Ask and you shall receive.

I get lots of emails about “how to build a house from scratch,” and one of the #1 questions I get asked is: “Will you share your house plans/layout?”

Well, we built our first house 8 years ago, using a house-building program that doesn’t exist anymore, and–honestly–the chances that anyone was going to follow our plans to the letter, or even that closely, were fairly slim, so the answer was always, “Sorry, but no.”

This go-round, though, we have the current plans easily available, and I’ve had so many people ask that I thought I’d give you a little peek at the way we’ve chosen to lay out our rooms.

So, without further ado, this is our 1st floor:


Did you grab your magnifying glass yet? I know. It’s a bit hard to see in such miniature proportions, but this is as big I could make it and fit it all in.

So! One of the main things we wanted was a super open feel when you first walk in. To that end, there’s not much of an entryway–just a little piano nook + closet area before it opens directly into the living room. Which, in turn, is completely open to the kitchen. Which, in turn, is open to the dining room.

We’ll have a dining table that seats 12 or more (Shaun will build it, of course), and a 12 foot island. Our current island is approximately six feet long, and we take up every spare inch of it already, so we’re trying to plan ahead for future kiddos/visitors.

In case you can’t tell, the range is on the left wall of the kitchen, and the sink faces out the back of the house up the tree-lined hill. It’s quite possible that the giant window over that sink is my favorite thing in the entire house.

To the left of the kitchen, where it says “laundry,” that will actually be a mudroom/laundry hybrid. The plan is to put a washer/dryer downstairs to augment the upstairs family closet, but who knows? Maybe we’ll just stick with the one laundry room.

The “study” to the right of the living room is actually our schoolroom. It has big windows too. Sigh. I love natural light.

There are two bathrooms downstairs, and one of them is attached to what will be the guest suite. Shaun’s office and and workshop round out the downstairs of the “right wing.” Oh, and those little “rooms” labeled “office” off of the real office and the guest room are closets. But you probably already figured that out.

Okay, heading upstairs…


As you come up the stairs, the first room on the left is our family laundry/closet. This was originally going to be the nursery (nope, not for anyone specific; just in case), but I couldn’t get happy with how closely situated it was to all of the noisy stair traffic, so we moved it. To the far-most left corner of the house.

For realz. This one makes me chuckle because it looks like we’ve exiled our baby to the attic or something. I have never used a baby monitor in my life because I’ve never needed it. I’ve just always been able to hear when the baby is crying. But I think a monitor will be pretty necessary this time. However, our kids do nothing more than sleep in their nurseries. They have never really doubled as playrooms–probably due to the fact that, right about the time they’re actually old enough to play with anything, they get kicked out by a younger sibling! So, I’m good with the remote location.

As far as the other kids’ rooms, as I mentioned, we chose to go with large common rooms for the boys and the girls. We’ll have builtin bunk beds against the back walls, so now, all we’ve got to do is produce even amounts of each gender offspring from here on out, and we’re good to go!


Who knows but the Lord who/how many we’ll have in the future, but we’ve built in enough leeway so that, even if we max out the bunk beds, there are still spaces to add more beds.

The boy + girl wings are completely symmetrical, with the bedrooms at the back of the house, an open/play/common area in front, and a bathroom. In between, we have our “big room.” There’s a sun room attached to the back of it, and–even though you can’t see it in the program because we hadn’t come up with the idea yet–the area above the sun room will be an open loft that looks down into the big room. Since it will be facing our DIY big screen on the opposite wall, Shaun jokes that it’s the “balcony” seating for our movie watching.

Seriously, though. We could put on (very small) plays in this room. In fact, I imagine we will.

The “study” you see to the right of the stairs is actually a “toddler room,” for napping and such, but it could definitely be converted into a conventional bedroom for an older kid or two in the future. Or an upstairs guest room. Whichever.

And then, to the right of that, where it says “study” yet again (my, how studious we are), is my office/craft room. Or Shaun’s office, depending on how many puppy eyes he makes at it. (Every time he walks in there, he sighs wistfully and says: “I love this room.” Real subtle, babe. But I don’t blame him. It’s a cool room).

Oh! And the room that the stairs open up to labeled “family” will just have a table in it for overflow from homeschooling or card games or…whatever.

I’m so excited for all of the family gatherings, friends, Bible studies, guests, missionaries, whoevers we’ll get to host in this house.

Obviously, we put a LOT of thought into these plans. I have no doubt that we’ll discover things that we wish we would have done differently once we’ve actually moved in (8 years from now…heh), but for now, we’re blissfully unaware of that/convinced that we nailed it. Or…something like that.

Also, while I’m not sharing specific pricing with you (Shaun’s not on board with doing that, which I get), because of our location (E. Texas is a pretty cheap place to build), the fact that we live outside of the city limits (and can, therefore, avoid many of the costs associated with city codes), and the fact that we’re doing the vast majority of it ourselves again, a house of this size/customization is surprisingly affordable. Not cheap (well, cheap for the size, yes). But far from crazy either.

