Category Archives: The New House

A Place for Our Stuff

I feel like we’ve moved about four times this year. We first moved all of our stuff to a storage facility and moved the rest of our belongings to the bedroom above the garage at my in-law’s house while the new house was being built. When my mother-in-law passed we felt it was best to move into the main house so that we could be with Candy, be able to answer the phone and the door, etc. Since the seasons had changed we only moved a portion of our clothes and stuff into the master bedroom in the house. Then it was time for the estate sale where we moved all the stuff in the house (it was enough to fill a 27ft. moving truck) to an offsite location for the sale. And after all that, we finally moved our stuff from the storage facility and the house to the new place. And we’re still hauling stuff, believe it or not.

There is no better way to describe this past year than this bit by George Carlin (NSFW or kids my friends):

There is no way I’m ever moving again. This has been nuts. Michael and I have a running joke now. We tell each other that we are stuck with each other no matter what. His mother Betty used to say “Divorce is not an option. Murder? Maybe.” Yes I realize we’re sick like that.

So what’s the first thing Michael did when we got furniture in place?
michael-on-bed

You never realize how nice your own bed is until you’re not able to sleep in it for months on end. After getting most of our stuff loaded into the house I quickly realized just how much stuff I had accumulated from the last place.
tchotchkes That’s only a portion of my tchotchkes laid out on the dining room table. Just too much stuff. It was time to have a yard sale. So my mom took the opportunity to haul over a bunch of her stuff, too. And suddenly, the front of our house looked like this:
yard-sale I’m happy to report that we had a successful yard sale, but we still have a few big pieces for sale which I’ll post up a little later.

Michael took the opportunity to have the garage and shop floors epoxy coated this past week. Our friend Clay from Memphis drove up and stayed with us while he executed the 4-step process. Our floors now shine like the top of the Chrysler building! I’m so jealous of these floors. Thank you Clay for making the “West Wing” of our house beautiful!
epoxy-floors Oh yes, that’s more stuff that Michael got to outfit his shop. Metal cabinets and a new motorcycle lift. It is his dream space and I’m so happy he finally has a proper shop to work on my our bikes! Notice the hot pink tailpiece and track photo prominently displayed? That’s my man! And speaking of motorcycles…

moto-gp-tv

After waiting two weeks we FINALLY got our cable and internet installed. Nothing beats watching a MotoGP race over breakfast.

I’m really hoping to have the place better organized within the next week. We have about six more days to get everything out of the old house (it has sold and will be closing very soon) and then I’ll have to find a place for that stuff as well. It never ends!

A couple of small snags

You know, the building process has been fantastic the past few weeks. The contractors have gotten so much done it’s just incredible. But this week we did hit a couple of snags that will need to be worked out. Take a look at our fireplace wall.

crooked-fireplace-small

I drew some lines on the sides so you could see just how crooked the wall really is. The builder has tried to patch with drywall to straighten it, but I truly believe it’s a framing issue. I wish I had caught it before drywall went up, but the wood they used to frame out the fireplace was warped. The right side is much worse than the left side, but both are noticeably crooked. Bobby assured me that they would fix it, and I trust he’ll get the job done before closing.

The other snag we ran into was with the bathroom cabinets. We purchased the same floor plan as the model home which had an enclosed water closet. But for some reason our floor plan was not supposed to have a WC as a standard option. We thought it was an error on the part of the architect who drew up our plans, so we added a wall to enclose the toilet during our pre-con meeting. Now our bathroom cabinets won’t fit. Oops. And it will cost us $750 and take one month to get custom cabinets to fit the space. Double Oops.

So what do we do? We compromise. I’ve never liked having two sinks in the bathroom. Michael and I are never getting ready at the same time, and quite frankly that’s just one more sink I have to clean. I’ve told Bobby that if we can eliminate one of the sinks and just have an empty knee space where the last cabinet would not fit, I’ll be able to use it as a vanity area and it will be exactly what I wanted in the first place. Problem solved (hopefully)! He’s going to call me in the morning and let me know if that is a viable option for us. Fingers crossed.

