Fall is Here

Growing up on a college campus, a few things signified the changing of seasons more than just the Fall colors and cooler weather. A fresh batch of students meant new relationships and renewed ambitions. One of these ambitions in particular seemed to be exercising, specifically jogging. Something about being in a new environment, trying to avoid the Freshman Fifteen, and enjoying the great outdoors turned these straight-out-of-high-school students into committed, Division I athletes.

I was walking Denzel last week, and I realized that Fall must be here when I was passed by one of these aforementioned marathoners. Her lanyard was hanging out of her short’s pocket, swaying back and forth as she trotted along. Her hair was down, and she was wearing what appeared to be a brand new pair of Nike running shoes. She also took a phone call and answered, “I can’t talk right now, I’m running,” and hung up. So committed! A few steps later, she slowed down to a brisk walk. I’m sure the phone call must have been important.

This has nothing to do with the progress of our house, except that Fall is here, and we are moving right along with our checklist of things to do.


September 9, 2016

I think if Tommy had designed the house, we would have had zero ceiling lights, making insulation installation much smoother.

September 13, 2016
September 23, 2016

We had a little set back with one of the inspections and ended up having to pull out two rows of insulation and install additional 2x4s in the ceiling.

September 25, 2016

Steps to the basement!



September 25, 2016

Siding begins!

September 26, 2016
October 10, 2016

Siding is almost finished and they have started on the mudroom!


October 10, 2016

We finished the foam board insulation in the guest room last night – so – you have a place to stay when you come visit!

October 10, 2016

Still married & still smiling! Thanks for following along on our adventure!


Summer Progress

A few things have happened since my last post [four months ago]:

  • We moved to the Island in June
  • We lived on the Island for ten weeks
  • We moved off of the Island in August
  • We moved the last of our stuff off of the Island two weeks ago

So, my lack of posts is due to Island life, but my sister’s blog filled you in on that. You’re here because you want to see where we’re at with our house (if you haven’t sneaked over to see it in real life already — you know who you are).

Plumbing was set in the basement floors a week before we moved to the Island.

June 3, 2016
June 3, 2016

My first time off the Island since moving over, I came back to this:

June 29, 2016

Less than two weeks later, we had interior and exterior walls:

July 9, 2016
The Grand Tour (I was ready to move in at this point!)

The roof went up and now we are totally sealed in with windows and exterior doors too!

August 6, 2016
August 7, 2016
August 20, 2016

We are half-way through with insulation. Up next – interior: drywall || exterior: siding

Hopefully my next post won’t be four months from now! Thanks for checking in.

Pumping Concrete

Our week in review:

Thursday, 5/19: Tommy’s dad – The Captain – arrived early Thursday morning.

May 20, 2016
May 20, 2016

Friday, 5/20: Logix courses set and ready for concrete.


Monday, 5/23: We picked up 100 square feet of slate from a storage unit in Chestertown – thanks to Craigslist. I tried to talk him even lower than his asking price, but we still walked away with a great deal.

May 24, 2016 – Pumping concrete into the walls
The other Captain

Tuesday, 5/24: Cement trucks showed up at 8:07; Durand was here by 8:15 to check on their work. He was convinced Tommy’s dad’s name was “Mr. Mike” – we have no idea why.

Wednesday, 5/25: Bought ice cream sandwiches for the men working; got home too late to get to the site before they left; ate the ice cream sandwiches.

They will start plumbing and hopefully pour the basement floor next week. Thanks for following!

Looking for more design inspiration & project updates? Follow me on Instagram: @WhiteWallsMatter.

