It’s the time of the month where we bring you along for another local home tour! We love touring DFW local homes selfishly for our own inspiration, but of course to share with our amazing community. This month we’re sharing Ryan of Texas Forever Farmhouse.
During our tour Ryan went from an “instagram friend” to a “real life” friend 😉Ryan is an attorney in the Dallas area with an amazing eye for design that she shares online with her many followers on Instagram. We were drawn to her because of her authenticity and let me tell you after meeting her in person it’s the real deal.
Below are our favorite take aways from Ryan’s home plus some great inspiration straight from Ryan during our interview!
1. YOUR HOME IS SO FRESH AND DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER NEW BUILD WE HAVE SEEN SO FAR, WHAT ARE SOME TIPS FOR OUR FRIENDS ON HOW YOU ADDED YOUR OWN TOUCHES TO THE HOME AS IT WAS BEING BUILT?
Thank you so much. That’s so nice. My husband and I worked with an architect to design our home from the ground up, so I was fortunate enough to be able to customize everything, right down to the door knobs and light switch plates. It was an amazing experience but also overwhelming at times. Obviously a huge driver in any decision you make in building a home is budget, so I think you have to decide what elements in the home are most important to you. For example, I knew that I wanted a full wall of subway tile in our kitchen. It would have blown the budget, but we stuck with pretty standard appliances and eliminated most of the upper cabinets, so it all ultimately evened out. We also spent a lot of time customizing the trim throughout the house because I knew I wanted a farmhouse feel. It didn’t cost substantially more than our builder’s standard trim, but it did take some extra effort on our parts. I think windows, doors, and trim make a huge impact in the home, and they are upgrades you really have to do while building. I always opted to prioritize elements that would be difficult to change later.
SHOP RYAN’S KITCHEN
2. WHEN YOU WERE DESIGNING AND PLANNING OUT YOUR HOME WHAT WAS YOUR PROCESS IN BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER?
I think the first step in the process is to identify trends in your inspiration. Which basically just means you need to put in some serious Pinterest time 😉I created Pinterest boards for each room in the house, plus some big-picture interior and exterior boards. And then I pinned my heart out. After I had a critical mass of inspiration images, I started to identify trends. I was drawn to white. Lots and lots of white! But I also loved spaces that integrated natural wood accents, black elements, and greenery. In terms of structure, I wanted open spaces, clean-ish lines, and lots of function–I didn’t want space just for the sake of space. I ultimately created a board of my top 15-20 images, printed them out in a book and took them with me to our first meeting with the architect. We focused on the exterior first, and once we had that basic exterior concept, we made a list of our top interior must-haves and then honed in on the final design over a period of about six months. It was grueling, but also such a fun challenge.
SHOP RYAN’S LIVING ROOM
3. WE HAVE SEVERAL FRIENDS WHO HAVE BUILT HOMES, THE PROCESS ISN’T ALWAYS EASY. GIVE US YOUR TOP 3 TIPS FOR THIS PROCESS.
Oh man… anyone who followed along with our building process can tell you that I didn’t always handle it well. But I think the most important thing is to manage your own expectations. If you can do that–if you can tell yourself at the outset that it absolutely won’t be perfect and that you absolutely will experience setbacks and missteps, it really helps. I’d also say that even if your builder doesn’t require you to finalize your finishes at the outset, do it anyway. Specifically, hone in on your plumbing and lighting fixtures because you may need the rough-in plumbing or electrical to be placed differently to accommodate those choices. We ended up having to switch out a faucet at the last minute because I hadn’t told our builder at the beginning that I wanted a three-piece wall-mounted faucet. If I had known sooner, we could have planned for it. Lastly, document EVERYTHING.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPACE IN YOUR HOME AND WHY?
It feels like you’re asking me to pick a favorite child. 😉 But if I HAD to pick, it’d be our bedroom/bathroom. Those spaces turned out EXACTLY like I hoped they would. The shiplap, fireplace, and windows were a splurge, but I can’t express the feeling I get when I wake up in the morning and the sun is peeking through the windows. We went with real wood floors in the bathroom, which was definitely a risk, but I love the warmth they give the space.
5. WE ALL HAVE THAT ONE ACCOUNT THAT WE HAVE THE NOTIFICATIONS TURNED ON FOR BECAUSE WE SOMEHOW FEEL CONNECTED TO THEM (AT LEAST WE DO 😂). WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE HOME CENTERED INFLUENCER/ACCOUNT TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH ON INSTAGRAM.
So many accounts inspire and encourage me on a daily basis. So I’m going to cheat and pick two. Holly at @ourfauxfarmhouse and Erin at @cottonstem are my all-time favorites. I love Holly and Brad’s DIYs and their overall style, but I also really dig the way Holly strikes a really healthy balance in sharing authentically while still maintaining some boundaries around her family and personal life. Erin’s vibe is cottage-y and cozy, and I appreciate her account because I think she works really hard to offer creative, practical content. She’s very intentional in what she shares and how she shares it, and that’s so motivating to me.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT SHARING YOUR HOME ONLINE? WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR TEXAS FOREVER FARMHOUSE INSTAGRAM? IS THERE A STORY BEHIND THE NAME?
Honestly, I never expected my Instagram account to carry such weight and meaning in my life. Truly, it was just supposed to be an online scrapbook of sorts, and I knew if I created a separate account I’d be more likely to take pictures and document the building process. I also wanted to be able to bounce ideas off of other people throughout the process, and I thought that would really annoy my friends and family if I did it on my personal account. So I created a separate account on a whim. Over time it grew into a real community. I developed relationships with other people who were building at the time (all of us have finished now, which is so neat), and I realized that the whole thing had become more than I could have anticipated. I believe strongly in the power of women to collectively do good, so my favorite part of sharing my home is, by far, the people I share it with. It has been such a gift getting to know people who totally understand what I’m into and who are more encouraging than I can even say. My followers are the ACTUAL BEST.
The story behind my handle really just stems from my obsession with Tim Riggins on the TV show Friday Night Lights. He had this thing he said on the show, “Texas forever.” It’s this idea that, no matter how far he strayed from Texas, he’d never forget the place and the upbringing that made him who he is. (I’m literally crying just typing that because it resonates so strongly with me.) TEXAS FOREVER.
7.WE KNOW THAT A HOUSE IS NEVER TRULY FINISHED AND YOU’RE ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE A PROJECT IN MIND. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW OR IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
We have so many ideas and plans! But we’ll probably start with the garage and get it organized. We’ve been procrastinating because we know it’s going to be tedious and that we’re going to have to get rid of a bunch of things that are currently taking up space in there. But we’ve been in the house nine months now, so we probably shouldn’t still have moving boxes in there, right?
I hope this blog post inspires you to create a space unique to you and your family! Thank you Ryan for sharing your gorgeous home with us and letting us get to know you. We’re so excited to be “real life” friends 😋You can find Ryan on Instagram at @TexasForeverFarmhouse. We have more photos of this beautiful home in the gallery below. You won’t want to miss out on all the inspiration.
📷Photos by our amazing staff photographer: Charlee Tabor Photography