Open Spaces

Amish and Sonia Patel’s house in McCutchanville feels like a resort with the spacious floor plan, backyard pool, three kitchens, water features, in-home theater, and indoor soccer field. At its core, however, it is a true family home.

When looking to move their family, including daughters Victoria (18) and Shreya (11) and the Patels’ miniature golden doodle Coco, from their previous house in Windemere Farms, Amish and Sonia searched for an existing home in Evansville but struggled to find what they were looking for.

“We looked for a couple of years, and we couldn’t find it,” says Amish, the vice president of Evansville Hyundai and Kia. “It was hard to find something exactly like we wanted.”

“If you find a house that is already built, by the time you end up making it the way you want, you can build it for the same price,” says Sonia, who works as a dental hygienist and as a travel agent for Travel Smart.

The answer was to go to H.G. McCullough Designers to design a new house on a private and secluded lot in Eagle Ridge Estates and work with Corey Hirsch of Hirsch Custom Homes to build. The couple already knew what they wanted the exterior of the home to look like, so they pieced together the interior based on that vision.

The entire home project, from the time Amish and Sonia purchased the lot to completing the construction, took two years. Before moving into the home in June 2018, the house was featured on the 2018 Parade of Homes tour, being named the “Home of the Year.”

“We really tweaked this thing a lot,” says Amish. “We tweaked it for about a year of planning. The outside shell of the house we knew what we wanted to look like and our must haves, and then we tweaked it from there.”

Since the Patels love to host friends and family and have a space for entertaining, an open floor plan with a spacious kitchen was at the top of their list. The home’s entryway flows into the living room with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace, leading into the luminous kitchen and dining room.

“We wanted clean lines and everything to be bright,” says Sonia. “I think the white really accentuates the cleanness, the crispness.”

Downstairs, the walk-out basement level features more entertaining and family spaces like the in-home theater room, billiards games, second living room space, at-home gym, and backyard patio and pool areas. To make hosting easier, there is a second full kitchen downstairs with an outdoor kitchen on the patio.

“I wanted something where I wouldn’t have to be upstairs all the time running back and forth,” says Sonia. “This way it’s all down here and I don’t have to worry about it. It’s nice.”

Upstairs on the third floor are the girls’ bedrooms and a guest room, bringing the total to five bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms. Sonia says, though, the girls don’t spend much time in their rooms with spaces all over the house where the family can spend quality time together or have room for the girls to hang out with friends. Aside from the basement theater, game room, and pool, the third floor features a craft room where Shreya creates everything from projects for Girl Scouts to personalized, hand-stamped book sets.

On top of all these fun spaces, the showstopping room in the house lies behind an inconspicuous door on the third floor — an indoor soccer room complete with artificial turf and two soccer goals. The room was a surprise for Shreya, who uses the room to practice and play with her teammates.

“She didn’t know we were doing it,” says Sonia. “We didn’t show her until the first day of the Parade last year, and she was pretty excited.”

When designing the house, Sonia and Amish didn’t just think about what their family needed now. They also planned knowing the house would be their forever home. A second guest bedroom, in addition to the master bedroom, is on the main level and completely ADA accessible, including the attached bathroom.

The room can be used in the future by whoever may need it, including the couple’s parents or even Amish and Sonia themselves one of these days, Amish jokes.

While the house is filled with impressive spaces and clean, contemporary design, the handicap-accessible guest room is one of many examples of how the home is built around family. Already the Patels have hosted Christmas and a reunion for Sonia’s cousins over Labor Day weekend last year, two of many gatherings that Amish and Sonia hope to welcome into their family home.

“We liked how it was kind of secluded back here. We have privacy,” says Sonia. “We wanted a big kitchen where everyone could gather, space for the kids to play, a big backyard — open spaces.”

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