This Family Put a 26-Foot Rock Climbing Wall in Their Living Room

(upbeat music) (child laughs) – When people come over
here for the first time, people look up and think, “Why? “How?” – Dada, faster! – “Is this legal? “Do you have people sing
waivers to come over here?” – Show ’em behind me! Belay on? – Belay is on! – Climbing. – The whole family climbs, we have raised our children to be climbers and they’ve all started about
the age of two or three. (children laugh) – Nooo! – We’ve got six ropes, so we can fit six kids on it at a time, and a lot of times the
kids will, you know, climb up and down, or they can climb up,
and tie themselves off, and just hang out up there. I’ve had my kids doing homework up there. – A rock. Rock climbing initially
brought us together. We literally met for the first time up on a rock climbing trip. – We actually both worked at
the county park in Charleston, they have a big 50-foot
rock climbing wall, so we both worked there
while we were in school. – Gave myself lots of
great rocks coming down. We have been married 16 years, I think. (laughs) We have been married 17 years. (laughs) (children chatter) (serious music) – I have four children, 11, nine, seven, and three years old. – Lower me down mama. – I became pregnant with Gideon when I was still breastfeeding
my other daughter, in about 20 weeks we
went for an ultrasound and found out that something was wrong. The same day we found out he was a boy, we found out that he had a big tumor on the side of his neck, and they didn’t know what it was, but they wanted to watch it closely. And then they started to get some guesses about what it might be. Something called a lymphatic malformation. They knew that it was probably
unsafe to deliver normally, because it might strangle him. So I did a special c-section
called an exit procedure where they put him
immediately on a ventilator. – [Michael] He spent most of
the first year of his life in the hospital. – We talked to doctors
and specialists about how to treat the lymphatic malformation, and they do something called sclerotherapy and they inject different
medicines that kind of help the body’s immune system to react and shrink down the tumor. It only made it worse. The doctor said “Well we’re going to have
to cut this tumor out.” And to cut it out, we
kind of knew all along, would mean to sever some
very important nerves that would cause him to
never be able to talk, or eat, or swallow, and so as a mom, to not never hear your child’s voice was very disheartening. We’re a family of faith
and we’ve been praying that God would heal him, that God would give us answers, just help him to live. – [Michael] Just prayed
for basically a miracle. – A week later, he was
actually doing better, and his fever was gone. And so they took the IVs out, and then a week after that the whole tumor just shrunk
away and disappeared. Just shrunk away on its own. (uplifting music) The doctors don’t know why, we say it was a miracle,
because there’s no explanation and that was about six years ago, and he’s a great, thriving
seven-year-old now, so. (happy guitar music) – Every night, when I put him to bed, I just look at him and
I’m just thankful again that, here’s this kid that
shouldn’t even be here, that shouldn’t have this amazing life, and he’s just free-running,
crazy, nutty kid who is adventurous and wild and silly and does whatever he wants to do. – All you have to do is just jump. – I think Gideon having
so many medical problems really did inspire us to really focus on fun areas of the home. We knew we wanted to make
this a fun place for the kids. We really wanted to cherish
that time with our kids because our perspective had changed. – A lot of spaces in
the house are designed just with kids in mind. – When Michael and
Kristen first came to me and we started talking about the house, one of the first things
that I always do is ask them to kind of give me a wish
list of what they want and what they need. The funniest thing, and I actually looked at it this morning, the email that they had sent me, right on the top of the list was talking about the trapeze, talking about the climbing
wall in the living room, talking about belay points off of beams, and all the fun things that they wanted, and at the very bottom of their list in the living room, it said “powder room”. And, it just cracked me up that “We would want to do
all these other things, “and oh, by the way, “if we have a bathroom that’d be great.” (playful music) Through Houzz, Kristen created an ideabook from the very beginning. – I made an ideabook for
every room in the house, I mean, living room, kitchen, bathroom, types of furniture that I wanted. When we were thinking about our home we really wanted more
modern, contemporary. We wanted clean lines, open spaces. – With four kids, it’s busy enough, there’s a lot of chaos already. We wanted the house to
be this sort of like this clean slate where it’s uncluttered, and mentally refreshing. – I created an ideabook for everything, and it really helped
me keep track of ideas that I liked and things that I wanted, and I was able to share
it with the builder and our designer where
they could come and say “Okay, this is how we can
make this work in your home.” (soft music) – [Joe] The girls’ room
is a great example, you know, coming up with different ideas, we had probably 15 or 20
different picture ideas of the bed wall. – [Kristen] I like the
little reading nook in there. – And even while we were up
there with the trim carpenter deciding how we were going to build this, doing all the measurements, we were constantly going
back to her ideabook and pulling these pictures up. – So yeah, it was great, and it came out perfect. (chuckles) They’ve got four bunk beds, it’s twin over full bunk beds, and stairs that go up
to a little fort area up at the top of their stairs. They all kind of had their space, but again it’s all one big room. – And kept one eye open all night. – We knew that our girls
are just going to be living under one roof for
a short period of time, so we wanted them to have that space where they could be together while they’re here, in our home. (upbeat music) Gideon’s loft bed, all it was was a loft, and so we talked about, are we going to put a ladder there, what’s that going to look like, should we do a fire pole, I mean, we threw around
several different options. I think it’s like, 11 feet off the ground, I don’t even know. But it’s tall. And so he has a rock-climbing wall that he climbs to get into his bed. – Hi! – Off of his loft bed there’s a door that goes into a little hidden
room above his bathroom. A little hideout area in there. (cheerful music) – [Kristen] There’s the big
open playroom with a stage. – [Michael] And some little
fun disco lights and things, so the kids can put on shows where they do cover songs,
they make up dances. (children laugh) Every kid loves putting on a show. Kids love to do little productions, dances, we’ve always done that. (sophisticated music) – [Kristen] When people
walk through the door, I want them to be able
to see straight through to the back. We have a beautiful view, there’s a pond back there. – [Michael] We wanted
stairs you can see through. Joe was able to find
someone that did metal work to make a single metal beam that would support floating stairs. – The open stair concept was
something that they liked from the very beginning, and so, you know, being
able to get it done where it didn’t break the bank, and to have it turn out the way it did, we’re very happy with that. (lively music) – We like to have people over, so we have a big open living room where a lot of people can hang out, it opens to the kitchen, because a lot of people like
to hang out in the kitchen. My husband really loves lighting, especially just accent lighting, and so we actually talked
to Joe about putting color-changing tape
lights within the beams, and so at night, they can
glow different colors. – This house, my very favorite time is at night. From outside, you might
see purple or blue, we change it for holidays, we might do green and red for Christmas, pastels for Easter. – We can put it the color
of our favorite sports team when it’s football season, which we do. – When I was a kid, I
would’ve loved to like, design a house that was fun, and so I finally got to do it. – Touched the top! – I think the most
important part of the build for this house was really just the people. Then, to see that the
joy that they got out of all this coming together, and knowing that this was
going to be such a fun house, to me that was the best
part of this build. – We like outdoor stuff,
we like to be active, and so creating fun spaces for our kids to do that, inside as well, it’s our dream home and we wanted it to be our kids’ dream home. (music fades out)


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