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How the wish for a remodel became the ultimate brand-new dream home, thanks to a great team of homeowners, builders and designers.
When David and Carolyn Bullington decided to remodel their previous home, they brought in John and Theresa Dorlini of Circle Design Studio to work up renovation plans. John and Theresa spent several months of programming with the homeowners so that they understand specific needs and desires.
As the Bullingtons began pricing the upgrades, however, they realized their costs would end up being quite high.
“We were the first owners of our home, for 21 years, but the limitation was a narrow family room,” Carolyn Bullington says. “Over the years, our aesthetic had evolved.
David Bullington, a real estate attorney at the Bullington Law Firm, has many great contacts in the area. Brad Thomas, of Boone Graham Thomas Home Builders and Developers, had an idea that quickly came to fruition.
Because of the high price of the extensive remodel, he suggested building a home from scratch; ultimately, this would be worth more so that their investment would be protected. The Dorlinis knew they could merge their ideas, creating a functional, beautiful home that also hit all the requirements on the Bullingtons’ checklist.
Plus, the Bullingtons wanted a lot of contemporary touches. As empty nesters, they loved the concept of a huge great room with enormous bank windows with a view.
Among the homeowners, the builders and designers, they made a worthwhile team, as the Bullington family now has their dream home in the growing subdivision known as Heritage Downs in Salem.
The couple loves to get outdoors, enjoying hikes and biking on our greenway trails. When Thomas showed David the lot for their prospective home, he knew they would love the view, but would also enjoy taking advantage of the nearby access to the trails.
“Their house is so connected to outdoors, you can reach out and touch the woods,” Thomas says.
The home has practical elements with a unique footprint. While they’d originally decided to take something close to the Craftsmen model Boone Thomas Graham builds in the neighborhood, they wanted to customize something that was close to the company’s off-the-shelf plan, making it a feasible alternative to starting from scratch. Once they had blueprints, John Dorlini was able to make architectural changes, understanding the Bullingtons’ needs from previous months of working together. As it turned out, it made a dramatic difference to how it opened up the back of the house.
“From our perspective, it was our ability as builders to take a plan we’d designed, work with someone like the Dorlinis, hear their thoughts, and collaborate to get a Craftsmen look for the home and get what David and Carolyn wanted on the inside,” Thomas says.
Because they wanted to expand windows and floor space for the signature great room, it presented some engineering challenges. Those were eventually addressed and resolved with some trusses, as opposed to steel beams. The team also used Circle Design Studio’s 3D designs to gain perspective on the floor plans.
The team considered many elements that tie the home’s look together, including the stone fireplace that mirrors the exterior of the home. Perhaps the most important thing, however, revolved around the homeowners’ art collection. Much of Circle Design Studio’s blueprints were done in an effort to showcase their primitive artwork, with customized wall space, floating shelves and unique lighting for their statues, masks and many more pieces.
“That was the biggest translation in the floor plan,” John Dorlini says, “finding a home for all the art and making it look custom to their collection that’s been curated over several years.”