Biggest Inspiration for this project - ME!! More specifically, me when I was “Jenny-Poo-Mike”. Jenny-Mike | Jenny Michal Interiors She is precious isn’t she!?! I love her LOTS!! And to make a long and awful story short, she needs ALL the recognition she can get! Sooo, this one’s for you, Jenny-Mike!


A second, very valuable source of inspiration is Pinterest! Love it! Possibly addicted!  My girls and I look at lots of amazing pictures and make lots of pin boards with our most inspiring selections.  Here are a few that inspired the “Jenny-Mike” house…

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House Plan Websites

With all of these beautiful and amazing ideas rolling around in our heads we started narrowing down our selection of plans.  In the process I began to focus more and more on this plan. Why?? Well after years of searching plans and raising a family plus 20 I have a few criteria that are important to me. And when I say important, I mean in the 1st world “I’m very fortunate” sort of importance.  The Jenny-Mike house concept ALL began with this plan that I found here at Architectural Designs

Things I love about this plan:

That being said, here are a few things on my list in order of importance (remember the term is relative):

  • 4 Plus Bedrooms - This is a good place to start. What is your bottom line with bedrooms? What is the number that would make you turn down your otherwise dream home? For me, that number is 4. I just feel 4 bedroom homes are always a better resale, plus I have 4 kids. We seems to always need the space, whether they live at home or not. It is not, however, important to me for these bedrooms to be huge because I’d actually prefer for everyone to choose to be together! For some, large rooms are in fact important. Something to think about when you’re keeping a close eye on square footage (which most of us are)
  • Two Story - Another great place to narrow your search is to decide if you want two stories or one.  I’ve lived in both, one and two-story homes and I prefer two.  It gives you a larger yard and I feel stairs add so much charm to an interior space.  Not to mention, the added bonus of the little bit of extra exercise!
  • LOTS-O-Windows - natural light is crucial to my personality type. Not only do I love windows, but the first thing I do in the morning is open the curtains, blinds, whatever is obstructing my view from God’s glory on the other side. I don’t just mean in my room. I mean I do this through out the house.
  • Open Kitchen - I HATE to be alone but I LOVE to cook! In my last home I actually had walls ripped down so that I wouldn’t feel so alone in the kitchen! Not to mention, no matter how you try to change this fact in house planning, everyone ALWAYS ends up in the kitchen, or at least near it! So an open kitchen concept is fantastic for entertaining.
  • A powder bath - This is important to me because it relieves the stress of overseeing the cleanliness of my children’s bathrooms. Not to mention decorating a powder bath is so fun!
  • Game Room/Media Room - This is important to me because we have an open door policy and I want the teens that come and go to always feel like they have a space to socialize in without a parent constantly over their shoulder.
  • One Dining space - In my last home there was a lovely ginormous dining room/entry! It was my favorite space as far as furniture and colors. However, it was a total waist of square footage! We always ate in the kitchen and everyone entered the side of the house! All that beauty and space waisted! So, one dining space, fairly close to the kitchen, with an eating bar in the kitchen.
  • An office very near to the entry - This is important to me as I am beginning a business that I will run out of my home.

Now things I don’t love about this plan:

  • Laundry Room - The laundry room is all but forgotten in this plan. Having spent many an hour in the laundry room, it is important to me that it be open and bright with… you guessed it!! Lots of natural light!
  • Not a lot of personality, particularly in the bedrooms - Besides that front bedroom ( with the “play” area), there is nothing special at all about the upstairs bedrooms. Drastically lacking character or charm!
  • Closet space - Not only are the bedrooms lacking charm, but possibly more important in a house of 4 females, is closet space! This plan leaves plenty to be desired.
  • Pantry location - This pantry seems to be an after thought. Like the designer went “oh wait! We forgot a pantry! Well let’s just take out some cabinets and push it into this corner!”
  • The main living space is a little squishy - Let’s be honest, once you put in sofas, chairs, end tables, and bar stools you are crammed in like sardines!

So, what can be done with a plan that is close but not exactly right??

I have the privilege of working with the best builder East of the Brazos! LOL!  No, but seriously, Michael Schaefer is an extremely talented entrepreneur (although some may argue that it has more to do with his sweet wife, Sharon). Not only is he a visionary when it comes to home building, he is also a genuinely kind and big hearted friend. I have had many conversations beginning with house-plans and ending in life struggles with Michael. I am honored to have him overseeing this very special project for me.

I simply showed Michael a picture of the above house plans and he tweaked them!!  He added all of my “must-haves”, and came up with this…

Sure, he added square footage, but for Jenny-Mike it’s totally acceptable!

  • He made the windows bigger and better!
  • He made the laundry room and pantry more than an after-thought but rather a vital organ in the life of the home.
  • He put a baker’s cabinet in the kitchen. I had one made in my last home and I LOVED it!! I used it all the time!
  • He added so much charm and character!! Including: the window seat in the stairwell, a window seat and (hard to see without looking at the elevation) a loft in bedroom #2, a built-in drink station in the dining room under the stairs, and finally (not shown in this plan) he added a coffee bar to the master!! I don’t even drink coffee!! But I’m so excited about this!!
  • He made bigger closets and bathrooms - absolutely essential to a house of females, right!?

I feel we are off to an amazing start!!  Having picked the lot, laid the foundation, and finished the outside framing, we’re on to windows!! But for now, here it is!!

Tell Me what you think!

Jenny Michal Tamplin | ShuttersI am a more the merrier kind of girl. Sign up and get each new blog post delivered to your inbox.

Right now I am chronicling the journey of the Jenny Mike house, and I would love for you to be a part of it!

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