Aside from those two things we’re in very good shape and have been promised a closing date of August 30th. That’s a mere five weeks away! We’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Here are a few more pics of the progress.

kitchen-cabinets

great-room-paint

drop-zone

This is the little drop zone beside the laundry room. We’ve never had a dedicated space for things like mail and electronic devices that need to be charged, so this is going to be a fantastic new space for us to try out. If anyone has ideas on how to get the most out of a space like this, drop me a comment… I’m all eyes and ears.

On the interior design front, I’m starting to get all our big furniture items ordered and/or built and getting them ready for shipping after closing. We’ve received our first Hunter sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and we really like it. I have another one on order that should be ready for delivery right around our closing date.

For the coffee table and end table I’ve decided to construct my own. After composing a layout of the great room I figured out that I’ll need one 38″x38″ end table for the corner of the room and  one 48″x54″ coffee table for the center of the room. I’ve always been in love with marble-top tables like this:

But I can’t seem to find it in the exact sizes I need. And I also want a gold or brass finish on the base. And the marble top is definitely out. We would stain and etch that marble top quicker than you could say “coffee and red wine”. So I did some research and ended up commissioning Anthony of Steel Beautiful to make the table bases to order.

Anthony

Anthony does lots of custom work and he even took the time to bring samples to my house so I could choose the size of steel rod I wanted. Check out this industrial style shelving unit he constructed for a design client:

steel-shelves

Love the raw industrial look of these shelves. Anthony works fast, too. In less than one week we were picking up the custom table bases!

table-base

This is the coffee table base. (We had to break out the motorcycle trailer since it wouldn’t fit in the car.) This is obviously a raw steel but I’ll be working on getting these bases either painted, rub-n-buffed or gold leafed. Haven’t quite decided which I’ll be doing yet.

I’ll be topping these bases with slabs of Arctic White quartz from Southern Stone. The pure white will be fresh and polished, and because it’s quartz it will be stain and scratch resistant. Perfect for a family that likes to really live in their living room.

I’ll post again when the table base finishes are done. Because the quartz slabs will be so heavy I’ll be waiting until a week before our closing date to have those made so I can have them delivered straight to the new house. The small slab will weigh in at a whopping 181 lbs! I DO NOT want to move those suckers if I don’t have to!

The finish line is near… more updates to come!

Drywall Y’all!

At long last, WE HAVE DRYWALL!!! Do you know what this means? It means we’re less than 60 days away from closing. It’s a huge milestone in the homebuilding process. We went to see the house last Thursday and it looked like this:

Living Room Drywall

Check out all that natural light… beautiful! Our last house was very dark so we’re pretty excited to see sunbeams streaming through those windows.

Kitchen Drywall And here’s a view into the kitchen and straight down the hallway to the front door.

Michael in front yard We were pretty stoked to see the progress made in one week. This week they’ll be doing the final grading on the lot and building the deck out back, plus we’ll get all the millwork installed (crown moulding, baseboards, cabinets, etc.). Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.

In other news, I made a one-day trip to Atlanta on Friday to drop off an oriental rug to London Varner of DeRigeur Vintage. He’s going to overdye it in a beautiful aqua color and I should have it back in about 3 weeks. We did the transfer at a Starbucks in Midtown and I swear it was like a drug deal was going down only it was with rugs. That’s how I roll, folks.

While in Atlanta I absolutely had to visit the local Jonathan Adler store. I’ve been to J.C. Penney and seen some of his products there, but it’s just not the same. Nothing compares to being able to touch all those wonderful pieces of pottery in person. I walked away with this:

tongue spoon rest

and this:

banana bud vase

Yeah I know, it’s a bit Clockwork Orange-ish, but it’s so cool I had to get it. I have OCOSOD (obsessive-compulsive “ooh! shiny object!” syndrome). It was a miracle I didn’t do severe financial damage at JA Atlanta. The store is teeming with bright colors, bold graphics, and lots of texture.

Jonathan Adler Atlanta That’s all I have to report for now, but stay tuned because I’ll be posting up details for a massive estate sale we’re about to hold in a local office space here in Nashville. Wish us luck!

Bedroom Blues (and Greens!)

If you’ve taken a look at the home tour of our last house, you may have noticed that our bedroom was a dark charcoal/navy color. A couple years ago I fell in love with Kristin Davis’ dark walls when she painted her living room with Benjamin Moore’s Black Horizon. It wasn’t until last year that I finally tore the bedroom apart, bought new white nightstands, created a DIY headboard, and repainted all four walls and the ceiling with BM’s Black Horizon. We LOVED it. Michael works nights so our agreement has always been that the bedroom would be dark and cozy, like a cocoon. It’s a place where he can come home from work, draw the curtains and easily get some sleep.

