House envy and planning future home improvements is one of my guilty pleasures

I’m somebody who loves to have plans and daydreams on the go at all times. When things are a bit dull and boring in my everyday life then I tend to start daydreaming and plotting fun things for the future. Normally this would involve browsing through the holiday brochures and plotting nice places to travel over the coming year. I love to have at least one holiday booked at all times and I’m normally plotting the next one.

But to be honest, COVID put a stop to that activity for me. Throughout 2020 I kept planning and hoping for a foreign trip that never came – eventually, I had to agree with my husband that it just wasn’t a good idea. So during the darkest and dullest hours of the 2021 lockdown, I started looking for holidays again, but I’ve found that my enthusiasm has waned a bit, as I’m not sure we will even get away this year, or that I want to travel to a resort packed with people right now.

But I’ve replaced my holiday planning with another, equally pointless but fun daydreaming topic. In maybe 6-8 years we are hoping to retire, and move back down to the South coast where I was born. My soul is yearning for the sea, and as soon as he doesn’t have to work in London any more, my hubby is more than happy to indulge my need to go back and live there.

So instead of looking at holidays this year, I’ve found myself looking at houses for sale on Rightmove in the location I’d like to move to. I know I won’t buy any of the ones I’m looking at right now, but it’s giving me lots of ideas of what might be available for the money we should have to spend, and what sort of features I would love to find or create there that we don’t have in the current place.

Garden Room

One feature that pops up quite a lot in the houses I have looked at is a garden room. I’d really love to sit with a view over the garden in a light airy space. The garden doesn’t need to be huge – I just like a bit of greenery and to hear birdsong. I’ve seen lots of houses with beautiful conservatories, and my neighbours recently had a brick-built extension on the back of their house, with bifold doors out to a deck and an aluminium lantern roof in the ceiling which lets the light in beautifully.

I can honestly say I’m envious, but not so much that I want to trash the house we are in. Our living room is at the front of the house and it’s the kitchen that looks out over the garden, so it would take a lot of kerfuffle to achieve that effect, and I’m not sure I am prepared to go there. But in the next house, anything goes…

Double Glazing

Double glazing is a deal breaker for me. I know traditional windows can look very nice but I like to be warm, and when I’m not deliberately staring out at the garden through an open door then I want to feel cosy. So the new house will have to have double glazing as a minimum, and if it doesn’t that will be the first thing we will have to change.

Ensuite Bathroom

I also really like the idea of the master bedroom having an ensuite. I quite often get up to go to the loo in the night and having it close by would be a real asset. but I’d also like a big luxurious master bathroom with an enormous bath. Some of the houses I‘ve looked at have spectacular bathrooms and that would definitely be a draw for me.

Craft Room/Office/Man Cave/Reading room

When we retire we are definitely going to need a space for my papercrafting hobby and for his massive collection of books. We will probably have to convert some of the additional bedrooms to have a day use as well as being guest rooms. But I’ve also seen some lovely loft conversions and also houses with one or more outbuildings that would suit our purposes beautifully.

Do you find yourself planning for the future? You may call it making a vision board, or using the Law of Attraction or whatever, but I do find this kind of structured daydreaming to be very therapeutic and it certainly draws my attention away from the mundanity of life in lockdown. I have also found on many occasions that things I have daydreamed idly about, even not believing that they were possible, have eventually come true, so I’ll continue to keep dreaming that my dream perfect house exists within my budget (I’m aware some of the images I have used above are total pipe dreams) …

I’m also hoping I will be able to go back to planning holidays soon – in the meantime my dream retirement home is taking shape very nicely in my mind.

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