Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Random Update (and a video) - Gateway House

Alrighty friends. What's the latest and greatest going in our home building, home selling neck of the woods? So far our current house is still on the market and still praying for our perfect buyer. God will provide!! The new house has several updates since I last shared with you, but those updates are actually a few weeks old. Not much has been happening lately. All the sub-contractors seem to be waiting on either us or each other to find or complete things, and it's standing still. To tell you the truth, this doesn't bother me much right now since we're still waiting to sell our house. If I was soon to be homeless, I'd worry about it, but for now, not so much.

Let's see, what's new that I haven't shared here?

Floors! The hardwoods are mostly done and the tile is in progress. We've had some more small issues with both of those things, but they'll be resolved so I'm choosing not to dwell on them. Instead, I'll show them to you.

The floors are engineered hardwood made from white oak. (Independence Flooring, the Arcadian collection, White Oak engineered hardwood in Barnwood) They have a slight pickled look to them in person, which I was a little hesitant about, but the hubby loved them. I gotta say, they are beautiful, and match that beam just perfectly! I think he made a good choice.

The tile in our master bath and closet you guys... LOVE! When hunting for inspiration for a year prior to breaking ground, I kept finding these beautiful encaustic, concrete tiles. They have such detail and beauty. They also cost an arm and a leg and are extremely fragile until they're installed. Imagine my joy when I found out that Home Depot carries a porcelain knock-off that's much more reasonable in price, and has free shipping as long as you go pick it up at your local Home Depot. Our tile lady even did some research on it and told us she couldn't find anything even close to this style for anywhere close to this cheap. Her words were "buy it!" We did. This is the Arte White by Merola Tile, but it comes in a few different color combos that are all pretty fabulous! Interesting... in getting the link to the tile, it looks like they've increased the price about .60 cents a tile. Still way cheaper than concrete tile, but I'm glad we got it when we did.

We found these vanities at Restoration Hardware after ages of searching for just the right thing. We had them shipped to my sister's house in Tulsa and made a mad dash down there one Saturday to pick them up. How crazy that it saved us around $200 to ship to a city with a Restoration Hardware, vs to Wichita, that doesn't. I finally found mirrors that I was happy with that also happened to be from Restoration Hardware. I had discarded them as way too expensive when I originally saw them on their website, but something made me check RH Baby and Child. Guess what. Same mirror, but $210 cheaper on the Baby and Child site. Unbelievable! After deciding that was what I wanted, I found a picture of them with vanities almost identical to ours. Takes some of the pressure off your decision making when you can see the items already put together and know they look good.

We took the tile into our closet as well because of the washer and dryer being placed in there. Carpet would've been the normal choice in a closet, but risking washer overflows and ruining carpet changed our minds. 

The master shower is also in progress. I could've sworn we chose a hexagon tile for the floor, but square tiles showed up. And honestly, I've made so many decisions that I don't think I can keep them all straight anymore. I most likely chose square. Either way, I'm happy with them. 

The walls in the shower are an oversized white subway tile. I would've been fine with the normal size subway tiles, but James wanted these, and since they keep the same style I was looking for, didn't have a problem with them.

And just cuz we're a little nutty. How 'bout some mini-chandelier bling in the toilet room. I'll try to get better pics later, but you get the idea.

We also used the Home Depot Merola Tile in the powder room, but this time we chose their Twenties Classic design.

A rectangular vessel sink is going on top of this desk-turned-vanity. I can't wait to have this little room all put together to show you guys. It's fun!!

The last two rooms with tiled floors are the upstairs bath and utility/laundry room.

This is the girls bathroom. I chose the black to play off the white walls and the wood vanity and linen that will be in here. Those should come soon and they're gonna be fun!!

Terribly dark shot of the utility/laundry room upstairs. This was originally supposed to have linoleum, but I hated the options we were given, and the flooring guy felt it would be much easier to lay tile vs cutting linoleum to fit. This is just cheap white tile at .99 cents a square foot, but I'm happy with it.

I'll try to share some of the kitchen progress in my next post, but for now I'll leave you with a short video I took for Instagram that shows some of the main floor. Speaking of Instagram. You can follow me there for more in between post updates if you'd like. 

Hope you guys have a great week! I'm off to work in Oklahoma for the next few days, so maybe there'll be more done when I get back!


Friday, September 16, 2016

Things That Make You Go "Hmmm" - Gateway House

Other titles I considered for this post:

What Were They Thinking?
What Were We Thinking?
Oh, I Wish We'd Known
First World Problems of Home Building

In every home building process, or at least the two I've been apart of, there are things that don't go as planned. We already discussed the wrong brick color that was put up around the fireplace that amazingly turned out well. But of course, that was just one of the things that has us occasionally shaking our head. (alright, shaking our head is mild. sometimes I might rant a little... or a lot... or James probably thinks I'm losing my mind)

Anyway, why just show you the good, picturesque parts of building a home. I figure some of you might wanna scratch your head right along side me.

Let's start with today. 

Let's just for a moment ignore the fact that the electricians attached the fan/light remote directly to the light switch cover, thus ensuring there's sticky residue to be removed once I rip it off due to it looking utterly ridiculous, and let's focus on the covers themselves. 
Picture one and three show us covers with squared edges and a matte finish, while picture two likes to be all showy with it's semi-rounded corners and gloss finish. Every double-gang switch plate in the house is glossy and rounded, while absolutely everything else is squared and matte. 

