Thursday, June 19, 2014

Choices, choices...

We got to the History Maker showroom at 9:00 a.m. We were done by 11:30 a.m., causing both of our sales people to claim that this was the fastest they had ever gone through the showroom. 
I guess we both knew what we wanted, and we were on the same page....for once.
Now onto a million terrible Iphone pictures...let me apologize now for the quality/angles/blurriness of these photos.

The Showroom is in the first floor of a ridiculously large building, and can be overwhelming. 
You walk in and they hand you a binder with over 100 pages of choices for each small detail of your house (don't worry, I have no intention of going over each of these choices with you, just maybe an eighth of them).
You have to make several choices on each of these pages.
It shows you what each choice costs and what is included in the base price.
We were lucky enough to be doted on by two of the sales people, the entire time we were there, but I know that is not always the case (if it's too busy, they expect you to walk yourself through the showroom).
Our first choices were flooring and the kitchen.
Please ignore the hideous carpet in the background of these pictures, it was lying on the ground, and I didn't think about moving our choices to a prettier backdrop. 
When we went under contract on our house, our rockstar Realtor negotiated $10,000 in upgrades....yes $10,000. 
I knew I wanted hardwood floors throughout the entire first floor, and was told at that time, that would probably be all of our upgrades. We both agreed though, that it was worth it. 
After doing a lot of research, I found that hardwoods are actually the worst possible flooring choice in this climate, because the humidity causes bubbling and warping. After, talking to a few people, we decided to go with laminate wood floors (the dark ones on the left were our final choice) and it saved us over $6,000. The top light gray tile is what will be in all the wet areas; the kitchen, bathrooms, utility room, and also our sun room (not a wet area, but definitely a hot one). 
 The bottom gray carpet sample will be the carpet throughout the second floor. I know this goes against every designers vow, but I prefer carpet on the second floor. I think it's practical and cheaper, and softer on future Baby G's knees. 
The top right is the cabinets that will be throughout our kitchen, butler's pantry, and bathrooms. They were an upgrade (as was everything in this picture except the tile) but they are beautiful and exactly what we wanted. We went with the picture frame doors in an espresso. Raised panel doors cost almost $1,000 more, and honestly I appreciate the simplicity of the ones we chose. 
We did however upgrade to crown moulding above the cabinets and 42" tall cabinets, adding a ridiculous amount of storage to our kitchen....apparently we feel the need to fit everybody in the entire neighborhood's pots and pans in our kitchen. 
We also added a set of deep drawers for storage (we have a set now where we keep our cookie sheets and baking pans, and we love it). 
We went with granite in the kitchen. 
It was more expensive than some choices, but much cheaper than others. 
We chose this gray tone called "pebble beach", which we were told no one else had ever used, to which I explained; "what the hell? it's gorgeous."
 We knew instantly it was the one we wanted. 
We upgraded both the kitchen faucet and the sink. We went with an under mount sink, similar to the one above, except instead of a 50/50 sink, we went with a 70/30 sink (meaning that it is divided less evenly). 
I forgot to snap a picture of the ridiculously large wall of faucets to choose from, but this is the Moen pull down,we actually went with:
We also upgraded the appliances. We wanted stainless steel and we wanted a higher end product than what we have now. We chose the middle of the road Whirlpool package, and also added a super capacity dishwasher, since we are not fans of the tiny one we have now. 
The pantry in our new house is ridiculously large (can we say Costco membership), it gives a whole new meaning to the term "walk in pantry," it should be "dance in pantry" or "holy he** you could do cartwheels in this pantry". 
When coming up with a plan for it, I was completely lost. I knew I wanted as many shelves as I could get, so that's basically what I told the builder. We will see what they do with my such specific instructions and guidance...
We nixed the back splash, since we weren't crazy about any of their options, and it's something we can easily add ourselves down the road.
Next was the bathrooms. We picked a bronze hardware package, for the powder room, but left the standard/included chrome ones in the other bathrooms, because it was an expensive upgrade. 
Any and all lighting we picked, was the "included" meaning it was already included in the base price. Neither of us loved any of the choices they had available, so we decided paying an extra $500 for a light plan we still didn't love just wasn't our cup of tea. 
In the end we went with the included lights in every space and plan to replace them when the house is finished. Definitely not a choice that is right for everyone, but it is what works for us.
When it came to bathroom fixtures, we went with what was included in our base price. 
Again, something we can upgrade later. 

