I’m so excited to bring this series to life. Over the next 12 months, we will be following the progress of building our personal home. Before we get in to the particulars of this new project, let’s set the stage. We recently sold our home (you can see all the images here) and are rebuilding in the same neighborhood. We have a heavily wooded piece of property that will soon hold our dream home! We are excited and have one year to complete the project. No pressure.
Where do you start?
So, where do you start when you’re a builder and designer and decide to build your own dream home? For us, inspiration! A clear vision that will help us turn this idea into reality is a must. Before we dive into the particulars of floorplans, kitchens, baths and materials, we need an overriding theme, a vision. I have one! I like to call what I have in mind for this home “If Ralph Lauren moved to the Hamptons…but he was poor…” That’s a pretty clear vision, isn’t it?
What does that look like?
To me, it looks like this.
Pinterest to Organize
Anytime I start a new project, I like to pull inspirational images from various sites and view them all together. Pinterest works great for that. (You can follow any or all of these boards on Pinterest here).
So, there you have it. The initial inspiration for our dream home. What do you think?
Over the next year we will be documenting the progress of this home from conception to completion. I hope you’ll stick with us!
Your Master Bath…cool, calm, serene…an oasis, a spa within your home…right? Right? Well, it can be and it doesn’t have to break the bank!
We’ve gathered up seven of our favorite Master Baths, including some we’ve created. 🙂 We’ve broken them down and found the pieces you can add to your bath to create the look you love. Take a tour of each of the baths, below, and then click on the links underneath to see where to get the key pieces for less.
How exactly DO you pick the perfect paint color, particularly when it’s an IMPACT color? I have a 5 step plan! It’s tried and true and works every single time. I promise.
Before we dive right into the process, let’s walk through it with a real life example. The room we are planning to add green to is a client’s former Sunroom. We’ll revamp it completely and give them a place to relax, read or just hang out. Here is the inspiration and plan.
So, as you can see, GREEN is a main design element here and we plan to paint all of the walls in it. This is what I call an “Impact Color”. In this case, you’re definitely NOT looking for a whole house interior color to tie everything in. We’re looking for impact! Drama! A statement!
So, how exactly DO you select the perfect impact paint color? Follow these 5 steps
1. Start With SOMETHING
You need inspiration. A pillow, a plate, hell…a shoe will work. Something you love, something you see as an inspiration for the room. Some place to jump off from. This Kate Spade plate is our inspiration piece for the room. Super cute, isn’t it?
2. Gather and Narrow
Next, we’re heading to the paint store. This is the dangerous part! Paint stores can just suck you in with all their fancy dancy displays and trick you with their lighting. Bring your inspiration item with you and use it to pull some paint chips. Hold them together, see what “goes”. Look at the lighter areas, the darker areas, the middle, and so on. You can see this above in the top photo. Bring home ALL of your chips. Pay no attention to the cashier giving you the dirty look as you walk out with a bag full of paint chips, they’re free after all! Once you’re home, spread them all out and look at them in YOUR house with YOUR lighting. You will likely change your initial thoughts and that’s OK. Now we NARROW! We are going to eliminate the ones that don’t work and narrow it down to 2 or 3…no more than 5. Really. Now we have a short list of 3 or so paint colors we like. Progress!
3. Research, But Not Too Much
Now, we head to the computer. Pinterest is your friend here. Search the name of the colors you’re considering and see what you think of them on a big wall. Of course, computer screens look different than real life and you have the actual color sitting in front of you on the chip. I believe it’s still helpful. Don’t go too far down this rabbit hole, but get a good overall feel of what these colors look like in a room. It’s helpful to see a color used over and over again, by many designers. It’s a little confidence booster! Many designers (like me) create handy charts of our favorite colors, so lean on our expertise. Here are my favorite tried and true greens. Pin it before you forget it!
4. Put Up Samples
Another field trip! Head to the paint store and buy sample quarts of the short list of colors you’re considering. Put them up on the wall, live with them and see what you think. How does it look in the morning? At night? With the adjacent room? Again, keep an open mind and see what jumps out at you. Here is my favorite Bunker Hill Green up on the wall.
5. Marry It
Make a decision and stick with it. You’ve done your due diligence and you should be confident in your decision. Paint the wall(s) and enjoy. It’s going to look great! Here is the color we selected up on all the walls. It looks amazing.
When you love Football and Interior Design (like me!), this can be the best time of the year! What better way to spruce up your home than to give it a Football Facelift? The real question is, can you actually add a few touches to your home without it looking super tacky? I think so! The key is to keep it light, general and not too heavy on the actual team. For example, if you love the Florida Gators (like I do!) then adding orange and blue touches throughout, with a few key Gator pieces, is enough. Everything doesn’t have to be logo-ish. Know what I mean? Restraint is your friend. Let’s walk through it together! (Make sure your scroll all the way down, the best is saved for last!)
