Choosing a Home Style

Are you wondering how we chose to go with a colonial style home to build?

Sometimes I do too.

The photo above is most likely what I had been envisioning for my future home. It’s cottage-like look and easy living floor plan is what I thought would fit our family best…at first.

But, of course, I have these handsome men to consider and we made it a family choice after all.

It started here:

My boys grew up in this house from the time they were 2 years old until nearly 10. Some of the best memories in my whole life are here and as my family and I got talking, so are theirs.

We loved our home in Connecticut and haven’t really had that same feeling of “being home” since we left in 2012.

The layout is a traditional center staircase with a dining and living room on each side of the foyer. Bedrooms are all upstairs. You can tour it in THIS post.

Although that home was built in 2005 it still had a similar structure to some of the historic homes around New England, where my kids say they are “from”.

We bought that house as a builder spec so it was brand new. We truly lived there – tri-cylces, roller blades, trains and dogs all over the new wood floors. Gasp! I know…

Among various pools and play structures in the backyard that didn’t always look super classy. We even had a little plastic pool of polly wogs one summer. We raised them to be frogs and let them go.

I think some of my then playgroup friends were a little shocked at the time we had some soil brought in to level the new yard and when I hosted playgroup that week – I said – “we are going to get messy”. The kids had so much fun on that huge pile of dirt and we laughed watching them. We all came inside the new house for drinks and snacks with a whole lot of dirt tracked in right along with us.

I am not a fussy housekeeper, obviously.

My stories could go on and on about the memories this house brings to mind. Some are really sad…like my husband fighting cancer, me fighting depression, a few surgeries, a severed finger, marriage woes, sicknesses and lots of growing pains – just the real stuff.

(You can see some of our family photos from that time in THIS post – it’s my favorite!)

But the laughter of the kids and our abundance of happy moments is what I miss the most. We chased with the vacuum, made cookies, had many Easter egg hunts inside and out (all year), campfires, made amazing friends and had them over to play Rock Band, Legos, Thomas the Train, Buzz Lightyear and some very special family and friends came to visit from around the country. And of course, celebrating holidays.

It was just the four of us and Sadie, our beautiful Golden Retriever who is in heaven.

One summer Friday after Marc got off work early we piled into his old Audi, opened the sunroof, cranked up some music and headed out for a beautiful drive to Niantic, CT, just to explore.
I will never forget the feeling of Marc holding my hand across the middle console with our long-awaited-for children in the backseat jammin’  to music (now about 4 years old). Marc said to me “I finally feel like we are living, not waiting for something to happen.” To me that meant we have arrived!

These stories could go on forever but I would start crying and never finish this post if I let that door to my heart open up today.

Let’s just say this guy and I grew together more than ever in that house in Connecticut. We made it through some tough stuff.

When we left in 2012 we took a stronger love and a more confident grasp on life along with us – and our almost 10 year old boys at that time.

New adventures ahead.

So let’s get back on track to home styles – since now you know my style and floor plan choices go deeper than just aesthetics.

The picture above is of an old true colonial style home in Guilford, Connecticut. We lived in this town for over two years when the boys were babies before we moved to the brown colonial mentioned above that was a couple of towns over.

The great thing is that this white Guilford house is truly old but it could still be something one would build today.

A timeless style.

So as I scroll through my Pintrest Boards and I see a consistent pattern in photos I have saved. Most are a cape, a cottage or a colonial period style of some kind.
So even though I love a cottage…
and appreciate these darling white houses…
and adore farmhouses…
I feel like we should be creating something that will reflect our own story in some small way.
Luke, one of my twin boys loves history. We visit Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia and we love the old homes there. The boxy timeless style. I thinks it’s the simplicity of them that we love.

So in considering some of our favorite places to visit – like Boston, New York, Vermont, Williamsburg, VA and some East Coast beach towns along with our experiences residing in Utah and Virginia put together with the feeling of our CT home – we came up with the following…
The structure of our new home will be timeless while we can make it more unique with our color choices and materials. I think staying away from trendy styles will satisfy my urge to change my decor any time I like (because that happens).

We are looking forward to new memories, traditions and real life here too.
The layout has the feel of our CT home but includes some features that reflect our love of Colonial times, rustic accents and colors to represent our Utah adventures and a flower box for the quaint beach cottages along the coast.
This is a recent family selfie from a weekend vacation to Chincoteague Island in Virginia before the kids started high school. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Marc and I were just thankful the boys would still go along with us!
If you want to follow along or catch up with the progress of this building-a-home-adventure you can link to my House Tour 4 page.

I am searching for kitchen styles that I like for the next appointments coming up. I have a few pictures to share with you that might even surprise you. See those next time! (HERE)

Thanks for stopping by and have a super fun week!


Sharing with: French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday

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Christine Vandormolen

Wonderful post Holly. So honest and \”down to earth\”! Sending hugs from WA


Loved this post Holly. It is amazing how our life journeys begin and end in our homes. Creating that sanctuary where our lives and memories are created is such a big part of life. I love the drawing of the new house. It will be beautiful. I cannot wait to see your kitchen inspiration. Happy Friday.Kris


LOVE following this adventure!

Brenda Pruitt

Loved your post and your memories. Those two boys are so tall now! You have to create a house that will make new wonderful memories and it sounds like that is going to happen. Can't wait to see you in it!Brenda

At Rivercrest Cottage

Holly, I remember a lot of the special touches you put in that house, plus the ones in the rental. You have such a clever way with style I'm just waiting to see what you come up with in this new house!


I loved every single solitary thing about New England. The houses were amazing. My kids want a witch window now, lol.


Wonderful post Holly! I can relate to your story so much. We spent 7 years in our last home. Our youngest was just 3.5 when we moved there and oldest 5. It was a hard move because of the life we created there. A life that included many of the same things your life story holds. Though we loved our house it never felt quite like us. We are from Ga and longed to be back there and the style of homes there so that is why we chose to build our cottage/craftsman/farmhouse style home. Though I am sad that… Read more »

Dana Gates

What a beautiful family! I adore the pictures of when the boys were younger. I also enjoyed your story about the dirt pile playgroup…even though it made my OCD twitch a bit!