In an effort to keep up with writing more frequently, here’s a really random post. I’m practicing with my wide-angle lens on my DSLR and photoshop settings as I’m starting to get into real estate photography. Practicing with my own house was the obvious choice. The living room was pretty tidy but I made no effort to clean up the other rooms. I’ll spare you from Ali’s bathroom and our bedroom. Here’s a little real life peek into my house:
One of our loftier wish list items for our dream house was an outdoor “room,” like a courtyard or atrium. Our architect surprised us with a courtyard was the front entrance to our home. To save money toward the end of construction, we decided we would add the fence and gate to enclose the fourth wall on our own. We finally had a beautiful weekend and time to do a quick project together. Jason and I used the same technique as the modern wood fence we built at our last house. Without the fourth wall, it didn’t really feel like much of a courtyard at all.
Now it feel more complete!
We’ve got our own private retreat. This is quickly becoming our favorite spot for lunch and afternoon popsicles. As it gets warmer, I’ll probably start spending my morning time with God out here, sipping a cup of tea.
I’ll do a follow up to this post with pictures of our process, as soon as I get around to editing all the photos.
Weak, I know… it’s the day before we move in and I really (still) don’t have time for a proper blog post. Instead, here is a dump of photos from my iPhone from the last week. I promise a proper “New Home Update” or perhaps… “New Home Tour” next week!
We had our first meal at our new house last Wednesday. We ate pizza as these guys were installing our granite countertops.
Den/Playroom … I still don’t know if this wall is chalkboard paint or if it’s just painted black. Our contractor needs to ask the painter.
The fireplace is not quite complete (though as I’m writing this, it’s getting finished). Lights and fans are all in.
Bathroom vanities, medicine cabinets and sconce lights are in. Plumbing fixtures, too, but I guess I don’t have a picture of those yet.
Ali playing in the playroom.
And in Jason’s studio closet/recording booth.
For the past week or so, as soon as Ali is asleep for the night (at my parents’ house where we’re living) Jason and I head over to our house to work. One night we assembled this MASKROS light from IKEA. It’s means “dandelion” in Swedish. I wonder why?
Jason is so excited about having a gas range. I think he’s fired it up about 15 times just to make sure it’s still working.
We had a gorgeous first weekend in December with sunshine and highs touching 70 degrees. After a bday party in the morning, we stopped by Jason’s favorite garden center. They had everything 40% off so we decided to go for a few big things: two arborvite and a topiary.
Ali was zonked out in the van during the entire plant buying process.
Dressed house (though still scantily clad.) It was dark when we finished up so the pictures aren’t the greatest, but we’re still very pleased with getting a start on our landscaping.
Later that night we went to Home Depot to buy closet shelving. We had the most awesome lady helping us. She was so cheerful and patient. She took all of our measurements down and did the math so we’d have little waste, and she even took the time to label each shelf with the measurement so we’d know which was which when we got home. You just don’t get customer service experiences like that often enough!
A few daylight pictures from Sunday…
Yeah, still looks pretty bare.
My tea and coffee bar! I’m excited about this.
The 4 yellow stools I ordered arrived this week. I love.
Jason and I spent another evening cleaning. This kitchen is now sparkling clean, even the insides of the cupboards! Ready to unpack this weekend.
The kitchen is missing a few things… the doors for the corner cabinet and the metal chase for the vent hood above the gas range. The chase and vent hood are stainless but have a white protective sticker on them. (That confused me for a minute.)
Jason and I (mostly Jason) made this walkway in the courtyard with super, über, really-really heavy paver stones. Eventually we’ll get a load of gravel and we’ll build a gate.
As of the writing of this post (Wednesday evening) we’ve passed 2 of the 4 needed inspections. We have the other two scheduled for Thursday and Friday. It’s all starting to get REAL!!
(PS. WordPress has new photo upload software. Yay! Made this post quicker. 😉 )
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.
Holy cow! So much happened at our house last week and over the weekend that I decided to move my Thursday New Home Update to Tuesday. Our fireplace insert was installed. The second to last major building inspection passed which meant the walls could be sealed up. We got insulation at the same time as the driveway and front steps concrete was being poured. The back patio is framed but still waiting for concrete (so there was a dry entrance for the insulation guys). That concrete will probably be coming this week. The insulation was finished Friday afternoon and the drywall was delivered. We were told drywall would go in this week so we were pleasantly surprised when we drove by Saturday morning and found the drywall guys already hard at work! The worked Saturday and Sunday and go the drywall hung in the whole house. It’s been a very exciting week and the house looks so different inside now! Ready for a ton of pictures?
