At Dixie Willard Design

your forever home is in good hands

I Know That You Want To Establish Roots And Live A Life Filled With Community And Adventure In The Knoxville Area

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Why Tennessee

there are just too many decisions to make when building a new home

As an Air Force brat who became an Air Force wife, one of the questions I always dreaded was, “So, where do you call home?” I hadn’t ever lived anywhere that felt like the permanent home that people mean when they ask that question. Some of the places I liked, some I didn’t, but that was about as attached as I was.

“Home is where the heart is” may be trite, but it was true for me. Still, the idea of a place to put down roots and really become part of the community called to me.

During a deployment just before my husband retired, most of our video calls, emails, and letters centered around how life after the Air Force should look. We finally had a chance to establish a permanent home somewhere we chose, so we wanted to make sure we chose well.

We both love the mountains and being surrounded by trees, so that was our first requirement. Extreme temperatures aren’t our thing, so a mild climate went on the list. Tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes also topped our must-avoid list while four seasons with lightning bugs, fall leaves, and at least a little winter snow were added as absolute musts.

Somewhere with a good economy and a low cost of living would be a definite plus along with the ability to travel easily. A big bonus would be to have full-time access to activities that most people only get to enjoy on their vacations. Bottom line: we needed somewhere we could have a sense of belonging, a home that supports our needs and lifestyle, and a life of adventure.

As we researched, Tennessee quickly became our #1 pick. The Knoxville area in particular checked off all the boxes—near the mountains with plenty of opportunities for hiking, zip lining, and white-water rafting; a sense of history intertwined with innovation that could be felt in downtown Knoxville’s historic buildings, unique culture, and appreciation for makers, artisans, and entrepreneurs; near family and friends; and quick access to major interstates and an airport for easy travel.

From the moment we moved here, East Tennessee has felt like home. Not just because we’re here together, but also because we have that deeper sense of permanency, community, and happiness. Now that I’ve found it, I’d like to share it with you.

As an Air Force brat and an Air Force wife, “So, where do you call home?” was hard to answer. I’ve never had the permanent home that people mean when they ask that question. The idea of a place to put down roots and really become part of the community called to me, though.

When my husband retired from the Air Force, we finally had a chance to establish a permanent home somewhere we chose; somewhere we could have a sense of belonging, a home that supports our needs and lifestyle, and a life of adventure.

As we researched, Tennessee quickly became our #1 pick. The Knoxville area in particular checked off all the boxes—near the mountains with plenty of opportunities for hiking, zip lining, and white-water rafting; near family and friends; and quick access to major interstates and an airport for easy travel.

From the moment we moved here, East Tennessee has felt like home. We have that deeper sense of permanency, community, and happiness. Now that we’ve found it, I’d like to share it with you.

WHY CERTIFICATION MATTERS

NCIDQ CERTIFIED

What does this mean for you?

First the boring answer: It means I earned a four-year degree in interior design and worked for several years in the field before I took and passed a comprehensive, two-day, three-part exam that covered things like building codes, systems and processes, sustainability, etc. I also maintain my certification and keep my skills up to date with continuing education.

What does it actually mean for you?

It means I listen carefully to your wants and needs for how your home should look, feel, and function. Next, I develop a plan for your new home using a proven methodology to combine knowledge, research, and analysis with artistry and creativity. Along the way, I work with your builder to come up with creative solutions to any complications that pop up. In the end, you get a home that is beautiful and works for the way you live.

A Little Bit More About Me

I'm a fairly nerdy chick with a snarky sense of humor

My name’s Dixie Willard and after traveling around the world for twenty years as an Air Force wife, I have finally settled down with my husband in our forever home here in East Tennessee. It’s that perfect medium between being close to our extended family while not being too close.

I'm a fairly nerdy chick with a snarky sense of humor, I adore my two furry Chief Morale Officers (Sammy and Sadie), and I do more than my fair share to keep the coffee industry in business.