How To Find the Perfect Piece of Land

This title is pretty hilarious considering some of the things we experienced both during our search for land as well as the hardships we faced after purchasing. We are over the moon about the land that we purchased and can’t wait to enjoy it every day once our home is built. However, there have been some major issues throughout the process as well, and having a bit of extra knowledge could have prevented some of them. But, we live and we learn so I guess that makes me somewhat qualified to share some insight on the topic of finding and purchasing property to build on.

OUR SEARCHING PROCESS

We’ve gone through this process (at least partially) two times now in our lives. The first time we started searching was about five years ago, when we planned to move my childhood home to some acreage and then renovate. It never happened, but we searched for land for several months and had a good idea on what we were looking for. On this second round of searching, we did many of the same things to find the right lot. We spent every week scouring the internet for new listings and planning our route. Every weekend we then drove for hours crossing them off or spending some extra time discussing the features of our favorite ones. This became much more difficult with a kid in tow, which meant the number of properties we could look at each week was very limited unless we had a babysitter. We often drove on our own until we found some we really liked. At that time we would notify our realtor to get more information. Doing it this way allowed us to cover a lot of ground but occasionally we ran into some issues of getting lost and dealing with safety issues, like when we accidentally trespassed on a lot that Google inaccurately took us to. Raw land can be tricky to find so you have to be very careful about how you find it.

PRICE

Prices were so much different five years ago when we looked for land — we could easily find 10 acres of raw land for 30-50k. Getting over the fact that land at this time has doubled if not tripled in price, was a little hard. But it’s never a good idea to beat yourself up over the “would have, could have, should haves” as my sweet mom says. So this time around, we found ourselves expecting and prepared for a much larger price, but our goal of a minimum of 10 acres was still set in stone. Of course we would have been happier with more acreage as well, but that typically meant a longer commute to find something within our budget.

LOCATION

Commute times and general location are always a key factor in purchasing land (or a home). A good location to us had to fit within the following guidelines: no more than 40 minutes from downtown (where we work), good schools (even though we might consider homeschooling, this is still important in case that doesn’t work out for us), and 10-20 minutes from basic amenities like grocery shopping, etc. Beyond that, we didn’t have a preference between north, south, east, or west of our city, so we still had a lot of areas to choose from. The property we purchased exceeded these expectations by far… we ended up 30 minutes from downtown, 3 minutes from town with our favorite stores, and in one of the best ranked school districts. The location still feels rural and private, with 10 acre parcels all around us as well.

ACREAGE & SHAPE

You may ask why the 10 acres was an important number for us. We determined pretty quickly that we are not people who enjoy living in neighborhoods. We like our space, our privacy, and peace and quiet. We want land that we can do as we please, with no expectations or judgment about when we choose to mow our lawn, what we choose to do with our land, and no eavesdropping ears when relaxing in our backyard. We looked at lots with a few acres, we looked at lots with 5 acres, and neither were enough. Many of these parcels were awkwardly shapes – long skinny rectangles that once you build on, you find yourself right next to your neighbors despite all your acreage. This is true even on larger parcels, and with 10 acres, we still had to look for something that was a wider rectangle versus a skinny strip of land. You always have to keep in mind the possibility of new future neighbors building on undeveloped land around you. It’s the risk you take, so there is a benefit in having the adjacent properties already being developed so you know who sits where.

UTILITIES

The property we purchased is raw land, which means no water, sewer, or electrical have been set up. These will all be completed as part of our construction loan. Not having completed this part of the process, I can’t speak to too much of it yet. We’ve received estimates on all of them though and knew what to expect based on previous research of costs, so it came as no surprise that a large portion of our budget would be set aside for this. One thing to keep in mind is the further your property is from the road, the higher some costs will be. Electrical and gas are all priced per linear foot. Our property is far from the road which provides a lot of privacy, but higher expenses up front for getting settled in with utilities and a road. Wells and septic systems will vary in price depending on location. Septic system pricing all depends on your soil type, and the price of wells depend on how deep you need to drill (priced per foot), so it’s good to know what other wells are like in the area you are looking. Some rural areas do have access to city water, but there can be hefty fees for hooking up to it. It can be nice knowing that you always have water accessible and no chance of your well drying up in the future. Costs of land jump dramatically when utilities are already available, but there is certainly peace of mind in having these ready to go.

USABILITY & MISC. FEATURES

Is the land covered in trees that may require some clearing? It is flat or steep or somewhere in between? Is it rocky? Is there water, ponds, wetlands, or streams causing potential flood zones (think of insurance)? We looked at a variety of land types in our search and were quickly able to eliminate parcels based on their usability. We found properties as steep as a mountain, covered in water, or totally inaccessible by road. You also have to consider their accessibility and use in different seasons. Some roads were hardly developed and while we made it to the final destination, we had to consider that during winter, we probably wouldn’t be able to get in or out. The land we chose was open with minimal trees, some flat areas for easy building, and some rolling hills which lends itself to a beautiful view. My dream was to have water nearby, whether a pond or stream or really anything for outdoor play for our daughter. I was sure we’d never find something within our budget with this, but we did! Our property has a little stream running through it which was a huge selling point for us. However, with this amazing feature comes a few things to consider – the responsibility of maintaining a bridge, safety issues with having children (thankfully the stream is very far from the majority of our property), and we will have to provide proper paperwork that our home is not anywhere near the flood zone in order to eliminate the need for flood insurance.

