Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday's

 Last night we had my side of the family over for Christmas eve as we always do , I made Eddie's Pumpkin chipotle soup and easy enchilada's , you must try these recipes , no fail delish great meals. It is our last Christmas here and I couldn't help but think ahead to next year and how the new house will function even better , it has a very familiar layout with the kitchen and family room which we love but it is much more spacious which will be nice since everyone is growing up before our eyes.
It was tough to get out of bed this morning to our eager crew , but after a lot of nudging I managed to make it down to start our last Christmas morning here. The girls were very happy and thankful for their gifts. Mason is very much into music as all teenagers are so I got her a iPhone speaker system which she didn't ask for but phew she likes it , and Sophie got the acoustic guitar she was really hoping for , she's pretty good at it already and everything else was a big hit too.
 She looks like a natural.
 Moe is enjoying Mason's new cozy robe.

A couple of days ago I asked our builder if we could get into the house for a preview of how things were coming along and to take some progress photos and they were happy to let us take a look.
It was so nice to get in , its warm in there with the propane heater going in the basement , other than that heat it has no electricity or water quite yet, so it was nice to have a good sunny day to take a peek.
 A nice surprise was that the fireplace had been installed and the mantel trimmed up beautifully , its just like the picture, well spent upgrade dollars . This is the family room . The TV will be mounted above , we have that set up now and just love it , it was nice to have the builder do the proper wiring for this set up , well worth the upgrade dollars.
 Here is Mason's sunny window filled bedroom , it is West facing . Where can I find those paper blinds for when we move in ???
 And Sophie's room , three windows again .
 And the jewel of a dining room which was supposed to be a parlour or sitting room but I love the idea of a square dining room with a large round table with lots of chairs for great gatherings , so this is the dining room we think it will work very well for how we live.
 The stairs and railing are all installed , I plan to beef up the newel post with trim. The spindles will be painted and the railings stained by us, I think the newel post painted with a stained topper and the risers painted and treads stained.This entrance corridor flooring will be herringbone brick veneer.
 Family room looking into the kitchen, the ceilings are 9ft and the windows are tall it feels like they are soaring.All smooth ceilings both floors , this was a must , and they did a great job.
 This is the view from the kitchen into the front living room , the beautiful afternoon west light flooding in , I love the light. I am so happy how the upgraded trim turned out with the nice back band casings and 5" baseboards.
 This is the view out from the breakfast area to the front door , loving the center hall. So much work to do still on the builders part and then on my part , but I look forward to making it all happen.
 This is the front of the house looking from the living room into the dining room. It can all start looking the same with all the similar windows and white paint , which I love . I think dark stained floor will really look amazing.
 Here is a good photo of the master shower , lovely carara jams awaiting a seamless glass enclosure. I am so happy we kept the tile simple and chose white subway , not a huge upgrade but a classic choice I won't tire of. We left the shower floor the standard white 1"x1" ceramic. I was pleased to see a nice square drain. We think we should get a square shower head too.
 This is a good shot of the double vanity location , two sinks , we have never had that , we will soon see who is the tidiest. I got Todd a light for Christmas one of the lights for this room , it is a Martha Stewart light its so nice. The standard lighting was one light for this vanity area , I thought it would be best to add a second , we girls need good light in a bathroom.
 The other side of the bathroom , the TV wall ... now would you go for a white TV or black , I mean the screen is black right , of course white is more costly...the walls in here will be a water tone, one of the few places that will have painted walls. I will be tiling the front of the tub apron , what do you think marble ? and the surround around the tub should have been flooring tile but I scratched that , I am thinking beadboard.
 The upper hall with linen closet , it looks great with this railing installed. We upgraded the railing to a thicker spindle and handrail and square posts , the spindles are paint grade. Looking so forward to painting that ??? this will be my third railing from raw, I am a glutton for punishment. When I see the railing like this I can't help but think of liming ??? crazy?
 The girls baths got upgraded subway tile too , I tried to talk them into colors but they wanted white . Sophie's flooring is a faux carara marble ceramic and Mason's floor looks kind of like a stone paper look.

The girls hallway , I love this feature it feels so deliberate. I think it will keep their sounds more contained which is good because they can kick up a lot of noise. I love the doors we chose to upgrade too. I decided to stick with the standard door hardware though , shiny brass which I will change to either rubbed bronze levers or crystal ??? or maybe crystal just on the bathroom doors for fun , why not? Decorating should be fun and pleasing to the home owner right . Can I rub that brass with something to make it nicer and less bright brass??

Well there I leave you with a tour of the house , progress is good . The kitchen should be in in the new year .

I hope you are have a nice holiday season whatever your holiday is , have a happy New Year too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Looking back and moving forward.

