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Building a Dream House: Frustration and Flooring

Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are hopefully about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.



It is said that good things come to those who wait. In the case of the Dream House, I certainly hope it proves to be true! October has been a month of waiting. In September, I said that if all went well, we’d have our permits in-hand by the end of the month because we had concrete scheduled for pouring. And people moved heaven and earth to get us our permits on time…and then we hit a wall of surprise paperwork at the bank that we are just now breaking through! It’s been really frustrating to have to sit and wait and not be able to do anything to get something going in that big hole in the ground. To add to the frustration, construction in the Pacific Northwest is kind of a race against the weather:  towards the end of Fall, the rainy monsoon season starts. We’ve had so many days of absolutely gorgeous weather in the past few weeks when no construction could be done, and I know the rains will start all too soon. BUT!! The exciting news is that we are placing footings on Thursday (huzzah!), and the weather forecast is still clear and warm for at least the next 10 days!


Since there are no less than a million things to do when building a Dream House, this unexpected month of waiting has actually been a great opportunity for us to do a whole bunch of little things that actually add up to a lot of items checked off our to-do list. Back in August, we visited the local flooring showroom and looked at some samples of really beautiful hand-scraped, wide-plank hardwood flooring. Our salesman said it had just been installed in a remodel and encouraged us to go have a look. My husband actually knows the homeowners, so two weekends ago, we stopped by, and they graciously let us look around their beautiful home. And it was the craziest, most serendipitous visit! We actually had a good chuckle when we walked in the door–so many of the things we’ve thought about choosing for our house were in their house! White kitchen cabinets with dark hardware, stainless steel appliances, wide-plank hardwood floors, wide, white trim around doors and windows, a sliding barn door here and there; they even had the exact light fixtures we bought from Pottery Barn back in the Spring. One of my big fears with this project is that when the house is finished and we go inside for the first time, I’ll realize that none of the things we picked out match each other. It was really comforting to see that we’re on the right track.



We also spent a day last week doing a marathon tour of showrooms in town. We looked at granite and quartz for kitchen counters, slate and porcelain tile for kitchen flooring, hardwood and carpet for the rest of the house, and a whole slew of kitchen appliances, bathtubs, faucets, door knobs, windows, and pillars. We made definitive choices in lots of areas, and considerably narrowed down the field in the rest. We are equipped with a list of granite and tile showrooms to visit on our next trip to Portland, and have quite the collection of gigantic sample boards stashed in our living room. If you come visit, I’ll probably drag them all out and show you how well they match, beaming like a proud mother hen.



Exciting things are on the calendar for the coming month: finally pouring that foundation! deciding between cement, metal, granite (maybe leathered—have you heard of it?), or quartz for the kitchen counters! maybe some framing! Don’t forget to follow along on our home-building adventure via Instagram. If you check today, I might even have a construction picture posted (fingers crossed!).

3 Responses to “ Building a Dream House: Frustration and Flooring ”

  1. How fun to be looking at fixtures and finishes! Can’t wait to see more.

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