Friday, October 11, 2013

To blog or not to Blog....and some little updates..... I'm feeling like our little blog is loosing its purpose. Originally we started it to share our building process with family and friends, then it was to obtain ideas and what we should and shouldn't do or things to look for when selecting our options and going through the process, then it turned into how we have decided to decorate and issues we've had along the way since owning our house.  While I have really enjoyed reading everyone's blogs I feel like the purpose of the blog is no longer valid nor really looked at anymore. It feels like many of the original bloggers have even left the blogging anyone still out there?  So I debate whether I should continue or just let it go (snif, snif).  I do enjoy it to be honest.  I like seeing the progression of our home and recalling the good and bad days or issues we overcame and seeing how far we've really come in the last two years, but it does take some time (which I feel very short of these days), and I feel like nothing really results from it we shall see......let me know if you'd like us to keep going.

So little updates.  My husband has been super busy.  He finished the garage...its all sparkly and pretty with new paint from ceiling to floor and its on its way to becoming really organized.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture because we had the cars in there and he was also working on some things.....but maybe next time when its all done I'll get some pictures.

Probably the biggest project that was recently finished is our sidewalk and patio.......I was debating over the sidewalk a couple posts ago and I love what we came up with.  I completely went in a different direction than I was originally thinking only because I have a new idea that was much more cost effective and would work better than the plans we were previously debating and would still serve the purpose I was looking for.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out.  The guy who installed it for us did an amazing job!!  He did the patio and sidewalk as well as the landscaping at our last house, as well as the hardscaping at many of our friends and relatives homes.  He does really great work and has received many compliments from our neighbors.  So take a look at whats been done:

I love the little design he put in the sidewalk just before the are a couple close-ups:

Anyways we are very happy with both the sidewalk and the patio and looking forward to many years of enjoyment on them.
So we decided to wait and do the landscaping next year but my husband did take this opportunity to carve out some landscaping beds and he put top soil and mulch over them before winter gets here.  He also planted a redbud tree in our backyard and a japanese maple at the side of our house near the a little start I guess.

In other updates, my husband also painted our yesterday he painted we're still debating if we like it or not........and I think we are leaning towards we do.....just want to rip out the floor and add some finishing take a look:

The color is Sandy Shell by Valspar which ironically was the same color we had our bathroom at our last house but it looked much different.

So let us know what you think and hopefully we can keep blogging.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeling Blue

So I know sometimes I post some messages that seem a little bummed, a little confused, and a little unsure.....this however is not one of those posts despite the fact its all happy, all good, and ALL EXCITED!!

School is back in session....Yippee (ops I mean boo hoo) all actuality its a little of both.  I finally have a bit of peace and quiet to myself again, a chance to go on a breakfast or lunch date with my husband, a moment to get something accomplished, the ability to run a quick errand and actually get it done quickly, and a fairly clean house again (we're still working on this last one!)....its awesome!!! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and love being able to spend so much time with them but a little bit of peace is needed and greatly appreciated now and then.  This year we sent my littlest one to Kindergarten which was a very hard day, to say the least, and is taking some adjusting to get used to but on the opposite end I have really been enjoying "the peace"!!

My husband has also been enjoying the peace.....the first opportunity we had to have a free day together we ran around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do with ourselves.  We went on a breakfast date, roamed stores (many of them actually) with no agenda, and just enjoyed being able to do something together again.   So after the novelty of having a free day together wore off my husband has been back in project mode.....again very awesome!!  Anytime he sees a free day coming our way he's asking what shall we do next.  Since school has only been in session for about a week we obviously haven't done a whole lot of things but they are a flying down the pipeline!!!  I'm sure you'll be hearing about them in the near future.

One thing he did accomplish, and rather quickly I may add, was our "little living room/music room/kid free adult talking room" get the idea.  I have been toying with colors for months and had settled on one particular color that I really loved from the beginning.  So on our date day (aka first day of school) we of course go to the paint store, and because we didn't have kids with us nor a time deadline I was free to roam the store all I wanted....BAD IDEA!!!  Suddenly the color I was 100% certain of became a "ohh look at this color, ohh maybe this would be better, do you think the light makes this color look different"....yup I was all kinds of changing my was a complete disaster.  Needless to say we left the store with no paint, and a ton of new samples for all sorts of rooms we weren't even considering at the moment.  So the next free day my husband headed back to the paint store and ultimately picked up the color I had originally wanted.  By dinner the room was done.......

