“Basic” New Build

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In reality, not all homes are historic farmhouses or custom build. My friend and client Lauren, an architect herself with discriminating taste, found herself ready to plan a home for her large family with a basic “surburban type” builder.  Not her dream situation but Lauren is smart enough to realize the budget and the square footage were enough to “do something with” for her young family so she approached it with a grateful heart, with THE most amazing attitude, and resourceful and creative ideas. Because after all, it’s a new house y’all and she realized that…but when you have been educated and work in custom and you know what all is out there it’s a little hard not to want to incorporate all of that custom “top of the line” knowledge. But as I mentioned these type of basic builders are NOT custom, they typically do not allow changes.  The granite choice, even the paint colors are SET IN STONE….very limited! I am not even going to publish the builders name because they do not want to offer all of these choices, that is not what they do..they are not custom build.

BUT Lauren is the epitome of lovely and kind and she had a few inside connections and was able to talk them into a few small changes. Like polishing the concrete floors downstairs! Which at first I was like “ummm I’m not sure NO stain???” But Lauren had worked with a builder that had done this and done this well and boy was she right…it looks amazing! Score one for “not your average basic build!”

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She also made some good basic choices like choosing to do all white walls. Add moldings and case out doors. AND Being a design guru she knows LIGHT IS EVERYTHING and choosing to do SW Alabaster walls AND trim provides a true backdrop for all of the color she knew she would be adding with rugs and textiles and her FIVE gorgeous children! And black doors…black or painted doors always elevate and this small thing (she knows the painters thought she was crazy) instantly added class.  And that’s just Lauren…she homeschools five kids and cooks constantly and yet she is walking class…in the most unsnotty, Godly way.  Her humble self deprecating humor keeps you from disliking her even know she is amazing and gorgeous and thin to boot! (sorry Lauren just had to say it you are thebomb.com)

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I love this photo of the girls in the schoolroom.  The light is a knock off of the classic 3 arm french light by Serge Mouille. Sofa from Craigslist, IKEA billly bookcases line the walls with doors.

And the kitchen! No marble countertops and its still gorgeous! I can’t wait to add some color and fabric to windows!

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So most of the changes and arm twisting and cookie deliveries had to do with the kitchen of course!  Lauren was planning this on a budget…a subzero and professional range are not exactly budget but she scoured craigslist and the internet and found BOTH online…hours away but she got them and stored in her old garage for MONTHS.  The day those were installed I am sure she heard angels singing.  I love it when I see someone who actually cooks ALL DAY LONG and has a heart for hospitality gets these pricey items…she will truly use them! Fitting in to their basic builder cabinets wasn’t easy but patience, kindness and maybe cookies and brownies go a long way.  You def catch more flies with sugar than vinegar as shown here!

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Love the island.  Not sure how she got them to do the X but its awesome! Lights from Joss & Main, stools from amazon.  We will def being showing more of the kitchen down the road! (Once the children get off the island;) Notice the counter…again they aren’t marble but they look fine they really do the white subway and cabinets and hardware and appliances really set the tone..I can’t wait to show you more on her hardware etc. Notice how she used cup pulls on doors!

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Her wall of the back covers of “Cook’s Illustrated” look so good in these ribba frames..you can also really appreciate the trim work and alabaster paint and polished floors in these photos.  Lauren has a great tutorial she found on hanging ribba frames, shown here.

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And those rugs…she scours ebay sources like Mystical Rugs and Gallery99! See how she taped out even the rug…blue tape is her friend y’all…it keeps us from making costly sizing mistakes!

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We also didn’t love the curve of the sofa but its a huge sofa and fits so many people which she DOES love….so the fig tree from TALL PLANTS and the gorgeous lamps (TJMaxx yall) really distract from that curve.

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That fig is BIG, like 8-9 feet but the room needed it and candle the size.  They are so nice at Tall Plants and I am always amazed at the selection of topiaries, ferns and of course fiddle leaf figs..the day I was there last, they had two matching mega ones headed for the River Oaks Country Club. And they deliver around Houston.

These chairs will be slipcovered. Love that molding around fireplace.  I can’t wait to see what kind of art she creates for over mantle.  It will be abstract and have color.

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I love how she has taped out her plans to add more trim for a faux paneled wall look to dress up the white walls in a subtle way. The ottoman is from craigslist as is sofa…Lauren’s sister found it on Austin Craigslist..it is a restoration hardware piece that has been recovered custom and then listed on craigslist….Lauren should do a Craigslist commercial! It’s a Kelly Wearstler fabric…ok now we don’t like you Lauren!;;

Lauren’s style is def NEW TRADITIONAL with classic rugs and colors like blues mixed with a bit of her own modern art and chic lighting. She is the master at sourcing good sconces.

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I adore her master bath…the sconces are from Savoy House, Monroe Collection… and art from ebay! Absolute black granite was the only choice but wise choices on faucets and lights and backsplash saved the day.

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The kids look a little over the process but I love watching Lauren enjoy each step and get in no hurry making things perfect…she knows to get the bones right and move slowly doing things right the first time….so opposite my “lipstick on a pig” move fast tendencies…i love how my clients sharpen and teach me!

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Thank you Lauren and family for letting me share your home…Remember y’all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It takes time to build a thoughtful and collected home.  And that is okay. More than okay..it’s a blessing.

