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3.30.2016

It's Moving Week!

It's finally here...
Today, escrow closed and Mom got the keys to the new house!

We popped the cork on a split of bubbly and toasted her new digs, 
our new adventure, and spoke a blessing over the house.
(that blessing has a story, and I'll be sharing it in a later decorating post)
We also offered a heartfelt 'Thank You' to Dad, for making sure Mom was taken care of
so that she could make sound decisions - like buying this house and selling the old one.
I am so grateful that he made sure she'd be financially okay without him.

...and then we walked around the house, and smiled, and talked about decorating.
 I just can't say enough good things about Pardee Homes. Seriously.

The sales rep we worked with, Linda B, was a ray of sunshine straight from the heart of Texas. The woman has a way with words and her sweet voice that gets things DONE.
There were no major issues with the house, but there were a few things along the way that we noticed and asked about. Linda clarified the process for us, and handled any glitch with grace and efficiency. The company addressed them immediately  - done, and done.

Our project manager/supervisor, whom our designer Lissa dubbed 'Super Scott', was simply amazing. The man was on top of EVERYTHING and when a glitch did come up, there he  was, making sure things were up to snuff in record time. I don't think he ever goes home.

Even our customer service rep, Chip H (He told us that his wife's name is Julie, so he calls her JuJu, instead of JoJo! Chip and JuJu!) was on totally top of things. As we did the walk through on Monday, Chip tagged little things like paint drips, a dirty window, some grout visible on the floor tiles... and I swear to you, within half an hour there was another CS agent - Alan - on site doing all of the pickup work! By the time we finished the walk through paperwork, the pickup list was done! The one thing we missed was a crack in one of our gorgeous floor tiles - but Alan caught it and called the tiler, and as we walked out of the house, the tile guy was already replacing the tile! This level of customer service is phenomenal anywhere, but from a production builder? Color me VERY impressed!
So now, we're packing the last boxes so that when the Bekins moving crew arrives at 'the old house' on Wednesday morning, everything is ready for them to load up. They'll be packing up the kitchen, too, because we trust them to pack it well for transport. And Thursday, they'll deliver to and unload into the new house!

Speaking of that unloading part...
I've been watching Joanna Gaines carefully, to master a maneuver she does that I have always had trouble with: 'The Designer Point'. I've never been good at it. I just jump in and grab things and start moving them myself. Well, not any more! I'm going to utilize 'The Designer Point' - paired with a smile, of course! - to direct the crew as THEY move the heavy stuff: "Yes, that table will go right over there in the corner of the living room... oh, the other corner. A bit closer to the window, maybe? Yes! Thank you!" ;)

3.24.2016

On The Surface...

 One of the best things about a brand new house?
You get to pick EVERY surface and option!

I shared recently that Mom is an avid fan of HGTV's Fixer*Upper
and of Joanna Gaines' decor style.
Mom's catching the fever and has made decor choices that will give the house
a wide-open farmhouse/beachhouse feel with some industrial touches...
and her palette choices are warm neutrals with texture.

We have more texture to add in the future, but this is what the builder will supply:

*The kitchen counter tops and island [top left]
are a tan, brown, black and white speckled granite.

*The wall paint [middle left] is tan/sand
(almost exactly what she has in the current house, and what I had in my island home).

*All of the trimwork is a crisp white.

*The counter tops [tiny white square]
in baths and laundry are solid white Silestone.

*The cabinets [top right] in kitchen, baths, & laundry room are solid white raised panel.
 .
Then there's the FLOOR





Mom wanted all of the flooring to be the same throughout the house - 
that was the approach in the model of our plan,
and it really made the space look bigger because the rooms don't have different flooring.
We knew from prior experience that there would be no Pergo. No bamboo. 
No hardwood designs on pressed mdf. And NO CARPET.

Which left real hardwood, or tile.
Only the builder won't put hardwood in baths, laundry, and kitchen.

Tile - the only option left - was very unappealing.

Until we found something called 'wood look tile'. 
Skeptical, but intrigued, we went to the showroom for our 'Options Design Appointment' 
with a list... and about a million questions.
The lovely designer there pulled about a dozen samples of 'wood-look tile'...
and my Mom IMMEDIATELY chose this one:
 Do you hear angels singing???! ;)

It looks more like 'real' hardwood than some of the hardwood samples.
It's the perfect tone - warm, not gray, not yellow.
It coordinates with the warm tones in the granite counter tops,
and there's even light beige/white in the pattern to match the cabinets and walls.
The grout (not shown in the photo above) is a medium-tone found in the grain, 
so the planks will not have dark lines separating them.
It will look for all the world like a rustic hardwood floor throughout the entire house!

