New House Update (we have stairs!)

OH my word.  This week has been nonstop!  I have been rocking a pony tail for weeks now and things just don’t seem to be slowing down.  I’m feeling the need to do a time management post in the near future because I have really had to work to figure out a way to manage my schedule so that I can fit everything in.  Like time to shower.  Building a house is so much work!  My mom keeps saying “I tried to warn you….”  :)  But honestly, even though we’ve reached a new level of crazy around here I am loving the process.  It is so amazing seeing something that was all in my head actually come to life!  Here is a peek of what things are looking like so far…
 The gate into our little neighborhood – I was standing in front of where our driveway will be.  
Nothing to do with the house, but I think the view is pretty so I’m sharing it with you.  :)

Things on the outside haven’t changed much.  I can’t wait for the second floor to go in so I can start to see the personality of the house.

The window that is popping up high on the left of this picture is the window over the stairs.  We have a playroom and a “future” theatre room for Kenny that will go over the garages.  I just changed things up a bit and added a closet in the playroom.  I had to take some space out of the upstairs laundry room to do it, but I’m so excited to have a place to organize all of the kids’ toys.  I’m already dreaming of storage options for that closet!  I’m going to have to spend a lot of time at The Container Store after this house is built.  Darn!  :)

This is the formal living room you will see right when you walk in the front door.

This is the right wall of the living room.  

Addison dancing around the hallway in her Smurf pajamas.  The kids clearly already feel at home. 

This is our main living area – the family room.  I’m putting in a fun oval window in that square up high and then the TV built-ins will be below with a fireplace in the right corner.

 To the left side is our outdoor entertaining area.  There will be french doors along that left wall leading outside.  I’m sure the kids will be in and out and in and out 20 times a day and I’ll never be able to keep them clean.  But I bet I will be so happy that they have a yard to play in that I won’t even care.  Actually I bet I will care.  Because I can’t help it.  :)

Next to the outdoor space is our breakfast nook.  I debated over and over if I should put in windows along the wall of the nook leading to the entertaining area or french doors.  Windows are on the other nook walls so it would have looked more symmetrical, plus the doors will be slightly blocked by a table and chairs.  Plus we already have the doors off the family room.  But we finally decided to put in doors anyway.  We figure if we have people over it might be nice to set food up on the table inside and open the doors up outside so people can go in and out to get food.  What do you think?  Did I make a mistake?  Actually don’t tell me if I did.  Only comment if you are going to say – good idea.  I would have put in doors.  ;)

Now we are entering the kitchen!  Woot Woot!!  This picture shows my bay window.  Oh the decisions that have had to be made about that one window!  We basically turned the whole house the way we did so that I could have my bay window.  And I am still debating how it is going to look because it pops out so far and didn’t turn out quite the way I pictured.  I’ll share more details once I figure things out myself.  Or I won’t because I’ll remember that nobody but me really cares about this bay window.  Or I will because Kenny is so sick of hearing about this bay window and I need to talk to someone about it!

Here’s the kitchen layout.  Bay window on the right.  Oven and cabinets along that back wall.  Behind that wall you can kind of see the food pantry.  Butler’s pantry to the left (the formal dining room is across the hall).  The work bench is close to where my first kitchen island will be.  We decided to go with two smaller islands vs. one big one.  I hope I like it!

Fridge/freezer and cabinets along the left wall.  I am still debating minor kitchen details.  Like how many clear cabinets vs. closed cabinets, what the counter tops will be (leaning towards quartz), etc.  I can’t wait to be hanging out in my kitchen!  Toasting Eggo waffles and microwaving frozen pizza for all!  ;)  Speaking of microwaves, we are leaning towards getting this built-in microdrawer:
Do any of you have a microdrawer?  Love it?  Hate it?  I would love to hear what you think if you’ve used one before!  Because I never have.  And the microwave will be the most used appliance in our house so it’s pretty important.  :)  
We have stairs!!   
View from the top.
 The girls were so excited to finally be able to walk up the stairs and see where their rooms will be.  

