New Home Update

11/15/2012

Well things didn’t go quite as quickly as we had planned this week. The hold up has been getting the electric connected by the electric company, passing the city inspection and then getting the gas company to come out and set up the meter which involves a lot of people coming out and is completely out of our control. We didn’t have any problems, it just took longer than we were hoping and as I’m writing this on Wednesday night, we still don’t have gas (should be hooked up tomorrow) which means we don’t have heat, which means they can’t put the wood flooring in yet, which means the kitchen won’t go in until next week… which means… we probably won’t be moving in Thanksgiving week after all. The house should essentially be done, but there is a series of inspections the city has to do before we can get an occupancy permit and with it being a holiday week, it’s unlikely they will all happen before Thanksgiving. We can’t move in without an occupancy permit. The good news is that we were originally hoping we’d be in by Christmas and getting in by Thanksgiving was just a nice surprise. We don’t have any rush except excitement. Thank God we have a place to stay at my parents’ house for as long as we need.

So, what did happen this week? The HVAC was installed along with the hot water heater. We got power! At the point of me writing this, about half of our lights are installed. Door handles were installed. Jason and I took the master key on Tuesday night and had new specialty keys made for ourselves. We also picked up some LED lights to put up on our light shelf, but we need to get more. We guessed on the 100 lights/33 ft. set.

I had to run out to the hardware store to grab a couple of lights for closets that we had forgotten about. Jason was out of town and happened to have horrible reception while I was at the store so I couldn’t even consult with him. This was the picture I sent him to say, “I got these. OK?”

Outlets and some fixtures are in.

We were going to get fans for every bedroom but we decided to save money and get some cheapos for now and we’ll replace them one at a time later on.

We still got a nice fan for our bedroom and we’ll have one in the living room as well.

This is a silent “door bell” in Jason’s studio. Remind me to tell you about that later.

The HVAC looks like it was custom painted to match our house. It was not but that would be cool, wouldn’t it?

We like dimmers. We’re going to have a lot of dimmers.

It was foggy one morning while I was walking Lucy and I took this pretty autumny photo.

Lights! Jason, who is a perfectionist (I love that about him!) is straightening one of many crocked door handles.

We got these squarish door levers and it’s really noticeable if they’re a little bit off.

Jason is checking out the hall bathroom.

This is the first time we’ve really been able to see the tile and paint color because this is the only windowless room in the house and it has always been dark until now. That’s precisely why I wanted a light airy color on the walls (SW window pane) and I’m really happy with how it goes with the light gray tile and white tub (we’ll also have a white toilet, white vanity, white sink/countertop.)

Only 1 of 4 lights was installed so it’ll get a lot brighter in here.

We turned on all of the lights that we could and ran back outside in the cold to see what it looks like lit up. We have lights in the eaves around the house so once they’re installed it’ll really light up at night.

We have 2 workable outside lights on either side of the garage.

A custom house justifies custom keys right?

Kitchen:

Living room:

From mudroom/office (green room) pocket door looking toward the living room, kitchen and dining room:

Next update I should have pictures of finished tile work, finished hardwood floors, finished lighting, finished kitchen … hopefully a finished house!!


New Home: Den/Playroom Plan

11/13/2012

Den/Playroom Room plan from myMCMlife.com

Sources

1. Sherwin Williams Greek Villa

2. Exposed concrete block wall

3. IKEA TROMSO day bed and pull out trundle $80 each (This is a big fat maybe. I was hoping our vintage gold pull out sofa would fit in here but it’s too big. We need some comfy seating that would ideally work also as a guest bed or maybe even a bed for a future child. No futons.)

4. Basketball hoop. $33 on Amazon. The top priority of this room is fun.

5. Natural hickory wood floors, like the rest of the house

6. Black chalkboard wall

7. Jason’s first guitar, which is now wall art. Second priority of this space is creativity and musical instruments will definitely be part of that.

8. Urban Outfitters zig zag rug, 5×7, in gray. Another big maybe but it’s my current top choice.

9. Pop & Lolli Build-a-Bot decal set. I won these on Design Mom’s blog and I’m pretty stoked to play with them… I mean, let some kids play with them.

