Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Paint colors

Deciding on paint colors is definitely not my strong point. Although I want to use greys and blues, the details leave me totally unsure of myself. Hand a Sherwin Williams fan deck to me and I want to cry. Right now, I find myself extremely thankful for Lauren and my daughter, who both have an incredible eye for color. As I look at the grays, I realize I don't know exactly which gray to choose.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A bit of humor?

Back in January when the slab was poured for our house, we had a timeline that listed December 26 as move-in day. Several things have contributed to that date being delayed, but it stuck in my memory since it was so close to Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chimney caps made easy

There seems to be a tendency to panic when I get an email or phone call requiring a decision. Many of the decisions are not major, but rather quite simple. However, just the thought of "Oh, no! What if I make a wrong choice?" is usually the first thought after I'm asked a question.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Right place at the right time

My husband and I were married in the days when brides registered a china pattern at a local store, and these stores would set up a small table with the chosen patterns, plus add a list of other gift ideas for the couple. Wedding guests could visit the store and see the table settings, even purchase a piece or two of the china or "pottery" as a gift if they wished to do so.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Perfect" stains

noun: misnomer; plural noun: misnomers
a wrong or inaccurate name or designation.
"“king crab” is a misnomer—these creatures are not crustaceans at all"

inaccurate name/label/designation, wrong name/label/designation, inappropriate name/label/designation
"scientists say “killer whale” is a misnomer for what is one of the gentlest marine creatures known to man"

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thoughtful consideration

As I search for light fixtures, I find myself torn between the look of traditional brass chandeliers like many historic homes used, or the more updated finishes readily available today. If I knew which direction the design pendelum would swing five or ten years from now, this decision might be easier. I don't want to be the only one with brass, but I also don't want to be the only one with oil rubbed bronze.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In need of a change

Mentioning the need to find creative solutions for certain items in the last post prompted the topic for this post. "Sometimes you have to trust your carpenter!" It's a hard statement to accept at times, but if you have a carpenter you do trust, then you can take the time to listen to what he is telling you and work together to find a solution that will work in a specific space.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Inspiration house #2

Believe it or not, one of our inspiration houses was a beautiful Tuscan one-and-a-half-story in our hometown. The floor plan is amazing, and we were sad to discover it was not a spec home, but was being built by a family.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Planning for Christmas 12 months from now

While getting Christmas decor out this year, I've realized it is the perfect time to plan for next year. When I pack away the ornaments, throw pillows, stockings, and other decor, I will need to have the boxes labeled correctly so they will be put in the correct place in their new home.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Toss it!

I accidently stumbled across a great list through a link on Yahoo. You can find the post on POPSUGAR.

The object of the list is to clean out clutter from our homes. Emily Co wrote a post titled One a Day: Throw These 116 Things Away. The writter is today's hero!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Can't do that with stain -- oh, my!

Most paint companies can wave their magic wands above a sample of paint, pillow, bedspread, chair, or pretty much anything else, and suddenly they have a formula for matching paint. If only it was that easy with stain.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A collection of boxes

It has become apparent that my "project" involves three major tasks: (1) working on the new home, (2) getting the current home ready to sell, and (3) packing, which is a major chore itself. I started packing months ago, but still haven't had time to make a huge dent in this undertaking.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cabinets are levitating?

A few years ago, I had some tile work done in my current home. We found a great tile man who took the time to fix things that could have been done a bit better when the house was built. All of our door frames and baseboards touch the slab, which isn't a big deal. But "Joe" explained how the tiles that go around door frames actually need to go UNDER the frame of the door so it will look like the door frame was built on top of the tile. He had a special saw that cut into the door frame to remove the bottom part, after which he laid tile underneath that frame. It does look much better than having grout showing around those frames, now that he pointed it out and talked my husband into letting him do it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

All in the plans

My favorite cabinet foot design has finally been added to the dining room cabinets. While it wasn't exactly easy to find the designs for the cabinet feet in certain rooms, it became a fun challenge.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Careful planning

While our house is meant to look like a home that might have been built in another century, there is no one single home that we're mimicking. We have pulled ideas from plantation homes, recent builds, Houzz, other websites and magazines. While doing this, we have often asked ourselves if this feature might have been appropriate if it been built like this in the 1800 or 1900's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Time to choose paint, etc