The girls’ rooms are connected by a bathroom they will share.  Their two rooms have french doors leading out onto a balcony.  They haven’t put the floor down, but in this picture you can see how the balcony is framed.  We have such pretty views so we included balconies on the front and back of the house.  Kenny felt like Kole wasn’t getting a fair deal since his room is on the side of the house without a balcony with views.  Clearly he forgot the cardinal rule: girls always come first.  (You would think my husband would understand this by now.)  ;)  So we added a fun pop out window that will have a bench seat for Kole (with organized baskets below for me! – ha!)  

Hot air balloons are always flying by our house so we thought it would be fun to have balconies to sit on and watch them.  And I could write posts all day long on how I’m planning to decorate the front balcony for Christmas each year!  Building the house is only the beginning!  :)  Now if I can just find time for that shower…

Comments

  1. says

    How exciting! I bet the girls were thrilled to be able to go “upstairs”. Love the idea of the balcony. We had one in a house that I lived in growing up. When we got older we used to “camp” out there in the summertime.

  2. says

    Love this post! It brings me back to the days when we were building. It looks wonderful! How awesome that you had hot air balloons flying overhead to. Please let me know when you figure out the secret to showering and going without a ponytail. That seems to be my situation lately too. Such as life, right? Our showering and hair always seem to take the backseat to everything else.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  3. says

    Thanks everyone!

    Lauren – I can see my girls doing that! I know they will play out on the balcony non-stop. I just need to make sure Kole doesn’t jump off of it! (A little worried about that one…) :)

  4. says

    Oh my gosh this is so exciting! When I was thirteen my parents built us a new house, and while moving wasn’t very fun, building a new house and seeing the whole process definitely was. I remember the first day when I found out where my room would be, it was so exciting. We spent a lot of time there because my dad did a lot of work on it so I feel like it became a home to us before we were even living there. It made moving so much easier. Good luck, I can’t wait to see the updates of all of it! (ps. new follower, I really love your blog!)

  5. says

    Just amazing!!! This is such a fun journey to be on with you and your Family. When I was growing up…I remember my parents going through all the choices etc. of building their home…..I was only in the 2nd grade…and still remember so many stores my Mum went to picking out faucets, doors, paint lol…..Something I’m sure your kids will remember for a long time :)

    I love ALL you ideas!!…those stairs look awesome!

  6. says

    Really coming along! Exciting:) As for the window/windowless cabinets in the kitchen (if you were asking for opinions) I think they look great and for my house would choose ONE set of cabinets to have glass panes. A way to have a place for pretty dishes or holiday dishes (like a china hutch). But real life tells me that too many window pane cabinets would be hard to keep up and keep nice looking. But that’s just me – one for show, but the rest for ‘real life’ that you don’t have to stress over what they look like. Just my $0.02! But whatever you choose will look great of course!

  7. says

    So exciting to see everything! I can only imagine the stress of everything. I would be terrible at something like this because I cannot make a decision and it drives Matt crazy!

  8. says

    Thanks everyone!

    Kailee and Melissa – I love hearing that you remember your parents building when you were younger. I always wonder how much of this the girls will remember. :) Thanks for your sweet comments!

    Katy – I agree! But I love the look so much of the clear cabinets. I’m constantly torn between what is practical and what is pretty!

  9. says

    So much progress! I love it. I love bay windows. I think you will enjoy it!!! As far as the door leading off your breakfast room. I think it is brilliant! Perfect for entertaining. I wish I had gone with quartz. I think my granite is pretty. However, the upkeep is a pain. We have to seal it twice a year and I drive everyone crazy with it. I won’t let anyone put anything hot on it ( even though I have been told many times that it’s ok.) and I am very cautious about laying cups or glass down on it. I must say, “lay it down easy,” a hundred times a day. I polish it ten times a day. I guess I am far from normal, but I can’t stand it if it is not shiny. So, yes. I wish I had gone with quartz. It is what I am seeing in all of the model homes and on home shows. Oh well! To late now.
    The girls look so excited.
    I can’t wait to see your next post.
    Enjoy Erin!! :)

  10. says

    Everything is looking great:). I bet it’s an exciting -
    & hectic – time!