RESTRICTIONS

Depending on how you plan to use your land, it’s important to know what kind of restrictions might be in your area. How many buildings you can put on each parcel, what kind of buildings (manufactured vs. stick frame), agricultural restrictions (some places don’t allow roosters and/or limit the number of animals), and more. As another example, we have CCR’s that say trailers and motorhomes cannot be parked on the property unless placed within a shop. We know many people who live in an RV on their property while a home is being built, so this could be a huge issue for those unless they are prepared for the expense of building a large enough shop/garage to contain it.

EASEMENTS

Easements can restrict your property use as well and it’s important to know if you have easement access or if others have easements through your property. On our property, we have one of each type. Unfortunately, what we didn’t know is that in one of these agreements, a construction agreement was buried into it which would require more than basic maintenance of the road. The previous owners had agreed to paving or chip sealing the road by a certain date, failed to do so, and decided not to share this information with us as we went through the purchasing process. We are now responsible for completing this.

PROPERTY LINES & ENCROACHMENTS

It’s important to be sure that the property you are purchasing is surveyed, or to complete one so you know exactly where the boundary lines are. Looking for encroachments onto your potential property or items on the property that might encroach on someone else’s property can save you from some serious headaches down the road. We experienced this in a strange way as well. While we were under escrow with the property, the neighboring parcel put in a road that crossed the property lines substantially. It tore up a large portion of the land, and we didn’t find out until after we signed closing papers. We paid for a survey right away and was able to prove that the new road was now encroaching on the land. Unfortunately, we also had to pay to fix this both in the survey costs as well as labor/equipment costs of removing the road on our part of the land. These costs could have been disputed in court, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.

Again, we couldn’t be more thrilled about the land we ultimately chose. I’m happy to be able to learn from our mistakes and share them with you. We are excited to move forward on our dream home and break ground in the near future. I look forward to continuing to share the process and our experiences on this journey. If there’s something in particular you’d like to know about the process, be sure to let me know so I can include them in future posts!

Finding Home: The Story of Our Journey to Here

All images in this post are by the talented Jade Averill Photography

Have you heard the news on Instagram? After waiting over five years for the “right” time, our family has finally purchased land as the first step in the journey of building our own home. It’s been a long ride and today I’m finally feeling ready to share more about this part of our lives. I know many people are always curious about the homes of interior designers. I’m often asked to share photos of our home, but quite frankly, I never share this because I’ve never really had a true home of my own. A designer’s nightmare, right?! So today I’m going to share way too many details about our history of “homes” and just why this project means so much for us moving forward.

MY FIRST APARTMENT

I lived with my parents through college. I attended a local community college for three years before transferring to the university. Before moving, my husband and I were married. So as newlyweds, we drove off to our first “home” and rented an apartment while I completed my final year of school. Our small, very brown (brown carpet, brown paneling, brown cabinets!) apartment was our first home together. After about six months, we found ourselves very sick from black mold toxicity and all of our personal belongings and new home gifts from our wedding destroyed. So we started from square one. We were transferred to another apartment for our remaining few months of our lease. After those couple of months were over and I was done with school, we packed up so fast and left town!

POINT YOUR FINGER SOMEWHERE ON A MAP…

We weren’t sure where we wanted to go next. We stayed with my parents for about a month and then I landed a few interviews over on the west coast. For a few days, we dreamed of living on that side of the state. Nothing came of it though, and we sat staring at each other in the hotel room wondering where we were going to live. At the time, going back home to Spokane seemed like the worst possible choice. We wanted change and adventure. We started throwing out names of cities to live in, and I offered up Denver, as one of my best friends and her family lived there and I had visited a few times. Connor agreed, so we went home, packed a suitcase, and off we drove.

MOVING THERE, THEN HERE AGAIN

We made arrangements to live with my friend’s family for a few months so we could explore the city to see if it was right for us, get jobs and find housing. After about four months of living out of a suitcase and a storage unit, we purchased a townhouse and moved in. It was very nice and we felt pretty proud of it. It was in a little suburban neighborhood with nice shopping, good schools, and yet our mortgage was cheaper than any apartment we could have rented there. We lived there for about six months and then it happened…the homesickness kicked in.

We missed our families, the lakes, and holidays together. Despite having incredible jobs and a few friends, we were so lonely. I think it was on Easter, another holiday alone, that we took a bike ride and one of us brought up the conversation neither of us wanted to confess. We started asking ourselves, “what was so bad about Spokane?” And within a ten minute conversation, it was decided upon. We were moving back home. We called our parents right then and it was like a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement to return to Spokane, but total disappointment of leaving our jobs and city life. We moved back home within a month.

NEW PLANS TO BE MADE

We literally had no plan from there. We moved in with Connor’s parents. After a few months, it was time to get jobs and find our own place again. We started renting from my grandma at her vacant house. We thought it would be just a while before we would buy a house and renovate. Shortly after, we found out my childhood home was literally listed for free if someone spent the money to move it off the lot (yes, you CAN move houses!).

We started dreaming! How amazing would it be to buy some land and set my childhood home on it? After moving every few months, it felt like the perfect symbolism of growing roots and finding home. We started planning. We talked to the banks, we drove for hours looking at land every weekend, and I started on the floor plans for phasing out renovations and even a plan for an addition we could add on some day. I spent months working on all of the logistics and then…things changed.

AN OUT-OF-REACH DREAM

The banks were nervous about funding a house move. Connor decided he wanted to go back to school for nursing. I found out I was pregnant with our first child. All at once, the doors closed and this journey had come to an end. We switched gears and started house hunting instead. Nothing seemed to stand out and nothing came close to the dream we had almost created. I didn’t want to put a dime towards a home we weren’t excited about. So we decided to stay at the rental and make it home for a while. We would settle in for a few years.

