Who is up for a tour of our new home today?! These photos are of our house when it was as new as new can be; they were quickly snapped after closing and before we moved in. You know, the newborn phase where everything is young and shiny (plus a little high maintenance and fussy), and when you’re walking on cloud nine in a haze of happy exhaustion and nervous energy. I’m rewinding the past two months a bit and starting at the beginning when there was just this: a total blank slate that represented the accumulation of over a year of making decisions, designing, managing, building, fretting, and dreaming. With a pic or two from now thrown in so there’s some color in the midst of all this neutral goodness!
It’s a little unnerving to pull back the curtain and give a peek at the bare naked version of our home (oh nellie, here comes the weird traffic from Google.) Consider this the ‘before’, where you can really see all of the design details and get a good idea of the flow of the space before it’s filled with furniture. For those of you who love a blank slate, buckle up for an onslaught of photos and I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Note: there’s dust on the floors and blue tape because the builders did not get everything done before closing. I wish I’d been able to shine up the floors or set up a tripod before taking photos but we had workers in and out so there just wasn’t time. #bloggerproblems #maybewithournexthouse #justkiddinghoney
Here’s the spot that started it all– the curved staircase I fell in love with in the entryway. It’s stunning, and also we are too scared to go up and down while wearing socks so we always end up using the back staircase instead. face::palm
The only light fixture we upgraded with our builder was the entryway chandelier because helllloooo scary tall ceilings that we didn’t want to try to reach! We’re happy with this one, it’s not 100% my favorite but I’m not mad at it. I think it goes well with the overall look but those boob lights photobombing in the background have gots to go.
Living Room and Eating Area
The original design had a half wall between the eating nook and living room, which we removed to create a more flexible space. We also got builder grade light fixtures throughout our home (except for the entryway, obvs) because we didn’t like their choices. So that chrome light is going to be replaced as soon as I find a dining area pendant I love.
We wired for a pendant in the living room and I ordered one from Arhaus but ended up returning it because the finish on it was drastically different than what I expected. So I’m on the hunt for a replacement! Here’s the back wall of the living room, waiting for curtains and paint. And furniture. And a rug. It’s happening, slowly but surely.
This fireplace will really pop once I get some paint on the walls and do something to the slate front.
The view of the hallway behind. Those closet doors are super tall and make us look like Hobbits when we stand in front of them. Totally awkward.
Here’s the view in the opposite direction, towards the kitchen.
Looking through the photos from closing day, there’s one kinda important area I missed: THE KITCHEN! So here’s a few snapshots from after we moved in but before we put on the hardware. The kitchen is the first space we’re tackling and I can’t wait to show you the design board, hardware, light fixtures, and get your input on what to choose for the backsplash.
I love how light and airy it is!
This is the only photo I could find of the island is from an Instagram story. Not sure if we’re going to keep the island white or paint it, but here’s how it looked the day after we moved with plenty of dirt on the floor. 😉
View of the other side, minus the fridge. Note taken. Will rephotograph this room soon.
Our laundry room is an area we paid to expand but it’s still tiny; however, I’m not complaining because our previous laundry area was in the unfinished basement of our old house. This is such an upgrade! It also serves as a mudroom and we’re still working out the kinks trying to make it multitaskbut I think I have some good solutions about to happen. Again, we didn’t have the luxury of a mudroom in our last house so we are NOT taking this space for granted!
A close-up of the tiled floors… my favorite part.
The dining room is off of the entryway so I’d like to get it painted soon. It’s also housing another light fixture that I’m looking forward to changing out.
I do love the moulding they included above the dining room doorway. It was a surprise, I’d assumed it was an upgrade when I saw it in the model home.
We were careful to choose neutral bathroom tiles and flooring so we could play with those a bit. They currently all look similar (with the exception of the master bathroom, wait until you see that…) so a few photos should suffice. The downstairs bathroom connects to the guest room and does have a walk-in shower instead of a tub, as requested by my mom.
We used cultured marble for the countertops, but did a neat trick where we had them use a matte finish so they looked more natural and luxe. We also upgraded to a thick edge and square sinks in the downstairs and master bathrooms (kids and matte finishes don’t mix so we kept it glossy for those rooms.)
