Sunday, June 11, 2017

House and Spring Updates!

Hi friends! 

Recently Rosetta asked me if it was summer yet.  When I responded not quite yet, she told me she was glad, because she didn't want summer to end.  That's exactly how I feel!  I'm so, so excited we will get to enjoy summer in our new house and hopefully be somewhat settled by the time school starts back up.  I love everything about summer, and even though it's not officially summer, we sure have been enjoying many of the things that come with it!  

Our new home is almost finished... we are hoping to be moving in in two weeks, BUT I have not gotten out the moving boxes yet... meaning, I know there are plenty of things that can still push that date out.  ;-)  We are still spending weeks in the city, where we enjoy swimming at the pool every chance we get, and weekends with my parents, where we mostly make about a hundred trips to our house to see if anything has changed - ha!   


There's  been a lot of porch sitting with all this warm weather...

Baby calves, ducks, and chicks...

 Time at the flower garden preparing for a hopefully busy flower season (and as you can tell from the grass, lots of mowing for the boys)...

(My first bouquet of the season... nothing says cheerful like a bouquet of sunflowers!)

 And lot of ranger rides around the farm... or just down to our house (haha). 

 Since I last posted, there has been a lot of activity at our house.  In the above photo, the brick was (finally) finished and Justus was working on bringing power and water all the way to the house.

 Once the brick was finished, concrete was poured on the two porches, columns were built, and the hardie siding went up. 

  After months of staring into a deep, empty front porch, it was pretty exciting to actually be able to walk out the front door! 

 Just yesterday the hardie siding and columns were painted and this week the HVAC system was installed.  Natural gas was also brought to the house, which we're using for everything we can (heat in the winter, stove, fireplace, and grill). 

 Other than painting the open rafter tails and doors, all that's left for the exterior is the porch railing and brackets we're having installed on some of the gables!  I was so excited to see the siding painted!  All these little touches just continue to bring the house together and as I told Justus yesterday, it's such a huge relief.  There have been an unbelievable amount of decisions to make, and I have worried so much about making decisions we'll be unhappy with.  The exterior paint color is Shoji White by Sherwin Williams, and I LOVE it.  We really wanted a white front porch, but it couldn't be a stark white, and this color turned out to be the perfect amount of creamy, especially when paired with the brick.  

As I'm sure you can imagine, there have been packages arriving and arriving and arriving... lights, faucets, more lights (will they ever end?!).  

My favorite room in the house is the kitchen!  We had carrara marble installed for the perimeter cabinets.  Choosing a countertop material was so hard... I really wanted marble but was afraid to commit.  In the end, it was Justus who pushed me to get it (get what you love!) and once I saw it in the kitchen, it just brought everything together.  I'll let you know how I feel after living with it, but we did choose a honed slab and had our fabricator apply a sealer with a 15 yr. warranty for stains.  However, I'm preparing myself for the inevitable etching... (and any tips are welcomed). 

 In some ways, you could say I planned the entire kitchen around this backsplash tile.  Our contractor's wife told me about it and I loved it the minute I saw it and knew it was perfect.  It's a soft white tile and I chose a very light gray grout for a soft contrast.  

 Also, here's the built in cabinet I asked our cabinet maker to build!  Oh my goodness, a picture can't even capture the beauty of this piece!  He was really able to create this piece based on all the descriptions I gave him and make it even better than I ever dreamed.  Can't you just hear me... "At my previous house, I had this gorgeous old built in cabinet in my dining room... I want it to look old... Can you add some drawers on the bottom?... It needs to have latches..."   Haha!  And getting the proportions right too... this piece is 9' tall!

My sweet father-in-law (who made our gorgeous countertops in our previous house) made us our island countertop out of old reclaimed oak and he and Justus just installed it!  This wood adds so much warmth to our kitchen, which otherwise has a lot of cool colors.  He spent hours working on this countertop for us and it is so beautiful and has so much character.   It means the world to me to have something so special and beautiful in our new house. I'll show you a close up soon! 

In other areas of the house, we have toilets, bathroom countertops, faucets, lights and the trim was recently finished too (we have real stairs now!).  There's not much left to finish in the interior... just painting the walls and a little more trim work.   Oh, and a TON of clean up! 

 Hope you are having a wonderful June!  Do you have any fun summer plans???  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

House Update: Cabinets, Flooring and Brick!

 Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I thought I'd sit down and do a quick post tonight with some of the pictures I took over the weekend of our house building progress.  :-)  It's so exciting to be at the stage of seeing what our new home will actually look and feel like. 

Inside, the majority of the cabinets are set.  It feels a bit like a dream every time I set foot into the kitchen footprint.  I'm so happy with how the shaker cabinets turned out.  I'll keep this short and simple tonight, but once the kitchen is complete, I'll do a detailed post!  

 The island isn't quite finished yet, but I was relieved to see the gray paint was what I had hoped it would be.  :-)  My father-in-law has been spending hours making us an island countertop out of reclaimed wood and I can't wait to see it installed!  If there's one thing I could have taken with me from our previous home, it would have been the countertops he made, so I'm ecstatic I'll have something as special and beautiful in this house. 

