BUILDING OUR HOME: THE OVERWHELMING TRIP TO THE DESIGN CENTER

Reblogged from MeganFenno.com:
Ah, the trip to the design center. A test of your marriage, an immense feeling of being overwhelmed and hoping that what you decide on that long day will suit you for the rest of your time in your new home. 
Don’t get me wrong, it was also very exciting, but the choices. There were SO many.
MI_DESIGN_CENTERWell, we also had this going on. The first time we went just to take a look at the options one weekend before our official appointment. We made the mistake of bringing Myles. I get it, to a five year-old, this stuff can be kind of boring. Besides, if it were up to him, we’d have a rainbow-colored house. That could be cool, too.

Anyway, since we went out once to the design center before actually selecting our options, it helped us see what we were up against. And it’s true when they say you’ll be picking EVERYTHING. We chose our brick, floors, overall wall colors, knobs on cabinets, granite, siding, trim, doors … to even deciding the shelving in the master bath shower. It was intense. But with a little preparation beforehand and having John model the home out in his 3-D software, we were able to make the selections appointment a little less stressful.

Another thing that helped us immensely was browsing Pinterest to look at new home selections, model homes and color schemes. Because it’s one thing when you’re deciding paint colors — those can always be changed —  but you can’t just up and change an entire hardwood floor or large slab of granite.

But as said, with some careful planning and preparation, we made all of our selections in about five hours.

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For the kitchen, we chose to go with multi-colored granite. We had light-colored countertops in our old home, which stained easily. We’ve also experienced black granite at our last home downtown and it felt like the dark-colored countertops would show every little piece of dust or handprint. With that being said, we wanted something in the middle.

We chose to go with dark cabinets, only because we had white ones in our old home and they seemed to show every handprint or mark, which is never easy to clean when you have a kid opening cabinets just for the sake of opening cabinets. So, dark it was.

The hardwood selection was tricky, but we opted for something in the middle. Floors that are too light show everything, but so do floors that are too dark. Because again, we’ve had both. Picking a hardwood that would help disguise dust and compliment our other selections helped narrow down our options; leaving us choosing a medium colored flooring.

It sounds like I’m so worried about dirt showing, but seriously, no matter how much I cleaned light floors, dark countertops or vise-versa, it just never worked out. Maybe I was cleaning them the wrong way? Regardless, I am happy to say now that we love what we chose and it’s three months after we’ve moved in now.

I feel like we really focused on getting the colors and selecting the materials for the kitchen took priority, then it became easier to more or less ‘follow the theme’ and choose the rest of the house colors, brick, wall color, and everything else based on our initial kitchen selections.

As you can see from the image below, we stuck with a modern color palette, with various shades of browns, greys, and beige colors. Going with neutrals to start felt like a good idea until we can really start designing out the inside of the home.

Now that we’ve lived in the home for almost three months (where does time go?!), I can say we’re very happy with what we chose!

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**Megan Fenno is a Cincinnati blogger, an accessory designer and owner of FENNOfashion.com, a freelance writer, a Savannah College of Art & Design Alumni with a degree in fashion & accessory design, a wife to my high-school sweetheart,a girl that absolutely loves the city of Cincinnati, and a mother to a 5 year-old stud!  To read her full blog, visit her page today!

Happy Homeowners: The Fenno Family

This “Happy Homeowners Interview” brings us to Megan Fenno, who recently purchased her new M/I home in Cincinnati with her husband and 5 year-old son. Megan has shared the experience of building her new home with M/I Homes!

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M/I Homes: Is this your first M/I Home and what convinced you to choose M/I over another builder?

Megan: This is our first M/I home. There were a lot of factors that contributed to our decision to move and build with M/I, but criteria that topped our list was location, a sense of community, a good school district, and a home builder that had a variety of options and floor plans to choose from. As my husband and I both work in creative fields, the last thing we wanted to do was build a uber traditional ‘cookie cutter’ home, which is often what is available when building new. Megan wrote more about how she chose her lot and what factors played a role in the decision here.

M/I Homes: Are you happy about how your home turned out?

Megan: The home exceeded our expectations. The little things and attention to detail made us appreciate the experience that much more. For example, since our house is facing west, we wanted to add a covered porch off of the kitchen to help block some of the evening sun. We were very surprised when we started to see it being built and all it included — such as recessed lighting, metal rails, etc.

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M/I Homes: What is your floorplan called and what features of your home do you especially love?

Megan: We originally were going to build the Sorrel, but after my husband modeled that floorplan and the floorplan for the Cooke, we decided the Cooke was a better option for us.

We liked that the plan was so open and had the ability to remove the fifth bedroom, which is what we decided to do.

The plan works for us because we are both able to have our own office space upstairs, a large master bedroom, and a bedroom with a walk-in closet for our 5 year-old son. Plus the open main floor is great for entertaining! Mean wrote more about how she chose her layout and floor plan on her blog here.

M/I Homes: Overall, how was your experience with M/I Homes? Did you pick your lot and floor plan to build the home, or was the home already started for you?

