We had a MAJOR snow storm right before Christmas, 2 1/2 feet! Look at all the snow behind the cute baby.

Cute Baby, Handsome Husband, LOTS of Snow

Pretty much the entire city shut down for 3 days. It took over a week before our street was plowed. Our new driveway is steep and windy and most definitely impassable. Tommy plowed it but even then the roads were icy for quite a while. I’m really not looking forward to driving during the winter.

Soooo, the schedule was pushed and we are now closing on January 7th! We’ve started packing and geez do we have a lot of stuff. Moving is definitely more difficult when there are babies involved, but at least this will be the last time we ever move. Yippie! So if you are in the area and are so inclined, we could use some help moving on January 9th for the small stuff and January 16th for the big stuff.

I’ve mentioned before how much we like our builder. Remember way back when they poured the concrete it wasn’t level in the center. Tommy went the extra mile and repoured the entire basement floor with some kind of extra smooth looking concrete. I don’t know the name of it but if you are interested I can find out.

And in other bonuses, the initial bid was for seeding and strawing of the yard (as required by code) only, no landscaping. We did this for two reasons, to save some money and because I’m not a huge fan of what most landscapers use for plants. I hate juniper bushes with the fire of a thousand suns (juniper trees are fine) and I hate climbing plants. We have both in our current house. The climbing plant is the worst. When I first moved in I got rid of all of it, yet each year it turns up again trying to get in between the siding. HATE! Well, as a Christmas present Tommy decided to throw in landscaping for free! We are floored and very grateful. To look a gift horse squarely in the mouth, I requested no juniper and no climbing or spreading plants. Tommy said no problem. I am so glad we choose him.

Enough talk, on to the picture.

First Floor starting from the right side of the house:

Laundry Room

Office, not large but adequate for our needs.


I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but we were able to specify exact shelf heights. We also designed that blank space on the back wall to store our freezer chest. Customization at it’s finest!

Kitchen ... now with appliances!


One of the thoughtful touches that Tommy did was line up the shelves in the glass corner cabinet so that they are hidden by the grill in the window.

Breakfast Room

Great Room

Routed Mantel

The fireplace mantel is a beautiful piece of solid maple. They routed the top and bottom and are going to stain it to match the kitchen cabinets.

Dining Room

Downstairs Bathroom ... Ooooo fancy!


Elegant Stairs

Front Door

Full View of Entry Way

Entry Way Light ... LOVE!

Back Deck. It looks huge.

Back Deck. This is more the actual scale.

Poured Front Porch

Front Walk Way

The light post to the right of the walk way there will eventually be painted black to match the light.

Car Port

One of the things that we planned to do ourselves later was build a detached garage connected to the house by a car port. When we met with Tommy to do the final grading, he said it would be more economical to grade the land and put down crush and run now rather than later since it would be at his cost. Now that it’s there one of the first things on our list to do is build the deck out to it so we can use the side entrance.

Whew that was a lot of picture … Annnnnnd … on to the second floor!


Master Bedroom

I can’t get over how much I love the gray/blue color. It really highlights the creaminess of the stone. I’m so glad I have an interior designer friend or I probably would have chosen a more electric blue.

Master Sinks

HUGE shower. Small child placed for scale.

Master Tub

I also love the tub and may actually use it. We currently have one in our old (pre-owned) house. I have a thing about whirlpool tubs (and especially hot tubs) being a breeding ground for germs and mold and other people skin cells. I think about all yuck that get caught in the jets and get all icked out. This tub will still have skin cells in the jets but at least they will be OUR skin cells.

Our kids bathrooms will the themed. Oh yes they will! The one at the top of the stairs is the Monkey Bathroom. At some point in the future I want to add either some wall paper or a stencil.

Monkey Bathroom

The one at the end of the hall is the fish bathroom. I want to stencil in bubbles. Our house might be fancy but it will also be fun!

Fish Bathroom

Apparently I forgot to take pictures of the two kids bedrooms that we actually plan on using. Here are the ones that are going to be empty for a while.

Back Left Bedroom

Front Left Bedroom

And scene!

We had a MAJOR snow storm right before Christmas. Look at all the snow behind the cute baby.

I use to work on a weather satellite and I joke that it gave me some pull with the weather. In fact when Roderick and I were first dating we liked doing outdoor activities. Often it would threaten rain but by the time our date rolled around it was beautiful out. Unfortunately it looks like my pull is waning. Tommy’s been trying to do the final grading for almost a month now and it’s just been too muddy.

They are more than making up for the lack of exterior activity with interior progress. Behold a tour of the highlights.

All of the tile floors were laid but still need to be grouted. I can’t remember if I mentioned it but another nice little thing that we’re doing is using an epoxy grout which is easier to clean. They are also laying it so as to minimize the amount of grout. I love the look of tile but hate hate HATE cleaning it. It cost about $200 more per room but if it performs like I expect, it will be well worth the cost.