    There’s one thing I’ve wondered about American houses – don’t they build them with bricks or are they nearly all built from wood, if so what happens in a hurricane etc?

    Are you having a food storage room? I remember seeing some in some houses in Utah.

    Regarding not showering, sometimes if I’m really busy I miss a day but if I do I use wipes or have a wash at the sink. Sorry, that’s probably too much info!!!

  11. says

    I was about to comment, “we need a house update!” So, thank you very much for accomodating us! :-). It looks fabulous, can’t wait to see the balconies! I definitely would have gone with french doors off the breakfast nook also-great move!

  12. says

    LOVE your house! I’m a few months behind you with ours– we’ve had our lot cleared and the house/garage space is marked out, but I keep changing the plans just enough that I keep complicating things. Ha!

  13. Anonymous says

    OMG and I was just recently hoping to see more house updates. It looks amazing! I can’t imagine how exciting this must be for you and your family. (I’d put the doors there, too.)

  14. says

    Erin, your beautiful home is going to be HUGE!!!! How lucky and spoiled you are.

    I think your choice of a door in the kitchen nook was wise. But I also agree with Katy – don’t go overboard on the clear cabinets. It might look to “busy”.

    Love the updates – you have fantastic taste!

  15. says

    Thanks so much everyone! I’m glad several of you think the doors off the nook was smart. I’m sure I’m just not hearing from people who think it wasn’t! HA!

    Julie – they are built with wood but a lot of people put bricks on the outside. We are using hardy plank siding and rock on ours. I’m not doing a food storage room because I have a big pantry and lots of garage space. I’m awful about food storage! Need to work on that one. :)

    Lisa! Congrats on your fun decision to build! It’s so exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. :)

  16. says

    Courtney – So true! I finally showered yesterday at 4:30 in the afternoon and then ran around the rest of the day with wet hair! Ellie was like “mom – you don’t look very good.” Nice. :) I just decided I cared more about being clean than having hair and make-up done. Someday we’ll have time to take long showers and get ready! I don’t know exactly when… but someday. :)

  17. says

    Hey Erin,

    Amazing update on the house! So exciting. Just wanted to chime in on the built in microwave. We have one and I have mixed feelings. I LOVE that it is under the counter providing lots of free space…however…it is tough to clean, it’s right at kid’s eye level (and adult crotch level…hope we aren’t frying anything important!) Also, one thing that bothers me to no end: I can’t ever seem to finish my coffee in one sitting, so I like to re-heat it, but you can’t fit anything tall in there! I have a tall mug and the first time I put it in there and pushed the drawer closed…coffee everywhere! Yes, minor detail, but it’s a pain.

    I do like the idea of it, but it does have a few snags.

  18. says

    Now that there are stairs, Kole will never get out..lol.

    I cannot wait until you get in it & start organizing. I love organization but am not creative enough to visualize it, just copy.

  19. says

    love it Erin! The views are gorgeous, gorgeous. It’s fun to see how beautiful San Diego really is when you stop to take it all in. Great seeing you xoxo

  20. Anonymous says

    The house looks great, and I am sure it’s going to be beautiful.

    One thing: this -

    “Kenny felt like Kole wasn’t getting a fair deal since his room is on the side of the house without a balcony with views. Clearly he forgot the cardinal rule: girls always come first.”

    disturbs me. I know you’re “joking”, but please don’t even pretend to favor your daughters over your son. He will eventually pick up on it and it will be hurtful. If it was a matter of something luxurious to go to either you or your husband, then I get it, but you shouldn’t have that attitude among your children.

    Just trying to give you another perspective.