At first glance I loved it, then I thought oh boy its too dark, then I loved it again, then I had to play with the curtains and change things around, and in the end I DO LOVE IT!!!  So here is how it looked before....

And here is what it looks like now.....

For those wondering the color we went with is Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue.  It looks lighter in these pictures than it actually is on the wall but I think it works well with the furniture colors and other colors in our house.  We have also LONG debated the ceiling light for this room.  If I was to build again I don't think I would have added a light for this room and just used lamps as it was hard to find something that worked well considering there is a ceiling lamp directly in the I toyed with the idea of doing a ceiling fan.  My husband was able to re-wire/re-mount the electric box so we were able to put a ceiling fan there and I love it!!  Its the perfect thing for that room.  Since the blue was a tad off from our old curtains I had to put the blue curtains back in the dining room and gold curtains back in this room to make it work.  In addition we added the mirror for more light, and put the pictures that were there before (that were really too small for behind the couch anyways) in the morning lots of switches throughout the house I guess.  So I still have some ideas left for this room including crown molding, a built in cabinet with shelves for the "nook" area, paint the ugly vent...all which will come with time, but for now I'm enjoying our new blue room......

Let us know what you think.......

Monday, August 26, 2013

Help & Opinions Wanted!!!

I know, I know...I have been MIA for almost three months now.  Wasn't yesterday June something or other?  It has been a CRAZY summer.  It was one of those summers where we had a laundry list of things we WERE definitely going to accomplish before school goes back in session and then now a week before school starts we look back and realize NONE of them got done.  We had fun though and I guess that's all that really matters in the long run anyway. :-)

So even before school ended we had started on a big summer project that we thought would have been finished by now and honestly its still not even in the beginning phase.  We wanted to get our landscaping done and have a patio and new sidewalk installed.  We had actually gotten several quotes for both landscaping and hardscaping before the end of June....but in the end we decided that accomplishing both this year was going to be a little much so we decided to just focus on the hardscaping this year and hopefully do the landscaping next year.  We decided to go with a landscaper we had used in our previous house to install both landscaping and a patio and sidewalk.  He does FANTASTIC work and we LOVE working with him.  Anyways his schedule was quite full so it hasn't been until now that he can begin working on our project.  He is coming by again this week to finalize plans and I'm starting to second guess our original ideas.....this is where I need all of your help.

The patio is a definite in terms of the plans......I love what we have come up with but the sidewalk believe it or not is causing me great frustration and indecisiveness.  Originally I was just going to have a regular paver sidewalk installed.  However, one day as my mom and I sat outside in the grass in patio furniture watching the kids ride their bikes she mentioned it would be nice if there was a sitting area out had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure how to implement something like that without it looking odd.  We always said our next house would have a front porch and then when we built this house we decided to forego the porch I'm wishing I had that and learn I guess.  SO I turned to pintrest (of course) for some inspiration.  This is what I came up with:

I LOVE THIS!!!  I thought it would be the perfect solution to our front yard sitting area issue and it wouldn't look out of place.  We would just have a rounded wide area prior to the stoop attached to the sidewalk and then we can put a couple of chairs to the side to sit and enjoy our neighborhood from.

WELL, then I started seeing other ideas like these:
  patios in front yard - Google Search

A sunrise landscape patio in WI needs extra heat to extend usability.  It may be the next rage in front porches in sub-divisions that have forgotten the street and their neighbors.  By Chad Cornette at Cantilever Studio

Front Patio with gas firepit - after,  Go To to get more Gossip News!

Erin's 2 Cents: New Front Patio

yard design ideas - Front Patio!  I love the idea of a low wall that has a built in bench - bench could be on the top of the wall OR on the interior of the wall and use the wall as a back rest.  Fire pit in the center.

These pintrest postings all had the sitting area off to the side of the sidewalk in their own little private space but still in the front of the home.....And not that I specifically LOVED any one of these but they got me to thinking.  SO we happened to be driving through the neighborhood one day recently and one of our neighbors just did a beautiful job on their landscaping and of course don't I see they also have a sitting area off to the side of their sidewalk in front of their house but surrounded by landscaping so you could hardly tell it is there....BEAUTIFUL!!!  So now I'm debating....big round area in front of the stoop or sitting area off to the side.  Now you would think thats the end of the debate....BUT you are goes beyond that (I know I make everyone crazy with my "what if" and "I was thinking scenarios".....thats why I need all of you to help me)......

