Living the Lake Life

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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


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The Dream Continues:  Researching, Planning, and Waiting … Let’s Build a House

The Dream Continues

The dream of our new home continues while we wait on the second version of our home design plans. The first draft didn’t fulfill the vision we had for a light filled, open floor plan. Having never gone through the process of building a home, we really didn’t know what to expect. Evidently, it’s normal to go through several drafts before finalizing your house plans. Needless to say, I was disappointed because it meant at least another week in the process. I also realize that it’s much better and less expensive to make any changes at this point rather than later. Once we’ve finalized the plans; then we’ll decide on the placement of our house on the lot. We hope to save as many of the beautiful trees as possible.


Some of the gorgeous trees we are trying to blend into our house design.


My husband and I have discussed what we each want in our new home. I want an open, light filled home with lots of windows. He wants a home that requires little maintenance, is energy-efficient and looks good. We have an agreement that (for the most part) he concentrates on things that make the home work – electrical, heating, air, insulation etc. While I focus on the decorating and design – windows, colors, decorations, and the organizational/functional aspects of our home. Personally, I think I got the fun part.

Hubby pacing out the possible dimensions of our house.

There are so many things to consider when building a new home. It can almost become overwhelming. It would be very helpful if someone from HGTV would magically appear to guide us. (David Bromstad, where are you?) I don’t see that happening anytime soon; so I’ve been burning up the Internet everyday researching home designs and decorating options. Of course, I have several Pinterest boards dedicated to our new home. I started with a lake house board; but soon decided for organizational purposes to start boards for decorations and various rooms. You can find my Pinterest boards here. My plan is to pin everything I like and then narrow down the ideas to the few I like the most. In order to reduce frustration and wasted time, I’ve learned that you need to make sure to track back to the original website before pinning anything. This is one of the cool things I’ve pinned. I think every home could use at least one of these.



Rambler socket from gadget

I also have started several ideabooks on You can find my ideabooks here . Houzz ideabooks are convenient to use and allow you to save photos/pages from any website. It’s also possible to upload personal photos as you begin or complete a project. You can even order products straight from It’s hard to describe just how much information you can find on The “about page” provides this information:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve theirhomes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. (Check it out at Houzz.)

We want to incorporate a type of bunk room for our grandsons. This is one of my favorites so far.

If you check out my “boys’ room” ideabook, you can see that I’ve found many variations of the bunk room.

You might think that I’m still dreaming — that all of this isn’t really research. Yet, this is how I would research any project. I need to look at many different ideas in order to be able to figure out what I like and what I don’t like. I’m a very visual person; so this method really works for me. I also tend to see things in color and I’ve already started thinking about the color schemes that we might use in our new home. I think that I really want to go for a beachy cottage look; so this home will be much different from the home we are in now. (Does that mean we might need new furniture, too? I better start saving now.) I seem to be drawn towards blues, turquoise and green. watercolor blues

And Planning…

One of our biggest debates right now revolves around a fireplace. I want one and my hubby really doesn’t care if we have one or not. We decided that a corner gas fireplace might be a good compromise. I’m looking for the perfect corner fireplace — one that isn’t too big; but adds character to the room. My decorating style is rather eclectic; so we can go towards a more modern one if we choose.

The pantry is another item we’ve spent some time discussing. Just how big does a pantry need to be? I believe that a pantry could never be too big (especially since we will be located some distance from the grocery stores). My dear hubby says that he doesn’t want to waste our home’s square footage on a pantry that is too big. We’ve decide to wait to see what size pantry the architect puts in our second draft of plans.

And Waiting…

Truthfully, waiting is the biggest problem I have right now. I’m usually a patient person; but I’m ready for the next step.


 Our dogs check out their new home for the first time.