A Home Designed For Grandkids To Make Memories In


Text by Katie Wood

With an aging mother and a gaggle of grandkids nearby, Dona Bullock found herself in the market for a new home that would better accommodate her changing family dynamic. After nearly five years of living in an apartment just a short bike ride from her mother, Dona set her sights on the housing market. When eight months of looking for just the right type of home where she could live as her mother’s caretaker proved fruitless, Dona decided her best option was to build. Soon after, she found the perfect neighborhood and the best available lot, and was finally ready to make her customized dreams a reality.

lounge chairs outside of white home
Photography by John O’Hagan, styling by Yukie Mclean

As fate would have it, the community’s developer actually went to school with Dona’s mother and, at 84 years old, he decided to take the lead on the home build. “Our families grew up together,” Dona says. “He’s in charge of everything out here, so it was really special. He loved her and wanted to personally be involved in making this house for us.” The crew worked joyfully on this labor of love for an entire year. “It wasn’t just my house at that point,” Dona says. “They were deeply invested, and I loved every minute of it.”

back patio
Photography by John O’Hagan, styling by Yukie Mclean

Everything about this charming home—both inside and out—was touched by Dona’s keen design eye, meaning each piece holds a story. The home’s exterior was influenced by the small bungalow-filled Old Hollywood-style neighborhood Dona would ride her bike through to visit her mother during those five years in transition. It had to be white, Dona says, because she grew up in a white two-story house and for her that look will always feel like home. “I also wanted charm,” she adds. A quick glance at the home’s cottage-style curb appeal and you’ll find it was the first of many boxes Dona checked off her list of the home’s design “must-haves.”