Sometimes the feeling is not unlike that of a West Texas whirlwind. Although currently a few items down the grand "to-do" list, choosing light fixtures has seemed to take over my time.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From the surrey

How could a lover of southern architecture not fall in love with a city that has street after street and neighborhood after neighborhood of classic homes? 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

On my coffee table

........... (and scattered elsewhere)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Inspiration house #1

The longer we looked at homes, the more "frustrated" I became. Is there nothing for sale that feels like home to us? In an earlier post, I mentioned the years long search that was casually undertaken to find a one story house that contained at least several items on our wish list. However, what I call frustrated, still really didn't have an urgency attached to it. I simply thought there would be no end to the search. That's not necessarily a bad thing since I love looking at houses of all shapes and sizes. I should start listing it as a hobby next time I fill out a form with that question.

Another email address?

When building a house, you might get added to random email lists. You will email for information or place an order and someone has your email address.  I'm not sure email addresses need to be private, but we probably all know how much SPAM can appear in just a few short hours. You may want to consider whether or not you want to keep these unsolicited emails out of your primary inbox.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Would never make it as a thief

If I were dishonest and tried to survive by stealing things, I would definitely starve to death. (Yes, I realize this is a bizarre statement.)

Monday, November 3, 2014

A word to the wise (maybe?)

It started with a small spiral notebook and grew to an organized list on a computer. As we visited open houses, MLS listings of interest, and looked at pictures, periodically we would notice an element we wanted to include in any future house we would build. This list was compiled over the course of twenty-plus years.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What does the Mason-Dixon line have to do with it?

Wikipedia authors sometime like to confuse me. Pennsylvania was above the Mason-Dixon line but abolished slavery, serving as a partial demarcation line for the legality of slavery.  So, while in the "north" it was somewhat out of place with the states around it. One resident even stated that "Pennsylvania is in the North, but we screwed up. If we had a do-over, we would be in the South."

Never know what you'll find in the newspaper

My husband was reading the September issue of a local news magazine, when he discovered a photo of the front of our house peaking out from behind our favorite accessory - the trash dumpster. (It could be worse. It could have been taken from the side, where the porta-potty stands.) We really need to keep up with the news better. It took us a month or two to notice this photo, which was part of an article about new construction in the area. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adrenaline Rush!!!

There are some things that books about homebuilding never prepare you for, and last night was just that kind of night. I was at the grocery store yesterday afternoon when I received a phone call about a specific cabinet in the house. Since it is easier and safer to send a picture as a description, I asked if I could send a photo as soon as I got home. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Strolling through New Orlean's French Quarter can result in a sensory overload of smells, sounds, sights, and uneven sidewalks; on top of store after store filled the tourist gadgets or antiques, or world-class pralines. Then suddenly a visitor realizes there are beautiful gas lanterns with flickering flames on virtually every business in the Quarter.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Custom vs production

While we have worked on our new home from the beginning of the planning stage, our previous two houses have both been "spec" homes. The builders started these homes without a buyer, so decisions on the floor plans had already been made by the builder. We discovered both homes in time to choose the flooring, lighting and hardware.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pesky little details

Magnatrons and televisions

When reading microwave manuals, I kept reading a version of this same information:
Do not place microwave near a television receiver in order to prevent interference with the television signal.
After realizing there might be a problem since our game room will have a small microwave on the other side of the wall from a television receiver, I spoke to people who would know more than I would about this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Design or function?

The previous post on brick flooring brought an important issue to mind. Which is more important; design or function? Can we have both?

We do admire this modern neighborhood for the character of the homes, for the feel of history and the beauty of the homes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Brick flooring?

The charm of brick flooring keeps calling me to the idea of using brick in my home. However, I live without shoes inside my home and can't imagine walking around on the uneven, rough texture of brick. Not only that, but the harder surface can be hard on a person's legs and backs after working for a length of time. (Thinking holiday meals here.)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Choosing a designer - thumbnail

With multiple factors involved when working with a designer, it's important to choose someone that you enjoy working with and with whom you have great communication.

