It was an absolute pleasure working with the Butlers on their home. We hope you will enjoy this blog where the homeowner gets to share her personal experience with us. I think that sometimes we overlook how impactful creating a personal oasis in your new home can be! We see so many resale based or safe choices made by customers. We just loved helping Dawn select a place that was personal and catered to her family. She had an immediate connection with her sales and design consultant, Beth. It was exciting to watch them work as a team get the wow factor all throughout the home. Giving customers the spaces they have been dreaming of and saving for is truly one of the biggest highlights of working in the business. Thanks for coming along for the ride
– The team at Capitol Granite.
Dawn Butler reflects on the building and design of her amazing home.
I’ve never had any formal education in art, fashion design, or interior design. I did take more than two art classes. But a lot of the greatest designers do not have a formal education. You either have the eye for it or you don’t. People keep telling me I’ve got the eye. A unique one!
I have always been drawn to fashion. Even as a little girl when we would go to the grocery store checkout line, most kids would want a candy bar but I always asked for the fashion magazines. It’s a joke between my mom and me that one day I’ll pay her back for all the Vogue magazines she bought. My grandfather was an impeccable dresser, everything had to match and his closet was amazingly organized too. I always loved going shopping with him and his home was magnificent. His Christmas tree display was way ahead of his time it would’ve blown Pinterest out of the water. My mom too has an amazing eye for detail and design; I’ve always said her home needed to be in Architectural Digest. So, I guess I get it naturally.
I basically designed one room at a time, because I wanted a wow factor in each of them. That was my goal. I feel like when you have one or two eye-popping pieces in the room as you can see in the Chihuly, Agate, Cambria Bentley, Yellow Brick Road rooms, you don’t need all the extra furnishings sitting around them.
(My husband) Jason and I both love checkerboard floors. To me, they represent castles and great homes in Europe. To him they represent a victory flag from his love of racing and when he won the National Go Kart Championships. I love symbolism and I try to utilize it in each room. I feel like your home should represent you and the individuals that live within it. They should not just be a cookie-cutter design that every other neighbor has on the block. For example I love color in my clothes and feel you should want to surround your home with the things that you love and the colors that evoke happiness.
Another example is when Jason wanted a Caribbean blue for our bedroom because we it reminds him of when we took our family to Saint Martin last year. Hence we created the Saint Martin color walls.
I’ve always loved the Wizard of Oz. I don’t collect anything from it but every year at Thanksgiving as a child we always watched the movie. Trust me, I would love to own a pair of the original ruby red slippers! I was fascinated with the ruby red slippers. I love the sparkle of the shoes and how Dorothy had the power, all the time, to achieve her goal. It also represents one of my favorite colors- red. I think that’s where my love of fashion started. So throughout Dorothy‘s journey had twist and turns along the way, in order to get home. I wanted to create something super fun and happy in my closet so each morning it starts with the start of the Yellow Brick Road.
I was very adamant with our Tile Guy that it be identical to the movie and had to have the same starting point as Dorothy had. Some people said I should have the path go straight to the mirror. I said absolutely not! You have to wake up every morning and decide your dreams and your goals! There may be curves in the pathway, there may twist and turns, that’s why the Yellow Brick Road had to go around the island numerous times and then end up at the mirror. Only I know what my full dreams are and I have to be the one to make the decision on how these dreams are going to come true. You have to face yourself everyday in the mirror and either you go for it or you don’t. I always go for it!
The Cambria Bentley definitely has a wow factor for me. I’ve always loved zebra print and I felt like it had a zebra print when I saw it. So to sum everything up, I did take most of rooms one at a time, yet have them somewhat flow together. If you notice black in most rooms of the house it’s because it is one of our favorite colors and creates flow.
All along it has been a joke that Jason says I get to design the inside and he gets the outside. His true passion is landscaping and he is magical with it. We are finally starting to get to the point now that the warmer weather is coming, so he gets to do his mind-blowing design work.
Everything that I chose I run by him and he would either say yes or no. Thank goodness he’s so laid-back and let me design the inside the way I wanted it to be. There were some things I suggested like a waterfall, a sliding board, and a carousel horse he said no to. Which is completely fine, I still have 14 more rooms to do! I can truly say that we are a great team and work well together.
