Every time they do a custom home, for Melissa and Scott Powell — the power couple behind New Leaf Custom Homes — it’s a chance to make someone’s dream a reality.
“With custom home building, almost everybody has a learning curve,” Melissa said as we enjoyed the early spring sunlight pouring through the wall of windows in her family’s modern home. “A lot of it is accommodating ideas from clients, and then finding the right craftsman or subcontractor to do those creative, edgy things.”
That’s a common theme for New Leaf Custom Homes — a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder — and the Powells. The brand is so client-focused that each home is a completely new vision and the results are a category by themselves.
But the family’s personal home, which is definitely worth the shuttle ride during this weekend’s White Rock Home Tour, was an exercise in stepping out of their comfort zone.
Not only did Scott and Melissa build their dream home, but they did it in a way that was easy on the environment without sacrificing style. It’s definitely an inspiration, from the suspended-slab foundation to the floor-to-ceiling windows to the reclaimed wood siding to the solar panel array.
You can still score your tickets for this weekend’s tour, which not only features the Powells’ personal home on Forest Trail, but another beautiful build from New Leaf on the same street.
The 14th annual White Rock Home Tour is this weekend, April 27-28, and tour-goers will get a close-up look at two Midcentury Modern homes and five new modern homes, each of which offers can’t miss details and design. Discounted early bird tickets are on sale now for $15 each at whiterockhometour.org. During tour weekend, tickets are $20 each and will be on sale at Hexter Elementary (9720 Waterview Rd.) starting at 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., as well as each tour home from noon to 4:45 p.m. (tour closes at 5 p.m. sharp). All proceeds from the 14th annual White Rock Home Tour benefit DISD’s Hexter Elementary. The 2018 WRHT raised $61,400 for students and teachers.
You can also try your luck to win a pair of tickets from CandysDirt.com — the official media sponsor of this year’s tour. Keep reading for more!
For their personal home, Melissa and Scott had some very specific goals to accomplish. First, they needed to build a foundation that would support a two-story structure on a sloped lot near a creek bed. The answer was found in suspended slab engineering, which is a relatively new concept for slab foundations that creates more stability in areas with shifting soils. The slab foundation is positioned on jacks that are anchored to piers drilled deep into the earth. The void between the soil and the slab works to keep the earth from heaving the foundation — an extremely expensive problem to fix.
The first thing that tour-goers will notice, Melissa said, will likely be the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace in the living room. It’s a dramatic focal point, fitted with the same dark brick you see outside the home. It’s not the only material on the outside that you’ll also find indoors, Melissa added. The reclaimed fence wood that is cladding the modern home on the exterior also adds texture to the kitchen and family rooms through doors, the vaulted ceiling, and accent walls.
“I love the wood and the warmth and texture it adds,” she said. For Scott, it’s just another aspect of how New Leaf tries to make every custom home more sustainable than the last.
“We focus a lot on creating an air-tight building envelope, but also using a lot of materials you don’t usually see in custom homes,” he said. “We also worked really hard to create sight lines from the front all the way to the back of the house.”
The windows and patio doors in the family room are all commercial grade, creating an even more efficient home for the family of six. And with Melissa at the helm of the interior design, you know that there are some creative, kid-friendly finishes. The most brilliant among them are the diamond-polished, stained concrete floors.
It’s also what you don’t see that will stand out. One has to wonder, with four kids, where is all of the clutter that comes with them? Thanks to craftsmanship, forethought, and innovative design choices, the custom cabinetry hides it all.
Of course, what’s a great family home without an equally stunning master retreat?
In their personal home, Melissa and Scott took all of the lessons learned and experiments made and kitted out one of the most spectacular master baths and closets we’ve ever laid eyes on.
Earth tones anchor the glamorous fixtures and hardware in the Powells’ master bath, with trendy herringbone in the European-style wet area, a floating vanity with luxe lucite handles, and a master closet that will have you daydreaming while you get dressed. The master bedroom is no slouch, either, with stunning Schumacher wallpaper and so much beautiful natural light.
Eagle-eyed readers will remember that the Powells also designed and built another house on Forest Trail on this year’s White Rock Home Tour. If you’re expecting to see some similarities between the two, you’ll be disappointed.
“They’re just so different,” Melissa said. “I think it really showcases our design flexibility — we really do build fully custom homes.”
Want to see them both this weekend so you can make your own comparisons? Comment below to enter to win our drawing for two tickets to the 14th Annual White Rock Home Tour! Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. You must use a valid email address to enter.