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.

Pantry

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!

Kitchen

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!

Playroom

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

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.

This past week was a short one with Thanksgiving being in there and yet they still managed to make some pretty dramatic changes.

We’ve now got shutters on the exterior of the house.

Exterior with Shutters

They started installing the hood. It’s still missing the top molding.

Kitchen Hood

They’ve also been installing the hardwood floor. The upstairs is mostly finished and they were working¬† the downstairs when we visited.

Wood Floor

Hardwood Flooring

They’ve been working on preparing the master shower for tile for a while and now they’ve actually started laying the tile.

Master Bath Tile

Master Shower Floor Tile

While we were there, we also noticed they added some additional trim to the chair rail to make it more substantial looking.

Chair Rail

Finally, one little snag with the lights. I hate the look of amber glass so when we choose lights we specifically looked for white glass, however the fans that were installed had amber glass. We told Tommy and he’s working to fix it.

Fan with Amber Glass

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?

Stairs

Stair Sconces

Stair Close-up

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

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Monkey Bathroom (Kid's Bathroom)

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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.

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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.

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Left Kitchen Wall

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Front Kitchen Wall

Back Kitchen Wall

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Kitchen Island

Our fireplace, which turned out spectacular!¬† They did a great job laying the stone so that the cable box doesn’t stick out. The still need to add the mantle and seal/paint the soapstone.

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Fireplace

Tommy gave us a lot of nice unexpected touches like the extra wide trim on the doors. If I haven’t mentioned it recently, we really love him and highly recommend him to anyone who is thinking of building a house.

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Door

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Master Shower

This is nice, but I’m wondering if an oil-rubbed bronze front door handle might have looked nicer. I wonder if it’s too late to switch this out.

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Front Door Hardware

This is just some of the many many kitchen cabinets. This is the back wall. The lower part will be a desk and the refrigerators (yes plural … we plan to have a large family) will be to the right.

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Cabinets

Aaaaand, now I’m finally caught up! They are just moving so fast that I’m probably already behind again.

The doors are all in and once the windows next to the fireplace are in the house will be water tight. That’s a pretty big milestone!

This week they worked on a bunch of stuff. Finished the front porch, started the exterior stone (next week they’ll stone the fireplace), installed the doors, added the tray ceilings, finished the stairs, added the sky lights and started the plumbing.

Exterior Stone

Exterior Stone

Beautiful Solid Mahogany Front Door

Beautiful Solid Mahogany Front Door

Close up of Stone

Close up of Stone

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

Smaller Foyer Closet

Smaller Foyer Closet

Master Whirlpool Tub Deck

Master Whirlpool Tub Deck

Attic Stairs with Railings

Attic Stairs with Railings

Great Room Windows and Doors + Start of Rear Deck

Great Room Windows and Doors + Start of Rear Deck

Rear with Skylights and Start of Deck

Rear with Skylights and Start of Deck

Chimney with Caps

Chimney with Caps

Fully Completed Chimney with Scaffolding Removed

Fully Completed Chimney with Scaffolding Removed

And you are now completely up to date. We’re heading over tomorrow so more pictures soon.

We’ve been busy finalizing the kitchen layout and selections. We still need to choose a refrigerator (or two depending on the price) and cabinet knobs but everything else is finalized. It’s going to be absolutely beautiful when it’s done. The kitchen has stiff competition with the great room for my favorite room in the house but I think it’s winning.

If you remember, the floor is going to be:

Solid Oak Flooring

Solid Oak Flooring

The granite counter top is going to be:

Kitchen and Master Bath Granite

Kitchen and Master Bath Granite

Last Friday we met with Charles from Better Living (who was very helpful by the way) to review and finalize the floor plan. While we were there we reviewed our prior selections. We chose the Mid-Continent Maple Villa cabinets. Initially we chose the Sundance finish with a chocolate glaze. After looking at the cabinets with and without the chocolate glaze we decided to not get the glaze. While the glaze was beautiful on the lighter colored wood, it made the darker stain just look dirty. I’m glad we re-looked at it because we saved ourselves a boatload of money by not getting the glaze. Some pictures:

Mid-Continent Maple Villa in Sundance Finish

Mid-Continent Maple Villa in Sundance Finish

Larger sample of the Villa style with the Sundance finish

Larger sample of the Villa style with the Sundance finish

While we were there, we made some tweaks to the layout. Charles suggested staggering the height and depth of some of the corner cabinets to give it some added interest which we thought was a great idea. The height/depth will look similar to this:

Example of variable cabinet heights

Example of variable cabinet heights

We moved some cabinets around, added in some lazy susans and a really nifty recycling center. Here is the layout:

Kitchen Layout

Kitchen Layout

Some drawings to help you visualize:

Back Wall

Back Wall

Side Wall

Side Wall

Side Corner

Side Corner

Front Wall

Front Wall

Island

Island

We also chose the kitchen faucet:

Kohler Forte Kitchen Faucet with Pullout Sprayer

Kohler Forte Kitchen Faucet with Pullout Sprayer

We chose these appliances:

GE Dishwasher

GE Dishwasher

GE Microwave

GE Microwave

GE Electric Range

GE Electric Range

Kenmoore Wall Oven

Kenmoore Wall Oven

Not really kitchen related but we also choose our washer and dryer. These are the appliances I am most excited about. I hate (with a burning passion) our current washer dryer. The washer is OK but the dryer does a HORRIBLE job. We usually have to run everything at least twice to get it dry. Hate!

GE Washer

GE Washer

GE Dryer

GE Dryer

The only thing left to choose is the fridge and the drawer pulls. I REALLY love the look of these knobs:

My Pretty

My Pretty

BUT … Charles made the excellent point that these are going to be very hard to clean. Now I’m not sure what to do. I really love the look and have been dreaming of these knobs since before I even met my husband … but on the other hand … I really hate cleaning. Hmmmm. Your thoughts?