Remember that little ole house we’re building?
The one that looks like this at 5pm on a winter’s eve?
It’s almost done!
We should close in the next few weeks!
I’d better hurry up and share the details.
If you’ve missed my other posts, our family is building a custom home in the Austin, TX area. We’re not physically building it ourselves—we’ve hired Lake Hills Custom Homes to do the hard part and we’re along for the decision-making ride.
Today we’ll check out the backside and visit the inside as well.
And if you’re wondering why it’s taking so long to build a custom home…..there are a few factors in play:
Weather, making changes to the plan, mistakes here and there, unforseen issues, and coordinating a barrage of trades/workers for each step of the way. I’m always amazed at how quickly a week can go by when it’s been raining or a crew can’t come the day they were scheduled for.
I’ve definitely learned a ton through this process—from being patient, to being pushy, to letting go of every tiny detail. You can’t get it all perfect, even if it’s “custom”. And 99% of the people that stop by the house will never know the little things that didn’t work out as I had hoped.
And you know what, who cares? It’s an amazing house and an amazing adventure. I love this home!
Okay. Here’s how she looked when you stopped by last.
Framed, with windows, and a finished exterior.
Now we’ve got sheetrock, trim, and she’s ready for a paint job!
These are the windows in my new studio. Yum.
Carpenters trimmed out the dining and great rooms:
There’s now a kitchen in the works and they built us a mud room! Why are cubbies so cute?
And why are rows of shelves so pretty? Um, this is the master closet….which I think will second as a piano practice room, because I honestly don’t remember it looking that big on the plan. Plenty of room for fabric as well (and Casey’s stuff I guess)
There are lots of doors and windows in the house which I really wanted—pretty natural light. In fact, almost every room has two ways in and out. So if there’s ever an emergency, we’ve got an escape plan! And if money flowed like a chocolate fountain I would have paid to have every single window cased with trim, because I just love those added details. But that will be something we work on over time. For now we paid for casings in the main living spaces downstairs.
And for zero cost we got all sorts of scribble scrabble, math problems, and notes on our walls. Bargain! It makes me smile to know that these are hiding under our wall paint, forever entombed in the house. Just little messages from the past that helped to create…..
a fireplace and shelves!
The home building process really pulls you in every direction and emotion. You spend hours/months mulling over Houzz.com and Pinterest (follow my home boards here) to find the PERFECT look for the room…..and then one day the trim carpenter shows up and you have to quickly make a 5-minute decision about a huge feature like the fireplace. Um, well, let’s try this?…..
And it totally works out.
My inspiration for the fireplace was this gorgeous home on House Beautiful. Just click through all those photos. It’s fantastic.
Next decision to make….paint.
I must have painted 8 shades of gray and some pale blues on every wall in the house, to see it in different light and shadows.
…along with a few greens colors that I quickly nixed. I decided to stick with green on the front door (and for the tile in our bathroom. Yes! I have a green shower! I love it). And then I went with neutral shades on the walls so that I can accent with color in other ways—light fixtures, furniture, fabric, etc.
And after looking at SO many shades of gray, I have found my absolute favorite—-Repose Gray, SW 7015. This swatch below is probably my favorite color family in the entire store Check out all the shades on there. I’d use them all! We went with Repose Gray on many walls of the house because it’s subtle and soothing and makes the white trim really pop. I’m a new believer in warm grays over cold ones, even if you don’t use any brown colors in your home. The brown undertones in the paint just makes the house feel inviting.
We also used Dovetail on accent walls in the Master. And I regret that we went with a more blueish-gray on the exterior of the house (we used Cityscape, SW 7067). If I could do it again, I’d use Gauntlet Gray below. But. Let it go…let it go! (thank you Elsa)
All the trims inside and out were painted Pure White, SW 7005. And the beams and staircase were stained New Ebony, SW 3135. I’m so happy we went with the exposed beams; they add so much to the room.
And for a Final paint-photo of the room?….you’ll have to wait till next blog post because it’s been an ongoing process of painting and fixes.
So I’ll share the paint when I share flooring and tile.
In the meantime, let’s go outside!
I love pulling up to a pile of this at the house in the morning. It’s going to be a good productive day.
Last post the back deck looked like this:
Somewhere along the building process we decided to change the deck plan and expand the lower deck to make it a more usable space, rather than a walkway. Our deck builder recommended nothing less than 12 feet wide, leaving enough room for a table and space to move around. So we bumped it out 6 more feet and the workers made it happen.
They built a large stairwell on the left side connecting the upper deck down to the ground level. And on the master bedroom side they built another set of stairs, leading to the unfinished yard.
…and they left plenty of play-things behind. Dirt, wood, and rocks. That’s all these kids need. Why did we build a house?
Next up….I had to make a final decision on the “Look” of the deck. I poured and pinned over photos for months.
I originally wanted an all-white, beach cottage-meets-southern plantation style deck. White balusters for sure. But then our Deck guy talked me into black balusters. He pointed out that black allows your eye to see thru the bars and focus on the view beyond, while white makes you stop and focus on the bars themselves. Very true.
(Top photos here and here. Bottom photo source here and here. And if you live in Seattle, check out this builder that made the gray house. Very cool stuff. Wish I could use them)
So we went with black! …..with white rails, and tongue-and-groove slatted ceilings. Perfect spot to launch parachute men.
As for the deck material itself, we went back and forth over wood vs. composite (like Trex or Timbertech). We liked the idea of composite wood because it’s low maintenance. But the cost was double our budget. And to be honest, I love how warm and cozy real wood looks on a deck. So we went with treated cedar, which cost more than treated pine but will have a better life-span in our very hot climate. Then we selected a solid “paint” stain in….gray! Shocker. We used Woodsmoke Gray, SW 3010 which is also a warm gray tone. All the exterior white trim is the same Pure White, SW 7005 we used inside as well.
And just like that our deck went from this:
We just need a few ceiling fans installed and it’s done!
We’re so pleased with how it turned out. And I have to credit Casey for the overall vision and pushing to make it happen. I was on the fence and didn’t know if the upper deck would get the use we wanted. But Casey’s family had one growing up and they loved it, and they used it. So we went for it! And by bumping the whole thing out to give it more space, and adding the large connecting stairs, it really came together. I know this deck will have a life of its own.
Both in daylight and dusk, waiting for those big Texas stars to shine big and bright.
And that my friends was a long-needed update.
Thanks for following along.