ancient door
ancient door

Personalizing your home starts with the build. Finding a builder who understands who you are, and how you want your home to serve you, is paramount. After all, this is a huge investment. Not only of money — but time, too. A custom built home can take anywhere from six months to a year or more to execute, and then you have to live in it. And most people want to live in their new custom built home for a few years if not forever and ever.

I’d like to think that a custom built home is much more than a fancy architectural plan (which by the way, is essential :). After you’ve spent countless hours room planning and measuring, arguing over roof pitches and front porches, you can get to the good stuff. How do you want the home to FEEL when you walk through those doors? Hometown welcoming? Country-charming? Modern and crisp? Downtown hip? Everybody has a different personality, likes, dislikes, and ways of looking at the world…all of which can be echoed throughout the house.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Old World style. I love traveling through Italy and France and relish the memories I’ve made there with my family. Both my kids went to school over there, so I have had a few opportunities to take extended trips through the countryside, picking up building ideas along the way.

When I built my own home a few years ago, I wanted to highlight/remember/reminisce about some of my greatest adventures. But I wasn’t going to hit my guests over the head with them as they walked through the front door. Instead, I made more subtle design decisions.

For example, I set this fantastic old door (check out that scroll work on the edges!) into the wall of a hall way. I placed it directly across from a hall bathroom. People got to enjoy the intricate design work from three angles in the hallway, and it never ceased to get a comment. Sometimes folks didn’t even see it on their first trip down the hall…but once they did, they stopped, admired it and it brought a few questions to their mind to ask me later.

That’s the thing about personalizing your home. It doesn’t have to scream to say something vital. Details can do all the work in whispers.

Jess Alway