I believe if you want a dream to come true, you have to believe in it, completely. So for years I have been cultivating this dream. Growing it, and nurturing so carefully that it has become like a parallel reality to the life I’m living now. After 10 years, I don’t talk about “the dream house” anymore; I talk about “our next home.” Our future life on a hundred acre farm is not something I am hoping for; it is something I am planning for.
And so, to get this blog started, I thought I would spend a few entries sharing my ideas, and inspiration for our farm. I have considered at length nearly every aspect of our future life in the country. The land, the home, the barn, and most importantly, the business that will make it all a reality.
The Land I grew up in Virginia, and have always dreamed of raising my family on a farm in rural Virginia. It has to be at least 100 acres to give us plenty of space for a truly sustainable farmstead, so I have to be flexible with the exact location. I want mountain views, and a good-size creek on the property. With self-generated power, organic garden, vacation cabins and historic barn, the land will beg guests to relax and stay a while.
The Home I used to think it would be a Victorian home, with bay windows and gingerbread trim on the porch. I guess I was attracted to the old-fashioned look of so many quaint small towns I’ve visited and driven through. Then one day I started thinking about what a home would look like if it had been on the land for 100+ years. What building materials would have been used, in rural Virginia in the late 1800’s? How would the home be laid out? And that got me thinking more along the lines of a traditional farmhouse
the farmhouse, exterior
It is actually quite difficult to find photographs of two-story farmhouses on the web. The exterior drawing that goes with the floorplan (top), shows a lot of the features I want to showcase: stone porch, a clearly differentiated “addition,” and simple landscaping. However, I want a full second story to give the two front bedrooms one large window each instead of two narrow dormers. The drawing on the bottom is from a website for Victorian floorplans and is closer to what I am looking for, though I still had to make a few alterations to get the larger dormers. So we will pull a little from one and a little from the other and end up with the perfect farmhouse.
We’ll do white horizontal siding on the “main” house, and vertical siding on the “addition.” We’ll use a stacked stone porch and chimneys, but we won’t use any railings. Similar to the porch on this house:
Thompson House in Bogart, Georgia
The floorplan is based on a four over four, the traditional floorplan for American farmhouses in the late 1800s. It features four main rooms downstairs, and four rooms upstairs. Our version includes what would be an “addition” to the original home (and might still be, if we find a home in good enough condition to renovate). The addition allows us to include an attached garage and to put the master suite on the main level, without taking away from the core elements of the home: Living, Cooking, Dining and Study. The study will be comfortable and inviting, the first room guests see upon entering the home. The formal dining room will be large enough to seat 8-12 people around a large farmhouse style table. The kitchen will be an authentic farmhouse kitchen and will include a built-in bench around a small, round table. The family room will have a large fireplace, a casual sectional, and a wall of glass panels that will open onto the huge screened porch. The master bedroom and bath will be comfortable and relaxing, and only as big as necessary.
farmhouse, first floor
Upstairs, the children’s rooms are spacious and bright. The guest room has an attached bathroom, and what the floorplan showed as a clearstory to the kitchen below, I’ve built out as a home office and homeschool room. Above the garage is a large rec room which would utilize daybeds or Murphy beds to increase the home’s overall guest accommodations.
farmhouse, second floor
Ultimately, I would like to have a full finished basement as well, but I don’t know if that is something we could afford to do right off. I like the idea of having a true cellar for food and wine storage; a game room with a pool table, bar and television for football watching; and an arts & crafts room for Momma.