Wisconsin Parade Home is open

The My Next Home parade home is open in Eau Claire, Wisconsin! For times and ticket info visit here.

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I arrived last Wed and helped style and prep things…meaning make multiple Target and TJ Maxx and Joann runs..and spray paint and rub n’buff etc. A lot of work but yes a lot of fun too!…12-14 hr days..the crews and cleaning people worked longer! But it is all worth it! Saturday at ten am we opened our doors and it was such fun to see people’s warm reactions to the farmhouse in town!

paradeprepcollageElements of shiplap, real wood floors from Georgia, painted doors, transoms, salvage wood on kitchen shelves, living room beam and island, all worked together to woo visitors.  Amazing a house with mostly white walls could feel so warm!  Has to be the warm tone floors and black painted windows (less pricey than steel but the same modern farmhouse look)..and no doubt the drapes, monograms and linen slips I brought North!;; (ikea jennylund slip by LS slipcovers...available soon here to ship nationwide!)

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One thing I love about this house is that so much is custom or handmade but so much is also big box and easily accessible like the PB rug and sofa in the room above. Sure the chairs and windmill on wall were rare thrift finds from Craigslist for bargains and nothing makes a room special more than a piece of old wood or antique but the basic good sofa and blinds from select blinds are no brainers/easy orders!  Proves not every single thing has to be custom (100 year old barn beams retrofitted for an island or in your ceiling) sometimes a basic sisal rug or white bracket from lowes are okay and fitting.  The power is in the mix!

Case in point, Ballard pendants over marble custom island!

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And again below, the monogrammed slips are from Ikea and the table from Pottery Barn.  The team at My Next Home could have made a craftsmen table but they had enough to do on the actual house so we purchased the table which is okay in my “its all in the mix” thinking because the room has custom drapes and an antique gray blue sideboard to give interest and make unique!

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Allison, the builder’s wife and homeowner, redid these chairs below…those of you that follow me on instagram you saw the before and during Light is from Ballard and coffeetable from TJMaxx.  Down to Earth Garden Center provided the plants…so gorgeous.

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Close up of the wood on the island..i love how she placed the outlets!

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The warmth of the stain on the new Southern long leaf pine floors and wood of beam and island really keep the white walls from being cold.  Essential in Wisconsin..they need cozy y’all!

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And unlike on HGTV and many high end show homes, NOT everything was even finished, but despite that it looks amazing, like home!  Seriously it looked and felt about were about to uncork some wine and have dinner! Mission accomplished!

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A look into that pantry…it feels like a drugstore or candy store, love Allison’svision for exactly how she wanted the shelving.  Also the counters for laundry, kitchen and butlers are all different!

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There is also a vintage light in the pantry. The house is a mixture of vintage, antique and reproduction lights that all work together to give a cozy, collected feel.

All of the shiplap, beadboard and most of the sheetrock in the house is SW Pearly White.

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Looking from sink into the laundry.

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I love this view from back door to master..again TRANSOMS!  LIGHTS! PEARLY WHITE PAINT!

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In the master we used shiplap on the ceiling not walls. Miss Mustard Seed paint in schloss on the bed and dresser! Wood windows painted black, looks like steel doors but not!  And of course some monogramming on the bed! And schumacher hollyhock…i love this bedding mix…PB and other big box bedding mixed with jsut a few custom pillows!

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Behind the bed, we were inspired to try the Southern Living idea house’s gingham wall…we didn’t use quite as much glaze in one of the stripes..that is the key if you try it at home and want that transparent buffalo check look…glaze yall!

Main features of this house that I love and can be used in any new home to make it feel old: large baseboards, old door knobs and glass or black, glass transoms over doors, long leaf pine floors, shiplap and schoolhouse lights. And lighting with charm outside too!

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Barn light Electric lights on exterior. Just showing a few snippets from the upstairs office and basement as well.  There are two rooms upstairs and a bath and two bedrooms and media area in basement as well as other bath.  The entire home is approx 3800 sq/feet…a cottage by show home standards;

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 The laundry is not huge but very functional with cubbies and the old sink! and lots of beadboard and hooks …liked it evolved as an old home would!

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This house has a mix of old lights and new lights, none really match but it doesn’t matter and plays into the vintage feel.  Some rooms have shiplap on walls and sheetrock on ceilings, other rooms the reverse! I love the black doors too!  This view from the back hall into master is one of my faves!  The ceilings are NOT super tall but the transoms play into that feel.

Shiplap on the kitchen hood…master closet is the lovely color SW French Gray…Allison has lived in an old house with no closets so long..this closet is going to blow her socks off once she moves in..so nice!

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The basement has barn doors fashioned from barn wood from the family farm and a media room and more.  And a view above coming up from the basement into main hall!

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The exterior is white vinyl siding, again practical.  With metal windows that are black on outside and painted wood on inside..not steel!  The homewoners asso would not approve an all metal roof so they just did metal for accents.  The haint blue porch ceiling (SW Watery) and the schoolhouse electric lights make the house sing in my opinion..my fave…the chelsea gray carriage looking doors for garage!  Good job My NextHome and Allison Mills! This Texas girl had a great time with “you guys” and it was almost hard to leave especially the cool breeze. But I was glad to get back to this fella and his brother!

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Cutest driver ever!

Remember you can still visit the house today and tomorrow until 5! Visit here for more info on tickets!

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