#20 Exterior Details

We're getting down to adding the final details to the exterior. One of the many decisions we need to make yet involves the flower boxes planned for under the windows. Should the color be black or brown?

My designer instincts are leaning me towards repeating the brown from the garage doors in order to create balance. We are considering black as well because of the continuity it would have with the shutters. The brown can be brought in with a fence or landscape. We had some images made of the options to confirm.

A view of the final selections

A view of the final selections

And the winner is...

After looking things over, we decided to stick with the brown. We really like how the brown adds warmth to the white and black. It also adds a touch of rustic which we like very much. we can't wait to see that pink wall by the front door turn to stone in the next week or two.


Are you following us on Instagram?

If you're on Instagram, make sure you follow along on our journey! We're making some serious progress on the house and posting lots of new photos!

#13 Window Seat Love

Angie here. Time for me to open myself up - this post is all about me. Pretty self-serving, huh? But no, wait. this is a true confession - about my love of window seats!

You could say I'm o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d. While many of my design decisions are based on necessity, in the vein of simplicity that I often speak of, this is one of pure passion. Our home - my home has to, must have a window seat. I am so in, I can't wait to tell you all about it.


I love this quote by Morris and appreciate the "guidelines" he offers. Window seats are both beautiful and useful. Offering additional seating and storage while using potentially wasted floor space is so genius! When used in a dining room, it feels like a comfy picnic bench. When used in a living room, it can be a cozy reading fort. The architecture and woodwork are beautiful but also the lighting, pillows, cushion, and fun accessories really draw you in!


For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board


A few years back when we purchased our daughter's "big girl bed", we invested in a high quality twin mattress (similar to this mattress by Serta). We bought the mattress at our local furniture store and planned to use it for a window seat in her new room someday. We know a few sleep-over parties are in our future and we want to be prepared. (Always, planning ahead!)

As with many of our designs, I started with some inspiration. This image is something I tore out of a magazine a very long time ago, and have kept it ever since.

Inspiration for this nook from  Sarah Susanka's  book  The Not So Big House   http://bit.ly/notsobighouse

Inspiration for this nook from Sarah Susanka's book The Not So Big House http://bit.ly/notsobighouse

The design is so beautiful and what I love most about it is that the bookshelf is turned into the seat and not out into the room. I can't think of a better spot for all of our daughter's treasures.

After many different sketches and plans, the room unfortunately couldn't accommodate all that I had dreamt for the window seat, but I still love the final plan I came up with. Here's a rendering of the design.

Rendering of our daughter's room by Lindsey

Rendering of our daughter's room by Lindsey

So, what had to change? Why? Three things went into the placement and size of the window:

  • Bedroom location and size - her bedroom will be further down the hallway and away from the kitchen
  • Desire for a symmetrical front exterior view - the windows are in the middle front of the house
  • The mattress size -  the twin was purchased and ready to be moved in

Once that was determined, a wall was placed to create a nook for the bed and also to allow for the bookshelf turned sideways. Some fun things were planned for that "hidden" ceiling between the soffit and window wall - the details were shaping up!  But, as I was planning the rest of the space, it felt "tight". A full-size bed would take up most of the remaining floor space.

There are usually trade-offs to be considered in design and weighing the pros and cons is an important step in editing. For this design, it is best to remove that wall and push back that space for a more spacious feeling. I'm still really excited for the revised design. The flower-inspired light fixture will still offer some whimsy. The cabinetry has a built-in dresser on the bottom AND room to display her library of books on the top.

Rendering of the original design by Laura S.

Rendering of the original design by Laura S.

While the renderings offer a representational view of design (oh, so valuable!), technical drawings are needed to communicate specifications to the cabinet maker.

After showing our daughter the blog post with her sketch of the submarine window, she confessed that she's embarrassed to have that drawing published. She said she didn't think it was a very good. I assured her it was - and then realized I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

I too feel self-conscious about sharing my drawings. So, here it is, world - a drawing I did of the cabinet plan for our daughter's room. 

Drawing by Yours Truly, Angie

Drawing by Yours Truly, Angie

Of course there are still many more details that will go into the overall room design and many items to purchase but the plan for the cabinetry and lighting is set. My daughter and I both are looking forward to seeing this room built & finished!

#8 Architectural Elevations

Back in post #4 we shared our daughter's house plan. If you squint really hard at this elevation drawing, you can see the porthole for the submarine she drew. Or, maybe it's just a really cool round window pouring light into our mudroom. 

It was extremely important to us that we had clean roof lines on our new home, we love good curb appeal. We used the dormers (windows projecting from the roof) over the garage and house to break up each roof and we used a barrel arch over our front door to create a unique entry area. We absolutely love how it looks.

Angie worked tirelessly with the architect to make sure that the top roof line of the house and the garage were at exactly the same height and, from the front of the house, the roof over the entry hides the roof over the screen porch. If you run a vertical line through the center of the garage or house, you have two equal halves. Symmetry is really important to our vision, as it adds a sense of order and feeling of ease. The outer design gives us some major curb appeal and we couldn't be happier with the view from the road! 

Front Elevation

Front Elevation

Rear Elevation

Rear Elevation

On the back side, we have an incredible view that stretches out over miles and miles. We needed to make sure that when an opportunity to sit back and relax presented itself, we could truly enjoy the view. The large windows and screen porch offer many spaces and opportunities to relish the endless view. 

Though it may seem obvious - We can't wait to get into this place!  Talking about it gets us excited, each and every time!

Happy new year to you and yours and here's to a fabulous 2018 for all of us!

#3 Stakes in the Ground

Our property is measured and marked for excavation. This is going to happen!

Our property is measured and marked for excavation. This is going to happen!


While our property is being measured and marked, we are ordering doors and windows. Window design and selection was considered when drawing up the house plan. More about those decisions later - for now, we hit pause before ordering the exterior doors.  

We knew we wanted a black front door. We have a black front door at our current home and we really love the contrast and boldness of the choice. However, that decision prompted some follow-up questions.  Should the black continue on all other doors? How will it look on the interior?  How will black doors relate to the other finishes?  

We enlisted the talents of my design collaborator, Lindsey, to illustrate the options. There are two sliding doors planned for our home. The most prominent of the two is the door between the dining room and the screened-in porch. Lindsey created these images that offer a three dimensional representation of our future dining room. One image shows a white door while the other shows a black door. 

dining room with a BLACK door


dining room with a WHITE door


While many of the other details are still in development (flooring, and finishes, and furniture - Oh my!),  these images are all the reassurance we need that indeed, we’ll love the black patio door!  


Even after countless hours of careful planning, there are additional project costs that we did not account for in the original estimates.

We decided to upgrade the patio door in order to get a wider frame and black finish. This upgraded door will add $1000 to the original budget.