In my last blog I talked about the house build choices we would change, but today I want to talk about the build choices that we love…even after 2 years! I say even after 2 years because sometimes you think you wanted something, but it doesn’t end up functioning or looking the way you expected. These are things that turned out just like we wanted them to and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m going to start out with the aesthetics.
I absolutely love all the stonework we added to this house. Our elevation was made custom to match a mock up I made in Photoshop. Here you can see how closely my quick picture I made matched the final product. We love the look of the house and love the stone.
On the inside of the house we continued the stone with a 2 story fireplace and stone on our half wall between the kitchen and the great room. Again, we love the look and have received many compliments on the unique touches. Next year we plan to finally put in our walkway to the front door and I am hoping to find some stone that will compliment the existing stonework.
We even put in this stone sleeve mailbox to try to tie in touches of stone!
Cabinets and Countertops
In a world where trends are stark white, sterile kitchens, I love that we went with a classic look and these beautiful countertops. They add much warmth to our downstairs and add to a more homey feel. With our setting being in front of acres of woods, I wanted warm tones to bring the outside in, especially with our wall of windows in the great room and the sun room windows being visible from the kitchen as well. I honestly can’t imagine another color cabinet or countertop in the kitchen that would fit better.
In the bathrooms, the same counters and cabinets are complimented by the mirrors we purchased from Hobby Lobby. We rejected the mirror options that were available from our builder in favor of finding our own mirrors that would add more personal style. After looking a couple times we found ones at Hobby Lobby that were such a good match for our cabinet and counter top set up that you would have thought we bought it as a set from the same manufacturer.
Great Room Set Up
In the standard plan, the fireplace is on the outside wall with windows on either side. We made the decision to move the fireplace to an inside wall and to make the outside wall a continuous wall of windows for extra light. I guess technically this is functionality because it brings in more light, but I also like the aesthetic this change made. The set up of our living room is much nicer looking and gives a beautiful view of the outside with the changes we made.
From a functional standpoint, since we wanted to put the TV on the wall above the fireplace, this would have made it hard to place all of our electronics because we wouldn’t have wanted to block the windows on either side of the fireplace. Honestly the logistics of running long cords to a side storage unit would have been a nightmare. The way we changed around the living room means there is plenty of room on either side of the fireplace for cabinetry and eventually we will be having built ins made on either side.
Since I started sliding into functionality, lets talk about pocket doors. When I picked our plan I knew immediately that I wanted some pocket doors. The doors where the pantry, laundry and garage meet are all in the same corner. This meant either you really had to be careful opening doors if they swung out, or you had to have the laundry and pantry doors swing in. In small rooms if you have a door swing in, you lose space in the room. You have to make sure that you always have room to swing the door and in rooms this size this can take up almost half your space!
For a moment I worried because I saw all of these people who had disasters with pocket doors. I heard about them falling off the track and having to fight with the doors to function properly. Our home consultant though reassured me that the only people who have problems with pocket doors these days is if they are hung wrong…you should not have a pocket door popping off the track.
I bit the bullet and put in pocket doors in the laundry and pantry. Upon further design work we also added pocket doors to our upstairs bathroom (another area where 3 doors are in the same area) and to my craft room as I wanted to save wall space from an inward swinging door. Our pocket doors function beautifully and streamline what would have been awkward cross traffic.
Side Entry Garage
This one falls into both aesthetic and functional. The floor plan we picked out had a regular garage that opened in the front, but we hated the way it threw off the symmetry of a fairly symmetrical house. We changed the garage to a side entry and added a window so the front of the house would look better aesthetically.
In actuality what I have realized is that the window added some much needed natural light in a rather large garage. On top of that, places to store things in the garage are at a better placement for us than what it would be like with the cars faced the other direction. Our driveway would also have had a different placement cutting into our front yard in a way that would have left us less of a continuous front yard.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
And last, but CERTAINLY not least is the LVP we chose to put down through about 70% of our house. We had to get talked into this choice to be honest. In our minds when we heard vinyl flooring we thought….linoleum. If you are our ages and grew up with ugly roll vinyl flooring in your kitchen and bathrooms you know that stuff is ugly, prone to damage and just the last thing you would ever want to put down.
We were planning to put down laminate flooring, but I was a little concerned about it in the kitchen and bathrooms because I knew you were not supposed to get it wet…all spills had to be cleaned up quickly. This is not the best thing in an area with plumbing. It was also more expensive than the LVP and we weren’t going to be able to afford to have it throughout 2 of the downstairs rooms that we had hoped would have seamless flooring. Our last house had lots of flooring transitions and we were trying to avoid that a much as possible.
After we were educated on LVP and shown some samples and even told that the model home flooring that we loved the look of was actually LVP, we quickly became hooked. I absolutely love this floor! It’s so durable and easy to clean up. If a piece gets damaged it can be replaced plank by plank simply with a hair dryer although we have yet to need to do this. Now with potty training animals I can’t imagine if we had left the carpet throughout most of the house (what came with the plan) or went with the laminate flooring! *shudder*
So those are just a few of the many choices that we made during the build process, but they are the first ones that came to mind when I thought of build choices that we still love. There are so many little things that I still appreciate, everything from the pot filler to the sun room addition and a slew of things in between. I hated our last house so much for so many reasons and honestly only went with it because we got tired of looking. I thought there were things I didn’t like, but that I could live with for a period of time. I thought we would live with for 5-7 years or so, but ended up having to live there for 16+ years and the hate for the functionality of the house just grew worse over the years and I hated that I compromised on so many things I wanted out of a house. I vowed I wasn’t going to make major compromises for what we wanted if this was going to be our dream house and I can honestly say 2 years later that I still love this house!Thanks for reading!