Megan: Because we were one of the first to build in the neighborhood, we had a lot of options when it came to the selection of the lot and style of our home. Our experience was great, honestly.

When I’d tell people that we were building a home, I’d often get comments about how time consuming and hard it must be. While it can be time consuming up front, the process was smooth from start to finish.

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M/I Homes: Do you have any fun memories from the building process?

Megan: On Christmas day, we took a photo to share on social media of the three of us standing in front of the new home captioned, “First Christmas in our new home.” I got a lot of laughs.

In all seriousness though, our son probably enjoyed the process just as much as us, if not more. He loved seeing all of the changes each time we went on weekends to see the progress. I know it will be something he’ll remember the rest of his life, like the first time he was able to walk into HIS room!

M/I Homes: Was there something about your home that made you immediately know you wanted to move in?

Megan: All of the space! This isn’t our first home, but before deciding to build, we tried out the urban living scene and had lived in a small apartment in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. While it was a LOT of fun, we missed having space to spread out. The next thing I thought about was all of the DIY projects I could do with extra space and places to spread out. Needless to say, I’ve been busy!

M/I Homes: What do you like about your neighborhood / community?

Megan: The neighborhood is unique to Cincinnati’s westside and there isn’t anything quite like it anywhere else. I like that there won’t be any through-traffic and that most of the people that are moving in tend to have a lot in common. Most have one or two young children, so I can see a lot of new friends and playdates galore in the near future!

M/I Homes: Anything you would recommend to someone looking for a new home?

Megan:  It’s not something you want to jump into. It’s one of the biggest purchases of your life, and just as you would do research before buying a larger item, such as reading reviews, doing the same when looking for a new home is important.

Here’s what we did: We sat down with a pen and notebook and made a list of what we’d want if we could have any home. From there we prioritized the list and decided on what’s most important. For us it was finding a home we could stay in long term with the ability to build equity. Other things that topped our list were being in a good school district and having a sense of community in the neighborhood.

M/I Homes: What is your favorite memory in your new home thus far?

Megan: The day we moved. It was means to a fresh and new beginning and I will always remember walking in shortly after closing and thinking, “I can’t believe this day is FINALLY here!” After planning and daydreaming for so many months, it’s surreal to finally move in.

M/I Homes:  What is your favorite space in your new home?

Megan: Our favorite space is probably the back deck. The sunsets are spectacular!

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M/I Homes: What was something that surprised you the most with building a new home?

Megan: All of the options to customize our home. I mean, we had the ability to pick everything from bigger aspects, like the brick color, to even the tiniest of details, like the knobs on the bathroom vanities.

M/I Homes: Any suggestions you would give for someone building a new home with M/I Homes?

Megan: Have an idea of what you’re looking for prior to starting the process. I think that helped us a lot when picking the floorplan and during our design center trip. Pinterest is a really helpful tool when looking for design inspiration!

**Megan lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband John and her 5 year-old son. She is a blogger at meganfenno.com and also works as an accessory designer. She and her family have moved from downtown Cincinnati to their new M/I home in the city’s suburbs.

On to the next chapter: Building our new home!

Reblog:  We recently ran across this great post from MeganFenno.com about her families experience with purchasing a new home in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We absolutely love what she has shared with her readers that we wanted to share it with our customers as well!

On to the next chapter: Building our new home!

It doesn’t feel like it was too long ago when I wrote the blog post announcing our move downtown. But after an adventurous year and a half, we’re happy to announce our next chapter: building a new home!

The Fenno's Purchasing their New Home

We’ve been working on researching schools, the idea of buying property downtown, checking out different areas of Cincinnati and even looking into homes in Northern Kentucky. Considering everything from the school districts, being close to family and friends, plus having a sense of community, we looked further into new development on the west side.

We settled on the new subdivision Greenshire Commons and went with MI Homes as our builder. We’re so excited!

Below is a glimpse at our new neighborhood and some renderings John created so we can get a better idea of what the inside of the home will look like. We haven’t completed our trip to the design center yet to finalize all the small details, but we have settled on the model and the elevation of the home and our lot.

What’s even better — it’s our 7 year wedding anniversary today. And the day we finalized our plans, signed the papers and put down the deposit. Our expected time frame to move is in April of 2016. Let’s just say, it’ll be hard to top this anniversary present in the coming years! Here’s a little sneak peek:

To read more and see the full article about the Fenno’s new home and their move from Downtown Cincinnati to the suburbs visit MeganFenno.com

**Megan Fenno is an avid blogger, lover of fashion and accessories and is passionate about bringing creativity and inspiration to her followers through blogging, radio and TV. With a degree in fashion & accessory design from Savannah College of Art & Design, she founded FENNOfashion.com in 2007; an online boutique of vintage inspired accessories handmade in Cincinnati. Here you’ll find some of her favorite things in life from fashion, savvy shopping tips, being a mom to living in her absolute favorite city, Cincinnati.

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