Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ceilings make all the difference

I went out to the site today. I haven't been out in a week so the last time I saw the house it was just a block on concrete.
Now it actually looks like a house. There are outside walls and ceiling joists and stairs!
It now feels like a house and I can really start to see how it's going to look finished.
We designed this house ourselves by frankensteining a bunch of floorplans we liked so to see something 'real' was nice. It was also nice to see that our vision in our heads that we drew on paper didn't somehow get lost in translation - nor does our vision turn out to make our house ugly or impractical.
Jesse was quite scared about the staircase in particular. This was his particular vision and now that we have stairs, you can really see how it will look with rails and the balcony overlooking the front door. And I have to admit - he's right - it looks good.
And I walked into the master closet and it is just the size I thought it would be. Somehow, adding walls and ceilings makes the rooms look so much larger.
I think we have the makings of a really nice home.
It's still a bit crazy how we're building a house. That this lumber and dirt is going to be a place I live at soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Jesse went out to the site today and apparently we have walls.
He says that it looks bigger, but I think he might have been saying that for my benefit.
I'm still really worried that I got the measurements wrong.
He did say that the laundry room was huge.
He sent more pictures.

And apparently he's freaked out our neighbors. He was hanging out in his car outside the house site, waiting for the builder and our neighbor came out with her big dog to see who he was. She said her kids had noticed his car there alot lately and she was afraid he was a stalker or killer or whatever. He introduced himself and she seemed relieved. What's crazy about this whole scenario is that we've met this lady before with her husband.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Concrete and optical illusions

They poured the concrete this weekend.
And I'm just a tad freaked out. I know that houses look smaller when you are looking at just the concrete, but still, our house looks tiny.
I'm the most freaked out by the master bedroom closet. I stood in it and just couldn't imagine it being the right size.
Normally this wouldn't bother me except I helped draw up the plans. I wrote down the dimensions for my dad and he drew them up. I took measurements of the house we liked, and I'm for sure that I wrote down the dimensions for the rooms correctly, but I didn't measure the closets. I just kind of eyeballed it.

What if I got them wrong? It gnaws at me everytime I think about it. I really liked the master closet at the house we looked at it. It was nice and big and now I'm just thinking about how I might have got it wrong and now we have to live with it.
Jesse and I measured it for our own sakes, and the measurements seems fine, but it still looks small. We even laid down in the living room. He's about the size of our couch and I'm about the size of our loveseat and we were seeing where each piece would go and if everything would fit. It seems to fit ok, and I'm sure the neighbors think we are quite crazy laying about on a concrete slab.

In other news, a cat has made our new home his new home. Jesse found this cat in our yard and apparently it had claimed the yard as its own. Jesse calls him Mr. Squatty since he's squatted on our land. But Jesse also says that Mr. Squatty is very mean.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Color palettes

Jesse, ever the designer, has developed a few color ideas for our house.
And of course, his ideas are great. Stinks that my husband is better at decorating than I am.

Master bedroom:
We're thinking about striping the walls, but overall making the master suite look and feel like a 5 star hotel room (Not too far off from the Sofitel St James we stayed at in London - see this blog)

Dining Room:
We disagree slightly on the exact shade of light blue, but a light blue and brown combination for the dining room. We found the coolest console table at the Pottery Barn outlet and it's the color blue he likes. I think we'll use it as a buffet.

Living Room:
My sofas are brick red, so we have to work with that. This is still under construction, he wants to work the brown and blue from the dining room in there, but not quite sure yet...

Study/guest bathroom:
The guest bathroom is going to be all Japanese/zen inspired. My mom gave us these japanese ink prints a few months back that would look great in there (Japanese writing that we haven't translated yet, a woman in a kimono and a cherry blossom tree - very cool looking) and jesse found a neat vase with a cherry blossom design on it. I want to do something with a shower curtain that makes it look like the old japanese paper walls and lanterns.
Jesse's study, which is off this bathroom, is going to be gray on the walls with white/black furniture and white trim, and maybe some green accents. Very masculine, but sophisticated.

The beginnings of a foundation

They've started work on the house. So far all we have are the frames for the foundation. Here are some pictures. Not really much to look at just yet, but excited that there is something on top of the grass that was there a few days ago.

Jesse is convinced that they are missing a piece or haven't finished because it looks too small to him. And it does look small, but I remember when we built my parents house and the foundation looked really tiny.
My mom says that it looks tiny until you get the walls up.

We went out this weekend and lo and behold, guess who our neighbor is? Andy Dockery. For those of you who don't know, he was one of our closest friends in high school. It's kind of crazy that we'll be living across the street from him. At least we know one of our neighbors isn't a homicidal maniac!

Going out there and looking at the frames it hit me that we are building a house. I mean, it's real now. There is lumber with my name on it. We have our new address. I feel so old and grown up. I'm going to be a homeowner - how responsible of me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We have LAND!

Jesse and I decided awhile back that it was time for us to become homeowners.
We've been searching for several months and just couldn't find what we wanted in the place we wanted.
So we are building. AAHH!!

The idea of building scared the be-jeebies out of me because of many things:
1. My parents built their house when I was young and it was a very stressful experience which I absorbed.
2. It's budget season here at Mid America which means I'm busier than ever. I'm traveling two or three days a week on average and the days that I am in town, I'm at the office until after dark.
3. There are 432,972 decisions that you have to make when building a house (yes that's the real number and I didn't just make it up :P) The shear volume of choices makes my mind come to a grinding halt. Do I care whether my trim is eggshell or ecru? Whether I have red brick vs brown (which I do)?
I am the girl who gave her mother a couple of pictures from a magazine and then let her plan my wedding for me with barely any input. This is the girl who had no idea where she was going on her honeymoon until she got off the plane at the location (And even then, wasn't 100% sure)

I'm not very picky. I'm a no-fuss, laid-back kind of person most of the time. But now I'm suddenly supposed to care about colors and finishes and chestnut floors vs oak.
On top of the fact that I have no time to make those decisions right now.
So no - I was not thrilled with the aspect of building.

But I got over it. See. I have a really great husband. Who's currently not working and has really great taste. I trust him to make all the decisions for me, with a bit of guidance on my end.

I was terribly nervous about the financing when the Dow dropped 700 points (that did not help my stress factor at all). But after talking to my mortgage lender and hearing that our financing is in place and fine, I'm fine.

It's crazy, but I'm really not stressed about this now. Now that it is upon us and we've signed papers, I'm quite calm.

So, weather permitting, we should start moving dirt this weekend and hopefully have a foundation by monday!!