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A LUXURY DESIGN + LIFESTYLE BLOG BY VERONICA SOLOMON

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The New House Has A Name!

Updated: Jul 1

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to follow along this journey so far, and for helping me name this new house.



BEFORE - New Home


It was so much fun going through all the comments on Facebook and on the blog to see your suggestions. You guys really came up with some great names. It was overwhelming in the best way possible.




One of the names that stuck out most was suggested by my friend Jon, who I know to be a fellow-anglophile. He suggested Kingston Cottage - an ode to my Jamaican heritage and KINGston connects to my spiritual beliefs.


It got me thinking about meaningful places from my past. Kingston would be, if they weren't such rivals of the place where I actually grew up. Haha.


I grew up in the city of Montego Bay in the parish of St. James, and that got me thinking that St James Cottage would be a great choice. It was a strong contender for a while, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was just not the right fit. I couldn't quite put my finger on why it wasn't.


I explored a lot of the other suggestions, plus lots of others I came up with. Each name was followed by the word cottage or house. Again, none of them felt exactly right.


It finally dawned on me one night as I was in bed, that this whole phase of my life is really not about the house. Sure, the house has some major significance, but it is so much more than that.




I remember back in 2006, two years after losing Sacky, my late husband to cancer, I made the decision to move my life to the great state of Texas. I only knew one person here - Sacky's half sister whom he had recently connected with by chance. And as difficult of a move as it was, in my heart I knew it was the best chance I could give my children.


My move to Texas reminds me so much of Joshua 1 in the Bible. God had given the children of Israel the land which they were to inhabit after their journey from Egypt and through the wilderness. But they were afraid of the inhabitants of the land. They were afraid of the unknown. The powerful verse 9 has always stuck with me, because I remember this same fear of the unknown too.


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

If you had asked me back then why I was moving away from family and friends that I loved, I don't think I would have been able to put it into words. I wasn't even sure myself - but somehow I knew it was the right move. It definitely took courage, faith and believing that God will be with me.


God knew my heart. As a single mom of two kids under 10 years old at the time, I was looking for security, a low cost of living, a great neighborhood and schools, and maybe, a slice of that American dream I heard so much about all my life. Texas seemed to have it all in a much bigger way than in Florida, where we moved from.




We settled on a street called Great Prairie Lane - I mean, it couldn't get more Texas than that. We felt right at home immediately. My kids still talk about Great Prairie Lane to this day. We had the best neighbors, a beautiful home, a great church family, and a really good lifestyle.


When I launched Casa Vilora Interiors shortly after moving there, it was my neighbor Danyelle who lived on the same street, who became my very first client. The very street I had walked up and down to hand out my flyers announcing the launch of my business in 2007.


Great Prairie Lane will forever hold a special place in my heart, and when I decided to name the new house "Great Prairie Homestead", it finally felt right.


#GreatPrairieHomestead


Instead of making it about the house, I decided to make it about the land as well. After all, the land was the main reason I decided to make the move. You can read more about it HERE.


We have begun the planning of the renovations, and it is both exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time.


We are going for an English country twist on a Texas ranch style home for the architecture, and of course my collected maximalism will be the interior - eventually.


Below is the preliminary street elevation - which technically is the side of the house.




The way the house sits on the land, it's like a tornado picked it up and dropped it back to the ground turning it 90 degrees on its way down. Haha. But I think that adds to the timeless cottage vibe and charm, so I decided to keep that quirk.


We will be making some minor tweaks, but I believe that Annilee, my building designer did a great job capturing the look I was going for. The color palette will change a bit as well, as I am going with faux shake or faux slate roof in a deeper color variation.


Like this, but waiting on samples to arrive to be sure.



Faux Cedar Shake Roof Tiles

The features I really love that give a nod to English country homes are, the stacked chimney on the front (at first I wasn't very sure about it on the front, but I am warming up to the idea - no pun intended. Haha); the steeply pitched roof lines; gables; decorative timbering; stucco and the cute little window boxes.....I mean :-). Yet this home fits right in the Texas landscape.



Preliminary Street View Elevation - Great Prairie Homestead


We are adding a 3 car garage and a master bedroom suite.



Preliminary House Elevation

This rendering above looks like it should be the front of the house, but it really is the side from the street view. This quirk actually worked perfectly for me, because I didn't want the garage on the front of the house.





This elevation of the street view below was one contender as well. Loved it, but nixed it because of the garage being on the front. What do you think?


Keep in mind that this house is on a frontage road, so it does get some minor traffic.


Option 2 Street Elevation


The front yard is just enough for a circular driveway to the garage. The driveway will overlap my pet pipelines hahaha. If worse comes to worse, a driveway can be easily replaced. If you don't know about the pipeline story, you can read more about it HERE


Here is the back elevation. Nice space for a patio.



Preliminary Back Elevation


With the dormers, Annilee created a second level loft space.



Preliminary Second Level Loft

How great is this!


This will be great for the future grandkids :-)





I won't show the rest just yet, as we are still making some minor tweaks.


We are not adding on too much more beyond the garage and master bedroom suite, except for a few feet on the front to make the kitchen and dining rooms a bit bigger, and adding the wrap around porch.


I can't wait to get past planning to the actual construction.





I am looking forward to planting some trees. I already have a ton of Jamaican fruit tree seeds that I am starting to germinate. But first, the fence.....


The fence deserves a whole post of its own.........





Come back for more on that. Cha-ching indeed! :-(


And remember the green barn I mentioned before?



Rendering Of A Future Storage Building

Well, that idea has morphed into a bigger building.


After I started to price out a barn in comparison to a metal building, I was amazed that for around the same price or even less, I could get a much bigger building. More on this later!





Let me know what you think about the preliminary elevations and definitely what you think about the new name "Great Prairie Homestead"


Let's talk about your very own homestead.





Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!


Veronica








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