Now I’m sure you all know that paint colors can vary drastically depending on the light in the room and time of day, so it was no surprise when the Black Horizon started looking a bit more navy than black to me. Now that I’ve lived with that color for a while I’ve decided to go for a more saturated blue in the new house, something that undoubtedly reads “navy.” Since I’m on a mission to incorporate more color into my home, I’m going to go a bit bolder in the bedroom. It will still be masculine, but it’s gonna pack a color punch!

Navy and Green Bedroom Mood Board BAM!

Okay, now that the shock is over, here’s the breakdown:
Nightstands: West Elm Serpentine 3-Drawer Chest (no longer available)
Bedding: Pantone Universe™ Blue Aster Comforter Set
Headboard: DIY created with a hollow core door, linen fabric, batting and nailhead trim
Drapery Fabric:  Cosmopolitan Navy
Euro Pillows: Caitlin Wilson Textiles Navy Deco Pillow Cover
Trellis Pillows: KW Imperial Trellis Pillow Cover in Kelly Green
Lumbar Pillow: Planning to DIY this one in a lime green velvet
Lamps: Artichoke lamps (purchased last year at HomeGoods)
Chandelier: West Elm Large Rectangle Hanging Capiz Pendant

Check out that kelly green ceiling will ya? I’m on the fence about it, but hell, it’s just paint. I’ve painted our home so many times I could do it in my sleep (yes, even the ceiling). Michael always told me that when we start to lose square footage I have to stop! I’ll be selecting exact paint colors in a few weeks when we’re a little closer to our closing date.

And speaking of which, we’re roughly a week behind schedule in order to close at the end of August, which is fine because the builder is making sure everything is done correctly and to specifications. I’d rather have it done right than done faster. We should be getting our drywall and a deck built by the end of next week. Can’t wait to share new photos of actual walls!

 

Quick house update

Okay, I’m a slacker. Sorry! But for good reason. It’s been busier than ever in the Julian household. The past week or so has been spent preparing for the estate sale, which just ended this week and will be happening one last time next week. Gotta do a full court press to get rid of a ton of stuff!

We also managed to have a pre-drywall meeting with Bobby to go over everything that’s been completed so far and make sure it’s all good to go before they sheet rock over it all.

Pre-drywall meeting

My sis-in-law Anne and her husband Kirk were in town and came with us to lend an extra set of eyes. Kirk is an electrician and went over our wiring with a fine tooth comb.

Snack Do you think this would be a codes violation? Ha!

soffit and trim installation While we were there the crew was installing the soffit and trim. Check out that brick…it finally looks like a real house!

I’ll have to admit, we caught more things than I thought we would during this walk-through with Bobby. We are admittedly a trouble client for this builder because we’ve asked for a lot of custom stuff, so it’s extremely important to keep that custom checklist in mind when you’re building because you can easily forget about them. Here’s a quick rundown of all our custom options:

  • The gas range will have a vented stainless steel hood above it (in lieu of the microwave)
  • The microwave will be an under-counter mount like this
  • The kitchen and master bath countertops are a special order quartzite called SuperWhite (the same that we had in our last home)
  • The shop will have a separate suitcase HVAC unit and a line in the wall for the air compressor
  • The garage doors will be 8′ instead of the standard 7′
  • The smoke detector and doorbell were moved into a hallway off the main foyer
  • The family room was extended by two feet
  • Electrical outlets were added in a few closets
  • Flooring throughout most of the house will be a special order laminate (the same that we had in our last home)
  • The garden tub and standard shower was deleted and we will have a 3’x6′ glass enclosed shower and linen closet instead
  • The master bath tile is a custom 12×12 marble with a herringbone mosaic for the shower floor

Wow, that’s a lot of custom stuff when you add it all up, and I’ll bet I’ve left out a few things from the list. I’ll be honest, I never realized we had requested that many non-standard options. All I can say is hats off to The Jones Company for putting up with us!

One last thing before I go. I promised you a track photo:

Gina on the racetrack Have a fantastic weekend!