I started nesting and we painted the house and set up a garden. There was only so much we could do with a rental so instead we invested in some new furniture pieces, curtains, etc. We ended up living there for about two years, which was the longest we had lived anywhere for the last 4-5 years. We had planned on staying longer, at least until Connor was done with school, but then another wrench got thrown in the plan.

THE SWITCH-UP

My grandma needed to sell the house. At this point, we were knee deep in parenthood, school, and financially just looking to save every penny to prepare for buying a house. My parents decided to buy my grandma’s house in hopes that we could continue to rent from them, but the banks said that wasn’t an option. So then, it was decided that my parents would move to that house, and we would move to their house to rent. A little switcharoo! So in the middle of winter, we were literally swapping places.

We’ve been renting from my parents for the last year and a half and while we are once more close to reaching a two year mark of living in the same place, we also once more prepare for another move. At this point, things are looking up. We’ve been working hard and saving money to acquire that dream of living on acreage. However, with the real estate market being quite insane, it no longer makes sense for us to renovate. Our plans now point to a new construction home, which will hopefully begin after Connor completes school later this summer. My parents recently sold the other house and have moved back into the home we are renting from them, and Connor and I are back to determining our next temporary house while our true home gets built.

FINDING HOME

Nowhere in my adult life has ever felt like home. I’m turning 28 this year and at this point I’ve never felt the feeling of home since I was 18. We’ve managed to settle in to each place we’ve lived, but it’s never truly been “home.” When we were younger, the constant change felt adventurous. It felt like that was what we should be doing as young adults, newlyweds, etc.

But as we got older, and especially after having our daughter, each move was a heartbreak. It was pulling up her roots again and again, and that’s what made me ache. Although those houses were never my home, they were hers. It was all she knew as home in her life this far. The pain made me work harder and harder. I couldn’t stop and it made me sacrifice just about everything to get to the point of claiming a forever home for us. For her.

MAKING CHANGES

Last month, we took the first step toward that home I’ve dreamed of for our family. After a pretty short period of searching for land, we got our dream property. It checks all the boxes on our wish list and more! It feels so surreal that after so many years of waiting, the time has come. The timeline for our construction has yet to be determined, but one step has been taken. And that’s all that matters in this moment.

I can’t wait to share more about the property and our plans for design and construction. But tonight, I just felt the need to share this story. It’s probably way too in depth and most people will care only about the future posts of sharing plans for the home. But I know some of you have been listening to my story. You are curious about what has led up to this new chapter of our lives. And I wanted to share quite honestly that the process of getting to this point has not come easily.

LITTLE STEPS & BIG SACRIFICES

It has never been our ideal situation to live with our parents for periods of time, say “no” to occasions of going out with friends, and certainly not to keep using one of our cars that is literally destroyed from when it was stolen from us, totaled, and then returned. But we’ve happily, and sometimes not so happily, made these sacrifices because they never compared to what we were working toward for our family. I’m so thrilled to put this all behind us now. And I seriously can’t wait to share the process of this journey!

I’d also love to hear from you…

What would you like us to share on our journey? What would you like to learn about the planning, design, or construction process?



Post Street Residence: Styling Round Up

I’m so excited to be adding a new type of post for our project reveals…styling round ups! It’s been something on my “to-do” list for quite some time, particularly after the launch of our shop Pacific Design Co. I love staging our projects with our merchandise and showcasing it to you! Clients enjoy it as well. Sometimes a fresh perspective on decor can be exciting for our clients to see in their own homes! Now, I get to share some of our best products with you. Win-win!

THE LIVING ROOM

With the Post Street Residence, I wanted to start in the living room. It includes some of the most fun combinations of pillows and decor! I loved the variety of textures and patterns, but most of all, the earthy colors. All in all, they paired with the wood tones in the home so beautifully! Many of the shop’s pillows are organic or vintage fibers. The detail in each one can is thanks to craftsmen that make each of them by hand.

With all the white in the living room, I wanted to bring in decor that felt extra natural. Wood trays, wood vases, and brass accents brought the warm tones that offset the white walls nicely. In addition, texture and pattern prevented the room from feeling bland.

SHOP THE LIVING ROOM

THE KITCHEN

Moving on to the kitchen, we kept the decor pretty simple. I loved the dishes that were already displayed on the open shelves! We added a few accents on the top shelves (which you can’t see too well). The shelves are so versatile, but I tried to pair functionality with some fun decor pieces as well.

Next, I’m all about clean counters, so keeping them clear let the backsplash and gorgeous quartz take center stage. A few items that once more spoke to kitchen functionality was all the space needed!

Finally, you will find the perfect bench by the back door. This space is used constantly as little ones come inside from outdoor play. Baskets to contain little shoes or hats will keep the area from getting cluttered. And last, a cozy pillow invites someone to take a seat and keep company in the kitchen!

SHOP THE KITCHEN

If you’d like to see the other blogs featuring the Post Street Residence, you can find them here: before, progress update, and final reveals part one and part two. Enjoy, and happy shopping!

Post Street Residence: Final Reveal Part 2

Part two is here! After starting the first blog post, I felt like there was so much good stuff to share! I didn’t want to get too lengthy before getting to another amazing part of the house…the entry! So here’s part two, which reveals the Post Street Residence living room and entry space.