 The perimeter cabinet color is Alabaster and the island is Cityscape (both Sherwin Williams).  I LOVE the Alabaster... I had read some great things about the color and I can vouch for how beautiful it is in person. 

 The wood floors are also installed throughout the house.  I've only had glimpses where the paper isn't covering them, so I'm anxious to see the full effect once they're uncovered! 

 Bathroom vanity cabinets are also installed... (master bath)

(guest bath)

 (girls bath)

 The brick also has started to go up and we are so excited!  The exterior of our home had a slow start, so it's equally exciting to see it come alive. 

 There will be brick on the side of the house as well, but the dormer you see here and the back wall will have 4" hardie lap siding. 

 As I mentioned in my last post, we really felt anxious about selecting the brick.  I had no idea how much even a mortar color or style could affect the color of the brick.  We are SO relieved that the brick turned out to be everything we hoped.  I can't pretend though... I had some majorly anxious moments as pictures started coming in when it was first going up and when I had to make a mortar decision on the spot.  :-)  Who knew building a house could be so stressful?!  ;-) 

 We wanted a brick that had plenty of character, looked old and yet was subtle in color.  We also wanted to select a brick that would complement the hardie lap siding, which will be painted a creamy white, of course.  ;-)  Hopefully the end result will be exterior choices that feel authentic to the style of the home.  

Also, Justus and I are SUPER excited to have a low maintenance material on the majority of the house!!!  ;-D  

(For anybody interested, the brick is St. Louis by Columbus Brick and the mortar color is Light Buff with a messy mortar finish.)

 As I was snapping these pictures, I kept getting distracted with the view.  Everything here is green now and so beautiful.  This is our back yard view, which I can hardly take in. 

 Although nothing quite beats the view on my parent's hilltop... ;-)  Especially a view you enjoy while eating fresh strawberries as the sun sets... the best!  

Happy (almost) May!  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

House Update Month 3 - The Inside!


Happy Easter weekend, friends!  We are here at my parents this weekend, enjoying some beautiful weather and time together!  I took advantage of the warm spring morning to get some pictures in the house.  :-)

We're on month 3 now... the outside still looks the same as last I posted, but the inside is a different matter!  The drywall and trim have been installed and last week the painters started.  Bathroom tile was just laid and Monday should be a big day with grouting, wood floors being installed, and hopefully brick starting to go up on the exterior.

The past month has been a busy one.  I never imagined all the house decisions that would need to be made and nearly all at once!  Justus jokes that it took me eight hours to pick out three light fixtures and two weeks to pick out door knobs.  While that's clearly an exaggeration (ha!), my picky self has had a difficult time making quick decisions!  ;-)

Anyway, let me show you around!

 The garage is Justus's domain and I haven't made one decision in there, but I love how it turned out!  Justus wanted the bottom portions of the walls to have wood siding instead of drywall and I think it turned out great. It will also be great for helping to prevent some dings in the sheetrock.  The wood will be left natural, but sometime we'll paint the drywall. 


This is the main living area... the living room, dining room and kitchen are all found in this large room.  We had wood planks installed to look like ship lap around the fireplace and stairwell wall.  It added so much character.  We will miss the wooden beadboard walls in our previous home, but this definitely helped!

To the left of the stairwell is a little hallway that leads to the guest bedroom and bathroom.  To the left of the front door is the master bedroom.  I haven't decided whether to have the front door painted or stained (it's stain-grade fiberglass)... any opinions are welcomed.  :-) 

 We had all the interior doors painted a dark gray.  Oh my goodness, if you only knew how many times I almost changed my mind!  Justus was the one that was insistent it would break up the white, and I'm so glad we ended up having them painted.  I love the pop of color. If you look closely, you can see the ceiling and crown molding are a different shade of white than the walls.  The walls are only primed for now, but eventually will be painted the creamy white that the ceiling and trim are painted (Alabaster by Sherwin Williams).  

The little nook on the left of the picture was originally a pantry. One of the disadvantages of having an open floor plan in the main living area is that it eliminates wall space.  Despite this disadvantage, I would not trade the open floor plan... I love the idea of these rooms being open to one another and I also love all the light that floods in.  Anyway, I asked our cabinet maker to build me a dining room cabinet and hutch that we could fit into that space (I tried to remove the wall, but it was helping to bear the load of the upstairs, so we left it).  Displaying all my dishes was way more important to me than a pantry... haha!  (I did have him add a pantry cabinet to the kitchen design.)


 This is the tile I chose for the guest bathroom.  The vanity cabinet in here will be gray.  It would be embarrassing to admit how much I thought about what tile to put in the house... eventually I went with something that I loved and would be a good fit with the house, and I'm so glad I did.  The retro tiles are just perfect and timeless.   

This is the master bathroom.  Isn't this basketweave tile fun!  It provides such a pop of color!  The walls in here will be painted Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams and the vanity will be white.

