#4 Change is Hard

While this adventure is something that we took on willingly, our daughter didn’t ask for such a big project and change. And while kids are resilient, the truth is change is hard.  

To help our daughter with the transition, we asked for her input on the house plans. You can see her drawing of our future home below, submarine-style. Her room is at the top.

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While we’re not able to accommodate the overall shape, we LOVE her circle window idea.  We incorporated her detail at the entry of our home.  If you squint and open your imagination, you can see the porthole effect.  Okay, not really - but, we’re thrilled to have her creativity and buy-in as we move forward.

 
Excavation begins. The culvert is delivered and ready to be placed underground.

Excavation begins. The culvert is delivered and ready to be placed underground.

 

Seeing the progress and getting a chance to walk around the construction site seems to be helping our daughter develop a context for everything. And while she probably wishes it would all stay a giant playground of dirt piles, she is showing some interest and even excitement about our family project.  Whew!  

 
Fun times on the rock pile.

Fun times on the rock pile.

 

#3 Stakes in the Ground

 
Our property is measured and marked for excavation. This is going to happen!

Our property is measured and marked for excavation. This is going to happen!

 

While our property is being measured and marked, we are ordering doors and windows. Window design and selection was considered when drawing up the house plan. More about those decisions later - for now, we hit pause before ordering the exterior doors.  

We knew we wanted a black front door. We have a black front door at our current home and we really love the contrast and boldness of the choice. However, that decision prompted some follow-up questions.  Should the black continue on all other doors? How will it look on the interior?  How will black doors relate to the other finishes?  

We enlisted the talents of my design collaborator, Lindsey, to illustrate the options. There are two sliding doors planned for our home. The most prominent of the two is the door between the dining room and the screened-in porch. Lindsey created these images that offer a three dimensional representation of our future dining room. One image shows a white door while the other shows a black door. 

dining room with a BLACK door

 
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dining room with a WHITE door

 
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While many of the other details are still in development (flooring, and finishes, and furniture - Oh my!),  these images are all the reassurance we need that indeed, we’ll love the black patio door!  


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Even after countless hours of careful planning, there are additional project costs that we did not account for in the original estimates.

We decided to upgrade the patio door in order to get a wider frame and black finish. This upgraded door will add $1000 to the original budget.


#2 Architectural Style

After settling on a location, we started looking for inspiration for both the design and style of our future home. We pulled inspiration from our community, the site itself, and from our own experiences. We looked at roof lines, doors, windows, shutters, stone, siding, and so much more! We often found ourselves interested in simple lines and neutral colors. This love for simplicity as well as the country location lead us to this farmhouse style. Below is a curated collection of images to inspire the selection of exterior colors and materials. 

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1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |   6

We started with crisp white windows and siding. We added black in the roof, door, and shutters for high contrast. The roof will be a combination of metal and asphalt shingles. To warm things up a bit, brown will be used for the garage doors, flower boxes, and pillars on the front porch. Stone with just the right texture will serve as the focal point around the entrance to our home. 

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The moods these images evoke for us are comfort and simplicity. For us, home is a place for connection. It is the place that we escape to at the end of our work days and a place where we embrace the love and laughter of our friends and family. We want our home to encourage informality and authenticity. We want visitors to feel welcome and at-home.     

#1 Location. Location. Location.

The selection of our future home location came to us like most things do in a marriage - by compromise.     

country boy + suburb girl = space and convenience

 
Our site before construction begins

Our site before construction begins

 

Luckily, we both agree that the rolling hills out the back window is a view we can live with. So, we have country farmland views, but we are also five minutes from downtown and ten minutes from Brent's flooring store but the best part is that we are steps away from the farm where Brent’s horse lives. 

 
Honey the horse, Brent, and our daughter at age 2

Honey the horse, Brent, and our daughter at age 2

 

Brent has always had a fascination with horses. When he was a kid, he left a family reunion to go out in a pasture and get on a big Percheron draft horse. He climbed up and fell asleep while the horse grazed. Later in life, he saved enough money to buy his first car but passed for an opportunity to buy his first horse instead. Riding horses gives him a brief, but necessary, pause to life. What he means by that is that it forces him to be in the moment. When riding, there is no time to let your mind wander or worry. Focus on the present. It helps him to relax and clear his mind. He's excited we'll be able to see this horse in the pastures out the back windows and porch and to share his passion with the people he loves the most. 


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One of our first challenges we faced is a restriction that we must share a driveway with the home next door. There are many reasons why we wanted this restriction removed but the most important was that we wanted to maximize parking for our guests. You see, we will live on a country road with a speed limit of 45. Having turns in the driveway would have limited this greatly. In pursuing this change, we got to know our new neighbors and they’re lovely. We look forward to living next to them soon! 

 
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Our request was finally approved! We designed many different options for our driveway and finally settled on this one. The driveway allows for convenient parking right in front of the house. This parking will also serve as a place to turn around so we do not need to back out onto the country road.