Blog Cabin 2011: Winner's Reaction

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Carol Livingston is the lucky winner of Blog Cabin 2011. This Cincinnati-area resident is the mother of two grown sons (twins!) and, along with her husband, has devoted her career to higher education.

In this special question-and-answer session, she shares her thoughts about the giveaway, the home and her plans for the future.

White Home framed with Trees

Natural Privacy

Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

Fourteen-foot-tall Lacebark Elm is planted in the side yard to blend with existing landscape features and to create a natural wall of privacy.

Q. How many times did you enter the giveaway?

A. I watched the show quite a bit last year. I may have entered a couple of times. This year, I decided, "Why not?" And so I watched each Blog Cabin 2011 episode and I tried to remember every day when I came home to enter before I started anything else. I don't think I missed too many days, and I have to think that made a difference.

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Photo By: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

Q. What were your initial impressions of Blog Cabin 2011?

A. I love being on the water. So the fact that the home had a water view just really intrigued me from the very beginning. When they picked the location, just seeing that beautiful area probably made me enter as much as I did.

Kitchen with Neutral Countertop and White Cabinets

Open Floor

Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

A wall that separated the kitchen from dining space was removed to create an open floor plan that improves traffic flow and maximizes bay views from every vantage point.

Q. What is your favorite room in the home?

A. I like the way the kitchen flows right into the dining area and right out through the great room. And the view ? it's such a beautiful water view. It's just stunning.

Bush with White Flowers

Shrubs and Shoots

Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

Evergreen Southern magnolias and Steeds hollies frame the front steps. Seven Fraser's Photinia shrubs are planted at the foundation of the home, on each side of the porch. In spring, new shoots will provide a spectacular display of bright red-bronze leaves.

Q. What was your initial reaction when you got the call that you won the home?

A. I just shrieked, I am sure. I was in disbelief. I know I laughed. I probably screamed. I just could not imagine that that was really happening. And amazingly, it was my birthday. I got the call on my birthday when I got home from work. And I've never won anything in my life.

Boat Oar as Stair Rail

Foyer to Kitchen

Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

An entry door from the foyer leads into what was originally a formal dining room. The space now houses the home’s gourmet kitchen, complete with quartz-topped island and cottage-style cabinetry.

Q. What do you look forward to most?

A. I especially look forward to visiting--just getting there and walking in and experiencing the home. Amazingly, I have a dear friend whose parents live about 10 minutes from the house. She and her family have lived there for about 20 years. They want to introduce us to people in the area and all their favorite places. They are really anxious to help us out. So that makes it really exciting.

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Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

Q. Will Blog Cabin 2011 become your full-time residence?

A. We would certainly use it as a vacation home for the first year or two and then as we experience it more, we could well make a decision to live there.

Cobblestone Patio Leading to Fire Pit

A Hard Beach

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

A hard “beach” surface connects the cobblestone-paved patio to the sandy fire pit area. The short walkway is paved with a silica sand and epoxy mixture, which hardens to a smooth, porous finish. Jason Kisner

Q. Is there anything about the home that you would like to change?

A. I cannot think of one thing I would change. I love the layout, the recreational space on the third floor, the balcony in the back, the landscaping and the beautiful patio and the barbecue. I could see us spending a lot of time outside.

White, Wooden Structural Post

Plantation Style

Photo By: Frank Murray

Frank Murray

A 6x6 wooden structural post, clad in fiber cement siding, supports the weight of the roof and lends plantation style.

Q. What message would you like to send out to the Blog Cabin community?

A. We feel so incredibly grateful. We are so excited about it. We will love the home like anybody would who is fortunate enough to be selected. This is life-changing.

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