We had the pleasure of working with a fun Gainesville family to renovate their entire Kitchen, Dining & Family Room a few years ago and now we’ve been called back in to redo their Kids’ Bath. This bathroom is a workhorse of the home, serving two (beyond adorable) kids and visiting guests, all in one. The home is on a beautiful little lake in Gainesville, surrounded by lemon and orange trees, and is totally picturesque. A wonderful family like this deserves a great Guest/Kids Bath, right? Evans Construction & Design can help!
Classic, fresh and clean was the scheme for this bath. We also planned to rearrange it a bit, moving the shower down to the end where the door once was. This creates a more private bathroom with just one entrance and allows for a larger shower.
We are so happy with how it turned out. Let’s take a look!
What exactly does “breaking ground” mean? How do you go from a flat little piece of property to an actual standing structure? Let’s take a look together!
If you’re just joining us, this is the fourth installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home. We started off with INSPIRATION, tackled the FLOORPLAN, then discussed LOCATION. Now, let’s dive into the fun part…BREAKING GROUND.
One of the neat things about building a home almost anywhere in the US, is that the majority are built using the same standardized building process. One reason is that building codes are typically very similar across the country. Another reason is cost, since this process produces a home pretty quickly at a reasonable price. If you ever watch a house being built, you’ll see it goes through the following steps:
Installation of windows and doors
Rough electrical and plumbing
Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets
Carpet and flooring
Hookup to water main, or well drilling
Hookup to sewer or installation of a septic system
So, where are we now on this project?
Well, we’ve “cleared and scraped the lot“, which basically means two different subcontractors came in and did their thing. The tree people came in and cut down all the pine tress that were planted many years ago to harvest, took them away and left all the pretty oak trees for us. Then, the site guys came with their big equipment and cleared out and flattened the area we will build on.
Next, the area was “formed up and filled“. This means the house was measured out on the ground (exactly how the floorplan dictates), footings were dug around the perimeter and filled with concrete. Fill dirt was brought in by our fill guy and a stem wall was created to get the house to look nice and tall. Then, any plumbing or electrical that needed to go through the foundation was put in, like drains and floor outlets.
Next, our concrete people came and poured the concrete slab. Pretty exciting! I reminded myself of my own rule, which is “a concrete slab always looks too small”. (See my post on “3 Things That WILL Happen When You Build” here, which includes this one!)
Now, we are “framing“, which means the framing crew builds the walls and roof. This is definitely the most exciting phase, since you start to really “see” the house taking shape. The floor system, walls and roof systems are built, then OSB sheeting is applied to the exterior walls. The house is then “wrapped” with a protective barrier, known as house wrap, that prevents water from infiltrating the structure.
So, now we have a real life house! I couldn’t be happier with the progress and how the layout is taking shape. It’s always scary to build a completely new floorplan that’s unlike anything you’ve ever built before. Yet, here we are doing exactly that! I’m excited to see this house start to come together.
Thanks for stopping by and following along with our project! If you’d like to recap, you can find the first 3 installments in this series, “Building Our Dream Home” here, here and here.
Where do ideas come from? Well, not from thin air. Inspiration is a beautiful thing and I LOVE being inspired by great designers. Pinterest fads may come and go, but true design is timeless.
Here’s my completely unscientific, highly opinionated list of the best Interior Design books out there in 2019. Some are new, some are old, but all are truly inspiring and look great on a coffee table. Enjoy!
New York Times bestselling book from interior designer Mark D. Sikes is a celebration of American style today, showcasing chic and accessible ideas for every home. Modern and unfussy, Mark D. Sikes’s interiors are classic takes on California indoor/outdoor living, with natural fibers and crisp coloration, informed and influenced by the fashion world where he began his career.
Tory Burch sees the world in color, inspired by people, places, and ideas—all of which influence her brand, synonymous with print and color. In her first book, she explores what living in color means to her. The book is organized by color, each one brought to life through images of her own collections and travels; how she entertains; style icons; the works of artists, authors, and interior designers she admires; and the advice of business leaders—many of whom are interviewed within.
Assouline began with an idea and a belief: the first, a notion that beauty, perfected, has meaning that is capable of transforming our lives; and the second, that a book—artfully crafted and highly considered in its visual content—can open our eyes and minds.
