Living the Lake Life

Leave a comment

More Waiting, More Planning and a Learning Curve

Rainy Day Reflections


We’ve been waiting for several very long weeks for the second version of the elevation drawing of our home to be.  The purpose of this elevation drawing is to show us what the front and sides of our home will look like. Once we agree on the elevation drawing, the construction drawing will be completed and the actual construction on our home will begin. Several weeks ago, we received version one of the  elevation drawing.  There was a small problem, though.  It looked nice; but it wasn’t quiet what we had expected. So it was time for another conference call with our builder. After discussing our concerns, he suggested sending the drawing back for a few changes.  So, we continued the waiting.  I’m usually a patient person; but I’m running out of patience.   My husband who usually thinks and plans for long periods of times before taking action…

View original post 1,243 more words


Leave a comment

Things to Consider When Building a House – – The Kitchen (Continued)

Things to Consider For a New Kitchen (Continued)

We’re getting very close to finalizing the floor plan and the elevation drawing will be finished soon. I trying to be patient because I know the planning is so very important.  As I mentioned in my last post; I’ve been trying to make sure that we are prepared as much as possible when the building does begin. I’ve researched the Internet, read blogs and asked those who’ve already built a home. I want to make sure that we consider everything that we need to before we start building; so that there are few delays. I don’t want to have anyone waiting on us because we re unsure about what we want or need.

In my post “Things to Consider When Building a House – – The Kitchen”, I posted some of my favorite photos from and a list of items that I want to consider for our new kitchen. You can find that post here. These additional suggestions came from friends and family. (A big thanks to everyone who shared their suggestions with me.)

  • Lazy susans in corner cabinets (upper and lower)
  • Microwave over the cook-top or built-in to cabinets — so it doesn’t take up counter space.
  • Flip out cabinet front at the sink to store dish scrubbing materials,
  • Sliders in lower cabinets especially pots pans and cookware
  • Extra large window over the sink if you have a great outdoor view
  • Utility garage for small appliances
  • Double oven
  • Cabinets with partitions about 3-4 inches apart for cake pans, cookie sheets, cooking racks
  • Cabinets that go to the ceiling because you gain an extra foot all around
  • Bookcase built under the overhang of the bar or island  for cookbooks.
  • Extra wide drawers with dividers that you decide how to partition off (configure)
  • One drawer deeper than the rest (mine was at the bottom) for lunch bags, foil, etc.
  • Plugs in the pantry

Share Your Opinion


I’ve added a few more of my favorite ideas from Houzz.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it and to go to my Houzz idea books.

Examples of shelves on the end of the island

Built-in microwave

Great pantry organization

A pullout cabinet for trash and recycling

Cabinets with pullouts designed for exactly what you need

Corner drawers to utilize wasted space

A special place for the dog bowls

(I like this idea, but I think I might move it to the laundry room.)


Do you have anything you’d add or do you see something on the list that you found wasn’t really important when you built (or remodeled)?

Leave a comment

Things to Consider When Building a House – – The Kitchen

Things to Consider For a New Kitchen

Since we’re still waiting on the elevation drawings; I’ve been trying to make sure that we are prepared as much as possible when the building does begin. I’ve researched the Internet, read blogs and asked those who’ve already built a home. I want to make sure that we consider everything that we need to before we start building; so that there are few delays. I don’t want to have anyone waiting on us because we re unsure about what we want or need.


Here are a few of my favorite ideas from Houzz.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it and to go to my Houzz idea books.

Kitchen – Items to Consider

Built in microwave

Custom shelves and a place to plug-in appliances in pantry

Custom storage organization in kitchen drawers

Put cabinets/drawers on both sides of the island

While they are not easy to get to, they are good for storing seldom used items.

Easy-access place to store frequently used appliances

I found a great forum over at Many people have contributed to a great list of things to consider when building. I organized those items and a few others I’ve found into a spreadsheet.  Here’s the list I’ve put together of things we need to consider for our new kitchen.

