Our first snow came. The whole red house and snow thing was kind of a big moment we had been anticipating.
I have a vision for this space, that has not quite actualized yet. Yet… I will share with you where we are at. Our vision involves barn doors, white shelves, linen bed sheets, and cozy rub your feet in rugs. For now though, we are focusing on one step at a time.
Prior to deciding what house exactly we were going to build, I continued to insist that I did not care at all about bedrooms, especially the master bedroom. Let me just say that I take all of those words back. I was so very wrong.
We picked this house plan for a long list of reasons that made it absolutely perfect for us. The master bedroom was absolutely not on our list of reasons for picking this house. It has turned out to be one of our favorite parts, surprisingly enough.
Some things we adjusted from the original plans include:
1. Adding a laundry room in the master bedroom. THIS, next two putting two dishwashers in the kitchen and adding a basement, may be the best change we made.
2. Removing the bath tub and putting in a double open shower. There are some funny things about our shower, like that it has a window in it. There are also three shower heads, and a dog washing station. We love how the tile work turned out, and having a large shower makes every morning feel like starting at a spa. It’s awesome. Our dogs still hate being washed, but the dog washing station makes us hate it less.
3. Expanding the balcony. We LOVE the balcony off the master bedroom. We used hog wire for a railing, giving a rustic modern feel that we love. Most of all though, we love the view. With hog wire we can see right through the railing, even when laying in bed. Waking up to the mountain, tree, and river views is amazing!
While this bedroom is not particularly large, it lives large for us, and serves as a perfect retreat within our retreat.
Before our house was even built, I had this idea that I wanted to be able to visually see a pile of stacked wood by a wood stove. There was a series of ideas, but the one that I kind of stuck by was a entertainment center that held the wood, had a mantle on top, and could hold all the unsightly T.V. equipment. Mike was completely baffled by my whole idea, asking my to draw it about four times for him.
By the time we actually were ready to build this, our strategies around problem solving all this house building stuff had greatly improved. Since we do not have a garage yet… we built this right where we build everything. In the middle of our house.
We built this from left over pine and fir, and ordered some hinges and handles on amazon. We stained it with a black gels stain first, then painted it with leftover wall paint. We like the idea of the black coming through as it gets beat up and worn.
You can’t really see it in this picture, but we also topped it with barn wood acquired from our neighbor.
The amount of firewood junk, wire junk, and other junk has greatly reduced with this shelf box thing. I have already been enjoying decorating our barn wood mantle… causing much bewilderment and wonder from my husband. We will post some more pictures once we move on from Christmas.
It likely comes as no surprise to those of you who have actually moved into a house of your own, but we are still moving in! I have to say… being our first house and all… I did not see this coming. I figured by now I would be showing you a perfectly designed house. While we are not quite there, the process of continuing to build while moving in and designing it is moving along.
Our mudroom is functioning well. We have a whole bench plan to implement, after we build the other fifteen things on our list.
Our living room as well is starting to becoming cozy and homey… slowly.
And the office. Oh my the office. It has basically been our “put everything in room when people come over so it makes it look like we actually are not still building the house.” Over the course of the last year, we mostly referred to it as the “tool room”. In the middle of house building, I started my own small business, while continuing to work my regular full time job. There are not words to describe the amount of energy that all took, but operating a small business from a large box shoved in the corner of our living room was less than ideal. Our office is starting to become a useful space, giving big points to our quality of life factor.
Our kitchen is also becoming a more functional space. Our stove is working (yahoo!) and after hosting Thanksgiving I reorganized the kitchen, selling or donating whatever we had double of or don’t use. Organizing and tossing stuff is one of my most absolute favorite hobby’s.
I’ve been in so many houses. Lived and loved in so many houses. Not once have I ever noticed you. It was almost like you never really existed, until you came storming into our lives.
Agreeing to spend our summer with you opened up a large chunk of our house building budget. We were reassured we could handle you.
At 3 AM on a Monday night, with sawdust in my nose and caulking in my hair, I cursed you. I had an adult temper tantrum and said really mean things to you AND about you. I wondered why you ever even existed. Why did we even have to have you?
