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  • Estie


We're joining the ranks of millennials ready to explore the uncharted terrain of the Lone Star State. Here's why:

Although I was born in Russia and my husband Kovi is from South Africa, we've both lived in the LA area since we were little and have always considered ourselves Californians. If you're unfamiliar, here's a quick reference guide to California culture.

Jokes aside, even though we love living on the west coast, and our cute bungalow by the beach was just fine for a newlywed couple, we were quickly outgrowing our nest after our two babies were born.

We started looking at our options, and it basically boiled down to either settling for a 2 bedroom fixer upper with no backyard in our over-inflated real estate market, which made it really not tempting to spend such a substantial sum on something we wouldn't be truly happy with; or going the rental route and upgrading, which would make it extremely hard to ever save up enough to eventually buy. Obviously these are #firstworldproblems, and thank g-d we have everything that we need and more. But we really wanted our kids to have lots of backyard space, and the ability to host friends and family, as well as just a beautiful home that my interior design self could truly appreciate. Of course, as an interior designer, I also dreamed of the opportunity to be the client for once and design my own home.

After some time of research, we learned of a builder constructing beautiful custom homes in Houston, Texas, and after contacting them we decided to go see for ourselves. Although we had anticipated a certain amount of remodeling would be part of the home buying process, building and designing a house from scratch seemed too good to be true and the perfect way to make a fresh start! After a whirlwind 2 day trip we arrived back home, but not before putting down a deposit and signing on a lot! Here we are in the picture above in front of our lot, approximately 7,000 sq ft that will be our future home.

Go Big Or Go Home

Before we could just pack up and go, we had to make sure the new location would be a good fit for our observant Jewish lifestyle. We were looking for a vibrant, young community, a good school, and kosher food options. Luckily, Houston met all those requirements, so we decided to take the plunge. Since our kids are still little, moving would be easy for them, and we were ready for some adventure as well.

Fast forward a few months, and all the plans are finalized and pending approval from the city before we can begin construction. Which means a reveal is in order!

The Exterior

We chose a French Country exterior. I love the balance of easy elegance that's unassuming but still spacious and comfortable. Although I love the farmhouse look, I wanted to make sure it doesn't skew too rustic with sleek Scandi modern features. I'll be doing a more detailed post soon on all the finishes we chose, plus the inspiration behind them. In the meantime, here are a couple renderings of what it will look like:

The Interior

The interior had to fit a few criteria. First of all, we wanted an open plan where we could cook or relax while the kids played in sight. But we also wanted to make sure there would be space for entertaining (read: mess out of sight) in addition to comfortable family space. So while the kitchen is open to the breakfast room and family room, the dining room is separate and adjacent to the sitting room. Another must was office/studio space for both Kovi and me since we will both be working from home. Kovi will take the downstairs study, and we are planning on converting the detached garage into a studio/guesthouse in time. In the meantime, I will be using one of the upstairs bedrooms as an office. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are the plans:

I'm so excited to share our story as we build our new home from the ground up! I hope you follow along with us. Comment below with what you want to see next!


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