Monkey Bathroom Tile

Laundry Room Tile

Fish Bathroom Tile

They’ve started installing the bathroom hardware too.

Downstairs Bathroom Tile and Hardware

They’ve installed most of the lighting and it looks fantastic. The day I visited was cold and dreary but the house was so warm and inviting (even unfinished) because of the bright lights. I’m an admitted lightaholic. The brighter the better! I think we’ve got 60 watt bulbs in all of them. The huge chandelier in the foyer hasn’t been installed yet and I just can’t wait to see what it will look like.

Dining Room Light

Diningroom Transoms

They’ve also installed the fireplace mantle, a beautiful piece of solid maple. They are going to route it in place and then stain it to match the kitchen cabinets.

Great Room Fan and Fireplace Mantle

Kitchen Lights

Kitchen Hardware

And the piece de resistance the stairs! I love love LOVE LOVE the metal rails! They are beautiful, they are sturdy, and best of all they didn’t cost us anything extra. Have I mentioned that we love our builder?


Stair Sconces

Stair Close-up

I think paint and grout color were the two hardest things to choose. Tommy will paint 4 rooms custom colors for us, and we get to choose the color that all the rest of the walls will be painted. I think white walls are so boring so eventually, all the rooms in our house will be painted. Our current house has a room of every color except black and we want the new house to be just as fun. We decided to let them paint the bathrooms because there is sooooo much cutting in involved. We’ve painted many of the rooms in our current house. Roderick has a very steady hand, me … not so much. I’m a big fan of tape.

Earlier this week I met with a friend who is an interior designer. We had a general idea of the color we wanted and she helped me pick the right shade. It makes me feel better that we got the approval of someone who knows what they are doing. I really love color so I have a tendency to pick very vibrant shades. Plus what it looks like on a tiny sample and what it looks like on a huge wall are often totally different.

The master bathroom will have a warm tan tile and we thought a dark slate blue/gray would compliment it well.

Master Bath Tile

Master Bath

I found an awesome soap pump at Target (the fish spin around the bottle) so one of the kids bathrooms will have a fish theme. We were thinking blue, but our friend Amy suggested a more blue green so that it won’t look little boy blue. I think this color will work well with the theme but still work when the kids out grow a theme.

Fish Bathroom Accessories


Fish Bathroom

I’ve been eyeballing this at Target for years now. I love monkeys and our sons room would have been monkey themed if I could have found a crib set we liked. We chose a nice muted green that I think will also grow with the room.

Monkey Bathroom Accessories


Monkey Bathroom Color

Of all the colors we had to choose I think the main color was the hardest. The foyer is two stories tall and is only ever going to be painted once, I want to make sure the color is right. We want a warm neutral yellow. We chose this shade, and Amy assured me it was a good choice … but I’m still a little hesitant. One little sample against the wall looks really yellow, but I think if the entire wall is that color it will be very neutral. What are your thoughts … lighter, tanner, darker, paint it fuchsia?


Main Wall Color


Main Color Closeup

We also choose a beautiful neutral brown for the downstairs bathroom but I neglected to take any pictures of it. The downstairs bathroom is smallish and I want to create an intimate feel. We’ve got to decide fast because they are starting to paint on Monday! Like I’ve said before, they are moving FAST!


If you are wondering about the title, I was a music geek in high school (now I’m just a regular geek) and was in the musical Joseph and the Technicolor dream coat. I still remember the lyrics to most of the songs.

It was red and yellow and green and brown
And scarlet and black and ochre and peach
And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
And cream and crimson and silver and rose
And azure and lemon and russet and grey
And purple and white and pink and orange

They were installing the cabinets today. The granite will be installed later next week. So exciting!


Monkey Bathroom (Kid's Bathroom)


Fish Bathroom (Also for the kids)

I think the master sinks are going to be a little tight with two people. We’ll both have plenty of room to use the sinks but I’ll have to move if Roderick wants to open his drawers. It’s what it has to be to fit in the bathroom so meh.


Master Bath Cabinets

Presenting the kitchen! You’d think that adding cabinets would make the kitchen feel smaller but instead it makes it feel huge! We have so many cabinets, if we ever acquire enough stuff to fill all these cabinets, please force me to have a yard sale. We are not stuff people. Of course I said that for our current house too and our cabinets are currently filled to over flowing with baby bottles/plates/bowls/sippy cups so who knows. They were still in the process of installing these and the hood hasn’t even been started yet. I can’t wait to see the finished product.