But then, you finished our house. there was this one Saturday I devoted to strictly sanding and painting you. 14 hours of it to be exact. It was me, you, and the main level of our house. It turns out you did matter, and I underestimated the difference you make.
There are some things to be worked out still. It’s kind of like your the job that never really ends. But one day you will… I think. Despite the rough road we have travelled, I will always remember the summer of 2014 that we spent together.
So if you are reading this blog, you probably like house stuff, and you probably know all about how open shelves are kind of a thing right now. In our last two homes, we have kept this large, cheap, pine shelf thing that we purchased from Fred Meyer. It has lived in our kitchen in every house we have lived in, and it was so clutch. Putting dishes away is SO much easier to do when there is no cabinet door between you and your plates.
And having your wine glasses literally a reach away at any moment, not so bad.
So open shelves seemed like an obvious YES to us when designing our kitchen. Plus, cabinets are like the most shockingly expensive thing, so it helped with the budget as well. So here is our blank canvas, prior to the whole project starting.
The open shelves really morphed into the center point of our kitchen, making it a surprisingly bigger project than anticipated. We started with a counter to ceiling flat white subway tile back splash. I seriously got so many raised eye brows when the idea was shared, but it was one I loved too much to get shaken up by doubters.
Then we found this insanely cool girl who custom welds shelf brackets from iron. Ok. Done and done. We needed those, so we got them.
Then our dear neighbor who is a barn wood dealer sent us home with a scrap barn beam that was headed for his burn pile as part of it had rotted away. Well that part was sawed off, and our shelves came from the remainder of it.
Last but not least, our stainless steel hood and back splash was a whole lot of work, as it had to be custom made. Installing it was no joke, but our trusty can do anything jack of all trades Dalton (an employee of the construction company we worked with) took care of it for us.
All these pieces morphed into what surprisingly became our favorite part of our kitchen. If you are considering open shelving… I can’t say enough good things about it. We are loving it! They are awesomely convenient, and they make unloading the dishwasher WAY easier.
I can get a little OCD about some of these house things. Ever since out gutters went up… oh about six months ago… I cringe every time I see the front of the house. The sharp white lines accentuating a sharp angle of our house that I never liked. That stuff really brings out my can’t move on from it attitude.
In my opinion, totally worth it. The sharp white lines never fit, and removing them made the house look so much more together, and the angles softened just like I hoped. It’s a nice lesson to us in just bucking up and taking the time to do it.
Some pretty fantastic stuff has been going on this fall.
First of all, we legitimately legally moved into our house. We officially have an occupancy permit, and we rolled our construction loan over into a mortgage. Boom.
Second of all, we took about eight weekends where we said farewell to our house on Friday night, and came crawling back late on Sunday. We took trips, ventured all over the place, and spent way more time doing hip twenty something things than normal. We brunched the heck out of Sundays. It. Was. Awesome. So while we have enjoyed acting our age these past two months, we were feeling a little home sick after it all, which in a way was kind of nice.
These past eight weeks we invested an average of two nights a week in late night house work during the weekdays. We agreed to spend the next few weekends home, getting some of our bigger projects tackled.
So here for you, is where we are at now. Our kitchen/living/dining is morphing into a space we actually find ourselves lingering in more and more.
Our bedroom and guest bedroom, also still need quite a bit of work, but are getting there!
I have been taking a little blogging hiatus, to do a little r+r after this last year, the year we will always call the year of the house.
While we have continued to plug away on our house… we are doing so at a much slower pace. We have hit that sweet spot. There is still quite a bit to work on and “wrap up,” but holy ca-moly we are almost done, and are house is so comfortably livable.
Sometimes we go out to dinner TWICE in one week. Sometimes we spend a WHOLE weekend with loved ones, just taking enough time to shower and clean up the house before the next gathering happens. We are making the most of all of our hard work up to this point, and enjoying the almost finished nature of this large project.
We leave today for a friends trip, then I promise to return with updates, pictures, projects, and answers to all your questions that I have so much loved reading and thinking about.
See you soon :-).