Progress Report (we actually picked some finishes!)

Hello there!

We have had a ton of stuff going on around here and have FINALLY been picking finishes. Which means I’ve just been closing my eyes and randomly pointing at paint and tile swatches.

Okay, not quite. But almost.

And we now have a driveway and siding on the front of the house! It’s all coming together! Want to see???


Okay, that has nothing to do with the house. I just wanted to share how this morning started with me scratching the heck out of the van on my neighbor’s gate. Because that’s what cool people do with their vehicles. And I am super cool. (I think most of it’s superficial and will just wipe away, but, darn it, this is why we can’t have nice things!)

For real now:


Finn was very excited about the dump trucks, asphalt machine and steamroller that arrived to create our driveway.


It is enormous.


The fire department specifications required it to be at least 16 feet wide with a turn around of at least 30 feet. Since we live in a very high fire danger area, I’m going to go ahead and not argue with them. Plus: all that extra parking will come in handy when we eventually invite everybody that we know over for a house warming party!


The siding on the front of the house is on! This isn’t the greatest picture, but IN REALITY it is exactly how I wanted it to look. I love how bright and friendly the yellow is and the white trim and how it looks with the roof and every time I see it I get very, very excited – eeeek!

The big decisions we’ve had to make this week are interior paint colors and tile for the bathrooms.


Did you know that there are approximately one trillion and fifty two shades of white? I have been hemming and hawing all week, waiting for the cabinets to get in (THIS AFTERNOON) so I can see the colors alongside them because I’m matching the trim color to the cabinets and I want to see what the wall color looks like with the trim color because that will make all the difference between my main three contenders which are (in order starting with the second sample from the left): Import Ivory, Spanish Lace and Calming Cream. It’s a big choice because it will be our main color for pretty much the entire house, aside from the bedrooms. I told our contractors that we would definitely know for sure by tomorrow.


The girls, on the other hand, had pretty much zero trouble falling in love with a bright aqua for their bedroom and bathroom.


We had to run to Home Depot the other day when the tile that I had originally specified on our finishes list turned out to be not quite what we had actually envisioned. Above, you can see the color for our bedroom and master bath, the dark grey tile for the shower, and the white tile for the shower and bathroom floor. The black and white will be for the kids’ bathroom and the downstairs powder room.

WHEW. Next choices to be made are a final decision on flooring and lighting. And trim. And door hardware. And probably a million other things that I didn’t even know could be chosen but are now imperative.

The biggest struggle that I have with making these kinds of decisions is that not only do I want to like it, I want EVERYBODY AROUND ME to like it as well. Which probably denotes a big heap of insecurity on my part because I’ve never done this before and am terribly afraid of making some huge faux pas that will make everybody who enters my home raise their eyebrows in shock and disgust. (Like choosing the wrong window treatments! Egads!)

Noah doesn’t suffer from this at all. He doesn’t care that maybe those faux wood tile planks that are so trendy right now will be passé in just a few years. Or that my entire family is voting for us to use the paint color Gourmet Mushroom (which is the first sample in that picture above).  He just knows what he likes and thinks looks cool (and Gourmet Mushroom seems too dark to him, sorry everyone!)

Thus far we haven’t hit an impasse that we haven’t managed to get around yet. He wanted to paint our bedroom walls red and grey until I pointed out that those are his company’s colors and we decided on that pretty shade of blue instead. Symmetry with ceiling fixtures and light switches and the like barely registers with me, but is very, very important to him so he got to make those kinds of decisions. I am typically the one using the kitchen the most, so my opinion had the biggest weight in that area. It’s been a lot of give and take and compromises.

There haven’t been any knock-down drag-out battles because there isn’t anything about the house that is so important to either one of us that it’s worth a fight. Both of us have to live here and both of our opinions are equally important. (Although, we’re not done yet, so you never know…)

In the end, we might wind up with some design picks that only appeal to us and that’s okay. We want our house to be warm and welcoming, but I don’t think that paint and flooring are the main elements that are going to make people feel that way when they come over. I think having a peaceful, loving atmosphere within the house itself will make the greatest impression

But the perfect shade of white will probably help.