Here are the additional dilemmas:
If I went with the giant circle in front of the stoop...technically I could only put the chairs on the right side of the circle faxing west or one on each side of the stoop which wouldn't be good if holding a conversation with someone (see diagram below...the x is chair spots and the O is a small table) otherwise you would have to walk through them to get to our front addition it would be weird just being able to really look one way down the street rather than have a view of the entire back would be facing the entrance to our street and I would basically be looking towards the dead end section of our street (well I guess I could turn the chairs around but if my kids were riding bikes I wouldn't have full view of the street either way) I'm not sure this is the best use of this space nor the most comfortable BUT it would look nice with our landscape plans and the center entrance appeal of our house I think.....and if we decided not use the sitting area it wouldn't look awkward.
Now my second dilemma is if I do a side patio do I place it on the right or left of my sidewalk.......If I do it to the left (see diagram below), I think it could be difficult to conceal the space with landscaping since the sidewalk would be in front of it....and I'm not sure everyone would like to look at a sitting area walking to my front door, I think they would prefer to see landscaping....but it is a cozy nook there in the corner.
I like the idea of placing the sitting area to the right of the sidewalk (see diagram below) so that I can conceal most of the area with landscaping and I can view the entire neighborhood from that location but I would have to conceal the entire area with landscaping and it could be an awkward space off to the side of a center entrance colonial that has a pretty symmetrical appearance (I like things symmetrical). Plus I want our house to have cub appeal and if we ever decide to sell I don't want someone to look at that space and have it deter them from considering our home.....this concept of a front patio seems somewhat new to me.  Do you like the idea of a front patio or do you think its wired?  What do you think would work best and look the nicest?  I just need some input, thoughts, preferences, opinions, ideas.....what ever you got throw it at me!!!
So there it is folks.....our huge project dilemma.  Please let us know what you think so we can make make some adjustments and considerations before our plans are finalized this week.  Would love to hear from you before Wednesday night if possible!!!  So let us know what you think!!!

(PS  I hate posting things from other websites so my disclaimer is they are not my ideas or my photos and were taken from pintrest from the sites listed on the picture itself or from other pinners.....and sorry for the long blog post again!!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New! New! New!

I feel like our house is finally coming to life!!  For one year we lived with those awful white walls, no character, no personality, no life.  We did that because we didn't want to have to repaint after we had our one year inspection.  For those of you that are now in the process of building there are pros and cons to waiting to paint and decorate.  The pros were we only had to paint once and it gave us time to gather ideas and really think about what we wanted our house to look like before we changed it.  The cons of course are that you have to live in a colorless house for what feels like forever, and you may not catch all the little things you may want Ryan to fix at your one year inspection.  Thankfully we really didn't have too much of the latter BUT I still find little nail bumps or things I wish I had caught before and had Ryan fix instead of us but really no biggy in the grand scheme of things.

So I mentioned before my husband was working on something and boy what a difference it has made......truly has brought some much needed character to our home.

First I'll start by telling you we finally got some new couches in our living room and I LOVE them!!!  I have had my eye on this set FOREVER and finally we got it!! The couches are much bigger than our last set so I had to do some rearranging to make it all fit.  I still need to get some new end tables to match, maybe a large tree to fill the back corner, and a coffee table or new ottoman as well but one thing at a time I here are our new couches:

Its so hard to tell from these awful pictures but its a very light taupe color (almost looks a slate white) with a little bit of brown piping on the edges.  Anyways it finally fills our living room proportionately and the color is a way better match for the look I was going for.......LOVE them!!

Speaking of couches, I also got some pillows to add to our "little living room" couch....I think it ties in the accent colors a bit more and makes it look a little more inviting:

oh back to my husband's latest usual he did a fantastic job on this one!!  It really looks so nice and brings a lot of character to our plain jane home.  When planning this project we went back and forth between a couple different styles but I'm pretty pleased that we decided to just keep it addition I literally agonized over colors for months (I know its just paint :-)) but I'm so glad we ended up going with the color we did as its such a soothing, warm, compliment to the colors we already have and will have in our are you ready?

Our new entry!!

 My husband put in Board and Batten and it really makes the entry so much more welcoming, inviting, and gives it so much more character.  He even put the tiny ledge shelf at the top as well.  I'm NOT a big fan of our floors with this style, but we knew that we would be changing those sometime down the road but for now I just love how it has turned out.  I also love the paint color.  For those of you that are curious, its Olympic paint color Jute.  These pictures make the paint look green which it does have a green tone to it but it really looks more of a natural brown color, very similar to our living room color but darker.....I just love it!!

