My Penchant for House Plans

A Blueprint for Blueprints

I am Lee Ann Lewis. Dreamer of dreams. Drawer of house plans.

Ever since I was a very little girl I have always been fascinated with house plans. My earliest introduction to them was in the pages of my mother's magazines like "Better Homes and Gardens” and "House Beautiful”. Every time I saw a house plan I would stop and study it intently. Where is the entry door? What's that little room behind the kitchen? Does it have a fireplace? How many bedrooms are there?

By age nine I was drawing plans of my own, but never just for the sake of seeing lines on paper. No, with each wall, each bathroom sink, and each staircase I drew, I was vividly imagining the family that lived there. In my houses every child had a space to call his own, there were lots of bookshelves, and of course I always provided a big front window because everybody knows that's the perfect spot for the Christmas tree.

I remember one time when my family went on vacation to Galveston, Texas; we took a guided tour through the Gresham home which is now known as Bishop's Palace. Wandering from room to room I was like a little sponge, soaking up the stories of their family life and committing every detail of the placement of butler's pantries and dumb waiters to memory. Without even waiting to get back home I grabbed a piece of hotel stationery and recreated the house with astounding accuracy. Even now I can recall the layout of Mrs. Gresham's third-floor bedroom and how it was specifically configured to capture the cross breezes from the Gulf and the bay.

My hobby and passion came so naturally to me that I was a bit surprised to discover that not everybody had a natural ability for drawing house plans like I did. I found that out when a friend came over to play one day and I suggested that we each design a house, so our residents could live next door to each other. You wouldn't believe the one she came up with! Nothing was logically laid out. There was no sense of scale or proportion. The kitchen was tinier than the bathtub, and her main living room was connected to the bedrooms by these long hallways that sort of shot out across empty space like bicycle spokes. I was so embarrassed for her – especially when she didn't even seem to notice or care how awful her drawing was.

I don't know why I never pursued architecture as a field of study. Actually, that's not true. I know exactly why I didn't pursue it – too much math. Nevertheless, I am still fascinated by house plans even today. Not surprisingly, I've designed what I consider to be the ultimate, decisive, be-all-end-all of house plans. Every square inch is purposed. Every detail is deliberate. In fact, it is so perfect that I've reached a point where I couldn't possibly make it any better. I'll probably never build it, which oddly enough is okay with me. After all, if I actually brought this thing to life, what would I have left to dream about?

And really, when you get right down to it, that sums up the whole essence of my enthrallment with house plans right there. While it's true that the logical way that rooms fit together within a prescribed space stimulates and satisfies the left side of my brain; it's the creative process of envisioning life within those walls that brings me the most joy.

Somebody once asked me where I got my penchant and ardor for house plans, and at first I said I didn't know. But then I ran across this verse in John 14: "In my father's house are many rooms. If it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” And that's when it hit me – God loves designing homes too! What's more, He delights in imagining me living in the home He has planned just for me! He said as much in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So I guess you could say in terms of my passion for drawing house plans, I inherited it from my Heavenly Father! How cool is that?

I am Lee Ann Lewis. Dreamer of dreams. Drawer of house plans. Child of God.

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