ANYhoo, I’ve just topped 1,100 words blathering on about all of this, so I’ll stop right this second.

But, as always, if you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer as best I can.



  1. This is a fantastic design for so many reasons! I love the way the study for the kids school room is and especially the bathroom RIGHT THERE! Would you share about how many square feet the downstairs is? I may have missed it somewhere so I’m sorry if I’m asking for something you’ve already told us!

  2. This is SO beyond awesome! I love it!! 12 foot kitchen island? That big window over your kitchen sink sounds absolutely fantastic as well. That’s one feature I’d love to have in our future home…I spend so much time at the kitchen sink, a beautiful view would make my chores SO much more enjoyable. 🙂

  3. Years ago my aunt and uncle installed in-the-wall vacuum outlets (I thought it was very innovative at the time!). You just move the vacuum hose from outlet to outlet – without having to haul a canister around. Is it too late to install one of these systems – or did you already rule it out?

  4. It was so fun to read about and look at the floor plan!
    I adore that you will have a bathroom super close to where you’re doing school! (I know, that’s such a ‘mom’ statement…haha!)
    My momma used to love dreaming up floor plans, so this was kind of a blast from my past.
    Thanks for taking all us readers along on the ride!

    1. Ha! Yes, I fully expect that close by bathroom to shave HOURS off of our homeschool routine (child heads to bathroom far away; gets distracted; finds his way to pantry; pours himself a bowl of cereal; takes 30 minutes to eat cereal; completely forgets that such a thing as school exists; an hour later… :))

  5. I’m kind of blueprint challenged, so forgive me if this should be obvious. It looks like a patio right off of your kitchen window, but I don’t see an access door to the patio from inside. Is there one, or is that strictly accessible from outside?

    1. There is seating right outside the kitchen window, yes, but the actual covered patio is a little to the right, and their will be French doors to it exiting from the living room.

  6. Looks lovely! I think it’s good planning to have other bedroom options as your kids get older and more independent.

    The size is impressive! Aren’t you worried about cleaning it all? 🙂 Seriously, though, we’re remodeling our 2 bed apartment to add 2 more (and change some other things) and sometimes I’m awake at night thinking ‘How will I keep all this clean with 3 kids 3 and under??? We’re the pastor’s family, so it has to be somewhat clean for counseling appts or surprise visits (he works from home.)

    Enjoy your building experience! My husband is loving the chance to build for his family, even though we have to have a lot done professionally, since here building code requires them to last for centuries…and they do!

    1. Yeah. I’m definitely going to have to up my cleaning game. I’m trying not to think about it too much. 😉

  7. Do the kids that have the back bedroom have to walk through the front bedroom to get to their room? Will that create privacy issues as they get older? My younger kids don’t have an issue at all with getting changed etc in front of each other but I know my 16-year-old really values her privacy.

    1. The room in the back is the bedroom. The room in the front is not. It might be eventually. But at this point, it is a hangout room, so the two are divided for privacy. The bathroom is also close by if changing by oneself is necessary. 🙂

  8. Just curious if you’ve found building materials to have gone up much from the last time you built a house?

  9. Hey Abbie, I’m trying to wrap my mind around a couple of things:

    1. Are there washer/dryers in the upstairs Laundry closet?
    2. How is the sunroom elevated from the Family Room? a ladder or something else?

    I love it! I cannot wait to see you start posting the decorating and projects that are going into it. Thank you Abbie and Shaun for building a dream house for the rest of us to dream about!

    1. Hey Sharrell:

      1) Yes, there are a washer/dryer upstairs
      2) The sun room is directly off of the the “big room” to the back of the house. It’s not elevated. The loft is basically a space above/open to the big room that would have been ceiling but we’re instead choosing to keep open (with a railing) to the floor below. And yes, it will have pull down steps.

      Does that clarify?

  10. Looks amazing!!!! My only thought on the common bedrooms is to make sure the oldest kiddos go in the back room. You’ll thank me for this when they’re teenagers

    1. There’s actually only one common bedroom for the boys and one for the girls at this point. The rooms in front are just hang-out rooms. BUT! That doesn’t mean they won’t eventually get converted to bedrooms, so thanks for the tip.

  11. It looks BEAUTIFUL! I might move it. 😀 Just kidding. One question for the kid’s bedroom in the back do they have to walk through the other kid’s bedroom to get to the bathroom/main area?

    1. You’re the third person to ask about the “other bedroom,” so I think something must not be coming through correctly on the plans. There is only one girl room and one boy room. The room in front of it is a common/play/hangout area. No one will be sleeping in it…at least at first. So, it shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂

  12. I love it! It looks so functional while beautiful for a big family. I’m so excited to see it take shape.

  13. Absolutely beautiful….my kind of dream home. Best of luck and here’s hoping all goes well. Stunning and can’t wait until we see it all finished.

I love hearing from you guys!