Sunday, February 21, 2010

Is a Very, Very, Very Fine House

I know that I've talked about the house we're building, but have I shown you yet? I'm so fortunate to have a realtor that's willing to attempt to achieve the stalker status with which I'd surely be rewarded were I to live in the same town as that in which my house is being built.

I'm flying out to make the choices for flooring, counters, light fixtures and all the fixin's and it's made me really step back and realize where my priorities lie. I will have an eating area that's carpet free. But, does it have to be tile or can it be something else? I've kept my eyes open to alternatives to the flooring choice of my dreams ever since realizing that granite did not have to be my immediate counter top of choice, and deciding to get laminate with a glossy finish and nice edge.

Lo and behold, a couple of the recent kitchens I've really liked have had either laminate hardwood or laminate tile. I've found a couple of laminate tile options that I really like, and with little kids and a future canine friend, it may be just what the doctor ordered. Oh yeah, and did I mention a limited upgrade budget?

I do want hardwoods throughout the rest of the main living area, so think the laminate tile may be a great concession that will let me get high-quality wood in the living room, den, and possibly our bedroom. So many choices to make, but I've surprised myself by not becoming to emotionally attached to any one option, and looking at a lot of alternatives. I've been dreaming about owning a home for so long; watching HGTV and DIY with abandon, collecting tips and making lists. You can bet there are a number of projects that I won't be asking the contractor to do, because I'm confident I can take a class at Home Depot and do it myself for a lot less...Hello, tiled back splash, how are you today?

I've also been reading The Not So Big House, by Sarah Susanka, which is amazing and talks a lot about making the most use of the spaces you have. If you're designing a house, this is the book to read because she talks all about having every inch of your house be livable space, since so many houses today are built to be show-houses. We're not in the price bracket for rooms that we won't use, so instead, I'm embracing the 'small' (such a relative term since my family of six grew up in a 900 sq. ft. house).

The top priority thus far has been to have a back-yard that is ready to simply pull up and unleash the beasts. I will sacrifice granite and tile if it means I have underground sprinklers, sod and a fence for my kids to enjoy a backyard that they (and I) have lived far too long without. H is already making a mental list of the hippo pool and slip 'n slide shenanigans that will ensue!

On top of the short list (which is actually not so short anymore) of furniture, appliances, outdoor accessories and other fun stuff to buy once we are homeowners, I've added a Schwinn cruiser and the coolest stroller/bike trailer+ contraption I've ever seen.

It seats two kids and converts from jogging stroller to bike and ski trailer. Of course it's super spendy, but I'll be on the lookout for a used one first. I am so ready for sidewalks, bike lanes and riding to the farmer's market with my kids!


Sherri said...

Yeah! Thanks for posting pictures! And yes, all of the details are about priorities. And in my opinion, even the first house can be the dream house because it's what you've dreamt of for a long time!

Unknown said...

So, so exciting!! :) I remember that time in my life very well and it sounds like you're handling it much, much better than myself. Good for you for having so much planned out in advance. And the backyard - yes, that is definitely the financial priority with two boys and dreams of a few moments of free time to continue your blogging.

Maggie Bahnson said...

SO exciting. I'm living vicariously through you. Keep the updates and pictures a-coming!

Kevin McKeever said...

Definitely go with laminate hardwood in the kitchen. Don't know why I let My Love talk me into the real thing our house.