UPDATES THROUGHOUT

When first meeting these clients, we were primarily focused on the kitchen renovation. However a few things were going to be freshened up throughout the main floor, which included new hardwood flooring and a fresh coat of paint. We did a skim coat on the walls to make them smooth, and stuck with a pure white paint. They actually had this white on the walls before which I totally loved and knew it was still the right choice for their space. But we didn’t realize until we had started painting that some things had really yellowed over time, like the trim. So we painted everything! It feels soft and airy…their home has so much natural light and their new white oak flooring enhanced that even more. Just these two changes brightened up their entire living room and entry. It felt great before, but even better after!

FRESHENED UP FIREPLACE

We ended up doing a fresh coat of white paint on the fireplace brick, and we replaced the original tile hearth with a fun white chevron tile. It looked gorgeous with the transition to the white oak flooring! We went with a dark grout because this is a wood burning fireplace that the clients used often. It will still require some occasional cleaning, but the tile is a high gloss which will make this task a bit easier.

The other slight adjustment we did in the living room was add a few sconces to the piano wall. I loved these sconces from Rejuvenation because they kept with the brass finish we were using throughout, but the white shade helped them disappear a bit!

a custom pick for the floors

The shot below is also a great angle of the white oak flooring. Originally the clients had imagined a medium color stain. Once the unfinished white oak got installed, I just couldn’t get past it! It was incredible in their space. We went back and forth quite a bit on this, including lots of stain samples and lots of head spinning! The other stains were really pretty, too and still coordinated really well with the kitchen accents of natural white oak. But ultimately, I’m so very happy for the uniform choice! We ended up doing a custom stain by adding a touch of white to the finish because just using a sealer still pulled the orange from the oak. And we found the perfect way to use the darker stain we really liked by applying it to the new front door (revealed later in the post!).

the perfect entry

In that living room photo, you get a little glimpse of a cheerful little spot of the home…the front entry! Just about everyone goes back and forth on this and says how awesome the kitchen is. But this little entry…it’s just so special and memorable! This was an “add-on” to the original proposed project, but gosh this entry might be the thing that makes the home! On the right side there used to be a closet that went right up to the trim of the window. It really encroached on the floor space and the storage inside was less than functional. We decided to tear it out! I designed a custom built-in that would have a variety of storage options while still making the room feel bigger. Pulling the built-in back a bit also gave the unique window some “breathing room,” allowing it to take center stage!

P.S. here’s a good shot of the door with that gorgeous stain color!

whimsical wallpaper

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that wallpaper? Again, totally enhancing the shape of the window. It also was mostly neutral with a few pastel color pops. I showed the clients a few wallpaper options, all whimsical and with a bit of color. I was pretty excited with all of the options, but this one is just so fun! They loved it so much they decided to install some more in the playroom at the top of the stairs!

I loved the combination of the wallpaper with the bead board backing of the built-in. It was playful yet classic and was a great way to bring some fun into a charming older home. We added some classic hooks and brass knobs that matched the kitchen hardware to tie it all together with the rest of the home. And of course, a natural white oak bench to bring in that warmth and help pull things together as well.

the front door

In part one of this reveal, I talked about how we saw the home’s original character and found ways to tie into an updated renovation. Well, the front door hardware was one of those details that I ran across something that was perfect. Brass of course to match the rest of the finishes. But the combination of the detail on the back plate with egg shape door knob felt like the right amount of “traditional” vibes but used in a fresh way.

By this point of selecting details, everything was just coming so easily. The clients were seeing the vision come together seamlessly and they were able to start trusting me even more to make decisions with less oversight. We were all in the groove and knew what was going to be the right choices. Such a good flow! The clients also did some shopping on their own and found the cutest white rope baskets with leather accents. They were so perfect and I fell in love too, I had to go buy some for myself! Score!

lessons for your renovation

I’m so in love with this entry, but really, the whole home is a perfect example of what occurs when a few important things happen in a renovation:

1. Trust / Value — I felt so thankful for clients who valued my opinion, trusted my expertise, and wanted to utilize that to the maximum extent. Having that trust allowed my creativity to flow so freely and they totally benefited from it!

2. Willingness to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone — When investing a ton of money into a renovation, it can be so easy to slip into a pattern of thinking small and safe. These clients had incredible style but just needed the reassurance that they weren’t totally messing up by going bold. We played a game quite often that (I hope) allowed them to start trusting their intuition. I would take the two difficult choices of any given decision and put one in each hand (on paper or as a mental note when paper wasn’t accessible). They would select a hand, and if the choice that was made for them felt like a letdown, then they had their answer of what the right choice was to ultimately go forward with.

3. Have Fun — This one comes pretty easily when I’ve got the right clients. I’m a down to earth, casual person, and I love what I do! I have fun on the job site and when I can have a relationship with a client that allows me to do silly games like the one previously mentioned or crack an occasional joke, it makes a stressful process such as a renovation become more enjoyable for everyone! When clients have faith that myself and the contractors will take care of everything, there is nothing left to worry about!

CHECK OUT THE REST!

If you didn’t get a chance to see part one, be sure to go back and read that! Make sure to also check out the before images as well as the progress…it’s always fun to see that transformation! As always, if you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!

SHOP THIS PROJECT

Post Street Residence: Final Reveal Part 1

I was anxiously awaiting the return of the photographs from what could possibly be one of my favorite projects to date! But how can you really choose when each one is so different and all of your clients are kind of the best!? So hard!). It was just such a fun project where so many of my FAVORITE elements were combined into one space! I would get butterflies every time the next piece of the puzzle was installed. So without further ado, I present to you the final reveal of the Post Street Residence!

PICKING FAVORITES

I can’t even begin to pick a favorite space from this renovation! We’re just going to start in the kitchen, because that’s how this project started out. But guys, we just couldn’t stop there! So yes, let’s just start in the kitchen…because honestly, this reveal is going to need two parts. It’s just too good to cram into one blog post.

