Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Architectural Details - Transom Window

HERE - imagine this + full glass double doors
I tried to add architectural details here and there to make the house unique. Some things needed to be done right away at the building stage (like reworking the kitchen floor plan), other things I knew we could technically do later, but I pushed for upfront. This is the case with a transom window over the den doors. 

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture, but in general terms, we have a den (piano room) that is right off the foyer. The front door has a transom window above it and is full glass, while the den double doors were zero glass and zero transom windows. Making them shorter than the front door, and decidedly gloomier. 

After a lot of back and forth with hubs, we asked the builder to put in double glass doors and a transom window in the den. The rational side of me knows that we could have done this change ourselves, but the emotional side knows even better that we’re at a stage in life where we can’t handle even a little bit of construction. So we caved.
HERE - I love how the door frames line up and use the ceiling height to full advantage
I’m beyond excited about this, as you can imagine. I’m picturing a real piano in natural wood (vs. the semi-electric one we have right now). A huge gallery wall behind the piano. Deep green walls. A bookshelf and one or two comfy chairs for reading. I’m debating painting ceiling the same deep green as the walls. It will be spectacular.
HERE - that dark, warm moss green is calling my name
And because I can’t actually put this plan in action for a while still, I’m writing about it to feel like I’m making SOME progress at least.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Planing the walk-in closet

I have a pretty good idea of what I want for our walk in closet. I want good storage and a full length mirror, but I also want some drama! I want this space to be a hidden gem, something that makes me smile every morning. Last night I sat down with a glass of wine to give the walk in closet a bit more thought.

There are two reasons why I would like to tackle this project as soon as we move in. In our current townhouse all of our clothes are in a PAX wardrobe which we are leaving here. Aside from the PAX we don’t have any storage furniture for clothes have no plans to purchase furniture for the master bedroom. The plan is to maximize the walk in closet so we don’t need to buy additional furniture for the bedroom. 

I also really want to do this right away because I always feel calmer when my bedroom is organized, even if other spaces in the house take more time to get right. Nothing beats, for me, the feeling of being able to find clothes in the 30 min I have before rushing out the door in the morning. And nothing makes me feel more confident in meetings than wearing a kick ass outfit.

So… organizing the closet is really a priority.
The original layout was a simple rectangle with double doors on one of the longer walls (love!) and shelves with a single hanging rod on the other three sides. Plus a lovely single light bulb in the ceiling. To get the space I picture in my mind, I’ve asked the builder to forgo the shelving on the wall directly opposite the double doors. I’ve also asked to add wiring for another ceiling fixture, centering these on the shorter sides of the space. We’ve asked to remove the light fixtures completely since we would be installing track lighting anyway.

Plan so far is to use Ikea drawer units (either STOLMEN or NORDLI, any suggestions as to which one would be better?) under builder installed single shelf and hanging rod combo on the short walls of the closet. Sorta like here (see my Pinterest board for links):
The second long wall (opposite the double door) will hold a full length mirror (or two). I’ve been eyeing the HOVET mirror from Ikea for years now and think it will be perfect for the walk in closet.

The piece de resistance will be the wallpaper/paint colour. I haven’t talked to hubs yet about this yet, so not sure if he will be on board, but I would LOVE to use a dramatic wallpaper on the two long walls, painting out the remaining two walls + ceiling the same colour as the wallpaper background.

I haven’t finalized what wallpaper to use, real or removable, and what design, but I want it to be bold. The rest of the house will be primarily white and cream, so I want to go all out with bold and dramatic for the closet. Just need to get hubs on board.

So far I’m thinking of something along the lines of:
Could anyone tell me what the wallpaper in the first image is?? I know I’ve seen it around a ton, just drawing a blank right now! A wallpaper I"m considering is:
I'm not completely in love with it, it's a little too masculine for what I had in mind. But it may be a good compromise to get the dramatic look and get hubs on board.
The small details will fall into place soon enough, for now I feel good about the direction where we're heading with the walk in closet. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bare Bones

Great Room overseeing the park
view towards the kitchen and breakfast rooms
We had our walk through for the electrical a little while back, it has made this home feel so much more real, and so much more us. I feel like wrapping my hands around it and hugging it close.

At the 11th hour we decided to add a transom window to the double doors to the den (not in these photos). I have been trying to add little details throughout the house, or plan for them to be added in the future, to give the space character and soul (as much as you can with a new build). I’m really excited to see it all come together.

Beyond construction, I have been dreaming up how we would like the space to look and feel, decor wise. Most decisions will not be made until months after we have moved in, we want to live in the home to get a better feeling for what will work and what will not. But there are a few spaces that we will need to address right away: (1) foyer, (2) breakfast nook, (3) Miss C’s room; (4) master walk in closet. I’m thinking lots of wallpaper, lots of Ikea hacks, a few custom pieces and a lot of family mementos.