Basement Walls

I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions I’ve received since starting this process:

  1. What kind of house are you building? – I think I understand this question, but the answer is still a little dependent upon who is asking. We are building a one-story, 3bedroom/2bathroom ranch with a full-walkout basement.
  2. How big will it be? – It is 32’x48′, or just over 1,400 interior square footage.
  3. Did you design it? – We’ve been discussing the possibility of building for a while, so I knew the basic idea of the floor-plan that we liked and reviewed over a thousand online. So, it is a compilation of a few floor-plans that I liked the most and input from Tommy and his dad. As far as the sketch of actual floor-plan, yes, I designed it.
  4. Can I buy your in-laws’ house? – I doubt it, but you can talk to them about it.
  5. When will it be finished/When are you moving? – I’m always afraid to answer this question because when I do, people often tell me that it will take longer than I expect. So, we are aiming for Christmas of this year – I know – it could be later!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram – @whitewallsmatter – for more updates!

May 16, 2016
May 17, 2016
May 18, 2016


May 19
May 19, 2016



Placing Courses

I told Tommy that I was going to start camping out at the house, just to get used to sleeping there! He didn’t believe me. Probably because of my overall objection to camping, or because I refuse to take the compost out after dark. He knows better than to think I’d actually sleep outside by myself all night.

But you’re just here to check on the progress of the house, and there sure has been progress! The inspector is coming today – so hopefully all goes well.

May 11, 2016
May 12, 2016


I have also started an Instagram account –@whitewallsmatter– for more real-time updates and design inspirations.

Want to know more about the phase we are in right now? This guy from LOGIX can explain it better than I can:

Breaking Ground

I’ve noticed a significant progression of TV shows that catch my interest, based on the phase of life in which I find myself. In the middle of wedding-planning, I was obsessed with David Tutera and Say Yes to the Dress. Once we had our wedding, my interest waned. A few months later, we rescued Denzel, and my alarm was set daily for 4:00 (AM, to let him outside; PM, to soak in every second of advice from Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer). Once we realized there was no hope for Denz, my interest waned yet again.

Since we began discussing the house, I have become more interested in home renovation shows, although those have always been pretty high on my list (who could ever forget the unrealistic construction time-frames and emotional home reveals from Extreme Home Makeover or the tacky, yet budget-friendly designs and awkward room-reveals from Trading Spaces?!). Yes, I have seen every episode of Fixer Upper, although this renovation from Season 2 is really the only one that matters: A Fixer Upper Take on Midcentury Modern.

We all know more takes place behind the scenes than what they can show on TV. Here are a few things that I’m finding out as we move forward with this building process:

  • It all takes time. I offered to start shoveling a hole for the foundation if that would speed up the process, but Tommy didn’t think that would be necessary.
  • It requires careful attention to details. Most of the stage we are in right now is totally new and unfamiliar territory for me. I could talk about interior design all day, but foundation and footings? Important, I get it, but, snooze.
  • “Maybe tomorrow” has become somewhat of our mantra. Not because progress isn’t being made – it is – but each phase completed leads us to believe that “maybe tomorrow” they will start on the next thing. Speaking of progress, check it out:
March 19, 2016
Photo Apr 28, 5 58 15 PM
April 28, 2016
Photo May 03, 8 00 59 PM
May 3, 2016

Thanks for following along – keep checking in for more progress updates!

Marble Backsplash

I have always loved one, solid sheet of marble (rather than individual tiles) as a backsplash, but I assumed it would be too expensive and too difficult to cut to exact size. Then I had the idea of using counter top laminate, which is only 0.035 inches thick, and costs around $2/square foot. So, last week I ordered a sample of laminate in Formica’s Calacatta Marble:

Formica Calacatta Marble

I am still waiting on a laminate sample of  Wilsonart’s Calcutta Marble:

Wilsonart Calcutta Marble

From the images, the Wilsonart Calcutta Marble is my preference, but I will decide once I can compare the samples.

These laminate sheets are designed to be used as counter tops, so they are durable, waterproof, and stain-resistant  – perfect for using as a backsplash! As I mentioned in Kitchen Inspiration, we will have black bottom cupboards, concrete counters, and white upper cupboards.  Here are a few examples of marble backsplashes:


Now you know our secret! When you come to visit, just act impressed, as if it’s real marble.

To see my entire Kitchen Ideabook on Houzz, click here.

Featured image from Home Depot – purchase exact sample here!