The Robinson family got the best of both worlds when they landed on the Eastland floor plan. The expansive, single level floor plan allowed the Robinsons to modify rooms to best suit their needs – use the designated study as a gameroom? Done. House the office space in the oversized guest suite? No problem. Building the Eastland with Drees enabled the Robinsons to create much more than a dwelling; their home is perfectly tailored to allow their family to thrive.
Kristen Robinson is no stranger to new construction though. In fact, she manages a flourishing Dallas real estate business. As a Realtor, she works diligently to match her clients with the perfect opportunity for their next chapter, which sometimes involves building a brand new home of their own.
Kristen documented her family’s home building journey through her popular Instagram account (@kristen.nicole.robinson). We also partnered with her to share a behind-the-scenes view of the process and highlight what you should know when embarking on a new build of your own.
Now that the Robinson family has settled into their new home, Kristen is full of fresh insights to share.
What floor plan did you choose, and what attracted you to this design?
We were moving from a two-story home and didn’t want stairs again but also didn’t want to lose the rooms we had either. The Eastland encompassed all our needs in one story with the flexibility to adjust spaces as we outgrow them. For example, our girls are still young and wanted a gameroom for toys, but that will only last a couple more years. So we were able to use the designated study as a gameroom and the oversized guest suite as both a office space and guest space. We changed the designated gameroom space to be a media room that we will use for years to come. I love how functional this plan is and that every bit of space is used and not wasted. It is open, airy, and there aren’t any long narrow hallways.
As you have watched your home’s design come to life, what have been your favorite spaces and features?
It is so hard to pick just one! My top three would be the common space, media room and back patio. The common area has tons of natural light from all the windows, tall ceilings and open space, yet it is the coziest, homiest spot in the house. The media room is our favorite spot for rainy days, movie nights and hang outs for our girls and their friends. Additionally, there are several features in our home I am really happy with, like the dual shower heads in the owner’s bath. In the kitchen, I love our spice racks, microwave drawer and the second row of upper kitchen cabinets – which makes for a more grand design.
What did you enjoy most about the building process?
Even though this plan was already designed, I genuinely loved that we could customize aspects to fit our family, which is rare in most builds. The Drees Design Center of course was the most fun part! Really the best part of the actual build though was seeing the home come to life once drywall started going up.
As a Realtor and Drees homeowner yourself, what advice would you give others who are interested in building a home?
When designing your home, drop the trends and go for fluid style that can easily be changed with future décor and furniture swaps. I decided on a crisp, white kitchen because that is what I love. Then I chose décor elements and selections (e.g., a dark, contrasting island and wood floors) to add warmth and color. I know that in the future, painting a kitchen island is far easier than repainting every single cabinet.
I also recommend reviewing the functionality of your home and thinking through flow. Where would you place light switches? How about outlet placements? I cannot stress enough to review the functionality of these things, along with door swings and cabinet uses. These items really impact how you live in your home and can easily be adjusted before you get far into the build process.
Why did you choose to build with Drees?
If you have read previous articles on my home building journey, then you know how my love for Drees came about. When I was little, my parents took me to a Drees model home, and I fell in love! They ended up buying a different home, and I was so upset over it. I remembered that house for the rest of my childhood and decided that when I grew up, I would buy myself one. When my husband and I got married, he promised me we could one day make that dream come true, and I am so thankful we got the opportunity to build with Drees! I think it says so much that even decades later, Drees not only is still around, but is also still such a high quality builder.