A MODERN YET TRADITIONAL STYLE

So basically, right here ^^^ is where the wall was. It separated the kitchen from the rest of the house, closing off opportunity to socialize, and for a young family — keep an eye on your kids in the next room. The original kitchen was actually in decent condition, “updated,” but in a very dark, traditional style. This client wanted something bright, fun, and a bit more modern while still keeping with the style and character of the home, which was built in 1936. We achieved this in a few ways. Our favorite being the inset style of cabinetry, in a muted green on-trend color, and modern brass hardware. It’s a rare (maybe even never before seen? I looked everywhere for an example!) combination to see inset cabinets with the minimal finger pull hardware, as the hardware is usually applied to the door and drawer fronts. But, I LOVED it!

KITCHEN FIXTURES

We also kept the faucet and light fixtures more modern, and all in the brass finish. It added the edginess we needed for the design, but also warmth which really played off the white oak flooring. And how sleek they looked with that white stacked tile backsplash!

THE BACKSPLASH

The backsplash was a fun element for this kitchen! With an open concept and open shelves, there was a large area that would be covered with tile. We knew white subway style was the direction we needed to keep things bright and neutral, but I’m just soooo over subway tile. This tile by Bedrosians is one I’ve been loving on for a while. When the client was describing the imperfections and even color variations they’d hope to see in their tile, I knew this would be the perfect match. This tile comes in a few different shapes, sizes, and colors, but this stacked look has to be my favorite. It brings that modern detail we needed versus a traditional offset installation. And it picked up the veining in the quartz counters beautifully! The whole finish palette for the kitchen is just a winning combination.

GREEN WITH ENVY

So, let’s talk about the green. The “trendy” green. Because this is always a discussion that we have to have with clients. And full disclosure, I’m in love with the green trend. I could tell my clients were, too. The trick was to get it to a muted enough version that it actually works as a neutral. This color is incredibly versatile and works with anything. It walks the line of working with modern or traditional styles, which was the underlying concept of this entire design.

BRINGING IN WOOD TONES

By going with a trendy color such as green, we needed to strike a balance with some timeless pieces. When working on the design, I envisioned having wood accents play a role in more than just the floating shelves. I expanded on that by including a floating bench at the end of the cabinetry. I also designed a custom pantry built-in around the refrigerator. All of these pieces would be made in the same natural white oak as the flooring to bring in a warm, classic look. It felt like a good minimalist approach but complemented their walnut furniture pieces so well!

APPLIANCES

Last, we can’t forget to mention trying out the GE Cafe appliance line! Particularly this double oven which still fit into their 30″ space!. I was so excited when the clients told me they had been researching this line. The white/gold combo would be perfect for their kitchen! I knew we needed to create the perfect hood for them to go with the white appliances. We started out thinking we would go with a white metal hood, but after some complications, we switched gears and I suggested plaster. I had never tried a plaster hood and I’ve been falling in love with them on Pinterest for some time. The idea was quickly approved, and we got to move forward on this stunning piece.

OPENING THE STAIRCASE

This last view is the perfect place to transition to the other adjustment we later made: the stairs and the laundry room. Because we were painting the walls and replacing the flooring throughout the main level, the choice needed to be made if the stairs would be painted as well and the treads replaced to match the oak. The choice was yes! But then we realized, if they are going to look so beautiful, shouldn’t we open them up to the rest of the home? They currently hid behind a door, and because of the age of the home, the stairs were very steep, making you hit your head on the top of the door frame as you come down the stairs. So we decided to open it all up from the front, and again, it was a choice that enhanced the rest of the home!

THE LAUNDRY ROOM

Next was the laundry room, which was a small space to begin with, but got a bit smaller when we reworked the kitchen. The original kitchen left a lot of floor space unused. When we took over an extra foot of the laundry room, we reclaimed a lot of that unused space in the kitchen. We were able to move the refrigerator down by the french doors, move the range to the left wall, and leave the sink and dishwasher where they were. It was the slightest adjustment but made an incredible difference. We were a little nervous about how much it would impact the laundry room, but we decided that it was going to be worth it to have the kitchen they desperately wanted. And in the end? The laundry room was hardly impacted and it still turned out dang gorgeous!

So that wraps up part one of the Post Street Reveal! If you thought that was good, you will be stunned when you see the rest of the house! In part two, I’ll be sharing the living room and my other favorite…the entry!

Make sure to check out the before images here as well as the progress…it’s always fun to see that transformation! As always, if you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!

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Post Street Residence: Progress Update

The Post Street Residence is just waiting for its final touches and only weeks away from photography! So it’s overdue for us to share the progress of the project and all the transitions it went through over the last few months. If you haven’t seen the “before” photos or need a little reminder, you can find those here. These progress updates are always a great way to see things start to take shape, but even the most recent photos shared will look so different from the final photoshoot!

This project has been such a fun opportunity, and I’ve been so grateful to have clients that not only have incredible taste and so in sync with each other, but also are willing to try some things a little outside of their comfort zone (and reap the benefits of it, too, because ummm it’s looking stunning around here). I’m sad to see this one coming to a close! Time to walk down memory lane!

DEMOLITION & CLEANING UP

We started the whole project with a clean up of the walls, skim coating and painting, which took some time. Once we finally were able to get our hands dirty, the walls came down to open up the compartmentalized kitchen to the rest of the living spaces. I knew from the minute the renderings were complete that this project was going to be a winner, but seeing the first wall come down never fails to excite me.

