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:

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!

Open Concept

Before Joanna Gaines became famously known for knocking down walls and opening the space between dining rooms and kitchens, I have loved an open concept floor plan.

You will notice that technically our “front” door opens into the dining area, but the main entry that we plan to use will enter through the living room. first-design(1)

Here are a few examples of an open layout, from the perspective of the living room.

To see my entire Living Room Ideabook on Houzz, click here.

As I mentioned in my Designers to Follow post, I have too many Instagram screen shots of ideas and inspiration on my phone. Here are a few open concept ideas I have saved:

Click on any image to enlarge.

Design & Live

Sita Montgomery Interiors

Home Decorating Ideas

Home Inspiration

Featured image from: Restoration Hardware – purchase exact sofa here!

Mid-Mod Townhouse

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.

Living Room – Before
Living Room – After

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:

I guess you could say we think alike.


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!