      • Built in paper towel holder
      • Copper tubing for your ice maker from the freezer and until it’s out of the kitchen wall
      • Drawer microwave
      • Knife drawer
      • Pantry door on swivel
      • Pantry entrance near both kitchen and garage
      • Pantry light on motion sensor
      • Place to hang hand towels & aprons
      • Plugs under the cabinets or a pull up strip – to keep the backsplash clear
      • Plugs above cabinets for Christmas lighting
      • Pull-out garbage/recycling/laundry (for dirty dish towels/napkins/bibs!)
      • Paper towel holder in drawer slot
      • Recess the fridge
      • Set up for both gas and electric appliances 
      • Two soap pumps at sink (one for hand soap, one for dish soap) 
      • Under cabinet lighting in your kitchen, because those areas do get dark–makes a huge difference when prepping your food.
      • Warming drawer


I’m hoping for feedback on this list. Do you have anything you’d add or do you see something on the list that you found wasn’t really important when you built (or remodeled)?

Leave a comment

The Next Step – Let’s Build a House


The Budget Meeting


The meeting with our builder went better than I expected. It was a long meeting with lots of discussion about possibilities for reducing costs. It was obvious that he had given a lot of thought to what could be done to stay in our budget. You can read about our budget concerns here. I expected to have to give up many of my “must haves” in order to bring down our costs. However, it was much less painful than I imagined and with a few changes the cost will be more manageable. We’ll still have lots of windows, the pantry is still in the design, hubby will have a workshop and I finally get a big porch. Some of the items that will help reduce the cost were an easy decision. We decided on an open floor plan, a gas fireplace, a gravel drive for the RV and few if any custom built-ins. On the other hand some items are still negotiable depending on the budget as we beginning building. There may not be a sink in the laundry room, the ceilings in the bedrooms may be 9ft instead of 10ft, and we’ll have to work on the landscaping over time. For the most part the compromises are few and easy to accept.

The Next Step

And now, we’re moving on to the next step. Which simply means that the architect is working on our elevation plan. I was a little confused by the term, “elevation plan”; so of course I had to do a little research. Evidently, the house design we’ve been working on is actually called a floor plan. A floor plan is a view of a building drawn as if you were looking at it from the ceiling. This next drawing will be an elevation drawing, which is the view that you would see in real life as you stood on the floor or ground and looked at the wall. Our elevation drawing will include the exterior and interior views. This is exciting because this is where we’ll finalize the outside appearance of our new home and see the placement of interior fixtures. I believe once we see and approve the elevation drawings that this will become much more real to us.  As important as I know the planning stage is to the success of building the home we want; I am ready to see actual physical work happening on our lot.

Still Planning

This waiting phase hasn’t stopped my brain from spinning. HGTV hasn’t taken me up on my idea for the new show; so I guess we’re on our own. Most days, I complete a little research about designing and building a home. I follow several blogs about building and decorating. I follow designers, builders and decorators on Pinterest. I have several Pinterest boards devoted to our home to be. I think my favorite board is “Beachy Decorations” because I’m so excited about decorating our new home.  Houzz is also a great place to find inspiration and guidance. I’ve started narrowing the content in my idea books by moving photos/ideas that make the cut to idea books that start with FAV- (i.e. Fav color). I also have an idea book titled “In My Dreams”. It has all those photos and ideas that I’d consider if we had an unlimited budget.

Thoughts on Furniture and Decorating

Moving into a new home provides a great opportunity to consider our decorating style. It may seem rather predictable; but our decorating style will be beachy or coastal. It just seems the right style since we’re building close to a lake. I haven’t decided how beachy I want to go; but I know that it will be completely different from what we have now. Luckily, most of our furniture will transition to a beachy cottage scheme. We’ll be able to keep most of our furniture which is great because either it has sentimental value or we like it. I plan to replace our brown leather sofa and a green double chair. I hope to find something in blue or grey for our family room furniture. I’d really like a sectional; but hubby may not agree. Our family room tables will work if lightened with paint or glaze.

Grey_4_Piece_Modular_Sectional_Sofa_24302Grey Sectional

Our master bedroom furniture , the guest room bed and my grandmother’s dining table will move with us. I’ll also take my multitude of bookcases even though I may find that I don’t need all of them once we get settled. (I’m desperately trying to weed my book collection; but it’s a hard chore for a librarian.) We will need new furniture for our grandsons’ room. We want them to have a space in our home that they feel is always there for them. A space that we will design just for them (and that will grow with them through the years). Because there are three boys, we’ve decided on a bunk house look with two sets of bunks on one wall. The bunks should really be custom-built to fit in the room. Hopefully, we can find some bunks that will fit with a little modification.


Color is important to me; so I’ve already decided on a general color scheme.Better Homes and Gardens Online has a fun color personality quiz. My color personality came out beachy (surprised?)

