Sunday, February 26, 2012

In a holding pattern for the moment

So, the permits went to the city for approval about a week ago. The contractor seems to think it will take about 3 weeks for the city folks to kick them back approved. We'll see. This stuff just takes what it takes......

We did make some progress on acquiring things.
The bathtub is done and in the back of the truck. We'll be unloading it today. The dang thing weighs a TON. The cool thing about it is, when the refinishing guy turned it over, it was stamped 1925 on the bottom. The year of its manufacture. Imagine how many behinds that tub has seen.

Its new faucet is also here and carefully tucked away.

I also ordered a towel warmer for the master bath, and a soap tray that hangs over the tub. (not here yet)

This weekend's project was to figure out which doggie door we want (done and ordered), and to finish up the research on the in-wall ironing board (also done and ordered).

We also spent friday at the seattle home show where I fell in love with a fountain and some really cool benches for the entry. (that's our next project - because the price is right), and some great custom furniture.

Next up, finalizing the kitchen plan - we're still working out the island design - and making the final decision on the cabinets.
Party on!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

let's talk landscaping

While we're waiting for the plans to be prepped for permits, I thought I'd talk about the landscaping.
I know, the house hasn't even been started yet, and the landscaping is the last step, but, it needs to all fit together. You don't want to have to bring a bulldozer in twice to just move rocks, and we also want a cistern to collect rain water for our garden, and that needs to be buried too.

We have a full acre of land, and that's a LOT. When I first started thinking about what our landscape plan would look like, I knew I wanted to incorporate a labyrinth in there somewhere, preferably in the front yard where I could share it with my pilates clients. It is, after all the "pathway" in Pathway Pilates. I also knew I wanted a lot of peonies, a nice veggie garden, a shade garden, room for my little greenhouse, and DH insisted on NO GRASS. (he hates to mow). We did compromise on a little grass, for the doggies you know. Deer are also a HUGE consideration here, since they'll eat anything and all of it.

We chose a local landscape designer, known for her deer proof and low water use plants. I met with the designer, she scoped out the site, listened to my wishes and went back to work up a preliminary plan.
No pics of that, but it didn't quite work. WAY too much grass, according to DH, and the labyrinth in the back in kind of a weird place. I scratched around on it a bit, and came up with this:

Better, and more what I had in mind. The designer came back and we discussed the plan again, as well as some plant choices. After a couple more meetings, and a whole bunch of plants, the plan looks like this, the final plan:

Look ambitious? It is, but we're looking at it as kind of a 3-5 year plan. We'd like to have the hardscaping - paths, veg garden, etc., in place the first year and then just keep building out from there. The great thing about a garden plan is that it's just a suggestion. When you plan the house, the tub pretty much has to go where it is on the plan, or you have trouble. In the garden, you don't like a fern there? plant a hosta, it's all good........
Think it'll work? You have to use a whole lot of imagination.........

Next week, what makes a kitchen.......

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Game on!

We made our contractor very happy this week when we signed on our loan and completed all the paperwork to make the money work.

We celebrated by purchasing a bath tub.

I know, it doesn't look like much right now, but you have to see the POTENTIAL. We bought it from a guy that buys old bathtubs and refinishes them. When this is done it will be all white, inside and out and have a really cool brushed nickel faucet.
We were very excited to get the pedestal. If you look in all the design mags right now, they show tubs with pedestals. A bonus is that you don't have to clean under it.
Our new tub should be done in a couple of weeks and we can go pick up the nearly 600 pound behemoth.

Saturday we went out to look at doors, tile, and lighting. I think I found some great backsplash tile, and we found a great hanging pendant for the entry that will be big enough. Yes, we've already picked out a lot of this stuff, but we're finding the need to adapt along the way. IE: the interior doors that they steered us to are more like a mobile home or an apartment complex. We want nice ones. More money, of course........

Next week, the final landscape plan (our designer was sick this week).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

becoming a designer

First of all, the good news. The money is approved, the bank really DOES love us.
We'll be finalizing the paperwork this week. I've been running around securing course of construction insurance (who knew that even existed?) and finalizing the details so that we can close. The contractor is READY and would start TODAY if he could, but the next step is to submit the permits to the city, which will take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to approve and cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 30K by the time we're all done. (yes, that's 30 THOUSAND dollars for building permits, etc)
No wonder so few folks actually build homes.

I know I promised a landscape plan this week, but it won't be done until monday. Trust me, it's worth the wait.

I thought I'd talk instead about the process of designing the interior of our house. We did work with a real interior designer for a bit, but, honestly, I found it a bit disappointing for $100 per hr. She thought I had a bunch of great ideas and really didn't have much to add. We'll probably consult with someone one more time, but for now, I'm flying solo.

I have found some of the most interesting things on the internet, though....
here are a few.
If you need color inspiration
Design Seeds
For design and decorating ideas
To save your ideas
there's a million others, but those will get you started.

The one thing I also did this week was buy medicine cabinets. These are from Restoration Hardware They were on sale and exactly what we wanted for the master bath. They'll be up over 2 pedestal sinks. His and hers. We'll store them until we're ready, but I love them already!

this week, off to the flower and garden show (LOVE!), closing for the financing, hopefully a finished kitchen plan,a cistern, and shopping for a clawfoot bathtub and front door. PHEW! we're going to be busy. Somehow I think it's going to be that way for a while.