Sometimes what you have you can never replace, so you work with what you have and make it even better! Just over 18 years ago, we purchased 5 acres in Custer. We bought it for the level dry ground with sandy loam soil that would be perfect for raising our horses. The home was a 1990s farm-style house with a covered front porch and small walled-in formal rooms for everything– not your typical open floor plan that you see today. We always had plans to remodel, but it took us some time to get there.  

 As a realtor, we see so many unique homes with great layouts, and it can be easy to want what you don’t have. With twin girls in the picture, and after lots of thought, we decided that we could never replace our private location, so we decided to take the plunge to do a full main-floor gut to the studs and remodel. 

 In January 2021, we hired Damien Cribbs of Cribbs Construction as our general contractor. My husband, Jason, works in Outside Sales at Builders Alliance, and has gotten to know him and his work through that relationship. Jason and I did a lot of the demo ourselves to save where we could. I know that they say that remodeling can be a nightmare, but I feel like we had a great experience with ours. Sure, some supply issues due to COVID-19 set things back, but our contractor was great at communicating and working with us.  

 Before getting started, we hired Susan Silva of Silva Design to help us come up with a better layout and get engineering to remove two load-bearing walls between our kitchen and dining room and two living room areas. The process of working with her was better than expected. We had lots of ideas going into it, and she helped guide us to what would make the most sense and stay within budget.  

 We started choosing finishes now that we had walls knocked down, extra windows, and a 10-foot sliding door added. There are so many great local companies in Whatcom County to choose finishes. Since Jason works for Builders Alliance, all kitchen cabinets, quartz countertops, lumber, windows, doors, trim, and exterior siding came from there. We chose to work with Kari Panchinson at Aqui Esta Tile for our floors and tile. Our good friend, Steve Dalrymple from Vcor Electric, did all the wiring for the new recessed lighting we added.  

 Our main living space is so much more livable and usable now– I can’t imagine it any other way. One of my favorite additions is the 42-inch KitchenAid gas range with a convection oven. I also loved putting in the additional electric wall oven, our range hood cover that I designed and made custom, and my farmhouse apron sink. There isn’t much that we would have changed, as all of the collaboration between professionals made it the most efficient that it could be. Having our kitchen and dining space open, bright, and airy together means that we use it more!