Jan 29, 2013


dear mother nature,

i didn't complain a bit when you decided to rain on my wedding day, but *this* has got to stop!
(i'm trying to build a house here!)

first, it was a LOT of snow...

 and then FOG...(and weeks of inversion)

 and freezing temperatures....

and THEN ICE??? (you really outdid yourself with this one. it was a doozy!)

 and now MORE snow....

 dont we already have enough??

 my poor house is getting buried!

 please make it stop! (no pun intended.)

 the forecast isn't boosting my mood at all.


i can't take much more. and i think i speak for everyone in the entire state of utah.


Jan 28, 2013

upstairs bath: making some decisions

since we are now going to finish the "extra" bath in the upstairs, i am in high gear trying to make some selections for it.

since this bath will be used primarily for my son, and i don't need a ton of storage, i want to use a freestanding vanity with some open storage. after doing some research, and showing the cabinet maker some pictures of what i wanted, it became pretty clear that it was going to be less expensive to buy something already made. i looked at a lot of sources online, and kept coming back to restoration hardware. they have a terrific selection of vanities, and while they tend to be a little expensive, they were less than having one custom made at a local cabinet shop.

i really, really like the look of this vanity, from the pharmacy collection:
but the $2,000 price tag isn't working with my budget!

so...i looked into my second favorite, the hutton vanity:
i really like the simple, masculine lines of this vanity....and the price without the marble top is pretty affordable at $600.

and then, i decided to check out the sale department, and i spotted the logan vanity:
only the bottom two drawers are "real", which is enough storage for my son.  i really like that the wood will hide a lot of dirt! best of all, (without the top) it was just under $400  before tax and shipping... i went ahead and ordered it. (so excited!)
i think it will look great with what i eventually want to put on the floors....

 i would LOVE to do a patterned concrete tile. i found this amazing pattern here that i am dying over:

its from villa lagoon tile, and they custom color their tiles! i really like this olive green color, but i also like the idea of a grey and cream. maybe one day....for now, we are going to have to do something cheaper.

i purchased two of these lights at joss and main a while back. they look a LOT like the mason hammered iron pendant from arteriors, but were a fraction of the cost.

i was originally going to use them in my downstairs mudroom/hallway, but i think i want to use them in this bathroom instead. i am thinking that i want one centered over the sink, and another centered over the toilet.

i originally wanted to install a wall mount faucet like this:

but the cost to change the plumbing was going to be a bit higher, and my contractor (husband) informed me that if they are more difficult to service if there were any issues.  even though we found plenty of cheap wall mount faucets on ebay and overstock, he wanted to stick with a trusted brand, and the cost of the ones we liked were too high for our budget. SO, we are sticking with a "regular" counter top mounted faucet.

i would like to get a honed black marble or granite top, but we may end up putting in laminate until we can swap it out for a stone countertop.
and i am thinking that i would like to do some simple subway tile in the shower area. yeah, i know...everyone and their DOG is doing subway tile EVERYWHERE, but it is a look that i have always loved, and a true classic. my favorite affordable subway tile is dal tile's rittenhouse tile:

it is right around $4 a square foot, and is available in many colors and 2 finishes---matte and semi-gloss. i used the semi-gloss tile in biscuit around the fireplace in house #2
(the decor in the house is not mine, but belongs to the current homeowners. i designed the simple mantle and the cream burlap curtains. the color on the walls is "craft paper" by sherwin williams, and the trim is called "antique white")

i am considering using a grey color, but the white is also a strong contender.
i really like the way the grey looks in this bath.
what do you think? would you stick with white, or do something a little different, like the grey?

