Moving Day!

movingIt’s finally here. There is still so much to do, but we need to be out of this condo by the end of the month, so I stayed up packing until 1 a.m. I decided to get up sometime after 6 this morning to finish on the packing, because the movers will be knocking on the door by 8. Eeek! Unfortunately, ended up running out of boxes this morning, so I pretty much have been throwing everything in black trash bags. There is one big mound of bags in the corner of the room and I fear an avalanche is coming.

One bad part of this move is most of our stuff is scattered in several locations; either here at the condo, a warehouse unit in town or across town at another building. This move will probably take the majority of the day just gathering up our furnishings and belonging. So, let me go let the movers in and get started. I’ll keep you updated.

The Inside Scoop

Hi, it’s been a while since my last post, but I wanted to let you know that I am getting excited since the house is very close to completion. We’ve finally got to move on to the fun part of our project. At least, it’s fun for me. We have started working on the interiors of the house and we are very close to finishing the whole project. This project is what we refer to as our “farm house”. From the get go, it was planned to be a “weekend” house. Somewhere fun for the family to go during school breaks and on weekends while we grow a few crops and raise a few animals. I know nothing about either, but am willing to learn. Even with that plan in mind, I have realized that the house is not quite as roomy as I would like. The bedrooms are good sized, but the whole house lacks storage space, a must for a pack-rat like me.

By using clever storage solutions, I’m hoping to turn those small spaces into large usable spaces. One idea I’m trying that I found in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, is having the electrician install an outlet in the linen closet of the mud room. That makes a great place for a charging station. This will give us one central place in the house where everyone can recharge their electronic devices. I can’t stand seeing all of those charger plugs and cords scattered throughout the house. Problem solved!

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I’m also going to use the door of the linen closet and transform it into an area that will act as a command center. A central place for mail, important papers, grocery list,  and a place where I’ll be able to display awesome artwork from my young inspiring artist, (instead of all over my refrigerator). Hopefully this “command center” will help keep me organized as well. See my tab at the top of web page titled “Front Porch” for all the details on how to create your own center.

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Example of DIY Command Center

The main goal for this house is to keep it as simple as possible and create a farm-like feel without getting too catchy; using items that are vintage or patina will really help me pull this look off. Kitchen cabinets go in first of next week. I’m a little nervous. I went for a completely different look then I’m used to – all black cabinets with white Carrera marble counter tops. Using two extra large lantern fixtures over the kitchen island, instead of the traditional 3 smaller fixtures, will help set off the large scale size.

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Example of black kitchen cabinets

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HERE IS A PIC OF THE OVERSIZED PENDANTS THAT I HAD INSTALLED OVER THE ISLAND

In order to achieve extra storage, I’m going to use furniture that can do double duty and provide extra storage. I plan on using an ottoman in the T.V. room and a bench at the dining room table, both of which have tops that lift up for storage. When time allowed, I’ve been going to antique shops.  Here are a few items that I’ve already picked up.

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Antique bench for the dining table

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Headboard made from two antique doors. I love the look.

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I picked up one of these old authentic wine barrels. Thought it would make a fun end table for the outdoor porch.

Back on track!

 

farmaaGlad to say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! We seem to have gotten back on track with the building of our farm house and are making progress. Once we lost our contractor so unexpectedly, we had no choice but to pick up where the work stopped and put the pieces back together. My husband and I have had to find our own subcontractors and make many necessary decisions to get this house done. Yes, we have even done some of the work ourselves. We are really hoping to complete it by the end of February.roompaint

My biggest stress maker so far has been the selection of paint colors. That by itself is a very daunting task but everyone (husband, the painter and others) were trying to rush me through the process.  I tried to get them to understand that many elements come into play when making color choices. As an interior designer, I knew color schemes for exteriors must be based on the choices of colors that already exist. It’s important to consider the roof color and any brick color.  Just as important, you must consider colors in the surrounding landscape. That’s a lot to consider and I didn’t want to make the paint choice too quickly.

