Welcome to the new site for Suzanne Wille Studios! We are so glad you stopped in today. We are just getting things set up and running. We will have the same great art, design, classes, and creative stuff just a refreshed look. Be patient with us as we are smack dab in the middle of moving. Changes will continue as we go along.So keep on stopping in and see whats new. The home build will be called Turtle Cove Beach Bungalow so look for that as it will be the focus for a little bit…I am still available for some design work.

Continue reading “Welcome!”

Mighty Fortress…

Watching the block go up on our dream home was so cool. I feel like it will be a fortress against a hurricane. Of course I would prefer not to have one but I am a realist and one will come. I can feel like our dream home will survive a storm. The photos below are the block completion and the roof trusses.The trusses we attached while we were moving from Iowa to Florida so we did not get to see that part. But I think that Turtle Cove Beach Bungalow is looking good…

Building Blocks…

Hello… Stacked block now what? Building blocks of course. In Florida homes have concrete block on exterior walls as a hurricane safety measure. It was amazing to me how fast the block went up and how it all comes together. Feels like we will be living in a fortress. I am good with that when a tropical storm or hurricane comes calling. Here are a few pics of the block coming together. The Turtle Cove Beach Bungalow is starting to come together dream is starting to be real…

Slab & Block this is Florida Baby…

Plans complete and lot is clear so here we go… In Florida with the hurricanes and tropical storms you really have to build a strong home. All house plans have to pass through a Florida structural engineer. It is very different than building up north. The first thing is all of the plumbing, gas, water etc is poured in the slab. (I am not going to be super technical) Then you get concrete block exterior walls. Here is the start of ours as you can see it is quite the process. I was so excited to see this part it meant it was for real. Check out a few pics of how they did ours.

I know super exciting right… It is if you have been waiting forever to get back to Florida and build your dream home…Thanks for coming along with me…

Floor Plan and Exterior come together!

I am excited to share what is the fly around of our dream home. Once the floor plan was figured out they had to see if we could make the roof line and engineering work. When you design your own home from scratch it does not always mean the outside will work with the inside. We worked super hard to have what we thought we wanted inside would line up outside. In the end after a lot of going back and forth and making sure the structural engineer would pass it it was complete. In Florida with those say the words dreaded hurricanes you have a lot of things to be able to build so your home will hold up and last through a storm. Our home is cement block and concrete, the roof is cemented into the concrete walls, the roof is metal, and we had to bring in a lot of dirt to get us nice and high up above sea level for flooding concerns. It was a lot of work and this is a mock up fly around of how it will look. There will be changes and color choices made but this is a good representation of what it’s going to look like. Would love your thoughts….

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Called Out..

I know I have been relaxed and almost nonexistent in my our dream home build posting. I have been called out by a few of you and I am setting it straight today. What crazy person would build a new home in a pandemic? We did and with that comes many challenges. I was so geared up and ready to get going and had all great intentions of writing and posting many times per week. I would sit down and get ready and I found out as our building has progressed there is not as much to write about. So many parts of the build seemed to look the same and take longer than you would think Pandemics cause lots of issues with many parts. Including out of stock, delays, cost, contractors and companies learning to work under Covid conditions. Some day soon when my home is complete I will look back on all of that and tell the complete story. I have photos all set to go and post them only to think hum what should I post next they all look the same. Sometimes it is the same weeks than months and sometimes (lots of times) work is at a complete stand still. I thought who is going to follow this and stay with me. So now I am going to speed up the build and share it with you so I hope you will stay with me as we go along. So let the good times roll, sit back and take a ride on the build a dream home train… Happy to have you along.


I know I have been promising to write, post, talk, and share all the excitement of building our dream home. The day we signed the contract to build our dream home was an amazing day. The lot was already ours, builder chosen, plans in our heads, and we were thrilled. One the drive back to Iowa to get our home on the market we went. We were enjoying a relaxed drive back stopping to take in the sites. We had started to hear about covid and as we would go from state to state we started to about more and more cases of covid in the USA.


So we got home and well all the world is in a pandemic. Well who wants to sell their house in a pandemic? Do you know what I mean have people walk through and touch all your stuff. How are we going to sell our house, how are we going to be able to watch and build our dream home? So many unknowns and no way to know what to do. God had been watching over us. We had sold our commercial business and property in the fall. So we waited and we all know how the pandemic has been. We put the home on the market and the people came and touched our stuff. I came home after each showing wiping everything down and dowsing the house with lysol spray. In the mean time finding a rental home for us in Florida while ours was being built was another thing. No rentals for 2 months I looked everyday and no luck. God once again was watching out for us as we were able to find a perfect rental home and sell our home.

Ok so now let’s talk about packing and moving many states. The trip was very strange lots of things closed and well staying in the hotels was a bit scary because I am a true germaphobe. Lots of sites to see but most closed so they were drive by’s.

Road trip gave us lots of time to think about the priorities in our lives. We are so blessed and thankful we could continue our journey and build our dream home. Next post is the rest of the trip and landing in Florida with a Hurricane coming. Check back for that post….Thanks for following along.

