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nginx

Done and done: The final house post

OK, so it’s probably not really, truly the final house post. After all, houses — like life — are constantly in flux, and our house is no exception. Besides the fact that our basement remains unfinished, which means that this blog may indeed still have legs, this post is meant to show the culmination of all of our hopes and dreams, planning and adjusting of our new home.

So here goes. And just as an FYI, we based much of the house’s design on the Nancy Meyers film “Something’s Gotta Give.” Anyone who knows me well also knows that I’m a Diane Keaton fan, and this movie showcases her in all her quirky glory, as well as Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Frances McDormand and Amanda Peet. The house is a character in and of itself and has inspired many knockoffs. Ours is just the latest of many but one, I feel, that will stand the test of time. We love it. Coastal in Kansas — enjoy the view!

The new pad
Home, sweet home
Entry and stairs
Entry and stairs
Great room, a la "Something's Gotta Give"
Great room, a la “Something’s Gotta Give”

Great room and hall

Great room and hall

Dining room
Dining room

Buffet

Buffet

"The Girl From Nantucket"
“The Girl From Nantucket”
Breakfast area

Breakfast area

Kitchen

Kitchen

Stainless steel niche

Stainless steel niche

Pantry

Pantry

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Master bath

Master bath

Master bathroom

Master bathroom

Shower niches

Shower niches

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Bedroom 3

Back hall

Back hall

The half bath, not shown here, is one of my favorite spaces — complete with soft nautical wallpaper (the print, not the texture) — but trying to snap a decent photo of that just didn’t happen. Same goes for the laundry room, the office and the Jack-n-Jill bathroom spaces. So if you know me in the real world, you’ll just have to come by for a cocktail and take a gander in person.

So that’s about it for now. Please feel free to ask me any house-related questions and I’ll do my best to answer. We had a blast building from scratch and highly recommend both the process and our builder, Nies Homes. Salut!

SK

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Penultimate: The last post before the last post

I know it’s been awhile. I know it because I’ve felt it. I’ve been told it. And it’s been bothering me.

I haven’t posted anything about the new house for a while because I think it’s about time to call it a day on the new-house thing. But I’ve been waiting to post the last entry until we’ve received a few more key pieces of furniture. And, lo and behold, that day is about to come.

First of all, we finally had the last of our lights installed: a bathroom flush mount, our lovely dining room chandelier and our two island pendants. We also had the electrician add a couple of electrical outlets in the floor now that our furniture is positioned; now, we can turn on a table or floor lamp and actually have light. Here’s a photo of the two island pendants, in satin nickel (love them):

More light is good

More light is good

We ordered two leather chairs for the great room, which will replace the IKEA chair I got when I lived in California a few decades ago. It started out as a blue chair but has since been recovered in a soft brown fabric. It’s still a good chair, just not a good fit for our new space. So downstairs it will go as soon as these new ones arrive  tomorrow (aack! so excited).

We also ordered — drum roll, please — a new dining room table. Since we’ve been married, we’ve had my folks’ old table, which I had serious sentimental attachment to until the chairs literally fell apart. The set, which had already survived being handed down to my oldest sister, had seen better days. The table was worn and scratched and the chairs had been patched together multiple times. They just couldn’t survive another get-together without someone getting seriously hurt. So we were done with the whole lot.We also had my husband’s folks’ table and chairs. They, too, have weathered their fair share of storms, and several of those chairs are toast.

While in our old house, we bought a ’50s-style dinette set with white melamine top and black chairs online from The Bean Bag Store, a groovy shop in Minneapolis. Our original intention was that the set would someday go in our new house’s basement to be used as a card or craft table. And that will still happen; but for now, that is functioning as our everyday kitchen table, and it actually looks pretty good in the space. So this new table is a dark wood to complement the dining room. It’s also small enough to fit the space (I can talk to that point another day) but extends to seat a few more people when we need additional space.

