A Custom Build for Friends

A Functional Design for Family

For Jeanne and Keith Liston of Liston Design Build, working with their friends to create their dream “forever home” was a dream in itself.

“We had worked with them on updating and adding to their previous home, so the level of comfort was there from the get-go which made the process unbelievably smooth from beginning to end,” Jeanne says.

Leveraging their 15-year relationship, the two couples came together to build and design an elegant yet comfortable 7,500 square-foot home in St. Charles County. Working off of inspiration from the homeowners’ lake house, the end product gave them the perfect, peaceful getaway they were looking for – right at home – and just in time for a global pandemic. Although their family couldn’t have been happier upon moving in during March of 2018, they also couldn’t have anticipated the relief of having space for the entire family just two years later when COVID-19 changed everything.

“The shared spaces we built into our plan have never been more important than they are now,” the homeowners say. “We knew we wanted a house that allowed us to do everything we could possibly want to do at home, but we didn’t quite know what that meant until recently. Our lower level and backyard have become our family’s go-to entertainment venues while we’ve stayed safe at home, and we are so grateful for that.”

As if the stunning vaulted ceiling wasn’t enough to take your breath away when first walking in, the main entrance extends into a fully open eat-in kitchen. Taking advantage of wooden shelves throughout the area and calming, neutral colors, the great room welcomes you right away.   

The lower level features a custom bar hand-crafted by the Liston Design Build team, a pool table in the center of the room, an additional living area, a workout room, and easy access to the outdoor patio and pool. So everything they need is already in-house, not to mention on one floor. Purposely designed to let the entire family spread out when “together but alone” time is needed, the homeowners had no idea how important that choice would become in 2020.

The upper level of the expansive home allows for entirely separate living quarters for everyone, in addition to an open concept living, dining, and kitchen space.

With a cohesive French Country aesthetic throughout, large cedar beams loom over the beautiful common area – a design element requested by the homeowners. The kitchen features a large center island so the whole family can be together during meal prep before heading into the casual dining area just a few feet away, or to the formal dining room down the hall.

Another highlight includes a large study with striking custom-built bookshelves dedicated to an entire wall filled with family treasures and mementos. The sophisticated study takes the term “accent wall” to an entirely new level. Between the multiple layers of shelving and a near floor to ceiling window to offset the darker wood, this office brings it all together for a polished, modern look.

In a separate wing of the house, the master bedroom boasts detailed ceiling treatments and fixtures for a unique, cozy look. The bright master bathroom can be found beyond sliding barn doors that open up to a large walk-in shower, and free-standing bathtub. This master bath seems to go on forever with oversized mirrors alongside clean, white cabinets, tile, and doors. The Liston team made room for the beautiful bathtub by constructing a custom nook as well as building in a designated makeup area around the corner.  

While the initial ideas and inspiration remained intact throughout the process, this classic and casual custom build has shown what deliberate space planning can do for a home, an entire family, and even an unexpected quarantine.

But with a lower level like this one, why ever leave home? Making the choice to install sliding glass doors to brighten the area, Liston Design Build ensured there was plenty of natural light to stream into the casual living area along with an entertainment space built for a king (or in this case, an entire family).

Building a home from the ground up has always allowed for custom detail and specific design choices, but this project in particular will always have a special place in Jeanne and Keith’s hearts.

“We were able to build and design an incredible home for some of our favorite people. Knowing we helped give them everything they could have ever wanted for their family is such a special feeling.”

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