Posted by: Karen (Betty Bear) | May 23, 2012

Fantasy houses

Recently I linked on Facebook to the house that was the inspiration for the House at Pooh Corner. I would love to live there, wouldn’t you? I mean, nine and a half acres of garden, charming house, heated pool and if I could afford that I could obviously afford someone to maintain said gardens and pool and clean the bathrooms for me. And there is room for friends to come visit and stay for a while. Maybe I’d develop a charming British accent!

Then there is the private island in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. That links to the rental site because it has more pictures, but the place is for sale. I think it’s only 3.5 million or so. This place totally caters to my hermit-like tendencies. The house is nice, of course, but it’s the setting that really sells me. The mountains! The lake! A whole island to myself! I can see me out kayaking or sailing on sunny days, drinking a glass of wine on the deck or patio, or curling up in front of the fire on a cool night. (I want no comments on how is it the kids are getting to school or how I’m getting groceries when the lake is frozen over; this is fantasy land here!)

I do have an occasional fantasy of me in my smallish camper traveling the country. This fantasy tends to happen when I’m irritated with my kids or my husband or all of the above. I’d actually like to do this, but only for a matter of months, not as a lifestyle.

Clouds breaking up after a rainy morning in th...

Clouds breaking up after a rainy morning in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo taken from the Deep Gap overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina, with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But my real house fantasy, or at least my current one, goes like this: You have to understand that it is malleable, changeable, depending on what I’m thinking about. Picture an old farmhouse high in the North Carolina mountains, a falling-down, abandoned house in a beautiful setting. The renovations start. (imagine sounds of hammers and saws and other building noises) Then picture hardwood floors, windows with an astounding view, a great room with comfy furniture and a big stone fireplace, kitchen with granite counter tops and a really big pantry, a wide, deep front porch looking out over the mountains, a cozier back patio with a fireplace, a climb behind the house, gardens, and sometimes I add a room with one of those pools that has a current so while it is quite small you can swim like you’re swimming laps. The pool room is also a greenhouse with a lemon tree, herbs and flowers. There are convenient bookshelves, good lights for reading and always good food in the fridge. There is an organic farm next door where I can get foodstuffs. There is at least one, possibly two, guest rooms with their own balcony. Are you there yet?

But the things that I really want in this house are not found in most houses. This part of the fantasy goes like this: there is a spring of pure water a ways up the mountain from which I get the water for the house. Then, all the grey water goes through a filtration system to return clean water back to the stream bed. I haven’t figured out the sewage yet – would composting toilets be better than a septic or hooking into a sewage system? There are solar panels on the roof to gather energy from what sun does show up. There may even be some way to gather wind energy without chopping up the birds and bats. The reclaimed water joins a stream and flows into a pond for fish with a baby hydroelectric dam at the end. This is, you understand, all a pipe dream as I think the costs of creating such a house would be huge and I really have no idea how it would all work to create the needed energy. But how cool it would be to have a house and know that all the energy used was non-polluting!



  1. I love North Carolina, and your dream house sounds wonderful. I’ve often fantasized about one of those indoor lap pools with their own current. In my next life. Maybe. : )

    • I doubt it will ever happen, but it is fun to dream about!

  2. The dream home sounds wonderful. Can I stay in one of those guest rooms? And have you entered the Home and Garden green home thingie? I love the NC property, too. But I have to say, the whole time I was reading the description, all I kept thinking was, “It’s in Papyrus!” Blame Julie and her daughter.

    • You should hear my daughter rant on about Comic Sans. It makes her crazy! Of course you can come stay in the guest room! That’s why I will have them.

  3. This is one of the ways I entertain myself when I get bored of driving– imagining a dream house (the other is imagining what I’d do if I won the lottery). There’s a science fiction novel where really wealthy people have houses that have different rooms on different planets, and you go through some kind of portal thing between rooms so you don’t even know you’re travelling. So as long as we’re imagining, I want a house with one room ocean front in the South Pacific, one room high over New York City with a wall of windows, one room in Paris, one room in Wells, England, one room in Shanghai, one here in Montana, oh, and probably some other places, too.

    • That is a totally cool idea. Really totally cool. If the rooms have doors to the outside, and I suppose they could since this is fantasy, that would be amazing. England, Italy, Montana, Hawaii, . . .

  4. I want a small cottage in Wales, between the mountains and the sea, with a rose garden and (eventually) as swing set for grandchildren.

    Yes, that will do.

    • I like small, I love Wales (have you ever been?) I just want enough room for visitors!

  5. That’s a good fantasy, Karen. We have some of it — the spring above the house, wood stoves, garden, cows, chickens, supplemental solar panels — but we’re not off the grid and are still dependent on the grocery store for stuff like olive oil, coffee, wine, .. . .

    • Vicki – I was thinking of you when I wrote this. It’s not so much that I want to be totally off the grid as I want to do what I can to reduce my environmental impact. I’m not giving up olive oil, coffee and wine!

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