In my experience, its really been the best decision, like ever. My toddler loves Nutella and everything messy. I cannot count the number of times he’s wiped his cute little face right on my white sofa.
This is him in action.
But, no problem! Throw them in the washer, add some bleach and fabric softener and I now have brand new (looking) sofas that smell great! With 5 kids (!!), I have three white slipcovered sofas and have never regretted the decision.
Here they are:
Here are a few of my favorite Family Rooms featuring my favorite item, a white slipcovered sofa.
Here are my favorites that are tried and true and work every single time. Click on the number below to take you to it! Scroll down for a handy version for Pinterest.
When it comes to home design, we love a good mood board, and we’re all for collecting inspirational images on Pinterest, but nothing can replace the ease of working with an interior designer when you want to see a room come together fast (and on a budget!)
Here’s why: our designers have access to the best pricing–thanks to Laurel & Wolf’s longstanding relationships with all the best retailers and wholesalers–and they have years of experience in creating spaces that are deeply personal to their clients.
With this in mind, we asked a few of our favorite designers if they would be willing to spill their best design secrets; the hacks they use time and again, when they want to do a quick room makeover.
Focus on a Focal Wall
Interior designer Lori Evans suggests honing in on one or two areas in your space. Love color? Paint one wall your favorite color and let everything pop! Love texture? Create a statement wall with some appeal. “Wood strips from your local home improvement store, wallpaper with some texture and fake brick paneling can enhance your room and make everything look richer,” she said.
Consider New Coffee Table Accessories
“Pick a great tray that is a different material than the table and fill it with a succulent, coffee table book, and decorative items,” said Rebekah Correll, an interior designer from Charlotte, North Carolina. “Use different heights and textures to give a layered look.”
Slipcovers and Pillows are Your Friends
Your red floral sofa may be too busy for the room and might be throwing everything into disarray. So, Lori suggests opting for a neutral slipcover and injecting personality with fun, colorful pillows. “Pick up on the wall color, the rug or even the artwork,” she said. “Mix patterns and go crazy! My formula is typically a pattern, a solid and a geometric. Keep the colorways somewhat cohesive and you’re in business.”
Create a Professional-Looking Gallery Wall
Rebekah suggests incorporating your art, family photos, and hanging plates and other cute knick-knacks from around the house. “This is a super easy, inexpensive way to fill up a wall,” she added.
Buy a New (And Probably Larger) Rug
One major design mistake is buying a rug that’s too small for your space. Lori said your carpet should go underneath the furniture pieces, at least the front legs. “If it’s floating out in the middle, it’s making the room look smaller and choppy,” she said. “You can ground the space with a nice, new, big rug.” Lori’s favorites: a Seagrass woven look or soft, patterned rug.
Shop Your Home
Gwendolyn Gibbish, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, believes it’s important to take stock of what you already own before making a fresh start. “Take a second look at pieces you might have hidden away in a closet or rearrange pieces from other rooms in a new space to make them feel different and updated,” she said.
If you think white-painted rooms are boring, it might be YOU that is boring. Harsh, I know, but it has to be said.
If you think you need color on your walls to make the room “complete”, I’d like to show you another way. White! White walls can be chic, fresh, clean…even warm. Crazy, but true.
Color on your walls does not insure a beautiful room, I promise. White on your walls does not insure a boring room, I promise. You can paint the walls any color and still have a boring room. Like, put a bunch of matching furniture in that room, add some crappy art from Bed, Bath & Beyond and boom, you’ve got a boring room. Colorful walls, but still, a boring room.
Let me show you some AMAZING rooms, all with white walls to further convince you. Some are all white, some have lots of blue and white mixed in and some have bold, fun colors added. Each one chic and fresh. Each one NOT boring.
Before we start the tour, here are my favorite 8 white paint colors that look good every time.
We’re selling our house! With three of our five kids gone, the idea to sell and rebuild had been on the table for a few years. But…we love our neighborhood and didn’t really want to move. There were no new lots available here. But then, I caught a glimpse of a red FOR SALE BY OWNER sign one night on my run. A new buildable lot, a beautiful piece of property, on the other side of the neighborhood was available. What?!? I called and made an offer right then and there. He laughed and said the sign had been up for two hours. I discreetly took it down for him and went home and told my husband what I’d done. He was in full agreement. You’d do the same right?
Fast forward…our house went for sale in April and this week we received a contract. A lovely couple will take over this dream home I created in my mind and make their own memories here.