Here’s one of the kid’s sinks for contrast– you can see the glossy finish of standard cultured marble.
We added the playroom above the living room, exchanging the gorgeous two-story living room windows for the room above. What we gave up in tall windows we gained in square footage, so it was worth it.
Two nooks flank the doorway when you stand with your back to the windows. Until I upgrade my camera with a wider lens to get a better shot, you’re stuck looking at just one of them. 😉 Each nook houses two bookcases for much-needed toy storage.
The house has five bedrooms and we’re using one of those as an office for my husband (I scored the legit office downstairs because it’s off the entryway which tends to get noisy once the kids get home.) Since the bedrooms are currently decorated the same, here’s what they look like times four (the master is a bit different, as you’ll see in a minute.)
Boob light + white walls + light carpet + windows. Rinse and repeat. Ohhhhhh I can’t wait to get out the fresh paint and wire in some fun light fixtures!
Here’s the budget-friendly bookcases we got for my daughter’s room. This room is going to change dramatically per her request but for now it’s neutral and pretty.
The master is larger than we need, but we aren’t going to complain. It has a lovely sitting area off to the side, and I’ve been drinking my coffee reading in here before we get moving in the morning, and I’ll tell you what– it’s blissful! If I had unlimited money I’d add a balcony off the back but right now my comfy chair works just fine.
The carpet is different here than in the rest of the house. I wanted hardwoods and my husband wanted wall-to-wall plush. We both agree this works well instead– no cold toes and there’s a little texture to make me happy.
It actually transitions nicely to the hallway, which really does glow like that.
Let me start by saying that when we looked at houses to build or buy, having a large master bathroom wasn’t on our list of ‘musts’ or even ‘nice to haves’. But when we expanded the garage to a 3-car garage it bumped out the master bathroom and gave us an additional walk-in closet. It’s a stark change from our last home, our previous bathroom was so small it could barely fit the two of us at one time! Needless to say, we are enjoying the space and having separate closets is more glorious than I could have imagined.
Looking into our master from the bathroom gives a better idea of layout and closets.
All the heart eyes for the TUB!!!!!!! I tried upgrading to a stand-alone tub once we were in the middle of construction but it was too late to switch. The decked tub is hard to clean (I have to basically climb up and get inside there to clean it) but it’s amazing nonetheless. And it came standard so we didn’t have to pay a penny more for it unlike the stand-alone tub, so my husband is happy.
Two other details I never knew I needed: walk-in shower and a toilet room. Not to be confused with each other.
Once I figure out how to paint thermofoil cabinets these are getting getting some color on them. Also switching out the light fixtures and either reframing the mirror or getting two separate ones to look less ‘builder’s grade’ once the budget allows.
Here’s a better look at the matte cultured marble countertops. I’ll get my tripod and lights out eventually and get some glamour shots so you can really see the details.
The other upgrade in here was the plumbing fixtures; to switch it out after closing was just as expensive as paying the builder for the upgrade so we went for it.
As for the deck, we opted for the standard (small) one so that we could add in a custom porch & deck combo after closing. We plan to use it for three seasons of the year which is why we opted to go custom so we could help design it. For now, we can squeeze a grill and table on the deck but not much else… and are enjoying it regardless.
I didn’t get a snapshot of the office that I can find, so I’ll add that into the next tour. Right now it’s a mess because it’s full of projects for my book, files, art, and DIY supplies and if you saw it I might get my pro organizer license revoked. 😉
For details on all the finishes and brands, be sure to check out How to Make Design Decisions you Won’t Regret for exact names. It’s chock full of details room by room.
We’re getting settled, we’ve moved our possessions from the apartment and long term storage and added a few new pieces into the mix. We still have walls to paint, window treatments and art to hang, and decorating to be done… which means in it’s current state our home is in that awkward teenage phase. But we know what happens to teenagers, they blossom, so I have no qualms about sharing this phase with you in an updated home tour over the next month or so. Just have grace with the growing pains as we get there… I’m trying my best to be patient as we settle in because instant decorating rarely ends well so I’m slowing my roll and enjoying the process.
What do you think so far? Would love to hear how you’d decorate the space!
Read the entire ‘Building Up’ series about building a new construction home here:
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