Category Archives: Construction

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.


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.




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 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:


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!


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!

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!


A roof and stairs and windows, oh my!

It’s been a very exciting week around the Julian home! The best news is that construction has been moving along quickly with no delays. And our builder, Bobby, said they would fix our framing issue at no charge and move the windows and fireplace over so it wouldn’t be shoved up in the corner. I can have drapes now without completely covering my windows! And the fireplace is now in the true center of the room! Yay! Take a look now… much better.

Framed fireplace and windows

Here’s Bobby on the left, and Chris on the right is the lead roofing professional. Talking to these guys you can really tell that they love their jobs and truly care about how well these homes work for the people who will live in them.

Bobby and Chris

And here’s a pic of them up on the roof… that’s right, we have a roof!

Front of house

And stairs! I guess I was expecting some temporary pressed wood stairs at this point, so I was totally surprised when I saw they had installed the final oak tread stairs. The treads will be stained to match our floors and the risers will be painted a clean white to match the trim in the rest of the house.

Stairs in the new house

And now we have windows and exterior doors. This nice guy even let me nail down one of my own windows. It took me like twenty swings of the hammer to make sure I didn’t whack the window trim. I think I’ll keep my day job.

Windows being installed

Here’s a view of the side of the house with all the windows installed. The opening you see there is where the screened patio will be. Can’t wait to sip my morning coffee there.

Windows on the side of the home. Well that is all I have to report at the moment. This week begins the rough-in stage where we will have plumbing and electrical installed. It’s starting to look like a house!

A Few Curve Balls

Well, this post is much later than expected and for good reason. A lot has happened since we closed on the sale of our home. A lot of sad stuff and a lot of good stuff as well, so many mixed emotions are going on.

On March 24 we moved out of our old house and moved in with my mother-in-law, Betty, so we could save our pennies while the new house was being built. She was kind enough to share her home with us and we will always be grateful for that. Betty had been ill with COPD for many years, and on April 24 she passed unexpectedly, yet very peacefully. There are no words to describe how grateful we are to have had that last month with her, and we miss her dearly. She was the best mother-in-law a girl could ask for.

Betty’s passing was the major curve ball that was thrown our way. A few more curve balls have also been thrown, and we’re dealing with them one by one. For starters, we are having to divide the assets and get the house ready for sale. This means having an estate sale, yard sales, and finding private buyers for many antique pieces and artwork. We’re not sure how long we’ll be able to stay in the house, but it’s our hope that we won’t have to move out before the new house is complete (it’s slated for end of August right now).

We also inherited another greyhound! Meet miss Candy Well, a 12-year-old “Super Senior” hound.


Candy came to live with Betty when she was 2 years old and, as you might expect, was not able to get out much due to Betty’s health. She was spoiled rotten and was never scolded, so we are trying our best to retrain her and break some of her bad habits (one of which is using the carpet and rugs as her personal restroom – aaack!). We’re happy to report that she is thrilled to take as many short walks as we can give her, and we’re working on getting her into more social situations with other dogs.

Last but not least, we’ve finally had a good bit of progress on the house. There were a ton of approval hoops to jump through due to the site being a high-impact lot, but the footer was poured a little over a week ago and the framing is now in progress! Here are a few pics we snapped while visiting over the weekend:

Front of the new house That’s me standing in what will be our walk-in closet. The space in front of me will be our front porch.

Front of the new house

Another view from the front of the house. I won’t have much of a yard, and I’m okay with that!

The Garage

Here’s Michael standing in the middle of what will be his 3-car garage with attached workshop. This part of the house will be known as “Michael’s Wing.” Haha.

Fireplace framed out

This is taken from what will be the great room. That’s the fireplace in the middle and the two windows on each side. I’ve always read that the framing/wiring/plumbing stage is a good time to take snapshots of your house so you’ll know exactly where your studs, pipes and electrical wiring is located. Good things to know so you don’t drill straight into your cable wiring or your plumbing, right? It’s also good to note how easy or difficult it will be to secure drapery rods above your windows, which is why this picture poses a little problem. See that window in the left corner? There’s no room for a drapery rod to extend and for drapes to hang on the left side (which would be the logical side to hang a panel). Not a very useful window, huh? We’ve taken this issue to our builder at The Jones Company and are waiting to hear back from them. I’ve asked them to move both windows and the fireplace over a minimum of six inches, and to even up the space between the windows and fireplace (they were not framed out equal distances apart). We signed off on the plans but there were no measurements to show how far away it would really be from the corner. We’re hoping that the builder will understand the need for the adjustment and not charge us for this change, so I’m going to stay positive on that until I hear the verdict.

So that’s the last month and a half in a nutshell. Funny how life keeps you on your toes, huh?  I’ll be back soon to post the decision on the framing change and give you all a peek at the floor plan of the house.