Next was the flooring. Yes, we ripped out hardwood flooring. It was necessary. We also had to tear out several layers of tile, and linoleum, and plywood as these floors were installed one on top of another over time. Don’t worry, we replaced it with something so beautiful, it might be one of my favorite parts of the project. I haven’t decided!

This little entry nook pictured below was an add-on to the project, but I was so excited about it! There was a closet here which was great, but it was actually pretty restrictive in how the storage was used and the congestion it caused in the entry. Tearing out the closet enhanced this little window so much, and the custom built-ins designed to better serve the family’s storage needs is so cute (wait for the photos later in this post!).

NEW FLOORING ARRIVES

Here’s what we chose for the floors though…

Gorgeous white oak! The clients originally planned on a medium stain color, so we tried several samples and REALLY went back and forth on it. It was a tough choice, but ultimately, we settled on a natural finish (my personal favorite, so light and airy!). We did have to add a bit of a custom stain option using white to keep it feeling bright versus turning orange with the sealer.

From this point, things moved fast. It always feels like the first half of the project is demolition. Waiting for plumbing, electrical, walls to get closed back up…it’s time consuming. And then in a matter of weeks, everything starts flowing in and your space is nearly complete. Don’t be fooled though, the final details takes a good chunk of time, too!

THE KITCHEN COMES TOGETHER

Cabinets and counters got installed pretty quickly and I had been waiting for this moment forever! The dark green inset cabinets were absolutely perfect, paired with several white oak details…a custom pantry/refrigerator surround, floating shelves and a bench (some which won’t be revealed until the final photos!).

HARDWARE & COUNTERS

Cabinet hardware started getting installed right away and I’m kind of impressed with myself here. Have you ever seen inset cabinets paired with a modern finger pull? I haven’t and in one moment, I panicked and questioned if this was a good idea. It was SUCH a good idea. I absolutely love this combination that pairs the charm of inset cabinets with a modern, sleek, brass finger pull. You saw it here first, OKAY!? (And if not, just roll with it).

And a little sneak peek at the quartz counters but it doesn’t even begin to reveal the beauty hidden under the protective covers. Scroll on down to see it!

Is that quartz beautiful or what? This gorgeous selection has a crisp white color to it, but the veining has grey and even a little brown on the edge. It makes it versatile for so many palettes! The plaster hood was a fun new thing for me to try, and I absolutely love how it turned out. I see more of these in my future!

LITTLE DETAILS & TILE

Below are two spaces I haven’t shown much of, but are turning out so great! The first photo is at the end of one side of the kitchen and next to the back door. It will have a floating white oak bench, which will be great for removing shoes when entering from the back door! The next is the new tile hearth, which looks so stunning next to the white oak floors. I love this detail!

A NEW ENTRY

Last but not least, coming back to the entry nook…

This piece will always hold a special place in my heart. I love custom built-ins. I love designing them! This little space got a huge facelift and once it’s done, it’s going to be such a highlight of the home! This is the result of designer + contractor team talent. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I cherish my contractor for building the most beautiful things. Whatever I come up with, he makes it work. Incredible craftsmanship.

Just a few weeks left and I’ll be sharing the final reveal of this home! Let me know what you are most excited to see, and if there’s anything you are dying to know about this project!

If you have a Spring or Summer project on your mind, be sure to contact me here! It’s time to start planning your design and booking with a contractor to meet that timeline! You can contact me or book online here.

Post Street Residence: “Before”

We are getting so close to wrapping up the Post Street Residence but I’m so behind on sharing the behind the scenes of the whole project! So I am going to do some catching up around here and that all starts with the “before” photos of the space! This project started with a kitchen remodel but ended up expanding into a few other areas of the home due to the finishes we were planning to update (such as flooring and paint). The primary goal, however, was to open up the kitchen to the rest of the home and update it to something that was more in line with the client’s style.

A DARK, OUTDATED BEGINNING

The photos above were taken from the back entry of the house looking toward the kitchen. It also shows the wall that divides the kitchen from the dining room, living room, and front entry. The compartmentalized spaces made it difficult for gatherings with their friends and keeping an eye on their little ones. As a mom myself, I totally get how hard it can be to cook dinner in a completely different room from where your kid is playing! While this kitchen was a nice size and had a pretty functional layout, there was still room for improvement. But it needed some major changes to bring this family’s style into their home.

The little space at the end of the cabinets (in the photo below) was awkward. The window sits too low to continue the counter and it was right next to the back door. So we were really just looking for an opportunity to add a bench and some storage here. We designed one to match some of the new cabinetry and I can’t wait to see it installed!

SEPARATION OF SPACES

In the photo above, you can now see the division created by the wall between the dining room and kitchen. The living room sits behind the dining room, partially blocked by yet another wall. You can see how the long, divided space makes you feel disconnected to anyone in the other rooms. The photos below show the view from either side of the wall. Once demolition started and this wall was gone, this house felt like it was full of natural light and airiness. You could breathe!

INCORPORATING SURROUNDING AREAS

The other areas that were included in the renovation was the fireplace in the living room and the entry. We planned on painting and changing the flooring throughout, so we included these details that needed an update as well. The fireplace hearth was outdated and clashed with the painted white brick. I’m so excited for the new tile we found for this spot…just wait!

AN ENTRY WITH IMPACT

The entry felt a little tight when guests arrived. The person opening the door would have to quickly move out of the way in order for guests to enter. And despite the closet, the clients were still lacking functional storage space. We decided to remove the closet to visually open things up. We would replace it with a custom built-in that would suit their storage needs more efficiently. Check out these changes in the progress updates blog post!

This is one project where for the small size, demolition and the prep work still seemed to take a lifetime! Even in the smallest of jobs, the behind-the-scenes of demo, plumbing, electrical, etc. can take some time. But coming within the next week or so will be all the details of this process, so stay tuned!

If you have a project on your mind, be sure to contact me here! It’s time to start planning your design and booking with a contractor to meet that timeline! You can contact me or book online here.


SoulBarre Studio: Project Reveal

Today I’m feeling happy to finally share more details about our first commercial project, SoulBarre Studio! You can find out more about the process of this space in the last post. For now, I’ll just say it was pretty fun collaborating with someone who already had a vision of their brand and a concept for their dream space! I loved helping to bring the owner’s overall ideas to life while watching her nail the details!

BRINGING DREAMS TO LIFE

I remember first talking to Lori over a year ago! we met at a barre event she was hosting for a group of local ladies. I loved her energy and spirit and the class was powerful yet refreshing at the same time. Shortly after this event, Lori started sharing her dreams with me about her own future studio. From the beginning, she had always loved a concept of a black and white studio with geometric shapes on the walls. We wanted to honor this vision, and did minor consulting to help refine the finishes. This included picking a paint color, selecting flooring from a sea of samples, lighting design, and visualizing proportions of the geometry.

CUSTOM BARRES & EQUIPMENT

Lori’s husband is in the construction industry, so they had some great contacts for doing custom work. These ballet barres were one of the many custom pieces designed. With their modern lines and warm finishes, they worked perfectly with the rest of the design concept.

Several other areas had custom pieces as well. For example, the large variety in equipment all needed a home. The wall space we had needed to be maximized to store everything. Local craftsmen built the storage for yoga mats, hooks for the green workout mats, and the weight holders. Above all, keeping everything white or black and in the same materials provided a cohesive and organized look.

ENTRY VESTIBULE

In the photo above, you can catch a glimpse of the entry area. This smaller space needed to function in A LOT of different ways! For example, standing AND sitting room, storage for belongings, signage, sign-in station, a place for brochures, and a retail area for merchandise. The area was an L shape so it helped to divide the functions in a natural way.

I just LOVE her motto. After experiencing her class firsthand, I felt it was spot on. For this reason, when designing the entry and focal space, I thought it was perfect to bring this detail of her brand’s vision right up front. This is the area people are getting prepared for their class and getting in the right state of mind. It’s so beautiful to have this as a welcome message, but also as a “see you next time.” I love that you can see this through the glass as you come up the stairwell and enter the space. It was really just a perfect opportunity for a focal point like this.

COST-EFFECTIVE & THOUGHTFUL TOUCHES

For the storage, built-in and custom pieces were considered, but cost was adding up, so instead we went for simple pieces from IKEA that work just as great! The white painted wood letters are from an online company and you can pick your font, color, and size.

Lori finished out the corner with some additional touches that were so fun: a charging station for phones, and a free library shelf. It’s thoughtful details like this that make her personality shine in how she creates a home away from home.

A GRAND OPENING!

This project was fast moving but finished just in time for her grand opening at the beginning of March, which was a successful event with free classes, giveaways, and more! If you missed it, don’t worry, she offers a first week of classes for free to try it out! It’s a really fun experience that I would highly recommend, and wow, what a workout! You can find more information at SoulBarre Studio (Spokane, Washington).

Make sure to check out the process recap…it’s always fun to see that transformation! As always, if you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!


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SoulBarre Studio: Process Recap

We are so excited to share the behind the scenes of our very first commercial job! It was so fast-moving, we hardly had time to share on social media or get this blog post out before it was done! Working with Lori, owner of SoulBarre Studio in Spokane, Washington, we served as a design consultant to bring her vision to life. She had been dreaming of her own studio space for several years! She also had some creative ideas that were fairly well developed. But as renovations go, there are often times of overwhelm and all of those ideas can quickly become muddled. We loved helping with some of the fixture and finish selections and designing a focal area in the entry to welcome people. We can’t wait to share the final reveal, but as always, we’ll start at the beginning.

DEMOLITION COMPLETE, AND A CLEAN SLATE

With her husband in the construction industry, Lori got to work on the site before we had a chance to say hello! Haha! At our first visit, the original office space had already been demo’d, walls were pulled down and flooring ripped out. It was a large open space now and we were ready to move on making some finish decisions!

The entry had a perfect layout with some natural division to the space. The photos below show the entry door from the stairwell. The walls would be used for signage, a sign-in/brochure station, and a retail area for some merchandise.

DEFINING THE STUDIO’S ENTRANCE

This is also part of the main entry area, which you can see through the glass as you are coming up the stairs. I knew this was a great spot for a focal point and to welcome people as they approach the studio. The photo below on the left is the view to the entry area from the main studio space.

A (VERY) FRESH COAT OF PAINT

All of the subfloor needed to be prepped and smoothed for the new floors, so in the meantime, some fresh paint on the walls and ceiling were needed to brighten and freshen up the whole space. This alone made such a big difference! I tried to keep the photos in the same pairs as above so you can see how much it changed. Some of the photos seem a little hazy because we stopped by right after everything was freshly sprayed.

Sooo much cleaner, right!? Well, I only have one more set of progress photos for this project, because after flooring went in, it was all just the smaller details (lights, furniture pieces, focal wall) and we don’t want to ruin the surprise!

A NATURAL TOUCH WITH FLOORING

For the flooring, we did a vinyl plank in a warm, neutral wood tone. We felt it would be important to find the right color to balance the white and black geometric motifs that would be used in the main studio area. It’s not as quite as dark as the pictures below show, but these were taken later in the day when less natural light was coming through.

How quickly this space got flipped upside down with just a few changes! We’ll be walking you through the rest in our final reveal post!

If you have a project you’d like to discuss, feel free to contact me or book an appointment! I’d love to chat and see how I can help!


Mill Road Residence: Project Reveal

The Mill Road project is photographed and ready for it’s reveal! It’s been a while since I posted the “before” and progress photos of this project, so it’s time to brush up on those, because you’ll have a totally different perspective for this completed home! This 3,700 square foot home was ready for a top to bottom overhaul, including finishing the basement and upstairs (not photographed). Ready for a little tour of the main floor?

THE ENTRY & STAIRS

The entry used to be fairly enclosed, with a cased opening to the right leading to the living room, and a cased opening to the left leading to the dining room. The staircase was all a dark wood, which meant this entry was a dark tunnel of a hallway. A slight adjustment to the floor plan allowed us to completely open the dining room, making it more accessible to the kitchen. I love the hemlock post and beam which gave this space the slightest farmhouse detail…much better than plain drywall corners. We also updated the staircase with a fresh coat of white paint and squared off newel posts, white oak stair treads to match the rest of the new flooring, and metal black spindles drilled directly into the stair trends. Clean and simple.

THE KITCHEN

Moving on to the kitchen! This space used to feel dark and crowded, but the overall layout was mostly functional. Once more, we made a few tweaks like moving the refrigerator the far right and removing a small wing wall. This wing wall was blocking direct access to a much-needed closet, which we widened into a pantry with custom louvered doors. We kept the finishes light and bright in here to maximize the daylight we had, but the client also wanted to bring in some color, so we achieved that with a navy blue island and a patterned cement tile backsplash.

PLUMBING & HARDWARE

This sink and faucet combo is one of my favorites! It’s a beautiful Kohler sink and Danze faucet. We mixed brushed brass and polished chrome metal finishes throughout the home, but we had a “rule” book to keep it feeling consistent. For all plumbing fixtures and bathroom accessories (towel bars, etc.), we went with polished chrome. For lighting and cabinet hardware, we used brushed brass. This still creates some challenges as manufacturers have different variations in their brass tones. This meant patience was key when we had to reselect a few items that didn’t quite match the tones we needed! Thankfully we planned these orders ahead of schedule, so despite some returns, everything still showed up before it was needed by the contractor.

CUSTOM PANTRY DOORS

One of my favorite features of this kitchen is the custom arched louvered doors I designed for the pantry closet. I had envisioned these doors while doing the 3D model for the space, but it ended up being something we could not find ANYWHERE. We searched salvage yards and overstock door dealers for something similar, even online! The clients and myself had our hearts set on finding this piece. It ended up being a custom design and a bit of a splurge. Now, it’s everyone’s favorite feature, and I’d have to agree. This is the closet I mentioned above that was cut off from the kitchen by a wing wall. We changed it from a coat closet to gain additional kitchen storage. The hallway had no shortage of individual closets, so we reframed them to create one large pantry, one medium sized coat closet, and a small storage/linen closet.

THE POWDER ROOM

On the opposite side of the hallway is one of my next favorite rooms…the powder room! Is anyone else loving how well-designed powder rooms are becoming? They are now a big priority for many clients! More money is getting set aside for these small spaces then ever before. I absolutely love that people are focused on the public spaces of their homes that they share with their family and friends. Little gems in each residence.

Give me alllll the details on this little space, am I right!? Alright, this is one space that we decided to break our own rule book and do only brass metal finishes. It just didn’t feel right to do a chrome faucet with the brass legs of the console sink. We added a quartz slab on to a brass console sink. It looks beautiful with it’s small grey veins that work perfectly with the black and cream tones in the wallpaper. I’m also fairly obsessed with the towel ring and toilet paper holder, which is a lovely collection from Anthropologie.

THE LAUNDRY ROOM & MASTER SUITE

We’ve got a few more lovely details as we continue down the hall to the master suite! One of my favorites is this transition to thin brick pavers in the laundry room, laid in a herringbone pattern. This was another feature of the home we took some extra time to work out. This meant education for myself, the contractor, and the installers on the best way to do this. We had to keep the transition flush with the white oak flooring. We also had to research installation for lasting durability and avoiding break-down or crumbling. I respect my contractors so much when they are willing to try new things with me. It means all of us can break out of our comfort zones to create something beautiful!

FORMAL LIVING ROOM (LIBRARY)

The living room was a space that the client wanted to feel different from the rest of the house. Overall, we went with the concept of light and bright for the home. But the client was particularly inspired by a library-style room full of colorful bookcases and velvet curtains. A place to cozy up by the fire and read, write, and relax. I was excited to do something bold and different for her!

FIREPLACE & BUILT-INS

In this space, I designed a custom build-out for the fireplace. However, we ran into a few issues by doing so. If we did 12″ deep bookcases, they would be deeper than the fireplace. The fireplace needed an upgrade anyway, so we built it out to a full depth, flush with the new bookcases. We did a hemlock mantel for the fireplace and some more cement tile that coordinated with the kitchen backsplash. The color of the bookcases also matched the kitchen island. They offer tons of storage for the client’s collection of art books, photo albums, and decor.

That wraps up our Mill Road Residence reveal! What’s your favorite part of this unique and colorful home?

Make sure to check out the before images here as well as the progress…it’s always fun to see that transformation! As always, if you like what you see and have a project of your own that you would like to discuss, we’d love to hear from you! Check out our services and let’s chat!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We hope by sourcing some of our favorite products, we provide value to you and your projects!



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