Y’all know Allison King, right? We call her Queen. [She’s Mrs. King. Get it?] She’s also pretty regal and just plain badass like a real Queen.
If you’ve ever walked into one of our houses or seen a picture of our houses and thought, that looks amazing and/or your jaw dropped, that’s Allison. She has that effect on people. She eats, sleeps, and breathes good ideas about what we should do with our homes. And better still, she knows how to get those good ideas built. She probably needs no introduction but I just want to take a moment and make sure you know who she is.
Readers, meet Queen. Queen, readers.
She just read that intro and said she doesn’t deserve it. I’m gonna slap her.
I brought Allison into the blogosphere to introduce a series called, The Queen & I. Allison is DesignLikeaQueen to my BuildLikeaGirl. Her genius is all over our models and I want you to hear the story of how a model by Queen comes together.
Me: So far this year, how many models have you completed?
Q: It’s just 3 this year.
Me: No, it’s five! 915 (Briar Chapel – 30Something Collection) was January and 1033 (Again, Briar Chapel – Mixtape Collection) was February. [Plus the three in Wendell Falls]
Q: It’s too many to count, that’s what it was.
Me: Let’s talk about those Wendell Falls models. I have to say, they are my favorites and they make me really hate my house.
Q: Me too.
Me: I want to spend some time talking through each model. I want to share the behind the scenes and tell the stories behind all the Pretty. Because that’s where the real magic is. I mean, yes, someone could come through our models and totally rip us off [clears throat and gives serious side eye to any builder this might apply to…I see you] but the magic is in how you come up with all this.
Q: I rip other builders off.
[we both start laughing hysterically]
Me: Let’s start with the Playlist Model. It’s called Everything’s All Right (from a lyric in Garth Brooks Friends in Low Places) and…
Q: and I had to tell myself that, several times.
Me: That everything would be alright? I’m sure you did. You kept counting all the bedrooms and texting me, ‘there are 10 bedrooms in Wendell Falls!’ – in all caps and I was like, ‘stop counting, one bedroom at a time.’
Me again: I love the Everything’s All Right plan because you had such a hand in designing that plan and at just 26’ wide you pulled off some spatial miracles like a built-in covered porch off the kitchen at the end of a ridiculously long side porch and you even fit in a 1st fl guest suite with a Nonna-bathroom.
[editor’s note: the Nonna bathroom was inspired by my mom living with me and not having a powder room in addition to her 1st Fl bathroom. So Allison placed a pocket door between the sink/toilet and the shower space to preserve the shower as a private space and the ‘powder room’ as public. editor from editor’s note is me.]
Q: It was ridiculously important to start this new community off right with spectacular model homes that really pay homage to the vision that Newland had for Wendell Falls-the agrarian roots and that Farmhouse! I definitely wanted a rustic farmhouse feel for this model. So really the design started back when Raquel and I did the selections. When we chose the reclaimed wood for the island and the Master BR ceiling and all the trim details.
Me: Where did the idea for that stuff come from?
Q: The island came from a picture, maybe on Pinterest or Houzz? One of the two. The Master ceiling came from my head. We’ve done these amazing ceiling details before and I knew I wanted to do something like that in reclaimed wood..
Me: And you knew this was your shot to do that because we can’t really justify the cost of something like that unless it’s a model?
Q: Yeah, really. I wanted to have these spots of reclaimed wood throughout the house – making things flow is big for us. A model is definitely the time to go big or go home.
Me: So take me through your favorite spots in the house.
[check out the virtual tour for this house HERE]
Q: There’s not a spot in that house that’s not a favorite of mine.
Me: I can’t type that much so you have to pick 3. Go.
Q: THREE?! Can I have Four?
Me: We’ll see how much you talk.
Q: Maybe we can combine the family room, dining room, kitchen into one? You know, ‘cuz it’s really open.
Me: Ok, go.
Q: It’s a piece of furniture but I love the vintage teal piece from Revival Antiques in the family room. I think my favorite part was I didn’t have to do anything but buy it and have it delivered to make it look good.
Me: Right? Bookshelves and built-ins are my new nightmares. That is a lot of work.
Q: You never realize how much stuff you have to buy for those things. It either looks too sparse or it looks like a train wreck with too much stuff on it.
Me: I hate overdone models. Less is always more for me.
Q: I mean, the shiplap wall, can we talk about that for a minute?
Me: You know I could talk about shiplap for days. I put it in my own house.
Q: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Me: I know because it’s a texture paradise.
Q: And it looks better and better as the years go by. Just like us.
Me: Amen to that.