  • "This is how we do......"
  • "My fee is XXX per hour."  followed by
    "I make frequent, but random visits to the construction site....."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Christmas decor

Photo belongs to The Rusty Heart.
(Same lantern I have)

When a sweet young lady that we have known her entire life was to be married not long ago, she wanted lanterns on the aisle she and her dad would walk down on the way to her groom. Spoiler alert: The wedding was beautifully decorated with lanterns, not only on that center aisle, but around the church platform as well. The variety of sizes and the ambiance of the candles created an almost magical glow in that sanctuary.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Progress report time

Students have already received progress reports and some will soon receive their first six-week report card. If this writer was one of these students, she could look forward to a big fat F for having done very little writing during these past six-weeks.  Guess it's time for some last minute extra-credit to see if I can save my "grade" for this reporting period. (It's obvious that I am part of a family with teachers.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reality vs floor plans

This entire process has been an education that I've welcomed even though I didn't realize I was signing up for such. I'm not sure anyone comprehends what building a custom home involves unless they have actually been through the process. We have previously moved into two brand new homes and chose the flooring, hardware, lighting, etc. It was relatively easy compared to starting from scratch, so it hadn't scared me away from wanting to "build a home".

Friday, September 12, 2014

Timeless cabinet feet

Walking barefoot or wearing shoes?

I wouldn't wear heels at the beach, but wouldn't go barefoot to the symphony or to church. There is a time and place for each, I assume.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A winning combination

Earlier this week, a friend mentioned she hasn't looked at this blog for awhile. I was surprised, not because she hasn't looked at it, but because I haven't looked at it either. Oh, dear!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lessons, lessons and more lessons

Working on this house has been an education by itself since we have learned things we never knew we would care about.

One example:
The brick on these two houses are the same brick, although the individual bricks are different sizes.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fast moving freight train

There are so many decisions to be made and so much progress in a relatively short period of time that I sometimes find myself feeling like I'm on a fast moving freight train and I dare not stop the forward movement. The house seems to be barreling down a track to it's final destination, and I need to hang on for dear life.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The "good 'ole days"

I remember sitting on the porch of my aunt and uncle's home, eating homemade ice cream and visiting with family. There are memories of playing in my grandparents' yard with cousins, then running over to grab a piece of fresh watermelon from the garden.

These days I find myself sitting at the computer and "talking" to friends on Facebook or through text messages. I read books on a Kindle, and send photos to my daughter and daughter-in-law periodically while shopping to see if something I find might be useful to them.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Efficient storage

When a scarf collection outgrows the drawer it has lived in, what is a person to do?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What are the odds???

For my mathematically inclined friends, here's my question:

WHAT is that blue?

I do hope Kay found the perfect traditional blue that she was looking for. I too, find myself looking through blues, holding them in different lights, and wondering which one I will eventually settle on.

The search is on

Blue and white Canton-ware was an integral part of the decor of almost every home we visited in Charleston. Since this porcelain seems to be a significant part of the city's history, shoppers can find beautiful pieces around the city, as well as at the Charleston Historical Foundation shop.


Our porthole is relatively understated when compared to the porthole HGTV installed in one couple's home. This is fun to watch if you have 2-1/2 minutes and want a smile.

Porthole on dry land

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Counter stool in the bathroom?

There is a trend in our area to build a bathroom storage cabinet that sits on top of the counter. These are extremely handy, can really be pretty, and actually add dimension to an otherwise average bathroom. The original plans for our master bath showed these counter-top storage cabinets, which I do think are beautiful and they certainly provide much needed storage space.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacked high

Although I never intended to collect coffee table type books, I seem to have more than my share right now. There are a few about the Holy Land, which are probably my very favorites to sit and enjoy when there is time to spend with one of the books in my collection.

Naked windows

Not believing there was a way to place Christmas candles in the dormers at the back of our attic, I was rather shocked with the project manager, Tom Stanton, showed me this week. I was so surprised I didn't even remember to thank him, which is embarrassing. I did write him a note later that day, but still...................what a dope for neglecting to say a simple "thank you!"

Friday, May 30, 2014

Poster board to the rescue

Being able to visualize is a talent some people have and other don't. But even when a person can visualize how an item will look in another setting, they sometimes discover it doesn't work after all. Even designers have been known to make mistakes from time to time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Joggling Boards

Many of the homes we visited in Charleston had a piece of outdoor furniture known as a Joggling Board. The tales we were told, the traditions surrounding these boards, and the unique aspects made for an interesting lesson in Charleston history.


