It's that time again - welcome to the ninth edition of our favorite local real estate series, or as I lovingly nicknamed it years ago on my old blog, 'house in the hood. It may be no shocker to you that I am obsessed with real estate and will literally brake in the middle of the street to scroll a new listing that I see pop up. It's been awhile, so if you need a refresher on HITH, feel free to catch up here.
Today's installment is a new, modern build that, at first sight, feels modern transitional but once inside kept leaning more modern farmhouse, at least IMHO. Let's see if you agree.
This home was built last year in 2022, on just over 7,000 square feet, with the house itself clocking in at 5,331 square feet, pretty big considering its location. You'll note from the photo above, a bit of added detail around the windows which I like but I'd love to see some thinking outside the white painted brick with dark trim-window combo that tends to time stamp this to the 2020s pretty quickly.
Personally, I don't like glass front doors for privacy and safety reasons, even if they do provide good natural lighting. This one definitely screams farmhouse style. You can disagree but I would immediately replace the front door if I was buying this house for a cool $2.749 million. That's just my personal preference.
Notice the electrical outlets in the baseboards rather than the sheetrock, and I do like that they're more hidden, blending into the trim and don't interrupt wall placement of larger frames or artwork. #alwaysthinkingaheadtothedecor
How do y'all feel about staircases right next to the front door? I love the natural light that bathes this entry but my brain fast forwards to the owner walking down early to get their day started early in their pajamas or what not. Things that make you go hmmmmm....
I also like the paneling detail in this office and deep moody gray, but I always wonder if builders are asking for feedback on their built-ins after the fact. Many of our clients that have these type of built-ins comment on the lack of cord holes through the top desk surface to plug everything in, and a desk area that isn't properly sized for true stay-at-home work, potentially with multiple big screens. This is incredibly important especially now as we all know with post-pandemic working habits so definitely pay attention to this if you're considering a new home build or remodel.
If this is a problem, most have to go for a freestanding desk as shown above, but now the floating cords become an issue. If they have floor plugs, you have to think about area rugs and how to access that plug as well. It's all about domino decisions when you're building a new home. Make sure you have a designer on your side who tends to see these issues long before others and can help head future trouble off at the pass.
I personally wish that the shelving went up to the ceiling, because anyone with this type of shelving knows that top surface becomes a dust collection very quickly. If you have the space, build it up!
And I would have opted for pockets doors into this room, as swing-in doors take up valuable real estate space for seating across from the desk. If there's any space that is worth re-evaluating for future builds, the home office is definitely that space.
The main living room looks inviting and you know I love me some symmetry, but what quickly jumps out at me is how far they brought the fireplace into the room. Its placement dictates the furniture configuration, so you're really locked into one setup, and potentially a very high TV above the fireplace. It's all a domino decision when it comes to designing spaces...that's why I point these things out to clients when we're reviewing plans...you've got to plan ahead and consider many options and the after effects of those decisions.
See what I mean about how you lose a lot of depth with the fireplace, everything is pushed over. And you're also locked into a very set TV size if you will, in fact, mount it above the fireplace.
This dining area is convenient to both kitchen and living. Anyone else feeling farmhouse vibes from the floors...they strike me as a bit rustic for the modern style of the home overall, more in knots than color.
I do like the direct patio access doors here so you can host a bigger dinner pretty easily!
That wall of back cabinets creates a big barrier between kitchen and the living room. While I love the amount of storage, I wonder if its a good trade off for absolutely no visual access from the kitchen to the living room. For families with young kids, pay attention to visual access in these main areas in case that's important to you if you're shopping for a new home! Do you want to see what your kids are doing or watching while you're making dinner? Just saying.
From this view, you see a back den of some sort on the left. My first thought when I saw that area was to have treated at least some of that area as the storage overflow or a large butlers pantry, and possibly opening up kitchen to living and not have a wall separating the kitchen and living room.
Finish wise, I also would have appreciated more of a contrast between the flooring and the island color. Is it just me or do the gray cabinets feel a bit lifeless - color was a missed opportunity, and I do love neutrals, but this just didn't hit the right mark for me personally but it is pretty.
Be aware that Zellige tile in light, neutral colors, like this backsplash, may look a bit off because the handmade nature of these tiles means that coloring will vary from tile to tile. I appreciate that more in true color, whereas neutral tones can look like certain tiles could have been ordered incorrectly by one shade. Do the squares remind anyone else of Post-its stuck up on the wall?