As a sneak peek I’ll share that I’ve ordered the Pajarito wallpaper from Hygge&West (in copper). I am beyond excited to use it.

I'm working on finalizing plans for the four spaces I mentioned above. I've got a lot of things decided for Miss C's room and foyer, and nothing at all for the breakfast nook, or the walk in closet. Lots to do and think about. I'm not complaining, this is my favourite part. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Musical Beds

My Little Dude started climbing out of his crib this week. We have been waiting for and dreading this moment. We have decided to keep him in his crib (which he LOVES) until he doesn't want to sleep there any more. He has started climbing out of it, only to get more toys and gets right back in for him nap (thank heavens). But we are worried about him falling and hurting himself, so giving him the option to sleep in a toddler bed now is a must.

Our plan for the new house was that Little Dude would get the toddler bed that Miss C has been sleeping in. And Miss C would get a new double bed. Looks like our plans have to be fast tracked to right this weekend.

Unfortunately, all the beds I've been looking at are either astronomically expensive (for a child's room) or don't come in a double. We don't want a single/twin bed because we would like to have an extra sleeping space for when we're hosting relatives.

And so... to Ikea for the LEIVRIK bed we're going. I like it for practical reasons (metal vs. MDF), but I also really like the look of the headboard. My idea for Miss C's room is whimsical, fairy tale, soft and calm. And the design of the headboard works well with what I'm envisioning. What I don't like about the bed is the foot board. I find high foot boards to be annoying, blocking out space in rooms, etc. But considering the super reasonable price point (compared to other metal double beds out there, and considering the US exchange rate right now) LEIVRIK is our winner.

I still have to vet this choice by my opinionated 6 year old, but I have a feeling she's going to be on board.
I love how this room is so thrown together and casual. It is from THIS web magazine, but I can't, for the life of me, find the specific house tour it's from.

I think this room is a great example of how to make a generic-everyone-has-one Ikea bed look cozy and have personality. They did get rid of the tall foot board here, but I think even with the foot board in place, the bed is still pretty fantastic for the price.

My dream choice would have been THIS bed from west elm. I'm always torn between finding something different and unique and just going for the dependable Ikea. In the end I think I've figured out other ways of making Miss C's room extra special, and the bed can take a back seat and be a good basic piece that doesn't destroy the budget.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Community Park

Last week I attended a town hall meeting to discuss the future “park” in our new community. The location was packed, packed with parents who cared about what this park will be. These people all had kids, various ages. We were all there, hoping to have bought a home on a street that would give our children a childhood to remember.

I also met a woman who lives in a house that sits directly across the street from our future home. She told me about her two girls, youngest being exact same age as my little girl. She told me that she was hoping for more families with kids to buy on the street so that her girls could meet kids to make friends with, to ride bikes with, to share secrets with and have sleepovers with and have a childhood to share with.

She almost brought me to tears.

That night I went home, elated.

Making this huge change for us felt right from the start, I knew in my bones it was right, and that night I felt like I had my validation.

Our girls may become best friends, or they may not. But the fact that we’re moving into a community (the type of community we searched high and low for) with other like-minded parents is a good indication of wonderful things to come.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The View

There are drawbacks and benefits to building in a new development. First off... you’re living in a construction zone for a while. This means construction traffic, noise and general mayhem are your neighbours. Also, empty lots to look at and inability to put up a fence/do anything major to the back yard right away.

The GOOD thing about going into a neighbourhood early is that you have an opportunity to choose a lot with perks. Usually, the later on you go, the more likely it is that the lots with perks have all been sold. There are things to consider here that escaped us at first, things like: (1) traffic flow (we wanted a really low traffic corner); (2) depth of lot (we were looking for a more, rather than less, sizable backyard); (3) no neighbours (on at least one of three sides).

As much as looking at construction for a few years is undesirable (and we’ve been doing enough of that already), getting an awesome lot is (I hope, at least) totally worth it.

This view out the side of the house (dining room) makes my heart happy every time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chapter Two

Here is our newest adventure, in all her unclothed glory; waiting for Tyvek and shingles.

After our last move we knew that the only way we were moving again was if we found a builder who could make our dreams come true. After two years of “do we want to do this”, “do we need to do this”, and “can we do this on our terms” we found a builder who was able to accommodate all of our needs and wants. So far our experience has been wonderful and we’re keeping fingers crossed things will continue the same way going forward.

Every time we check out progress, the new house becomes more of a reality. Every time we check out process, we hold our breath that things come together the way we see them in our minds.

Excited and terrified equally.

As much as blogging has been going out of vogue the last few years, I’m back here to document our journey. Because I enjoy the process so much. Because I’m still an interior design obsessed junkie. Because being here makes me happy.