  21. Anonymous says

    Agree with the above comment, and I’m a different anonymous so this is indeed to different people who are saying this to you. Also aren’t you worried about safety issues with the balcony? (your young kids falling over the railing) Accidents do happen even with kids who are usually careful.

  22. says

    Thanks so much everyone! Sara – your advice about the microwave was so helpful. I really appreciate it!

    Anonymous #1 – You don’t know me very well if you think I would EVER favor one of my children over another. My three kiddos mean the world to me – all the same. The line about girls coming first was meant as a joke for the blog only. When I blog I like to keep things light and sunny and yes – a bit sarcastic at times. :)

    Anonymous #2 – We have looked into multiple ways to keep the balconies safe.

    Thanks Angela! Move in will most likely be next summer. They told us it will take one year to build. But I’m planning on next Fall just to be safe! (since things always take longer than expected with building).

  23. says

    Hi Erin! We have a microdrawer! We built our house five years ago and liked the look so we went with it. I’d say there are pros and cons…the biggest pro is that as my kids get older they can easily use it (also a con for the 4 year old who thinks he can also use it and cooks things for 15:00 instead of 15 sec) Another con is that ours has a open button and when that drawer comes out it seems like such a pain to move my body out of the way. I know it seems minor but when my husband and I are both cooking in the kitchen it drives me nuts. I think it is much easier to lean back as you open a cabinet style microwave. It also seems to open so slowly and close so slowly that I could pull open and close the other kind so much faster. If I had to do it over again, I’d probably choose it again though. Anyway, hope this helps and good luck with your decisions!

  24. Anonymous says

    When wiring, ducts and plumbing goes into the walls, take pictures! It will come in handy later to know where your water lines or wiring is in case issues arise.

  25. says

    Hi Erin,

    I LOVE your blog. As a Mom of 3 girls and 1 boy (he’s the youngest), I totally understand what you are saying about your girls and NOT that you are giving preferential treatment to them over your son. We all know that the last little boy is SPOILED to no end anyways with so many little “mommies” helping him plus the fact that he gets all NEW toys, clothes, etc… unlike my girls who have hand-me-downs for everything…anyway, just a word of encouragement…I didn’t think what you said was wrong or that you meant anything negative about it in anyway. Which is exactly why anonymous #1 and #2 chose to remain anonymous. Okay, thanks for letting me vent.

    Onto the real reason for my comment :) Isn’t housebuilding FABULOUS?! We have built 2 homes and we are in the beginning stages of our 3rd. It is so much work but how fun to see the home of your dreams come to fruition and I LOVE the little details you can add to your home to make it reflect you and your family.

    I’m curious, how many square feet is your home? In looking at your pictures, I can kind of guess, but I’m curious to know for sure.

    I think the doors off your nook were a great idea! I would not do the microwave drawer…especially with a little boy running around…too much potential for breaking it (opening and closing) as well as you may never know what he’ll be cooking up ;)

    Remind me, if you were going to do 1 large island in your kitchen…what would the dimensions have been? I am in the same boat as you, trying to decide 1 island vs. 2. Tough decision, for sure! I think like you, I am leaning towards 2.

    Are you doing a steam shower in your master bath? We built one into this house and I cannot say enough good about having one…especially with little ones in the winter when they get sick. Croup, coughs…we sit in my shower with the steam on and peppermint and I tell you, it’s saved us so many late nights. Just something for you to consider before it is too late :)

    I have granite and LOVE it. I only have mine sealed once every year, sometimes every other year. It’s easy to do or I’ve even paid someone to do it for me and it isn’t very expensive to have someone do it for you. It really isn’t much maintenance and I love the look of it. Quartz is pretty too, but I love the look of granite.

    Are your girls sharing a bathroom or do they each have their own? I highly recommend doing their sinks side-by-side rather than across from each other. It’s not a good idea to have those girls back-to-back when doing makeup or getting ready. Also, we have a pocket door seperating the shower and toilet from the sink area…LOVE this since 1 can be showering while the other one is getting ready.