Before we let it go, I thought we’d take a last look at it. This was our family’s dream home and I created this floorpan over many sleepless nights. Thought was put into each and every square foot, literally. The selections were painstakingly made item by item. I channeled my sister-in-law, the best cook I know, to create the kitchen of our dreams. Nothing was left to chance. What started as a heavily wooded five acre lot soon became our family’s home.
A few reasons behind the details:
-My girls wanted to be together, so I created their little pod to have their beds face each other through pocketed doors.
-Groceries for seven were a hassle, so I created a walk through pantry right off the garage to minimize trips.
-The kids’ playroom had the sofa in sight of the glass doors from the family room, so we could easily see what was going on. Computer area was allocated to the wide back hall so we could walk by and see what was going on, too.
-The laundry room received custom “garbage pull outs” in the cabinets, which I replaced with laundry baskets for colors, darks and whites.
-My husband makes a mess with his coffee area, so we created a built in coffee area for all of his “stuff” thereby keeping the countertops clear.
-The kids wanted a trampoline, se we dug out a HUGE hole and recessed into a custom built home.
There are too many details to mention! Let’s dive right in and take a look!
Brick, copper roofing, siding and black shutters.
Living Room, Entry and Dining Room
Warm paint, cream trim, extensive moldings and 12-14′ ceilings
Family Room, Kitchen and Breakfast Nook
Custom cream glazed and walnut cabinetry, black and delicious granite. Contrast ceiling color.
Master Bedroom and Bath
Travertine floors and walls, marble countertops and tile details. Polished nickel plumbing.
Four Kids Bedrooms Plus Playroom
Front and Rear Powder Baths and Laundry Room
Alligator wallpaper, reclaimed wood mirrors and polished nickel plumbing
You’re excited, you’ve got your ducks in a row, your Pinterest boards are full, your Houzz account is overflowing with images… you’re finally building your dream home. Exciting! What could go wrong?
I’ve been in the home building business for 20+ years now (please, don’t do the math) and I must tell you the 3 things that happen EVERY SINGLE TIME we build a new home that surprise the client. Seriously, every single time.
1. Your slab is going to look too small
I know this, I preach this, but guess what? When we built our last personal home, I went to my lovely husband, the General Contractor extraordinaire, and informed him that our slab, was indeed, too small. He laughed. I cried. We measured. Guess what, it was exactly correct. How could I doubt my dear husband? The lesson here is, for whatever reason, the slab will look tiny, but it’s still correct. I know, I know. How can you possibly take a shower in that teeny tiny rectangle? It’s going to feel much larger once the framing goes up. I promise.
2. Your interior paint color is going to look too dark. Like way too dark.
Color is funny. By funny I mean tricky, mean-spirited, and anxiety inducing. You’ve researched this color, pinned this color, bought samples, dreamt about it…why does it look so different now that it’s on the walls? Several reasons.
First, looking at a color in FRONT of you is very different from having the same color SURROUND you. Imagine looking AT a large red wall, now imagine being INSIDE an all red room. It’s a completely different experience. Give yourself some time to adjust.
Second, you’ve gone from the whitest-white plaster everywhere to a rich, beautiful color. The shock of that alone is enough to put you in panic mode.
Lastly, there’s nothing in the house to help balance (aka suck out) the wall color. Cabinets, flooring, tile, fixtures, trim paint…they all bring color into the space and help balance out the walls.
Take a breath, stick to your original choice. You’ve researched it to death, remember? 🙂 Once everything goes in, it will become the beautiful masterpiece you’ve envisioned. Pinky promise.
3. Your sod is going to look dead
Lovely image, isn’t it? You’ve worked with the landscape designer, selected just the perfect amount of shrubs versus flowers versus trees. It’s going to be a garden for the ages!
Then they deliver the sod. What is this shit? Why are you ruining my dream home with this? Take it away! Get it out of my sight!
Relax! It always looks a little, umm,“less than perfect” when delivered. Maybe it was the long trip, maybe it was the installation, who knows. Once it’s laid in place, watered, and starts to “take,” it will magically transform into the green lawn you’ve always dreamt of picnicking on in a few short weeks. 🙂 I swear.
Well, there it is. These three things have happened on every single house we’ve built. I even fell into the trap of the slab being too small after preaching this for years.
Take a breath, relax, stick to your guns, and trust those pinterest boards full of ideas you’ve been creating over the years. You got this!
What surprises have you encountered while building your new home or remodeling? Please share below! I’d love to hear or talk you off the ledge if needed. 🙂
Meditation room? Chef’s kitchen? Mother in law suite? Cinema room? Evans a laundry chute?! Name it and this dream home in Gainesville, Florida has it! Built by Evans Construction & Design for a fun family of five, this home has it all. Travertine floors, stacked stone accents, two story ceiling ad much, much more. Let’s take a look!