10. Some kind of bookshelf to store toys, books, instruments. Vintage and metal painted a bright color would be nice. (This one is from UO.)

11. My old Apple iBook from 2002, which is still kicking, sort of, and hopefully has enough juice left to play some kid’s DVDs. Eventually we might add a small LED TV into this room.

12. Vintage footstool

13. Metal storage cart (painted a funky color) for toys and things

14. Child-size seating, like this metal folding chair, and maybe eventually a child-size table.


New Home Update

11/08/2012

Last week the concrete was poured for our back patio and our driveway. The painters finished their work inside and outside. And the house had major clean-up done inside and outside as well. All of that was finished in time to get the house ready for a modern architecture home tour that took place on Saturday. Our house was 1 of 5 on the self-guided tour. The tour was good promotion for our architect and our builder but it was also fun for me to hear people’s feedback, questions and encouragement. I put Ali in play clothes and she finally had a chance to really explore the house, the driveway and the yard. (Usually there are too many hazards everywhere to let her just go and be a curious toddler.) I also had a chance to chat with some of our neighbors. I’m really thankful we get to stay in the neighborhood that we’ve loved for the past 6 years. We’ve got great people living all around us. I also had a ton of time to talk with one of the guys from our construction company and I’m again so grateful that we found them—such good, honest, hard-working people. Integrity is somewhat rare in the contracting business. On to the pictures (mostly taken before the inside was cleaned.)

The concrete guy was really sweet and offered to help us put Ali’s handprint in the patio. She kept trying to grab a handful of the concrete so it didn’t come out great, but he did his best to clean it up and he carved her initials and the date before it was dry. My parents built a house when I was a baby and all 5 of us had our handprints in the back patio. I always loved to put my hand in the prints to see how small my hand used to be, how close it was to growing into my big brother’s print and how small my hand was (and still is) compared to my dad’s.

Front door, entry, dining room (looking through the kitchen):

Kitchen and dining room:

Pocket door!

Living room:

The natural light in the great room is ahhhhmazing! (Credit for excellent design goes to our architect, Ryan Thewes.)

Kitchen:

The den/playroom:

Ali’s room:

Future kids room:

Front door (second door is a coat closet)

Again with the amazing natural light! We’re hardly ever going to need to turn the lights on during the day here.

My office and the laundry room. It’s green.

Jason’s studio. It’s not very photogenic yet.

Garage lights:

Electric meter is ready to go. Yeah, we don’t have underground electricity here. We have ugly wires that go from one corner of the house to a pole across the street. It ain’t pretty.

I got a new doormat at Target special for the tour. And now it’s filthy…but at least it was welcoming!

I love getting to watch Ali transform from a baby into a kid.

Walking all around like she owns the place! Oh wait, she does.

Next up HVAC, Electricity, Gas? Tile?

Next week we should have wood flooring, tile work, plumbing, kitchen cabinets. We’ll be living here in 2 weeks. Ack!


New Home Update

11/01/2012

This week was not quite as exciting as the one before. Jason and I gave our brick mailbox a makeover to match our new house. He cut and chopped up a bunch of firewood. (Yay for wood burning fireplace!!) We got our garage door installed. Some siding was repaired by the front door and the roof that cantilevers over the front porch. Our gutters were installed. Jason and I piled up a bunch of leaves, swept out the garage and assembled IKEA bathroom vanities. (No pictures of those last three things.)

While the painters were painting the trim, they also primed this wall black for chalkboard paint.

We stopped by on Saturday morning to find the garage door being installed by a guy from our church and his sons. That was a fun surprise.

The gutters were installed on Tuesday.

These don’t seem as intrusive as I thought they would.

Spontaneous family portrait:

The next step is a bunch of steps that happen all together and involve permits and codes and red tape: electrical finish out, gas finish out, HVAC installation. Soon after the house is climate controlled, we can have the wood floors installed. Any time in the next week or two the painters and the tile guys can finish their work. Plumbers will be back to hook up toilets and sinks and finish out the fixtures. The very last big project will be the kitchen installation and it’s scheduled for November 14th. Less than 2 weeks away! We’re anticipating moving in right before Thanksgiving.

