Danny Vaughan custom builds again for the Backues family.
We talk a lot about custom homes in City Magazine. We’ve learned about the time, effort, and details that go into planning and building a forever home. For the Backues family, you could almost say that process is old hat.
In 1997, Corey and Paula Backues were newlyweds searching for a new home. “We were looking to buy our new house together and couldn’t find what we wanted,” Paula says. “Danny Vaughan and his brother, David, were our builders then. Danny and my husband were talking one day, and Danny mentioned that building prices were really good for the consumer at that time. We had no prior planning, had no idea what we were doing. We just jumped in feet-first.”
That, she says, was the main difference between building their first and second homes. “We did what everyone else was doing because that’s all we knew at the time,” she says. “It was a great house, but it was basically a cookie cutter image of another house we had shopped for. We did a tiny amount of tweaking but didn’t know to do much more.
“This house, we had forethought on where we wanted each room, how we’d use the house as a family, different things like that. We planned this house around how we live.”
Some of those things include space for entertaining, few closed off spaces, and input from the whole family. “By virtue of my husband’s job, we do a lot of entertaining,” says Paula. (Corey is vice president of sales at GFI Digital.) “We love having people over, and we purposefully developed space for that. We knew we wanted to have people over, which was a drawback of our previous home.”
Nearly every room in their home opens to another room. For example, their bathroom connects to their closet, which connects to their office, which connects to their foyer. While that may seem complicated, it was planned and purposeful. “In our old house, when I was in the kitchen, I felt closed off from the living room, where everyone else was,” Paula says. “And the laundry room was on the other side of the house from the bedrooms. Things like that are what went into planning this house.
“Also,” she continues, “I tried to fit the kids’ spaces to how they like to do things. They each have their own room, they each have their own play space. I did narrow details like light fixtures and colors to two or three options so they could have a hand in the decision making.” She laughs about how, when deciding on whether to finish the pool or the basement first, the kids won out. They did the pool first.
Something Paula decided from day one was that the kitchen would be the heart of the home. “I love to cook,” she says. “I watch Food Network constantly.” You see details such as a pot filler above her stove because “You see them in cook’s kitchens. I use it so much. You’d be amazed how many times you need to put water in a pot and don’t want to carry it from the sink. It’s an awesome little feature.”
The biggest difference between their 1997 and 2014 builds is technology. “Back then, you got to the store and had maybe three choices and that was it,” Paula says. “Now, with the internet, the choices are endless. Pinterest and Houzz were my best friends when planning this home.” Many of the details, like her unique ceilings, came from poking around online. “I knew I wanted to treat the ceilings like ‘the fifth wall.’”
An important piece of this whole project was Danny Vaughan and his team at CLC Design. “Thankfully, Danny and David were excellent during our first build and walked us through the entire process,” says Paula.
“It’s always nice to be able to have communication during the whole building process,” Vaughan says. “By already having that relationship, we made all of that much easier and more comfortable on all sides.”
“They do quality work, which is why we hired Danny again,” Paula says. “He’s great to work with. He’s very patient. Of course, I had all these plans and pictures with very specific wants and needs. I think we, in a good way, pushed each other. The quality is obvious.”
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