Another thing that we had to upgrade was the toilet. This may seem odd, but the toilet on the right sits much lower than the one on the left. My husband is over 6 feet tall, so a higher toilet is necessary for his comfort....something I never thought would be a concern. 

We went with the base model shower/tub for the guest bathrooms, with a simple white subway tile (a look I actually love).

We upgraded the master tub to a separate shower and jetted tub. Something I've been dreaming about since day one.
In the master bathroom, we went with a high/low double vanity. This simply means that one sink sits higher than the other. I liked the look, and again with a tall man living there, a higher sink for face washing is a blessing.
In the powder room we went with a simple pedestal sink (I didn't snap a picture of this apparently).
In the guest bath we went with a double vanity as well, perfect for future kiddos or guests.
As I said before, we went with the lighting plan they had already included in the base price (pictured above) and for the most part the lights are terrible horrible just plain bad. They actually make the ugly boob lights in my current home look high end. With any luck they will be replaced pretty quickly, in fact I've already ordered one for the sunroom (stay tuned).
 I am thinking about keeping the white large medal pendant on the far left (it is supposed to go in the kitchen nook) and maybe painting it a bronze color or even something bright and fun. I like the farmhouse/retro feel it gives. 
We did upgrade the lighting in the kitchen to all recessed can lighting. It was a huge price increase, but something that is much more expensive and difficult to do later.
There are so many more decisions that we made left, but for the sake of bleeding all the blog content I can out of this, I think I'm going to save it for early next week. 
Peace friends, I will be back soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NYLO gorgeous....

Last weekend we were in Texas....again. 
We've been trying to stay in different areas to kind of get a feel for the area. This weekend we stayed in the NYLO Hotel. 
We loved the loft feel, a style I've always had a soft spot in my heart for, and now
Race is equally enamored with I couldn't help but snap some pictures to share with you guys, although these are pulled from their website (it's pretty obvious), since there was a wedding there this weekend, my Iphone pics would have been filled with creeped out strangers.

The whole hotel had a industrial/loft vibe. The rooms had exposed brick, cement floors, open duct work, 15 foot ceilings, large sliding doors, and amazing lights were just the beginning:

The hanging chairs in the game room were nothing short of amazing. I was so obsessed that I've been eyeing a few for the game room in our new house. And there was an old pool table, that had been painted white that was simply beautiful. The cool cowhide rugs just screamed Texas, but the gold speckles in it definitely gave it a "hip" fact, I found myself one of these rugs while we were here ;)

I never saw this space obviously but I  liked the idea of this long table in the banquet hall and office chairs for a dining room. It gives off an industrial feeling but accommodates a lot of people in a comfortable way.

The mirrors hanging on the cement walls added some glitz to a very industrial space. 

Those hanging chairs again...yum.
I also really liked the built in chairs on the right (they went from the floor to ceiling), that faced each other with just a simple concrete table in between for game playing.

This amazing orange upholstered wall made seating area, was simply incredible. I've never seen anything quite like it.

This roof top pool/hot tub/fire pit is beautiful, I love the cobalt blue cushions against the blue skyline. The pull up ottoman/stools in orange and black are so convenient and fun around a fire pit. 

The smaller pool had an amazing long fireplace built in to the wall.

LOCL was the restaurant and bar in the hotel. 
It was packed every night we were there (again, I actually had to steal this picture off of the website, as to not creep any diners out with flashing lights).
The floor to ceiling orange window panels and light fixtures are gorgeous. They pop off of the brick walls, cement floors/walls, and against the wood cafe chairs beautifully. 
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area (or coming to visit me, it turns out there is another location only minutes from our new house).
Now it's your turn. Anyone else out there take pictures of hotels? Anyone else ever stayed in a loft like hotel?
You go.