We also ordered chairs to go with the table (handy, yes?). They didn’t come with the table, which we ordered from some random Internet store. We ordered them from Crate & Barrel, and they should also arrive tomorrow. Yippee! They are brown leather — four side chairs and two arm chairs:

Crate & Barrel Lowe Chocolate Leather Side Chair

Crate & Barrel Lowe Chocolate Leather Side Chair

Crate & Barrel Lower Chocolate Leather Arm Chair

Crate & Barrel Lower Chocolate Leather Arm Chair

And to make things even more exciting, we ordered some Sunbrella® outdoor cushions in a pretty blue for the chairs on our deck. Those puppies should be arriving any day now.

So — the next time I post, which will be very soon (I promise!), will be the last major post about the house. We’ve had such a fantastic time with the build process and highly recommend Nies Homes as the builder.

SK

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Gracias for the grass

We have grass! We don’t have dirt — we have grass!

We’ve been biding our time, waiting for the heat wave to break before having sod laid down for our new lawn. Typically, our neighborhood requires both grass and trees to be put in within a month of closing, but the crazy-hot weather and lack of rain prompted our landscaping company to suggest waiting. So we did.

Wait no more — I left for work Thursday, leaving a house surrounded by dirt. I came home after work to a house surrounded by a fescue blend. Woot, woot!

Before grass

No grass

Grass

Grass

SK

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Command center

What with the Mar Curiosity rover making headlines left and right, I thought it would be a good idea to take a cue from NASA: Employ a command center.

Yes, folks, our new home now functions via a command center located by the back door. So when we’re about to walk out of the house for the day, we can look over at our dry-erase board and make sure that we don’t miss an important meeting or forget to pick up that extra bottle of Crianza. We can check out the cork board that houses school calendars, ensuring that our kiddos are wearing tennies on P.E. days and taking school projects with them as requested. And we can proudly display one piece of art created by each child. (One. Let’s not get carried away with overloading the boards with months of art projects of every size, shape and flavor, thank you very much.)

The household command center

The household command center

It may not look like much, but to us, it’s the hub of the house, the central nerve of the operation, the CYA boards that will save our skins as parents and community-involved folks. That’s huge in our family book. And we dig it.

SK

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Fun with Mr. Sun

In our old house, we had given our youngest daughter a darling plush blue moon and hanging star, which we hung in a corner of her room. I always felt a little guilty that she had this cool 3-D decoration and my oldest daughter had nothing watching over her as she slept or played in her room. When we moved to our new house, then, I made sure to find something equally fun for her new room — I looked to the company that made the blue moon, searching for something similar.

Funny Friends is a line of plush items that are crazy-cute. And they have googly eyes — what’s not to love, right? They make sea creatures, nautical items, flowers, celestial beings, growth charts and other fun (er, funny) stuff for kiddos and kiddos-at-heart. Since one kid had a blue moon, how about getting the other kid a yellow sun? Perfect.

Here’s a photo of my hubby hanging the sun — too funny, if you ask me.

Our oldest wanted a rainbow, blue sky and a sun

Our oldest wanted a rainbow, blue sky and a sun

We’re still working on emptying boxes and trying to decide on what to hang where, artwise. So while we may have blank white walls for awhile yet, I will try to get one last post soon that shows the house in its finished state. If I haven’t said it enough, I’ll say it here: We used Nies Homes and they are fantastic to work with. They do fantastic work. And we’re fantastically over the moon with our new home. Seriously.

So, keep a lookout for a final house post in the coming days (maybe weeks). I’d like to wait until the remaining light fixtures (that have been on backorder) are installed, then I’ll gitchey-goomey.

SK

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A room with a (frosted) view

Hello, friends — long time no see! We’ve been crazy-busy moving into our new home and figuring out just where everything goes. We’re making progress, for sure, but we still have boxes laying around. Thus, no new pics to post. But they are coming, I promise!