In celebration of Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary as a global fashion icon, Mr. Lauren has expanded upon his original 2007 book to provide further insight into his evolution, philosophy, processes, and passions as a designer.
Black and white décor is at once dramatic and understated, modern and classic, apparent in the work of iconic designers such as Dorothy Draper and Madeleine Castaing but just as present in design today.
Lavishly illustrated in full color, a book of thirty-six spectacular houses and gardens—whose owners come from the worlds of fashion, music, art, and society—drawing on stories from the pages of Vogue and VogueLiving as well as never-before-published images by iconic photographers.
Domino: The Book of Decorating cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders’ secrets from today’s premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual.
Phoebe Howard, known affectionately as Mrs. Howard to her clients, has a penchant for creating stylish spaces, which has evolved into her own critically acclaimed brand of interior design. Mrs. Howard’s first book features several of her largest design projects and addresses the most common decorating issues and questions her clients and customers ask.
From an early age, Aerin understood that Estée’s passion for family was equal to her love of beauty. Now, Aerin has made this legacy her own. For the first time, she shares memories of the family celebrations and world travel that formed her sense of style.
So, there you have them! Don’t forget to Pin this to your Pinterest board for future reference.
A fireplace above the tub in the Master Bath? A gorgeous Kitchen with stone hood? Custom doggy door? This home in Alachua, Florida has it all! Really! From matte black plumbing to bamboo flooring, this chic and modern farm-fresh home is outstanding. Let’s take a look!
It stands out in a sea of Brushed Nickel, Chrome, Oil Rubbed Bronze and (now) Matte Black. It’s the perfect warm-gold. It’s not bright brass from the 80s, not even close. They have everything you need for your Kitchen or Bath.
Here’s just a very small sampling…
So, let’s say you’ve decided to use this lovely combination in your home. Amazing! But… you need some things to coordinate with it. Knobs…lights…mirrors… What goes with this gorgeous finish? Brizo makes a few things to coordinate but not much….like one light…seriously.
You can MIX the finish with other finishes…maybe matte black? That’s a valid option. But, let’s look at what will actually coordinate with Luxe Gold from other brands. Here are a few of my favorites. Don’t worry, all the links are down below at the bottom of the post.
Is This The Same As Delta’s Champagne Bronze?
Before we dive into each of these items above( links are below) let’s address a mistake I almost made.
Is Brizo’s “Luxe Gold” finish interchangeable with Delta’s “Champagne Bronze”? I mean Delta OWNS Brizo…they look similar…they’re probably the same right?
No…no they’re not.
Brizo’s Luxe Gold is lighter, less “gold-y”. Delta’s Champagne Bronze is deeper and would mix easily with standard brass options. (Maybe we’ll cover that in the future!) But for now, let’s stick with
So let’s breakdown that Cheat Sheet. Scroll down for the all the links below!
So now we have a BUNCH of options to coordinate with the amazing Brizo Luxe Gold line. Here is a handy dandy Cheat Sheet for you, with links, along with one perfectly formatted for your Pinterest page.
“Location, location, location!” You’ve heard it a million times before and it really holds true. Where you build is just as important as what you build.
When we considered rebuilding for ourselves, location was the prime determining factor. We loved the neighborhood we lived in and didn’t want to stray too far from it. Since there were no remaining lots for sale, we decided to stay put. But…one night while out running, a little red FOR SALE BY OWNER sign popped up that wasn’t there the evening before. I called right there, made an offer and took the sign down (shh). I ran home, told my husband and we gave the deposit the next day. Sometimes things just work out! Now we are starting the process of rebuilding just down the road!
If you’re just joining us, this is the third installment of a year long series documenting the building of our personal dream home. We started off with INSPIRATION ( here), then tackled FLOORPLANS (here). Now let’s dive into LOCATION.
So, if where you build is just as important as what you build, how do you decide? Here are a few tips!
When looking at properties, consider the following:
The size of the lot and closeness of neighbors
Slope/flatness of land
Direction the lot faces (Where will the sun be?)
Natural surroundings (forest, field, water, etc.)
Trees (Remember – tall, old trees can’t just be planted)
The style of other houses in the neighborhood
Access to resources (Will you need a well? Septic tank? New power, phone or cable hookups?)
Talk to a Professional! Although it is not necessary, having a professional such as a contractor look at the property you are interested in may save your some headaches down the line.
