Thursday, August 27

a big risk...

One area to the house that we made the most changes to was the kitchen.  We rearranged appliances, changed cabinet layouts, expanded the island, and decided to do something drastic with the backsplash.

Once appliances are installed, we will have a chimney style vent hood over the cooktop.  With this in mind, we decided that the backsplash should run all the way along the wall and up to the ceiling.

I was terrified over this decision.  The backsplash tile was the last tile we selected.  I was torn between two and Adam was pushing for his favorite.  Once again, I acquiesced and I am glad I did!

Our backsplash is installed and I love it!
This was one of those make or break installations... I would either love it or I would hate it and have ruined our whole kitchen.

Boom! Love IT!

The creamy marbling of the tile brings in grays, white, cream, and I think it adds texture without being too busy.  I can't wait to see it grouted.

Also, Adam insisted on under cabinet lighting... another win.  The ambiance of these lights are amazing when the rest of the space is darker, and I love how it shows off the tile.

And -  isn't our kitchen faucet so leggy and pretty!  It's like a curvy pin-up perched atop the island.  

We're getting closer every day!!



Backsplash is installed and exclamation points ensue! -  day 216 of our build

Wednesday, August 26

front door debacle...

Adam and I chose to make quite a few upgrades when it came to our front door.  We added sidelights, a transom, and even carefully selected a specific paint color to help it stand out.

Clearly, we weren't careful enough.
Meet our baby blue front door.

Our initial plan with the paint color was to go two shades lighter than the house.  But remember, that was also back when we thought the house would read more dark gray than navy.

It does help the door stand out.. but not exactly in the way we intended.

Thankfully the painter is going to revisit our choice.  We decided to try a more gray tone, and see how it works out.  Worst case scenario... we deal with it until I can find the perfect shade.

In the meantime, aren't our little shrubs out front just too cute!

Edit:  After a 2nd coat of paint, things are looking much more gray and much less "little boy blue."  We agreed to keep it for now and I'll share some updated pictures soon!

Painting the front door - day 216 of our build

Tuesday, August 25


It was late in the evening, on August 19th, Adam had to work and we were running behind on checking out the house.  We were downstairs and slowly working our way back to the main floor when we heard someone shouting "Hello!"

I figured it was just one of the neighbors touring the house, or someone checking out the neighborhood, but when we reached the top of the stairs -  we saw the granite delivery guy!  He wanted to make sure he was at the right house, and he was!

They had a truckload full! 

I didn't take many glamour shots since we were kinda in their way, but when we came back by at about 10pm that night.. I saw this beauty.

This island will be the focus of our kitchen and I could not be happier with how it turned out.  The granite color for the kitchen is Steel Gray (aka Gray Pearl) and we added a waterfall edge to the island only.  The sink is an undermount black granite composite 60/40 sink. I am so excited as my big stew pot will finally fit in the sink now!
The granite in all the bathrooms is New Caldonia which has a nice blend of grays, white, cream, black, and browns.  I really love how it looks with the oil-rubbed bronze on the faucet.

The jack and jill bath a few days after installation when the mirrors were installed as well. I really like the back splash and how nice the granite looks with the paint colors. 

I know it was a late night for the installers, but they made this nerdy nester's day!

Granite installation -  day 214 of our build

Monday, August 24

more than emotional baggage..

I realized as we get closer to our move-in date (yes, it's really happening!) that I'm facing a wild ride of emotions over the next two weeks. Hopefully Adam is wearing his seat belt.

I have more than just emotional baggage going on.. I have emotional storage buildings.  Plural.

For the first time in months, we'll be unpacking and unloading our lives from our four storage buildings that we've had over the last year.  One building hasn't been touched since my Dad died last July.

That's the one I'm worried about... not just because of the scary stacking and wedging and balancing that's going on in there.. but because after Dad died, we had about a month to sort through, clear away, sell, and store 60+ years of his treasures.  What I decided, at initial glance to keep, went in storage building number one.  And that's where it's been.. for a year.

In the month (actually a little less than) that we had to move Dad's things from his rental property -  it was very much a "survival mode" situation.  It's surprising how many quick decisions have to be made, and how quickly the things in a person's life revert back to things.. and not belongings, or treasures, or stories.. but instead get sorted and shuffled, and packed away.  All out of sheer urgency.  We didn't have the luxury to reminisce, or remember the stories, or wonder at the marvels of engineering and utility he created.  We just had to get it all out.