Here’s one of the few photos we’ve managed to take since moving in. This one below happened today. Here’s the gist of the story:

We wanted the window in the bathroom to be the same as what’s in the model that we modeled (ha ha) our home after. One day, though, we walked through the house-in-progress and realized that the wrong window had been installed — a clear glass window. While it’s nice to be able to look outside, we (mainly I) didn’t want to have to cover the window with curtains, blinds, shades or shutters. Because the window is directly above the tub and across from the shower, we’d definitely need the window covered up somehow. Dusting isn’t my idea of a good way to spend a Saturday, if you know what I mean — blech. Instead, getting a frosted window makes more sense because it lets in all the natural light possible without requiring coverings that need cleaning and dusting. The only pseudo-bummer is that we now can’t see clearly what’s happening on the side of our house. I’m hoping that’s no biggie.

So, without further ado, here’s a darkish photo of the new window (we don’t get to keep the guy, though):

No more ducking in and out of the shower, no more free shows — just natural light flooding the space

No more ducking in and out of the shower, no more free shows — just natural light flooding the space

I’m assuming that some of you are still interested in seeing how things have turned out. While we’re thrilled with the house, we are pleased as punch that you think it’s kinda groovy, too. I hope to get some good photos of the finished product soon. Woot, woot!

SK

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Feel the heat: Deck fireplace

Stopped by the ol’ homestead tonight to see the progress and was happy to see that the inside-outside fireplace received its outside treatment: tumbled cottonwood stone. The mantel was added a few days ago and has yet to be painted white to match the house trim, but you get the idea:

Warm evenings around the fire on the deck overlooking the water sound OK to me

Evenings around the fire on the deck overlooking the water while sipping a cocktail or hot toddy sound OK to me

I keep forgetting to take a picture or two of the interior wood floor. It’s spectacular — three widths of planking, dark brown color, hand-scraped look and feel. Love it. And maybe — just maybe — tomorrow, I’ll remember to take a snapshot to share.

SK

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The great debate: Paint vs. wallpaper

OK, so maybe there’s not much to discuss when the topic is paint vs. wallpaper. These days, paint is all the rage, with wallpaper trying desperately (but not very successfully) to make a comeback.

Me? I like to buck the trends, don’tcha know.

First off, we have paint — in this case, exterior paint. Sure, we had our house painted a lovely silver gray, with just a hint of blue. Sort of reminiscent of the coast. I won’t bore you all with the long, drawn-out story — suffice it to say, we had our brand-new house painted a second time.

This time, we stayed with gray (but of course!) but chose a true gray. What’s a true gray? It’s a slippery sucker, that’s what it is. True gray is quite hard to capture. This gray is too blue. That one, too brown. The other, too green. Then there’s the purple gray. The yellow gray. The too-dark gray. The gray that may as well we white, it’s so light. You get my drift.

We ended up with Sherwin Williams’ March Wind — as true a gray as we could get our hands on. And I, for one, wasn’t 100% sold on it after seeing a swatch painted on top of the blue-gray first coat. But once it was on, and once the white trim was all touched up — voila! — loveliness:

Never mind my thumb in the corner; my oldest is Vanna-Whiteing the front porch

Never mind my thumb in the corner; my oldest is Vanna-Whiteing the front porch

The second item for your consideration: wallpaper. Now, most people shy away from wallpaper. I, too, shy away from it in most instances. However, the notion of having one small room — in our house, the half bath — wallpapered with nautical paper caught my fancy. And to tone it down a little, we added wainscoting to the bathroom so that wallpaper wouldn’t suffocate our guests.

I had narrowed the selection down to two map wallpapers: One was primarily creamy yellows and whites, while the other was primarily soft blues. I leaned toward the lighter yellow-white combo, but my husband liked the blue wallpaper. In part, it may have been more of a vote against my choice because he didn’t like the way its map was drawn. Regardless, we ended up going with the blue paper. And now that it’s up, I, too, am in love with it. Here’s a not-very-good photo of the paper above the guest toilet. In person, it’s softly, subtly fabulous:

Map wallpaper

Map wallpaper

That’s it for the last Monday before we close on the house. Aack!

