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31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}:
A Fall Drive By

by | Oct 9, 2010 | 31 Days of Autumn Bliss, Decorating Inspiration, drive bys, exteriors

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31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

I enjoy looking at beautiful houses. I always have. When I was a kid I imagined I’d probably live in some sort of fairytale castle someday (whatever, I was dreaming), today I live in a modest new house in an average neighborhood. I’m blessed to have a home, but there is nothing perfect about it.

I don’t have a beautiful fence, a stone walkway, perfect landscaping, an iron gate or the most charming lanterns around a fairytale front door. And while I think those things are wonderful, I’m really OK with not having them.

I’ve lived in lovely houses and amazing neighborhoods in my life and I can honestly tell you that living well within your means is a way better feeling than trying to live in a perfect house you cannot afford. So, I do not covet these houses at this point in my life, I just appreciate their beauty.

I really enjoy a Sunday Drive By, and when it is all over I go home and live my own dream life in my normal home in a normal neighborhood.

So in the effort to embrace Autumn, let’s enjoy this absolutely beautiful Fall day in Seattle!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

It was actually SO LOVELY this Fall day in late September that I actually did most of this tour as a walk by. My oldest and youngest came along with me on this journey. I had to laugh because I normally sneak around all quiet like so I can snap photos without being arrested. Have you ever tried to be all quiet like with a 10 year old boy bouncing down the sidewalk? Yeah. Challenges. But, walking along with two of my kids made the day even better. Louder, but better.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Of course, what am I complaining about, my red cow girl boots were kind of loud on sidewalks. Should have worn my sneakers, they would make it much easier for scaling those fences and slipping through bushes to get a closer look. I KID! I KID! Don’t worry, this won’t be dangerous at all.

I am very discreet when I am trespassing.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Well, isn’t this just a lovely little nest? Lest you think that is all there is to this house, heh heh, let’s keep walking…

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Yes, there is more! Another wing!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

It is more like a villa than a house. The most yummy shade of yellow ever… but wait, keep walking …

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Sigh. Hello, very massive villa.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

And then it just keeps going around the back, with a balcony that overlooks….{drum roll…}

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Ta da! The Seattle skyline. Too bad the villa has such an awful view.

Moving on to another neighborhood now! That villa was lovely but it is a little big. Let’s see what else we’ll find.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

This is not quite so fancy pants,  I love this little curved picket fence.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Now this is precious!! I adore this little gate and the sweet sign.

Do you name your house? I’ve always wanted to do that. I might call mine Spider Manor.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Oh! This one is kind of fancy. I wanted to go in so I could see more of the house, but the gate was locked. Darn. Don’t worry, even if it wasn’t locked I wouldn’t go in without ringing the bell. There could be big dogs behind a gate like that.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Now this is pretty cute! It is a hobbit like fairytale house.

That door kills me, love how it comes to a point!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Zooming in with my spy lens for a closer look.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

This porch is so pretty. I’ve always wanted one of those.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

This is a cute little entry and dormer. I really enjoy unique architecture.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

So many houses behind gates.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Look at those vines growing across the brick, they are starting to change colors!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Too bad they weren’t home when the delivery boy dropped that package off, I might have been able to sneak a peek inside when they opened the door.

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

This house is SO pretty! I love the shades of blue on the shingles. Can’t you just picture the cool attic room at the very top? That would make an amazing artist studio or scrapbooking room. Or MOM CAVE!!!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

The views up here in these neighborhoods are ridiculous! Can you imagine? Hello, cruise ship in the front yard.

We’ll resume our Sunday drive next Sunday! I’ve got some other charming places to show you, including a house that has very cool chess pieces as art in the front yard and a house my husband decided was his favorite house ever. Tomorrow though we are back with INSIDE posts!

Where do you go on Sunday drives in the Fall?

These houses are in Queen Anne and Magnolia in Seattle.

Do you enjoy going on Sunday drives as much as I do? If so, you might have fun pouring through Drive Bys from the past three years!
For the entire series links, click the 31 Days Button below!

31 Days of Autumn Bliss {Day 10}: <br>A Fall Drive By

Now scurry off and find the rest of the 31 Day girls here.