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20 thoughts on “Progress Report (we actually picked some finishes!)

  1. Hurrah!
    That yellow boarding is glorious! Import ivory colour for me too.

    I have a very similar looking car, with a near identical scrape – friends’ wall jumped out at me I swear! – I’d take a photo to show you but it’s currently at the repairer because I burned out the clutch this week 🙁 it just stopped in the middle of the lane that we live on (a lane that’s about a third the width of your driveway 😉

    You’re doing so well, I’m sure the house will be warm and welcoming!

    (Already impatient for the next update!)

  2. Thanks for the update – it’s so exciting!!! I LOVE the yellow house, very bright and friendly. I also love the huge driveway – I imagine the kids will spend hours and hours riding bikes and chalking on it 🙂

  3. The things you’ve picked for your master bath look so nice together! I’m sure the rest of the house will come together just as well.

    That driveway is HUGE and it will be great when you have company and when the kids start driving and have cars of their own. A long way off, I know, but definitely handy when the time comes! They’ll enjoy riding their bikes, playing games, and skating on it in the meantime.

    Really enjoyed this update, and looking forward to the next one!

  4. Pretty! We have a yellow house, too. So exciting to see the progress.

    I think that many things look good in people’s homes because they reflect who the people are. That same look won’t be as nice somewhere else. So make the house reflect your family, and all your family and friends will love it because they love you!

      1. LOL! Since we all have different tastes, it will only reflect great taste to those who have the same taste as you. That’s bound to be very few.

  5. Hello! Congrats on moving along on the house. SO excited to see your progress and patience. I followed you from day 1~

    I have a few color recommendations. Greys are really in right now. I would go grey instead of ivory in the house. It adds more character. I love mindful grey from Sherwin Williams. Did it in our foyer.

    Also, I would change your tile out for bigger pieces. The reason is that mildew and good old dirt gets in the grout and when you clean the shower, you will need a toothbrush to clean each grout area and with that tile, you will have a lot. Plus with little tile, sometimes you can get a small loose piece here and there as compared to a big flat tile. A pretty pebble tile floor will look really cool on the floor only. My mom did that in her basement bathroom with a nice color matching square tile on the walls.

    Whatever you decide, have FUN!


    1. The dark grey tile that we are using for the walls of the shower are pretty big, they’re 12×24″, because I had the same thought about the grout! The smaller floor tiles are a necessary evil, if you will, because the shower floor is slanted and so the pieces had to be smaller to accommodate that.
      Oh, and I wound up going with a greige for the walls 😉 thank you so much for the suggestions!

      1. I do LOVE that grey tile you picked for the shower walls. I guess I assumed that was for the bathroom floor, not the shower. Great choice!! I understand about the slanting on the floor so small tile does make the best sense.

        Greige is a great choice. You won’t regret it.

      2. Dark grout and grout sealer will change your life forever! ?

        We’ve renovated half a dozen bathrooms in our own homes and my husband was a ceramic tile installer for years. I would never have white grout in my house again unless I sealed the heck out of it (maybe not even then). We had dark gray grout in our last master bath, and it was a dream to keep clean. We put a sandy colored tile in our bath now, and I really wanted to keep the grout close in color but was worried about it getting discolored. I went with the light grout and we sealed it well, and it has been easy to clean. I clean the shower once a week with a mesh scrubbie and body wash while I’m showering, and that’s all it needs. (We have tiny square floor tile in the floor of the shower so there’s lots of grout! The scrubbie gets in the nooks and crannies well.) Doing it weekly makes it an easy task. Running the ventilation fan while showering and for a while afterward while I’m doing makeup, getting dressed, etc. helps things dry out so the mildew doesn’t start.

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