Thursday, March 8, 2018

Planning a Forever Home

Things to remember when building/remodeling your forever home

I was speaking with a young friend a few days ago and she is in the process of planning a new home for her family.  As we talked, I shared some things that my husband and I did as we were planning our forever home.  I thought some of these ideas might be valuable to other's planning a new home or remodeling an existing home. 

Our forever home

Make a list

When we decided we wanted to downsize and start living a more simple life style, we had to make some hard choices. We also wanted to build this house and be debt free.  In order to do this we had to be budget minded.
What do we want to keep in our new life style and what can we live without?
So the first thing we did was take an inventory of all the things about our current (much to big) home that we loved and would miss.  Where did we spend our time and what's worth the money? What are the things we don't want to live without.

For us,  space was one of the first things to go. 
Although we wanted less space, we wanted an open airy feel.
We didn't want to feel crowded.
We also knew we wanted to live in the country and that our outdoor living spaces would be as important or more so than our indoor space.
We love to entertain and a lot of our entertaining takes place outside, around a grill.  Fortunately for us, we had already established an outdoor kitchen with plenty of entertaining areas, including a fire pit and bar area.  So that was one thing we could already mark off our list.

If you love to be outside, you also want to consider that aspect of your home.  A deck or patio area off the back of the house?  A porch or courtyard in the front?  Making sure you have space for the house and these priorities is important to consider.  

So we made our separate lists of things we would want in our forever home.

Here are some things on our list.
1. A living area, kitchen and dining all in one big space
    with a large island - everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway!!  Right?
2. A large walk-in pantry
3. Laundry room adjacent to master closet and bath (why walk across a house to put away cloths?)
4. Double vanity in master bath with room in between.
5. A free standing soaking tub (my list)
6. A cabinet tower in master bath to store makeup, hair dyer, etc. without bending over under the sink.
   (can you tell a lot of thought went into the bathroom)
7. A comfortable size master bedroom - but not overly large (no need for a sitting area - been there - never done that)
8.  A large walk-in closet
9. A separate TV area for the big screen (husband's list)
10. A large front porch
11. A screened porch with a fireplace
12. NO Carpet (both of our lists)

One large open living space
Pendant lights are vintage.

Here's that free standing tub (made the list)
I sat in so many tubs.  I originally wanted an authentic cast iron claw foot tub until I sat in them.  I feel in love with the Victoria and Albert tubs because they are made of stone and hold the water's heat.  They never feel ice cold.  I also love the features of the tub filler from Delta.

Here's that cabinet tower that made the list!
We used honed black granite for the counter tops.  The mirrors and vanity lights are from Lowes Home Improvement.  The lavatory faucets are Delta.  

Next, what style of home???
The area you are building in may have some influence on your home style.
We were building in the middle of the woods.  We would be surrounded by three ponds and pastures.
We also needed the house to have a view of those areas from the front.
We could have chosen a mountain cabin style home and I love that look, however, I'm more drawn to light open spaces.  I feel that a cabin is cozy and dark.
I have always wanted a white house and always for one reason or another allowed myself to be talked into another choice.  I also love old houses, especially old white houses.
Do you see the trend here.  At this point in my life, I've had 3 houses and two we built.  Always in the back of my mind, I've desired an old house.  Unfortunately, our property didn't include an old white house.

So with all these things in mind, I began to have a clear picture of the home I wanted to build on our property.  White - yes, wide open spaces - yes, an old home feel - yes, and so on.....

Finally the white farmhouse

Scroll and collect pictures

Next, I started scrolling through Pinterest , Instagram and magazines for styles and décor that I loved. I started saving these pic's by pinning to Pinterest.    As a pattern began to emerge, my mind began to clear.  I needed to build an old farmhouse with a barn or industrial style vibe.

This was one of my favorite saves!  

This is a screen shot of my Pinterest page
See the pattern?

What is the common thread that you see in the homes you pin?  If you are like me and your love a lot of different styles, this is an important step.  It's very easy to be influenced by other peoples opinions and ideas.  Stay true to yourself and the styles you are truly drawn to time and time again.

Some of these homes that I pinned were actual old homes and I had my fears about being able to afford to recreate the look.  But I keep to my list of priorities and was willing to go a less expensive route for items that were not a priority.  Again, I was working within a budget.  If your budget is unlimited, then go for it.

Compromise where it doesn't matter

Some examples of compromise are:  I wanted a free standing soaking tub in the master bath (expensive)
I would have preferred to have a tiled shower in the guest bath.  (also expensive)
A fiberglass shower was much less expensive and I was planning to use a shower curtain anyway.
By the way, I hate shower doors.  Impossible to keep clean and a shower curtain works great.  You can throw it into the wash or replace as needed.

During the building process every detail feels so important.  Those lavatory faucets and the toilets, oh my!!!   But when the house is finished and your furniture and home décor is in place, these become such small details and if you can save money in these areas, please do so.

This is the guest bath

Do you really notice details of the faucet when all the décor is in place? Lavatory bowl and faucet I purchased from Amazon and were inexpensive in comparison to what was available.  Lights are from Lowes Home Improvement.  Vanity and Mirror are vintage.   

So to save money, the fiberglass shower was installed and I'm very happy with that choice.

We did build our screened porch, but the fireplace was something we decided wasn't worth the cost at this time.  We can always add the fireplace later.

Screened porch but no fireplace
Pendant light is DIY project. 

If you are planning a new home or a remodel, please take time to analysis the space you live in now and decide what you like and what you don't care for.  Make those lists!!!!  What are your priorities???  I promise that in the heat of the moment, you'll think that this $3,000 toilet is something you MUST have!!! LOL!!!

Industrial inspired handrails were a priority.
Handrail was custom built. Sofa is from Klaussner Furniture 

Real Vintage Lighting

Shiplap walls

What is your style?  What are your priorities?  I'm a rule breaker from day one.  Go with what you love.  Don't let other's talk you out of your vision.  If you don't have a natural eye for design, ask for help.  Find someone who likes what you like!  Hiring a professional designer who loves a modern sleek design style when you love a vintage, eclectic look, may not be the best choice..

Best of luck on this exciting adventure!  And many blessings during your process........ I promise it's worth it in the end.  

xoxo  Rachel 


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