I feel the urge to start packing!


Now We’re Cookin’ – Kitchen Plan Part 2

10/30/2012

Remember in 10th grade when you would practice signing your future name “Mrs. Jason Ahlbrandt” and “Martina + Jason” and “MLA”  all over your Physics notebook? Oh, wait that was me. Well, that’s me again, except now it’s a house I keep daydreaming about. I was down at the house meeting with our contractor about tile and when I got back to my desk, this happened:

I also might have printed out the kitchen plan elevations from our cabinet guy and sketched in notes about what I’m going to put in which cabinets. (First post about our kitchen plan is here.) It helped me to notice a few things, like that I wanted to add a pull out drawer for the trash and recycling near the end of the peninsula.

Our pantry will surround a coffee/tea bar area.

This open shelf at the end of the peninsula was one of my dream items.

The open shelf here for our everyday plates, bowls and glasses was another dream list item. (Inspiration can be seen in the plan here.)

I’m also very happy about the counter overhang that will allow space for a few bar stools and that cabinet on the right corner that’s accessible from the dining room side—it seems like the perfect place to store Lucy’s dog food and dishes.


New Home: Master Bathroom Plan

10/29/2012

Master Bathroom Inspiration Board and Design Plan from myMCMlife.com

Sources

1. Sherwin Williams Window Pane – (I lovelovelove this color)

2. IKEA MINUT pendant 13″ globe light $40

3. Kendal Lighting VF3400-1L-SN Satin Nickel 1 Light White Shade Madison Bathroom Vanity Light (Item #: 411819 |  Model #: VF3400-1L-SN) from Lowes – 2 of these on either side of mirror

4. IKEA LILLAGEN mirror medicine cabinet $70

5. Delta Vero single-hole, high arch faucet

6. IKEA GODMORGON/ODENSVIK bathroom vanity, white stained oak $489

7. Daltile 1×1 mosaic in “marble” tile for the shower surround and the floor

8. KOHLER toilet with soft-close lid

9. IKEA RAMSKÄR bath mat $17

10. IKEA AFJARDEN bath sheets $15 each

11. IKEA GRUNDTAL toilet paper holder $6, hand towel bar $10 and bath towel rack $15

12. Custom carved wood “Relax” sign from William Dohman

13. Eat More Fiber poster designed by me (this may or may not make it back into the master bathroom!)

14. Delta Vero T14243 rain shower head and diverter – 2 of these for our big shower

Those without prices are items that our contractor already has or will purchase and he can get better than retail prices.


New Home Update

10/25/2012

Confession: I wrote Monday’s post with my Photoshop mock-ups of the painted house on Friday night. Shocker: The painters came on Saturday and Sunday and finished all the exterior painting over the weekend! Did I tell you things were flying around here? Let’s see, I have a few progress shots of the painting that I took to send to Jason because he was in Norway over the weekend. And by Sunday afternoon I was snapping the finished painted house pictures.

We’re extremely happy with our color choices, in case you’re wondering.

You can see the Drizzle living room wall through the windows beside the fireplace. It’s quite a similar color to the outside Restful.

My desk will be right under that window. Hi, new home office! It’s also the laundry room and (FUN FACT) it’s the only room in the house with a flat ceiling.

The tile in the hall bathroom has been laid. We like. Good find, contractors! Our GC and his son found this for us based on a description of what we wanted. I think they found it at Lumber Liquidators (?) for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.50 per sq. ft. Score!

We had a shower wall enclosure built in our master bathroom and the concrete shower pan has been set. That shower will be all tiled like our last house’s master bathroom and we’ll have the same tile on the shower walls, floor and the bathroom floor.

Shampoo and soap nichés! Nitches. Nissssshes. Neeeeshays. We’ve been having fun with that word.

We had two hiccups with our Daltile selection. First, the mosaic blend we chose for the master called Keystone Mosaics in Beach is apparently discontinued. Frustrating but whatever. We picked another tile off of the same sample boards, a speckled beige called Marble. (Top row arrow in photo below.)

