Hidden Possibilities {Do You See It}

I love a good makeover story.

I see an old house and see all the potential beauty.

I dream of amazing renovations with beautiful wooden floors revealed or architectural secrets discovered that the house has been keeping for years.

So, imagine my delight when I came across this old, burned, stone house in the country in Illinois.

There was another house on this property that was probably being lived in.

It made me start thinking what I would do if this old burned down house was on my land.

I thought it would be incredible to clean the insides out and plant a beautiful flower garden.

I would want paths and a fountain.

I would want to hang white lights and entertain here.

This is where I would come to think, draw, have my coffee in the morning.

Did you ever dream about a secret garden when you were little?

Hidden spaces were always the most fun!

I think these people have a treasure on their property and they don’t even know it.

What would you do if this old stone house was on your land?

Share this Post


  1. amy

    love this, jeanne. i could see you doing it, too, and it would look beautiful and be such a sweet retreat in the middle of a day. what a surprise it would be for them to know someone else sees such beautiful potential in something that they own!=)

  2. Deborah Carlson

    I am still dreaming about a secret garden Jeanne 🙂
    This is so beautiful!
    There are treasures in hidden places 🙂

    Deborah xoxo

  3. mgriffin

    Your idea of a special get away garden is beautiful. I know it could be so lovely! Thanks for the inspiration:)

    1. jeanne Author

      I agree! This is right outside of Forreston, Illinois. I bet you have amazing places around your farm too.

  4. Paula Parrish

    Hello Jeanne,
    I love this old brick house. I wonder how old the home is? I am envisioning a brick courtyard with no roof plus spaces to gather together with family and friends surrounded by a beautiful garden.
    Smiles, Paula

  5. ludid

    seventeen years ago, my dad bought a old abandoned house and now it is his art studio.
    there is something so special about taking a place like this to make it one’s own.
    great post.

  6. Karen

    We have a 17 acre farmette in southern Wi. My husband wants to tear down an old hog house . It’s just the walls. We call it “the ruin”. He doesn’t think it’s safe but it would be the perfect secret garden. Inside the limestone walls I picture cafe tables ,comfy wicker setees, a fountain, tons of wildflowers ,soft music playing and of course me with my tea enjoying a slice of walnut crunch cake reading the best book ever. PERFECT!
    Thanks for letting me daydream along with you.


    1. jeanne Author

      Wouldn’t that be amazing if you could make it structurally sound and make some magic out of it? I always tell my mom that I would make their hog house my art studio:-)

  7. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    As long as it’s structurally sound, this space would make an incredible secret garden! I could see roses and wildflowers! You could even create a cool dining space for a cozy dinner party! It would also be a gorgeous backdrop for photos. Oh, so many ideas…..

  8. Champagne Maker

    Oh! Love your idea of making it an outdoor hideaway garden! A place to entertain! YES! I remember reading Under the Tuscan Sun and just almost crying when she started washing the walls and uncovering the frescos!!! DREAM LIFE… Ok, wake up, back to work… have a happy day!!

  9. Lisa Cook

    Your post inspired me to share my hidden garden created out of an old foundation left on the farmstead. It is not large, but the mystery of what the building held many years ago keeps me wondering when I look out over the deck with my cup of coffee in the morning! Come see the pics when you have time! Thanks for sharing your musings today.

  10. Anne Marie

    Hi Jeanne! A beautiful garden yes, with an area to host romantic dinners for friends and an intimate evening with Jason….it would truly be a place of respite!

    absolutely gorgeous…..I see it done already

    are you purchasing this piece of paradise/history??

  11. pam

    Clean out the trash, clear the ground level, install a makeshift pergola type set of beams to hang chinese lanterns from and lights.Have summer evening dances under the stars. Show movies on one of the walls with an old projector – like a private outdoor theatre for firends, etc. Ohhhh, and have shows/sales….unlimited possibilities…that common phrase “one mans trash” – really applies sometimes. How fabulous would that be?

  12. cathy

    We don’t have a lot of old structures like that here in Aus but when in europe there were so many that the mind was forever dreaming about the adventure of renovating…Thank you for sharing, a secret garden is in every little girls heart…Take care c xxxx

  13. Anita

    Just like you I would…. “clean the insides out and plant a beautiful flower garden.

    I would want paths and a fountain.

    I would want to hang white lights and entertain here.

    This is where I would come to think, draw, have my coffee in the morning”

    I can totally see it!!!

  14. Stephanie

    yes…dining alfresco…maybe even a hammock in the corner…a double wide for me and all my sweeties.

    love that you shared this. It’s such a blessed things to have beauty wash the busy-ness out of my eyes once in a while. 🙂

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.