Is it still OK if I call this my new house? We’ve been here 6 months, does it still count as ‘new’? I still have quite a few projects ahead on my radar, so I still feel like it is new to us.
I am trying to be better about sharing in-process posts, it seems the trend is to roll out beautifully made over rooms but that isn’t as easy as it looks. Part of whipping a new house into shape involves coordinating both individual rooms as well as creating a cohesive look for the entire home. There are always the essentials that need to be put in place when you purchase a new construction home like we did, such as lighting, paint, landscaping, and blinds. All of which we had to tackle upon moving in, some of it will be a work in progress for awhile–like landscaping, which is definitely not my forte!
We bought this home from a production builder, that wasn’t our original plan as we’d hoped to have a bit more customization but we fell in love with this lot because it backed to a lake and decided that a view was most important. We knew we could add our style to this builder basic house over the years we plan to live in it. We moved in last summer, got things unboxed, and I have been working room by room to add our personal touches, especially for my kids. I have shown you my son’s room, my daughter’s room, my office and most recently showed you what our design plan is to finish off our dining room.
Once the holidays were in the rear-view mirror, I needed to get back to work on some of the details that I just hadn’t gotten to last fall. The first issue is lighting, something you notice more especially a lack of, during the shorter days of winter. Our last house had almost no overhead lighting (a choice the previous owners made). That meant I had no chandeliers and no fun decorative lights in any of the rooms, plus relying on table lamps always made the rooms feel dark and shadowy. I made sure to not make the same mistake and during construction added junction boxes for lighting in almost every room in this house. I had picked out a few chandeliers prior to moving in, like the one in my office, but still need to add the lighting in the bedrooms.
So that we can have them all installed at once (I plan to hire this out and have a bunch of small projects done at the same time) I have started scouting around and was pleasantly surprised by the great deals I found on lighting. I mentioned in the dining room post that I have my heart set on this chandelier for the dining room. Since this room is visible as you enter our home, I am willing to spend a bit more to have a wow factor in that room. Not to mention, the Dining Room is a space we use for holidays, special occasions, and entertaining guests so I can justify spending a bit more on a beautiful light fixture.
Above you can see the room with a mock-up of the chandelier, I love the sparkle it adds! Originally we hadn’t wanted a formal dining room in this house, but now I am really glad to have it. It has been great for entertaining.
Our bedroom is next on the list, and part of the reason it’s taken me some time to get the lighting squared away is that I have had a hard time deciding what I wanted in our bedroom. I did initially purchase this chandelier, it’s a great deal (It is also a less expensive option than the one I plan to use in my Dining Room). I loved it but it hung too low so unfortunately, we had to return it. We do not have a tray ceiling in this room so even though the light will hang over the end of our bed, I didn’t want my husband feeling like he would smack his head on it each time he walked by. I need a smaller chandelier, and after looking around, can’t see any reason not to add this classic brass one (it is an amazing price!). I am also adding brass curtain rods (I use these throughout my home) and other brass touches to warm the room up a bit, so this should coordinate nicely.
My oldest son’s room has a bit of a challenge. Currently, it’s a teen boy bedroom but with college looming, it will likely become a guest bedroom at some point in the next few years. That means I need a very neutral fixture that will work for both a masculine style bedroom and down the road be appropriate for all our guests. After looking around, I am planning to use this very neutral flush mount. Again, the ceilings are a standard height so I need something that doesn’t hang too low.
Finally, originally I planned to use a wheel style fixture like this one below but in black. The price of this one in brass is a steal, and I actually like it better. I think it will coordinate perfectly in our family room and it will be nice to have softer lighting in this room outside of the canned lights in the ceiling, they can feel harsh at night.
We also plan to have some painting done this spring. While I usually do our projects and painting myself, having a house that is all one color (even though it is a color that I like, I don’t know the name of it but it is a light putty color) is starting to bother me a bit. The color is a little flat, and it is all seeming a little monotone. I’d like to have a few rooms knocked out all at the same time so I have been finalizing my paint color selections.
I tend toward neutrals as anyone who’s been around here for a while knows, so I’ll stay within those tones. My all-time favorite paint color, one I have loved for years, is Rhinestone by Sherwin Williams. I used it in our kitchen in our last house, which you can see here. I plan to stick with what works and use the same color in our master bedroom. The color is a mix of light gray and light blue depending on the light in the room, but it works as a beautiful neutral in any space.
When our small dining room construction process kicks off, I am also considering having some accent molding installed and we will have the room painted as part of the process anyway. Right now, after looking at beautiful rooms in blogland, I am leaning toward the crisp, cool Collingwood Gray, this should go nicely with the warm wood of my antique cabinet.
I like to stick with what I know for paint colors, and Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine is another favorite. I think it will break up the builder color with a bit more warmth and am planning to use it in our family room.
(The computer screen makes these samples look similar, but after seeing them used in rooms Moonshine is a much lighter ‘griege‘ than the Collingwood which is more of a true gray).
I am also mid-DIY of a project in our mudroom, which I’ll be back to show you soon. This is a small room right behind our kitchen and one of my favorite parts of our floorplan. With three busy kids and a dog, having a practical space to come and go and use as a “drop zone” has been great. To be sure we are using it to its full potential, I prioritized getting this space organized this January. I am thinking about using another one of my favorite paint colors, Revere Pewter, in the mudroom. There is no natural light so I don’t want anything too dark, and like to use what I already know works well when dealing with a small space. I can’t wait to have this project done!
So all that is going on around here, by planning ahead I am hoping to get all the lights installed in one day and have the painters knock out several rooms at the same time. Both of those should make a big impact in brightening up the house and making it feel more finished, I can’t wait to see how they look!
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