The sun sets over the Battery and one of the most noticeable images becomes the faint flickers that seem to glow up and down every street. These tiny flames may be on fence posts, fronts of houses and shops, or even standing tall above a light post. They provide a dim light, unlike the bright porch lights most of us are accustomed to seeing at front doors; instead providing an ever so slight flame to dispel the darkness from becoming a blinding blackness in a moonless night.

Walk-thru # UNO

The builder and project manager have multiple houses in different stages of completion to keep up with. Our designer has multiple things going on, although she has our house plans as memorized as anyone. Then there are my husband and I who know the plans well and ultimately will live in this house so we need to make sure it is coming together and fits how we live.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The hanging of the front doors

After being anxious to see what it looked like when hung, I just kept staring at the transom in amazement when it turned out better than I expected.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Organizational help needed

"I don't have a tape measure with me". "Oh, I have one in the car", I reply.

"I'll have to check the floorplans when I get back to the office." "Let me get my set (out of the car)", I respond.

"I really think this is level. I don't see anything wrong with it."  "If you can wait one second, I have a level (in my car)", I offer.

On and on this type of conversation goes when I'm at the construction site.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sweet memories

If I felt like singing Joy To the World on March 24, I'm singing the Hallelujah Chorus now. A truck pulled up to unload our doors while I was at our house today.

Where do I want that?

My brain is being taxed while I try to project myself into the future and figure out where I want every outlet and switch in the house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Phantom plumbers


The bathtubs were shipped Monday morning so I was expecting them to appear any day. Our "phantom plumbers" must have snuck the tubs in at some point between Monday morning and Tuesday evening.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sizing chandliers

I will admit this post is for my future reference so I won't forget where I saw this information.

Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper's blog post about sizing a chandelier

If you haven't read Mrs. Howard's blog, there is tons of useful information about a myraid of subjects. Although her blog is no longer being used, it is still available to readers.

Dimmer switches

More exciting photos?

The "boring photos" from the previous post were part of a joke, even though they are actual photos. I just uploaded them to "entertain" a friend who wanted photos. She knows there is nothing worth photographing right now, so please forgive the insanity of the moment.

World's most boring photos

 A friend mentioned she would like to see photos of our house, and we laughed when I shared the photos on my phone. There isn't much to share right now since I spend a great deal of time looking at what my daughter and a neighbor jokingly call "sticks". 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Progress or chaos?

There is so much being done on the house right now that it's hard to keep up with everything. Shingles are finished (for the most part). HAVC people are adding duct work while electricians are starting to add electrical boxes in preparation for the wiring that is needed. Plumbing is being roughed in.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


East Shore, not unlike other neighborhoods, has its unique personility. I love the charm of the Charleston style "single-houses" on East Bay Blvd. When heading north to the beautiful homes on North Bay Blvd, there are even more homes reminiscent of another era. Yet, between these two sections are three streets of stucco homes, which at first glance can seem out of place.

Monday, April 28, 2014


What do you do when part of a cabinet needs tweaking, but there is a strange angle that creates an uneven balance? Answer: You check with the designer and builder, who come up with the perfect solution.

For some strange reason this dilemma reminded me of a problem that a downtown Seattle neighborhood found themselves in the midst of. My cabinet question has absolutely nothing to do with the situation in Seattle, nor is it the same magnitude. Yet both were problems that required creativity.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Over my head

Roofers actually started hammering shingles on the roof today. I wasn't expecting that yet, but it was a welcome surprise.

While standing in the kitchen area, trying to figure something out, the phone rang. We literally had to leave the house to hear the caller. It reminded me of having our current house shingled once after a hail storm. Talk about constant pounding.

Creepy advertisements

I never used to pay much attention to the advertisements that appeared next to my emails. They are simply there, taking up space I'd rather have for other things. But, oh well! 

For some reason I have decided it is most humorous to open my inbox the last few days and find advertisement on top of advertisement for toilets. Since we are researching plumbing fixtures right now, my email had decided I am a good person to share toilet information with. I should stop and compare the features between the toilets advertised on Facebook with those of the toilets on email.  Might be interesting........

