Around the House: A Modern Home with Treetop Views

Monday, October 22, 2012

When your friends build an amazing modern day treehouse to call home, you have to feature it. You just have to. I met Sarah and Miles about a year or two ago and have absolutely become smitten with this amazing couple. Sarah makes me laugh - HARD. And those kids of theirs...precious. I hope you enjoy their treetop view as much as me.

Hi, my name is Sarah Durham. I am a stay at home mom who also helps my husband with his design/ build company, Durham Builders. I have two children, Elle (4-1/2) and Beck (2), who keep me on my toes daily. I have been married to Miles for 11 years. I am so proud of the work my husband does. He is so talented and every house he builds/remodels is a work of art. It amazes me how good he has become. Okay…had to throw that in there. I love my time with my children, date nights with Miles and quality time with friends. I attend Watermark and love the community there. It has changed my life and the way I see friendships!

PN: How long have you lived in your current house?
SD: 6 months

PN: How did it come to be your home?
SD: We had been looking in the White Rock area for several years. I saw a For Sale sign in the front yard and called Miles immediately. By the end of the day it was under contract!

PN: What was your first project upon moving in?
SD: We built the house new, so it was a 7 month process of designing and building it. Miles handled the exterior and interior layout and I handled all interior finish out. We have worked together for the last eight years and share a love for contemporary and modern design, so it was a fairly seamless process of our taste merging together.

PN: What's the next project you’re going to tackle?
SD: Our next house – this one is currently for sale! We would like to find a home and do a major renovation. We will more than likely focus on a mid century house and try and make it in line with our taste.

PN: You have a lot of built-ins is there a story here?
SD: We like cabinets, casework, accent walls, and beds that are built in. We were trying to keep the square footage below 2500, and one way we were able to achieve this was to eliminate walk in closets and create more of a hotel-like solution with low chest of drawers and hanging areas above.

PN: What’s your favorite thing about your home?
SD: Our dining room light fixture. I found it at Design Within Reach and knew I had to have it.

PN: What’s your littles’ favorite thing about your home?
SD: Their bunk beds and the backyard. It has a dramatic slope, and they love to run up and down it.

PN: Do you enjoy redecorating/rearranging your home or do you find an arrangement you like and stick with it?
SD: I am constantly moving things around.

PN: I know you work a lot with your husband, Miles, in the design process that comes with building homes – is it hard to work with your spouse? Why or why not.
SD: Not really. Our taste is very in line. We disagree from time to time about the way a detail should be handled, but very rarely are we on opposite pages.

PN: Your home is very minimalistic is that your style or Miles’ style or both?
SD: It came from us moving so much and wanting to reduce the amount of items we had to haul. It can also be attributed to the fact that each house we move into seems to have less and less of a roof structure, which means less storage.

PN: Do your littles embrace the organization that comes with minimalism (ie their toys, crafts, etc.)?
SD: Our kids do seem to appreciate what they have. We go through their things almost monthly and make a trip to Goodwill. But with our lack of storage, there really is not an opportunity for to have anything other than the necessities.

PN: Do you have any tips on how to marry minimalism and children?
SD: Do not build any storage areas.

PN: You have a lot of handmade pieces in your home. Where do you go to find these treasures?
SD: The coffee table was a bench we bought several years ago at an estate sale. Miles built the panels for the top.
• Our dining room table was a drafting table of Miles’ father’s from years ago that we repainted, replaced the legs and had glass cut for the top.
• The chair in the living room belonged to Miles’ grandmother. We had it refurbished and reupholstered.
• In the Living Room we have a 5’ X 6’ black and white picture of Miles’ dad, cousin and grandparent’s taken over 40 years ago from there home in Abilene. I had it blown up and mounted.

PN: Do you have a favorite home or furniture piece that Miles has built?
SD: Our coffee table.

PN: Is there anything you’re waiting for him to build for your family? (you know… kind of like the cobbler’s children have no shoes type of thing.)
SD: Kid’s table. He has the butcher block cut and sealed - he just needs to get the legs installed.

PN: Is there anything your would change about your home and why?
SD: Have our master bedroom downstairs. More privacy from the kiddos and not having to climb the stairs.

PN: What is currently on your night stand?
SD: Phone. We have no clocks in our house, either. Don’t know why, but we don’t.

PN: TV or music while cooking and doing laundry?
SD: Music. Coldplay, Keane, Muse, Mumford & Sons, etc.

No clocks? No wonder it feels like Vegas when I'm in their house. I can't even imagine how much later I'd constantly be if we had no clocks in our home. Good gravy! I have always loved a beautiful modern home, but this one is my favorite of all time. Sarah and Miles thought out every single detail to create the most amazing space for their family - from the firepit built into the back patio to the sloping yard that forced them to build up. I swear you can see nothing but trees while in their home and you feel like you are in a tree house, without all the pesky mosquitos! I can't wait to see what they do with their next home. Hope you enjoyed this little peak!

What your favorite thing about your home? xo


  1. Very impressive! The spaciousness of it is just amazing. I love the spaciousness of my own home, which isn't anything like this, but is significant in our land-scarce little island!

  2. Wonderful interview and home. The favorite thing about my home is the light. We have over 70% windows and are South facing. I love it.

  3. i love this home...hmmm maybe we need to move to Texas!!
    The favorite thing about my home is the people who live here in my little rental cottage.

  4. Ladies! i'm so glad you like it. My friends are so sad to leave, but know it's best for their family. xo

    BikBik - love it. you gotta take what you can. i know you make your space lovely for your fam!

    pve - 70% WOW! I bet it's amazing.

    nicole - i love it. and yes, you do need to move to Texas. PS - how 'bout them Giants?

  5. I love her style and this entire house!! Thanks for posting! Would love to hear more about her design inspiration and would certainly love to see future houses!


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