Building a dream home from the ground up

Becky Hillyard never imagined she’d be able to build and design her dream home from the ground up. The process is a long and tedious one and requires much attention to detail. However, with the help of Starr Homes and McCroskey Interiors, she was able to bring her vision to life. 

“I still can’t believe that we are living in it,” Becky says. “I remember the months leading up to moving in, and it just didn’t seem real.” 

Her expansive Leawood home has a wide variety of unique and beautiful features. 

Becky says that working with Laura McCroskey of McCroskey Interiors was ultimately one of her best decisions when it came to selecting the home’s design.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I will probably just pick out everything on my own,’” Becky  says. “In hindsight, I don’t think I could have ever done the build without Laura.”

 The two have a similar French modern taste, and Becky  says all of her ideas were only further enhanced by McCroskey’s help, who suggested small details such as grill on kitchen cabinets, sliding spice cabinets and the kitchen’s marble hood.

Becky  says the home’s focal point is her kitchen, which includes marble counters and a matching island. The design took a bit of convincing on Laura’s part. Becky has always loved marble, but admits she had concerns about it staining, especially with three little ones. However, Laura explained staining wouldn’t be much of a concern. The marble would likely get some etch marks, which she said only helps give it character.

 “I’m so happy that I did it, it just kind of sets the tone of our home,” Becky  says.

 Laura’s ideas and expertise also allowed Becky to go outside of her comfort zone when it came to her kitchen’s butler pantry. The giant space acts as a second kitchen behind her kitchen with immense amounts of hidden storage.

 “It’s not just pretty, it is functional, and it’s something that she pushed me on, and I’m so glad I ended up doing it,” Becky says. 

The pantry hides the home’s oven, microwave and dishwasher. It has a space where Becky can easily make her morning coffee and smoothie and then hide the appliances. It has freezer and refrigerator drawers, so many things Becky uses on a daily basis are easily accessible. While the space provides multiple hidden storage areas, it also has open shelving that Becky is able to style how she likes using beautiful containers to house ingredients such as olive oil, nuts, spices and pastas.

 “It really kind of is a store,” Becky says “If I run out of olive oil I have a ton to grab from, and those are things that have a long shelf life and can be beautifully styled.” 

 The pantry has a door that exits to the home’s outdoor lanai, which makes it easy for guests to come in to grab a snack or drink during summer parties by the pool. 

 The home’s basement has several features that are great for entertainment. There is a basketball court for kids to play as well as a media room with a giant comfortable couch for watching movies. Becky also has a bar area with open shelving units from the counter top to the ceiling.

 “They are beautiful gold ones with glass and they are just such a pretty touch that you can style however you want, and it really makes this fun element in the basement for entertaining,” Becky says. 

 The basement also has an exercise room and a dry sauna for after workouts or getting out from the pool. The home’s primary bedroom is on the main floor and has a closet for both Becky and her husband. The room walks into the laundry area. 

 For others hoping to build and design their dream home from the ground up, she advises investing in a designer, especially in the initial design of the home. She also wants to encourage homeowners to take their time when it comes to making selections and not to be afraid to speak up when they don’t like something.

 After several years of envisioning her dream home, she still pinches herself every morning that she and her family get to live in it every day. She said the wait was well worth it.

“It felt so good to know that all the time we took and all the tears and all the stress it caused was totally worth it,” Becky says. “It’s perfect and is exactly how I wanted it.” 

To see more of this home, and inspiration from Becky for all things home decor, fashion, motherhood and more, visit @cellajaneblog.

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