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Portholes - a nautical element

The photographer (me) doesn't
seem to be able to take a
straight picture. UGH!
1485 was the year the porthole was "officially" invented or developed. Like many inventions, it was the solution to a problem.

Gun ports in forts, working and non-working portholes in ships, as well as round windows in buildings can all be referred to by the common term "Porthole." I have noticed several round windows/portholes in houses in our hometown, always thinking they added charm to the space.

Christmas Candles (part 2)

In case  you want to venture into the attic with me to turn the Christmas candles on in December, it might be interesting to know where you'll be heading after you climb the steps to the dormers. After reaching the first window, take an immediate right and this is your path to reach the other three windows. Don't stand up straight or you will bump your head.

When you reach each window, you can straighten up, place the candle, walk back and stoop over again until you get to the next window. Anyone interested in taking care of this annual "chore"?    

Christmas candles

I love the bright lights of Christmas, and have always admired candles in windows of homes. To have candles in attic dormers is so charming, in my opinion. When realizing we would have dormers, I immediately set out to plan for candles each December. The dormers will have outlets, a 'shelf' for the candle, and a switch in a downstairs closet to control all these candles. If we install a timer for the switch it will automatically turn the candles on and off each evening. All was well...............until the house was built and I saw the dormer location from inside the attic.

Relaxing view

Driving up to the house a couple days ago, something looked different. A fraction of a second later, I realized windows were being installed! I'm anxious to sit down and enjoy the view from the back of the house.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Facebook "Likes"

It is enjoyable to discover new ideas and inspiration. After years of not wanting/caring/using Facebook, a sales representative for a company my builder uses explained that I might enjoy some Facebook only "deals." So I signed up and now find myself looking a photos of my grandbaby more than anything. The rest is just a sideline. ;-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shall we tweak?

The house seems to be moving fast and furious these days, with little time to stop and be creative with this blog. I imagine the last several posts have been completely boring, and I apologize. Today I am sharing a creative idea that keeps drawing me back.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The famous Boone Hall

On March 5 and 19, my posts included references to South Carolina's Boone Hall. It was only last year that my husband and I discovered this beautiful plantation.

A taxi had dropped us at our hotel in the historic section of Charleston, S.C. We walked and rode carriages the entire time there, except for the day we went to Boone Hall. Discovering it was easier and less expensive to take a taxi than to rent a car for the day, we headed out of the city.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Until I starting looking for a bathtub for my master bathroom, I never thought about the number of choices that are available.

Using a single manufacturer as an example:
Kohler makes alcove tubs, corner tubs, drop-in tubs, under-mount tubs and freestanding tubs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


So much progress has been made in the last seven days.

  • Boards have been added to the outside of the exterior framework
  • Tyvek wrap is being added
  • Dormers have been started across the front of the roof
  • Columns have been put in place across the back of the house
  • Lots of decking in the attic.
    I realize some of this space will be used for the water heaters, air conditioners and heating units. But there is quite a bit of space for storage as well.
Now I have to make sure there is a path in the attic where I can access the dormers in order to display electric candles each Christmas. The project manager assures me they can build a walkway to the dormers. That space is taller than the rest of the attic space, so it will require a few stair steps to access. I'm anxious to find out how this walkway will be configured.

Meanwhile, we're working on plumbing items, cabinet design, and appliances. Progress is being made, but I am always thankful when I can completely finish a task and feel good about the choices we have made. Back to work........................

Sunday, April 6, 2014


ound this art masterpiece today. It was resting on a board, atop a pipe in the kitchen. Someone certainly has patience to have picked up all these random nails and spikes, carefully placing them around an apple. Fun find!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Toilet handles?

Someone knock me out and wake me up when this house is built. I hate making decisions regarding things I don't know anything about.

Is the quality of this stove better than that one? What about the faucet on that side of the store display?  Will it be better quality than the one I just looked at in the front of the store?

Why am I constantly second guessing myself?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Hard hats might be essential if walking through our house right now since there are too many people working overhead. The frame carpenters are completing the frame for the roof, which means any number of items could crash down from above. I hope random people are staying clear as well.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What's in a name?

