Archive for the ‘interior decoration’ Category

In Glorious Technicolor!

May 12, 2007

That’s what we are! I’ve been dying all week to see how the paint colors look, and, if I do say so myself, they look really good. The light colors that our interior design consultant, Tim Rounsaville, helped us pick work very well. The entire house looks light, bright, and airy, with the exception of the master bath and library. Go figure – these are the two rooms he didn’t help us choose colors for. But we wanted a darker look for the library. It’s actually not as red as it looks in the picture; it’s more of a dark berry cobbler color, not a real red.

So, without further ado, here are the photos.

First, the exterior continues to get its Hardie Board siding in Boothbay Blue. It looks like Woody, our builder (Classic Structures, Inc.) should be finishing this up this week:

This is our foyer, done in Panda White. It’s not as yellow as it looks in this picture; it’s more of a very pale cream. I actually can’t tell it’s not a true white, unless I see it against an actual white:

Since our great room, dining area, and kitchen are all open to one another, we painted them all the same color, Byte Blue. Here is the kichen:

And here is the great room, with the entertainment center painted white:

We have big plans for the downstairs bath. The floor will be a black & white, octagonal subway tile. The tile around the tub will be plain white, and the blue walls will have white beadboard around them:

The spare bedroom, which we’ll use as a guest bedroom is in a pale green. Tim helped us choose a color that wasn’t too minty; instead, it’s got more of a grayish tone to the green:

Directly across from the guest bedroom is the library. One wall will be solid shelves, to hold our enormous collection of books.

As I said, the red is not as bright, nor is it as red as it appears in this photo.

Upstairs, our master bedroom is a very light, ice blue. We had the sloped part of the tray ceiling painted blue to match the walls, while the flat parts of the ceiling are white, providing a contrast and showcasing that tray ceiling:

Our master bath is very dark, because it faces a few of the large live oaks, and so it’s getting a lot of shade this time of year. Also the whole no-lighting-yet thing isn’t helping, but you can at least get the idea of its color, from this photo:

Our interior doors have now been unpacked, and have been painted white. Here is a photo of them in the garage, propped up to let the paint dry:

Because we used low-VOC paints, the interior of the house really doesn’t smell that bad. It’s not as overwhelmingly painty as I expected it to smell; last week, the primer really blew us away.

Next steps: Woody will be hanging the interior doors, and the flooring guys are coming this week. The baseboards are in and ready to go, but I don’t know whether those get put in before or after the flooring. And we will be returning to the house tomorrow, to lay down at least part of the stick-on vinyl flooring that we’re using in the laundry room and under-the-stairs closet.

We’ve turned our attention to the yard. We have a line of trees & palmettos providing a nice demarkation between the area that will be our “lawn” with the areas that we’ll use for other things, like a vegetable garden. One of our little clumps of palmettos & small oak trees has a clear area running through it, almost like a path, that we will probably use to build a tiny pond, in order to provide a water source for the wildlife we’re hoping to see in our yard. Since 2 of our acres are conservation, we won’t be fencing those in at all, obviously, but our backyard will have a fence for our dog, little Hannah. The neighborhood has wandering packs of dogs in it, and I’d hate for her to be killed.

I purchased a compost bin and a kitchen compost bucket, from Gardener’s Supply Company. Luckily, by doing a search online, I was able to find a 15% off coupon. The compost bin is on backorder until July, which is a bit of a pain as we’re planning on beginning our compost pile soon, but I guess we could always transfer it to the bin when it arrives. And the bin will probably make it in before the house itself is ready for habitation.

I’ve been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemna, so have been bitten by the gardening bug. Thus far, we haven’t found a good source for local farm products, but the book gave me a few leads on groups I could contact, like the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’m hoping that they will be able to point us in the right direction. I’ve also been doing a lot of research online, regarding what vegetables to grow here in Florida, and when, so we’ll see whether I can put this into practice once we’re in the house.

And that is all for now! We have big plans and high hopes, so we’ll see how everything works out. It’s incredibly exciting, watching our first house grow up before our eyes.

Drywall is done!

April 29, 2007

Our drywall is finished, and we are ready for painting. It’s amazing what a difference it makes, to have the walls all up and finished. It really looks like a house, and I think it’s a lovely house. I’m very excited that we’re going to get to live in this beautiful creation.

Here is a photo of our great room wall, all drywalled up:

And here is a better photo of our finished door with matching transom window:

In our upstairs shower, the tub surround upstairs, and the downstairs bath, the builders used Durock:

This picture is of our downstairs bath, with octagonal window visible.

When we came to visit our house on Saturday, the drywall was all up, but had not had the spray sealant put on it. However, when we came back on Sunday morning, it had been sprayed, so the texture was visible. This was the sign that the drywallers were completely done and we are now ready for paint!