Two days later, our contracter when to the Daltile store to order our selections and found out that our hall bathroom tub surround choice, Aegean, will take 4-6 weeks to order. Seriously?! What’s the deal with the sales people at this store? They could have told us when we were in there the first time that the Beach pattern we selected was discontinued and it would have been really nice to know that some of the tiles they can get in stock in days and others take MONTHS. Ugh! Anyway… thankfully this time I had photos of the tile sample boards and we were able to find another one we like that they can get in stock in a few days: Waterfall. (4th row arrow in the photo above.) All of these decisions happen in a matter of minutes. Contractor calls Jason from tile store. Jason calls me at work. I email Jason pictures of the tile sample boards and my top 4 replacement choices. He calls the contractor and asks which of those choices they can get in stock quickly. Decision made. BAM.

Sidenote: I guess we’re on a turquoise kick!

We’ve also had trim and baseboards installed. They’re mostly done now.

Our site supervisor built steps to go into the house from the garage. Not too exciting. The vertical railings next to the stairs, as well as a handle, were added after I took this picture.

He also finally got rid of that ugly angled board that was giving extra support to the cantilevered overhang above the front door. The framers put it up there because they were concerned it was sagging and it looked awful. Now there is a big steel I-beam instead and it’ll be covered over with Hardie board on the porch side.

First stop on the way home from the airport when Jason returned from Norway: the new house, of course!

I-beam extending into the garage.

Our interior doors were all stained and sealed in natural wood tone and you can see in the background that the kitchen wall that was supposed to be white (Greek Villa) is now white again.

The black wall in Ali’s room was primed again in white. However, the wall that is supposed to be chalkboard black in the den is still white. We’ll see what happens when the painters come back to finish painting today and tomorrow. Say a prayer!

See all those leaves in the backyard? Our back patio is supposed to be poured right there but our contractor doesn’t want our concrete covered with leaf impressions so we might wait a little longer.

Next up? I don’t know… Wood flooring, I hope!


New Home: Guest Bathroom Plan

10/23/2012

I worked on this inspiration board guest bathroom (AKA hall bathroom, kids bathroom, etc.) and I’m glad I did because I kept remembering more details to add to the plan. Beyond the already decided upon tile, vanity, mirror, lighting and paint color, I realized I also need to plan rugs, towels, shower curtain, towel and toilet paper hanging hardware. I didn’t even get to the point of art or sink top accessories. Here’s what I have come up with so far:

Guest Bathroom Inspiration Board and Design Plan from myMCMlife.com

Sources

1. Sherwin Williams Window Pane – (I lovelovelove this color)

2. IKEA MINUT pendant 13″ globe light $40

3. Kendal Lighting VF3400-1L-SN Satin Nickel 1 Light White Shade Madison Bathroom Vanity Light (Item #: 411819 |  Model #: VF3400-1L-SN) from Lowes – 2 of these on either side of mirror

4. IKEA LILLAGEN mirror medicine cabinet $70

5. Delta Vero single-hole, high arch faucet

6. IKEA GODMORGON/ODENSVIK bathroom vanity $489

7. Light gray slate-like 12×24 tile

8. KOHLER toilet with soft-close lid

9. IKEA GRUNDTAL toilet paper holder $6, hand towel bar $10 and bath towel rack $15

10. IKEA FRÄJEN bath sheets $10 each

11. Curved Shower Curtain Rod (maybe this one, pictured, for $40)

12. Daltile 1×1 matte “aegean” porcelain tiles for tub surround

13. IKEA TALLHOLM shower curtain $15

14. White bathtub (it’s already installed and honestly, I don’t remember which one it is)

15. IKEA TOFTBO bath mat in turquoise $13

16. Delta Vero 14453 shower head, diverter and tub faucet

Those without prices are items that our contractor already has or will purchase and he can get better than retail prices.