When trying to select the exterior colors, I quickly decided on earth toned colors, rustic and natural, more on the muted side of the spectrum than the brighter one. I needed to pick three colors: main body of the house, trim color and accent color. With all the columns and railings that come with our wrap around porch, I decided a soft white color was best for those plus the trim on the soffits and rest of the house. That left the decision for the main body of the house. Look at the following color scheme that I fell in love with. It is part of the Sherwin Williams’ color group called, Chrysalis.  Let me know what you think and if anyone out there right now is also painting the exterior of their home, give me your thoughts.

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Here is another Sherwin Williams’ color scheme with very similar hues. I like  them all and think they could work well for exterior colors as well as possible interior paint options in the house; which is my next hurdle to take on.

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After a lot of stressing and over-thinking (something I’m known for), I’ve decided the main body of the house will be Sherwin Williams’ color “Willow Tree”. Decorator’s White will be used for the columns and railings. Unfortunately, I am still stumped on an accent color. I’ll have to mull that one over for a while! However, I am excited that I decided to be a little edgy and paint my husband’s office (which is separate from the main house) a different but complimentary color.  I chose Sherwin Williams’ “Homburg Gray”.  To be honest, I was a wee bit disappointed that this color didn’t come out a tinge greener; however, it’s done (not to mention, my husband said we weren’t paying to have it repainted). So, I have decided to love it!

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Do you like the custom front door?

 

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Husband’s office, painted a different color

 

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When Life gives you lemons….

Well, I just made a nice cold pitcher of lemonade. Why don’t you pour yourself a glass and sit a spell while I fill you in on the progress of the construction on our farmhouse.

In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned that the whole move out to the country and building of a farmhouse was going to be an interesting ride, and I wasn’t too wrong with that assumption. It’s not good news that I have to share, but in the beginning, I did say that I wanted to take you along for this journey, so I need to keep you in the loop.

You hear all the time of wrong-doings happening to other people but you never think those things will happen to you. Well, it did. The progress of the house was moving along just fine. It is about 75% complete but over the Thanksgiving holidays we were notified by the bank handling our construction loan that our contractor/builder had filed for bankruptcy. What? That is not something you want to hear.  He has disappeared and is not returning our phone calls.

To make matters worse, he was collecting his construction draws (money) from our bank, but not paying his vendors or subcontractors. Apparently, he didn’t pay anyone. Now his vendors and subcontractors are coming after us and filing “liens” on our house. What a mess. Never a dull moment for us!

Of course, the construction on the house has come to a complete stop. We had to retain a lawyer and hope to resolve this problem soon. This is not the progress I was hoping to share. The holidays are here and it is nearly Christmas. This couldn’t have happened at a worse time. However, I don’t want to dwell on our grief.  We will just keep our chins up, try to laugh at this bad situation and hope to be able to move on from it soon. That’s really all we can do.

We do consider ourselves fortunate for even having the opportunity to build a farmhouse for our family to enjoy and realize that there are plenty of people who have it worse than us. So let’s all just smile, sit back and enjoy our lemonade.  After all…that’s all we can do!

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Update on the Farmhouse

Did your grandma ever tell you that staring at a pot of water wouldn’t make it boil any faster?  I never really got the meaning behind that until now.  It’s that way for us.  My whole family is starting to get antsy for our farmhouse to be finished. The house isn’t getting built any faster no matter how hard we stare at it.

One of the reasons is that we are renting a condo while we await the completion of our house.  Happy to have a nice place to live, none the less – it is a condo.  Our family of two active girls, a playful dog and two busy parents all desire more space and a tree shaded grassy backyard. With the concrete walls of the condo, waits for a very slow elevator, a parking garage and close quarter neighbors, our patience is stretched thin.  However, we have no choice but to wait.