Once you find a lot you are interested in, research the property.
Find information on the zoning, wetlands, septic connections, energy code, etc. These all affect what you can do. For example, zoning can affect the required setback distance from the street, the height of your house, and whether or not you can build an in-law suite.
Is the lot in a historic district? If so, there may be additional requirements or restrictions on how your home must look and what materials it must be built with.
Look into home values in the surrounding neighborhood. You may not want to build a $2 million house in a much less expensive area.
Speak to the neighbors. This is one of the best ways to find out if the area is a good fit for your family
What is the school district?
Keep all of these things in mind, do your research and enjoy!
How much does it actually cost to hire a designer? Well, it depends. It depends on what you’re looking for, the size of your project, who you are actually hiring and how pleasant you are to work with (it’s true).
The term “Interior Designer” is often used by decorators, furniture store salespeople, stagers and even stylish friends. Knowing what you’re actually getting can be tricky and you might need to do a bit of research. Searching the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) website for designers in your area is a good place to start.
So, what are the different types of designers and what do they offer?
Straight-up professional Interior Designers you work with directly in your home
The most expensive option, but also the most comprehensive. This scenario has a licensed Interior Designer meet you in your home, work up a plan of action and handle everything. Professional Interior Designers are equipped to handle any design project you have. Furnishing a room, providing new home selections, built-in designs, simple updates, they’ll handle it all. You can (typically) expect an overall budget, allowances, floorpan, concept board, material selections, and final plan before anything is finalized. Know the fancy boards you see in movies with samples attached…you’re getting them, yippee! Once you agree on everything, the designer will typically place the orders, receive the merchandise, coordinate any subcontractors, deliver and install all items, and set the room up completely. Everything is handled and you can enjoy the space! You can expect to pay either a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the designer. Speaking for myself, I prefer charging a flat fee, so that everyone knows what the project will cost upfront, but each designer is different.
Depending on the scope of work and size of your project, you can usually expect to spend around 20-25% of the overall budget for the project plus 20% on top of any items ordered and delivered by the designer. It might sound pricey, but ordering, receiving and delivering these items entails a lot of work and liability. This 20-25% range is true for a variety of project types and is a good rule of thumb. When you get into new home selections or remodeling, the fee can go up from there. Plumbing, lighting, paint, cabinetry, etc are very detailed and take time. The fee will reflect that. A typical new home selection will run around $5,000 and remodeling projects will fall back into the 20-25% of the project range.
TIP: Offer to have the items sent directly to you and hold them there until installation day and forgo the upcharge. Personally, I often offer this to my clients and it saves us both! Win-win!
New to the game, this is an efficient and cost effective way to design a space. It sounds a little crazy… handling everything online without the designer even seeing your space… but it really isn’t. Trained designers can easily work off a plan, dimensions, photo and a budget. This set up typically goes like this for a room design. You provide the designer with an overall budget, a few inspirational photos, brands you like and a floorpan with photos of the space. The designer comes back to you with a concept board, to make sure you are both on the same page. Once approved, you move into the actual selections for the space and the designer provides a rendering of the room with the items, right where they’ll go. The process typically goes for 10 days or so and you go back and forth until you are completely happy with each and every item. The designer keeps the budget and preferences in mind throughout. In the end you receive a final package with a furniture plan, final design board, a shopping list with direct links to order, and set up instructions.
You can typically plan to pay between $500-$1,000 for a comprehensive room design, which is really a great deal. Personally, I LOVE providing online design to my clients, locally or from a distance. In fact, my first year offering online services, I completed 50+ rooms in 3 countries and loved every minute of it! You can work with a designer directly (me! me! right here!) or through a design website like Laurel & Wolf (me, me, here too!)
TIP: Find a designer with a large portfolio online that you already like and you’re halfway there!
This can really be hit or miss and it totally depends on the store.
Best case scenario is with a great store like Koontz Furniture in Florida. Stores like Koontz have top tier, professional Interior Designers who also work on their sales floor and offer design services as part of the furniture selection process. What? It’s true! If you’re looking for help picking out a room full of new items, this is a great way to go. You can get professional design services and end up not paying anything more than you would have paid for the furniture from their store. Let that sink in for a bit. You end up paying nothing. Often, you can also hire these designers to help you with more than just the furniture, for an additional fee. They, then , charge a design fee and help you with whatever you need; paint, cabinets, flooring and furniture, too.