If you read Molly Glentzer's article in Sunday, March 30, Houston Chronicle Escape section, you possibly discovered this interesting piece of trivia:

"Customarily, a historic home keeps the name of the last generation that lived there until the next one has passed on." *

Monday, March 31, 2014

(Borrowed post part 3) Biographical vs. autobiographical

For a young girl who honestly believed that autobiographies were better than biographies, it makes some sort of twisted sense to me I would know more about what I want in my house than someone else knows.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

(Borrowed post part 2) Childhood memories

from previous post: "It is autobiographical if you do your own interiors and biographical if aided by an interior designer" is my favorite part of this article. This is the part I would highlight in yellow if I were reading it in a book. So why rant and rave about the other parts of the article? (Because I'm opinionated?) This lone sentence inspires me.

Why all the ranting and raving about the newspaper article? Basically because that one sentence captured my attention, demanding a post, yet it is best seen in context. However, I did not like most of it's context, so decided a rebuttal was in order in case anyone cared for my opinion. Now, since we all know my opinion is not the law, we can move on. I feel better about getting all that off my mind.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Borrowed post

Published in the Houston Chronicle Homes section, March 29, 2014

Open floor plans throw etiquette rules by the wayside

By Joseph Pubiliones

Friday, March 28, 2014


As I start to pack boxes this spring, I find myself reliving memories of the 26 years we have spent in our current home. Our children don't remember any other homes because our son was three-years-old when we moved here. Our daughter was born when we were already living in this house.

Thursday, March 27, 2014



: exactly straight down or up : in a perfectly vertical position

This is probably one of those moments when you should respond aloud with a hearty "DUH!" But here goes: "The more I visit the construction site, the more I learn."  There! I said it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Joy to the World!

Last night was a late night as we reviewed the list of windows for the house. Our questions were all answered after talking to the project manager and BMC salesman this morning. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

......and then there was Pinterest

Discovering Pinterest when we were beginning to design our new home, I had collected several ideas I liked. Many of those original "Pins" were like the items on my original multiple page wish list and have since been deleted. (Warning: Like all Pinterest boards seem to be, these boards are scattered and make no logical sense.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

With gratitude............

On February 26, I wrote two parts of "Credit Where Credit is Due."   The people mentioned are playing a huge part in pulling our house together. Simultaneously there are others who are working hard as well, and without them our lot would still be vacant. I don't know all of their names, but I know their faces. They have stood in the middle of Rebar in knee high rubber boots while guiding wet concrete, walked beams like a tightrope walker, and leveled large amounts of dirt. These men amaze me as they work together like a well-tuned machine.  Each one has a part to play in this task, and they know their part well. They work hard and take their jobs seriously.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Top of the stairs

Climbing up the stairs again today brought a pleasant surprise. The second floor is partially decked. Walking out on this area brought an awesome view. Too bad our house can't have a flat roof with a roof-top patio. This would be a great place to enjoy the sunset or watch fireworks.

Quote of the day

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The stairs to nowhere

When you build a one-story home but want the option to add a second floor in the future, is there anything that needs to be considered?

  • Framing  and structural requirements are different.
  • Roof line needs to be designed to accomodate future space on the second floor.
  • Plumbing and electrical wiring needs to be available for future use.
  • There needs to be a way to access the second level.
Our architect added a stairway in order to access the second floor/attic space. Since the framing on the second floor has not been started, the stairs simply end at the top. For now, it is a stairway to nowhere.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



Trim paint and window trim are almost white in reality. My monitor is showing grey and cream.


Since writing the last post, our decision has been made. We want an elliptical fanlight over the front doors. In fact, we want a replica of the window above the front door at Boone Hall Plantation.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"The List"

As we looked at homes, we were gradually compiling a list of ideas we noticed that would be nice to include in a future house if we ever decided to build. "The list" had become quiet lengthy through the years. When it was time to hand it to an architect, I knew I could NEVER give such a list to anyone.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Coat hangers can be helpful

With the framework going up, we are suddenly able to get a much better idea of how built-ins will work in the closets. Instead of using a tape measure yesterday, I carried a few coat-hangers with me.

Friday, February 28, 2014

What is "southern?"

Searching on the Internet provides me with no definite answer to my question. I see lots of photos of cottages, mansions, row houses, farm houses and track homes. I see siding and brick. There are one story homes, plus two and three story city homes. Most have porches, but some do not.

