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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Custom Homes Built for Lifestyles

Collaborative Domestication

Custom Homes Built For Lifestyles

Story by Paula Bandy

Photography by Traci Buck

You could say Advanced Homebuilders takes a ‘whole house’ approach.

“We specialize in taking clients from concept all the way through furnishings,” says Jim Whitlock, founder and president. Since the company was created 25 years ago, the focus has been on “Making your house your home,” emphasizes Carmen Whitlock, interior designer.

The Whitlocks are a local design/build team that offers start to finish exterior and interior planning along with a retail location. Eleglance, their home furnishings store, opened in July of 2013 and is complementary to their custom building business.

The home building and design process is collaboratively approached by the Advanced team. From the ground up it is all about collaboration, with each other, and with clients. The collaborative practice also helps them achieve their 100 percent on time completion record. And just for the record, even their phones are synced.

Advanced Homebuilders is all about custom, not cookie cutter, homes. The home begins with looking at the piece of property to find the best positioning for views, light, solar and utility efficiency and lifestyle expressions and requirements.

The Whitlocks, both Northwest natives, love to travel and look at homes and design work in other areas. “When we travel we look at it and bring it all back.” This helps them apply a unique touch to each home. “We don’t do box plans,” explains Jim. “We have maybe built the same house twice in 30 years and they were spec homes early on. Every house we’ve built—and we lost count at 100—are totally custom to what the family wants and their needs.”

This philosophy and practice carries throughout planning of the interior design and décor of the home. Carmen states, “Most of the time I will use furnishings once for an individual home; seldom is the same thing used elsewhere in another home.”

The Eleglance store has an eclectic vibe while emphasizing that the point is about how everything comes together to elevate a room to an individual lifestyle and comfort level. There is a feeling of tactile beauty—everything beckons to be touched, doors and cupboards whisper to be opened and furnishings long to cushion. Their new store further opens the door to creating a livable home. As Carmen says, “It’s so much easier to see something in a shop, touch it, say I love it, and take it home.”

Jim and Carmen’s own home, built into a hillside on the edge of Jacksonville, offers sweeping views of the vineyards, mountains and Mt. McLaughlin. Both floors offer ground level spaces and the streamlined rooms emphasize comfort, function and flow. The colors are harmonized throughout with neutrals and shades of ‘greige,’ accented by pops of color, richly textured granite tops on islands and countertops, temple-edged travertine floors, and warm finishes that channel old world charm through a rhapsody of modern comfort and expression. Everything is very tactile from the tile in the baths and kitchen, to the textures in the sofas and fabrics, to the one-of-a-kind fireplace created from breaking the same granite pieces and using the rough edges fitted in a brick-like pattern. There are no sharp contrasts. The colors are soothing and the style is quiet, clean, serene. Repeated details throughout the house reflect a tranquility of order and wherever you look there is something visually appealing.

With today’s technology, Jim can draw up plans and apply them to 3D software so clients can be “walked through their new home before it is even built.” Catalogs are available online, allowing them to “put the chosen cabinets in, light fixtures, crown moldings, colors, some counter tops and even a river if it runs through the property.”

 The end result is a custom home, made collaboratively, and artistically decorated.

All furnishings are available through Eleglance.

Eleglance Home Décor

110. N. 5th St., Jacksonville



Advanced Homebuilders Inc.

PO Box 1237, Jacksonville



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