Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Paint Color Scheme: White and Soft Neutrals

Wow...this has been tough. Who knew there are SO many different shades of whites to choose from even just from one brand of paint! We are painting the exterior of our new home (under construction) as well as a good portion of the interior white and selecting the perfect shade of white has been a daunting task. Will it be too off-white? Too cool or stark? Too grey?

I decided the best way for me to determine the white that we needed and liked was to look at lots of pictures of the color I was wanting to use in context (and in different lights). I also plan to simply test out the paint on whatever surface we are intending to paint.

Fairly early on we decided to go with Sherwin Williams paints (as advised by our builder) so that we could still have high quality paint but not go too over budget. This automatically limited our color choices (which was a good thing) but there are many other great brands of paint out there for those that have time to sift through all those thousands of choices :) There were so many beautiful whites and soft neutral colors to choose from that I gathered several samples together, took them home, and researched what they looked like used in homes from pictures online. If you didn't already suspect it, I am seriously afraid to commit to color--and I just love the clean look of a neutral colored space with smaller pops of color. For some reason too much color becomes too busy for me.

Above is a collage of most of my paint colors for the new house--it's a bit deceiving because our furnishings we already have will add color and make a big difference in the overall look of the space. I ended up going with Sherwin William's "Pure White" and "Alabaster" for the interior trim and walls, respectively. I think they nice true whites--the Alabaster is a softer, creamier white and I liked that they didn't present too cool or too warm for what I was going for. It looks like a lot of blue-greens in our house too but in reality we are only using these in small amounts--for cabinetry mostly and for the laundry room. Likewise, the pink, Sherwin Williams "Faint Coral," will only be for the girls' bedroom.

Below are some design boards I created using Olioboard (I love this online tool!) to envision what our furnishings might look like with the paint colors selected for a few of the rooms in our new house. Most of the items I chose for the boards are representative or inspirational rather than actual furnishings we have or plan to use.

Living Room:

Dining Room:

Master Bedroom:

Girls' Bedroom:

My overall thought is that we will start with white (and neutrals) and as time goes on if we want, we will slowly move into more color as we live in the space. After all, it's just paint!! And easily changed.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

House Build Progress: Exterior Updates

Since nothing too exciting has been happening on the interior of our farmhouse build lately, today I'd thought I would share some updates on the exterior. It's hard to believe we are at the point of picking out paint colors but yes--it's true!

Since my last post our builders have finished the siding, all exterior trim, the front and back/screened porch flooring, and they installed the roofing!

I love our new roof--it's a "5 V-crimp" metal in the standard silvery galvalume finish. In addition to being very durable and economical, I really think it fits well with the farmhouse look as most older farmhouses in our area have metal roofs.

The hardieplank (cement fiber board) siding comes standard in a grey color but we plan to paint it and the trim white. I never tire of classic white for a farmhouse--and it really makes the windows and brick foundation pop. With the dark exterior window sashes, the white will definitely give the house that "modern farmhouse" look. Currently most of the house has been primed already--and all exterior painting may be finished by next week!

The porches will have painted or stained floors but their trim will also be white. If we don't like the paint--as my husband says--we can always paint over it later. So glad that he has this attitude :)  I'm really looking forward to painting the ceilings of our porches a robin's egg blue color--an old tradition that was said to mimic the color of the sky.

Other than the front porch steps, the carpentry work for the porch posts, lighting, and the screening for the back porch, all of the exterior work is complete for the most part. The interior has had all plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas lines, and a fireplace installed. The next big project for the interior will be installing drywall and making the cabinetry for the kitchen and bathrooms--it has been a little overwhelming trying to plan the layout and design for all the cabinets but by keeping things simple it hasn't been too bad. We are so fortunate that our builders make their own high quality custom cabinetry--it is their specialty--and for extremely reasonable prices.

 Every week it is so fun to see what has been done --it's really starting to come together!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

House Build: Windows

A lot has happened in the last few months on our farmhouse build for our 11 acre homestead--we now have all framing completed, sheathing, wrapping, plumbing and HVAC, some siding, trim, a fireplace, and WINDOWS!!!

Let me just say if you all only knew how much we debated over our choice of windows for the house--I mean this was a HUGE point of contention between my husband and I. The windows were the ONLY thing I was set on and not really willing to compromise. Yes, my husband was frustrated :) But there were plenty of other choices and desires that I have conceded in order to stay in budget. The windows? Nope--I was stubborn and did not budge!

I think that's because I'm naturally a lover of old houses which have amazing often times old wood, double-hung, true-divided light gorgeous windows with original casings and surrounds. Windows in historic houses are classified as "character-defining features," meaning they have a major impact on the look and feel of the building. I wanted this for our new house too but it does present a problem--to get something like the wonderful windows of old is very difficult, expensive, and the window by itself wouldn't be as energy efficient. You simply cannot make new windows like the old anymore anyway unless you are using reclaimed old growth wood and producing reproduction-quality sashes.

So, I settled on something that I know I will like that still provides some of the same features as a traditional wood window: an all-wood window, double-hung, with aluminum-clad exterior and as close to true divided lights as we could get with a dark brown spacer in between the two panes of energy efficient glass. Most of our windows will be two-over-two sash and we will have three six-light casement windows in the kitchen.

We vacillated between going with Sierra Pacific and JELD-WEN, but ultimately chose the JELD-WEN "Sightline" because it was the company that our builder's supply warehouse is most familiar with. It certainly is a top-of-the-line window and made up a good portion of the overall house budget but I know it's something that will last a very long time and adds so much character to the house. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ditch doing any window treatments--I'm leaving these beauties bare and enjoying them!

My husband not only scoffs at my insistence of this particular window type but he also can't believe that we have 31 of them in the house! That's a lot of windows!! The exterior aluminum cladding color we chose is a dark bronze and we plan to paint the interior of the sashes white to match the surrounding casings and interior trim.

Our front door has four lights to match the sash pattern of the windows and the pair of French doors leading to the screened porch will have six-lights-over-one-panel. I love tons of natural light which was another reason why I chose for our doors to have plenty of glass.

The only thing that surprised me a little about the windows we chose was the "reflectiveness" of the new glass (low-e) they are using in windows these days. We were just unaware (in certain kinds of light) how tinted and mirror-like the glass actually looks. The upside is that it actually provides a little bit more privacy since one is less able to see inside. Other than that, we are extremely happy with how the windows turned out and look forward to enjoying them.