Q: So just to talk a quick minute about something we tried and failed at…the cart piece from Amy at Yellow Chair (who we love) that we originally planned to use in the dining room as a buffet and it just wasn’t right for the scale of the room or the table. So we used another piece I bought from Joss & Main – the shelving unit. It ended up being perfect because it wasn’t as deep and fit perfectly under the transoms and between the sconces.
Me: I love all the pieces we used on that shelving unit. I also love that you continued the shiplap to the backsplash. Were you nervous at all about not using tile as the backsplash? I wasn’t – but I love the unexpectedness of it.
Q: No, because it was a great space to try it – it was smaller and it’s not a wet area. It was perfect. Plus I knew we were going to do the open shelving on the other wall and the reclaimed wood on the island – the shiplap is so subtle. You almost don’t notice it at first. Because the open shelving with the black chalkboard paint – that was obviously going to stand out so I loved the subtlety of the shiplap to balance it.
Me: I love that wall so much. It’s the first thing you see when you open the door and it’s such great impact. I also love that space because it offers so much versatility and an opportunity for personalization to the buyer. It’s ok if you’re not into coffee, you can make that space really reflect what you need there – like a built-in china cabinet or shelving for cookbooks or even small appliances. You could make that a baking station…whatever you’re into.
Q: Do we want to talk about the farmhouse sink, our gift?
Q: It just goes back to staying true to the farmhouse aesthetic. We always want to take things in older homes we love and give them a more modern interpretation.
Me: And I always want to surprise our buyers with more than they’re expecting. So we made the farmhouse apron front sink in the model an included feature. Even though it’s way above market as something included, I thought it was a great way to start off our buyers when they’re building their own Garman Home.
Q: Did I talk too much, can I still have three more favorites?
Me: We’ll see…
Q: I’m combining the secondary bedrooms as one. So that leaves the Master and the 1st Fl Guest Suite.
Me: I’m pretty sure this is the whole house.
Q: I TOLD you!
Me: Ok, tell me what you love about the secondary bedrooms, we’ll save the Master and 1st Fl guest suite.
Q: I do love that screened in porch though…
Me: You’re pushing it. Start talking.
Q: We came up with these awesome wall trim details – they’re nearly identically sized bedrooms so we did identical trim details but we used two completely different accent colors to differentiate between the two.
Me: I love that the teal is the boy room and the black is the girl room.
Q: It didn’t start out that way.
Me: I think that’s what I love about it so much is that it evolved and I like when we do things that allow other people to identify with something outside the norm or encourages them, subtly or not, to be whoever they want to be. I have three girls and only one room painted pink. The other two would sooner move out than live in a pink room.
Q: Well to start off, the beds I bought for those rooms didn’t fit. They just didn’t look right for the scale of the room with both a headboard and a footboard.
Me: Yeah, I remember that moment when we had to switch it up.
Q: And then it still didn’t work. So we just decided to get Hollywood frames for the beds and the accent wall became the headboard. And then I starting putting all these pretty turquoise pieces in the room with the black wall and it clicked and became the girls room.
Me: I like the black room as the girls room because black is so dramatic and in my experience, so are my girls.
Q: Speaking of drama, the boys room stressed me out.
Me: Because of the teal wall?
Q: No because all of the furniture I originally thought that I was going to put in there didn’t work. You just start buying furniture, hoping it’s going to work and then I didn’t like it.
Me: That actually was the beauty of having 10 bedrooms – there’s always another to shift it over to…
Q: Remember when I texted you about using the lockers in the boys room?? The vintage lockers from Amy at Yellow Chair. Once I figured that out my stress level dissipated. Well, it went down a few notches at least. And we got to paint them that fun orange/red color Raquel and I picked out. We got to use a unique piece of furniture I love in a really cool way and it really works in the room – I love it. [editor’s note: the virtual tour doesn’t show the lockers, you have to go see those in person. you know you want to.]
Me: I love the colors in that room – so bold, totally made me think of superheroes.
Q: And I had those framed comic book covers originally going in the man cave but as soon as the teal room became the boy room, it was a no brainer to use those in there. The colors all just worked together.
Me: It was perfect. And then we found that $60 alien lamp. It was from Italy. So, you know, it was worth it.
Me: I think we should make this entry Part 1 and write the rest tomorrow as Part 2. You have too many favorites. And I have to go meet Zach for coffee.
Q: They’re like my children, I can’t just pick one favorite thing.
Me: [laughing] You have One Child she IS your favorite thing! That metaphor doesn’t work for you.
To be continued…up next, the Master Bedroom, 1st Floor Guest Suite and my favorite, that upstairs hallway.