Once they moved into Lake Ridge, the Schuffs puzzled over the empty lot. It appeared to be an ideal spot, sitting on the cul-de-sac and backing up to Earlywine Park. Why hadn’t someone built on it?
“It was a great lot,” Jim Schuff recalled. “You could see through to the park.”
They finally tracked down the lot’s owner and made a pitch for it, but it was already tied up with another builder. A year and a half later, though, Jim Schuff encountered the owner at a lunch meeting. “After asking him every month for a year, ‘You ever going to build? You ever going to build?’ He finally said, ‘Hey, you want it? It’s yours,’” Schuff said.
The Schuffs plucked out and tweaked some of their favorite elements from Vesta’s designs in planning their 4,000-square-foot home, including a sweeping staircase in the entry, an enlarged breakfast area, large windows overlooking the park and a theater room upstairs.
The theater room, with its own kitchenette and bathroom, was a critical element.
“We wanted a large bonus room where we could all hang out,” Jim Schuff said. “It’s been a lot of fun because the kids have slumber parties, they have sleepovers, and they want to hang out and sleep in here.”
And the best part? “It’s over the combination of the kitchen and the garage, so we don’t even hear them,” Schuff said with a smile.
A playroom across the hall doubles as a classroom where daughter Taylor teaches her dolls, perhaps emulating her mother, who taught in Putnam City schools for years. “She’ll put my high heels on to teach,” Robyn Schuff said. “Maybe teachers today wear high heels to teach, but I never did.”
And a Bible verse incorporated into the mural on the playroom wall offers a pearl of wisdom to a busy family who may sometimes pass each other on their way to another activity: “Stop and consider God’s wonders.”
“I guess anybody who has kids in this day and age is busy,” Robyn Schuff said. “I guess we’re thankful we only have two.”
But the pool out back is almost finished, and Jim Schuff said he has a simple plan for what he’ll do next: “Relax.”
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Editor’s Note: This is one of an occasional series of features about homebuilders and their own homes.