This forces me to ask myself three questions. 
Question One: Does one do this in utter ignorance while doing a job that's mind numbing to the point they don't see what's in front of them?
Question Two:  Does one do this in the hopes that they can get rid of some undesirable product that is left over while hoping the idiot home owner won't notice?
Question Three: Do they realize that if the idiot home owner is in fact, not an idiot, that they are just creating more work for themselves when I make them change them all out at no cost to me?

I should add that there are several things on this list of woes that were caused by said electricians, thus adding to my immediate frustration when I find any electrical related issues. As a matter of fact our builder has decided to no longer use this company for his electrical needs. But we got lucky as their last straw before pulling that trigger. (I don't even have pictures of all the crooked outlet covers smattered throughout. But I digress.)

Let's talk light colors, shall we?
You may notice a slight difference in the colors of the chandelier bulbs in the above pic, vs the can lights. It's come to my attention in the last few years that there is a huge difference in soft white light, vs cold white light. The two not only look amazingly different, but they clash somewhat fantastically. These facts however, have not yet come to the attention of the electricians.

Another example. Warm white in back, cold white directly in front of it. (Also, please enjoy the stylings of the bathtub being used as a trash can.)

This second bathroom not only highlights that problem, but an even greater one that made the engineer's daughter in me scream like a banshee! Do you see it? The warm white was placed in the center of the room, while the cold light in front of it is OFF TO THE RIGHT! 
Wanna see it again?

Yep. This light isn't centered on the room or even above the door. Just willy nilly hanging out by it's un-centered self.

And for your viewing pleasure. The outside of the house with it's eye-jarring lighting combo.

Before you ask, most of these things have been fixed already. But it does take me back to those same questions I asked before, and I wonder what ever happened to just doing it right the first time?

Ok, so the next few things fall into the category of what were WE thinking, mixed with a big ol' dose of I wish we had known!?

This is a picture of the shake-look shingle siding on one of our neighbors houses. This was what we planned to put around our window bump-outs on the front of the house.

The day I got back into town after our shake-look shingle siding was put up, I told James I didn't really notice the detail of it like the neighbors house. He agreed, and we both chalked it up to the fact that the paint would change everything.

Here's a close up of ours after we added a paint sample. This was the day we went to our builder and asked why ours looked so different from the neighbors, and he kindly informed us that we had a completely different product and what the cost would be to tear ours off and use the more expensive kind we really wanted. This was also the day we decided we could live with it and maybe some year in the future we could make the change.

This next one is probably not gonna turn out to be bad, just one of those things where you shouldn't judge a product when it's only half way done.

Here's a really terrible shot of our island and it's pretty, distressed grey/blue color. We decided to add a bit of color to our locker area, or drop zone, and the island, plus pictures like the one below were my color inspiration.

Greystone Country House
This is what we currently have. The painter color matched the inside of the island cabinet which has no antiquing. It's not horrible, not great either. It's my job to add the antiquing wax which I know from experience will completely change the look. It of course also needs it's fun hooks and the metal baskets I'm going to add, but for now it's just a bit much. Maybe a little too bright, too blue, too something. What do you guys think?

Lastly, my beloved subway tile and my adored Benjamin Moore White Dove paint.
I've seen countless photos of those two items put together absolutely flawlessly. Ours, hmm, there's some color difference we're dealing with... There's a good chance that once the grout and shelving go in, and depending on the lighting or the time of day... Well, here it is.

Not that I thought the color would match perfectly, but there's a bit more contrast then I'd hoped for. Again I'm probably judging a project that's not even half way completed, but I worry about my choices and getting it right! Only time will tell.

I'll leave you with this little nugget that's been hanging out on our "construction site" front porch the last few weeks.

And again... questions!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Our House is on the Market

When you're living day to day in a home, you tend to overlook the little things. You know, like the baseboard by the entry that gets scuffed, the clutter that builds up on your counters, or the basement you've never really decorated. But when you're selling a house, those things become glaringly obvious. So along with building our Gateway House over the last several months, we've also been preparing our Concrete Cottage to sell. That and the fact that our realtor (who also works with our builder) wanted to put our home on the market at a specific time in the hopes that we can move directly from this one to the new one without renting something in between, means that now is finally the time! 

This past weekend it was listed on the MLS and we're in a constant state of cleaning up after ourselves to keep it show ready at a moments notice. I'm excited to finally be at this stage. I'm stressed no one will buy it and my dream home will sit 3 blocks away without me in it. But mostly I'm praying and having faith that God will send us the right buyer and everything will work out in his perfect timing! I've already had an example of that as he sent downpours of rain showers this weekend after I prayed for rain to fill our pond that had drained some due to evaporation so it would look beautiful for showings. Thank you God for our full pond! Sorry to those people in surrounding areas who got flooded!! Eeek! 

So without further ado, how about I show you the pictures of our home that were taken by the uber sweet photographer Julie Bath of Tobie Andrews Real Estate Photography. She was so kind to give me permission to share her photos on my blog, so you're definitely going to be seeing parts of this house you've never seen before and with wide angle shots as a bonus!

If you'd like to pray with me for our perfect buyer, I'd be ever so grateful! You might also include prayers for me to have patience, cuz I'm not so awesome at that.

I'll be back soon with updates on Gateway House. And of course I'll let you know when we have updates on our house selling fun!