I promised to announce this news with you so many times! I’m glad I can finally share, and I wanted to give a BIG thank you to all the kind words about our engagement. I am over the moon and still floating on cloud nine.
There has been so much to take in this week. Things are changing rapidly in my life, and it’s cool that I get to grow and share exciting times with you all. I was pretty much a baby when I started this blog, and I get just as excited to share these moments with you as I would with my friends and family. With that being said, I’m ecstatic to announce that we are building a home!
HOW WE GOT TO THIS POINT
It’s been super hard to keep this whole process a secret, but many obstacles had to be completed before I could share everything. After hitting publish on this blog, Kyle and I are heading into the design studio today to pick out the final details for the house. Since my content has mostly been food, trips, and recap posts for the past ten years, I thought it would be super fun to share this entire building process with you all. I had no idea where to begin when it came to house building, but we’ve been learning so much, and I think it would be neat to bring a whole new wave of content to this space. I will be documenting everything that goes on in today’s design meeting and report back with how it went, and what it takes to put all the details into a new home.
But for today’s blog post, I thought I’d share how we got to this point, and what prompted us on the decision to build a home. It’s crazy, right?
WHY ARE WE MOVING?
I should probably explain how we got to this point. In 2016, I decided to invest in a townhome. I was sick of apartment life, I knew where I wanted to live long-term, and I needed a little stability in my home-life. It’s not fun moving place to place, and with my dad being in the military, it’s all I ever did growing up. Moving into the townhome was the best decisions because I’ve enjoyed it here, my neighbors are lovely, the dogs love their walking routine, it’s safe, and it’s in a fast-growing area.
I always got comments on my blog about why Kyle and I didn’t live together sooner, but us living together at the time wouldn’t have made any sense. His commute to work would have been over an hour. That would have been terrible, so we spent time with each other on the weekends, and I went uptown a couple of nights a week. Luckily, Kyle ended up getting a job closer to me, and the timing was finally right. For the past year, we’ve been living in the townhome with the pups, and have been enjoying it.
I’m about to say something super millennial, BUT, we’ve always talked about moving into a new home with a big backyard for the dogs. I don’t mind walking the dogs three miles a day, but it would be so cool to be able to let them run free in the mornings or at night when they have the case of the zoomies. Kyle and I also love hanging out in my parent’s backyard, so it was safe to say that we needed one for ourselves.
THE HOME SEARCH
Every time we looked at a house, it didn’t feel right. There was too much stress attached to the homes with all the work we’d have to do as soon as we moved in. One of Kyle’s friends mentioned the neighborhood that he lived in and told him to check it out. On Saturday, a few months back, we decided to take a drive into the community. The neighborhood was breathtaking, so I immediately detached myself from the thought of ever living there. There was no way these homes could fit our budget, I thought. The neighborhood was something out of a movie set, and I had never seen anything like it. All of the houses were unique craftsman style homes with all of the character you could ever dream of.
I was hesitant to walk into the model homes because I didn’t want to start comparing the houses we looked at to these. I didn’t think any of these homes would fall into our budget, so it was more of a casual walkthrough for me. I thought to myself, “wow, I’d love to live here in six or seven years” as we explored the homes.
I left that neighborhood without any attachment. I never once dreamed of being able to live there, but this is where Kyle and I were on two different pages. I think he forgot to detach himself the way I did. That evening, he asked me 101 questions about the houses we walked into, what I planned to do with the townhome if we pursued the build, and which home I liked the best. I was shocked that he was even 10% set on considering this. Of course, I would love to build and design a home from dirt to the roof and live in that neighborhood, but I didn’t think it would be in our cards for a few years.
BUDGETING AND BANKING & LOT #1
We spent the following week going over budgets, finances, researching the building process, and then getting the approval from the bank. Was this really happening? I still couldn’t believe it. We picked out the house, design features, and found the perfect lot. The lot we wanted would never have anything built behind us. I love being able to look out the window and see trees, not homes. It was one of those non-negotiable things. We weren’t sure when this particular lot would be released, so we just waited for the call. More than a month and a half went by, and the lot was never released, so we felt a little hopeless.
Kyle brought up the idea to pursue the other builders in the neighborhood. First, I never dreamed of living in this neighborhood, but now he wants to pursue the other builders, which are pricier? What in the world has gotten into him? Well, seeking the other builders was one of the best decisions. We happened to walk into the building office around the time that another family backed out of their lot, a lot that was much larger than our first, and without anyone ever building behind it. Since we were able to save a bit on that lot, the second builders finally fit into our price range.
SIGNING THE PAPERS
Since we switched builders, that meant switching houses. This was the best part because the house we chose with the new builders had the best layout, and was an absolute dream. I could not believe it.