Jan 25, 2013

minor floor plan changes

one thing to realize when you are building a house (especially a custom house), is that the floor plan can be a little more "organic" than you originally intended.
one small change in either the footings, or the framing can yield pretty dramatic changes.

sometimes these changes are HAPPY--maybe you end up with a larger room that you planned, or a larger closet. or, NOT SO HAPPY---maybe the changes shift the sizes or location of windows, or you have to lose space in a room, or you end up with extra steps going out to the garage.
we have not had to make any drastic changes to our house since we started, but there have been a few things (all HAPPY, in my opinion) that have been modified:

main floor:

1. the original floor plan had a split landing on the stairs. this meant that the landing was essentially two large steps. one the the most exciting changes for me was that my husband and our framer were able to shift things around and figure out a way to have the entire landing on one level. yay! this makes me very happy! 

2. this wall was eliminated, which will help to open up the kitchen a bit more.

3. we decided to eliminate the windows on this wall....controversial, i know! 
who eliminates windows, right?? 
well...i stewed about this for weeks before i knew i had made the right decision. one of the main reasons i opted to remove the windows here is because eventually i want this entire wall to be built-in bookcases. the main floor is very open, and there is very little wall space for storage. we feel in the long run, that storage will serve us better than two small windows.
(another reason i chose to get rid of the windows is because the view from the windows is of our neighbors soffit and roof...not that interesting to look at.)

4. as i mentioned in a previous post, we decided to opt for a single sink here instead of two.

5. after seeing the space available in the eaves, we decided to make this closet larger...and there may or may not be a secret play area behind a built-in book case involved as well. stay tuned!

6. because of the changes in the framing that were necessary in order to get the single stair landing, there will now be a structural column here. eventually, we would love to have it trimmed out and looking amazing, but for now it will just be wrapped in sheet rock.

7. we eliminated this door because we decided to finish off the bonus room and optional bathroom! (another HUGE happy change!) we are getting so much "bang for our buck" with these spaces....finishing them really increases the square footage of the house, which boosts the value of our home tremendously.

8. the bonus room will be the kids domain, and will be the place for all their toys, a tv, and their gaming systems. the ceilings in here are (now) vaulted and there are all kinds of angles because of the roof lines, which makes this space extra fun. we originally planned on the ceilings being flat (where they could be flat), but we were running out of $$ in our framing budget, and it was going to cost more to have the ceiling framed, so we opted to keep them vaulted. another happy accident.

9. deciding to finish this little area was a no brainer. it is a pretty sizable space, and there was already a window in it. for now it will be a storage or play area, but in the future i would love it to be either an office or a bunk area.

what do you think so far?
do you agree with our decision to eliminate the windows in the great room?

Jan 23, 2013

affordable find: metal drum table

i have been an admirer of the costello iron side table from arteriors for a long time. but at $492, it wasn't going to find a home at my house anytime soon.

imagine my surprise when i stumbled on this spanish colonial drum table on clearance at restoration hardware for $49. YES....$49. (guess who bought a pair?)

AND it is available in nickel.

happy shopping!
(and also, you're welcome.)

Jan 22, 2013

construction progress: week 11 + 12

thank you for all the comments on the door post!
it was so helpful!
i personally LOVE the 3 panel (yay! i see that most of you also voted for this option!), and my husband likes the 5 panel...and honestly, i think they both look pretty great. but after a brief meeting with the door supplier this morning, we learned that the door we wanted (the 3 panel) wasn't available in the option we wanted, and the cost to upgrade to the 3 panel door was going to cost around 2k...so we decided to go with the 5 panel doors.

anyway, the last two weeks have brought a lot of changes to our new house. we were hit with a pretty massive snowstorm, which changed the schedule of a few items on the exterior of the house, but things have been steadily happening on the interior of the house despite the piles of snow and freezing temperatures.
 for starters, the roof felt and shingles were installed, and the windows went in.

 the electricians wired the house.

 the insulation was installed.

 the heating and air system and duct work were put in.

 all while this was laying on the ground!

 the moister barrier was put up....we are still waiting for the framer to finish a few last details, and then the rest of it can go up. due to some framing changes, one window didn't fit, and had to be reordered. it should arrive this week.

