February 26, 2015
I realized I haven’t posted an update on one of the main focuses of this blog, which is my own adventures in designing a brand new home, in a very long time… I actually don’t think I’ve ever posted an update on the subject, if I’m being honest. And, if you know me, you know I’m always honest. So update on!
When it comes to the type of house we’d like to build on what we’ve affectionately dubbed “The Land” (40 acres of rolling hills and trees just north of Stony Plain, Alberta), my husband and I have gone back and forth, up and down and in all other possible directions.
What started out as a Victorian-inspired, turreted two-storey morphed into a one-and-a-half storey cape cod/craftsman complete with matching garage apartment. Somewhere in between we talked of living in an RV parked on the land (I’m all for living small, but there’s a difference between a beautifully designed tiny home and year-round camping). Or doing the whole modular home thing (which comes with it’s own set of difficulties). We even went and looked at a log cabin that needed to be moved off an industrial piece of land with thoughts of renovating the crap out of the decrepit old thing. But yeah… umm… no…
And all the while one possibility came up again, and again, and again. What if we just built a garage apartment to start? (Also sometimes called a carriage or coach house.) Not having a garage on our property isn’t really an option when there inevitably will be skid steers and graders and hoes to store and maintain. You accept this fact when you’re married to a heavy-equipment operator. Just like you accept when you’re married to a writer there will be books. Lots and lots of books. Oh, and also no money.
So, unless we want to throw down some bedrolls amidst the oil stains, we’ll also need somewhere to lay our weary heads. As I already briefly mentioned, we’ve always said we’d like to have an apartment above the garage anyway for either a rental suite our a guest/grandparent suite. So, why not do a two birds, one stone type thing?
Now, the plan was to build the garage apartment first. Then live in it for awhile. Then build our real-life home. (The term I use instead of dream home. Because you might as well add “Barbie” to the start of that phrase.) But being the fiscally responsible people we are, we knew it likely was a one or the other type thing. Build the house – no garage apartment. Build the garage apartment – no house.
And so it went on like this… for a long time. Until we made the decision that if we ever want to live on the land we’d better you-know-what or get off the you-know-what. And thus we went with the [hopefully] less expensive option of the two, which is why I’m about to wrap up this blog post, fire up AutoCAD and put the finishing touches on the design I’ve been feverishly working on for the last few months.
Part workshop, part living quarters, part logical, part lovely, part garage, part apartment – all home.
How do you feel about a garage apartment? Would you ever live in one? What does your real-life home look like? (Not the one you already live in, but the one you envision at night to lull yourself to sleep. Or am I the only one who does that…?) Don’t forget to subscribe to read more about architecture as well as interior design, DIY projects, sustainability, home decor, crafts, gardening and healthy eating.