April 2021

But then we would go look at houses and be like, goodness, for $250,000 you’re still just getting a brick 1980s home that isn’t what we wanted, and we were like, we can do this, and we’d just keep pushing.” The Harveys both knew they wanted the house to be tucked away in the woods and in 2018, found the perfect wooded location. At that point they started clearing the future house site, doing dirt work, and really focusing on the design of the house. The Harveys spent a lot of time together researching every detail. “I really love modern minimalistic. I obviously really wanted big windows everywhere. That was my main focus,” Ashlyn said. Since they wanted the house to be unique, they began searching for inspiration. “We looked a lot on websites from other countries. They have really cool architecture,” said Ashlyn. Austin added, “Germany has a lot of the black house, big window style we were drawn to; that’s something that we definitely got from there.” The Harveys used this inspiration from other countries and their own inclination for modern design, to sketch out the idea for their house. Then they took their ideas to Pate Easterling, who drafted their floorplan and helped them make sure every detail was just what they envisioned. When you drive up to the house, the black exterior with warm wooden timber accents is eye-catching. Matter of fact, the exterior is so strikingly handsome that it’s hard to imagine anyone would object, but they said several of their friends and family tried to discourage them from painting the house black. Even their contractor, Steve

McGough of CustomWoodworks, seemed apprehensive about this choice but was pleased in the end. “Think about it...” said Austin, “You have this young couple, who have never built a house before, never even owned a house before, and they’re telling you they want to paint it all black.” They admitted they were nervous about the decision and almost changed their minds but decided to go with their plan and they are very glad that they did. Welcoming, wooden French doors invite you inside the living area of the open concept downstairs. In contrast to the black exterior, the inside welcomes you with bright, white walls, a black fireplace, and an expansive two-story ceiling. You can’t help but notice the amazing windows and the very important wooded view that makes the perfect backdrop to their modern style. The Harveys continued the fresh white look by painting most of the kitchen cabinetry white, accenting it with bleached wooden shelves, and adding visual weight with matte black appliances and a black island. The beautiful marble countertops were a splurge item but really tie the space together. Another standout touch in the kitchen is the matte black farmhouse sink and the backsplash. For the backsplash, Ashlyn chose a rectangular subway tile with a handmade feel and subtle variation in the color, adding just a bit of texture to the space. She also chose to turn the tiles vertically, which she says seemed to make her tile installer nervous, but he indulged her vision and did an excellent job with the installation. The simplicity of the kitchen also allowed Ashlyn to highlight her china, which is very


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