First let’s talk about the most exciting project, which is of course our beloved Heights House. If you missed the original post with all the design & floor plans, get caught up first here!
Up until the past month or so, the construction process wasn’t too exciting visually—a lot of mechanics (concrete & trusses, plumbing, electric) but now with the addition of a roof, drywall and stucco, we can start to see the finishing touches come together.
On the exterior, the stucco was finished last week and sprayed with a primer + first coat.
We tested out a few different swatches of Sherwin Williams white paint, hoping for a neutral medium white (not too creamy, dark or light).
Oyster White became a pretty clear winner, and the first coat is looking gorgeous!
The stucco itself is smooth but we had the finishers use a rough application, in keeping with the ‘centuries-old European’ look.
The turret will be clad with stone reminiscent of French limestone with heavy mortar. Really looking forward to watching that installation!
In the backyard, we decided to remove an old shed that was falling apart and didn’t serve much of a purpose. Here it is before…
And now our yard is even more spacious!
We plan to carry the paver patio over to where the shed used to be under the tree, and create a dining area with a pergola and built-in grill (eventually).
Directly behind the house, we’ll have outdoor seating and potentially a fire pit.
Another view of the back corner (the master suite is the whole section on the right, and the doors lead into the kitchen/dining area):
Exterior window moldings, fascia/soffit and gutters go in next. And we have a 10,000 square foot lot which means a LOT of landscaping to plan. I think we’ll have to consult with a landscape designer for that, as it’s definitely not my forté!
Meanwhile on the inside…
When you walk in the front door, there’s the staircase on the left, the dining room/kitchen straight ahead and living room on the right. I chose SW Alabaster for all of the walls/ceilings (they haven’t finished painting yet).
The living room has vaulted ceilings, and we plan to add horizontal wood beams to accent them.
Adjacent to the living room is the dining area, which is a large open space in the middle of the house that divides the living room and kitchen. We plan to add a large 9′ table here in the center.
Standing at the back patio doors, you get a straight view to the dining space with the living room at the front of the house. The small room on the left will be for laundry and pantry/storage.
And above is the kitchen with the patio doors on the left and laundry room on the right. Lower cabinets will run along all three walls, with the stove in the center and built-in fridge on the right. The cabinets are scheduled to arrive February 6th, and I’ll be sharing all of the design plans and details next week!
Here’s the view from the back left corner of the kitchen, looking out to the front door on the left and the hallway on the right:
Possibly my favorite design feature of the interior of the home is this custom archway I designed. My builder loved the idea and I was able to watch and guide them during installation—it’s so neat watching these skilled craftsman do their thing!
From the other side of the arch looking back towards the kitchen:
And at the back of the house is the master suite:
Another vaulted ceiling, and beams will be added here as well.
From the window wall, looking towards the bedroom entrance and closet/master bath:
I decided on an open hallway-style closet, and will eventually add custom floor to ceiling cabinetry on both sides:
Beyond the closet is our master bathroom. This is one area where we had to sacrifice size. Fortunately the ceilings are 9’4″ throughout which makes the home feel more spacious!
It’s really too small to even photograph properly, but it’s essentially one long vanity wall plus a shower. I’m not much of a bath person so that was not a necessity for us!
Standing at our master bedroom door, looking towards the hallway. We added a storage closet underneath the stairs:
Down the hallway is a powder bath:
And a guest bedroom. These are the windows you see at the front left side of the house:
We decided to use half of the closet as an open nook for a dresser/mirror to make the small room feel a bit more spacious.
That’s all for downstairs—let’s head upstairs!
From the top of the landing you can turn left to reach both bedrooms, continue straight into a bathroom, or turn right to access the bonus room. Here’s the bedroom at the front of the house:
And the bedroom at the side of the house:
And the bathroom:
The bonus room is 700 square feet and wasn’t part of our original plan, but our architect said it wasn’t allowed to be empty attic space per building code.
That ended up being a blessing because we realized we do need the space for storage and a TV/media/game room!
For now it’s just going to be storage as we focus on completing other rooms.
Back at the top of the landing, looking down at the front door:
Our builder is aiming to have the house completed by the end of February which seems crazy fast to me, but then again it has all gone by so fast already! The floors will be delivered tomorrow, and after those are installed along with the cabinets/vanities, the rest is just finishing touches. Pretty soon we’ll be packing up and moving out of the Riverside Retreat!
And speaking of the Riverside Retreat…
Remember how I said the plan was to get this house vacation rental ready by the time we moved into the Heights House? Well, that plan went out the window. Partly because our new build will finish ahead of schedule, but mostly because we need to allocate all of our resources towards finishing the new build, since that is our home and our priority.
Nonetheless, I’d say it’s been a pretty productive six months here. We’ve squeezed in a lot of DIY projects and managed to complete a handful of spaces, including the laundry room:
The dining room:
The living room:
And a reading nook:
PS—if you missed my post on Instagram last week, we finally completed the reading nook with a custom linen roman shade from Barn & Willow. They’ll send free swatches and the ordering & installation process is super simple. I got a lot of questions about it and would highly recommend checking them out if you are in need of a quality custom shade or curtains!
These projects have certainly kept us busy, but we’re not even halfway done with this house. We have yet to tackle the biggest spaces, like the kitchen:
Two bathrooms (including building one from scratch):
Two bedrooms, which look like this right now (warning, you may want to shield your eyes from the horrors):
The rest of the downstairs bonus room (equally as sad):
A big backyard:
And the front porch:
We’ve decided to focus on smaller/low cost projects here for the next couple months, like patching/retexturing damaged walls, taking up old tile in the backyard, giving the front porch a facelift, and starting on one of the bedrooms. After the Heights House is finished and we’re all settled in, we can complete the rest of the to-do list here at the Riverside Retreat and hopefully have it ready to hit the vacation rental market by summer.
Keep in mind that we’re almost to the point where we can step in and start taking on DIY projects at the Heights House, so that means you can finally look forward to new content there! We’ll be focusing on the bathrooms first, backyard/patio design is also a priority, and we’ll have an entire empty house to fill so you can expect lots of decor posts over the next few months (and years!)
As much fun as I’m having with our current house, designing for our own home will be even more rewarding on a different level. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time—it was nearly a year ago when we put an offer in on the original Heights House, and while we now realize the fire was a blessing in disguise, we’re so ready for this chapter to be over and to start our lives here in our own home!
So close to the finish line—what a wonderful way to start the new year! I hope your 2019 is equally as blessed. Stay tuned next week for allll the juicy kitchen details!