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 12_Fotor




These sea glass colors are a great start; but I also want to add some blues and greys. Purple has been my favorite color since I was a teen; so there will be a few touches of purple in most rooms.


surf hues --

Some may think I’m thinking about color way too soon; but I feel color is extremely important. We’ve allwatched decorating shows that start with an inspiration piece for the colors. However, I often choose the colors according to how I want the room to feel (calming, energizing etc.) and then find objects that work in the room. (Our master bedroom is the exception — see below.)

We’re going with grey cabinets in the kitchen. I think grey is a good neutral that blends well with many colors. I’m not sure if we’ll go with the light or dark grey. (Clicking on an image will take you to a larger image or the idea book.)

I want a backspace that is both grey and white. We want a stone countertop that is low maintenance (man made is fine if natural doesn’t fit the budget.)

The guest bath will be shades of aqua. Here’s an example of a wonderful aqua tile that I really love.

My concern is that the color will become old in a few years. (Our first home was built in the 1950s and had awkward pink tile in the kitchen and bath. Could aqua be that color in a few years?) I might use the aqua color tile as a decorative trim.

The guest room colors will be similar to this photo. I love the surfboard; but I know it is completely out of the budget. Maybe I can DIY some type of art work instead. David Bromstad, where are you when I need you? He could easily come up with the perfect artwork.

The master bath will be various shades of grey with either purple or navy.

It will depend on what color we choose for the master bedroom. The inspiration for the color in the master is a wonderful painting of a lighthouse and the ocean. Looking at this painting makes me feel calm and peaceful which is the feeling I want in our master. I’m still looking for the perfect bedding before deciding on the colors.

Look for more specifics about our decorating, colors and the elevation drawing in my next posts.

Click on these links to read my other Let’s Build a House posts.

Living in my Dreams

And the Waiting Begins

The Dream Continues: Researching, Planning and Waiting

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Leave a comment

Living in my Dreams or Let’s Build a House

Phase Three

For the last several years, my husband and I have looked for our next home — our “phase three” home. (I’m borrowing “phase three” from the TV show Soul Man. Maybe I’ll write about those phases some other time.) We’ve looked at many areas within the Dallas/Fort Worth area; but we just couldn’t find an area that seemed to say, “You’re Home” to us. Part of the problem was that I had always thought we’d retire to a nice cabin in the mountains of New Mexico or Colorado. We often discussed the logistics and difficulties of living even further from our son and daughter. Then, our first grandson was born and we quickly knew that being further away from that wonderful little being wasn’t happening. This feeling only intensified as the next two baby boys entered our lives. Deep down though I still wanted our next home to reflect my dream of living in the mountains next to a stream or lake.

We’ve planned our lives (as much as possible) so we could retire early enough to enjoy this period of life together. We hope to have many, many years to enjoy our next home –a home that we want to have space for our family, grandsons and our hobbies. We decided to look on the outskirts of the metro area – maybe even close to a lake. One day on, I stumbled across a small privately owned lake close to DFW. On impulse, we drove out to look at the area and we both immediately felt we’d found the area for our next home.

Over the next few months, we began looking at the available homes. The first homes we looked at would have been perfect for a Property Brothers episode; however, we weren’t sure we could pull off such a remodel on our own. Since Drew and Jonathan weren’t likely to film in our area; we began looking at homes that were closer to move-in ready. There were several fabulous homes available; but they just didn’t fit our lives and/or our budget. The price point seemed to keep going up; yet we’d still have projects to complete on all the homes.

Let’s Build a House

Finally, my husband said that he thought it would be easier to just build. Inside, I was jumping up and down screaming “Yes, Yes, Yes!”. However after all our years together, I knew that over zealous enthusiasm could scare him away from the idea. I simply and quietly stated that I agreed that building might work.

Anyone, who knows me, knows I watch a lot of HGTV. I watch reruns of the reruns. Decorating and remodeling our home is one of my favorite pastimes. Luckily, I seem to have a knack for it; so it hasn’t created too many problems. For years, I dreamed about building our “Dream Home”; but really never expect to have the chance. Of course, my mind hasn’t slowed down since we made the decision. So many possibilities become available when you decide to build…

My husband is one of those people who needs to mull over decisions for a period of time (sometimes a long period of time); so I’m fairly sure my husband thought on this for many months before bringing up the idea. He’s contemplated over and over many of his concerns already. For once his decision process works for me because we’re proceeding onward toward building our next home. We have a contract on the lot we found and have met with the builder. I think we may be living in my dreams.