The average family experiences its fair share of chaos on any given day, but when your family is made up of two parents, four children, four dogs and two pigs, that chaos might seem amplified. But not for the Sulaks. The twelve members of this household are living their best life in their dream home they developed from top to bottom.
About the Family
Lindsay and Casey Sulak and their four children:
William Henry (13), Nina (12), Benjamin (10) and Gabriel (8)
2 pigs Lulu (Julianna pig) and Fern (Kunekune pig)
4 dogs Poppy (mini Dachshund) Georgia (English setter) Paula Deen (Basset Hound) Harper (Bearded Collie).
Behind the Design
FG: What was the inspiration behind your home design?
SULAKS (Lindsay): My primary objective is to always create homes with a sense of timelessness and there’s no better source of inspiration than Nashville. The Southern charm, historical feel and the fabulous architectural details found in these homes were all factors in our design. Equally inspiring was the modern-traditional vibe found in new homes here; we love preserving historic elements while peppering in modern touches.
FG: With a long-standing career designing and building homes of this caliber, do you involve an architect to render drawings or plans?
SULAKS (Lindsay): No, that would be me. In addition to designing, I also draw all the blueprints. This entails conceptualizing the floor plans, all exterior elevations, walls, roofline, window configurations and sizes as well as detailed cabinetry elevations.
SULAKS (Casey): One of the most extraordinary things about Lindsay – whether it be a fresh piece of land or the development of an existing property – is her amazing ability to envision a sketch within minutes. Then seeing it come to life is incredible. She doesn’t just create a home, she captures a feeling or an essence that reaches you on an emotional level.
FG: What was the greatest challenge you encountered while designing your home?
SULAKS: Well, this particular property was very close to a tear down, so we were faced with the challenge of creating additions to some areas while attempting to salvage some framework in other areas and doing so in a seamless way. It was important for us to preserve and recycle what little was left, and since we needed to raise the ceilings on the first floor only, we had to figure out how to preserve the second story. This was accomplished by bringing in a company that raised the second story high enough to reframe the lower level to the desired height. It ended up working like a charm!
FG: What do you like about Frontgate products? Do you have a favorite piece?
SULAKS: We like that Frontgate offers a lot of the same classic styles we gravitate toward. The holiday decor is some of our favorite since we like to go all out during the holiday season.
Lifestyle & Its Influence
FG: One unique addition to your family is your two pet pigs. Tell us about that backstory.
SULAKS (Lindsay): I have been an animal lover for as long as I can remember; I would fill my house with every kind of animal if I could. Having a pig has always been a dream of mine, and I finally took the leap. It is the best decision I have ever made. They are unlike any other pet and while they do require a bit of a learning curve, they are so worth it. Pigs are highly intelligent and surprisingly clean animals. They are also very loving creatures, and boy are they funny – I can’t say enough about how they have enriched our lives.
FG: Are the pigs given free rein of your home?
SULAKS: The pigs absolutely have free rein in our home – that is, when they’re not busy grazing outdoors or basking in the sun! They sleep in either the master bedroom or in our children’s room. They watch movies with us in the living room and even go boating with us on the lake. However, I will say they love to hang out in the kitchen most of the time. Can you guess why?
FG: Do you have a favorite room in your home and why?
SULAKS (Lindsay): My favorite room in our home is definitely the kitchen! At the risk of sounding cliché, it is the heart of our home. I designed the space to function around a lot of kids and a lot of animals. The oversized island is the center for loads of cooking and has been especially valuable since (I was) diagnosed with lupus, as healthy cooking has become a way of life for me. It is truly a workhorse for any project we tackle as a family. Family is our number one priority, so creating an environment that facilitates wonderful memories together was imperative. Our kitchen does it all.
FG: Did you design anything in your home specifically with your kids and animals in mind?
SULAKS (Lindsay): My design process always involves creating functional spaces for the kids as well as the animals. Since the kitchen is the primary hangout space for all of them, trying to cook can become a little difficult. When designing I made sure to leave ample walking space in this very heavy-traffic area. It has been a life saver and I love it!
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