  1. emily

    Queen Anne Hill is my favorite place to view amazing houses {and Washington Park/Madison Park}. Its fun to dream, but I am so with you that is much more fun to live in a regular home you can afford than to try to have a perfect home that you cannot.

  2. debbie bailey

    I love looking at houses as much as you do. I would NOT want my view to be a city skyline. I guess some people would, though. These were all so lovely. I love the gothic arch door.

  3. Marie

    I love driving around neighborhoods especially when I lived near Seattle. There is so much divine architecture in the area.

    I can totally relate to “I’ve lived in lovely houses and amazing neighborhoods in my life and I can honestly tell you that living well within your means is a way better feeling than trying to live in a perfect house you cannot afford. So, I do not covet these houses at this point in my life, I just appreciate their beauty.” I thought you were writing about me! We live in a manufactured home a 1/2 mile from the ocean and I wouldn’t go back to my big house in the upper middle class neighborhood for anything.

    I’ve been really enjoying your 31 days of autumn – great job, Melissa!

  4. Marla

    We were just in the same neighborhoods last month on a visit to greater Seattle. On a weekday I think Magnolia employs more landscapers than Florida!LOL
    Another of our favs is Alki Point with its eclectic variety of homes.

    In the middle of an icy winter I am grateful NOT to be living on some of those hills!:)

  5. Sarah

    Oh man, I do love your drive-bys! The yellow villa is really interesting, because it doesn’t fit what I think of as “Seattle style.”. But then again, I’ve never been there! If I do visit one day, can I go on a walk-by with you? :)

    My favorite is the white hobbit house with the turret. I would live there in a heartbeat. And the house with the vine across the brick–I am worried? Will their brick crack? Do they have someone that checks on the branches every day? I really want to know the answers to these questions. LOL.

  6. Debbie

    I always love your drive by posts!

    From the time I was a teenager, I had the house of my dreams all designed and decorated in my head. I used to love to go to model homes and look around.

    After reading one of your drive by posts about two years ago, I started doing that too. I even have a few posts on Heart Choices of drive bys.

    Blessings and love,

  7. Pearl Maple

    Happy Fall to you, the family and your many fans.
    Fall marks and anniversary date of finding your inspiring blog always full of fun ideas. Really enjoyed the photo tour, so many interesting homes to admire.

  8. Sharon

    I really enjoyed this post!!! I LOVE to look at homes and architecture. Long ago, I used to quietly covet when driving by but now… I know my home in heaven will be far beyond the earthly splendor of such houses. I love homes with character. It is a good thing I don’t have cable because I would be GLUED to HGTV and their shows that tour old homes. Now I am off to see your other Sunday Drive Bys… what a great series! I wish I had discovered you sooner!

  9. laney

    …oh i so love the drive by posts!…these are just lovely…but my still all time favorite is the dragon fly cottage…and yes…i have a gate my daddy made…and our house on the hill has a name…we had a mama ‘possum move into the outside vents of our fireplace…and she presented us with three babies…which kept us awake at night for weeks…and our border collie barking at the fireplace inside for weeks…he knew there was something in there…he just could not get to it …so…our house is now possum hill farm…complete with name on the mailbox outside the gate…my husband closed off the vents on the outside…but we made a tiny red door that opens …with a tiny brass bell on a chain…so now our little two year old grandson can ring the bell and open the door…and when he does the possums have left him a tiny sign that reads “gone fishing”…can’t wait till he is older and can understand the possum story…i am sorry …i always seem to write a book…

  10. nanci

    I too love drive bys of dream homes and even when I was in high school I would drive by the beautiful mansions in the Ward Parkways and Mission Hills area of Kansas City as a “date” with my steady boyfriend. I would take pictures of them when I was only 16. Ha! Guess I got bit by the bug early in life. I always wanted to go inside them. Once my sister showed a pic of one of those homes to a boy she met in college and told him it was her home. My favorites are tudor style and interesting brick and stone homes. Thanks for the tour!

