Monday, September 25, 2017

Take it or leave it?

Hey there! Hope your weekend was wonderful! I think we visited the new house about four times...and nothing was even happening. I just like to be there. 😂 I mean, I did measure for a few things, so we did have a reason to be there...most of the time.

Because this whole moving thing wasn't planned and went so fast, and because we ended up buying a spec home and finishing it, I had to make some quick decisions on what to add. There were quite a few things I repeated from the old house and a few we didn't/won't. I always love reading about what people love in their homes so I thought I would share them with you!

What we're keeping:

The wood and white stairs. I tore the carpet off of our old ones and never looked back:
Tearing carpet off wood stairs

And they were an absolute must for me. They changed the way our whole main level looked and felt and I just love them. I did consider just having them install the wood and I was going to stain them...but I knew they'd get filthy in the process. We also mess with our warranty if we do stuff on our own during the build so I didn't want to chance that. 

And because I get asked this every time I mention our stairs -- we have found them to be less slippery than carpet by far. We slid down the carpeted stairs quite a bit, but not these. I'm crossing my fingers the old ones weren't some magical non-slip wood steps and the new ones are the same. ;)
Dark wood steps, white trim

Another item that was an absolute MUST for us was the trash compactor. Ours will be in the island like our old one: 
Window seat in kitchen

It will be next to the sink which makes me super happy. It was really convenient to have it right behind the sink at the old house and I think this will be even better. 

My husband insisted on this when we started the building process with the old house 14 years back -- and I wasn't familiar with them much so just went with it. Now I get it. You can see why we love the trash compactor so much in this post. ALL the heart eyes. 

Another item pictured above will show up in the new kitchen as well...any guesses?:
Butcher block on kitchen island

I've had a wood island countertop for seven years now and it was a priority when we were deciding on what to add to the list. This time it will be a little different because the sink will be in the island, but I think it will be just as beautiful! I used butcher block tons of places in our last house -- I can count five projects just off the top of my head. It doesn't matter if you stain it or leave it oiled, it always adds warmth to a space. 

One more item in the kitchen that I love and had to have again are my tiny hidden storage compartments behind the drawer fronts here: 
Dark gray base cabinets and white uppers

Otherwise known as the tip out tray. They keep clutter off the counter around the sink and are so convenient. I had two and used one for sink/washing stuff and the other for dishwasher tablets. These are under the new sink as well.

Another one that I don't have a photo of, because it's boring, (but awesome!) is the humidifier on our HVAC system. This was another one my husband insisted on and I'm so glad he did. It keeps the house from getting super dry in the winter -- no shocking each other after walking around! And we feel like it helps us health-wise too.

What we're not keeping:

I LOVE the look of a fireplace in a But we won't have one in a new house. I think we'll survive? 😆
Fireplace in bedroom

I absolutely loved having a warm fire on really cold nights...but 99 percent of the time our room would get too hot to have it on for any extended time. I like our room a little chilly at night so we rarely used it. It was such a lovely idea and again, I loved the look...but it heated the room a little too much. (Even the pilot light would make it warmer!)

The big items we won't be adding are outside. We will be adding a pergola or something similar one day:
Deck with pergola and lights

But I don't want to do a deck. Again, love the look! But I want to simplify our lives a bit and if we can go without the upkeep of wood I'd rather do that. Having a wood deck wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to keep up with -- but we got full sun so it did need to be restained every few years. We had to replace a few of the boards this past summer too. 

This time, I want a HUGE patio. But not a paver patio like before: 
Paver patio with stone fireplace

As beautiful as it is, I'm craving something with less upkeep. Simple, remember? The pavers themselves weren't bad at's the weeds that grow between them (and seeds that land) that you have to keep up with. I WILL miss the pretty moss that grew between the pavers though -- that was one of my favorite things about our backyard!

This time? All concrete. We'll probably do stamped concrete, but I want easy maintenance. All one piece! Whoot! 

Is there something in your house that you would repeat in another home? Of course many of the design changes I made will show up again in the new house too...can't wait to get started! 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

One sofa or two? Help me decide!

Well things are moving along quickly at the new house and all of a sudden I need to get serious about planning the spaces! I already have a good idea of what I'll be doing with most of the rooms but I still can't decide on the family room. 

I think the last photo I shared with you was this one: 
Two story fireplace family room

SO much has happened in here since! The floors went down this week -- be sure to follow along on my Instagram account (and the stories there) to see updates! I am SO thrilled with the hardwoods!! I'm pretty sure the tile surround will go up this week too. 

I have two ideas in mind for the layout in here. This is the only room in the house that we'll be getting a few new pieces of furniture. (We don't have a dining or living room in this house so we actually sold furniture from the last house.) I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing on the sides of the fireplace but I have to decide on the furniture for the middle of the room. 

One thing I LOVE about this room is that everything will float in the middle. I think it will feel so open and airy and I'm super excited about figuring out this space. 

We'll be using this sofa from the old living room
Neutral deep sofa

And these chairs from the old family room
Long family room furniture layout

This is where I'm trying to decide on how to place them. Those of you that know me know that even though I try hard to fight it, I'm a symmetrical girl at heart. I mean, it hurts me when I can't do the same on both sides...of whatever.

So this fireplace is calling out for it, right? My immediate thought was that I wanted to try to get another one of our sofas and put them facing each other in front of the fireplace. It's just SO GOOD: 
Two sofas and two chairs in front of fireplace Muskoka Living

Four chairs in front of fireplace BHG

Two sofas on either side of fireplace Heather Bullard

two sofas facing each other rustic fireplace Country Living

I know, I know. That one photo has four chairs, but still...SYMMETRY. I love thee. 

We got the sofa for a GREAT price on sale at a local furniture store, but I'm not sure they still have it or if I could get it for that price again. 😬 I think I'm going to call to see if it's possible. 

Pros of the two sofa layout: 
  • It's aesthetically pleasing. When I see two sofas it just calms me and feels "right." 
  • Two sofas facing each other are more furniture but seem to keep the room more open. I love that the end of the room would be open to the rest of the great room.
  • TV watching will be done sitting on one end of the sofa, for the most part. We tend to lay down when watching TV so I see us doing that on each sofa. But I can also see fights for those spots. ;) 
  • It can go a little more formal -- but I think this depends on the sofa style too. 

There's another option that's a good one too -- to place the sofa directly in front of the TV and then put the two chairs facing each other on either side. I can't even find good photos of this option, buy you know what I'm saying, right? Maybe even get a couple more chairs so there would be a set on either side of the room. I got those on sale, so that wouldn't be too bad if I got them at the same price.

Pros of the one sofa layout: 
  • Guests rarely sit on sofas. Have you ever noticed that? They sit in chairs or stand. I think it would be great for when we have company. (I think it makes it feel a little more intimate for that reason.)
  • I love that we could just sit on the sofa anywhere and see the TV. 
  • I think it could start to feel a little busy with four smaller furniture pieces. 
  • Having the sofa at the "end" of the room kind of closes it off. 

Do you have either one of these family room layouts? How do you like them? I'd love to hear the good and the bad about both! I think I'll make a decision after we get in -- I'd like to see how the sofa looks in the room first, and then decide if it will feel too tight for two. 

Affiliate links included for your convenience!