You know how the old saying goes: behind every great house is a great argument.
Okay—so maybe that’s not a saying. But a great argument is a key part of the story behind Kelley and Tyler Dickerhoofs’ beautiful home.
The couple’s purchase of this amazing property was preceded by “a huge fight my husband and I got into,” says Kelley. They had been living in Eagle Ridge and wanted to move somewhere with land in south Spokane, but could not get on the same page about what that land should be like. Kelley grew up in California and loves being surrounded by pines. Tyler, who grew up in Ohio, wanted open space and rolling plains. Finding a site that would accommodate both of their visions seemed near impossible, and neither was willing to budge—hence, the argument.
And then, they found this property on the Palouse (built by two FBI agents who worked on the Ruby Ridge case). Immediately, they knew it was the one. To the south are the rolling hills of Tyler’s dreams. Out the other direction are the “forest-y, Christmas-y” pines Kelley hoped for. The school district, Freeman, is just right for the couple’s three children. And, though they’re surrounded by open space, Kelley points out that they’re also just a few minutes’ drive from Target.
It was love at first sight for other reasons as well. The layout felt familiar and intuitive from the get-go. “It felt right,” Tyler says. “There was no adjustment period like you usually find with a new home.” With a split wing—master suite on one side of the main floor, kids’ wing on the other, common spaces in between—plus plenty of downstairs space in the daylight basement for guests and entertainment, it all made sense.
Plus, it fit some of Kelley’s more unique requirements: white baseboards and nocarpet. “Carpet literally gives me the heebie jeebies,” she says. This home had the white baseboards she’d envisioned, and the floors were decidedly fabric-free. “I’d never walked into a home before that had not one stitch of carpet in the entire house,” Kelley says. Though there were things the couple wanted to change—refinishing the hardwoods, finishing the basement, painting, bringing in their own design aesthetic—the bones were just right.
“It was really just a perfect shell for our family, I think,” Kelley says.
“We could make it what we wanted without making it a big project,” Tyler agrees.
The home is large, but it all feels purposeful. With the exception of the office—the couple have an offsite office for their business—“there’s nothing wasted, and it feels comfortable,” says Tyler—plenty of room for their family, but not too much, and spaces that are accommodating for friends and visitors. Thinking down the line, the Dickerhoofs want this to be a place where their kids, and their kids’ friends, want to be. “We really wanted our house to be the place that everybody came to,” Kelley says.
There are plenty of well-loved outdoor spaces as well. The pool, which overlooks the rolling Palouse, is one place no one can get enough of in the hotter months. “In the summertime we’re out there 24/7,” says Kelley. There’s also a level, grassy field perfect for their sports-loving kids. “We have an active family,” says Tyler. “That’s what’s used the most.” With ten acres of land, there is lots of room to go and do without ever really leaving home. The best part of this property, as Tyler sums it up, is how well it allows them to “get outside and just go.”
When it came to décor, the couple worked with Heidi Gilliam on the interior. Some favorite sources are Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Arhaus, and Z Gallerie. Their aesthetic is “classic with a little edge of glam,” Kelley says. Though they like following trends, they always have a mind to potential resale, just in case. “We’re businesspeople,” says Kelley, and thus they think about long-range design practicality. Because of this, keeping key elements classic has been a priority. Dark hardwoods and white baseboards and putty-gray walls are warmed up with wood elements, patinaed leather sofas, denim-hued armchairs, and wood shelving, all of it an ideal backdrop for any accessories. Metallic and sparkly light fixtures, mirrored tables, and studded details on upholstered furniture are tempered by subtly patterned, nubby area rugs, a wood dining table, the charming arch of the great room’s windows and some passthroughs, and the great room ceiling’s wood beams. Other fun accents come in via brightly hued upholstery.
The great room is one of the family’s favorite gathering space. “I love our living room,” says Kelley. They like to just “be in here playing games, drinking coffee.” The kitchen is spacious, with barstool seating as well as a farm table for another informal dining option. Just off the kitchen is what they’ve dubbed the “kids’ office,” which has desk space for the children; wood shelving with exposed metal brackets works well for storage. Someday, they envision this as a good place to keep computers for schoolwork so they’re accessible but not necessarily in bedroom spaces.
The master suite is spacious and inviting, with a fireplace, an upholstered charcoal bedframe, and a luminous, light-reflecting chandelier. The master bath, which will be renovated at some point, has dual vanities, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower. Just off the walk-in his-and-hers closets is the laundry room, which is also accessible from the other side of the house.
The kids’ wing has bedrooms and bathrooms for the three kids. Downstairs there is a spacious game room with foosball, air hockey, and ping-pong, plus easy access to the pool outside. There are also two sunny guest rooms. The highlight of the lower level is the media room, with its soothing dark walls and a very impressive white leather “couch bed,” purchased from Z Gallerie—ideal for relaxing, movie marathons, or a watching a game with friends.
Thoughtful details make the home functional and cohesive. There is plenty of storage thanks to elements like built-ins and cabinetry in the media room and off the dining room, and custom lockers in the mudroom. Bringing spaces to life are thoughtful touches like the subtle geometric prints on the area rugs, the individual metal pieces that hang down from the gorgeous chandelier in the entryway, and the etched details around accent mirrors.
The couple is loving the home as it is now—and they are also thinking about ways to make it fit their lives and preferences even better. In the future they’ll paint the brick exterior white and add a sports court for basketball and other outdoor games. They also want to update the kitchen’s cherry cabinetry and dark countertops. “Imagine it light one day,” says Kelley.
All in all, though, the home right now is all of the important things they wanted: a retreat, but one that they can use to welcome others and have meaningful time with their own family. From the very beginning, “it felt like our sanctuary,” says Kelley.