Simple, engaging the street, and fun. These are the goals I want to achieve through the architecture of my new home. When I think of a perfect home, often a gas station comes to mind. Or some other sort of utilitarian shack that can be dolled-up. These are my most direct architectural references.
Bill's Body Shop (above left, at 501 Chicago Street, Michigan City), started life in the 1920s or 1930s as a gas station. It is perfect. The main portion of the building is two similarly-sized boxes, one open and one closed. Even the closed box has an all-glass facade for its main elevation. This openness appeals to me more than the traditional house, with its greater privacy.
The house will also have an element of humor. I realize there is a tension between my stated goals of simple and fun and I think a balance can be achieved. While I don't think I will be using text (see lower image of a carnival trailer in Michigan City's Washington Park), I expect to use color and light.