Well, shaping up in our heads, technically, since we’re still about three weeks out from being able to put any furnishings into the house (the walls are getting painted as I type this, and then the cabinetry will go in and the hardwood floors will be stained on site), so everything has been in shopping list and mood board form so far.
But in the last week the builder and his awesome team have been humming along, and we’ve made some really good furniture-and-accessory planning progress in several of the rooms. Enough that we can finally share a few room plans with you guys that are no longer missing major elements. Some spaces are definitely further along in the planning process than others, and the two in the lead are: the study (aka: the home office) and the dining room.
They’re the first two rooms in the house when you walk in, so we’re grateful that they’re shaping up to be a good representation of the feeling that we want this house to have. One kinda skews light & happy while the other brings in a bit more of a cozy & moody feeling that we also really like. So we figure that together they’ll help set the tone for the rest of the house.
Let’s start with the study, er, office as we keep calling it. Here’s what it’s looking like now.
Since we’re sort of designing for a hypothetical future version of our family (hence the tween girl & young boy rooms that we mentioned last week), we thought it’d be fun to do a home office for a woman who works (perhaps blogs?) at home. Not only is it an easy mental leap to make, but we also thought it would differentiate it from all of the manly mahogany studies that we’re used to seeing in model homes. So light, cheery, and a smidge feminine was our goal.
- The walls are already Simply White like the trim, but the painters still have to put our bold accent color on the 10′ ceiling, which we thought was tall enough to handle a rich and saturated turquoise color called Skydive.
- This Wire Globe Lantern in rust from our lighting collection (donated by Shades of Light) will hang over the desk that will float in the middle of the room.
- Floor length curtains in a textured & modern feeling fabric (Dapp woven fabric in Elephant) will hang floor to ceiling on either side of the window (our favorite local fabric shop, U-Fab, is donating them to the cause).
- West Elm is also excited to help Habitat, so they offered up this striped Saddle Office Chair but we hear it’s on back order (fingers crossed it comes through in time).
- We’d love to add some chic storage boxes, like these from Target.
- While we’re at it, a cheery mug for pencils and other desk stuff could be fun. Maybe this one?
- This wood & metal desk hails from Green Front Furniture (sorry, we don’t know the maker) who is loaning furniture to all seven of the homes in the show (more on that here). Please forgive the wonky photoshopped top (I attempted to remove some display materials that were in our shot).
- We love this art from Help Ink, where $1 of every $5 spent goes to a charity of your selection. We’re thinking this print would be perfect, since the colors fit right in, and the message is pretty great too.
- West Elm was also happy to donate this Torres Wood Kilim rug in Guava, which we think will keep things casual and light.
- We’re also thinking about buying this Help Ink print as well. Feels nice to choose accessories with a charitable goal while decorating a house for charity.
Although most of the items above are already locked in, a lot of the accessories and art are things that we’re going to purchase and fill in as the rooms get further along. So we’re sure some might change as we go, and of course a ton of other stuff will end up in each room as it evolves. But on to the dining room! Last week it was looking like this (we’re still waiting for our big glass pocket doors with a transom window to be installed at that extra-wide entryway).
But as of yesterday it had made some great progress thanks to our custom wainscot being finished and freshly painted! It’s not your typical wainscoting, but with a very talented carpenter at our disposal, we wanted to try something a little different (remember how we chatted about trying to take risks and all that good stuff here?). We thought about something like a herringbone or a chevron pattern, but didn’t want it to be too overt (like this) and were inspired by something a little more subtle and less common (oddly enough, like the pattern on these shoes that Sherry saw on Pinterest).
It’s a wide-angled pattern made up of wood slats with a 1/4″ gap between them, so the lines are kind of “engraved” into the wainscot instead of sticking out. Before putting it up, we literally sat with the carpenter and drew various angles right onto the walls and used different board widths and spacing methods until it looked subtle enough not to be too crazy (but not so soft that the pattern would disappear completely when it was painted). For anyone interested, we went with 1 x 3″ boards, a spacing of one quarter of an inch between them, and the angle is around 22 degrees from the floor.
It’s sort of hard to get “the full picture” for the room from that shot above (since about 99% of the other elements are missing) but once the rest of the furnishings/accessories get added (and the upper wall gets painted a nice dark color to balance out the wainscoting) we think it’ll be a great background texture among some other elements, like:
- The upper walls are going to be Kendall Charcoal, a deep brown-gray color that will bring some moodiness to the top of the 10′ tall room.
- Here’s the aforementioned wainscot that we added for reference (it’ll remain glossy white, along with the trim).
- This is the big Industrial Modern Island Chandelier in Bronze that Shades of Light is donating for over the table.
- We fell hard for this Jute Boucle in Platinum, which West Elm is kindly donating.
- We’d also love some potted greenery as centerpieces, like these that we found on Etsy.
- This rustic wood pedestal table that Green Front Furniture is loaning us for the show will float in the middle of the room with the chandelier over it.
- Among the potted plant centerpieces, we thought a collection of old wine bottles or green vases would be a nice mix (image from West Elm).
- We liked the idea of dark upholstered chairs, which would pop in front of the white wainscoting. Maybe these from World Market?
- We’ll also be adding floor length curtains in this fabric (Stri fabric in Ultramarine, donated by U-Fab). We love that they subtly reference the angled wainscoting, and while we wanted the room to be sort of quietly elegant, we couldn’t resist some color on the window wall.
I don’t know about you, but we’re excited to be getting to this phase of the project: where things start feeling like real rooms – and we finally get to work on filling them up and making it feel like home. It’s crazy to think this was just a dirt lot a few months ago. It’s also pretty crazy to think that in two short months we’ll have an entire finished house (with over 20 different spaces) to share with you guys. That’s a whole lotta before & after – and about 95% faster than we’re used to moving. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there we’ll have a baby. Guess it’s time to buckle up and hold on…
PS: For those asking about Homearama tickets, they’re usually $10 (children 18 & under are free) but you can get them for 20% off in February (and show some love to Habitat if you’re so inclined) here. The show is open Thurs-Sun, the first three weekends of May.
As a little Friday bonus, here are four fun projects, chats, or questions going on over on the Forums. We also announced this week’s giveaway winner, so you can click here (and scroll down to the Rafflecopter box) to see if it’s you.
|by TheThreeOfUs||by aforceinside
The Homearama Showhouse train continues to careen towards our deadline (you can read more about it here, here, here, and here). The show opens May 1 – although we have a baby who’s due a few weeks before that – so we’re scurrying to get things done and holding on for the ride. It simultaneously feels like we have a million things to tell you, yet no tidy way to share the news, so this post may feel a bit scatter-brained as I attempt to update you on everything swirling around the project these days.
First up, thanks for all of your input on the front door color. We can’t believe 38,000 votes came in (!!!). It was fun to see you guys launch rust into the lead early on, where it remained the winner with 36% of the votes (the runner up was red with 21%). As we mentioned, we’re waiting for the porch columns to go in and get sealed (they’re going to darken a bit), so we need to take that into consideration before a final decision is made.
One surprise was a strong “write in” option that emerged repeatedly: white. Sherry had actually wanted to include that as one of the vote-able options, but I assumed it would show dirt too easily and wouldn’t be practical, so I talked her out of it. My bad. The good news is that the constant “what about white?” comments gave us the opportunity to ask folks with a white door if they liked it, and the resounding response was that many people with a porch/overhang like this house and a white door had no issues with it, and generally loved it.
So if the sealed beams, the porch floor tile, and other elements that we’ll be layering in start to feel too heavy, this write-in candidate could just steal the show. We like how it would integrate the white sidelights and make the whole entryway appear wider and more grand. So we’ll have to see what the builder, architect, and realtor think once the beams get sealed and we grab some paint test pots for the door. We promise to report back to you guys with all the details!
One exciting step forward, as some of you saw on Instagram, is that the porch columns are now in! It was so quite a moment to pull up and see them smiling (staring?!) back at us. They still need to be sealed, which will enrich/darken the tone of the wood, so we can’t wait to see how they look when they’re done.
Now onto the rest of the house. We’re facing a pretty constant internal debate when it comes to the choices that we’re making for this project. Do we pick the “safe” and more universally appealing option? Or do we take a risk and try something unexpected or against the grain? Since the home will eventually be put on the market, we don’t want to create a wild-card house that scares everyone off.
But the whole purpose of Homearama is to showcase a variety of interesting design ideas across all seven houses in the show, so they don’t all look like clones of each other – or of every other home in the neighborhood. So nearly every decision for this house has been an interesting (and sometimes paralyzing) dance between “is this too polarizing to please the masses?” and “is this too safe to make for an interesting home show?” We were even debating this yesterday while checking out some unique wall-to-wall carpet options for the kids bedrooms…
For the most part we’ve been trying to lean more towards the “risk” since the folks putting on the show have really encouraged that (along with the builder, who reminds us that the house only needs one buyer). Of course that doesn’t mean every element that we choose will be crazy, but it does mean that we’re shooting for a few showstopping choices in each room. And since there’s a whole team involved – the builder, the contractors, the architect, the Homearama coordinators, the realtor, etc – we’ve got a pretty good safety net to keep us from going off the rails.
Speaking of decisions, we’ve been checking more and more off of our TBD list. We recently picked all of the interior paint colors, and we’re starting to pin down furniture for each space. Can I just tell you how much furniture you need when you’re outfitting an entire house at once?! Our lists go on for pages. The good news is that it has been much easier to visualize what we need now that the house is all drywalled.
Filling this place with furniture, rugs, curtains, art, and accessories is an exciting design adventure, but also a bit of a puzzle. Things that will be sold with the house (like hardwired lighting, plumbing, tile, and paint) come out of the builder’s budget, and then each designer (or design blogger, in our case) is given a separate budget to spend on decor. But that decor budget breaks down to less than $500 per room, which could be drained by a single rug, bed, or couch.
Thankfully Homearama has arranged for each of the seven showhouses to borrow furniture from a local-ish place called Green Front Furniture (which we’ve randomly explored a few years ago here and here). So that means we can check off some of our big ticket items without bleeding the budget. Green Front is made up of twelve massive buildings with floors upon floors of options, so we road-tripped there last week and did as much shopping as Sherry’s little pregnant feet could handle.
Even with that HUGE helping hand, there is a limit to how much we can get there, so like all of the design teams for each of these seven homes, we have to hustle to fill out this house. For some of the other designers it may mean borrowing items from other models they’ve decorated or calling in favors to stores they work with frequently. And for us, it means tapping some of the local artists or favorite shops that we’ve grown to know through blogging (so it’s sort of like how we recruited decor donations for The Children’s Hospital a few months back).
In the end, the more we can hustle to get donated or discounted for this house, the more it’ll help our goal of supporting Richmond’s Habitat for Humanity, because every dollar that we save from those building/decorating budgets means more can be donated to them.
We’re also donating our design fee to Habitat, and Homearama itself is collecting a bunch of generous contributions from their sponsors, vendors, and ticket sales. Oh and locals, take note – there are going to be goodies to grab at the ReStore when the show ends, since we’re also donating some furnishings and decor to them – and they’d love your business!
But this house won’t just be filled with new items. We’ve also been visiting some secondhand stores to score vintage and thrifted things that we’ll upgrade with everything from fresh paint to new upholstery. For example, we found this great wooden full-sized headboard for $9.98 that we can’t wait to paint for the girl’s bedroom (it reminded us of this $1,559 version from Ethan Allan).
After we paint it and add a bed, it’ll sit against the right-hand wall in the picture below, which we’re also planning to treat as an accent wall with a cheery wall stencil donated from Royal Design Studio. Oh, and you can see the beginnings of the built-in desk that the carpenter (also named John) has been working on based on some very sketchy plans that we drew with him right on the wall.
Since there’s no specific client to design the house for, we’re approaching it as if we’re accommodating a future version of us. So that might be a tweenage Clara’s space. Can you tell she’s very studious? She’s got one desk area for homework and another for artistic pursuits.
The second kids bedroom is an imagined room for the 8-year-old version of Barnacle, who is getting a sweet built-in bed/storage system. Clearly we instilled a love of built-ins in him at birth. It’s fun for the builder to add these custom creations so he can show future clients what his team can do, and it’s really fun for us to help design them since, for once, we don’t have to build them.
I’ll leave you with a peek at one last room: the living room, which opens to the kitchen (your back would be facing the kitchen island in this photo below). Said island will be painted navy and have some great gold pendants hanging over it, so we thought it’d be cool to pick up that same navy color on the fireplace column across the room. We think it’ll help the white mantle and the light stone surround that we’ve picked pop – sort of like this living room shot. We even have an artist friend of ours painting a big colorful portrait of Burger to hang up there. At this point we work some random Burger reference into every side project that we do, so we couldn’t resist.
We’ll do a more comprehensive overview of how each room is shaping up, well, once they’ve shaped up a bit more (perhaps with an updated video tour). Right now we have around 20 mood boards that are 40% complete, so we can’t wait to get those finished up and share all the plans with you guys. This baby boy of ours is coming in less than eight weeks, so we better get cracking.
PS: Homearama tickets are now available for pre-order! They’re $10 (children 18 and under are free) but you can get them for 20% off this month (and show some love to Habitat if you’re so inclined) here. The show is open Thurs-Sun, the first three weekends of May.