Putting up walls makes a house. Putting things inside the walls makes it a home.
Sam and Carrie Rhodus moved into their Lochmere Place home in the fall of 2014, and it was their first home together after getting married just the year before.
“We liked that it was a small neighborhood. There’s about 50 houses. There’s only one way in and one way out. It’s nice and tucked back in here,” Carrie said. “Chilesburg is big, but this (area) is small.”
The couple decided to build because they liked that they could pick out each component of their home. Ball Homes had the winning floor plan, which matched their top priority in a house: functionality.
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The kitchen is Sam’s favorite area, which they built with an open concept that spills into the living room.
“The kitchen is the primary gathering space. People call it the heart of the home, and for us, it really is,” he said. “We spend 80 percent of our time in this area. We have family over and entertain a lot. It’s nice to have people over and not have everyone in different rooms.”
The Rhodus’ kitchen features a large pantry, granite countertops and a matching granite 5’x6’ island that can seat up to 10 people. White cabinets, elaborate backsplashes and touches of beach décor keeps the space fresh and serene.
Carrie loves the beach, and that love is evident in her decorating, beginning with canary-colored anchor throw pillows on their front porch. The laundry room is a breezy blue, there’s jars of seashells at the center of the island in the kitchen and the screened-in patio houses decorative lanterns, oars, sand and tan furniture with touches of aqua.
“I agree with Sam (that the kitchen is our favorite space) for most of the year, but when it’s nice out, the back porch is my favorite. It’s nice and peaceful out here, and pretty. Since I can’t have a beach house, that is what I imagine it’d look like,” Carrie said.
When the house was being built, Carrie and Sam placed family pictures inside the walls. Their family and friends signed wall studs, they hid seashells in the thresholds before the concrete was poured and placed a copy of their marriage certificate and well wishes in the living room walls.
“If the walls are ever torn down or remodeled, somebody will find it (all),” Carrie said.
The couple turned one of their six bedrooms into a playroom, which now has a big screen TV, gaming systems and surround sound Sam wired himself. He did the same wiring in the living room, where plush furniture surrounds a dry stack stone fireplace. Stems of cotton, dark hardwood floors and metal and wood décor keep up the clean, beachy feel.
Lots of the summery colors inside will change, Carrie said. In the fall, Carrie switches out the blues and creams with gold and orange table runners, throw blankets, pillows and rugs, and lots of red at Christmastime.
“We have neutral furniture so we can change out the accents,” Carrie said.
The study, also on the first floor, is one of the family’s most functional spaces as it serves as a homework area for the kids and a quiet place for Sam to work from home.
“Stylistically, it went from being our least favorite room to our favorite,” Sam said.
They put hardwood floors up to create an accent wall and adorned the room with Sam’s guitars, giving the room an urban feel.
“He is a nerd by day and rockstar by night,” Carrie said.
The couple’s fine taste in décor and Carrie’s love for design gives each room a uniqueness, from 200-year-old industrial cart coffee tables and vintage teachers’ desks to an old piano stool. They even have a guestbook in their bathroom where guests write comments and draw pictures for the family to read later.
A special wall hanging in the entryway is a large wooden frame with four sheets of music behind glass; a gift from Carrie to Sam for their paper anniversary of their song together.
“She decorated the entire house all by herself,” Sam said.
Carrie also transformed the sitting area off the master bedroom into a massive 15’x14’ color-coordinated closet with a chest of drawers in the center.
And the house isn’t just unique inside. Amid several darker brick houses in the neighborhood, the Rhodus’ house is a light brick with wrought-iron Juliet balconies.
And all of it is what has made their house a home in that little neighborhood.
“Everybody knows everybody. Everybody’s kids play together. We can walk, there’s no traffic hardly,” Carrie said.
With four children together, they also take part in the neighborhood picnics, Easter egg hunts and Fourth of July parades.
“It’s a really neat little neighborhood,” Carrie said.