Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My Virtual Home, 2008

I have noticed that my tastes have changed since I started reading design blogs. Perhaps it is exposure to so many more beautiful pictures, so many great articles, so many great viewpoints. I wonder how my tastes will change this year? In order to capture this point in time, I've decided to build a virtual home at the beginning of every year, as a means of sorting through the many images on my computer, and in order to challenge myself and see if there is any kind of pattern to my inspiration.

In my dream house, you will walk through the front doors into a good sized entryway. I have not decided whether the stairs will be tucked to the side or prominent.


I like how this entry works, but the stairs configuration might make the entry too long. I assumed that this picture was taken from the vantage point of the front door, but perhaps the stairs are immediately in front of the front door (which I do not want in my dream home). Phillip Sides design.

On the right will be the dining room.

Dining Room:

Mary McDonald design.

I have a very large dining room table, so I think these rooms would suit me quite well. I wonder which window is in the front? Is the dining room table parallel to the front of the house or the side of the house? I suppose the architecture of the house will determine the orientation of the dining table. In my dream home, the dining table would be parallel to the front of the home, so that it could be exanded into the hall if I were having a lot of guests (believe it or not, my dining table is 118" with no leaves, and I have four leaves for it! I inherited this table, and it is a bit too large for my current dining room). Picture from Cote de France.

On the left of the front door will be the library, which will have an opening to the entry, and on another wall, an opening to a small vestibule in front of the master bedroom (which will be on the main floor). So, it will serve as a sort of sitting area for the master bedroom, but will also be used as an elegant home office.


This library is from Amy Howard's home. My library will have more books than this, and will have a woodburning fireplace.

The living room will be along the back of the house; you can see it straight ahead when you enter the house. I know the classic floorplan is to have living room on one side, dining room on the other, center hall, but I like to walk in a home and look through to a lovely room in the back, either the living room or family room.

Living Room:
This living room is too big for me, although I do need a space that can accomodate a grand piano. Maybe the piano will have to go somewhere else. I like more of an intimate sized living room, but the main requirement is that the living room is not cut off from the rest of the house. It must be connected to the another room, preferably the family room. In this picture, I love all of the big windows, and I like that the living room and family room are open to each other, and also share a big fireplace. I would put a little mini-bar area in that far alcove between the living room and the family room. Design by John Umberger.

The scale of this living room might be a bit better. One of my favorite living rooms, decor wise. These look like slipcovers to me. Design by Kerry Joyce.

Ideally, the family room will be off of the kitchen. But, if this family room is connected to the living room, it seems like the architecture might get a bit complicated. Perhaps the house will be L or U shaped, with the extensions out of the back: one for the master on the left, and on the other side of the house, the family room.

Family Room:

I don't seem to collect too many pictures of family rooms, although arguably it is one of the rooms that I use most in my own home. I like the idea of a stone floor in the kitchen and the family room. I wonder if this would be too cold? These pictures are from Charleston Home Magazine.


Ignore the pot rack for a moment (I do not like pot racks), and look at the functionality of this kitchen. Two subzeros, side by side (one fridge, one freezer). Double ovens and microwave, sink under a window (window needs to be a bit bigger), gas cooktop on a very large island. Simple cabinetry that goes all the way up to the ceiling. This is a great work set-up. A large walk-in pantry is off of the hall between the ovens and the fridge, and a large mudroom/back entry is at the end. I went to an open house at this home, and loved the kitchen most of all.

Here is the window that will go over my sink. When I saw this picture in this month's Traditional Home, I knew it was perfect.

Master bedroom:
I like a master bedroom with a large window, with two comfy chairs in front of the window, and a table in the middle. A fireplace would be nice, but is not a must. I have a fireplace now in my bedroom, and do not use it too much. This picture is from Century Furniture.

One of my all time favorite bedroom pictures. Interior design by Liz Williams. Windows on each side of the bed keep the room light and airy.

Master bathroom:
This is one of my all time favorite bathroom pictures, from Cote de Texas. It is not a huge master bath, but it is well laid out. It would take a certain kind of floor plan to have a bathroom in this configuration.

An even smaller bathroom, but beautiful details. Design by Grant Gibson.

So, that is my dream house, circa 1/1/08. Architecturally, I do not even know if it is possible (financially too)! Just reading through this post, I see a few architectural challenges. If I ever build a house, I pity the architect who takes this on! Although my choices were more inspired by architecture than design, I noticed that I picked more classic and traditional choices when forced to pick just one or two pictures.


  1. OH MY what fun! I might have to try this at home. From home. A virtual home. Yes, very fun indeed! I liked yours quite well and would be very happy there. That ENTRY was divine. As is that green dining room. All of it. Loved it all! Great idea.

    Happy First Day of 2008!


  2. What a great idea! I've also noticed that my taste has changed quite a bit since I started blogging. I love the entry, dark dining room, and library that you have chosen.

  3. I love this! what fun!! ok - I have an idea - of course!!! why not make the family room the room at the end of the house which you glimpse from the front hall? that way - you can put the living room on the other side of the library?

    Left: living room/library
    center hall - family room at end/breakfast room on right side of family room
    right: dining room/kitchen

    That bathroom you cited is from a house in Houston that was for sale that Holden and Dupuy from NOLA decorated. You have good taste!!

