “I just don’t know what to do…I hate this place”. Guess that’s why my business motto is “LOVE THE HOME YOU’RE IN … AGAIN!” :-)

  5. says

    I am looking forward myself to downsizing house wise, and all white has such universal appeal. I presently live on seven amazing wooded acres with pocket gardens everywhere. Dilemma for me? Acreage again so I can indulge my passion for gardening and the privacy I enjoy? Or move on in to an entirely different lifestyle? I struggle with the decision, although I already have blueprints drawn for a smaller abode. Now I just have to decide where to build it.

  6. Linda says

    Ah, the power of punctuation. :) For lack of an ‘s after “Ed”, I also thought Ed and your parents had passed away. Poor Ed. It was only after reading further that I deduced what you meant. I do like the dream house that you would have had.

    • says

      Hi Linda – I have given ED a few extra hugs this morning :-) he is alive and well. I realized my mistake right after I posted, but it was too late for the email feed since it goes out the minute I press Post. Hope you have a great weekend.

  7. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Yes, to everything you said. (Although, you must know by now that I think your house is so beautiful.)

    I ….. in my dreams of course….. would want a open (pretty much a glass house) in the middle of a few dozen acres, with just a narrow path leading to some sort of street……. I thought of buying a plot of 10 acres and paying someone to bulldoze out an acre in the middle……. but alone I just bought this tiny house and no I can not even keep the front windows open because of lack of privacy. I really would like to live in a glass house…… if I had nothing but woods around it.

  8. carol says

    We must be twins separated at birth because this is exactly my dream home! Especially the outdoor shower!

    • says

      Hi Carol – Did you know that I do have an identical twin sister and guess what her name is? It is Carol. She wants a house like this too! We are triplets :-)

  9. Connie says

    Many of your wants are the same as mine. :-) There must be something about the feeling of ‘restarting’ as empty nesters that conjures up white, light and airy. We’ve moved into a different home after 25 years in our former home (where we raised our 2 boys) and it does have lots of windows and white :-)

    About work for Ed…..I can’t remember what his profession is but you really outta check out ND. Our state is booming with all kinds of work due to the oil boom. Every industry is growing and if you can handle the long, cold winters, you’ll be fine ;-)

  10. Donnamae says

    Your dream home could be mine! We’ve officially become empty nesters…five days ago! And in that short time I’ve come to realize that our home is too large. But, I’ve also come to realize…that I really love our home….we’ve been here 31 years…and while it isn’t perfect…it is home! If I could fine a smaller version of this home…I’d move…but…not sure I really want to! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

  11. Ellen says

    I’d be perfectly happy if you’d just design my house. Or, I’d just take a twin of whatever yours turns out to be as long as I have gathering and sleeping space for my growing family of grandchildren. Never mind what’s in my head.

    On the other hand, don’t get yours too perfect—you need something to inspire all those great projects.

  12. says

    My husband and I are empty nesters as well. My husband is a college professor and recently got a job up north so, we are moving at the end of this month. Excited about the big adventure and sad that we’ll be moving away from my two kids and grandbaby.

    We just bought a house over the weekend and boy, do I have “a house in my head.”

    Our new home is in a rural area with a beautiful view of rolling hills, trees and farmland. It has an open kitchen/dining room/living room with a vaulted ceiling. (Great for lots of cooking and entertaining.) The entire house has a polished concrete floor (I have learned that this is in style now). I am turning this area into a bistro style eatery w/ wood and kilo stone tile flooring. The concrete feels cool to one’s feet but, it’s not that comfortable or appealing to us. Changing the paint colors as well, (neutral/earthy tones) and adding red accents.

    An added bonus: An old barn! I love this blessing! I have big plans to reclaim the old barn and hopefully, transform it into an art studio/office or kitchenette/store. I love to cook/bake/can fruit & veggies. There is plenty of room for a garden (another hobby of mine) so I’ll have plenty of fresh goodness to do all that. I’ll plant butterfly/herb/veggie gardens in various pleasing places. An added bonus: pecan trees/grape vines.

    I would love to have a brick/stone or rock patio-walkway that leads from our screened-in-porch (adding french doors to the front of porch) to the old barn, with a fire pit in the middle.

    It’s a nice house with good bones but, I have a vision with more aesthetics. It will take lots of time & money to accomplish my dream. Hopefully, within the next 5 years it will be complete to the house/barn in my head. We are just going to take one project at a time and see where God leads us.

  13. Betty Fitzgerald says

    Hi Diane,
    My husband lost his job but thankfully got another right away. The only thing was we had to move from Massachusetts to Oklahoma last year. What a big change but I got the house of my dreams and it’s almost exactly what you want. We have a huge view, not of water, of Tulsa. We have all the white walls, all the windows and no formal rooms. Our living/dining area is completely open to 12 windows and 2 doors leading out to a 40 foot long deck. I love this house – just wish the view was of the ocean!

    Anyway, I have a wall that soars up 2 stories and would love your help making it into a, what do you call it when it’s a focal point… ? It’s white, as are all the other walls and I’d love it to be a soft, rich color with more paintings. I have a collection of Georgia O’Keefe prints. I think I need more, letting them fill up the wall. I’m too chicken to do it on my own!

  14. Joyce says

    Hello, I just had to comment. Diane, the house in your head is absolutely beautiful. I thought I was bonkers because the house I envision is similar to what you are thinking.

    Bobbi, the house with and old barn! Oh my!! I can only imagine the acreage and the view of farmland. I so love the look, the feel and the sound of country living.

    No formal anything for me. Just wide open space, lots of sunlight, vibrant colors, porches and sunrooms. I love the sound of nature, spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the canopy of stars at night. Not forgetting the sound of wind through the trees, the song of song birds and the coolness of a fresh breeze.

    I will continue to dream. Thanks Diane for sharing your dream with us.

    • says

      Joyce – You could not have described my dream home any better then the you did….No formal anything for me. Just wide open space, lots of sunlight, vibrant colors, porches and sunrooms. I love the sound of nature, spectacular sunrises and sunsets and the canopy of stars at night. Not forgetting the sound of wind through the trees, the song of song birds and the coolness of a fresh breeze.

      I am working on having every bit of it.

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