SK

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The final countdown: 1 week till closing

We close in less than a week and things were seeming a bit precarious because our kitchen countertop delivery had been delayed. If they didn’t arrive on time (the 22nd), there would be a good chance that we wouldn’t close on time. That, friends, would be a bummer.

Luckily, the quartz counters arrived from Kansas City as expected. The appropriate holes were drilled, the edges were formed and the counters were placed. Success!

Below are a few photos with the island counter in place. Included in the mix is the double-bowl sink with integrated drainboard. This sink has a fun story, as it originated in — of all places — Australia. Since I can’t deal with drying dishes by hand (long story) and my husband can’t deal with a drying rack cluttering up the counter, we agreed that an integrated drainboard was the way to go.

The problem: We couldn’t find a style that we liked. Most designs that include a drainboard are extraordinarily modern, with zero-radius corners (i.e., super-square corners that, in my opinion, would be more difficult to clean). Or the shape may have been good, but it wasn’t an undermount, which we really want. I found this one online and contacted the nearest dealer — in sunny California. He was super to deal with and I highly recommend the Oliveri brand of sinks. The one we chose includes a dedicated cutting board. Check it:

Oliveri double-bowl sink with integrated drainboard

Oliveri double-bowl sink with integrated drainboard

We had originally planned on getting concrete counters but changed to quartz. We went with Cambria, a U.S. quartz company. The color, Oakhampton, is a deep espresso color. Love it:

Funny angle for a serious island

Funny angle for a serious island

Here’s another view of the island, with a cookbook bookcase on one end:

Island bookcase a couple of expediters

Cookbook storage and a couple of expediters

The master bathroom has received some love this last week, as well. Faucets are in:

Delta Orleans faucet in satin nickel

Delta Orleans faucet in satin nickel

And our vanity lights — Hudson Valley Pelham Wall Sconces in satin nickel — were installed:

A nautical influence for a coastal-inspired home

A nautical influence for a coastal-inspired home

The girls’ bathrooms have been outfitted in satin nickel, as well:

One-handle faucet

One-handle faucet

Rub-a-dub-dub, satin nickel in the tub

Rub-a-dub-dub, satin nickel in the tub

Finally, all of the Kohler toilets were delivered. Here’s the girls’ — a Memoirs style, the same as in the master and powder baths:

A pretty WC

A pretty WC

Let the countdown begin!

SK

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1, 2, 3, go: Barn lights

We ordered a lot of our lighting from Accent Lighting on N. Woodlawn, but we also ordered a fair number of items (seven) from a fun shop online — Barn Light Electric.

As the name implies, Barn Light Electric sells barn lights. It offers a plethora of styles, sizes and finishes to choose from. Since we’re building a coastal-Nantucket-Hamptons-style home, we thought that barn lights would look fab dressing up our new pad. The garage lights were delivered awhile ago but just recently installed, and we think that we made the right decision. Here’s a peek at the bronze beauties:

3 garage lights and 1 karate wannabe

3 garage lights and 1 karate wannabe

Here’s a closeup of the barn lights — we love ‘em:

closeup of garage lights

They survived their first rain shower

Barn Light Electric also supplied us with white barn lights for the girls’ bathrooms and a galvanized barn light for the half bath, but they haven’t been installed yet. More fun for another day, I suppose.

Next up: more brick. In an earlier post, I posted a photo of the early stages of bricking the front entryway. That flooring is now complete, as is its back-door cousin, the back hall floor. Here’s a shot of it all grouted and looking better than I had imagined:

Bricked back entry

Bricked back entry

Tile work is nearly complete in the master bathroom, and it’s done in the Jack-n-Jill sink areas, so as soon as all of it is grouted, I’ll post that fun stuff. Same goes for the wood flooring that is in process. And the kitchen backsplash. And the half bath’s wallpaper (yes, wallpaper). And the cool plumbing fixtures. And the …!

SK

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