  4. Cote - GREAT idea! I have a feeling that square footage on this dream home is getting out of control, so creating a living/library combo would work well! The family room would need to be really fabulous if it is the first thing you see when you enter the house, but isn't that appropriate for a room that is used so frequently?

    So, where should the piano go? I have seen 'piano alcoves' at the top of the stairs. Or, the piano could go in the living room, and I could have a little office off the kitchen.

  5. Great, great fun! We should all do this - a total blast.

  6. Fabulous (can we move in too?!!) We want to sit in the library reading an intriguing book, sitting by the toasty fire! Here is to a fabulous, fun, prosperous, and healthy New Year!! **clink**

    kari & kijsa

  7. This is such an original post! Love it. You have picked wonderful pictures, all of which I love too! I wouldn't change a thing...and I agree with you on omitting the pot rack! My favorite is the living room (#2).

  8. I love the "virtual home" idea. How clever. I must start working on my own.

  9. This is such a fun post! My 2 favorites are of the family rooms. I love the crispness of the whites, tans, creams. Beautiful. You are so right, the design blog world is absolutely overflowing with ideas and inspirations. What a great way to conceptualize some of this. Great Post!

  10. I would love to see everyone's virtual homes! Not only would the posts be filled with pictures (which I love), but we could get a little glimpse into everyone's style.

  11. Yay! Great post, and so fun too. I love your virtual home!

  12. Great idea! What would the outside look like?

  13. I love the green dining room - green is one of my favourite colours for interiors, but grey is so perfectly chic! I agree about exposure refining taste - I have found the same thing since entering the world of blogging.

    So glad to have found yours!

  14. Oh, those are fun pictures! and what fun it would be to pick & choose rooms from each of our inspiration pics. I love the Traditional Home one, that is a favorite kitchen of mine too.

    Came over from Melissa's...Happy New Year to you!


  15. Hi - ok - you misunderstood me - the living room would be off to the left, then behind the living room or down from the living room would be the library. The dining room across from the livingroom with a central hall. The den would be straight ahead - at the end of the central hall, but it wouldn't be so "in your face" when you walk in because the entry would be large with a stairway and then past that - the den. OR am I describing MY dream home!!! hahah1!!!!! I love this post! great one, S.

  16. CDT - Thank you for clarifying! I really could not picture what I thought you were describing, but now that you have set me straight, I think your idea is a good one. Have you seen a house designed like this? I want to see your dream virtual home! In fact, anyone who is up to the challenge, let's see everyone's virtual home!

  17. Ok--I officially loved this post so much, that I created my own virtual home (in your honor, of course). Thanks for inspiring me to organize my favorite photos!

  18. I love your virtual home, BA! I would love to see some more virtual homes from my fellow bloggers.

  19. What a fun post! I LOVE your choices of rooms. Thanks for the inspiration. All the best in 2008!

  20. What a fabulous idea! I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. I am a huge sucker for in-person home tours and often share the photos on my blog, but I really love the idea of a tour like this where you can piece together things from many homes. What better way to do that than a virtual tour?

  21. Sarah, such a smart idea to organize and document your ideas this way. That McDonald dining room is one of my faves.

  22. I loved your virtual tour! What a great idea to do this each year. I especially loved your family room and the first kitchen photo. I tend to gravitate toward more casual, ethnic type spaces. I don't have a formal dining room, but if I did, it would definitely have a fireplace. I love a wonderful dinner in front of a fire. Gorgeous inspiration and a great way to kick off the new year!

  23. What a great idea! I loved the green dining room and the entrance hall. I will have to see about creating my own virtual home in an upcoming post...thanks for the idea!

  24. What a fun idea! I found you via The Inspired Room. The black or charcoal dining room and library are very striking. You could put radiant heat under those stone floors...since it's a dream home!

  25. Thank you for the comments, everyone!

    Radiant heat - GREAT idea Tamara! My sister has radiant heat on the sunporch of her house on the water, and it is the best thing in the winter.

  26. Followed Melissa's link and found this treasure. What a good idea this is; hope that lots of folks try it so that I can snoop about some more.

    Your taste is impeccable!

  27. This is such a fun post. Can I live in your virtual home ? LOL I love the green dining room!

  28. Hi I'm new, but I loved this post so much that I had to link to it in my link love post from yesterday. Thanks for sharing!

  29. I too followed Melissa's link.

    What a fun idea!


  30. Sigh. That is the most beautiful kitchen window I have ever seen. I wonder if you could tell us whether that issue was the December, January, or February Traditional Home magazine issue? I am trying to find the back issue that has it.

  31. Thought I would share this cool thing with everyone...this is a dream or wish right, My Virtual Home...well dreaming works...I was told by my daughter that it is "the secret"...sometime in the last year or two I made drawings (sketches) of my dream kitchen elevation and dream hallway elevation...(not on the same day)I often draw out my ideas for clients so I guess I was thinking of myself those days...then tucked them away into the magazines I had been looking through that day, then completely forgot about them...in June 2008 I found and purchased a condo I found over the internet, weeks later down sizing our apt and cleaning out the stuff we did not want to keep, I was ripping out pictures from my many many magazines... I found the 2 drawings...they matched the pictures of the condo on the internet...I had found my dream kitchen elevation and my dream hallway elevation...so the idea of making a file of rooms you want is a great idea...I think you should also print them out and post them up somewhere together...that I am told is "the secret" also...


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