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Kelly Zugay is a Saint Paul, Minnesota content creator with a focus on plant-based vegan recipes, home decor, and travel.

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We’re building a house! This spring has been unlike any other! Ben began his second semester toward earning his doctorate — so he’s been busy balancing teaching and learning. I taught one class, Entrepreneurial Marketing, this semester — so balancing business ownership and teaching was totally new for me, too.

In April, after a long winter and record amounts of snow in Eau Claire, we decided we’d outgrown our 800-square foot condo and we were finally ready to move. When we first moved to Eau Claire in 2013, we lived in a more rural area of Eau Claire — which we both loved. There’s a community garden, biking and hiking trails, so much nature, and plenty of space to roam. So, we’re so excited to moving back to this exact community; we’re moving just about 2 blocks away from our very first home in Eau Claire!

We’re working with C&M Home Builders to design our home!

  • It has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms — with an option to finish our basement for an additional family room, bedroom, and bathroom. (We’ve decided to wait on this part!)
  • Our hope was to have a house larger than our condo — which isn’t very hard to do — but not too much larger! We also hoped for a yard, LOTS of natural light, and conveniences like spacious cabinets, closet space, and first-floor laundry.
  • We’ve had an awesome opportunity to add lots of personal details, like extra windows, a fireplace, and a 4-seasons room — which are not only such exciting additions, but really allow our house to feel personal.

My favorite part of the process, so far, has been choosing the details. We had a 2-hour meeting a couple of weeks ago to choose the cabinetry, countertops, flooring, light fixtures, knobs, pulls, and more. There are so many tiny decisions that add up to a creating whole house!

Above, you’ll see some of the options we chose. The top dark brown is our cabinet color. The marble-y texture to the left of it is our countertop color. The bottom right is our master bathroom flooring, and the bottom left is our mudroom flooring. Not pictured is our final hardwood floor color… because it took me the full 2 hours to actually commit to the color Ben liked all along! Whoops!

Pictured above is the front of the house — the front door is on the very left, and the guest bedroom is on the right. The big hole in the floor leads to the basement. We’ve added an additional transom window in the guest bedroom and another transom window in the “great room” — which aren’t shown in this photo.

We’ve been stopping by the house regularly to peek in on the progress. It’s really amazing to see all of the different businesses and roles needed to build a house. It’s coming together so quickly. It will be ready in July, just in time for our 6 year wedding anniversary!

If you’d like to see the progress in real-time, please feel free to follow along with me and #ourheartmadehome!


I'm Kelly — Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold and Host of Brand It, Build It. My husband Ben and I are currently building a cozy, light-filled house in Minnesota and I hope you'll follow along with our adventures!

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Hire Kelly for Brand and Web Design at With Grace and Gold® Learn More  Tune Into the Brand It, Build It Podcast® Learn More

Find Kelly Elsewhere: