family room

Melissa Bahen

Building a Dream House: Smooth Sailing

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.

lulu the baker dream house

It’s only been two weeks since my latest Dream House post, and so much has happened! First, and probably most important, we finally signed all of that pesky loan paperwork! It was actually really weird to sit and sign papers with the lady from the title company because we would pass files that we had signed as long ago as last September! We really started this so very long ago, and it is such a relief to have it done and taken care of–finally.

lulu the baker dream house excavator

Right after my post last month, the excavator came out and back-filled what was left of the trench around the foundation. He also smoothed out the huge mountains of dirt behind the house, so we can finally see what it will be like to have a backyard! We also met with a landscaper last weekend and started talking about what we want the yard to look like. Landscaping that big, empty area is more than a little daunting. We want to have a big patio outside the basement, lots of grassy areas to run around in, a swing set, and a big garden. But beyond that, I’m kind of clueless! I need someone to tell me where to put planters and borders and what kind of plants look good together.

lulu the baker electrical work

My husband helped his dad and brother finish all of the wiring and electrical work, and we passed our inspection on the first try, which I’m told is a bit of a miracle. We’re really lucky to have had my father in-law work his wiring magic on our house! We still have a few light fixtures that we need to order (I’m not even sure what, at this point!), but we got the last shipment of bathroom sconces last week, and our outdoor barn lights have shipped and should arrive soon. As soon as the electrical inspection was finished, the insulation was installed. The whole house only took two days! It’s really crazy now to walk around inside the house and see the rooms sectioned off. Now, if you want to go in and out of a room, you actually have to use the doorway; no more walking through the walls! When we were out at the Dream House on Friday afternoon, we found that all of the sheetrock had been delivered. It was all divided up and stacked against the wall in each room, and the installation should be underway by the end of the week!

lulu the baker dream house

Last weekend when we were out at the Dream House, it was as busy as a wasp’s nest. The excavator was busy smoothing all of the dirt out, and a group of workers were installing siding more quickly than we could believe. They covered the entire back of the house in just a few hours! The siding on the basement and first floor is almost finished, and I’m curious to see how long the upstairs will take. It has so many windows and rooflines and vents!

lulu the baker dream house siding

We’re getting to the really exciting part of building a house: the finish work! Pretty soon, we’ll be taping and texturing the walls, installing trim, and painting! They’ll install real stairs (not those rickety ones we’ve been climbing for months!), flooring, and cabinets. We met with the cabinet maker last week and finalized kitchen cabinets too. I’m excited to see those computer renderings of my kitchen start to come to life! See you in July!

It’s been a few months since I shared an inspiration board with you! I’ve been waiting until we had a few decisions made, and now that we’re literally down to the last wire, we’ve picked out most of the important stuff. Here are a few details for the family room area:

lulu the baker dream house family room

  • We’ve had an interesting time trying to pick out stone for the front of the house and the fireplace in the family room (The stone and masonry showroom has the world’s craziest hours!), but we settled on a pretty cultured stone in shades of grey.
  • We also had a hard time picking out a fireplace–there are so many different options! Did we want millwork surrounding some stone surrounding the fireplace? Did we want a big mantle? Should the mantle be white or stained? What about a hearth (which we nixed because of possible bonks on the forehead to little ones)? I’m pretty sure we decided to have the fireplace be all stonework with a simple mantle across the front. The jury is still out on white vs. stained!
  • Dana from Made posted a photo of her new family room on Instagram a few months ago, and I immediately sent a screencap of it to my husband; they had the most gorgeous exposed beams on the ceiling! We called our contractor and said, “Is it too late to add exposed beams to the family room?” Thankfully, it wasn’t!
  • I decided a few years ago that I wanted a nice, warm grey on the walls to balance out all of the white trim. We’re have a sample quart of my favorite shade waiting to go on the walls once the walls are up. My fingers are crossed that it looks awesome and we don’t have to choose a new shade. Paint is intimidating!
  • The banisters! We wanted pretty simple, square newels (those big posts at the ends). We actually gave this exact photo to the stair guy, who I’m sure has a proper title that isn’t “Stair Guy.”
  • My husband and I both fell in love with this back porch. We have a long balcony that stretches across the back of the house, which you can get to through two sets of french doors on either side of the family room fireplace. We’re basically making it look exactly like this photo! We bought lanterns just like those and everything!

Photo credits: Country Ledgestone in Echo Ridge from Boral Stone | fireplace by Wettling Architects via houzz.com | exposed beams from Dana of Made | Requisite Gray from Sherwin Williams | banisters from BHG.com | back porch via Dashing Pearl; if you know the original source, please let me know!


Nicole Balch

Get the Look: A Modern, Cozy Family Room

Lovely light flooring, trim, and upholstery are offset by dramatic dark walls and a bold patterned rug. The room looks inviting and cozy, and the scattering of board games beneath the table suggest a lot of fun family time to be had in the space.

Below are all the main pieces you need to recreate this look in your own home.

  1. Drake Round Coffee Table
  2. Bedford 2-Shelf Bookcase
  3. Deep Garnet Paint
  4. Sheepskin Pillow
  5. Favorite Throw Blanket
  6. Aiden Sofa, Ecru Upholstery
  7. Everett Armchair, Moss Upholstery
  8. Rainbow Seashells Cotton Hooked Rug

 

– Nicole Balch, Making it Lovely