New Home – Exterior Paint Mock-Ups

10/22/2012

Because things aren’t moving fast enough (that’s a joke!) I decided to take some of my photos of the house with siding and add our paint colors in Photoshop to see how they look. The house process has been flying lately at the house so it’s possible that by the time this post goes live, the painters will actually be painting the exterior…but anyway…if I’m going to waste my time daydreaming, I might as well waste yours too:

(The battens weren’t all up yet when I took the picture below, but close enough.)

Use your imagination here. Our garage door will not be translucent. It is coming soon, though. Hopefully the rest of the driveway (and back patio) concrete is coming soon, too.

OK, now this one got me really excited. Our front door area has been a mess since the beginning of construction and I never like how it looks in photographs. Now I can really start to visualize how lovely this courtyard entrance could be…

My landscape expert husband Jason will be planning out this courtyard with what areas will have planters, paver stones, gravel, potted plants, etc. All I know is that our OTP orange metal chairs will be resting here. Probably. So the birds have somewhere to perch while they watch us eat breakfast.


New Home Update

10/18/2012

My blogging has been a little scarce this week because it’s been busy ’round here. Ali got sick with a cold on Saturday and earlier this week I caught it too. Thankfully I’m not on deadline at work because there is a lot going on at the house and we’ve been running all over town looking at tile and flooring samples and meeting contractors and sub-contractors over at the house. A lot has happened since my last update. The interior walls have all been primed, though a few colors are in wrong places…we’ve been promised they’ll fix it when they do the paint. The doors have all been hung and the trim and baseboards are in progress. The exterior siding is a little more than half way done. We met with our kitchen cabinet guy earlier this week and made the final adjustments to the kitchen design. (I’m so excited about the kitchen!) We’ve had to make our selections for hard wood flooring and tile. We’re narrowing down the light fixtures and fans. A lot of things will be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks…we might even be totally done in a month! We’re hoping to move in or at least get our occupancy permit before Thanksgiving.

The “floating wall” we call it, in the living room is primed with SW Drizzle. The lighting is a little weird in this picture. It’s not quite that greenish.

One wall of the kids’ room will be SW Melangé Green.

Primed for SW Window Pane in the hall bathroom.

My office/laundry room. Boy, that primer is bright! I hope the paint color is not so bright…

Oops… this wall in Ali’s room is supposed to be pink (Rosebay). The black primer was for one of the walls in the den/playroom that will be chalkboard paint.

Oops #2… the kitchen side of the floating wall was supposed to be SW Greek Villa like the rest of the walls in this photo. The painter promises his crew will fix it.

We have a front door!

Interior doors! We were thinking about painting them white at first but once we saw them hung, we decided we love the wood grain.

I have a pocket door. I’ve always wanted a pocket door. It’s between the mud room and the living room. It’s one of those little details that our architect added (I had never mentioned it) that make me so happy!

Our friend Andy won the bid for our kitchen. He’s marking everything out to make sure it will all fit. He was able to include everything on my wish list and he used my sketch as a plan. Cool! I don’t love to cook but I’m determined to do it more once we’re living here. I’m really excited about this kitchen!

The hall bathroom will have turquoise (“Aegean” by Daltile) 1×1 tiles around the tub and some kind of yet-to-be-determined gray tile on the floor.

The master bathroom floor and walk-in shower will all be this 1×1 mosaic called “Beach” by Daltile.

While we were looking for floor tile, we found a great deal on the kind of hickory wood flooring we were looking for!

Hickory is an extremely hard wood (durable). We like the utility grade because it has a ton of color variation including some knots and mineral deposits. It lends itself to rustic design but Jason and I fell in love with it and think it’s going to look really pretty in our house. The variety of color means it’ll match our black-brown furniture as well as our walnut furniture.

It was such a blessing to find that because we were really squeezing our budget to afford hard wood and we really, really didn’t want to go with anything else.

On to the exterior siding!

Originally we were going to do cedar siding. Because of budget we decided to go with Hardie board instead. I love this solution for 2 reasons (3, if you count staying on budget!): 1. it’s very durable and low maintenance and 2. it can be painted any color in the world.

We’re doing a mix of board and batten design and flat panels. The board and batten will be our main color (SW Cast Iron) and flat panels will be our accent color (SW Restful).