Building a Dream House: Shades of Gray
Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.
Exciting things have been happening at the Dream House in the past three weeks! The very same day my last post went live, my husband sent me a picture of the inside of the house with the drywall installed on most of the walls and ceilings. What an amazing transformation that was! I’ve been worried for a few months that the house would be too dark inside, that there weren’t enough windows and that it would end up being a dark, gloomy house. The contractor assured me that once the drywall was up and the studs and insulation were covered, everything wouldn’t brighten up a lot, and we’d be able to see what the house would really look like. And he was right, of course! The drywall installation took about two weeks, then the tape guy (what’s his title?) filled all the joints, taped, and sanded, and taped and sanded some more. And now, all of the windows and floors are covered and the walls have been primed and textured! We are ready to begin the painting stage on Monday!
Speaking of paint, I was really excited for the drywall to go up because I had my precious sample quart of interior color ready to paint on the walls in generous strokes all over the house. I was under the mistaken impression that that is what you do! But the drywall guys were a little miffed at me because paint on the drywall interferes with the priming and texturing. They had to sand quite a few spots (at least a dozen!) where I had painted my kids’ names and enormous rectangles of color on the walls. Lesson learned! It’s a mixed blessing, then, that the color was really gross and ugly, because despite how it sounds, I painted without much enthusiasm. Had the color been as dreamy as I was hoping it would be, the drywall guys would have had a lot more to be angry about!
It was a little disappointing to have to start from scratch on the wall color, but after no less than four more trips to the paint store and many, many hours of important internet research, we had a decent array of interior wall and trim colors to test. I wised up, thanks to many tips from friends and the internet, and painted large pieces of foam core instead of the drywall at the Dream House. We tested three more shades of grey (not quite as many as 50, ha!), dragged the samples all over the house, tested them in every single room on every single wall, took photos, made visitors give their opinions, etc. And I think we found a winner! Not too brown, not too blue, not too green, not at all purple (which was the problem with the first color). And it looks really beautiful with the trim color. The new paint color made the carpet color look totally wrong, so we had to swap that out too, and we finally made it to the stone place when they were actually open. So now we have our stone picked out too, and it all looks really lovely together!
Despite my irrational fears that it would take them a long time to finish the siding, the workers actually got it done very quickly. They also installed the front door and all of the bead board. We’ve got porches on the front and back of the house, a little covered courtyard outside the mudroom, and a small covered patio off the laundry room where the stairs will go down into the backyard. And all of them have bead board ceilings. We bought 2400 linear feet of douglas fir 1×6 bead board at a construction surplus warehouse in Portland two months ago. We actually didn’t end up needing that much and have quite the pile of it still sitting in the garage. Whoops! Future project!
We also tested and chose paint for the outside of the house (who knew there were so many shades of white??), and concocted our own private blend wood stain for the tongue and groove cedar paneling on the little barrel vault on the front porch. All of the gooseneck barn lights for the outside of the house arrived, and I made my husband pose with one as though he were installing it. Doesn’t it look great? All of those exterior lights (and interior ones, for that matter), will get installed after the painting is done.
So, what comes next? As I mentioned, the walls are taped and textured (a lovely orange peel finish), and the painters are scheduled to start this week! Although painting a house yourself takes forever and a day, hiring pros makes the job go surprisingly quickly, so it should only take about a week. Then comes all of the trim work–doors, windows, more doors, and more windows. That actually might take a while, but I can’t wait to see what our house will look like when it’s done! And the kitchen cabinets are almost finished! They’ll be installed about the same time the trim work is happening, so really, really soon! I feel like this month’s post has an inordinate number of exclamation points, but everything is just so exciting!
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