Keeping it all straight (part 2)

Susan Lang created an invaluable book, Designing Your Dream Home: Every Question to Ask, Every Detail to Consider, and Everything to Know Before You Build or Remodel.   This book has helped me tremendously because it has given me information I would not have known about, helped me think through things that I wouldn't have questioned until it was too late, and provided me with a method to stay organized.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keeping it all straight

I'm a "list person" and readily admit it. Without my grocery list, I NEVER get everything I need at the store. If I leave home without a list of errands, at some point I'll just decide I'm tired and head home, never completing my "to do list."  I know, I know........this does sound rather insane, but that's the way I work.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Credit where credit is due (part 2)

The sign had appeared on the lot without the builder being aware it had been placed there. We had spoken to this builder previously, and when we called to ask him if the lot was for sale, he was surprised to know about the sign because he had a contract on the lot.

Credit where credit is due

Sometimes we pray, yet don't even know what to ask for. We don't know what God wants because the question isn't something spelled out in the pages of scripture. Yet, stories of the patriarchs give us perspective as we watch how God repeatedly put things in order for his people.

Louisiana style ideas

Authentic Historical Designs LLC is an interesting design firm.

A Historic House Plan Firm with a special approach to designing houses. We take authentic exteriors from yesteryear and unite them with practical and up-to-date floor plans. Now you can have the look of an old house - without any of the inconveniences.

Monday, February 24, 2014

......goodbye sunshine

It was fun to drive down the street last week and see framework rising from the slab. As we walk around through the spaces that will hold future rooms, we find ourselves imagining where cabinets, furniture, light fixtures, and windows will be placed.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thankful for a ray of sunshine

Finding the brick we would use involved driving around different areas and looking at home after home. We finally found a contender near San Felipe and S Voss Rd.

After looking at this house from the street a couple times, the homeowners graciously allowed us to take photos, and shared the name of the brick company. We were excited to realize the brick was supplied by the same company we would be using.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Southern Ceilings

When my designer mentioned Haint Blue ceilings to me, I probably had a deer in the headlights look on my face. "What on earth" is this gal thinking???  Ghosts aren't something I give much thought to. ------------------------ Do I believe there are ghosts?  Well, that is a topic for another time and place, but out of curiosity I decided to check on this haint blue idea.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cement trucks by the dozens

I doubt I've ever considered the amount of cement that is needed for a slab. I was expecting 2 or 3 trucks to show up and pump cement into the forms, drive away, and then some men would level the wet mess and it would be over.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

.......and there's mud and stones

WARNING:  When you unload truck loads of dirt before the rain, you have mud! Simple fact.

It has rained enough that everything on our lot is covered with mud. If we get off the sidewalk, we're in mud.  If we walk anywhere on the lot, we come away with mud caked shoes. So, I've devised a personal solution. I have a pair of Walmart water-proof boots that I've used in the yard when it's wet outside. They now live in a plastic tub in the back of my SUV.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Colors of Historic Charleston

Our new home will be mostly brick on the exterior. But we are using this paint guide as a reference for trim and interior paint. None of our choices are set in stone yet.


Homes and Gardens in Charleson

Historic Charleston gives much to fall in love with for those who love historic homes of the south. It would be fun to return this year for the 67th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, but I doubt there will be time for that. We didn't know much about it last year when we visited, but still enjoyed the trip a great deal. I would like to return because I feel like we would get more out of our time there, having a better idea of the city now.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Picking out exterior items, knowing they all need to work together....plus be approved by "the committee"  *

metal roof for cupola
exterior paint
window frame color
front door color
shutter color
cast stone color

Thursday, January 16, 2014

In the beginning...

Discovered this pile of lumber yesterday.....they're building the forms for the slab.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Father Knows Best?"

One of my favorite neighborhoods has homes that actually remind me of "Leave It To Beaver," "Father Knows Best" and "Andy Griffith" shows.  Many of these photos have been captured from www.har.com real estate listing.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why Southern?

Falling in love with southern homes was partially "love at first sight" with a dose of "gradual" thrown in. Growing up in the dry and dusty plains of West Texas, I was accustomed to homes with slight angles on their pitched roofs since there was not much rain to shed. My childhood home was in a neighborhood with street after street of one-story brick homes. There wasn't a great deal of "character" in the majority of neighborhoods, yet it was home and a place I loved.