Meanwhile I have a lot of work left to do; selecting finishes, paint colors, appliances, and light fixtures. The list goes on and on and I still have the usual routine of getting a child to school, along with trying to potty train a two-year old and manage household chores.  Luckily I enjoy all aspects of interior design, and are fortunate to have this opportunity to build our own home.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a list maker and you can just image the number of notepads lying on my dining room table right now. I’ve also started on a furniture layout plan.  Making sure all the rooms have the right furniture and accessories will help set the tone for the whole house.  My goal is to keep the house casual and warm but full of character.  It will be my own version of  “farm living”.   I want to put a lot of emphasis on the outdoor living area.  A porch wrapping around the entire house creates a lot of space and I have numerous ideas on how to utilize all of it.

In reality, I would love to skip all of the above steps and just go straight to the “shopping”.  That’s the fun part.  Shopping for linens, pillows, rugs, artwork, candlesticks and more is my idea of sheer pleasure.  Most of you who don’t know me, wouldn’t know I used to own my own shop selling interior accent pieces and accessories; a past life that I often miss.  Building our farmhouse has opened up opportunities for me to once again take part in one of my favorite activities.  I’ll be on the hunt for those rare accent pieces that add character to a home.  While doing my personal shopping for the house,  I plan to also purchase special pieces that I think other folks would like.  I will be offering those items on my retail website which will be linked to my blog.  Be on the lookout for this feature.

Here is an update of the progress on the house:

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I love them..I love them not

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If you’ve ever driven down a Southern Interstate Highway and your windshield  suddenly became covered with a goo so thick that seeing became harder and harder, well then you know Autumn must be coming soon.  Welcome to the South in September!

The goo I’m referring to is actually the end result of a swarm of “Love Bugs” so-called strange little insects that come out in droves this time of the year.

According to the encyclopedia, no insect is actually named “Love Bug”; rather, they are part of the fly family. These bugs are not harmful in any way. They don’t bite or sting but they are a pain in the neck.

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Autumn is their mating season. That is why they got their name and appear to have two heads. Down south, it’s not unusual to see bug-encrusted bumpers and windshields full of unfortunate insects that got in the way of the automobiles.  I honestly think they are actually drawn to the heat from the vehicle, because the bugs are like magnets to your car.

The splattered insects on my windshield are quite a nuisance. Unfortunately, I can’t just wash them off with a rinse from my windshield wipers. In fact, I have to get out the old bucket full of suds and give the entire car a good hard scrub with extra elbow grease. You can’t leave the smooshed love bugs on your car. The acid in their bodies can actually eat the paint right off your car.

Heck, those pesky “love bugs” should be called “hate bugs”, because there’s not much to love about these bugs!

Porch Living

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Porch living is as Southern as Magnolias and Azaleas. A classic fixture on most homes, they are inviting and inspiring. “Porch Living” is a favorite activity for any Southerner because, if they are well-designed, a porch can make a great backdrop to welcome friends and family. It makes them want to come sit a spell, share stories, catch up on neighborhood news, or just peacefully enjoy a gentle breeze on a sultry summer evening. And who doesn’t enjoy snuggling up on a porch swing with a sweetheart in hopes of stealing a kiss?

They can serve as an extension of our interiors as an al fresco dining room, a relaxing reading nook or the perfect spot for an afternoon nap. Whether built-in a nostalgic or modern design, porches have claimed their place as prime outdoor living and gardening spaces. We don’t just have the run-of-the-mill porch, our porches are made for living! They were the first area my husband and I tackled when we began to design our farm-house. We knew that a wrap-around porch was a must.  Our builder just laughed and said we have so much porch space that it looks like more living space outside than inside.  That was fine by us.

Even though the foundation to our house is the only thing completed, I can look at our home site and visualize beautiful containers filled with flowers on the steps leading to the porch. My children are quietly playing jacks and pick-up sticks while I take a well-deserved nap in an oversized porch swing. As I’ve stated before, I do like to dream!