The next day, we headed into the office with the check, signed the paperwork, and now we are here! We have our new house picked out, the lot is ready for breaking, and we will be moving into our new home in May! Waiting is going to be the hardest part. That’s why doing monthly updates on the blog will help me be patient. I’ve never been more eager to share a project on this space.
A SNEAK PEAK OF OUR NEW HOME
We had the chance to walk through several models of our house. I took a few photos to give you guys a glimpse into what our house will look like, but we are going to be making SO MANY different changes. You’ll be able to see a “base” of the house to get an idea. As I said, I’ll blog all about the process tomorrow and share which tiles, colors, floors, hardware, and other details we chose! It’s crazy how much there is to decide when it comes to building. Many find that part stressful, but I’m having so much fun with it.
Remember when I took that Instagram poll and asked what you thought about adding windows or keeping the built-in shelves? Well, most of you voted for the built-ins! After seeing this model, I knew right away that I wanted the windows. I’m a fan of the extra light, and it’s less junk sitting on a shelf.
We are going to be changing all of the light fixtures, adding extra recess lighting, changing the floors to farmhouse planks, adding larger trim, and maybe a different fireplace if I can win that battle with Kyle. He likes the more modern look, but there’s a more prominent mantel option that has a bit more character. Perhaps I’ll add another poll on Instagram. It’s been easy when it comes to choosing design features with Kyle because we lean towards the same styles, so there’s no head butting on this one.
One of my favorite rooms in the house is the study. When you walk through the front door, the study is to your right, and we chose the french door option. I love all the character features you get to choose with this house. This is where we are going to have the piano, a record player, and all of our books. We want this to be a reading and music room. Kyle plays music, so I love the idea of having a place in the house dedicated to no electronics. We talked about keeping this room a bit darker than the rest of the house with a studious mood and sophisticated vibe.
WALK-IN PANTRY + MY WORKSPACE
I’m looking forward to this walk-in pantry with the glass door. It’s huge and comes with the wooden shelves instead of wired racks. I’ll be able to store all of my food photography plates/napkins on the back wall. When you walk into the pantry, the shelves continue to wrap around to the right.
One thing I have always wanted was an office off the kitchen. And to the left of the pantry, there’s an office space for me. It will be where I do a lot of my photography, filming, and writing. I cannot believe this house had exactly what I was looking for. It’ll make my work-life much easier. I stopped using the upstairs office in my house now because I got so tired of carrying my equipment upstairs all the time. And since I like to shoot food, upstairs was not an ideal place to set up. Right now, I use my kitchen table for everything, and it’s going to be a dream to have a designated spot for work. I’ll even be able to watch the dogs play in the backyard while sitting at my desk.
DESIGNING THE KITCHEN
This is probably a no-brainer, but the kitchen is going to be my favorite part of the house. We have been researching hardware, light fixtures, backsplash, and all the extra fun details that we want. I hope to have the kitchen reveal to be the first thing up on the blog when the house is done. We are making so many changes to the kitchen to make it fit our style. And see the cabinets int his model? We are extending ours to go all the way up to the ceiling, with glass cutouts.
I’m a firm believer that a house can never have too many windows. If I could live in a glass house, I would. We opted for ALL the extra window options to bring in so much extra light. I love feeling like I’m outside while I’m inside. Another significant part about extra windows is the lack of decor I have to buy for the empty wall space. And since we are going with a super neutral color scheme for this house, all of my colorful things will be finding a new home, or maybe taking up a new residency in the upstairs loft.
The backyard is going to be a dream for the dogs. We are so ready to live in our backyard most of the time! We plan on doing a lot of landscaping/fireplace projects, so you can expect those on the blog as well. I will probably cry seeing the dogs run around in their backyard for the first time.
What we love about this house is that it has room for whatever we plan to happen in the future. I don’t predict us leaving here at all, and I’d love to make this my home for a very long time. It’s in one of the best locations, we’re right on the river, hiking trails are right outside the door, and there’s even an elementary school being built in the neighborhood. We knew this opportunity wouldn’t be here if we waited, so we decided to do it. And if our family grows in a few years (another dog of course 😉), we won’t have to start the home search again.
And is it strange that I’m excited about doing cleaning videos for YouTube in the new house? Those are my favorite to do!
I’m feeling extremely blessed about life right now. It’s crazy how we can experience periods in our lives where we feel low, but if you’re determined to push through, work hard, and stay positive, life has a way of working its way out.
Questions for you!
- Have you ever gone through the building process?
- Suggestions on house-building blog posts you’d like to read?
- Where is your favorite place to shop for furniture?
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