And now, as I prepare for the next few weeks... and moving into our dream home; I am also preparing to revisit all the things of Dad's we've packed away.  It will take a long time to truly sort through everything but at least now, in our new home, we can give them a new life and not just have them hidden in the family wing of the local storage center.  I can't wait to see his tool chests cleaned up in the garage, a treasured replica of a VW on the bookcase, and other reminders of the full life he lived mixed in with the new beginnings of our home.

So to my friends and family, please be prepared.  If you encounter me during the next two weeks, I will most likely be a whirling dervish of lists, Type A freakouts over minute details, tears of joy and frustration and excitement, covered in a mix of drywall dust, grout sealer, packing tape, and Sharpie.

Losing my mind a little -  day 219 of our build

Wednesday, August 19

rock solid...

The next few weeks at the house should be busy ones.  We're scheduled to close at the end of the month, but I'm not sure if that's going to happen yet or not.  For now, we are seeing lots of progress and getting closer every day to the finish line.

On August 15th, they started working on the stone for the exterior.
Our lawn was also graded to get ready for sod.   I'm ready for more stone though!

August 17th, right after a monsoon, I drove by the house and saw green!
Looking down from the back porch, almost like Christmas with the green sod and red clay peeking through.

They also started the hardwood which I think looks just lovely with the cabinets and trim.  I am a bit partial though.
By Tuesday, August 18th -  the exterior stone was almost finished.

Still missing some stone around the door, steps, and column.. but I love the way it looks with the paint and trim colors.  I am so thrilled it worked out and looks as good as it does!  I was seriously nervous about how it was going to turn out.

Sneaking inside, our hardwood floors are finished as well.  We're still waiting on trim, carpet, and touch ups.. but the floors are almost complete!

Hardwood floors, sod, and stone - days 210 - 213 of our build

Wednesday, August 12

our progress... 200 days in

At the beginning of this process, I never would have thought I'd be writing a "200 days" progress post.  I thought we'd be in the house by now, grilling and chilling on the back porch. 

We're not quite there yet.. but we are getting closer.  Hopefully by the 250 day mark, we'll be nice and settled into our new home.  For now, I just look back at how far we've come and laugh at how impatient I am. 

Here's to an exciting next few weeks, and to our eventual Home Sweet Home!

Tuesday, August 11

lights, tiling... cabinets!

Technically, August kicked off the last month of our build.  Needless to say, we are VERY excited to see how things progress over the next few weeks. We'll see if we can make it to closing on time and in once piece.

For now, it's August 5th, and  the house was hopping with electricians and the tiling crew.

We didn't select anything too fancy in regards to lighting and went with the builders standard -  which thankfully his wife chose, and she has pretty good taste.  We can always swap out down the line if we find something we love.  For now, it's pretty and lights up the space. 

We did add on a ceiling fan to both the back and front porches.  I think it's a requirement for Alabama summers on the porch to have a little bit of a breeze going.

I was torn on the tile in the laundry room.  I originally wanted something "different" but decided it wasn't worth the extra cost for such a utilitarian space.  I do love that I went with a different tile from the other tiled spaces and selected one with more variation in color to help cover potential messes in the future.

August 7th, a Friday, was an exciting day at the house.  First of all, they FINALLY removed the warped piece of hardi-siding from the back porch.
Granted, they didn't get too far on the replacement of it.  Note the removed board casually tossed on the porch floor.

But more importantly, that Friday, actually ahead of schedule... cabinets were delivered!!
I can finally start to visualize my kitchen!

We're still waiting on under cabinet lighting, and I'm not sure what the crown molding will look like, or how they'll fix that.

But oh! Aren't they lovely!!  It's hard to capture the richness of the stain, but I love the design.  I cannot wait to see my island with the granite on top!! 

The kitchen was a definite splurge zone for me.  We made a lot of changes to the plan and added in upgrades that I thought would make the space more functional and feel more luscious.  Not that garbage cans are luscious.. 

But extra deep drawers under the cooktop surely are!  Love it!
Cabinets were installed in the bathrooms as well.  Here is our small bath off the entryway.

The Jack and Jill bath by the guest room.

Our laundry room.. just waiting on a washer and dryer.

As some parts of the house look almost complete... others are a complete disaster.
Our bedroom is currently home to the tiling crews wet saw,  buckets, and general disorder.

Not quite the peaceful escape I imagined..

At least they thought ahead and brought their own A/C... we cracked up over their mini window unit.  It helps out though!  The past few weeks have been HOT!

It's great progress but we're still pretty far from move-in ready. 

Lights, tile, and cabinets -  days 200-202 of our build