The reason we came by on Sunday as well as Saturday was to drop our paint choices into the Doc box. I thought we did this rather cleverly, though I’m sure millions of other people have done the same thing! We had an earlier draft of the floorplans, not showing the ICF walls, but that would be suitable to use for this purpose. We color coded every wall, showing which colors we wanted, so that there would be no possibility of error. Can you tell I’m a teacher? I anticipate confusion arising, and try my best to prevent it. We stapled the sheet with our various color choices, including manufacturer, color name, and color number, to the front of our color-coded floorplans.

We wanted our trayed ceiling in the master bedroom to have a ring of the iceberg blue wall paint around the tray area, so that is what’s color coded at the top of this page. And, of course, as part of the green building process, we are using low/no VOC paints.

Our builder, Woody Dortch of Classic Structures, Inc., has been hard at work continuing to install the James Hardie Board siding onto our house:

The first floor is almost done, and, on one side of the house, he’s finished the siding entirely. Huzzah!

Woody said something which really struck me this week, and I thought I’d mention it, since it’s indicative of the type of builder he is. I was telling him that we’d heard horror stories from other people who had new construction homes, about what a difficult and traumatic process it was. Woody said, “When you’re building a house, you have to expect that problems will come up. It’s how you handle it that makes it a good or bad building experience.” I thought that was remarkable, since it was exactly TRUE.

For example, Woody spoke with the propane guy, who said that the ugly propane vent on the front of the house could be moved, but that he (propane guy) was not going to move it (jerk). So Woody told us that he would move the vent himself, and was going to pay to replace the entire sheet of metal for the roof, so that we don’t have an ugly patch job. His pride in the finished product, as well as his dedication to us as his customers are truly remarkable. As a teacher, I generally have a low opinion of people’s integrity, but Woody’s honesty & integrity are striking!

Finally, we resolved the issue of our overly expensive floors. Woody found another vendor for us, who is going to give us just what we want: brown tiles for the kitchen & master bath, black & white subway tiles for the downstairs bath, frieze carpet for the master bedroom, and bamboo flooring for everywhere else, for very close to our budget. Here is a photo of the exact bamboo flooring we’re using: Columbia Flooring’s Ivory Bamboo.

Next steps: the interior will be painted; Woody will continue installing the Hardie Board siding; our garage door will go up; the flooring will go in; our cabinets will be installed.

Parade of Homes

February 27, 2007

For anyone building a house, I would strongly suggest attending as many Parade of Homes events as possible. These are useful in many, many ways. At a Parade of Homes, you can walk through houses and see what types of floorplans you like best. You can make notes of room sizes that feel comfortable to you. You can look at features that you like; we realized how much we enjoy the 2 story great room by touring other houses.

Once your house is being constructed, the Parade of Homes serves a different purpose. When we were in Charlotte, we used the Charlotte Parade of Homes there to help with house design. Now that we are here and have our house designed & partially built, we’re using the Lake Sumter Parade of Homes for interior decor ideas.

By touring houses, we realized yet again why we went with a custom builder, rather than one of those larger on-your-lot builders that would have made us choose from a series of floor plans. We only tour the more expensive houses ($600,000+), because these are the houses with the features we’re interested in. It seems that, with the larger national builders, houses come in 2 styles. Either you have a HUGE house with lovely features that is, just by virtue of its massive size, out of our price range. Or else you have a medium sized house that’s in our price range but that is missing those details that we value, like granite or quartz counterops, crown moulding, hardwood floors and hardwood stairs, etc. There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium, so, for ideas’ sake, we only tour the pricier houses with the features that we like.

We really liked the color scheme of this kitchen, with its light wood, dark countertop, and neutral-colored tile:

We thought this bathroom was neat; the color scheme is similar to what we would like for ours, and the idea of having the shower behind the bath was intriguing.  It’s now what we’re doing with our house, but it’s a good idea for future houses!

Here is the same bath from a different angle:

I also like that you can set up drinks or candles alongside the tub.

We didn’t like this exact look, but were interested in how they used molding on their walls to make the walls more distinctive:

The Parade of Homes is also about finding out what you DON’T like, and this house made us realize that we didn’t like what we’d planned for our entertainment center.  The drywall just looked too chunky:

This was an interesting looking house in Howey in the Hills; I’d driven by it a few times as it was going up, and it piqued my curiousity.  The asking price is $1.6 million, but I would be surprised if it sold quickly.  It’s a neat house but has insuperable location problems:

It is a very, very Disney house; the builder worked for Disney for many years, and it definitely shows in his construction and decoration style.  Here is the door knocker; I thought it was interesting, though not at all suited to our beachy house.

Here is another fun photo; I liked this door – very European, and the peephole area reminded me of the Wizard of Oz.

This theatre isn’t anything we’re interested in doing, but it was fun looking:

And here are several pictures of children’s rooms that were really over the top, Disney-themed: Nemo, Pirates, and Princesses, as well as a Raggedy Ann-themed room:

The Parade of Homes is a great experience, from which you can gain a wealth of ideas for new home construction & interior design.  I would highly recommend using it as a resource and taking the opportunity to tour as many houses as possible in a low- or no-sales pressure atmosphere.