As the youngest of 14 children growing up in the city, Maureen King said she always dreamed of one day building a home in the country to raise a family. Her dream came true. Today she and her husband, Ken – who grew up in Elma – and their two teenagers live in the Town of Wales.
They made the move after living in the suburbs when their kids – son Riley, now 16, and Andrea, who just turned 15 – were quite young.
“After living in a busy subdivision in Lancaster for seven years with our children, we made the move to the country 10 years ago,” Maureen said. “We purchased 6 acres of land and built our beautiful country home to raise our kids. They were in second grade and kindergarten at the time back in 2008.
"I remember telling them how proud I was of them when taking them to Wales Primary on their first day, an adorable country school which had cows roaming behind it in the pasture,” said Maureen, who works for a commercial general contractor.
The couple worked with an architect to build this dream home: A front porch extends across the front of the house. A “morning room” off the kitchen overlooks the backyard and in-ground pool. A two-sided stone fireplace separates the kitchen from the living room.
“The stone fireplace breaks it up so it’s not just one big room,” said Ken, who works in sales.
The couple, who had purchased the land years before they built their home, said the house cost them about $315,000 to build. Ken tackles the interior painting. Maureen, who grew up in East Lovejoy and South Buffalo, is a DIYer who enjoys sewing and digging up “adorable gems” and fixing them up.
“I spray-paint things all the time,” she said.
She described her style of decorating as “French country/shabby chic/cottage-y.”
“I like mixing old with new,” she said.
The seaglass-colored velvet chairs in the living room are from the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines collection. Maureen found them at HomeGoods. The table and chairs in the morning room came from JCPenney. TJMaxx and Kirkland’s are her places for pillows. She is no stranger to garage and estate sales, flea markets and antiques shops.
One DIY project was restoring a vintage chrome kitchen stool she bought at an antiques shop in Varysburg. It reminded her of the ones that belonged to her mother and grandmother. Today, it stands in the Kings’ kitchen – the chrome shiny and the seat newly covered in turquoise vinyl from JOANN fabrics and crafts.
She also likes changing thing around – frequently.
“I rearrange my décor daily, which drives my husband crazy,” Maureen said.
On days Maureen is off from work, Ken wonders what she has done to the décor. “I don’t know what I will come home to,” he said.
Among the other highlights:
• The kitchen is in the center of the home. The custom cabinets are off-white with rubbed antique-bronze hardware. The countertops are a light-colored granite. Four stools with tie cushions are pulled up to the island. The couple also chose a farmhouse sink, multicolored tile backsplash and glass-front upper cabinets.
• The morning room features windows and a sliding door on three sides to maximize light.
• A tray ceiling adds architectural interest to the dining room.
• Their two dogs – Apollo, a 1-year-old black goldendoodle who adores company and his toy ball, and Gypsy, a 14-year-old bichon who blends in with a white faux-fur pillow on the living room sectional, clearly are at home here.
“We are so happy with country living, that the thought of leaving someday, when the kids are grown, really tugs at my heartstrings,” Maureen said.
The blue print
Ken and Maureen King made their move to the country 10 years ago, building the home they now share with their two teens and two dogs. Here is a peek inside:
Layout: Dining room and home office off the front foyer; kitchen and living room separated by a two-sided fireplace; a “morning room” for sitting and dining; laundry, and bath with shower on first floor. Master bedroom with bath; two additional bedrooms, and second full bath on second floor. There’s also a basement and a bonus room above the garage.
Colors: Most rooms, including daughter Andrea’s bedroom, are painted Benjamin Moore Horizon 1478. The master bedroom and bath are painted Benjamin Moore Brookline Beige HC 47. Son Riley’s room is blue.
Washed pastels, touches of turquoise and shades of white are found on furniture and fabrics. The exterior of the house is pale yellow with white trim.
Floors: Hardwood with area rugs. Wall-to-wall carpeting in living room and bedrooms.
Window treatments: Maureen sewed valances throughout the home, including the burlap ones in the morning room. Other treatments include natural woven shades in living room, white balloon shades in master bath, and sheers and fabric panels in other rooms.
Furniture: Faux-leather sectional in living room. Creamy white round pedestal dining table and chairs in morning room. Irresistible finds from barn sales, estate sales, flea markets and antiques shops.
Accessories: Faux-fur pillows, throws, inspirational and rustic signs, family photos, chandeliers, a collection of white pitchers, fresh and faux flowers.
*Look back at the last edition of Home of the Month:
Story topics: home of the month