And while it does cut costs to stop backsplashes to the underside of the upper cabinets, just know for more of a showstopper effect, consider taking the tile all the way up the wall. In this case, the cabinets again don't go to the ceiling so I see why they cut it where they did. #dominodecision
I really wonder if anyone is actually using these built-in desk areas in kitchens. A lot of folks around here have dogs, so this corner could easily have a built-in crate area or a feeding station, with storage for big dog food bags and other pet essentials.
A view into the main living space...this helps put everything I've said into perspective I think or at least I hope.
Maybe it's just me - would you want all of this storage, or visual access to the living room? Inquiring minds want to know. It's all about personal preference for sure.
Here's a look at the full guest suite right off the kitchen, that has been styled as a den of sorts. This easily could have been a walk in pantry to offset the wall of cabinets.
I can also see the convenience of a full suite downstairs for aging parents, or an additional office if both partners work from home. A bedroom that literally opens up to the kitchen may be a bit loud for the residents of that room, but I appreciate the thought and the flexibility of the space.
Here's a look back toward the kitchen and into the bathroom!
Nickel or brass would have been a softer visual choice. The black hardware in here feels just a bit too harsh.
One of my biggest pet peeves is window placement for bathroom windows. It's definitely something to keep in mind from the first stages of planning a build or remodel. After all, privacy is the first thing you think about your first night in a new house, and something already installed is always a great finishing touch. Two of our long term construction projects just finished and we did just that to give our clients peace of mind and one less thing to think about on moving day.
Favorite room of the house so far! The paneling elevates this powder bath, and the floating stone vanity is a special touch. Simple but chic. I love it!
Now we go upstairs to see the bedrooms!
Good size for the primary bedroom - wouldn't expect anything less in Texas!
I love the luxurious size of this primary bathroom! The modern floors are a bit busy, but I have to say I don't mind it. Everything else is toned down enough for the floors to be the statement.
You already know how I feel about the exposed bathtub window - sets me free. I wish they could have done a little bit higher of a window for privacy, since it looks like this bathroom is tucked in the back of the house.
Door placement for the shower is interesting too - I'm seeing is a traffic jam between the vanity and walking in and out of the closet, when the door in and out of the shower could easily have been facing the bathtub.
This photo shows just how tight it can be if one person is sitting at the vanity getting ready, and the other is getting out of the shower. May seem small, but if you're using this bathroom multiple times a day, stopgaps like this will get old really fast.
The closet is nice and big, but I have to think the particular woman that would be buying this house would walk in and say, "This is my closet, where's yours honey?" Ha! One might also consider pull down rods instead of short shelves along the top to accommodate for long term or out of season hanging clothing.
Nice big game room! Maybe this is the main tv watching space for the home instead of a tv downstairs.
Definitely more an open plan that has a circulation path to a bedroom at the end, so sound could definitely travel if this is a main hang out space.
Big secondary bedrooms as well. White, simple, and awaiting the new owners personal touches.
Much better fixtures in here! The cabinets seem to be the same paint color as the downstairs ensuite bathroom, and it looks much better with these nickel faucets and cabinet hardware, don't you think?
I like the penny tile in this bathroom! Classic, timeless choices but with a very modern feel. I admit my eye is twitching looking at that towel rack and photo above it. I would have preferred hooks instead of a towel rack so my art work choices were more open, but again that's me.
Again, with the cabinets stopping short. But this cabinet color is divine, and the tile is a fun surprise!
Has me wondering where this color was during kitchen island deliberations. This would have been a great touch and could have added some spice to the kitchen.
We're back to the entry, and this interesting farmhouse-esque sliding door. Seems to be a Dutch door with those exposed hinges. This could have been a fun color as well so the door could stand out against the floor. I spy cabinets to the ceiling in the mudroom.
The tile back here feels a bit cold for me personally considering the warmth of the ceiling stain, but I wouldn't turn down a backyard built-in barbeque!
All of this commentary is strictly an opinion and no disrespect to the architect or designer if one was involved. It's easy to play arm chair quarterback on a project that's complete. I'm working on quite a few projects with heavy construction in the scope of work, so I think my eye has been trained especially over the last few months toward the architectural details that happen before an interior designer is usually consulted. We actually do a project autopsy on all our projects to see what went right, wrong, or could be improved. I wonder sometimes if builders ever re-evaluate their plans with feedback from homeowners after they've had the chance of living in their homes for a year or so? I think it could be a very valuable exercise in my humble opinion.
I'll leave you with a glimpse of the gorgeous green backyard. Spring is coming and I'm sure this beautiful home will be buzzing with activity from happy homeowners very soon.
Do you agree with my call-outs to pay attention to or totally disagree? I'd love to hear about it either way in the comments!