Part of the fun of building a new home is seeking inspiration and narrowing down all of the beautiful combinations of finishes, styles, and influences (see also: the most challenging). Stockton and I have spent countless hours on Houzz, flipping through magazines, and exhaustively trying to expose ourselves to anything and everything we could possibly want to see in our new home so that we leave no stone unturned. It’s a long process, but filled with so much pretty inspiration that I think most of us would admit to doing this with or without a current project going (thank you, Pinterest).
While curating our inspiration boards (“Ideabooks” as Houzz calls them), we certainly began to see patterns in what we were most drawn to, stylistically. My dad (who I’ve mentioned before is our architect also) helped us to take all of these little pieces and discover the common threads between them to create our ideal, cohesive, interior and exterior package.
The brilliant thing about Houzz is that as you’re saving ideas to your ideabook, you can be creating big picture inspiration as well as the more detailed finishes that you know you just want to remember for later down the line. For instance, let’s look at the three photos below. We know we want a television in the kitchen, but we want one that can be hidden behind cabinet doors when not in use. Another micro-detail we like for the master closet (Stockton’s side in particular) are these hanging racks for pants. In our mudroom, we will have a drop zone for signing school papers, keeping keys, etc. and I loved this inspiration picture with the narrow file-type cabinet, perfect for paper and folder storage. By the way, this drop zone concept is one of those things that has been so stuck in my head since day 1 that my husband and father are both probably so sick and tired of hearing me talk about “charging stations” and “permission slips” – all I have to say is our kids better go on lots of field trips because I’m going to be a permission slip signing MACHINE at my special mudroom drop zone (WHA-BAM!).
Then there are those bigger picture inspiration images that helped us to lay out some of our architectural dreams for this home. Things like exterior style, interior layout, our ideal space use plans, where the bedrooms will be, kitchen style, etc. We are building a “transitional” style home, merging traditional, timeless details with more contemporary influences and just a hair of craftsman detail (I’m very articulate in the language of architecture as you can see). The house will be grey with a stone skirt, board & batten mixed with shake siding, white trim and black windows (rawr). Inside the house, we are going to try to bring the outside in, and so we’ll be carrying the grey, white, black themes throughout while warming it up with some exposed beams in the living spaces and master bedroom, warm walnut flooring, stone detailing on the fireplace, etc. Here are some of the big picture inspiration photos that helped us land on these key details.
Here’s what’s so exciting about all this: my dad and his business partner, Brad, took all of this inspiration and created something for us that is totally unlike it while still paying respect to what inspires us as a couple. They are creative masterminds who truly take the client’s vision and make something that’s one of a kind.
At the end of the day, anyone can take a picture and copy it. It takes an artist to be able to appreciate the inspiration all around them and create something new and diverse (and let’s face it, most clients like myself are uneducated architecturally, so we have to come to the table with outside inspiration… it’s simply par for the course). To me, I can’t better define the value of working with an AIA certified architect on your custom home project.
If you want to learn more about Houzz or see some of Helman Sechrist Architecture’s past projects, click here!