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The layout Planning…

The hardest part of building a custom home is trying to decide how you want to live in your home. Then how to stay in the budget you make for your build. We had so many ideas and plans we loved but we wanted something that was all ours and not like anyone else. We wanted to lay it out just how we wanted to live. Our lives have changed over the years and now its just Jason and I. The kids are all adult but we are living across the street from the beach so visitors of family and friends we will have. So we planned according to that also. Think about all the rooms and how you will live in them. We started with the kitchen the hub of our home and worked out from there. Small list of ideas we had to start with….

  • 3 Bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, powder bath, pool bath
  • Kitchen, dinning, great room, clubroom & office, pantry, laundry, art studio
  • Large kitchen two islands, one for prep and one for casual eating
  • Vaulted ceilings in specific rooms of the house
  • Tub area in master bathroom
  • Dining room for family heirloom table
  • Guest bedrooms with their own baths
  • large width, height and depth garages
  • Art studio and design office for Suzanne
  • Club room and office for Jason
  • Outdoor Kitchen, and living space
  • Pool and enclosure

You will find your own list of things you want/need. We made a list of all our necessary needs, and then wants. It was harder to accomplish than you would think. There are so many moving parts to a custom build. If you select the right builder they will guide you and help you make great choices. Know in advance that you will go over budget in places and may be under in others. We planned a budget and then we planned a buffer for the things we just could not go without.

Next I will talk about the style of our home and how we came to that…. I hope you have a great week and thanks for following along on our dream home journey.

Meet our Builder…

Here is an introduction to our builder Trendsetters! Here are some of the reasons they feel are important in choosing them as a builder and we agree….

  1. Honesty/Integrity – This reason goes on the top of the list of why you should choose our company. Everyone at our business prides themselves on doing the right thing and being transparent. Far too often in construction you hear horror stories of people that have not been treated fairly. A home is a huge investment and the piece of mind of choosing a company that has integrity and trust is invaluable.
  2. Growth – We are always growing and trying to become better. We take the opinions of our customers and colleagues very seriously. No matter how many years we have been in the business we always try to remain teachable.
  3. Relationship –  We have been in business with some of our colleagues for decades. We have worked hard to nurture and gain trust within the industry, and it shows in the loyalty we have grown throughout the construction community. This also shows in the end relationship we have with our clients. The feeling you walk away with at the end of your build is so important to us, and we work hard to make that a priority.
  4. Experience – Trendsetters has been in business since 2004. Even before that Pat gained knowledge by working in the field. From the time he could work he was learning the ins and outs of construction and you can tell by how passionate he is about it. Tony is extremely detail oriented and loves the intricacies that come with custom home building, there truly is not a problem that comes to him that he does try to solve with 100% accuracy. You can feel confident when you know Tony is in charge, because he will evaluate every possible scenario and make sure that you are making the best choices when building your home.
  5. Unique – At trendsetters we love trying new things, this is not something that you will get when going to an everyday track home builder. We love a challenge. You can be sure if you bring us a unique idea, we will do our best to bring that to fruition.
  6. Quality – We work with vendors and subcontractors that make sure you are getting the very best in your home. We do no cut corners, and we want you to know that your home will be just as sound from the day it was built to 20 years from now.
  7. Family/Small business – We are a local family run business and pride ourselves on using local small business for our subcontractors and vendors as well. When you choose us you are supporting your community, and a family as well!
  8. Buildertrend – We have invested in a project management system that will keep both us and the clients on track when it comes to their home build. The communication tools of this program ensure that we are on top of all the details, and that the client will have access to every aspect of the process. We love being ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies, and we believe that sets us apart from our competitors.

Our Builder Choice…

We have been lucky enough to build two other homes. The homes were semi custom and custom so we have a bit of experience. We read all the articles and have the life experience to help us. The hardest part of the builder choice here was not knowing any of them. I interviewed and spoke to numerous builders in our community. There were a few that just were not a good fit for us to work with. It is important to remember that it is a relationship. The fact is you will be working with the builder and seeing them a lot. A custom home is a different experience than a production builder. There are lots of moving parts and lots of things are done on the fly as you move along. We looked for someone who was flexible with our thoughts on design and that would let us make choices with gentle guidance.

We chose our builder for the following reasons and many more: We liked them as people and knew we could work with them. We were comfortable with their knowledge, experience, and the quality of their work. Their reputation in the community. They were professional and timely in the process. They were a family business. There were are way to many things to mention in this post. Our choice for our builder is Trendsetters Construction. We are so excited to have them on this journey with us in building our dream home.

You can find them at www.trendsettersconstruction.com

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Builder Choice 2

There are tons of great places on the internet to find information on how to find the best builder. I probably looked at all of them and read most of them LOL. Earlier this week I posted a link to one of them. I will add two in this blog post. There are tons of list out there and I suggest you pick on that reflects what is important to you and make your own. Take the best of a few and make a perfect list. The links below are ones I booked marked in the process. I am not endorsing any of these companies but found the information helpful.

Next week I will introduce you to the builder we choose and why we choose them. See you next week…