Nine houses, four kids, one home.
They say home is where the heart is, and for the Michel family this could not be more true. Jennifer and Mark bought their first home in 1999. Eight homes and four children later, the family has built what they consider to be their most unique home to date.
The Michels’ home is an elegant mix of trendy lighting and sleek granite, yet the family has stayed true to their roots by incorporating personal elements from their lives. In the girls’ room, bright flowers made by their pastor’s wife adorn the front wall, while Jennifer’s grandmother’s mirror hangs above the bed frame in their master bedroom.
Their pantry has a hidden coffee bar inside, an inspiration that stemmed from Jennifer’s mom, and in each home the family has incorporated a tall base trim, an element that was a beloved part of their first home, their “Wellington” house. (The pair fondly refers to each of their previous homes by the street they were located on.)
Jennifer has repurposed once lime green thrifted dressers, and throughout the house you will find pieces of furniture and décor that have stuck with the Michel family from their first home.
Jennifer and Mark began flipping homes with their Riverside house. It was in their first flip home that their first child, Wesley, was born. The Riverside house also gave way to the inspiration of the big “tall trim.”
In 2005, the couple built their first home, where their daughters Marcie and Chloe were born. From there, the growing family moved into a duplex, which they renovated, and then into their next flip home, which Jennifer and Mark both agree is their favorite home to date that they have renovated. Fittingly so, as they completed their family in this home when their youngest daughter, Kelsie, was born.
Jennifer and Mark designed their next home in a French country style, popular throughout the Jefferson City area. While building, they discovered their love for an open floor plan. “We love the open living room, kitchen, and dining room, because with the family, we can be in all of those spaces and still see each other,” says Mark. The couple added a huge beam into their current home to open up the basement for this reason.
Their French country home sold almost instantly, and the family quickly moved into their “Sharon” house, which they renovated while living there, a plan that proved to be less than ideal.
“We’re alive, we survived,” Jennifer laughs, but the couple agrees that their biggest advice to those looking to make major renovations would be to not live in the home while doing so. “Each house, you learn a little bit more,” says Jennifer.
The learning experience is part of what has spurred Jennifer and Mark’s love for flipping and building homes. Gathering ideas from their surroundings, finding what works and what doesn’t, and experimenting with details are a key part of their process.
This learning experience isn’t limited to just Jennifer and Mark. The entire family worked on their home together. “Because we’re home schooling, the kids can be a part of this,” explains Jennifer. “Knowing that there is a big project coming up, we can work extra so that we don’t get behind.”
“It’s something we can work together on and teach them with,” adds Mark. He and Wesley worked together on the insulation, while the girls helped clean the baseboards and tidied the project. One of the family’s most memorable tasks was laying sod together in the midst of August’s intense heat.
The kids also got to help with the design process, helping Jennifer choose the colors and themes of their rooms and place furniture around the home.
This home is the biggest change in style for the family. Each of their previous homes were a cottage or French style, and so moving toward a more modern farmhouse design was a big change. The home is airy and light, filled with glass and chrome details and walls of shiplap and brick, all painted white.
“When we went all white, it wasn’t necessarily in my comfort zone, but we’re not building for ourselves, we’re building to sell,” Mark explains.
“I think we fret about things so much because we love the details,” Jennifer adds.
This love for detail is translated throughout the home, from the coffee bar inside their pantry to the shelving built into the closets so that all electrical components are hidden. “We always like to do a little extra that’s different, but we definitely try to stick to the trend of the Jefferson City area,” says Jennifer.
The family completed their home this past September, and while Mark has already begun to consider the next move, Jennifer is more comfortable with the idea of staying — at least for little while.
White tiled walls and granite are complemented by silver accents. Jennifer chose farm-house style faucets to balance out the modern elements.
Cabinetry | Lage’s Cabinet Shop
With plenty of natural light and all white walls, the master bedroom is light and airy, yet balanced by the broad, dark wood bed set. A light warm wood flooring adds an extra warmth to the space.
Flooring | Howell’s Carpet
The Michel kitchen is designed as a modern, open floor plan, accented with warm brown tones and pops of greenery.
Cabinetry | Lage’s Cabinet Shop
Granite Countertops | Martellaro Marble & Granite