Worst case scenario has you working with a “Decorator” in a dark, dingy chain furniture store who’s really just trying to sell you what they have. Is that middle aged man in a short sleeved button up and tie trying to sell you on the hottest trend? Run! The truth is you don’t know until you do a bit of research. Furniture stores can be an absolute treasure trove of talent, or not.
TIP: Find a store with brands you like, set a budget and see what they can do for you.
Your stylish friend who claims to be a decorator
We all have one. She’s well dressed, trendy and “knows” decorating. She just can’t let you spend money on a designer, because she can help you for free! Tread lightly here. If it’s few accessories you’re looking for, by all means go together to TJMaxx and have a fun afternoon. If it’s paint colors, furniture pieces, overall design of a room, please use a trained professional. When she’s in over her head, she probably won’t tell you and your room (and friendship) will suffer. Expect to pay nothing or little to nothing.
As I initially said, it all really depends. If you’re looking to spruce up your space with a few touches with a designer online, it can be $99. If you’re looking for a traditional room design and implementation, I’d say around $2,000+. If you’re looking for a whole home design, $5000+. It all depends and part of it depends on you!
Next week, we’ll break down what should you expect from a professional, licensed Interior Designer.
What do you think about these fees? Does this fit with your experience? I’d love to here about it below 🙂
Where do you even begin when you’re considering building your dream home? It can be daunting, so let’s walk through it together.
If you’re just joining us, this is the second installment of a year long series documenting the building of our dream home. We started off with INSPIRATION, which you can find here. Now let’s dive into the scary area of FLOORPLANS.
1 Start With Something
So, we have our inspiration…cedar shakes…Hamptons look…Americana. Check, check, check. But, what will the house look like, feel like? How will it layout?
You have to start with something. My suggestion is to dive into one of the floor plan sites online. They have millions (literally) of plans to look at. Filter them down to meet your requirements, like number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Do you want an open and airy Great Room? A more formal layout with a Living Room and Den? Poke around and see what you find. If you land on the perfect plan for you, stop right there and buy it! Done and done…disregard the rest of this post. 🙂
If you don’t, now it’s time to dig a little further. Save some of the ideas you liked and look at some other places. Your local parade of homes is a good start. Walking through model homes is extremely helpful, too.
I’m certainly not endorsing taking another builder’s plan, I’m talking about gathering ideas to begin with. Find something in line with what you like.
Visualize what you actually want the room to look like… how you want it to function, then work back from that. For example, I want a big family room focused around the fireplace and TV. So I start with that particular visual and work backwards. I don’t make my vision work with the space in front of me, I make the space work with my vision.
Do a little research. Measure a few areas around your current home. Does your family room feel cramped? Dining room tight? Find out what would actually work well and start plugging that into the plan. A good way to start inserting measurements is with a simple rug size. A 9×12 rug is a good base for a furniture grouping, give or take. Plop that measurement into the space you’re considering and see how it feels. Icovia is a great furniture floorpan resource online. There are many, many more, just poke around a bit. Go on there and create a few little nuggets to pop into your plan. Here are a few I did for this upcoming house, just to make sure I have my sizes down. Also, I am planning to use a world mural in the Playroom, so I am designing the room to be the exact size to accommodate it (13’9).
This is not the time to try and become an expert on drawing house plans. Furniture groupings…no problem, but not house plans. Let someone who lives, eats and breathes this stuff guide you. Trust me, they know what you don’t. I’ve been creating floorpans for over 20 years and wouldn’t even think to try and draw mine myself. You don’t have to go to an architect. I’d actually suggest you not, if you have a good idea of what you want. Ask around and find a certified engineer and CAD operator that does this. They will save you in the long run, I pinky promise.
6 Edit, Edit, Edit
Meet with your new best friend and give them all you homework from above. Let them come back with a first draft. Start editing and going back and forth until you get everything just right. I typically have 5-10 back and forth until I am 100% happy. Don’t rush it.
Here are some progress shots of our floorplan. We took 6 rounds to get to the final product.
Version 5 (with options!)
7 Pat Yourself On The Back and Enjoy!
Here is our FINAL, FINAL plan with elevation. I couldn’t be happier. It meets all of our requirements and looks exactly how I imagined. We’ve never built anything similar to this, so it’s extra exciting!