It's very VERY Magnolia Homes/Fixer*Upper style, don'tcha' think?!

Last week, the contractors installed that tile in the house.
We approved the tile in the showroom and they started laying it the next day.
We gave them three days and then we drove out to take a peek... 
they were still laying tile on day four, but the crew let us in!
I screamed when I saw it. I really, honestly screamed.out.loud. 

I. Love. This. Floor.!
It is so far beyond perfect - and it wasn't even grouted or cleaned yet!
I just know that when I walk in there with Mom next Monday for the walk through,
I'll scream again. I may need a defibrillator, to be honest.

Once we are in the house, we'll be making plans for the backyard -
and Mom is thinking that she wants this tile to continue out there to connect the spaces.
We'll be checking on the logistics of that in weeks to come!

In the meantime, we're full steam ahead with packing and prep.
After inspection, we'll do our walk through, get the keys, and move in...
IN ONE WEEK!

shared online:

One Project Closer | Creativity Unleashed

3.16.2016

Plan B. No, Really.....

...welcome back to the continuing story (saga?!) of 'project HOMEWARD' !

You've seen this image of the plot plan, site plan, and floor plan of our new house in a past post:
I have an image file that's been filling up with photos of the build in progress,
from bare dirt to complete house and everything in between
(I'll create a slideshow and share it when it's all done!)
but with our walk through and delivery date just TWO WEEKS AWAY,
I thought I'd share a bit of the detail about our new house...
 This is our floor plan...
'Plan B', according to the builder's schematic: Lot 101. Plan 1-B.

(some of the options are noted there; more about them in the future...
and let me tell ya', selecting all of those options is daunting - but FUN!)

The house is wonderful and spacious,
 and there's one particular thing we love most: NO STAIRS!
There are days when we literally drag our poor selves up three levels to the bedrooms in the current house, groaning and wincing in pain, and we don't like that reminder that we are old. Not one bit.
So this one-level house is a dream! 

The layout of the house is more than perfect for the two of us and our lifestyle...
it's the SECOND reason we both fell in love with it.

(along with the 'no stairs' thing!)

There are two bedrooms located at the front of the house, 
and two more bedrooms (including the Master) located at the back.
This gives us both privacy and space for our own activities, offices, etc.
in addition to the main living spaces that we'll share.
The rooms at the front of the house will be my bedroom and 'sitting room/office'
where I run my business (and BLOG!), 
while Mom gets the luxurious master suite at the back.
The room is so huge that she plans to put her desk/office in there, as well.

The 'guest room' is also going to serve as our craft room...
We'll set up the sewing machine there, have the closet for storage, 
and I am going to build at least one work table on wheels
that can fit over the bed, but easily move out of the way for guests.
That way, it's not a room that is used only once a month... it's used a LOT!

We thought about making the laundry room 'multi purpose' and putting the craft table there,
but there's already gonna' be enough going on in that room on a daily basis.
The guest room is a more workable plan.
(We also have a workbench for the garage for heavy-duty projects.)

For us, this use of the space just makes sense.
We're re-thinking not just how our existing  furnishings and decor  will be re-used,
but also how the house's square footage can best be utilized for our every day life.

Even if you've lived in your house for YEARS, you can do this...

look at the space with a fresh eye and stop letting past use determine future use.


Is your big dining room a catch-all for junk, but never used as an eating space - 

while your tiny den is the gathering place during meals to watch TV?
Switch 'Em! 

Move the comfy sofas and the TV into the bigger room,
add a huge coffee table at a higher height, and eat in comfort while you watch the game.
Put the dining room table and chairs in the tiny den for homework or games.

Why NOT? There are no 'room police' who will report you.
There are no 'home decor rules' which CAN'T be broken
(even though hundreds of internet articles SAY there are)...

it's YOUR house. Use the space the way YOU want to!
Make your OWN Plan B!


Our other Fave Features in the new house?

*The laundry room is IN THE HOUSE, not the garage!
After 36 years of schlepping laundry to and from the garage, my Mom is THRILLED about this! 
*Speaking of garages.... it's a 3 car garage! BOTH of our cars will fit inside
(which is something that hasn't happened at either of our homes.... EVER....)
plus a one-car garage space that will house shelving for storage of all the party stuff. 
*There is a covered loggia / patio off the dining room,
which expands our entertaining space. Did I mention we LOVE throwing parties?!
*The main living spaces are big, wide, and open with lots of sunlight.
No more tiny kitchen shut off from the party!
*The kitchen has more than THREE TIMES the counter space and storage
as the one my Mom has had for the past 36 years (which was built in 1972).
She's excited about her 'Party-Planning Headquarters'!
*Off the kitchen, there's a hallway. In the hallway, there's a spot for a WINE BAR!
(We will be located in wine country, after all...
and having lots of parties. Did I mention that?)