The shower is full of white subway tiles.  :-)

 The girls bathroom upstairs is my personal favorite.  I love this black and white hex tile (the girls see flowers in the tile!).  Their bathroom is located in a dormer and it has these three charming windows in it.  The walls in here will be painted pink... of course. ;-)  The color I chose is White Dogwood by Sherwin Williams... I'm hoping it will be a pretty pink, but subtle.  It took the girls and I some begging to get Justus agree to pink walls.  ;-)

 In one of the girls bedrooms here... you can get a better look at the painted doors.  They are painted Peppercorn by Sherwin Williams. 

 And finally, walking into the bonus room...

 This room was such a pleasant surprise!  I guess we couldn't quite comprehend how large and open it was from the plans... I foresee us spending a lot of time in here.  Crafting, relaxing, doing school... there's enough room for a large table and chairs and maybe even a comfy sitting area down the road.  

 We paid our contractor to have the room finished up to this point, but we'll be finishing it from here.  There's not much left to do... painting, trim and flooring.  I definitely think this room deserves a whole wall dedicated to chalkboard paint. ;-)

 Although there hasn't been any change to the outside since I last posted, hopefully that is about to change!  We had to wait three weeks for the brick to come in that we chose, but it's here and ready now! 

I really think the brick was probably the most difficult choice.  When we first went to the brick store, we were both completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices and only a small sample board to look at.  We finally found a house we liked, and the supplier actually came out and found a close match.  Then they gave us an address of a house they had used this brick on, so that we could look at it on an entire house vs. a small sample board.  It's difficult to tell what it will look like at this point, but we're hopeful.  It's called St. Louis by Columbus Brick Company and I love that it has an old brick look to it. 

I think that's all for now!

I hope this finds you all well and that you have a very happy Easter! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

House Update Month 2 - All Wrapped Up!

Happy March!  To say that we're amazed at the amount of progress on our house in the past six weeks is an understatement!  Between a contractor that has been on the ball and very mild weather, the house is completely dried in. I've been scrambling to pick out things for the house.  It's all happening so fast, which is wonderful, but my picky tastes are having a hard time keeping up.  (wink)

Here's an update on some of the past six week happenings!  I apologize in advance for how long this post is... I really wanted to document this so I could remember! 

Footers were dug and the foundation block was laid.  The framing subcontractor came in and started in no time at all (the house next in line had a delay, so he came to ours).  It was so exciting getting to walk on top of the house... all started to feel very real! 

 We only see the house on the weekends, so Friday is always an exciting day.  Particularly while the house was being framed, it was so fun to see it all start taking shape. 

 I laugh every time I see the crawl space.  In our previous house, the crawlspace was so small that in some areas it was impossible to access.  Justus always said, "In our next house, I want to have enough room to walk in the crawl space!"  Well, he certainly got his wish - ha! 

You can see here how tall the front of the house is.  It took a while for me to get used to how it looked.  The front stairs will be over 7' wide and there will be plenty of them!  

When the ceiling was framed in, we walked on top and I couldn't believe how far it felt to the ground.  

Pretty soon the second story was in the process of being framed.  The girls had so much fun seeing where their actual bedrooms would be!  

 And here we are today, with the shingles on and windows in.  We went with an architectural shingle in Weathered Wood... we chose this color because we really wanted the eye to be drawn to the house, not the shingles. 

 For the windows, we chose a craftsman style... the grilles are in the upper windows, and are two vertical lines. I chose white because...well, I still love white!  :-D

 I love this side porch at the back of the house... when I first saw this floor plan, I envisioned french doors leading out onto the back porch.  I imagine we will spend a LOT of time back here! 

 I was insistent on building the chimney... it's actually faux (gasp) as our logs will be natural gas.  There's a chance we may actually be utilizing the chimney as we will be venting the gas logs, but I'm not quite sure how that will work yet. 

 It's actually hard to envision the front of the house at this point.  The front porch is just block right now, but eventually concrete will be poured, it will have brick stairs, craftsman columns with a brick base, and white wood railing. The front of the house and the dormers will be hardi lap siding painted white and the sides of the house will be brick.  We have yet to pick out a brick color... I never knew there could possibly be so many choices and it completely overwhelmed both of us. 

The little shed roof over the windows on the upstairs dormer was just added this morning.  When the house was first wrapped, Justus and I stood out in the front yard looking up at the house, staring at a huge voided space above the windows.  We had eliminated the shed roof shown in the plans there because we didn't see its purpose... well, the purpose was clearly to be seen on that day - ha!  The plans did show a little shed roof, but it didn't have any details, so I searched online high and low for a picture that showed something similar.  This is what the framer came up with and we love it.  This little detail added SO much to the look of the house.

Inside the house, the plumbing, electrical and insulation are all in and drywall goes in next week!  I can't believe it.  Every time I walk through the house, it almost feels like a dream.  The electrical threw me for a little loop... I had never though how much was involved in selecting the placement for light fixtures and outlets and all the details involved with light switches.  All I can say is the poor electrician was so kind dealing with me!  

One of the biggest decisions we made last minute was deciding to go ahead and finish the bonus room upstairs.   The dormer room to the left is one of my favorite things about the house.  When I first walked into this space, I could imagine a large farmhouse table underneath the windows for schoolwork and crafting.  When the girls aren't outside, I imagine they'll be right here.  :-)  

I think that's all for now!  Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

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