The Reason

I have been asked so many times, by so many people to tell the story of our custom home build in the form of a blog. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m also hoping to record it for our family to have to look back on and maybe inspire people that this is not impossible. The majority of this will be written from a cell phone app, before I go to bed at night, but I hope this becomes a great story.
The reason? My 3 boys are always the reason, for everything we do. This is more than a house to us, this is our dream. If I were to psychoanalyze, it probably relates back to not having one true place that I grew up, we moved all the time. I want a place hat we can always come back to, where we can set down roots, where my boys can be a tree, and maybe climb a few, 3three in a tree.
For years we’ve looked at houses. In 2010 I broke my ankle looking at a house and that was nowhere near the first one. The house we live in is 1910 sqft, on @ 1/4 acre, nowhere near a palace, but it is well utilized sq footage. We have plenty of closet space, a formal living and dining, all of the kids have their own rooms, we have a pool and swing set, go to the best school in the area. Sean and I have redone every room of this house since we moved here in 2009, Noah was just six months old, all of our boys have come home here, this is the only home they know, it will be a tough act to follow. Every home we have looked at, and there have been many, has been compared to this one, it had to be better in every way or it was a deal breaker.
I have always been very conservative, have a degree in finance, am a saver, better safe than sorry. But because we don’t play big, its hard to win big either. Thanks to buying in the market crash, our mortgage payment here is $800, you cant even rent an apartment for that anymore, this is the safe choice. We’ve struggled with the mental battle of making he safe choice vs. always wanting something more, it feels like settling. We started to feel more pushed out than pulled when we saw the neighborhood becoming something we no longer felt like we could call home forever. A few years ago squatters burned down the house behind us, we watched it burn while we wet our fences to keep it from causing damage. It sat as a burnt out shell for years, being used for drugs and loitering. Every time my boys play out front, I have to sit on the front steps to watch them. We just wanted more.
This is our dream, not world traveling, I prefer to stay at home. I love everything to do with home decorating and DIY. If HGTV were the only channel on TV, I’d be a happy camper. I’ve been envisioning his house in my head for years. We have no safety net. When we decided to do this, we had to be in, so we are ALL in!

Author: Brandy K.

Bio: I wanted to take a chance to introduce myself, I am Brandy Kollenborn, a furniture painter from Sacramento, CA and owner and artisan behind  “Brushed By Brandy”. I'm a stay at home mom of 3 boys, Noah 11, Ashton 8, and Logan 5, married for 16 years to my favorite furniture cameraman, repairman and delivery person, Sean. I have a degree in finance and left my career with The State of CA to stay home when my youngest son was born, with no clue what my next step would be, it was a leap of faith! The first pieces I did were a bedroom set in 2016 that tenants left behind in our rental, it was beat up, but solid wood, and I had nothing to lose, it was either going to the curb or I could make something of it. I've always been on the crafty/artistic side so this was a great way to express that on huge canvases. My hobby has turned into a booming little business, most of my pieces are sold before I create them and designed alongside my customer. My style is blended, smooth, colorful statement pieces for any room. I'm proud to partner with The Dixie Belle Paint company and Prima Marketing group creating sample pieces, lives, and blogging tutorials at We are in the process of building our forever home on 5 acres for our boys, it will be my biggest custom project to date :) and I love sharing that journey on my page and in a blog as well. We are project people through and through, don't know how to sit still.  I'm so appreciative of the support, my confidence wavers all the time, I love answering questions and connecting with other creatives, this community has been so welcoming to me and I hope I can return that! I’m so grateful for this opportunity, I never imagined there would be interest in me painting furniture in my garage! 

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