 i spent the better part of my saturday at the house, cleaning, while my husband was taking care of a few little framing details (more on that later!) it was SO cold! i seriously looked like a crazy person...i was all bundled up, and was wearing a scarf around my neck, a hat, AND a scarf around my hat, two pairs of socks, gloves, a coat, and tons of layers and i was still chilly!
within an hour after we left the house, my face and arms started to itch. at first i thought it was the blood coming back to my skin after being FROZEN, but then it started to turn red and REALLY itch. my husband told me it was insulation fibers that were being kicked up from my sweeping. he gave me some GREAT advice on how to get insulation fibers out of your skin:
DO not rub or scratch! (that will just cause the fibers to work deeper into your skin.) instead, get some duct tape or strapping tape and stick it on your skin. rub slightly, and then remove. repeat 3-6 times (making sure to get a new section of tape each time) over each affected area. it worked like a charm!

more excitement---- the sheet rock was stocked in the house, and the installers started hanging!
this week is going to exciting! the sheet rock will be going up, and the gas line will get installed
which means the house will have heat!

Jan 19, 2013

3 or 5?

i am trying to choose between these two door styles for our interior doors.
(why do i have such a hard time selecting doors?)
i painted the doors in our last house benjamin moores ONYX (my favorite black), and would like to do something similar in my new house....but i am thinking i want the color to be a little softer. like a deep warm grey color or a rich mushroomy taupe.
anyway, onto the door style:

3 panel?

or 5 panel?

which ones do you like?
OPINIONS needed!
(and you should also know that i prefer one, and my husband prefers the other. so ya'll better like the ones that i like. or else.)

revamp your garden

*this post is brought to you by ASDA direct*
Revamp your Garden Ready for Spring!
Most of us are guilty of neglecting our gardens throughout the winter. It’s cold, it’s wet, and you don’t go out there anyway, so the weeds get left to grow and the discarded garden toys get left to rust.
The new year is a great time to get a head start on making your garden nice again. While it may very well be cold and wet outside, even an afternoon spent clearing the decks can ready your garden for a good overhaul come spring.
Now’s also a great time to start browsing for new garden furniture, if yours has seen better days. It’s easy to order garden furniture from ASDA Direct online, meaning that these bulky items will be delivered straight to your door.
Wait for a fine day, pull on those wellies and follow these easy steps to getting your garden ready for use once more:

1 – Clear the Decks
Hands up who didn’t put their garden toys or furniture away in the garage or shed through the winter? If you’re guilty of this then it’s likely that your items are looking a bit sorry for themselves. Decide what can be saved and what needs to be scrapped, take the offending items to the local recycling centre, then get your elbow grease on to get the rest looking presentable once more.

2 – Get Your Sweep On
Patio and decking areas will need a good sweep to clear leaves and other debris. Once clear, rain water is likely to be enough to give these areas a clean.
3 – A Quick Weeding
Don’t feel that you have to brave the elements and weed your entire garden – that can wait until the warm weather allows. However, if there are any obvious offenders, pull them up and get rid, you’ll feel much better for it!
4 – Plan Your Plants
If you’re planning to do something different with your garden this year then the planning stage is crucial. Websites and gardening magazines can help you to decide upon the best planting plan for you, your garden and the level of effort you’re willing to put into maintenance. 
5 – An Extra Room
It can help to think of your garden as an extra room to the house. If you haven’t used this ‘extra room’ to its full advantage in previous years, have a think about what would make spending time outdoors more appealing.
Having the right garden furniture is a big part of turning a garden into an extra room that you will enjoy using, so consider table and chairs for dining al fresco, sunloungers for enjoying the weather, and lounge type garden furniture for entertaining guests.
If you have little ones in the family, or ones that are likely to visit regularly, you’ll also want to stock up on garden toys for sunny days out in the garden. After all, if the kids are occupied then the grown-ups can relax!
Make sure that you have an outdoor space that you can enjoy this year – get ready for a 2013 garden revamp!
this sponsored post was brought to you by ASDA direct.

images: 1,2,3,4,5