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. 🙂


Before I met R, he had been working on a home design for years. It was a very well thought out house, but it was entirely his house. After we got married we scrapped that plan and together designed a fantastic plan. It was huge, nearly 5500 square feet, with a large two story family room and a two story massive fireplace to go with it.

We sent out that design to 4 builders and got their bids back. We were expecting it to be around $80 per sq ft to build, it’s closer to $120 per sq ft. Their bids were all WAY out of our price range. We decided to redesign again and cut about 1000 sq ft.

Over a one month period we spent every free second of our time drawing out a new floor plan. I am so glad that we couldn’t afford the 5500 sq ft plan because this plan is so much better. Sadly, we had to cut the two story fireplace. However, the new plan flows much better than the old plan. It is still a good size house at around 4100 sq ft.

Our requirements for the house:

  • Must have a large kitchen with lots of open counter space. I cook a lot and I want a useable kitchen.
  • Must have a walk in pantry. When I bought my first house, having a pantry hadn’t even crossed my mind. As a result, our food is stored all over the kitchen and sometimes in the garage. It’s a HUGE pain in the butt.
  • Must have an open floor plan so that you can see from the kitchen into the family room. I’m in the kitchen most of the time and I don’t want to be isolated from the rest of the family.
  • Must have the laundry room on the first floor. I know lots of people like it on they second floor but they are nuts. I understand there is less carrying of clothes up and down stairs, but I would never hear when the laundry is done so I can start a new load, plus I fold in front of the TV so I’d have to haul it downstairs anyway (seeing as we only have one TV).
  • No carpets allowed, they stain so easily and are very hard to keep clean.
  • As little grout as possible. I HATE grout with a passion. Hate isn’t a strong enough word, I entirely and completely utterly despise grout. It gets so dirty and is hard to clean.
  • Must have large shower in master bathroom. Our current house has a tiny tiny shower where you hold out your elbows and touch the sides. The new house will have a 6 ft by 6 ft shower. I can extend my arms as far as they will go and still not be able to reach the other side. Plus the shower will have awesome jets and sprays. I think this is what I’m most excited for.
  • Must have wood burning fireplace. We have a gas fireplace now and while it’s nice it’s just not the same as a wood burning fireplace.
  • Must have walk up attic. Our current place has one and while that wasn’t a consideration when I bought this house, I’ve grown very fond of it. It’s so much easier than trying to fit things through a little hole in the ceiling.
  • Must have lots of windows and light. Our current house wasn’t angled into the sun and there for some of the rooms are somewhat dark.
  • Must have screened in porch. My father’s house has one and in the summer it’s delightful to be able to go outside but still be in the shade and not have to worry about bugs.

So here are our finalized plans: