Building Our Dream Home – Selecting Flooring

We’ve been plugging away with construction of our new home and are definitely making progress! Lots of “construction-y” items like sheetrock, plaster, roofing, etc. has been covered, but nothing “fun”. Until now! FINALLY, it’s time to start thinking about a design item…hardwood flooring! Yippee! It’s a major decision and I’m excited to make it.

Truth be told, I love real, authentic hardwood flooring. It makes me so happy….whenever I can use it, I do. It beats laminate, carpet, and luxury vinyl every time. There’s something really warm and cozy about walking on hardwood floors. Growing up in Miami, it certainly wasn’t something I saw a lot of. But moving to northern Florida opened up a whole new world to me. Fireplaces…real hardwood floors…brick..what are these things!? I loved them all and couldn’t get enough.

So, with that being said, hardwood flooring was definitely on tap for my new home. Let’s dive into the selection process, step by step. How exciting!

Our new home…underway!

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home. So far we’ve tackled:

Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint

Where to Start

Just as much as I knew I wanted to use real wood throughout my home, I also knew where I wanted to get it from…Shaw Floors. Hands down, Shaw Floors is the go to in my book.  They lead the design field in fresh, new introductions and have a quality that’s unmatched. Clients love them and so do I.

I was lucky enough to score an invitation to Shaw Floors Headquarters in Dalton, Georgia, which I was tickled pink about. I happily drove myself up there to see, firsthand, what they had. Talk about a dream day.

The Mothership!

The team welcomed me with open arms and showed me all around. Good grief, they have some beautiful things! Carpettile/stoneluxury vinylhardwood…you name it. All beautiful, but I had my heart set on hardwood.

Expressions

I was introduced to their brand new premium line of hardwood from The Gallery collection, which you can see here. The style in this image is Expressions, which is unbelievably gorgeous. It’s a white oak product, which is completely on trend, and comes in 10 great colors. I loved it.

What I really like about this line is that the planks are wide and the finishes are gorgeous! You can see the entire line here. I quickly singled out Harmony as my favorite and it became a contender!

Castlewood

With dreams of  Expressions in Harmony racing in my head,  I then came across another beautiful style in The Gallery collection. Ohh…now this is what I had in mind. Oak-y, grainy, traditional hardwood floor that would “ground” my white cabinets, walls and trim. A classic that would never go out of style.

This style is called Castlewood Oak and is absolutely stunning! Two colors quickly jumped out as contenders: Drawbridge and Arrow. Both feature traditional dark wood with a grayish glaze.

Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Drawbridge
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow

Well, now I don’t know what to do!? I love all three of these. To remind myself of my direction and vision for the home, I pulled out my trusty inspiration board. What would look best with this? Honestly, all three work and work really well.

Decision Time

I knew I wouldn’t make the decision right there and would want some time to think about it. I gathered samples and took them home to ponder. Three seems like a good, workable number to choose from and is often the amount I would advise for a client.

I also thought I’d dig around a little and see how they look online, in a large space. Shaw Floors website is great for that! You can see how it looks “down” on the floor via their new Floorvana + virtual tool where you can view different flooring options in your home!  Again, reminding myself what I tell clients…don’t just look at it head on, look at it “down” on the floor.

I poked around their site and compared the three finalists.

Shaw Floors Expressions in Harmony
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Drawbridge
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak in Arrow

Going back to the site, I compared and contrasted the technical specs of the hardwoods. Shaw has a handy, dandy chart that makes it easy. I dove in to see if there were any glaring differences between the two styles (two of the contenders are the same collection) which might make it easier.

Ok, here we go…

  • Both were nice, wide planks (7.5″) which I like.
  • Both were actually White Oak, even though they look so different.
  • Both have a high color variation, which is something I always like to see also. It keeps things interesting to have a cohesive variation through the room.
  • Both had a wire brushed finish, which I also gravitate towards.
  • Both call for the same installation.

Soooo…now what? How do you decide between three things you love?

My Trick

Yet again, I reminded myself of what I tell clients. I always ask, “What’s going ON it?”  What I’m basically asking is,  what type of things will you be putting ON the surface? Contrast always looks good and keeps things interesting. Dark or dark on dark is depressing. Light on light on light is boring, in my humble opinion. So, let’s stop and think…what will go on top of this?  I think this really helps you make a decision.

For my personal home I envisioned white…light…clean…fresh…beautiful things ON this floor. Looking back at the inspiration board, I really liked the idea of all of this fresh looking decor in a rich, dark, grounded space. Would it look good on the lighter Expressions in Harmony? Of course! But what I really had in mind for the space was a classic Hamptons traditional look and I just feel like the darker floor gives it just that.

They’re Here!

I excitedly ordered my hardwood flooring and counted the day until it came. Let me tell you, it’s even more striking in person. I LOVE it and can’t wait to see it all down. I convinced my General Contractor (husband) to get started on it, even before we typically would during a project, so I could see it down. A-ma-zing!

Quarantine haircut

Final Thoughts

My take away here is that I LOVE my new Shaw Floors hardwood, like I’m in love with it. I’m happy I went with my gut and selected classic dark hardwood. It looks amazing and the project is really starting to come together! We will follow the installation and have more updates, along with a final reveal, soon! Stick with us and follow the whole blog series here.

Keep this info for yourself and Pin it with this cute little Pin. You never know when you’re going to need it!

Note:  This post is sponsored by Shaw Floors.  All of the opinions are mine, I promise.

 

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Building Our Dream Home – Selecting Paint

Choosing paint can be one of the trickiest things to do in any home! Color, type, finish, brand… there are a ton of things to consider. When it came to selecting paint for our new dream home I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Luckily, I’ve always preached a little system I created years ago, for a fool proof way of selecting paint! It’s an 5-step process which I’m going to share with you all today in the context of how I chose the paint colors for my new house.

*If you’re just joining us, this is another installment of a series documenting the building of our personal dream home.  So far we’ve tackled: Inspiration | Floorplan | Location | Breaking Ground | Roofing | Windows | Insulation | Sheetrock & Plaster  | Selecting Paint Selecting Flooring | Selecting Bathtubs | Selecting Lighting | Selecting Fans | Selecting Cabinets

 

 

My Paint Color Selecting System

So this is my infamous paint color selecting system for selecting a main interior color.

  1. Inspiration – Find your inspiration and research it
  2. Chips -Narrow it down to a handful of colors and grab some chips from the paint store
  3. Actual Paint – Buy sample cans of your favorites and put them up on the wall
  4. Live With It – Narrow it down to 2 or 3 and paint a large area of each
  5. Commit – Make your choice and never look back!

Now we can have a look at each of these points in relation to my home so you can see it happening first hand.

Step 1: Inspiration

I knew what I wanted, I just wasn’t sure how to get there. I wanted fresh, clean, light and bright…but not white. We have a ton of beautiful moulding and trim work that I wanted to showcase with contrasting wall and trim colors, so white-white wasn’t going to cut it. I already had a ton of images saved on my Pinterest boards. A quick look shows some commonalities.

A snapshot of my ever-growing Pinterest boards for inspiration

So, then I narrowed it down and looked at a few rooms to dig into and a few colors to consider. Yes, screens alter the color, but you can get a sense of how it will look overall before you dive into the actual samples.

Step 2: Chips

Next up, let’s look at a few actual paint chips.

 

In my practice I use large foam paint boards for clients, so I pulled out those that corresponded, also.   I put them in one of the rooms to look at, then switched up their order.

 

 

Paint Colors Considered

These are the paint colors I considered for the house…

  • Natural Choice SW7011 by Sherwin Williams
  • Shoji White SW7042 by Sherwin Williams
  • Classic Gray OC-23 by Benjamin Moore
  • Oyster White SW7637 by Sherwin Williams
  • Heron’s Plume SW6070 by Sherwin Williams
  • Ivory Lace SW7013 by Sherwin Williams

Step 3: Actual Paint

I then narrowed down my choices, bought some little sample paint cans from my local store and put them up on the wall. This is a really important thing to do because the lighting in each house can vary a lot due to sunlight.

Then, I put them on an adjacent wall to see how the light changed them.

starting from top left to right, then bottom left to right

  • Natural Choice SW7011 by Sherwin Williams
  • Shoji White SW7042 by Sherwin Williams
  • Classic Gray OC-23 by Benjamin Moore
  • Oyster White SW7637 by Sherwin Williams
  • Heron’s Plume SW6070 by Sherwin Williams
  • Ivory Lace SW7013 by Sherwin Williams

From seeing the different paint colors in various lights (from painting squares on two different facing walls) I could start making decisions to narrow the selection down even further.

Step 4: Live With It

I’m starting to see a few favorites here, so let’s dive in a little deeper to those. I painted an entire corner out in one and added the flooring selection (which is GORGEOUS) and the cabinet and tile colors. It’s looking good!

 

Make sure you buy sample paint cans in the finish you intend to use if you can. Believe it or not – the color of the paint can change depending on the finish you choose. Don’t believe me? Check out my previous post on Why Sample Cans are Probably Messing You Up.

I think you have to be very aware that that the little sample cans are likely NOT what you are going to be painting in. It’s totally worth it to go ahead and buy a quart or even gallon of the EXACT paint you plan to choose, before you decide on the final color. Most people do not use Satin for walls, so you will likely need to do this.

This is the larger paint can vs. standard sample paint…

I couldn’t believe how different the paint color looks with the two different finishes!!!

 

Let’s Talk About Finishes

Now that we’re talking about finish…what exactly are the finishes available?

Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings. It’s my go to every time.

Eggshell: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kids, kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi-Gloss: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim.

Hi-Gloss:  Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces or furniture.

I stick with FLAT personally because I love the matte finish.

Step 5: Commit! Our Final Selection

What did we ultimately decide on? We decided to tweak some of the standard colors and create a “custom color”. I like to call it Evans Greige. It’s the perfect balance of gray and beige without any harsh blue undertones. It’s the perfect warm neutral. It’s very light, which will be new to us in our personal home, but is just what I want. The white cabinet door contrasts with it nicely, which is perfect! What do I use for trim? I’m using white cabinets in the Kitchen and I typically color match them for the trim throughout. This is going to be perfect!

 

We decided to go with Sherwin Williams Duration paint in the Flat finish. It is perfect!

If you’re interested in the exact formula I ultimately decided on, please click here where it is available for purchase ($29). 🙂 Feel free to pin.

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Kids’ Classic Bath Renovation in Gainesville

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!

The Before

The Plan

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.

Demo

The After

We are so happy with how it turned out. Let’s take a look!

Ceramic Text Bath Accessories | Whale lotion dispenser | Whale bath towels | Frosty Carrina Quartz countertop | Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel shower head | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone | floor tile | Adex Hampton white field tile

Embroidered towels | Frosty Carrina Quartz counter top | Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel widespread faucet and handles | Kohler Ladena undermount sink | 4-light vanity bar

Ceramic Text Bath Accessories | Whale lotion dispenser | Whale bath towels | Frosty Carrina Quartz countertop | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone Kohler brushed nickel double towel rod

custom cabinets by Carson’s Cabinetry | drawer pulls | floor tile

Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel widespread faucet and handles

4-light vanity bar

Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel shower handle | Adex Hampton white field tile | floor tile | linear shower drain

Adex Hampton white field tile | floor tile

Whale bath rug | floor tile

Whale Bath Towels | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone | Kohler brushed nickel double towel rod

Frosty Carrina Quartz countertop | Kohler Artifacts brushed nickel widespread faucet and handles | Kohler Ladena undermount sink

Embroidered towels | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone

Whale Bath Towels | Sherwin Williams Rhinestone | Kohler brushed nickel double towel rod | Adex Hampton white field tile

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Why Paint Store “Sample Cans” Are Probably Messing You Up

Paint can be one of the trickiest things around. Color, type, finish, brand…there are a ton of things to consider.

I’ve always preached a little system I created, years ago, for a fool proof way of selecting your paint. But…I have realized there’s a flaw! Ahh!

Step #6 called for you to go buy a few little sample cans of your favorite two or three colors and put them up. Well, there’s a serious problem with that, I realized when selecting  paint for my new personal home. (If you’re interested in which paint colors these are, I have them listed at the bottom)

Let’s run through it.

The Original System

So, let’s look at the original system:

  1. Find your inspiration
  2.  Research that inspiration online
  3.  Narrow it down to a handful of colors
  4.  Grab a few paint squares from the paint store
  5.  Narrow it down to your favorites
  6.  Buy sample cans of your favorites and put them up on the wall
  7.  Narrow it down to 2 or 3 and paint a larger area
  8.  Make your choice and never look back

So, there I was, following my own system to select my interior paint color. Let’s take a look…

I already had my inspiration, so these were a few of the colors I was considering.

Instead of small paint chips from the paint store, in my practice I use large foam boards. I put them in the room to look at, then switched up their order.

Then, I narrowed down my choices, bought some little sample paint cans from my local store and put them up on the wall.

Then, I put them on an adjacent wall to see the light changed them.

Then, I realized I got it in my hair…

Ok, so now I step back and evaluate where I’m at. I like a few and want to dive into those further. I run back to the paint store and buy actual quart samples of the 2 colors, so I can paint a really large sample and get a good feel of how it will look. I come back and put them up on a wall.

The Problem

Now, I notice the problem. This look a little darker than I expected. Not a bad thing, but it’s definitely darker. I confirm it’s the same color, but what I realize is…it’s not the same finish! It looks totally different.

I take my new quart sample FLAT finish paint that I’ve just painted an entire wall of, and swipe it next to the original samples.

But wait, THIS IS THE SAME COLOR…made by the same paint store on the same day.

The difference is the FINISH. Typically, the cute little paint sample cans you buy for $6.95 are in a satin finish. But, you aren’t necessarily going to USE a Satin finish. I like flat paint, so my larger, quart sample was, in fact, flat.

The smaller, darker, sample to the left is the same exact color in a Flat finish. They both look great, but very different. Imagine you go through this whole process of sampling your paint colors, narrowing down and finally decide on the perfect color. Then you order your paint in a flat finish. You would be very surprised to see this go up. It’s totally different!

Ahhhhhh!

The NEW System

So, how do you avoid this problem? I think you have to be very aware that that the little sample cans are likely NOT what you are going to be painting in. It’s totally worth it to go ahead and buy a quart or even gallon of the EXACT paint you plan to choose, before you decide on the final color. Most people do not use Satin for walls, so you will likely need to do this.

My NEW paint selecting system looks like this:

  1. Find your inspiration
  2.  Research that inspiration online
  3.  Narrow it down to a handful of colors
  4.  Grab a few paint squares
  5.  Narrow it down to your favorites
  6.  Buy sample cans of your favorites and put them up on the wall(s)
  7.  Narrow it down to 2 or 3 and paint a large area IN THE FINISH YOU PLAN TO USE
  8.  Make your choice and never look back

Finshes

Now that we’re talking about finish…what exactly are the finishes available? I stick with FLAT personally, but there are several to choose from.

Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings. It’s my go to every time.

Eggshell: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kids, kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi-Gloss: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim.

Hi-Gloss:  Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces or furniture.

Recap

So, to recap, invest in the exact paint you plan to use, in the smallest size they offer. There’s a noticeable difference in color with the different finishes. The only way to know what you’ll be getting is to use the exact paint in the exact finish. I’m so glad I did!

Paint Colors

The paint colors used in this article are the following, starting from top left to right, then bottom left to right

  • Natural Choice SW7011 by Sherwin Williams
  • Shoji White SW7042 by Sherwin Williams
  • Classic Gray OC-23 by Benjamin Moore
  • Oyster White SW7637 by Sherwin Williams
  • Heron’s Plume SW6070 by Sherwin Williams
  • Ivory Lace SW7013 by Sherwin Williams

So…what do you think? Will you give this a try? Have you ever had a paint sample nightmare? We’d love to hear it!

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One Room Challenge – Room Reveal

We’ve made it to the big reveal of the One Room Challenge Sunroom to Greenroom. I’m so happy with how the room turned out and excited to see my clients enjoy it!

As a reminder, here is the before

The overall plan

The paint inspiration and  selection

And now, here’s the after!

Chaise Loungecustom pillow, and chandelier by Ballard Designs

Black matted photo frames from Walmart

Kate Spade plate and black bone inlay table 

black bone inlay table

Carriage House Chandelier by Ballard Designs

Dragon Fly Prints from One Kings Lane 

custom pillow inspired by Kate Spade

Arm Chair and fabric by Ballard Designs

Add some faux floral like these Cherry Blossom Branches from Wayfair

Custom pillow inspired by Kate Spade

Arm Chair and fabric by Ballard Designs

Dodie Beige Fabric by Ballard Designs

Arm Chair and fabric by Ballard Designs

I love how this room turned out. The green walls pop and really make the room! I purposefully kept the rest of the selections neutral and didn’t use any green in the accessories, so that there would be a nice contrast. Keeping the green on the walls only helps keep it’s impact. The comfy chaise will be the perfect reading spot and the piano has a nice home on the interior wall. We keep the flow from the rest of the house and amped up the color story in this small but open room.

Here’s a handy dandy pin for your Pinterest boards!

 

Sources:

Chaise | Dalmatian Pillow  | Carriage House Chandelier

Arm Chair | Dodie Beige Fabric

End table | Kate Spade Plate

Photo Frames  | Pierced Ginger Jars

Dragonfly Prints | Cherry Blossom Branches 

If you’d like to see the progression of the room, you can revisit our progress in these posts:

One Room Challenge – Week 1 – The Before

One Room Challenge – Week 2 – The Plan

One Room Challenge – Week 3 – Selecting the Perfect Paint Color

One Room Challenge – Week 4 – Selecting Furniture

One Room Challenge – Room Reveal

What do you think? Do you love it as much as I do?

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