Empty nesters build perfect Woodlands home, despite supply chain issues

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Cindy and Chuck Bider loved their house in the middle of The Woodlands, but it didn’t meet their needs as empty nests.

For 29 years, the house has given their two sons plenty of space to play and entertain friends. Now it’s Cindy and Chuck’s turn to organize cocktails and dinners.

They considered buying an existing home, but finally knew they would get exactly what they wanted with new construction – and that it wouldn’t need constant renovation and maintenance.

They found a new neighborhood in Creekside Park, on the edge of The Woodlands, and while they expected them to end up in a smaller house, their new location is ultimately slightly larger, dropping from 2 700 square feet to 3,000 square feet. The setup is also a little different. Their old house had four bedrooms and a playroom on two floors, while their new house has three bedrooms and an office on one floor.

Their taste and style changed over the years, and this time around, they wanted what is now demanded: cleaner lines, a neutral palette, lots of art in a more transitional style, with a lot less accessories.

Chuck, 65, who has never had strong opinions on interior design other than what he liked when he saw it, walked into a model home when construction began in their neighborhood and immediately said: “This is the one.”

He has worked for a French shipping container company and has been working from home for 12 years, so having a real office was a priority. What originally was to be a small patio on the side of their house was closed off to become his workspace.

“This house is for us and our friends. We had fun and I think we will do more, ”said Cindy, 64. They also spend time with their two grandsons, Logan, 3, and Camden, 2. .

All of the work and the purchase of new furniture took place during the coronavirus pandemic, so they – like others – found workarounds for the hard-to-get things. They signed a contract in the summer of 2020 with construction starting in November of the same year. They moved in April 2021.

The original combination of brick and stone they chose was not available, so they had to make another choice. When the finished look wasn’t quite what they wanted, they chose to paint it – which a lot of people do because painted brick is now popular.

They kept some of their bedroom furniture for the guest rooms and had recently bought a new bed for the master bedroom, but everywhere else they needed new things.

The scale of everything was different. They gave old furniture to their sons – Joe Bider, 39, and Austin Bider, 36, who both live nearby – and sold other pieces, so nothing ended up in a landfill.

They spent much of the pandemic looking for furniture online, sometimes visiting stores or showrooms and simply not finding what they wanted or hearing about long wait times for the delivery.

When they stumbled upon the Urban Leather showroom in Houston, they discovered a place where they could find a basic sofa they liked, then customize it to do exactly what they wanted. And they could get it in weeks instead of months.

For example, she bought a pot for plants from Pottery Barn and it took her three months to arrive. A bench she made for the fireplace will take three weeks to be made from scratch.

Urban Leather took care of the sofas and chairs in the living room, as well as two upholstered chairs for the master bedroom. Next, they needed a console to sit under their TV, a long table for their fireplace, and a coffee table and side tables. The owner of Urban Leather referred them to a friend who made custom cases.

For all the things that cannot be obtained by manufacturers now, an opportunity has opened up for local businesses that make furniture here. It’s a way for residents of the Houston area to support small businesses – and those who work there – and to contribute to the local economy. And this custom-made piece of furniture is not always more expensive; sometimes it is considerably cheaper.

The Biders have a 25 foot long hearth, so they had a 10 foot table built for it. A pair of mirrors frame a new painting and three large hanging lanterns light up the space.

New leather furnishings fill much of the new main living room, which also includes a dining area and kitchen. What could have been a wine cellar became a storage cupboard because the Biders didn’t feel like they needed a full-fledged wine cellar or bar, but they did. ‘a place to store things.

Because they lacked storage, they opted for kitchen cabinets and also included a nice pantry and butler’s pantry.

In the kitchen, Cindy chose a slab of granite for the island, with a white background and taupe veining to fit into her mostly neutral palette. The perimeter counters are covered with quartz.

Chuck was adamant that he wanted new and original art for the house, but they should be on a budget. They found Trend Gallery, where they could order pieces online and they would be painted and shipped ready to hang or not yet stretched on canvas. They were sent unframed and the bidders took them to a local framer, Davis Hardware and Picture Framing.

The couple’s master bathroom is luxurious compared to their previous home. A double shower would rival any hotel / spa shower and there is plenty of counter space for him and her. A sparkling chandelier hangs over the freestanding tub.

The “room” Chuck cared about the most was his garage, which he treats like a man cave, with walls filled with license plates that he has collected over the years and during their travels and with signs that he bought or received as a gift. .

When he lifts the garage door, visitors are welcome. It has a table and chairs and a fridge full of drinks. A popcorn machine also turns on from time to time.

Much of the Man Cave is devoted to Chuck’s new hobby, model railroading. Chuck smirks sheepishly and explains that Cindy urged him to start a new hobby because the pandemic has left him extra time and there is nothing to fix in the new house.

He always loved trains, so he built a table with scraps of wood from nearby houses under construction, then bought wagons and railroad tracks. He’s creating the landscape now, just starting to carve and paint mountains that will run along one side.

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