My Model Home Experience

The first model home I ever stepped foot in was in San Antonio, Texas in 2010. I’ll never forget it. There was a rush of endorphins, a quickening of my pulse and not enough time (with my 4th baby at my side) to take in every detail of the design. Be still my heart to this day. In those moments, it felt almost dreamlike. For the first time, I was surrounded by design that was more beautiful and tangible than I had ever experienced. It had me by the heart, in an instant.

Building a home was just a fantasy to me at the time. I didn’t see us moving anytime soon–years maybe. We certainly were not talking about doing it. (Although the hubs working in an upstairs bedroom with a child’s room on each side of him was not ideal.) But for us, looking at model homes was something to do on a weekend afternoon for inspiration and fun–not because we were looking to buy.

Then at the end of a weekend afternoon, ready to turn home, we came across a sign for a builder we had never heard of. We ventured off course to an area we had never been to take a look. Walking through the front door of the model home and being greeted with an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, wooden beams and living room windows that reached the sky stole our hearts. Little did we know in that moment that we were about to build our first home together (pictured below):


I told the sales person that we were already on a great lot with privacy and wilderness behind us. Not thinking for a second that he could offer the same, he did just that. He said they owned a street in a different neighborhood that was yet untouched by builders, offered a view of the Texas landscape (facing west, hello sunset!), and had lots available for purchase.

Three days later, my mom was in town and my husband suggested she and I check out the street together. This is what we found:


You couldn’t see through the trees to know what the view looked and felt like.


You had to walk through the woods to get a sense of each part of the street. The further down the street you went, the steeper the lots became.


shot from our back porch

After seeing the street, I told my husband it was worth a look. The next time we went together. This time there had been activity on the street. The lot next to the one that was my favorite had been cleared. My heart skipped a beat when I saw this. But we still weren’t thinking about actually buying a house.

My husband drove away jokingly saying, “The only way I would ever move here is if they built a Whole Foods near here.” It was a “when pigs fly” or “in your dreams, lady” statement because there was only one Whole Foods in town and almost twenty years later, there was still only one Whole Foods in town with zero talk of another one showing up anywhere.

And then it happened. You can’t make this stuff up. Three days later, I came home (from a doctor appointment and had just cried my eyes out), and my husband greeted me with, “You are not going to believe this…” He showed me an article that said they were going to break ground and build a Whole Foods not far from the street we had looked at. I died. Seriously, I died. And then the clouds must have parted.

The rest is history because we bought a plot of land and had a home built on it (sorry dislocated wildlife).


It was not because of Whole Foods that we decided to move. Although, it didn’t hurt the decision process. My husband and I are both planners and savers and our decision involved calculations, considerations and a lot of prayer.

The decision to build a home did nothing short of change my life. The artist in me had the chance to create something I never had before and a part of my soul was set on fire. Now we are in the ever evolving process of creating a home that functions well for our whole family and suits our combined styles on a budget. I am having the time of my life!

More of the floor plan that stole our hearts:

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You can see more of our home construction here.


Playing with Side Tables

I’m playing with side tables on Polyvore because my husband recently sold the ottoman serving as side table we had next to the couch in our master bedroom. He loves a good Craig’s List sale and I’m sure he was happy to see it go. He was never fond of the patterned ottoman. I guess he has been tolerating it for the past couple years. I might have shed an invisible tear. But I was willing to let it go because we plan to replace it when we come across something we both like.
Playing with side tables

Reading lamp / Sheepskin rug / Peacock Alley blanket / Pine Cone Hill curtain / Oblong throw pillowWhite centerpiece/ Glass vase / Tufted sofa  / Nate Berkus throw pillow

Side tables sources:

In the meantime, I wanted to show my husband what I envision. Polyvore and Pinterest are places where I can play with pretty pieces despite the price tags. I choose what appeals to my senses and leave cost out of the equation. This way I am not limited in what I can play with to learn what looks best. When it comes to actually making a purchase, I scour estate sales and discount retailers first in an attempt to find something that reflects what I love.

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lamp /ottoman / sofapillow / blanket (no longer available)
The arched light in the mood board above came about because I miss the floor lamp we once had next to the couch. I wanted to see how it might look and possibly sway my husband. I’ve been mentioning one for the living room for over two years since we have a lack of artificial light at night in the living room and limited side table space to support a lamp. And we paid extra to have an outlet put in the ground under the couch. I’m ready to put it to use.
Here is what it looked like when we had a floor lamp next to the couch.
Now it lives in the living room.
Who knows, it might even make a return to the bedroom again someday.