Living the Lake Life


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More Waiting, More Planning and a Learning Curve

Rainy Day Reflections

Waiting
and
Planning…

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…

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Moving – phase 1

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Rainy Day Reflections

We’re Really Going to Move

We’ve been working with our builder on the design for our new home for several months now.  The fact that we’re moving has not really seemed too real until today because so far all the work on the new house has been on paper only.   True, we’ve been packing boxes and moving furniture around.  We’re slowly going  through our accumulation of “stuff”.   We’ve been trying  to pare down the “stuff” to some semblance of less.  (I am a book lover and crafter; so it’s been hard.)  However, the ideal of moving became very real today when my hubby and several of his coworkers began the task of moving our antique light pole.   This light pole spent many years in a local park until the powers-that-be decided to replace all the lights with modern ones.   The light pole is made from concrete and the tag on…

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The Next Step – Let’s Build a House

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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

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?)

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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.

 

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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.

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

Researching…

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.

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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.

 

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Rambler socket from gadget review.com

I also have started several ideabooks on houzz.com. 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 houzz.com. It’s hard to describe just how much information you can find on houzz.com. 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.

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


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And the Waiting Begins… Let’s Build a House

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Waiting Mode

The idea of building our next home still feels like a dream. Especially since we’re in that waiting mode — the one that’s so hard for some of us (me) because it requires patience. We’re waiting to close on our lot; we’re waiting to finalize the floor plan; we’re waiting for the next meeting with the builder…we’re waiting…

I really never expected to be given this opportunity. When my husband and I met, he was working as a carpenter for a homebuilder. Because of some of his experiences as a carpenter, he’s always been quick to say that he didn’t think that building a home would be worth the headaches involved. It’s true; there are so many things to think about. (Where are the Property Brothers when I need them?) Things I’ve never given much thought are now running through my head. Do I like windows with or without panes? Why are there so many ugly colors of brick? (No offense intended.) How big does the kitchen island really need to be? Which is better painted or stained cabinets? And on and on and on…

Many people including our realtor suggested the best way to begin this process is for both of us to make “must haves” and “no way” lists. My hubby wasn’t too keen on the idea because he likes to mull things over in his mind. Lists just aren’t part of his thinking mode. Eventually, after many discussions we started our lists. My list includes items that might be considered design related – lots of windows, a big pantry and a soaker tub in the master bath. Even though my husband said that he really didn’t have any must haves, it soon became apparent that he really has quiet a few. His list is more building related and includes the type of insulation, the size of the studs and where the utilities etc. will be placed.

My Must Haves

  • lots of windows
  • walk in pantry
  • fireplace
  • big porch
  • large closet in the master, but not in the bath
  • bench in master shower
  • soaker tub in master
  • deck/patio
  • interesting oven vent or decorative cabinet above stove
  • built-in microwave, but not above stove
  • lots of storage
  • semi open floor plan
  • entry or foyer

His Must Haves

  • Crown molding in family room, kitchen and dining
  • Porches
  • lots of electrical outlets
  • full sprinklers
  • high ceilings
  • place to park motorhome
  • area for dog run
  • driveway and garages on the side
  • workshop area
  • highly rated windows
  • 2 X 6 studs
  • High-Density Cellulose Insulation
  • corner fireplace

Our No Way List

  • two-story
  • outside doors in bedrooms (his)
  • extremely large master baths (we want to utilize space as much as possible)
  • white brick
  • high maintenance
  • skylights (his)
  • no formal dining (?)


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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 lakehouse.com, 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.

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