  11. se7en

    Oh this is so fun!!! I have always, always loved looking at other folks houses – thank-goodness for virtual tours and the internet!!! When I was a little kid I would explore the neighborhood like Harriet the Spy, only I didn’t care what the people were up to it was all about furniture placement and fabric colors, and doors and window frames and workspaces!!! Notebooks and notebooks full of house plans!!! Yea a bit nuts, but your post brought back some memories!!!

  12. Jess

    Love the drive by – there is nothing better than rolling through a neighborhood with my face practically smooched against the window while I squeal “Oooohhh!!!” Of course, it is best that I am not the one driving!

    I just love that dormer window. Sigh …

  13. Luxurious Life

    Lovely!! I posted today about my perfect fall Sunday. Sundays are the best for relaxing and enjoying!!

  14. Susan Cox

    I love your drive-bys I love beautiful homes too but like you I live in average but I’m very blessed.

  15. Stef

    Ahh. How I LOVE Seattle. There are some great neighborhoods over by the Frisbee fields by UW.I don’t know the street name but the fields will be on your right and you take a right, right after you pass the fields and keep driving back there. GREAT houses! Same thing over by the arboretum!

  16. Debbie

    Melissa! I so enjoyed your driveby, as I always do. Your words made me feel better too. I too have a smaller, what I like to call “jewel box cottage”, home of 15oo sq. foot with 4 growing children, a hubby and a dog all under one roof. Over the years we have renovated so much and although it would be wonderful for more space, I couldn’t agree more that right now I know we can afford this home. Your home is beautiful and I AM totally inspired ;)
    Thank you for the beautiful eye-candy photos!!!

  17. Arlene

    Lovely! Our son is doing a one year internship at a chuch in the Queen Anne area of Seattle, and I agree that the homes in this area are beautiful. I am so happy to hear that others enjoy Sunday drives, my husband and I have done this for over 20 years. Usually along the many rivers in the Portland area. I love the idea of giving our house a name. I shall ponder on this today. Have a blessed Sunday.

  18. Franki Parde

    Sigh! That is one of my very FAVORITE things to do…house look… “oh, look at that neat house”… When the kiddos were small and we did this they would say, “oh look at that neat swingset”….all about your perspective I guess…and they were looking from a much lower vantage point. Love the red boots! franki

  19. Pinky

    O*M*G* To look out my window and see CRUISE SHIPS in the harbor!!!!!!!!!!!! HEAVENLY! This was wonderful. I loved the pointed door and the vines growing on the brick house. The huge villa was beautiful but I can’t imagine actually living in a place like that. I like cozy:):) XO, Pinky

  20. Emily

    I love love love walking around and peeking at houses, and taking pictures. I love where I am now, and living in a home that is right for us today but it is still so fun to peek at other homes and dream about someday.

    Love these places, although I wouldn’t want to pay the heating bill for any of them :)

  21. Michelle

    I enjoyed my drive (walk) through the neighborhood.
    My favorite one is the hobbit house.

  22. Teri

    Gads, I love Seattle! Husband works for Trident Seafoods so I get to visit about every other year – meeting him when his ship gets back to Tacoma.

  23. Dena

    What a beautiful tour! I love them all, but that little green gate is just precious :)


  24. Kahani

    i love this house “””Sigh. Hello, very massive villa.”””
    how much it cost??

  25. Vicki K

    I still have the photos I took of that same buttery QA villa a couple decades ago – in the days of 35mm!

  26. Darcy

    I can’t believe all that gorgeousness is within walking distance. That’s a seriously beautiful part of the country.

    I really need to get my behind to Seattle. It’s on my list and we’ve never been.

  27. Diane

    I love your Sunday Drives! In the fall I love to drive to Volunteer Park in Seattle. I park my car there and walk through the neighborhood…I think it’s 15th Ave East?…It’s beautiful! You have to check it out!

  28. liz

    I love these drive-bys! Dreaming with beauty is a great escape, and I love it. Normally, I do this with library books, but now I will also drive over to your blogs on Sunday (and other days). Thanks!

  29. judy

    We live near the Missouri river. This time of year, the bluffs leading up to and on the other side of the river breath taking. Thousands and thousands of sugar maples are wardrobed in every shade of scarlet, gold and orange! This drive makes for a glorious way to spend a weekend afternoon.