It’s so nice to be able to walk up the steps into the front door now:
I’ve been looking forward to “the drywall stage” for a long time! Finally, we can really get a sense of each space. Every time I walk through I’m rearranging furniture in my mind, thinking about what art can hang where… this is fun!
We have had a lot of work done on our new house the past couple weeks that’s not very visually interesting. We’ve had duct work run for the heating and cooling system. We’ve had gas lines run for appliances and vents for those appliances. We’ve had all the electrical work in the house roughed in.
Also, the courtyard leading up the front door got cleared out and a concrete footer was poured for the steps.
Next up: concrete for the front porch and steps, the garage and the back patio. I think. And soon after that: insulation, doors and drywall. Woohoo! We’re half way there.
Since my last update on our hew house, we’ve had our windows installed, the ground leveled around the house and our roof has been shingled. All of that excitement packed into one picture-ific post:
The house feels much more grounded, nestled into the property, now that the dirt has been leveled. We’ve got a lot of landscaping to do!
The window in the foreground will be over my desk, looking out into the backyard.
The front door (in the right of this pic) opens into the dining room and kitchen area. The windows next to the door were not yet installed in this picture. We get a ton of light while still having a lot of privacy from the street.
From the front door, we can see straight down the hallway and out the window in one of the kids’ rooms. I love how that worked out.
Also from the front door, I catch a glimpse of the living room with big window and tall concrete block fireplace.
We’re looking forward to cozying up in front of the fire this winter.
I really, really love how much indirect natural light we get in the house through the clerestory windows. Three cheers for thoughtful architects!
The exposed concrete block continues into the den/playroom/spare bedroom. Jason is probably swatting a mosquito in this picture. They’re really bad down by our house. Maybe because all the dirt was stirred up with the leveling?
We have some nice big windows in the master bedroom too.
I love that we get to look out at this beautiful crepe myrtle tree all summer and fall!
Lucy is very happy that we have some low windows and glass doors that she can bird watch through.
The front door on a different day, after the windows were installed. This is from the dining room looking out toward the courtyard entryway.
A couple of weekends ago, Jason and I did a bunch of yard work. We removed about 60 feet of chain link fence and posts, cut back/down some trees, weed and shrubs and hauled all the debris to either the dumpster or the curb for brush pick-up. It was hard work on humid days but it felt so good—the physical exercision and the fact that we were working on our new property. This photo is taken from the back corner of our lot, the highest point on the property.
In the above pictures, our roof is covered in tar paper but not shingles. I’m not sure if you can tell by looking at them. But, in the pictures below, we have shingles! Yay! We selected “weathered gray” and it’s just what we were hoping for. We didn’t want to go too dark to attract the sun and we didn’t want to go too light that it looked the same shade as concrete. We didn’t want to go too brown since we have gray concrete block but we also didn’t want to go too gray because we’ll have cedar wood siding. Needlesstosay, we’re pleased with our choice.
The framing is just about done now, minus a few little additions here and there. The floors are all swept and the house is wrapped in plywood. The roof has been wrapped but not shingled yet. The soffits are almost all wrapped in HardieBacker. This stage is really exciting for me. I love being able to walk through each room and really get a sense of the size, even more now that the outside is wrapped and the floors are cleared. These are all Jason’s pictures:
On Monday morning we met with some window sub-contractors. We’re getting bids for vinyl windows and store-front commercial windows and we’ll be making a decision based on price, appearance and function – probably prioritized in that order. Very soon the plumber and electrician will start roughing in lines. We’ve got quotes for different styles/woods for our siding. Things are moving along rapidly now. Every time we go over there it feels a little bit more like our home, and not just our construction site.
Jason and I just finished watching Eames: The Architect and the Painter on Netflix, and it was totally inspiring. What I love most about the husband and wife duo of Charles and Ray Eames is that they never limited their creative interests and business endeavors to just one field. Charles was trained as an architect though he never graduated from college or got a license. Ray was trained as a painter but never made her living that way. Together they took on the challenge of creating an ergonomic chair made of bent plywood—completely innovative in their day.
From there, they went on to produce tons of furniture designs out of their studio in California with a team of designers working for them. But the couple also dabbled in film production and toy making. Everything they did was as a team. I loved seeing the letters they sent back and forth while they were separated for work, each updating the other on progress at the studio, what shops to visit in Paris, where to buy shoes, where to get a great deal on perfume—complete with whimsical drawings and love notes. It reminds me a lot of the kind of texts, emails and phone calls Jason and I exchange throughout the day. What a cool couple (minus the whole infidelity thing…eh hem), pictured below in the home they designed together.