Design Board

Melissa Bahen

Building a Dream House: Kitchen Inspiration (and walls!)

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.

November has been such a busy month at the Dream House! Actual construction-type things have been happening–finally–and we’re over the moon with excitement! We’ve had lots of fun checking on the progress several times a week; we’re at a stage where the changes are very obvious and easy to spot. The main thing that’s been happening this month is construction of the exterior walls of the basement. We decided to do ICF construction on the basement and ground floor of the house, something totally new to us until a few months ago. ICF stands for insulated concrete forms, which are basically hollow styrofoam blocks that snap together, have a meshwork of rebar running through them, and get filled with concrete. They are incredibly thick and sturdy, and we’re ridiculously excited to see how toasty our house will be in the winter and how delightfully cool it will be in the summer. The construction crew had the ICF stacked and ready to go for the basement walls last week, with windows and doors framed in, and they poured the concrete into them today! After the Thanksgiving holiday, they’ll keep stacking, reinforcing, and pouring until they get the ground floor walls done too. The foundation has been dug out, the conduit for plumbing and electrical has been laid, and the foundation filled back in with gravel, so the concrete for the foundation will be poured soon as well. And then we’ll have our actual basement floor!

November hasn’t just been a month of watching; we’ve done lots of research and decision-making too! Since we spend so much time in the kitchen, we’ve been making the kitchen the focus of our efforts lately. My husband and I took a trip up to Portland at the beginning of the month and spent an entire day visiting showrooms filled with granite, quartz, slate, tile, paint, appliances, and more. We looked at lots of really beautiful materials, changed our minds about some of the things we had our eye on back in October, took lots of pictures, and compared prices. We think (fingers-crossed) that we’ve made up our minds about all but a few kitchen details. I put together a fun little kitchen style board to see how lovely everything we picked out will look together, and I think I’m in love! Without further ado…the kitchen!

A little bit about the things we’ve chosen…

  • We spotted the rustic glass pendants in the Pottery Barn catalog this past Spring and used a killer coupon code to buy them at a discount. They’re actually sitting in their boxes down in my in-laws’ barn just biding their time.
  • After agonizing over what to do about a range hood, we’ve decided to go with metal. We really like the ones with rivets!
  • We love white kitchens! The one pictured above doesn’t have all of the same features we want, but we love the large center island, and white, glass-fronted cabinets.
  • We’ve got a pocket door or two on our house plans. They weren’t something we specifically asked for, but I’m really excited about them!
  • While we’re still finalizing the layout of the kitchen, we’ve made adjustments to allow space for some open shelving. We plan to use some lovely reclaimed wood and dark iron wall brackets to match the hardware throughout the rest of the house.
  • I know white subway tile is the kitchen backsplash du jour, but I love it. So we’re going with it anyway.
  • We aren’t 100% committed to our counters yet, but we really love this neutral granite. It’s called Terra Brasilis, but don’t Google that, because the samples that pop up look nothing like the slab we saw! Granite is so confusing sometimes!
  • We really love the look of natural slate tile, but it has some challenges with installation and maintenance. We found a porcelain tile that looks just like real slate for a really good price, and are excited to have such a focal point in the kitchen decided!

I can’t tell you how happy we are to have work on the Dream House progressing! Over the next month, we should see another story of exterior wall poured along with the foundation, and we have the exciting task of figuring out where to place wall sockets, electrical outlets, and light fixtures. It’s party central over here, folks! You can follow along on our adventure through Instagram and Pinterest, and I’d love to know what room you want to see a style board for next!

Photo credits: pendant photo from Pottery Barn | dark grey tile photo from Oregon Tile & Marble | open wood shelves photo from Country Living Magazine | granite photo from Lulu the Baker | all other photos from Better Homes & Gardens


BHG Guest Blogger

Pin it. Get it! Eclectic Beach-Inspired Living Room

I love decorating and I love Pinterest. Put the two together and it’s a winning combination. Have you ever discovered a unique space or the latest trend from a picture a friend pinned? I know I have. Recently, I came across this lovely eclectic, beach-inspired living room. From the beautiful carved wood coffee table to the splendid collection of pillows, I was immediately inspired!
After a little online shopping, I was able to recreate the space. Now you can do more than pin the image, you can get it at BHG.com/Shop! Get the full list of products shown below here.
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I hope you enjoyed all of my fabulous finds to create this look in your own home! Happy Pinning!
Michael Wurm, Jr.  - Inspired by Charm