Five years ago my family had an intervention with me for my alcoholism. I went to rehab for 28 days and after leaving there it was the clearest my head has ever been. My creativity truly started to come alive because I was sober and I was able to focus on the things that I truly love. If I was still drinking today I wouldn’t be telling my story, I would still be stuck in a dead-end job and this home would never of been built. Being sober has allowed me to have incredible energy everyday and let my creative juices flow.
Maybe my story of sobriety will help somebody else. I spent 28 days at Williamsville Wellness and the place was absolutely incredible. Besides marrying my husband and adopting our daughter, giving up alcohol is the best thing I ever did!
This is the first time I’ve ever been able to design a house. The other homes we have owned were already built and we never had a say in anything for the home. At the beginning of the process many people said you will get so tired of picking things out, for me it was the complete opposite. It was like a challenge, a game, especially in the ways to save money. For example the lava bathtub I wanted I found in California for $12,000 after some research, which I love. I also figured out it was a product of Indonesia. I contacted a manufacturer over there had the tub and four sinks imported on a cargo ship around the world. We then installed them and we saved over $10,000 going this route. Many things in the home I did a ton of research on and went straight to manufactures, Facebook marketplace, Habitat for Humanity or just asked people and we saved a fortune.
We tried to do as much in this house together to save on costs, build the dock, install decking boards, install the pantry boards, do some painting and other miscellaneous things. He installed the septic field, all the grading, the excavation for the house and now he’s doing all the landscaping. We take pride in what we do and how we work and hopefully it shows.
I keep saying chandeliers, countertops, and flooring is fashion for the home. If you have a great chandelier, an amazing kitchen layout, or a huge wow factor in a room, you don’t need much more. This is the first time we have been able to do this and I now feel like it’s my calling. Everyone that has come to the home says that I need to continue on this journey.
I did work in the fashion industry. I was a Bridal Sales Manager for Nicole Miller and sold high-end shoes at The Shoe Box. I was a manager at a former Richmond bridal store. I’ve been able to attend fashion shows for Fashion Week in New York and have been on both sides of the seller and buyer side at market in the fashion industry. Over the past five years, I’ve been helping one of my best friends, Jacqi Bling in Texas, with her Swarovski cowboy boots, accessories, and fashion line. I’ve helped her in the research and development side, finding and creating products, learning the entire process of new product development, researching celebrities, and I’ve been able to help in the design process. It’s been cool to say that I got to help her with products that J Lo, Ariana Grande, the Jonas Brothers, Eric Clapton, Mahomes, and Cher now own. Jackie obviously does most of the design but we would always bounce ideas off of each other to make the products outstanding. I feel like all of these factors came full circle with this house, CLEARVIEW.
That’s why my number one thing was to have an amazing closet. Great pieces like a Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Jacqi Bling boots only go up in value. I feel like fashion and clothing are forms of artwork. As you can tell fashion and design are truly my passion!
I do not follow anyone else’s Pinterest boards or TV shows. After it was all said and done, I searched on HGTV, Pinterest, and Instagram, Yellowbrick Road for ‘home’, ‘agate fireplace’ and ‘lava stone tub’ and I think I saw one agate fireplace – which looks nothing like ours and one other stone tub. So anyone can see I did not copy anybody else’s designs. All of these ideas just came into my head one at a time. Unlike the modern farmhouse trend, where you find millions of inspiration boards that you can copy other people’s designs. I’m a leader, not a follower. Jason is the same way; he’s a leader, not a follower. I guess you can say we both march to the beat of our own drums. I’ve been known to question authority because I don’t take the answer ‘no’ very lightly. Jason always says if this plan doesn’t work we’ll just step back and re-punt.
I’ll be launching Dawn Butler Designs – Interior Design Stylist, fashion for the home, in the next month. I knew we had something special here when we kept hearing it from everybody that came over. It’s the most unique home they have ever seen. One of our subs had worked in over 450 homes this year, one being an 18,000 square-foot house and he said by far ours was their favorite.
To learn more about this amazing home head to this link: https://link.edgepilot.com/s/660db3ef/ufrbw6KdNk_vA6Of-hG5jw?u=https://online.visual-paradigm.com/share/book/cgspecialeditionbutler-june2022-yt6al7xl3
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