  30. Connie

    I love going on Sunday drives and looking at beautiful and historical homes. I did that recently when the hubby and I visited La Jolla, CA this summer. I also walked the neighborhood and went back and took photos of all the homes. Thanks for taking me on your Sunday drive in a most beautiful city!

    I love going inside beautiful homes and will often stop at an Open House. I too have had very nice large homes and am getting ready to downsize and enjoy the simplicity of a smaller home.

    Loving this series and made mention of it on my blog. Blessings to you! Connie

  31. Michele

    I lived in Seattle for six months after college. I lived across from UW on NE 45th St. I loved all of the unique neighborhoods and beautiful homes. These photos remind me of the homes I used to see. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Elen

    Oh my goodness, Melissa, what great shots. I love the signed gate and the rounded picket fence. Ahem. It’s about those red cow girl boots. Want! Thanks for sharing your Sunday drive/walking tour with us.

  33. Kelly

    Melissa, my sister and her family live in Queen Anne, and I love driving around their neighborhood when I’m visiting. There is the cutest little house at the bottom of Warren – can’t remember the name of the cross street – it’s green with the most beautiful garden. There is a row of farmhouses on Warren, too – must be over 100 years old.

    I love that view from the first house. That little park – can’t remember the name (what is with me tonight?) – is the best place to see the quintessential Seattle view!

  34. Sandy at Teacup Lane

    I love to look at homes, especially homes that are taken care of. Even as a young girl I remember liking to look at the both the outside and inside of homes – loved visiting anyone’s home. I enjoyed your walking tour of Seattle. We visited Seattle for the first time on our way home from Alaska this summer. We agreed that there is a greener place than SE PA and it is Seattle. We thought we had trees and green here. HA…I couldn’t get over all the greenery hanging from the street/bridge overpasses. And the quaint neighborhoods in Seattle were just lovely. We spent the weekend with our niece and visited several neighborhoods. Just lovely.

  35. jessica

    Seattle looks so pretty. We’ve never been but would really like to visit. I love city views – to have city skyline and ocean – pretty :)
    I guess now that I think about it may major cities are near the ocean – hmmm, I need to get out of Indiana more regularly….

  36. Erica Cooper

    Hi Melissa.. thanks for sharing your drive-bys again.
    I just LOVE Seattle. My sister just moved from Magnolia (such charming village!) and I will SO miss not visiting her there and taking walks, enjoying the view, and shopping the charming shops in the village. Thanks for letting me take it all in with my memory… some of those homes were my favorites too!

  37. Fiona's Mosaic

    I’m something of a drive by addict. I knew it was rubbing off on the kids when we pulled up in front of a house and from the carseat came a tiny voice that said, “It needs love, and paint!”LOLOL

    And I DO have a soft spot in my heart for Queen Ann Hill. I spent some time there once in a beautiful old home, with a very kind lady.

    LOVELY walk by Melissa!!!

  38. teresa

    I dream, I wish I had such a lovely area to walk….down in our valley where we are during nut season…not a lot to look at…we are just happy if people mow their lawns.
    Up in the Hills we love the rolling green hills in the spring…always something to look forward to.
    Thanks for sharing… all the doors and landscaping.

  39. Irma

    We live on the Canadian side of the Niagara River .(Yes, the same river that sends thundering waters over the Niagara Falls just 20 miles down the road from us.) A road, Niagara Blvd. meanders alongside the River. On the river side, are beautiful, mature hardwood trees, alot of them maples , set against the dark blue waters. On the other side of the Blvd. are older,elegant, gracious homes ,with generous lawns/mature trees , interspersed with the odd charming farmhouse or a Normandy style newbuild. There’s even a mysterious, graceful , Art Nouveau?,brick home with boarded up windows,verde gris copper awnings,sunroom windows over looking a wild,overgrown garden.
    In the fall, the gold,orange and red leaves against the dark blue waters of the Niagara, are sumptious. Sir Winston Churchill, after taking a drive down the Blvd. in the fall said, ” It was the most beautiful Sunday drive ever.” It truly is autumn bliss!

  40. Kim-todays creative blog

    always love your drivebys. I stumbled it so others could enjoy it also!


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