Meeting a New Client

I find myself on the other side of the desk, or both sides of the desk, if you will … . I am going to be my own client as I design the dream home for my husband and I.

“Amy it is so wonderful to meet you and Steve, we’re excited to get started on the design of your mountain dream home.”

—Amy Conner-Murphy

Just like with so many of our clients, at the inception of the project we were deciding if we wanted to renovate or build new. We looked at properties, some with existing homes, some blank slates. I knew right away some would not work and crossed those off: no view, the terrain was too rocky, the nearby amenities weren’t what we wanted, etc. With the properties that we thought could work, the ideas flooded in with all of the possibilities. It reminded me of the same enthusiasm my clients have!

Then, we found the lot we absolutely loved, it fit all of our criteria. There was space to fit the rough floor plan of the home we wanted to build. We loved the location, and after seriously starting down the road of purchasing it, we took one final look at our priorities and decided that while it was perfect, it wasn’t perfect for us. We are so lucky to have lived in the Asheville area for two-decades. Unlike our clients who are often new to the area and establishing roots, we already had ours. Our friends we socialize with, our grown children—-we wanted to be closer to them and this property was not going to do that. It was time to reset and start looking again.

I have learned over the years that there is not always a bright line from start to finish with a project. There are ebbs and flows. It was better that we determined early that we needed to change course. I knew that, but it did not help from the disappointment sinking in. How could I get my client back on track? How could we regain that initial enthusiasm to start the process again?

We revisited “why” we were doing this project. We certainly liked our current home, but we were making someone else’s design work for us and our lifestyle. I’d had the opportunity to design our personal home before, the house we lived in before this one. That seemed like a lifetime ago as was suited for the life of a young family. And as our family grew, we outgrew that home. In that busy stage of life it was easier to find an existing home and make it work. Our nights and weekends were full of family activities. There wasn’t time or desire to begin again. It is the way these things tend to evolve because we now find ourselves at a different stage in our lives. The quieter moments have allowed us to focus on what makes us feel at home. To imagine what this life unlived is to be.

It was time to get back out there and find the lot that would work for us.

This article is part of a series we’ll be working on from time to time about the process of designing Amy and Steve’s dream home. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

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