Country Design with 3 Bedrooms and 2.5 Baths - HOMEPW72180

Case Study in Home Building

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Country Home Plan with Three Bedrooms and Two and a Half Baths - HOMEPW72180

Andover, MN

When a new-home consultant decides to build her own home, you know the result is going to be nothing short of fabulous.

As a consultant, Gisela Witt works out of a model home and assists people with choosing the right floor plan for their new home. So when she and her husband, Gary, decided to build, they knew exactly what they wanted. "I was in my model home so much, it gave me time to think about my next home," says Gisela.

When thinking about their new home, Gisela and Gary considered their family's lifestyle. "We do a lot of entertaining," Gisela explains, "and this house was designed for entertaining as well as living." She is quick to point out the layout of the main living areas as an example. The kitchen is open to a cozy bayed dinette and the expansive Great Room. A breezy four-season porch is just steps away. The kitchen itself seems to be made for entertaining. Its roomy layout can easily accommodate more than one cook at a time, while a walk-in pantry and double ovens come in handy when preparing meals for large groups. In addition, the deluxe island features an angled snack bar, which works double duty serving as both an eating counter for quick meals and a buffet table for meal display. Gisela's favorite part about the kitchen, however, is the large windows that line the dinette, showering the kitchen with light, and providing a dynamic view. "I stand in the kitchen and there's a wall of windows, out of which I can see all the trees [in my yard]," she says.

The wall of windows continues along into the Great Room and the enclosed porch. Gisela notes the porch as her favorite room in the house. "It's my place to hang out," she says. While the porch does offer a serene atmosphere for quiet relaxation, it's also spacious enough to accommodate a group of people, thereby extending the entertaining area. The Great Room offers the same versatility. Its own lovely windows, which contribute greatly to the wealth of sunlight brightening the area during the day, are interrupted only by an elegant fireplace, which sets a warm, inviting tone during the evening. In this way, the room is instantly ready for entertaining, while at the same time a perfect spot for casual conversation.

Tucked into an alcove just off the Great Room, a handy computer room makes excellent use of space. This room represents another favorite in the household. "The computer room really lives well," says Gary, noting that because of their proximity to each other, the Great Room and the computer room can act as one large room, or be separated by a pocket door, offering desired seclusion.

While the rear of the home is occupied by a series of rooms that can be used for upscale entertaining just as easily as they can be used for casual lounging, the front of the home boasts a handsome dining room, which tends to be reserved for formal occasions. Secluded from the activity of the kitchen area and adorned with an elegant bay window, the formal dining room offers an intimate setting that surely leaves a lasting impression on guests.

Upstairs, the home's personal spaces provide luxurious comfort, beginning with the owner's suite. The spacious bedroom of the owner's suite showcases a beautiful bay window, which allows soft streams of morning sunlight to trickle throughout the room. The private bath is also quite roomy, and features an array of fantastic amenities, including his-and-hers vanities, a soothing garden tub and an extra-large shower. A wide walk-in closet is also conveniently located in the bath and provides plenty of room for clothes and storage.

Off the owner's suite, a private study boasts additional space for personal relaxation and a "real retreat from the kids." It's highlighted by a stylish dormer window and is flexible enough to accommodate late-night work or hobbies, while cozy enough to serve as a room to get away from it all. Adjoining the room is an easily accessed walk-in storage area, which, Gisela says, "comes in really handy when storing those items that you frequently need."

Two secondary bedrooms, which include plenty of storage space as well, are also found on the upper floor. They share a compartmentalized bath, and, like the home's main living areas, are ideally suited for both daily living and hosting guests.

As for changes to the home plan, Gisela and Gary made few. "It really fits the way we live," he explains. They did finish the basement, adding an additional bedroom and turning the remainder of the space into a comfortable lounge. The ambience is enhanced by a beautiful fireplace, which is outlined by an arch of striking stone, plus an "old-world" bar area, and a media niche, which is crowned by an equally attractive arch.

Gisela and Gary also added a screened-in gazebo, a walking path and a fire pit in their backyard. "We live out back a lot," says Gisela, describing, once again, how well their home suits their lifestyle.

Even though Gisela had the new-home expertise, Gary also played a role in the building process. "He wanted me to treat him as a customer," Gisela says. "He got to do the computer room, [study] and basement. I got the four-season porch and the formal dining room. So it was a balancing act."

Their balancing act worked out quite well, and the result was a fabulous new home!

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