house FAQ, part one.

I've received several questions about our home regarding the design process and choices, so I figured I'd gather them all up and answer them in one space! This has been such a fun experience for us and I am happy to share my thoughts on it and to answer any questions I can. 

To preface all of the questions, let me start by saying the two greatest guiding factors to our entire building process were our budget and our own personal likes. That's truly it. Being an artist really propelled this experience and each decision. I had an overarching vision for our home, in addition to a vision for each smaller space within the home. Making decisions was relatively easy because my distinctive ideas already narrowed down my options, and from there budget was really the only parameter. I am very heart-led and I unabashedly trusted myself and my feelings towards each choice, even when Calen thought I was crazy! He deeply trusted my vision, too, but at times hard a hard time "seeing it" until it started coming to fruition. I felt like building this house was a very spiritual and heart-focused journey because I am incredibly symbolic and sentimental, and because this will (God-willing) be our forever home. Every choice was very intentional and deeply meaningful; I care about the visual aesthetic of course, but more so I care about the meaning behind it.

While I certainly did pick some "on-trend" things, I was driven entirely by Calen's and my shared taste. Neutral isn't our style, and eclectic whimsy is definitely the name of our game. My biggest encouragement to anyone building or decorating their home is to stay true to your own personal style! It will be natural and perfect, and there will be no regrets if it makes you happy! Don't overcomplicate it- trust yourself and go with it! And, if anything doesn't turn out quite how you imagined? It's not a life-sentence. Enjoy it anyway and change it one day when you can. (I really started to question myself when everyone was nay-saying my wooden countertop for the kitchen island. Calen told me, "Even if it doesn't turn out like you envisioned we'll enjoy it anyway and re-do it years down the road if it's really that bad!" I'm glad he reminded me to listen to heart, because they just installed my wooden countertop and it is AWESOME.) 

One of the sweetest moments during this process was walking through the house with Calen this past weekend; he stopped me and told me that he was so glad he trusted me with this process because everything was beautiful and perfect and "us." I have wanted nothing more than to create a beautiful sanctuary for him and for our precious babies, and I am beside myself with joy and gratitude that my intention is being fully realized. 

Were there any unexpected expenses?

Of course. We planned a little bit of a buffer because there are always some unforeseen things, but even with that we were unprepared to have to put in the irrigation system our HOA requires. (This was completely on us; we missed it in the by-laws, and since landscaping was one of the final things we did it was too late to adjust budgets elsewhere.)

Did you work with a designer? 

We did. Our designer is, conveniently, the wife of our builder. Together they are a dynamite team and a dynamic duo. Because of this, it was a packaged deal for us and I am so thankful because I am not sure I would have otherwise sought a designer out. She was so much fun to work with because she embraced my vision and added her sharp knowledge of design to tweak and perfect. Plus, she was able to source most of my ideas for me since I had no idea where to even begin! I would send her pictures (literally sometimes just pictures I drew in my sketchbook) and she would break it down piece by piece to make it happen. She is an angel. Seriously. 

What paint colors did you use?

We chose seven different Sherwin Williams colors (not including trim) and repeated them throughout the house: Faraway Blue, Soar, Passive Grey, Crystal Clear, Tame Teal, Lime Granita, and Teaberry. Our trim is Pure White. A few of standouts in my opinion are our kitchen, living room, and master bedroom, which are are all Faraway Blue. The kitchen and master bedroom have Soar on the ceiling for a fun pop. The dining room is Tame Teal with Crystal Clear on the ceiling; it is so bright and happy (the pantry is this same combo, too). And, my personal favorite, is the laundry room which is Teaberry. We chose Passive Grey for the connecting spaces like the foyer and hallways, and also the playroom. 

What kitchen appliances did you choose?

We chose Thermador appliances, per our builder's preference. Being completely transparent here, I do not know a whole lot about appliances and I am far from a domestic diva (though I try and have been brushing up on my cooking skills in anticipation of our new kitchen). I knew I wanted a griddle on our range, and I wanted them to be paneled to match our cabinetry. Other than that, I was just excited because the burners on our range are star shaped! Our ice maker is by Uline, and our wine fridge is by Kalamera. We sourced the wine fridge ourselves because we wanted a very small one and Kalamera has a 12 inch version that was well-reviewed and fit the bill. We waited for a sale to purchase it. 

What type of stain are your floors?

We chose Classic Grey by Minwax for our hardwoods. It is soft and cool toned, and the depth of color it brings out in the knots and grain is unreal. The finish they used on top of it is sort of matte and not glossy, which I think is kind of fun and different.

Where did you get your kitchen lights?

I saw a picture of a beaded chandelier on Instagram and did some digging until I found the company, Ro Sham Beaux. The chandelier I liked (for our dining room) was way out of budget and instantly got nixed, but I while perusing their website I came across the beaded pendants that I instantly knew were perfect for above our kitchen island. They too were very pricey, and our amazing lighting lady tried to find some comparable alternatives, but ultimately I knew that the kitchen is the heart and centerpiece of our home, so I made some major cuts in other areas to accommodate them. The style is called Lily, and we chose the 10 inch size for our space. All of our lights were ordered through an amazing local lighting company.

What is your decorating style?

Calen and I are mix of traditional and eclectic. We wanted the bones of our house to be traditional, but our decor is pretty eclectic. A LOT of our decor is artwork by yours truly, and the rest is our mutual collection. Ever since we've been together art collecting has kind of been "our thing." It is so special to us that the decorative elements in our house have neat stories behind them! On our travels we always pick a piece of artwork as our souvenir. I'll probably do a separate post all about this once we get settled! If you follow along on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen some bits and pieces as we have started hanging some work and unpacking.

How big is your house?

Our current finished square footage is 4,200. 

How long did it take to build?

9 full months. We broke ground in early November of 2017 and got our keys on August 3rd of 2018!

Are you purchasing new furniture for your house?

Nope. Not anytime soon, at least. Most of our furniture we really love and want to keep for as long as possible. There are a few things I’d love to upgrade and change around at some point, but all of that is pretty low on our priority list right now because it’s not in the budget. My mom is letting us have her mom’s mahogany table to use in our kitchen and we’re turning it into a DIY project and giving it a face-lift.


I have a few other questions I’ll answer in a separate post soon, and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.