July 10, 2019
The thought of designing your family home is exciting and overwhelming. Our past two homes were in track communities where you have limited design freedom and little leverage to change the floor plan. Since we had some experience building a couple of homes, we had a good idea what we would do differently if given the opportunity.
Four years ago we purchased 5.5 acres in Vero Beach, Florida, soon after the purchase, we went to work transforming the property into an oasis, adding a pond and dock house. We were given some great advice that we should hire a draftsman vs. an architect to design our home. This saved us half the amount that an architect would have charged. Our draftsman had a home that he designed for another family that I loved. Starting with an existing floor plan will save you time and money, so come prepared with ideas.
The original house plan was designed as a coastal home with no wrap around porch, a single door entry and lots of stucco. We wanted the charm of a farmhouse so to achieve this look, I added a wrap around brick porch, double door entry, lap siding on the bottom level and board and batten on the upper level. Windows are an important trademark of the farmhouse esthetic, so I chose a simple cross bar minimalist design. Cedar shutters on the upper story windows will add warmth and character for that farmhouse style.
For our double entry door, I have partnered with Advisar and chose an 8′ 4 Lite door in the color “Seminole Heights”. The door is fiberglass with a hand painted look of stain. Since Florida is extremely humid with hot temperatures, fiberglass is a great choice with no maintenance or warping concerns.
For our roof we are going with a galvalume standing seam. This was something we wanted to have on our home, not only for the farmhouse look, but also for durability, with hurricane threats every season, we want a strong metal roof.
Master Bedroom/Guest Bedroom
Most of our square footage is on the lower level. This makes for a nice open layout with ease to move from room to room. We had several requirements that we wanted on the lower level. The first thing was our master bedroom. I do not want the inconvenience of walking up and down stairs every time I needed to go to our bedroom. Another desire was our daughters room on the lower level and away from the garage. Her room will also serve as the guest room for family when they visit. Our parents aren’t getting any younger and having a lower bedroom/guest room is a major convenience.
This is one of my favorite features of the farmhouse. I always wanted a mudroom where I can stow away our 4 kid‘s book bags, shoes and mail. There is an exterior entrance by the garage and another point of entry from within the garage. I love having organized storage and a separate drop off spot before you enter the home. It will have an added on appearance with a rustic brick floor in a herringbone pattern. It also connects to the kitchen for convenience.
The plan has a separate laundry space with plenty of room to wash and sort the clothes for a family of 6. Organizing features included are a hanging clothes rack, pull out ironing board drawer, large farm sink and open counter space for folding clothes.
What comes with having a large family is stocking up on essentials and trips to Sam‘s Club. Our pantry will serve a few purposes: It will store food, larger kitchen tools and have custom cabinetry for a coffee station.
Open Family Room and Kitchen
With a large family, I wanted the gathering space to be spacious and connect to the kitchen. We opted not to have a living room and designed one large open grand room that connects to the kitchen. I want to be part of the action while I am cooking and the family is gathered in the great room. This open concept is the perfect layout for entertaining.
Located in between the kitchen and dining room is the butler’s pantry which will store glasses, flatware and party essentials. It has a wine fridge and the bar sink which will add to the fun while entertaining!
This was Jason’s design for his outdoor cooking area. There will be a sink, bar fridge, burner and grill. The facade of the grill will be rustic bricks.
The upper level is a simple layout with 3 bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms for each bedroom and walk in closets with an additional storage closet for sheets and toiletries.