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Building Our Home and Memories for Life


Here we are, about 2 years ago…immersed in the most exciting process of building our home, and making the best memories.

Time flies. Looking back at pics of the construction process, it almost hurts! I can’t believe how much the kids have grown, and it amazes me that this was actually so recent. It feels like we’ve lived here forever, and THAT was the GOAL in building our home. A cozy, safe haven from the busy-ness of life. A place to gather with friends and family, an escape from the world where our family can rest and reconnect after a crazy day.

If you follow along on Instagram, you’ve seen hundreds of pictures of our FINISHED home, but I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into the building process. If you’re thinking of building a home, I’d say do it! DO. IT. Yes, there are challenges that arise along the way. Yes, there are tons of decisions to be made (so maybe you need a good designer…I might know one!;)) Yes, it can feel like it’s taking forever sometimes. But oh my. So much fun.

#1 on the list when building a home? Find a great builder who you can TRUST. Someone with integrity, that takes pride in their work. I can’t say enough good things about our builder-turned-friend, Andre Makarenko, of Comfort Homes, LLC. Talk about someone who was BORN to do this. His passion for designing and building is so evident in the work he does. Attention to detail? Uhhh, times a thousand. Having a great builder was KEY in making the building process a joy-filled, exciting process.


It was a crisp, cold fall day when the walls finally started to go up. We stopped by after work to see the day’s progress, and wow. I was teary-eyed walking around the first level, seeing rooms defined by what was formerly a pile of freshly delivered lumber. It was surreal to see those blueprints translated into a 3-D reality! Meanwhile, we had several meetings with Andre to start making our surface choices, and so I could dump my Pinterest folder onto his desk. So many ideas, saved for such a time as this. Poor guy. 😉 Our theme for the house became “lots of light,” in fact that became my nickname during the process. When planning the house, we added windows, made other windows bigger, added transoms, raised the ceilings…anything we could do to bring more light into our Oregon home.


When the drywall went in, things got real. It started feeling like a house. It wasn’t so echo-y. I started to imagine what it would be like to actually LIVE here. In other words, I couldn’t sleep at night. My brain was jumping ahead to the fun stuff…the barn door, the chalkboard wall, the stone work, an extra coat closet that I realized we should turn into our dog’s room, complete with a dutch door. Oh my gosh. There was a continual Pinterest-fest happening in my head at every moment of the day. We must have been such annoying clients. Every time I had a new idea and told Andre about it, he would say, “No problem.” God bless that man.


When the cabinets arrived, it was all I could do to peel myself away and go to work. I wanted to sit there and watch them install stuff all day. Is that weird? Hey, this was our first experience building a home and I wanted to SOAK. IT. UP.


This delicious little photo is the beautiful wood that was salvaged from an old barn to make our barn door. When this arrived on scene, I couldn’t stop staring at it. What. In. The. World. Just dreamy. Another night of no sleep.


So one cold, rainy Saturday, my hubby and I grabbed our favorite McDonald’s breakfast and then headed over to the house to paint the chalkboard wall. Now THAT is my idea of some Saturday fun. We could feel our move-in day growing close, and we were so anxious!


On the day they started the stone work on the exterior, it started snowing. Like a lot. It never snows here…construction shut down for about a week while we enjoyed record snow-fall and that cabin-fever thing that happens when you can’t just drive anywhere you want…thank goodness for pizza delivery.


Next the lighting arrived (say hello to my favorite lantern pendants), then the hardwood floors, and carpet. We reserved a moving truck and rounded up some awesome friends and family to help with the big move.


And then, the BEST day. That cold March day in 2014 when we got the thumbs up. Time to make our house a home. For the first few days, there was decor everywhere, we were still hunting for that one box of extension cords, there was take-out galore, but yes. 5 months of waiting, building, dreaming, planning, researching…all worth it. Home sweet home was happening here.


(This was our Christmas card in 2013, standing in front of what is now the fireplace.)

  • September 28, 2015 - 10:46 pm

    Jamie - I love love love your home! Would you ever consider sharing your house plan??ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2015 - 12:27 am

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Jamie! You can contact our builder for the plans through his website, 🙂ReplyCancel

      • January 14, 2016 - 2:00 am

        Lisa - Hi!!! Do you know which plan it is? The builder has several links, and I can’t seem to pinpoint which plan is yours?! Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • September 28, 2015 - 11:26 pm

    Patrice - I love your home! I have been following you on Instagram, now Facebook and finally here! I love your designs! Thank you for sharing your home with us. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2015 - 12:27 am

      yellowprairieint - Patrice, you are so sweet. Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • September 29, 2015 - 10:52 pm

    Jane - This is so sweet, I had goosebumps looking forward to where you wrote you could finally move in! Just started following so I have to scroll back to catch up a bit. Great job and I hope this is Happily Ever After!

    Jane xReplyCancel

    • September 30, 2015 - 12:28 am

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Jane! Hope you have a great evening!ReplyCancel

  • October 2, 2015 - 8:12 am

    Brynne - This was so fun to see!! Glad you loved the process. Your home is truly amazing, Janna! We built our home before this one and I loved the creative process. So fun!ReplyCancel

  • October 9, 2015 - 3:48 am

    Kathryn - I love the pendants above the island. Where did you find them?

  • January 21, 2016 - 4:42 pm

    CM - Your home is so beautiful and I love the flow. Is there a floor plan you can share? It’s hard to tell where the powder room and what some of the other rooms are from some of the photos.


  • August 6, 2016 - 2:44 am

    Sarah - I absolutely love your pendants!!! Where did you get them?ReplyCancel

    • August 7, 2016 - 5:42 pm

      yellowprairieint - Hi Sarah! The pendants are from Kelly’s Lighting in Salem, Or.😊ReplyCancel

  • August 17, 2016 - 4:44 pm

    Kylie - I love love love your kitchen!! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in our home. Are your cabinets white? And is your countertop granite?ReplyCancel

    • August 18, 2016 - 3:04 pm

      yellowprairieint - Thank you Kylie! Yes, the cabinets are pure white, no color added, and the countertops are “River White” granite.:)ReplyCancel