Saturday, February 28, 2009

Building for dummies part trois

These tips may not/likely will not apply to a wider group of ambition home builders, but in case anyone might benefit, here we go once again.

1. Plant a fragrant plant at your front door. Our landscaper secretly placed a Night Blooming Jasmine outside our front door and near our outdoor entertaining area. It's a pleasant surprise at the end of a long day and starts our home hours off just right. We get a lot of comments from friends when they arrive and leave as well. "What is that great smell?"

2. Carefully consider levers vs knobs on doors and gates. We ultimately went with levers throughout the house and garden because I liked the look much better. But seeing as our dog can now let himself out of the yard (yes by pressing on the lever), I cannot imagine what kids might do in the future. And no worries about Jordan, he's learned how to let himself back into the yard. (Ugh...and people question the intelligence of dogs.)

Nice paw scratches huh?

3. Consider matching your rain gutters and down pipes to your exterior colors. Our builder was at serious odds with our architect on this one. "They don't need to match the drains to the windows". We ultimately pressed on, and in the end, the architect is spot on. Even these silly little finishing details really pulled together the final product. I never would have bothered if he had not insisted.

4. With that being said, remember to say no. Our architect was an absolute inspiration to work with. All the options, all the goodies, all the costs. Originally, he wanted to cover our front door and window area in real stone. "It will be fabulous". We almost fell for it, but reason kicked in. We ultimately went with a faux styrofoam-type moulding, which turned out great. Could it have been better? Possibly. But I'm pretty darn happy with what we got (and I'm happier that I don't have stark white rain gutters).

5. Make sure you supervise the whole way through. When the walls are going up and windows going in, it's natural that you are privy to the daily decisions at the house. But towards the end when the little details are getting finalized, it's easy to trust that the builders know your preferences and slack off a bit. I wouldn't want you to come home one day expecting a normal sidewalk only to find a stained and stamped concrete alternative. You might just be disappointed that your attention temporarily wandered.

Hope some of those items might be helpful!

Looking for paint colors?

How I wish that this series of articles on was available when we were choosing paint colors. There are articles on the most popular colors, how to choose colors that are right for your space, what colors complement skin tones, how to maintain your painted walls, colors that men like (or they think men like), pretty much everything you can imagine.

If that description doesn't send you to the article, this amazing sun room should. Well done, I hear a round of applause coming...the painted wood floors seal the deal.

I don't know if this is the color used in the space above, but it certainly stood out to me. It's Farrow and Ball Card Room Green 79.

This would be beautiful with Benjamin Moore's White Dove baseboards as it has a very subtle grey undertone.

Okay time for me to stop...we won't be painting anytime soon. At least we hope not.... :)

Friday, February 27, 2009

She's at it again

More neutral interiors. This time from the talented designer Jayne Wunder as featured on Desire to Inspire. I cannot possibly fathom picking my favorite room.

The most unfair part of this? Not only is she a great designer...she's gorgeous as well. Of course...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Scandinavian design

My admiration (or obsession) with neutral palettes often leads me to Scandinavian designs. They continue to take me away to soft serene places.

Recently, a stumble to Willow Decor turned me onto Norway retailers Slettvoll. Wow. What a wonderful job of making neutral palates inviting and comforting.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Enough with the dog already

I know, I know...only owners love their dogs, but I'm officially hooked on ours. According to Mr. Big, Jordan is far to "guy guy" for any of the following (for the record, I agree), but they are too cute to keep to myself.

Leash from esty seller Aroostudio

Pet tags from etsy seller purepanache

Collar from etsy seller luckyfiona

Monday, February 16, 2009

Storage and seating in one

These bentwood storage cubes featured on Grassrootsmodern are a gorgeous take on traditional trunks.

Designed by Harri Koskinen and featured at A Place for Everything.

Wouldn't they be great in a kid's play room?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inspiration vs reality: Elfa garage systems

An organized garage has always been a main priority. This Elfa set from Container Store was the our inspiration.

On a recent trip to the States, Mr. Big picked up various options for us. Shelves, bins, hooks, all sorts of goodies. And this weekend, we drilled, leveled, screwed, and arranged our way through the installation.

Wow! I can't wait to get everything properly organized and fully utilized. Our garage floors should be finished this week, which is (once again) one step closer to completion. (By the way, how bad are those brooms in the last picture? It looks like new home construction is going to lead us (yet again) back to the hardware store.)

But don't let this new organization mislead you, a 90 degree turn reveals this...

Just a little bit left to clean out of the garage by all the sub-trades...

We're one step closer to completion, but quite a few from proclaiming it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For family and friends

Okay, okay, I'll stop posting inspiration pics and put a few photos of our place up. I suppose that is what this site was intended for anyway.

This morning we had a lovely 7am walk with Jordan and Mr. Big's dad who is visiting. (Yes, you read that correctly, Mrs. Big was up at 7am on a Saturday...and I wasn't even grumpy. What is this world coming to?) After a few weeks of unusually cold weather (68 degrees!), it was a beautiful morning of clear skies and a slight breeze. Perfect for a few moments to appreciate how the house has taken shape.

But first, Jordan would like to say hello.

Hey mom, could say hi to everyone for me? I'll be extra good if they send their loves.

And show them how I like to find big sticks and run with them these days. Here I come!

So back to the regular broadcasting. The back of the house is taking shape. All of the painting has been completed except for the pavilion. Speaking of the pavilion, the Big Ass Fan has been installed and the ceiling stained dark. Now we're just waiting on the arrival of the doors before the exterior and interior walls will be completed. Mr. Big's barbeque space is taking shape inside and soon the island will be built.

The famous Big Ass Fan. This baby moves A LOT of air.

The walls will be painted white and be textured like stone.
Similar to our front door entrance here.

The barbeque pit with the BigGreen Egg and all.
Same stone used here as our interior stone wall.

In the meantime, our outdoor dining area is getting a lot of use. And surprise, surprise, my favorite Panton chairs have made an appearance outdoors. I'm probably the only one who uses them (or likes them), but hey, it's my house too.

The dock has been stained and is just awaiting the final coat. We've used some of the left over wood from the pavilion ceiling to build storage benches for boating supplies. It will get completed and stained soon.

My grandfather had the best idea for these large walls...allow colorful bouganvilla vines to grow down them. I'm looking forward to starting that and getting a few large pots on the dock. I'm turning into a green fiend!

The rest of the garden is really starting to fill in nicely. It's amazing to see how far the side yard has come in the last seven months since it was planted.

No question that we live in the Caribbean.
The palms are coming in nicely.

The side yard now has more green that brown. A triumph!

Love this full covering used by the landscapers.
Apparently so does Jordan...we regularly find two eyes peaking out at us under this coconut palm.

The back of the garage taking hold.

The landscaping over our unattractive gas tank.

And finally, Mr. Big recently fell in love with this outdoor set. After a fair bit of negotiation, it found it's way home onto our deck. We have been spending lots of time in these chairs lately.

It's nice to end the day enjoying a drink out here. But I must admit, I've had to back off the drinks lately. I don't think Mr. Big's vision of the house included a wife with a beer belly....

Hope you all enjoyed the update!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another DIY chandelier

Very cool. Learn how to make this fun and funky pendant light here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Now this is a backsplash

Grace from Design*Sponge featured these gorgeous wall tiles by Edgewater Design in Vancouver.