I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions I’ve received since starting this process:
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.
How big will it be? – It is 32’x48′, or just over 1,400 interior square footage.
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.
Can I buy your in-laws’ house? – I doubt it, but you can talk to them about it.
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!
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:
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:
My sister and I have similar design styles. In fact, this past Christmas I noticed a candle-holder on her mantle. She said, “I thought you would like it. I actually bought it for you, but decided to keep it for myself.” Only sisters can get away with that.
This house was vacant for five years before the church – where Nate is working – renovated the house for staff housing.
Their living room looks like it came straight out of my Living Room Inspiration! Compare their living room with one I saved for our house:
Another similarity we have is our searching of Craigslist for a good deal. We drove to Burlington, VT together to pick up this modern farmhouse dining room table. The two clear acrylic chairs in the dining room and the white leather chair in the living room are also more great Craigslist finds. The buffet is from the thrift store; all it needed was a modern face-lift!
Nate and Cherith moved to this house from Brazil. Before moving, they sold almost everything, but they kept a few things that reminded them of Brazil, including the two authentic cowhide rugs in the living room and master bedroom.
Thank you Cherith for sharing these inspiring photos of mid-century/modern decor ideas!
The first project Ashley and I worked on together was a secret mailbox, hidden half-way between her house and mine. To build our mailbox, first we found an old tree stump, then dug out the rotted wood, placed a metal coffee can inside, and covered the can back up with pine needles. We were destined to be successful architects.
Now, twenty years later, we are both in the process of building our first home. Ashley and Erik, much further along in the process than we are, offered this advice for first-time home-builders:
Make your plans as detailed as possible
Get as many prices for products from several different sources
Establish a relationship with a reputable sales rep from local building suppliers.
Limit your time running after supplies by making detailed lists
What makes their situation unique is that they are living in the basement, while slowly building the rest of the house. Ashley said, “We are doing it all with cash, so it’s been slow, but we are almost there! We should have everything done in the next couple of months, and then we plan on putting it on the market and hopefully selling right away! And then we will do it all again…It has been a bit slower than planned, but it’s worth it!”
Two of my favorite design details about this basement are the mid-mod living room and the Edison-bulb pendants in the bathroom.
Good luck, Ashley and Erik! Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful home!