    One thing that was a disappointment to me in this house was the placement of cold air returns on my walls. I ended up losing some valuable wall space because of it making furniture that I dreamed of impossible to put there because I had to find something that didn’t go all the way to the ground. Anyways, always good to take a look at that as well as ensuring that the placement of your light switches are on the right side and that doors are set to swing open the right way. You’d be surprised at how common sense this seems, but apparently it isn’t :)

    I also highly recommend focusing on lighting. This is something we went way over on our lighting budget (in addition to cabinetry…it’s all those darn built-ins :) but I wouldn’t change a thing. Good lighting is crucial and can such a nice ambiance to your space that is so much better to do up front. Accent lights, under and above cabinet lights, canned lighting…adds so, so much to your space.

    Okay, that is all I have time for today, but I will try to comment whenever I think of something new just as some things we have learned in building before. I LOVE all of your new house posts, so please keep them coming :)

  26. says

    Hi Brooke!

    Oh my word! I loved your long comment! :) So fun to hear from someone who has built several homes. Let’s see… where to start… still debating the micro drawer. The reason I might do it is because if I do the regular microwave it ruins the clear cabinets I want to do in one space. It looks so much prettier without the microwave but that is the only place I could put a regular one. Yes! My girls are sharing a bathroom but it’s big with sinks next to each other and a separate space for the tub/toilet with a door. Sounds like I got it right there. :) I don’t know the exact island dimensions – I need to look at them and get back to you on that one, but the big one was going to be too big. I think it would be a pain to walk around and clean. I know I’m going to go nuts on lighting! I LOVE fun lights. All of your tips were so helpful – that was so sweet of you to share everything with me and I would LOVE to hear any other tips/suggestions you have! Thank you! :)

  27. says

    Oh and p.s. – thanks for covering me on the favoring kids thing. You get it! Kole is just like your little guy – beyond spoiled. :)

  28. Amy G says

    Oh my goodness Erin! It’s looking amazing!! I LOVE that you get hot air balloons too :) I’m a bit obsessed with vintage hot air balloons at the moment, it will be my nursery theme once we (eventually!!) are able to find out if our bub is pink or blue. We are over 6mths, I thought I’d know by now & be well into decorating! So impatient! :)
    The house is going to be so beautiful. Very inspiring! I’m hoping in another 10yrs we’ll be able to build our dream home. Unfortunately my dream home is full blown American style (LOVE your big homes!) but my husband is happy with the standard Australian design… It’s about a 1/3 of the size of American designs. Got some time to work on that though! :) in the mean time, I love living the dream through your blog. Everything is so beautiful & fun & happy!
    Totally agree with the nook French doors, you won’t regret that!
    I love clear cabinets too but imagina the upkeep would get to be after a few months. In my dream kitchen I’d just have one set of clear as a feature in the kitchen. But that’s because I hate cleaning!
    Is a micro drawer like a convention oven? I’ll have to google it I think. I’m in Australia & my mum has a convention oven which is just a microwave & oven in one. LOVE it! Especially at Xmas when you need 2 ovens. Our next microwave will be one these. Really impressed with it. My mum’s is in the microwave nook (head height) in her kitchen but it could easily have a cabinet door attached to the space if she wanted to hide it when not in use. Not sure if this is the same thing your asking about though?
    The girls will have such fun on their balconies! I dont think they are unsafe, your girls aren’t toddlers who could climb up on chairs near the railing etc. I think they are old enough to understand safety rules around heights. They’ll love it! Probably a good thing Kole doesn’t have a balcony since he is a bit younger (not favoritism at all!). Totally agree with Brooke. Anyone who follows your blog should know you
    well enough to know you would never favor any of your children over the other! It was just a bit of adult humor safely expressed in a place
    away from your kids – nothing wrong with it at all & it was funny! :)
    Sorry for the long post!
    A. x

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