My first post about our new build was a super long introduction and back story. Now I can finally address the fun part - sharing some of the design direction for our house! We’re going about our build in a unique way so I’m going to spill some details on that today!
We’re building in a sprawling community in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake City valley. When you build in this particular community you have the choice between a handful of builders. We saw this beautiful European romantic plan about a year and a half ago when we were looking at homes for fun and dreaming big. We initially looked at it and thought it would be way beyond anything we could ever afford. So it’s really quite surreal that it’s the house we ended up choosing to build! The elevation sold us - it has a sharply pitched roofline with two gables in front and a stone facade. The oversized arched front door is absolutely adorable and our favorite part of the exterior! I’ve included the floor plan below!
The house is quite large with an available 4,141 square feet! It’s way more than we need at this time and expensive to completely finish off right now. We are finishing the main floor (the living space, office, powder bathroom, kitchen, master suite, and guest suite) which equals 2,091 square feet. We’re also finishing off half of the basement (two kids’ rooms, full bathroom, and storage closets) adding an additional 1,000 square feet (approximately). It leaves us another 1,000-ish square feet of multi-use space to finish in the future. We’re starting to think through how we would eventually like to finish the space. I looooove space planning - it’s probably my favorite aspect of interior design - and I’d love to be able to maximize the large basement to function well for our family for years to come! I picture it as a TV room, play room, homework area, arts + crafts and music area, and as an entertainment space for guests!
Our build is considered a semi-custom build. It’s not from-scratch house plans on a big piece of land we own. That would be well nigh impossible in the area we live unless we were millionaires - haha! We’re using a builder and chose a floor plan that we loved. It’s on a small lot, but we’ll still have an outdoor eating area and a small backyard. Our community has parks and amenities galore so we’re not too concerned about the small lot! And it’s definitely less upkeep for us during this crazy season of life.
We’ve chosen a few upgrades through the builder - an oversized back sliding door, covered patio, nine-foot ceilings in the basement, an oversized kitchen island, nicer carpet pad, etc. But we have also chosen a lot of their base options (that come with the price of the home) and we’ll be updating them after we close on the house. Things like plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, and even a lot of the kitchen will be switched out soon after we close! It’s way cheaper to do these upgrades ourselves and we’ll get to choose designs we LOVE instead of settling for the builder’s upgrades. My husband is a custom cabinet designer and we’d love a completely custom kitchen, but we aren’t allowed to do any work on the home before we close. So our solution is to get super basic cabinets and replace all the door fronts and drawer fronts and paint everything a custom color and do our own backsplash. My husband’s company does very high end work and our builder’s best upgrade isn’t even something Daniel would ever sell. Our perspective has forever been altered because of his line of work, for better or for worse! We definitely want our kitchen to have a custom feel!
Our kitchen comes with a giant walk-in pantry (we could have 10 kids with that much space - lol) and butler’s pantry area. We’re having them leave off the butler’s pantry cabinets and we’ll do something custom there as well! We imagine that area being used for extra storage and as a coffee/tea bar! We also plan to do custom cabinetry in our office, which sits at the front of the home just off the front door. Some of you may remember that we did a custom office in our last home. We absolutely loved that space - it was probably the hardest part of our house to leave behind. We plan to install two work spaces, one for Daniel and one for me, and possibly even an area for the kids to use in the office. There is a mudroom located off of the garage. We’ve chosen to leave it empty and we’ll add custom storage in there eventually too! I have a lot of ideas for that space.
Our builder would charge a fortune to finish off the entire basement at this time. We’re only having them finish off the main level. We’re closing on the house early-mid October and then finishing off the kids’ half of the basement right away! We’re starting to get bids for that work and looking at flooring, paint, fixtures for that area! It’s much cheaper to go this route for the basement work. Our townhome lease runs out at the very end of October, so we’re hoping to get as much work done as we can by the time we move in, but the kids will likely have to sleep upstairs for a short time while we put the finishing touches on their basement suite.
We’re also starting to shop for furnishings we know we’d like to replace. We haven’t ever had a nice set of grown-up living room furniture. We’ve survived with inexpensive sets up to this point. We’re ready to make an investment in a good quality leather couch and some side chairs, coffee table, etc. We also need new bar stools - our island will fit four stools and we currently have three, falling apart bar stools. We plan to sell our current master bed because it won’t work in our new space. It has drawers underneath which we have loved, but in our new master bedroom we’d love side tables which is something we’ve never been able to have because of the drawers under our bed. We have our eyes peeled for a deal on a beautiful platform bed! We’re also in need of a washer + dryer. We’ve used the same, 30-year old set for our entire marriage. They were given to us and we ended up selling them before we moved into our rental. Hoping we can snag a good deal on a new set! This new house has a large, open-concept living/kitchen/dining area and we’d love to be able to accommodate a lot of guests! We’ve always had super small dining rooms and are so excited about a large one! We’ll need a bigger table - I’m picturing a farmhouse style table with black, high-back spindle chairs. I hope we can seat 10+ people!
We’re starting to get a vision for the direction we want to go with design. Here is my inspiration board on Pinterest. We love light + bright and a lot of contrast. We’re thinking blacks, whites, browns, and pops of subdued colors throughout. And of course, a lot of neutrals because that’s us! Our walls will be “crushed ice” by SW, on the walls of this Emily Henderson room makeover! All of our trim will be “extra white” by SW. We’re both loving the look of black (or some kind of dark) base cabinets in the kitchen, light uppers, black curtain rods hung throughout, and black hardware on all our interior doors and closets. We want open shelving in the butler’s pantry and definitely in the laundry room, all of our curtains hung high and wide, meaningful art and decor throughout each room, comfy rugs, and ambient lighting. Our outdoor space will be easy because we’ll use the large dining table and benches Daniel built last summer as well as the outdoor rug, couch, and chairs. Lights strung under the covered patio will be the only addition for now! Overall, we want a functional and beautiful space that serves our family, friends, and guests well! And we know it won’t come together overnight. We enjoy taking time to build our spaces so they are truly meaningful, functional, and beautiful.