One of my favorite things about reading is the images my mind conjures up in response to a book's descriptions . . . . . descriptions of homes, especially. The clearer and more vivid things are in my mind's eye, the better !!
The following passage in Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" is a new favorite, bringing to mind some of the images I've collected over the years (from Victoria and InStyle):
"There, nestled into a small clearing in the forest, was a tiny stone cottage, lavender gray in the light of the stars. It belonged here so absolutely that it seemed as if it must have grown from the rock, a natural formation. Honeysuckle climbed up one wall like a lattice, winding all the way up and over the thick wooden shingles. Late summer roses bloomed in a handkerchief-sized garden under the dark, deep-set windows. There was a little path of flat stones, amethyst in the night, that led up to the quaint arched wooden door . . . "
"The cottage room was something from a fairy tale. The floor was a crazy quilt of smooth, flat stones. The low ceiling had long exposed beams . . . The walls were warm wood in some places, stone mosaics in others. The beehive fireplace in the corner held the remains of a slow flickering fire."
"It was furnished with eclectic pieces, not one of them matching another, but harmonious just the same. One chair seemed vaguely medieval, while a low ottoman by the fire was more contemporary and the stocked bookshelf against the far window reminded me of movies set in Italy. Somehow each piece fit together with the others like a big three-dimensional puzzle."