Thursday, June 13, 2013

Still Here!

I've not gone anywhere, just been really caught up in my recent move. I'm still hoping to somehow get my house, though now I've "broadened my horizons" into looking at Victorians, too. Check this space for some updates soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Beautiful Cottage

I found this house in Washington and think it's just precious! It's not too small, or too big, but I love the cottage style look and the beautiful yard around it. I would definitely be thrilled with something like this!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest

The weather has been lovely here, and I thought I would share a few images of my current hometown. After looking at them, I am sure it will be obvious why I am hoping to get my land/cottage near where I already live! I think my state is the most beautiful in the nation....



The river

Beautiful Street

Cherry trees

Flowers in bloom

Apple tree


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Decorative Half Timbering

One of the things I really like in cottage style is decorative half timbering. Sometimes referred to as a "Tudor style" exterior, at one time the visible timbers were actually  used to hold up the house. The frame was built, floors constructed, and then mats of woven wood (usually Hazel wood) were put into place and then covered with a plaster material to form the walls. Nowadays, however, the half timbering is almost always decorative only and no longer load bearing.
Classic Tudor-styled Half Timbering

I quite like the juxtaposition of white and brown, or white and black, one finds in this style. I am hoping when I build my cottage I will be able to include at least some of the half timbered style. Sometimes it can be used for the whole house, but usually there is a base floor of brick or stone and the half timbering is restricted to the second floor. I believe I will carry the brown and white colour scheme into the interior and go for a simple look; splashes of colour can be added with throws, artwork, plants, etc.

Please enjoy these few examples I found on the web. If anybody is experienced in building with this style, do let me know because I would like to learn more about it.

Decorative timbers on the second floor. Source: Unknown

An interesting colour choice for this Seattle mansion. Source: Unknown

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cheapest States to Live In

I found an interesting article about the most inexpensive states to live in in the US. Oddly enough, several of them were states I was already looking at: Indiana and Oklahoma made the list. I would love best of all to stay in Washington or Oregon, but it may not be possible with the cost of living. If I do somehow manage to get my cottage built, I want to be sure I can afford the yearly costs with money left over to buy food, prescriptions, etc. Here's the article, with a breakdown of costs and the rental vs. buying information.

Cheapest States In America

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cottage Concepts

What kind of house am I hoping for? Ideally I would like something not quite "tiny house" small, but much smaller than one of the large homes built today. I love the beautiful look of cross timbered Tudor cottages and little English homes. One idea I had was to have an open floorplan and then a little loft for sleeping in. Assuming I can stay in the Pacific Northwest, I won't need central air and could rely on a woodstove for heat. The thing I am really going for is small, sustainable, and functional as the idea is to allow me to be as self sufficient as possible on my limited income. Ideally I would have at least a few acres because I would like to try and grow as much of my own food as possible. I have a few good hours in me every day, and if I pace myself I think I could manage a garden.

Here are a few pics that demonstrate what I would consider my dream home. These were found on the web, so if you see your image on here and want it removed, please let me know and I will be happy to take it down.

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The Story Behind My English Cottage Dream

Welcome to the very first post of my new blog. Before I get to the point of my blog, I will share with you some of my backstory.

I grew up in the Southern US, but for some reason always had a bit of an obsession with England. It's always been my dream to own an English Cottage style home, and for a while when I was younger I thought I would. Unfortunately, around the age of 25 I came down with some chronic medical conditions that make it impossible for me to work. Not only did I end up with greatly reduced activity levels, I also had to say goodbye to my dream of owning my cottage home....or any home. Since that time I've moved to the Pacific Northwest and have rented in a couple of different places, but the high cost of renting has really been a burden on me and has left me with little to no savings. I worry about what will happen in the future, if the cost of renting goes too high or I became so debilitated I couldn't even take the occasional odd jobs I take to make ends meet.  Unfortunately, until recently I didn't see any way I would ever be able to have my own land or house. I became quite enamored of the "tiny house" movement, but even those seemed out of reach especially as I had no place to put them. Then, one day, I was talking with a friend who told me that one of his family members owned a bit of land they never used, and a crazy idea came to me: Why not just ASK for the land and/or house?

I realize this sounds completely crazy. Why would I expect a perfect stranger somewhere to give me something for nothing? Well, I don't....not really.  However, as I see it's about the only hope I have of making owning my own place a reality. Many people have acres they don't ever use. Some people inherit houses they have no intention of living in. Others have been blessed with the financial resources that make land ownership easy for them. I don't have any of those things, but what I do have is a burning desire to be self-sufficient and have a stable home that I can stay in into my elder years. Assuming I can get the land, my next goal would be to have help building a small, cottage-style home on it and to put in a garden where I could, as much as possible, grow my own food.

With my health issues, I won't ever have the life I planned on. That doesn't mean that I have to admit defeat or give up. I know there are good people out there for whom granting my wish would be easy. I'm not asking for money, but I am asking for a place I can call my own. If nothing else, this will be a social experiment to see what kind of response I get to my quest, as as far as I know nobody's ever done something like this before. Keep an eye on this blog for regular updates, images of what I have in mind, and my thoughts about homesteading and the "tiny house" movement.

Thank you for reading!