For many years, I’ve dreamed of a nice big house and a few acres of land in which to create my dream vegetable garden. It’s almost a running joke in our house – my 6 year old daughter promises me that she’ll save up enough money to buy me 2 acres for my birthday. At 50p a day, I suspect it will take her a while!
In all honesty though, there’s little chance I will either achieve that dream or be capable of cultivating a garden of that size even if I had it. The physical state of me trying to get my 330 Sqm plot in order has been enough to deter me from dreaming big. If I’m realistic, the allotment plot is big enough for me to achieve what I want – I don’t need 2 acres to do that, nor would I want the pressure of trying to keep something of that size going. Even Monty Don has assistants for his 2-acre garden, despite it being a labour of love for both him and his wife!
So, while I’m satisfied with the allotment plot I have to satisfy my kitchen garden dream, I would still like a different style of home.
I bought my current home a little over ten years ago – a 3-storey townhouse. A few years later I completly renovated it from top to bottom – we have TV’s everywhere, including the bathroom(!), and until the kids came along we had a dedicated cinema room too. The traditional new build kitchen went and was replaced with black high gloss and stainless steel. It was basically a young couples dream home.
Fast-forward a few years, add some children and dogs into the mix, and the house is now the polar opposite of what would be ‘right’ for us. Sticky fingers and muddy paws mean the once beautiful kitchen constantly looks filthy, no matter how often you clean it. A change in lifestyle has rendered most of the TVs in the house redundant. The days of long hot baths are long gone, so the bathroom tv hasn’t been used in years.
To make the house workable for us now, would mean renovating it from top to bottom all over again. Quite frankly, it would be easier – and probably cheaper – to just move!
In an ideal world, I’d build my own home. I’ve yet to come across a house that ticks every box for me. With age in mind, I’d want something smaller now, but more spacious and airy. I’ve even pondered a bungalow style with exposed roof trusses to really give it a sense of space and light. Perhaps it comes with age, but today the idea of high gloss makes me shudder. Today I’d much prefer a cosy ‘farmhouse’ style kitchen and a home with exposed brickwork and timber.
I dislike huge, single pane windows – they make me feel very ‘exposed’, so plenty of smaller windows would be preferable. I love the charm of sash windows, and although they’re associated with older victorian style houses, you can actually buy double-glazed, UPVc versions now (Click Here for an example).
I love the rustic, cosy feeling log burning fireplaces give. The eco-warrior in me suggests the modern electric versions would actually be better for the environment though. On that note, a solar roof would be a must. With the likes of Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles, it could actually look good too. Unlike the hideous examples you usually see dotted around the country.
A cinema room would give way to a library, which would overlook a small ‘Japanese’ style garden. Lots of water features and tree ferns. Perhaps even with a little tea house in which to enjoy some green tea. While I’d no longer fill every room with a TV, we’d still need at least one. How else would I get my weekly ‘Gardeners World’ fix? Fortunately, some even double up as picture frames now!
Most importantly though, my dream home must still be within walking distance of my allotment. Living in a big city as I do, that will prove a challenge in itself! Perhaps I’ll have to renovate a bungalow instead.
Founder and Editor, ForkMojo. Organic Allotmenteer, Husband, Father & Programmer.