by Madeline Laughs
When we pulled up in front of the house, which was surrounded by a copse of trees and not visible from the main road, I was enchanted. The house was a wooden pyramid and it was massive.
Through the front door the foyer led to a sunken sitting area, which was the middle of the triangle shape. Another small set of steps took you into a beautifully open kitchen and dining area in one corner. Another corner was a den and the third corner was a huge master suite. Curved staircases in three different parts of the main room led upstairs to the childrens quarters. Their bedrooms were all neatly situated in the top of the pyramid structure. Each room had one slanted wall and they were all decorated in the child’s taste. The oldest daughter was a fine painter, so her parents had allowed her to paint a large Holly Hobbie mural on one wall.
Each day that weekend I would wander around the house. Balconies in different areas overlooked some of the rooms downstairs. My friend told me this allowed the children to communicate with their parents without having to come all the way down the stairs. How ingenious!
The one question I asked over and over was “How did your parents come up with these ideas?” My friend told me that her mother designed the house by tearing pictures from magazines over the years. She made a scrapbook of every detail she wanted in her first house and voila! there it was. Her Barbie Dream House!
At the tender age of fourteen, I could never imagine having the kind of patience or the organization to dream up something so amazing as this house, but I knew that one day I would want something very similar.
As my husband and I purchased homes across the USA we got to know each other through each house. We have similar tastes in furniture, design and the general look and feel of a home. Believe it, or not, this is very important when you’re sharing a space with someone. If you like clean lines and he likes Barco Loungers, you’re in for some fights.
Over the years I have been enthralled by many houses. From castles to adobes, they all have some detail I have carried away with me in a scrapbook memory.
This year we will build a home together. My head is swimming with Hobbit houses and Frank Lloyd Wright designs, while my husband’s head has stayed open to any and all ideas. The one thing we both agree on is eco-friendly building. It has always been a dream for us to live on the land we purchased, so we want to be as in tune with the property we handpicked, as possible.
My mind has matured in ways only education and life experience can age you. As a young girl I could never imagine what I would someday want when it was my turn to build a house. Today my head is bursting with ideas and I can’t wait to get started. At fourteen, I could never imagine spending my life with the same person for all of my days. Today I look into the gentle eyes of my husband and my heart bursts with love and I can’t wait to get started on the rest of our lives together.
We have spent years flying from one tree to the next. We have gathered string and moss, leaves and tiny sticks, ribbons and bits of fabric.We have woven each found treasure into its place among the others. We pat them down and smooth them out to make sure they fit and it feels right.
We have spent years building our lives together and now we will build our first nest using all that we have gathered.
I can’t wait to pull into the driveway and be enchanted.
- THE Nest (sprig.co.za)