 I was planning on waiting until after Christmas to start the packing process , but I thought it was best to take advantage of my days off and get things started. I have been meaning to organize our family photos and I'm happy to say I have now made quite a dent , 600 photos have been located into albums , what a relief. It nearly kills me to see how much my children have grown , this photo was taken just days after we moved in to our home , these girls are all so grown up now , it breaks my heart really. Sophie is on the left ans Mason is on the top , and these are their beautiful cousins.
Notice the unfinished staircase , boy looking back at how this house began its amazing just how much work I have put into this humble home , I am so proud of the final result and I am glad I did all the projects that I had planned for this place.
 Can you believe these are my little girls , Mason was 4 years old here and Sophie 1 , if I could travel back in time I would live this part of my life over once again , happily. I miss those babies. Mason was such a wild child , so full of spunk , and Sophie was always a soft sweet cuddle baby .
 After: I got a little peek , things are looking beautiful , I can't get over the height of the main floor doors , beautiful.
 Here is the dining room , I don't know who's door that is cuz it's not mine ??? I can't wait to hang my wine barrel fixture in there.
I have been looking for a round table for our kitchen breakfast area , and I found the perfect table for $40. I am going to sand it all down and give it a new life. Its perfect 48"solid and simple. It may end up in the dining room to start with and we were told it can seat 8, which is perfect.

I am all ready for Christmas are you? , I love watching the kids open their presents , and this year I think we will all sleep in a little too , the joys of having older kids.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dusty progress

 I was able to get a quick peak last evening , but it was dark and very dusty as there was a nice man sweeping up. I asked very nicely is I could just take a peek at the progress and he allowed me a quick look. To everyone else this is just another house but to me this is my home , I am dying to see it all in reality after imagining how things will look piece by piece. So please forgive the terrible iPhone photos , it was dark and the air was full of dust. There is still no electricity to the house , that's soon to come I'm sure and hopefully I will be able to get permission to go in an snap a few progress shots.
This closet is the upstairs linen closet , holy cow right , I'm thinking its a little small.... ha, I am going to be so organized I tell you .
 And here is the main floor laundry , where we will have front loaders and lots of shelving and large counter space and a nice closet for brooms and vacuum and extra pantry goods and dog food. I am down right giddy to have a main floor laundry with pantry. The dogs will use this room for yard access and feeding which will be very nice to have that out of the kitchen.
 I went ahead and ordered two fabrics for the house , I ordered the white and grey zigzag which is Flatiron , in grey from Tonic living and Bethe in Robin's egg from Tonic as well , I need these for the new house. The paint chips are a selection of colors I am drawn too , of course robin's egg aqua tones and greys for sure. The lilac fabric is for Sophie bedroom.
 I recently did a little sketch to see how the house will look with a fence bridging the house and garag. I'm not great with perspective drawing I know , but this gives me a good idea of how it might look.
I really wanted to get a look at the master bath to see how the subway tile looked and the floor tile , which has a fine stripe in it . I wanted carara but it was way too much of an upgrade. I am planning on adding carara to the tub deck and maybe even the apron of the tub but I haven't decided , normally it has the floor tile wrapping up the apron which I nixed, I don't like that look at all . I don't know maybe trim , we will have to see , I still have loads of decisions to make.
I have decided that there will only be color on the walls of the bathrooms and bedrooms and the laundry room , ok maybe the dining room , but the halls and kitchen and living rooms will all be neutral warm white.

So there is a little look at how things are going with the new house , I think its looking really really  good.
I am trying to tackle a little organizing here and there and a tiny bit of packing , this seems like such a mammoth task . I'm trying not to get over whelmed .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kitchen day dreaming

We have a 36" opening for our stove but we have decided after researching we are going to stick with 30" in hopes of incorporating some side detail or perhaps storage pullouts like these here, nice huh!

 This is the color of cabinets we are considering , its looks very blue on my monitor but it has more of a green undertone. We have had almost all white kitchens in the past including the rental apartments we have lived in , so it will be nice to change things up , although I know it is quite trendy but that is because its beautiful.
I am taking a lot of inspiration from this kitchen as I always have , I love the configuration of the island with the open bookcases flanking the stool area, I think I might want to add this feature . It would be good for books and baskets.

I a still hooked on these chrome pendants , I love the beautiful sparkle they add , lovely , do you have some you love? With two pot lights over the sink and four around the perimeter and two pendants over the island and a 5 light chandelier over the breakfast table I think the kitchen will be one bright and happy place to be.

