SPRING HOME & GARDEN: A creek runs through this hidden park-like setting for Erin and Julia Russell | news

What is black and white with green all over?

Erin and Julia Russell lived in the Northeast neighborhood of Bridgeview and loved their home… until COVID-19 struck.

Corona was a crucial year for many. When the Russells, including their three daughters, 13-year-old Grace, 10-year-old Ivy and 3-year-old Eta, were more at home. Their beloved 1,800-square-foot home got pretty crowded and was bursting at the seams, they said.

Suddenly, the Russells had an unexpected solution. A friend noticed a “For Sale” sign for a building lot down the road.

It was perfect as they wanted to stay in the neighborhood where the children’s friends and maternal grandparents Dick and Donna Bajema were located.

This lot was and is a rarity in that it spans 4 acres in the city and so many homes are built side-by-side elsewhere.

The long driveway already existed for the existing house.

The owner had decided to separate a building plot that was for sale.

Although it appears spacious due to its proximity to Fishtrap Creek, it also contains a large setback and resulted in mitigation through the planting of many trees, shrubs and a small building envelope.

Still, the lot isn’t too small to house a 3,600-square-foot dream home with a little repositioning.

Erin and Julia took this challenge to Jerry Roetcisoender of Lynden’s JWR Design.

He hit it head on. In fact, her custom design is now part of the JWR portfolio of premade designs available to others.

The result is a garage that overlooks the driveway across the creek, the front door overlooks the large lawn and the patio is on the side of the house.

The back is close to the neighboring property and space is limited and is used for storage.

It doesn’t show up on paper but works well in reality.

The team of Roetcisoender and Lynden-based general contractor Wes Wiersma of Wiersma Construction Inc., who brought in his wife Erin Wiersma’s interior design talent, worked quickly.

The lot closed in August 2020; The permit started work from December 2020.

“It was such a good project team,” said Erin Russell.

Creating a new life during the coronavirus

Fortunately, the Russell family was able to stay in their former home during the eight-month construction period.

The house sold quickly as soon as it was on the market in July 2021 and they negotiated staying there for a month and a half to move directly from there.

They’ve been in their new home for seven months now, and while the essentials are all in place, they continue to check out some decorative elements, such as: B. Adding a family picture gallery down a hallway or two. But they don’t want to add much to that, because they are quite happy the way it is.

The concept is clean and clear – large, black-framed, unobstructed windows not only let in light, but also views of the bridge, creek, green shrubs, trees, and a red barn on a neighboring property.

The yard has both landscape features leading to the entrance and a play area that comes together for the younger children.

The covered terrace has a lowered ceiling above the seating area for overhead heating.

Patio furniture, like other items throughout the home, was found via Pinterest search for modern farmhouse and redirected to article.com.

A walk-through window and pole allow mom to easily move food and drinks inside out without little feet running back inside.

Bar stools are set up for sitting and eating snacks.

The central living area has touches of tan and green but is light and airy with a flat couch and chairs.

Small knitted footstools are also suitable for small children to sit on.

The stools were a kind of substitute for doing without the comfortable loungers. White oak parquet floor throughout.

Roetcisoender and an interior designer, Erin Wiersma, listened to their list of things they really wanted and built in detail after detail, with the result that life became so much easier.

The kitchen features a microwave drawer that slides out to child height and slides back in to hide.

They have a double oven so they can cook several things at the same time – at different temperatures. The separate gas stove has a large hood.

The space has many useful cabinets and cabinets from Riverside Cabinets that hold the many things that usually sit outside cluttering countertops. Not here.

Open a cupboard and find the coffee cups.

Open the cupboard below and there is the coffee maker, something much loved and used.

The white dishes can be seen, green plants, small decorative objects.

The kitchen, living room and dining area are wide open to each other but not to the rest of the house.

“Originally, I questioned having less counter space,” said Julia Russell. “But I have a larger island (white quartz with gray veining on top).”

Typical pantry, but so much more

Down the hall and easily accessible from the entrance, the garage and kitchen are in a hidden walk-in pantry behind a sliding gate. Not only does it contain the typical pantry items, but it’s also easily accessible for kids to prepare their lunch – from containers of their favorite snacks. The counter has a soda stream with its syrups and a mini fridge underneath.

Other considerations are the fact that children need to live and feel comfortable in this elegant home – doing schoolwork, entertaining friends and storing their own belongings conveniently.

As you walk in from the three car garage, the first floor hallway offers immaculate storage for the whole family to kick off shoes and go into the bottom drawers, coats and hats in the locker-like closet, and even room for sports balls and backpacks organized from the youngest to the oldest.

To the side of the hallway behind the sleek cabinets is the laundry room — with matching black-and-white washer and dryer, hanging rail for drying, plenty of storage space, and a deep black sink under a window.

A side door leads directly into the walk-in closet and into the master bathroom and bedroom.

The bathroom bypassed a bathtub to have a larger walk-in shower with a rainhead surrounded by black-and-white tiles.

The house has two entrances in and out of the kitchen – and also from the master bathroom, walk-in closet and master bedroom. Everything is just a few steps away and Julia is delighted.

It’s organized, but the kind of structure that helps a family of three girls stay on track. It’s helpful but not suffocating.

As for the girls, upstairs they have their individual bedrooms with vaulted ceilings – which they didn’t have in their previous home – as well as a study room and a bonus/games room with lots of windows.

It’s not just the light, but the view of the creek, the trees and the feeling of being in the country.

While the younger set plays in the large room with toys coming in and out of the bins, a door can be closed to give the teenage set some space of their own, their mother said.

While the study room is currently sparse with a blank wall, there are plans to possibly decorate it with some of the girls’ own artwork.

As for the girls’ rooms, Roetcisoender gifted each of them a small but workable walk-in closet with space for clothes, toys, and cubbies.

Their personalities shine with a choice of princess tents, hanging swings or with the teenage sister who can afford her own bathroom with walk-in shower, while the younger groups share a bathroom down the hall.

Back to the stairs in the wide open vaulted entryway, a beautifully detailed wall has added depth and interest to the white surface and something that Julia enjoys.

At the foot of the stairs on the right is the home office, giving them easy access to work and care for a three year old, as well as visiting clients.

While the computer screen is visible, everything else is stored in drawers and closets, from the printer to the house sound system.

Custom made glass barn doors, created for her from a picture by Lynden Sheet Metal, close for privacy.

The large family photo in the center of the living room is not actually a photo but a family photo displayed on the flat screen – so it can be resized as the family grows and changes.

The use of the flat screen is also possible in the parents’ and playroom.

The school bus arrives and the sound of children comes down the alley.

They head to the garage to put their stuff away, say hello to their family and play, and do their homework.


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