There's a lot more to love, and you'll be hearing about that in my upcoming posts.
Next Post? Our choices for the surfaces!
(They are installing the flooring right now, as I type this, and we hope to see it TOMORROW!)

3.10.2016

Out with the Old....


Everyone knows the golden rule of selling a house...
no, it's not 'location, location, location'.
It's 'neutralize, neutralize, neutralize'!

A construction crew came last week to remove the trellis wall treatments
and to paint over the mural in the downstairs powder room.

Years ago (90? 91?) I painted a mural of a vineyard scene in it,
and Mom had Dad install white trellising to the other walls and ceiling
then hung silk grapevines and grape clusters from it.
Her family room and patio had a 'wine country' theme, and this room played off of that.

In 2013, I redecorated the house to reflect my parent's love of Hawaii
(while they were vacationing in Hawaii!)
and painted a new beach scene on the powder room wall.

(you can see that project in my Thrifty Weekend Makeover series!)

When the contractor finished, it was beige. Just...... beige.
 But it's a small room and it needs to 'look bigger' (???) to prospective buyers
....so this is what we do. We 'neutralize'.
We remove every vestige of our personalities from the house 
so that prospective buyers can 'picture themselves living here' -
as opposed to them seeing exactly how WE have lived here.
This is what real estate agents tell clients now: Erase yourself from the property.

Meanwhile the encroaching stacks of empty folded boxes are dwindling
and the stacks of packed boxes is growing in every single room.
Surfaces are empty, spaces are starting to echo,
and it really looks like we are moving at last.
.

It's gonna' get harder.
Not just the physical work of lifting and hauling,
or the emotional work of sorting and purging,
but the emotional impact of finding hidden memories
in rooms once so filled with life.

As excited as Mom and I are about this move, the new house, 
the new opportunities and a bright shiny next chapter that this move brings,
there's a lot of history here in these rooms.
History that is happy and joyful, and history that is sad and heartbreaking.
Our family's happiness and sorrow soaks the atmosphere,
and as the rooms empty out, 
those memories echo in our hearts.

I can't look at the staircase without seeing generations of our family -
my parents, my siblings, our children, my children's children -
posed on it, year after year, for photos...
And that's just one memory.

HOME means so many things...

fortunately we carry home with us in our memories no matter where we go.

3.06.2016

Coffee (table), Anyone?


I've been inspired by Chairish,
and have decided to participate in their ongoing Coffee Table Challenge!
The premise is for home decor bloggers to create a style sheet / look
selecting a coffee table and accessories from the goods available on their site.
This leaves more than ample room for personal expression, trust me -
they offer up fresh furnishings, art, accessories, decor, rugs, and more
in over 20 style categories including VINTAGE 
(and you know how my heart just does a pitter pat at THAT!)

So... taking my love of vintage goods and industrial / farmhouse / beach cottage style,
thinking of things that I have owned before or still have on hand,
I pulled items from several categories and created this look
to reflect my own personal style:

Now let me break it down for you:
[if you click on each caption, you'll go straight to the listing on Chairish]






Vintage Galvanized Pot        (plant not available at Chairish) 


If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm 
a flea market, vintage show, thrift shop loving girl - AND I like free stuff.

That being said, what I saw on Chairish was comparable in quality and price 
to shows that specialize in authentic vintage & antique items.
I'd buy that table, the galvie pot, the silver tray, and the vintage books in a HEARTBEAT.
(if, um, I weren't currently packing and moving, that is!)

But let's be honest here... if this was in my home
* I'd replace the carved wood seashell with a huge REAL conch shell.
(...and a big squishy Sweet Sweater Pumpkin in the fall!)
*I'd use a low round basket woven from seaweed instead of the foundry mold, 
and fill that with real seashells from my huge collection - instead of glass floats.
(Maybe adding a nest and wooden eggs in the spring....)
*The green plant could morph into daffies in spring, geraniums in summer, 
leaves in fall, and pine boughs in winter.
*And if I talked myself out of buying the huge glass candle lantern,
I'd place a big white pillar candle inside a tall clear glass flower vase.

Those changes would give me a comparably stylish look for less,
by making use of items I already have - mixed in with the new purchases.

... that's what DIY decor is all about:
finding inspiration and style everywhere, then combining elements
 to create YOUR own personal style statement.
I'm glad to know that Chairish is a place that can help me do just that!

i was invited to participate in this challenge by Chairish. i received no compensation.

shared online:
one project closer | creativity unleashed