Left Kitchen Wall


Front Kitchen Wall

Back Kitchen Wall


Kitchen Island

We went to see the house this past weekend and they’ve finished the stone. It looks really good. I love the detail they gave to the windows and doors. The stone turned out darker than I expected but it’s really beautiful. They also finished the brick for the basement fireplace, all the tray ceilings and the window seat, plus all the showers are in place. The master tub was delivered and sitting in our kitchen. I wanted to get a picture of me in the tub in the kitchen but R thought it might damage the tub. He’s no fun. 🙂

Stone Facade Section

Stone Facade Section

Full House with Stone

Full House with Stone

Close Up of Overhead Window

Close Up of Overhead Window

Close up of Side Window

Close up of Side Window

Close up of Front Door (Solid Mahagony, sooooo pretty)

Close up of Front Door (Solid Mahagony, sooooo pretty)

Close up of stone over door

Close up of stone over door

Stone from side so you can see the variegated depths

Stone from side so you can see the variegated depths

Window Seat / Toy Box in Playroom

Window Seat / Toy Box in Playroom

Basement Fireplace

Basement Fireplace

First Floor Bathroom Shower

First Floor Bathroom Shower

Bathtub / Shower Unit (Same for both kids bathrooms)

Bathtub / Shower Unit (Same for both kids bathrooms)

Master Shower (R's hands are stretched as far as they can and notice he's not touching the walls!)

Master Shower (R's hands are stretched as far as they can and notice he's not touching the walls!)

Back of House with Deck Skeleton

Back of House with Deck Skeleton

Side of House with the door now installed

Side of House with the door now installed

Next week the shingles go on and the siding starts to go up. We haven’t decided on a siding color (OK, I haven’t decided on a siding color, R likes a really dark brown so we’ll see) that that’s our top priority along with the Master Shower accent tile. We also noticed that the deck band board doesn’t go all the way to the front of the house so we have to ask Tommy about that.

Something funny to note since we’re focusing on bathrooms, no bedroom is more than 5 steps away from a bathroom.

Another snag, this one our fault. We have cats and planned a whole cat area in the basement in which the cats would access it through a hole in the basement stair rise … BUT … we have fat cats and after looking at the rise of the stairs I’m afraid they won’t fit. We’ll have to do some thinking and see what we can come up with.

We’ve been a selecting machine lately!

After MUCH deliberation on the stone for the exterior center of the house and the fireplace in the great room, we’ve decided on the Owens Corning Drystack Ledgestone in Chardonnay. This picture makes it look much more pink that it really is. Next we need to figure out the exterior color.

Cultured Stone Drystack Ledgestone in Chardonnay

Cultured Stone Drystack Ledgestone in Chardonnay

We wanted the downstairs bathroom to look extra nice since that’s probably the one we’ll use most often. When we were checking up on Tommy’s references, we visited their house and saw they used a furniture style piece for their bathroom sink. We’ve been looking around for a while and finally found one from Kirklands that we liked (plus it was on sale … score!):

Downstairs Bathroom Sink

Downstairs Bathroom Sink

Finally, we chose the tub for the Master Bath. We have a whirlpool tub in our current bathroom and have used it a total of once. I can’t get over the ick factor of other peoples dead skin cells stuck in the jets where I can’t clean. I got special cleaners and ran it through the jets but still, ick. Plus water sits in the jets and you get mold. Ewwww. We were looking into getting an airjet but after seeing how much they cost decided to get another whirlpool. I was leaning towards just getting a soaking tub but R thought that the kids would enjoy the jets. At least with a brand new tub it’s only our dead skin cells re-circulating. Anyway, now that you’ve got that image in your head 🙂

KOHLER White Acrylic Drop-In Jetted Whirlpool Tub

KOHLER White Acrylic Drop-In Jetted Whirlpool Tub

We also met with Tommy recently to go over the lighting plan (which I’ll post later). While he was here he discussed the option of conditioning the attic. We had planned to finish it at some point far in the future and were going to condition it then. Tommy said that by conditioning it now it’s better for whatever we store up there, plus it’s better for the roofing tiles. Since we’re doing a geo-thermal system it won’t cost very much to do it so we told him to go ahead. He’s also going to buy the dry wall for us and stack it in the attic for later use. This will save us a bunch of work walking it up two flights of stairs.

Since we’re saving a little money here and there by coming in under budget in selections, I think we’ll be able to afford to put a small deck on the back! Eventually R plans on building a nice large deck back there but that won’t be for a loooong while. Tommy is putting a propane hook-up for the grill and we want to take advantage of that sooner rather than later. It’s still not finalized but fingers crossed!

This morning we met with Tommy to go over the site plan … and the ENTIRE rest of the day we spent picking out stuff. I think my brain is picked over! Should I get a 6 eggs or half a dozen? …. uhhhh … I don’t know, I can’t decide! :p

So far here is what we got. Have an opinion, we’d love to hear it.

First we picked out the exterior brick. I wanted a lighter color but R wanted a darker color. It was more important to him than to me so here it is with a exterior color similar to what we’re going for.


