Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Allure of The Small Stone House



Imagine this: a private house decorated in shades of red, teal, apricot, pale blue and dark cream, not a grand house but a cozy retreat.
A house built of solid thickly cut stone, covered in vines and surrounded by slightly wild gardens.  A house small enough that it can easily be cleaned in an hour and also always be ready for visitors.
A house with a kitchen as its main room: one with a colourful range, plate racks, a huge table for both festive dinners and simple cups of tea. A kitchen that also includes a sofa at one end for reading or even quick naps.

A house in an urban centre (making ownership of a vehicle optional), close to markets, walking trails, restaurants and the houses of friends.
A house filled with the accumulated treasures of family life, yet also free of clutter, just comfortable spots to visit, write, sleep and read.
This is my little daydream and this blog is an outlet for the ideas I have around the concept of The Small Stone House.
The house is more than a dwelling, it's a philosophy of everyday living and the bigger ideas which inform the choices of that everyday life.

This house actually does exist and these pictures are small snippets of it.  I own it and currently rent it as an office to Pie (my husband).  Pie doesn't actually ever want to convert it into a residence because he cannot imagine living somewhere he has toiled over his work: understandable.  So even if this doesn't end up being THE Small Stone House I will use it as a template for my imaginings.

I would like to discuss decorating, interior design, household tasks and what a house means to a family: how should it comfort? How should it perform?
I would also like to discuss the issue of feeding ourselves and others, what is more essential or life-giving than offering food?  How do we live both simply and well?
This blog is also an opportunity to explore the stage of life known as the empty nest.  We are not quite there (our youngest is in her second year of high school) but our older children have launched into the world.  How does downsizing affect the closeness of family life?  Can we live in a smaller home yet still make space for visits both short and long?

I hope you will join me to chat and ponder!
xoxDani

10 comments:

  1. I remember this house, I'm looking forward to seeing/reading your plans take shape and to the teasing out of thoughts and ideas and the chit chattery of the old gang

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    1. Tabs the chit chat is the best bit and I miss it!
      I'll be looking to take some pictures of stone houses in Scotland too.
      Thank you xx

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  2. Pour me a cuppa, point me to a comfy chair...I'm in! Thank you!

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    1. itztru thanks so much so happy to see you here. xx

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  3. Lovely - so love stone, the bluish hues that some out when I squint my eyes. I've been roasting pounds of cut-up tomatoes with olive oil, basil, pepper and salt - in the oven at 375 for an hour (for a big batch) then I leave them in there until the oven is cool. I am about to go down and whirl them into a sauce, serve over spaghettini with a bold bottle of red. Looking forward to seeing the creations from the large copper pot.

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    1. Oh my god, so delicious, Pie was just saying we should roast those tomatoes as we used to do, a huge bushel from the market, it would take two days! But freeze them and then you have those glorious things in the dead of winter. Thanks for reading and you'll notice I have to refer to Peter as Pie, his nickname at home and in the neighbourhood, I can't refer to him as MrBP on this blog, it's so stuffy and doesn't reflect the fact that he is a big kid. ;) Have a wonderful dinner tonight xx

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  4. Hope this will be the start of a new and inspiring adventure for you Dani. It's a wonderful idea and you are so gifted with colours and patterns that it will a beautiful stone house. It would be fun to see the exterior of this stone house and view the gardens that your husband looks out upon when he is at work.
    Look forward to your next instalment !

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    1. Hostess you'd like this house so much. It's too bad my hubs thinks he can't live there but perhaps I can change his mind one day. I plan to convert it to a residence anyway, I might rent it furnished through the University to visiting profs. I just can't see selling it because it's so darling!
      The gardens are wild, the wisteria is currently trying to grow into the windows, I like it but I have to do something about it! Thanks xx

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  5. Hi Dani, just got home from a v e r y long day of cleaning and moving our oldest and his girlfriend to a new apartment. Seeing your email and now reading this first blog post - what a delight! We are definitely in the empty nest stage, although our boys are not quite fully launched. No. 1 Son is taking the long way round, it seems! Still, those are interesting questions, about downsizing but still having room for the family. I have to say though, I am sorry to see The Mop Philosopher go - it's such a whimsical, lovely moniker for you. Looking forward to following along, have a lovely weekend. xx

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    1. Patricia we've done that apartment move for our son three times now and it's really so much work! We just moved our older daughter into graduate house at U of T on Saturday, a much easier move because her room there is furnished. Of course her brother lives in Toronto too so he was the one taking her around to the shops etc, she's right on campus downtown so her location is ideal.
      The house here gets quieter and quieter!
      Thank you Tricia for your support all these years and I hope you put your feet up today! xx

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