Treehouse Kitchen contemporary kitchen

Monday, December 12, 2011


Basement Light Installation Basics
photo from
 We are really keeping control and holding off on purchasing items for the new house with the exception of light fixtures but only when I find a great deal.
So far I have gathered a powder room galvanized fixture , two star lights , one bathroom vanity light , and the breakfast area fixture , because from what I recall the builder light fixtures are just plain awful...and since we upgraded to boxes in all of the bathrooms we will get closet / basement bulb fixtures(see photo above) , they will get changed asap.
I have been searching for door knobs for the interior doors , the standard builder selection is brass ...I really think this could change, why in 2011 are we installing shiny brass in new builds??? Do not like shiny brass, the upgrade wasn't huge but we do have 14 doors in the house , so $40 a door for something I don't like which was the brushed silver ball knob and matching hinges( matching hinges is a move in the right direction, I will change those later as well) was not a good upgrade choice. Good news I found black levers for $12.00 each... that is a savings of $392.00 .
 You will rarely find me at Home Depot these days , no projects to do around here. Its so strange to feel like I have to be so careful , nothing can break or get damaged , this is someone else's house now right.
We did scoop up this beautiful huge mirror at Homesense , on Friday there were two and Saturday there was just this one left. Todd wanted to go back later to buy it for me for Christmas , but as we know you can't leave Homesense and even think what you want will still be there days later....its fine to get a Christmas present early and while your there , right? See how this mirror is bigger than that wall its leaning on its huge, we think it will look great in the new house with 9 foot ceilings and 8 foot door ways. I don't know where it will go , on the main floor for sure , maybe the front living room over the sofa that we have yet to choose.
I found this print on canvas for Mason's room , and a fluffy purple bath mat for Sophie bathroom, the girls rooms are pale blue , black and white for Mason and lilac for Sophie.

I am waiting until after New Years to get to the task of organizing and packing , not a task I am looking forward to. I know there is a lot of work to do , lots of things are hiding in the corners of this house that we do not need , is anyone is need of dozens and dozens of stuffed animals the kids are ready to part with .....????? is there a charity wanting stuffed animals , hopefully yes.

78 days 19 hours 36 minutes and 20 seconds till our big day.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

getting a good look

I am putting together the short list of selected items for the new house to get a good picture of the direction of the house design. I recently received a delivery from Delta , I was so excited to receive  this beautiful kitchen faucet, it will be the perfect addition to the new kitchen, it has a pull out which will be so useful. Thank you Delta.

  image from I have made a final decision on the foyer flooring , it will be brick , just like this brick here , isn't it so lovely. I can just see our puppies laying around on it sunning themselves in the late afternoon sun.
 How gorgeous is this tile , to die for right? I will be incorporating this tile in the powder room , but in white . photo from
 As I have shown you before this is the kitchen sink. I will have it under mount under the marble , we will have the faucet installed into the marble just behind the sink.
 I picked up a nearly identical fixture to this for a song , I am looking forward to installing it in the dining room .The dining room is turning out to be a lovely room , it is full of windows and is a square room , I love a square room with a round table. The chosen color of the dining room table is more of a mushroom color than the green tone shown here , 54" round should do it.

 The new mantle in the family room , I am thinking cararra subway tile surround.
Two of these Steven and Chris pendants over the island.

 Two of these star lights somewhere.
 Carrara marble counters in the kitchen.
And we have decided on the GE Monogram commercial style dual fuel 30" range , it is self cleaning . The interior is a beautiful blue and it isn't missing any of the conveniences we are looking for. It has a great warranty and each burner grate flips over to accommodate a wok , which is pretty cool. I haven't heard anything negative about it so far and I've looked.

I love watching how all my decisions are coming together , you pick components and imagine how they will look but you just have to wait to see how things really look only in the end which is exciting and scary. So far the walls are all finished , so smooth and pretty , the ceilings are beautifully smooth also so pretty to see an unblemished perfect canvas. Everything is freshly painted Birch white, it looks lovely . I am always peaking in to see if anything else has been done , I am eagerly waiting to see how the trim will look and the 8 foot tall doors , I wish I had some tall friends . I look forward to seeing how the interior stair railings turn out and I hear the cabinets are due to arrive this Saturday .... 84 days and counting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Art as Pop traditional entry  I need some help deciding on the entry flooring material. what I am toying between is A. brick veneer or B. pewter travertine.

I know doing wood right up to the door is one way to go , but with our changing weather I worry how it will take a beating . Wood can become discolored from water and salt wear and tear , I don't like that. We have a walk in closet in the entry and my hope is to have everyone walk right into the closet to put away their coats and shoes with wood this will not happen , I don't want people walking in with dirty shoes that will just ruin my floors .
Stair traditional entry
I have really
wanted to incorporate brick flooring. Really the entry is the only place to add brick , as the rest of the main floor is going to be hardwood and the laundry is a stone look tile.
Practical Magic traditional home officethis is the pewter travertine , it has lots of grey tones and is quite beautiful, but we would certainly need it installed for us .
traditional home office design by minneapolis interior designer Martha O'Hara Interiors
this is Tommy Smythe's old kitchen I love this floor but I think its a bit dark , I believe it is slate , slate is a great entry material , wears beautifully in all seasons.

So what do you think we should do , do you have a better idea for me.