stairs

Melissa Bahen

Building a Dream House: Looking Very Trim

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.

gray interior wall paint door trim

It’s been a whopping six weeks since my last Dream House post went live, and we’re at a really crazy busy stage of building. So, as usual (only more so), it’s been fun to go back through my photos and see just how much progress has been made since I last wrote! My last post ended with the entire house, inside and out, waiting to be painted. And now it’s been painted for weeks; I don’t even notice the paint anymore! We ended up going with a really beautiful shade of gray for the walls, with a lighter tint of that same color for the ceilings. Most of the trim has been installed as well, and while it is pre-primed, it hasn’t been caulked, filled, and painted yet. But it will end up white, just a different white than it is right now. The trim is taking a looooong time. I was told that it would, but that hasn’t made it less agonizing! This house has lots of doors and windows, and every single one has to be trimmed. The ones that are already done look beautiful; I’m excited to have them all finished so we can move on to another stage!

house construction pitched roof five-panel door

As soon as the interior paint was finished, the kitchen cabinets and back stairs were installed. We hit one small snag with the kitchen cabinets (that is now being remedied): the alcove for the microwave was too high for either me or my husband to reach easily. And forget about our kids ever being able to use it without a tall ladder! You would think we would have noticed that detail on the drawings (which we went over with a fine-toothed comb and approved), but it really is impossible to catch everything. Somethings you just have to see in person. They’ve since pulled that section of the cabinetry back out and are moving everything down 6-8 inches. That’s not the only “Uh-oh” moment we’ve had: there’s a light switch that is in the wrong spot and cannot stay where it is, and we noticed that the central vac hook-up for the master bedroom will end up right smack in the middle of our very large, very heavy dresser. We’re still trying to puzzle that one out!

laundry room stairs farmhouse style

Other notables this month include the deck off the back of the family room being installed and the stained cedar beams going up on the barrel vault outside the front door! Neither I nor my children have set foot on that back deck because up to this point, it has basically consisted of sheets of plywood laid over a few beams–not nailed in place, mind you! There’s still no railing up, but at least it’s pretty to look at! We just picked railings out last week, so those should be going in at some point, right? We also have four beautiful black carriage lanterns ready to hang along the bead board ceiling. The electrician (aka, my Father in-law) is installing all of the outlets and light switches, and then we’ll finally get to see some fixtures installed! The little barrel vault on the front porch needs to be trimmed out and the surrounding area painted, then a carriage light can be installed there as well.

family room deck

stained cedar barrel vault porch

The single most exciting thing that has happened in the Dream House this month has been the installation of the front stairs. We had a little bit of a hard time deciding exactly what we wanted those stairs to look like. I had pinned lots of images of pretty stairs and banisters, but nothing screamed, “Yes!” Then an acquaintance posted a picture on Instagram of one of her kids sitting on their stairs, and it was the most breath-taking, gorgeous set of stairs I’d ever seen! I took a screen-cap, printed out a copy, and sent it to the carpenter that very day, and now, after weeks and weeks of work, the stairs are installed! They’re really beautiful, even without the paint and stain that will be coming along shortly. And it’s really comforting to have banisters back up; there weren’t any railings for a long time, and I wouldn’t allow anyone to go upstairs for fear they’d fall off the edge of the floor! The plan with the stairs is to have the handrails, treads, and toe-kicks stained to match the wood floor in the entry way, and to have the rails and posts painted white to match the rest of the trim in the house. I think it will be striking–fingers crossed!

front stairs banister craftsman stained toe-kicks

And now my favorite part: what comes next? As I mentioned, we’re still on the trim stage. There’s kind of an intricate dance that goes on from here on out with the timing of everything. The carpet goes in after the trim has been painted, but the hardwood and tile have to go in before the baseboards in those rooms can go on. When the trim gets painted, the kitchen cabinets get painted too, then the counters and wall tile can be installed, then the kitchen appliances. Stonework, both interior and exterior, fits in there somewhere too, and I actually think that’s happening soon, but who knows! I basically just try to roll with it and be pleasantly surprised on each visit. See you in September, hopefully ever so much closer to a finished Dream House!

white exterior paint farmhouse