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According to Wikipedia, the American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

Harbin customer Sandstone Custom Homes recently completed a project for a family that is the epitome of the American dream, immigrating from war-torn countries with nothing but each other, and building their multi-generational dream home for their family.  

During the Vietnam War, the Hmong people living in Laos aided and partnered with American forces to fight Southeast Asian Communists in what is now known as the “Secret War.”  After the United States pulled out of Laos, Communist forces began retaliating against the Hmong for siding with the United States. Thousands fled — and died — and numerous refugee camps were set up in Thailand.  The lucky among them were able to immigrate to the United States.

Homeowners Dan and Mee belong to Hmong families who were able to do just that.  Dan’s father was a paratrooper helping the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  He was the founder of a successful rice processing plant, but after the U.S. forces pulled out, entire Hmong villages were being slaughtered.  Dan’s father and mother had no choice but to immediately leave behind their business and escaped Laos just in time with their seven children and only the clothes on their back.  They received sponsorship to immigrate into the U.S., where Dan was born and educated.

Ban Vinai Refugee Camp in Thailand, where many Hmong people sought refuge.

Mee’s father raised horses in Laos. As members of the Hmong culture, Mee’s family lived in a village that came under attack.  Her family fled, and armed only with a round float, swam across the Mekong River at night under a hail of gunfire. They made it to a Thailand refugee camp, where Mee was born and lived until she was 8 years old. When Mee was 12, her family received sponsorship and immigrated to the U.S. 

hmong culture artwork

Artwork depicting Hmong community-driven farming culture

The Hmong people are very family- and community-oriented.  It is common for multiple generations to live together, and work in partnership with their villages.  Although Dan and Mee’s families have become Americanized, some of their traditions remain.  As the youngest of eight children, Dan is upholding the unspoken cultural tradition of taking in his parents to live with his family.  Mee, the oldest of six children, also remains close to her family.

With that many siblings, and an abundance of nieces and nephews, family gatherings are very large and often include more than 20 children. Dan and Mee were looking to build a home to accommodate his parents full-time, along with the couple and their two pre-teen boys, as well as room to host frequent family gatherings.  

Dan and Mee purchased 11 acres northeast of metro-Atlanta, where the successful technology company Dan founded is located, and selected Harbin customer Sandstone Custom Homes to help them achieve the next step in their American dream.

When the house was designed, it was important to plan for the fact that the grandparents will age here, while Dan and Mee will age here as well.  With Sandstone’s experience building Aging in Place and Right Choice program energy efficient homes, they were the perfect fit for the couple.  

The nearly 9,000 square foot, castle-inspired home includes a circular drive leading to a stunning porte-cochère, with four garages underneath, and a pathway leading to the back of the home. 

Main level master

Inside, the home features two master suites.  The main-level master suite is handicap-accessible and will be home to Dan’s parents.  The beautiful bedroom overlooking the family’s backyard garden includes an en suite bath complete with its own laundry room to increase their self-sufficiency.  The suite is insulated for sound to provide a quiet retreat away from the younger generations in the adjacent living spaces. 

Just off the foyer is a study for Dan, adjacent to an entertainment suite for the couple to entertain guests. It includes a wet bar and a separate entrance, accented by a charming dungeon door.

Across the foyer is the the formal dining room, which attaches to a kitchen designed to be an entertainer’s dream come true.  The spacious kitchen includes a second island designed to serve food buffet style, a family-dining area, and a breakfast area with a built-in bench in the bay window to accommodate extra diners.

The two-story family room with accent beams and a beautiful stone fireplace provides plenty of room for indoor gathering, while just out the back door, additional family can gather on a curving sitting wall, overlooking the home’s outdoor kitchen, and vast family vegetable garden and fruit orchard.

Upstairs, Dan and Mee’s suite includes a stunning bathroom, with free standing soaking tub and enormous walk-in closet space, custom designed by Sandstone.

The two boys’ bedrooms with en suite baths are also upstairs, along with a guest room with bath, a huge playroom, and additional bonus space that can be finished if desired.  

A beautiful laundry room upstairs is conveniently located so that the family doesn’t have to haul laundry up and down the stairs. 

In a house this large, having an efficient heating and air system is critical to keep the home a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank.  Sandstone chose a Lennox system installed by regular HVAC partner Snellville Heating, Air and Plumbing to provide as much energy efficiency as possible.    Vallus Energy Consulting provided the testing services to determine the requirements were met to achieve Right Choice Certification through Jackson EMC.  The result is very economical and efficient home, despite the size.  

The entire home is beautifully appointed.  It is apparent how much love and care Dan and Mee used when selecting their colors, floors, fixtures and details to feel inviting and cozy, a feat not easily accomplished in a home of this size. This home exudes a welcoming personality, and is sure to be filled with lots of love and laughter from this American dream family.  We wish them a lifetime of peace and quality family time in their new home.

Congratulations to Sandstone Custom Homes for knocking another project completely out of the park.  We are so appreciative of the care with which you treat each of your homeowners and your continued partnership with us.