Next we picked out cabinets. They are all made by Mid-Continent and have all the bells and whistles. Dove tail drawers, soft closures, solid maple wood doors, plywood exteriors. Very spiffy.

For all of the Kid’s Bathrooms we chose the Princeton style, Maple doors in the wheatfield finish.


They are going to have standard brushed nickle handles.


The top is going to be a beautiful black marble that has a hint of blue in it. It’s called Verde Butterfly.



For both the Master Bathroom and the Kitchen we chose the Villa style, Maple Doors in the sundance finish with a chocolate glaze.


We want drawer pulls similar to this but the builder doesn’t carry them by default so I have some deal hunting to do.We chose a beautiful dark granite that has some gold flecks in it for the top. I really do think this is the most beautiful granite I’ve ever seen. I really hope it looks as good in large quantities as it does in the sample.


Here it is all put together. Both the cabinets and the flooring are a little bit lighter in person than they are in this picture.

IMG_4427For the wood flooring, we chose factory-finished oak in a warm natural color. This sample board has the 2 3/4 strip but we are getting the wider 3″ strips. This is very similar (if not the same exact thing) as what we have installed in our current house. Here’s a close up:


After that it was on to choosing tile and grout. Choosing the tile wasn’t that difficult but choosing the grout sure was. Who knew there were so many colors of grout to choose from. I think there were about 20 different colors of white. I’m still not sure we choose correctly. All the flooring tile is 12 x 12 and going to be laid on the diagonal.

For the laundry room we choose Riccetti Vitruvius Atrium which is a ceramic tile that looks like tumbled marble. Tumbled marble is beautiful but because of the tumbling it is weak and breaks easily so it’s not so good for flooring. VA dirt is red clay so we chose a red-tinged tile to try to hide some of that. I think we choose Antique White as the grout.


For the kids bathrooms we choose this tile with Latte grout … I think. Something neutral that will hopefully hide dirt well.


Here is the kids bathroom put together. The wood is what the cabinets will look like.


We didn’t really see anything we liked for the Master Bathroom so we headed up to Floors R Us or For the Floors or something like that. Whatever it was, we picked up a few more sample boards.

After that it was up to Luck Stone to meet our friend Patrick. The center section of the house is going to be dry stack ledge stone. Owens Corning makes a cultured stone that we wanted to use but Tommy only had a sample board of the grayer version of the stone. We couldn’t decide between the Chardonnay or the Cedar (or maybe even the Caramel) from the online pictures. Luck Stone has a larger sample of the Chardonnay which turned out to have a lot more red in it than the picture online showed.

IMG_4447So Patrick is going to order sample boards of the Cedar and Caramel for us to look at. If you are thinking of going with Luck Stone, shoot me off an email and I’ll give you Patrick’s contact info. He’s really good.

After that we hit Kirklands. We are looking for a furniture type sink for the downstairs bathroom but didn’t see anything we really liked. The bathroom is right off the playroom and is the only downstairs bathroom so I foresee it getting used often. We didn’t see anything that we thought would hold up to that kind of abuse. If you know of any place to get sturdy furniture type vanities let me know.

After that we headed back to the selection room to go over the master bathroom tiles. We found some absolutely beautiful tumbled marble tiles. They are so beautiful, R is going to have a really hard pulling me out of the shower in the morning.

The flooring, this is the same style as we’re using in the laundry room but a lighter shade:


The main tile for the shower and the bathtub. The shower is going to have 4 x 4 tile and the bathtub surround is going to have 6 x 6 tile.


The tile used for the shower floor and part of the detail:IMG_4456

The whole sample board. The railing tile is going to be used around the tub. The accent piece is on the side.IMG_4459 I worked up a couple of photoshopped images of what the shower will look like with the trip but I can’t decide. Which option do you like better?

Option 1:                                                         Option 2:

Triangle Trim                                               Barrel Trim


RailCenter <– Option 3: Rail Trim

We initially picked out option 1, but I’m leaning more towards options 2 or 3.

And last but not least because there are still a bunch of things we need to choose … we chose bathroom fixtures.

All sink faucets will be:


The whirlpool tub faucet will be:


We picked shower fixtures also but ended up not taking a picture of them.

This is one option for the kitchen sink faucet but we’re not loving it. I’m going to see what else I can find.


One big thing on our to do list is pick the exterior color, but we need to wait on the stone to do that. We’re leaning towards one of these colors with white windows and trim. The front door will be a beautiful mahogany door with a dark walnut finish. The shutters will be black and I think all the exterior french doors will be white … we’re still deciding that last one.


Light Beige

IMG_4466Dark Beige (We’re more leaning towards this one)

Whew! I was exhausted picking all that out and now I’m exhausted writing all that up. Please let us know what you think, we probably won’t listen to you … but then again we just might. 🙂