So in addition to the entry, my husband also painted the mud room.

We painted it (yes I helped too!) the same color as he entry way to balance the flow through our house....again what an improvement from those white walls.  When my husband had put the first coat of paint up in the entry I slightly panicked thinking it was too dark or that I wasn't going to like it, but honestly I think that was because I have just gotten so used to those white walls that any color seems to make such a drastic difference to the appearance of our home.......all I can say is I have missed color in my life and I'm so glad its finally making a come back into our home!!

Still feels like we have so much more to do before the entry is fully completed....we were hoping to paint our entry doors black, I need to put some black and white matted and framed pictures along the long wall in the entry, next to the entry door I'm considering either a wall mounted coat hook like this one from Pottery Barn:

or some pictures I already have currently above the couch in our "little living room" that look like this:

 It would tie in the future paint color for our "little living room" plus the other colors we already have in our home.  I'm putting the mirror that was previously hanging above the entry hall console table above the little living room couch as it looks more proportionate with the couch than the current pictures do.  We also hope to do some crown molding in the entry as well and hopefully some new wood floors......ahhhhhh will look so nice when its finally done.....

So I know in past posts I mentioned I had some entry way ideas.  In the Ravenna model there is no closet near the front entry so no place for coats when guests visit.  However, the door to our basement is in our entry and most of our guests assume it is a closet......soooooo this is what I have done:

We have done this now in all three of our homes and it has worked out so nice. I have some nice decorative iron wall hooks which I put in our basement stairway wall so that when guests come I conveniently have a place to hang their coats without cluttering the entry or putting them in another room or closet in some other place in the house.  It also works great for the kids coats and school bags so they are near the door and ready to go when they catch the bus and come home from school.  Anyways its been a fantastic solution for our entry closet/coat dilemma and also keeps things neatly and nicely tucked out of sight!!

So sorry this was such a long post but there has just been so much going on that I've been pretty excited to share......we'll try to keep the projects coming (still have some in the pipeline for this summer), but let me know what you think........

Happy decorating!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Surprise, Surprise....he's at it again!!

I don't know what has gotten into my husband lately but I sure wish he would share some of this new found energy.  He's been in nothing but jump in and get things done mode and I love it.....just wish I could keep up with him.

So yesterday I came home from work and he had completed two surprise projects.  Our neighbors were getting rid of some of their closet shelving so we took it off their hands :-).  Now I'm not a huge fan of the wire shelving but it was free, it works, and honestly its not like people are staring into my closets so I'm not overly concerned of the appearance of them......a future project maybe but for now I'm into functionality over visual appearance when it comes to closet space.  So first up was the big storage closet upstairs.  At the moment it holds wrapping paper and party supplies, large picture frames we haven't decided where to hang yet, and old kids clothes and toys we are planning to donate or give away etc.  I've been wanting shelving in there so I can actually organize some of the kids clothes into what is going away and the new clothes that I've purchased at a huge discount and hold onto until they grow into them.  I love when back to school rolls around and I've already got half their clothes purchased at the previous years clearance prices!!!  The one issue I've found with doing this kind of shopping is you need an organized place to put the clothes.....I think this closet will be that space and I can finally organize my storage bins so I actually see what they have and what they'll be in the market for next season.  So here is what my husband did:
Don't mind the lack of organization......I will hopefully be getting to that soon, but as you can kind of see he put the shelves to the one side so that I still have a huge amount of space on the opposite side for taller items, a vacuum, things I may need to hang, more shelves, etc.  I love it!!!

So last year I told my husband we needed more storage space for kids stuff......I was so overwhelmed by the amount of books and toys they had but there was just not enough places to neatly store them.  We came up with a plan to put some shelves in the kids closet, and he made some shelves but they were never installed........well now they are!!!

I so need to get in there an clean out their room.....having twin boys sure does make for a messy room!!!  But despite the mess I think these shelves will help with storing their Legos, bins of cars and action figures etc.  Now in combination with the built ins my husband made in the office there should be no excuse for toys to be scattered about the house!!!  

So there are a few more things coming down the pipeline as well that I'm super excited about.  Just to give you a clue I found my husband doing this today:

AND, I found this on the kitchen counter:
I'm pretty excited.....any guesses as to what he's up to?

Hope you all are enjoying this nice jump into summer and are busy working on some projects as well....until next time.