Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just gotta love the view!

We've been in the house over a month and even though we've accomplished a lot, there are still so many little things to do here and there.
This picture was just taken tonight and I had to share because I absolutely LOVE living in this new area -- so much more open and calm and I love it!

Hold the rainbow up in the sky!
The next plan is to level out our back yard using a retaining wall and we are having some people give us quotes to do the work.  Luckily for us, the developer of our neighborhood (the guy who did all the "set-up work" before Ryan Homes took over), is a good friend of a friend.  So, he has all the paperwork and information readily available for us to design our necessary retaining wall.  He has even been to our house twice already to help figure out some designs.  I look forward to what they come up with, but, of course, am a bit frightened by the possible price.  Also - we have a large area in the corner of our lot that is part of a "Water Resource Protection Easement" and we can not build on it... but there should be plenty of room for us to have a decent back yard working around that section.  Before pictures will come soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Changes here and there...

When we chose the options for our house, we knew we'd be making some additional purchases and changes as immediately as possible.   We had a budget and we stuck to it.  Every option we chose was something we did not want to do ourselves and/or could not easily be changed down the road.
For example, we bought our own kitchen refrigerator rather than going with the ones offered.  We opted for a "counter depth" refrigerator because I was not too thrilled with the idea of a fridge sticking out into the kitchen too far and to avoid the claustrophobic feeling (that I got) when opening the last cabinet by the wall.  Here is what we ended up with and I am very happy with our choice!

It is still a tight squeeze getting into that last cabinet, but thanks to Gina (a fellow Rome owner/blogger), we asked our PM to switch the door so that it opens away from the wall... otherwise you couldn't slide out the drawer inside.

Here are some other things we have changed so far.

 We installed a new kitchen faucet -- at our last Ryan Home we paid for an upgraded  faucet but we decided to save a little money and do it ourselves this time. (the smaller photo is the BEFORE)
We have installed a ceiling fan in the morning room
We installed a ceiling fan in the family room -- this is actually the 2nd fan we have put in here because the first one was hanging too low.  We opted for less fancy fans because we couldn't find any nicer ones that we liked that put out enough light for us.

We got rid of the full size towel rack in the powder room.  Seems silly to have a rack for a bath towel in a powder room to me anyway... not to mention that the towel rack was on the wall in front of the toilet so there was no way to not drip water all over the floor each time you went to dry your hands off over there.
Installed (installing) our garage door opener - I know Ryan Homes offers these as options, but again, we decided to do it ourselves and save money. 

We are not too thrilled with the lack of space in the garage.  We had a 4 foot extension in our garage at our last Ryan Home and we don't have that here....but there was this strange cement ledge that we decided to put our garage STUFF up onto maximizing the space for our extra fridge and freezer.  It makes a huge different so that the cars can fit easier into the space AND you can open the doors to both appliances... this is an in-progress photo though because we plan to make our garage look neat with bins and such.
The basement area under the family room is going to serve as the man-cave.  We had ALL of this stuff in our 4 foot extension in the garage at our last house, so we are working hard to get everything set up in the unfinished basement.  Unfortunately that means adding some framing and nailing through cement -- something we have never done.
On the kids side of the basement I decided to put the boys names on the wall.  I did this in our old house with paint once we finished our basement, but since we are not finishing this basement too soon, I just put their names on the wall with duct tape.... not as nice, but will serve the same purpose and make them both smile.
The new duct tape version -- just temporary and goes with the more "unfinished" look/decor.
The old version in our old house. 

Our next project is our dining room - we plan to paint my grandmother's  furniture, do some wainscoting, and replace the chandelier.  Here is a before picture... not sure when I will have an "after" picture, but the chairs are being painted as I type this NOW.  Yea!

Another project will be to figure out what to do for our deck.  We have some ideas but nothing planned just yet.  Although anything will be better than our current "deck".  ha ha.   

Monday, May 14, 2012

2 weeks post move-in = a work in progress!

We are still working on unpacking and setting everything up in each room of the house.  We have been here 2 weeks and there are so many things on our "to do" list, but overall we are happy with everything so far.  We do have a running list of items to tell our PM about, but nothing major that needs to be addressed (YEA!).
Here are some updated pics, but PLEASE keep in mind that these are all IN PROGRESS shots, and therefore do not judge us on our lack of decorating skills (yet).  We have plans to paint the rooms, but it took us a long time to paint our last house, so I'm not expecting it to happen too quickly here either.  At least Ryan homes does a two-tone paint now so we aren't looking at stark-white throughout.  :)

The study - with temporary shelves - we want to make some built-ins at some point with doors to cover all the crap... but this is our solution for the time being so we have somewhere to put stuff (still more stuff to go here and go through that is not pictured!).  A big THANK YOU to PAM for the desk because we had a card table before she gave us this desk!!!
Not super thrilled about having the couch blocking the openness between these rooms, but our sectional can only be set up in one direction... We also will be replacing these lamps and hanging those pictures that are on the far wall.

I thought I was going to dislike the orange chairs in here, but they are OK especially considering a lot of our decor is the same color -- I plan to make new covers for dog cages (you can't see the 2nd one) so that they will match -- the cages were hidden in our last house so we may also eventually look at doing something down the road because we like our cages in this area.

Dining room and living room - plan to hang curtains and art work soon (and paint this dining set black)!

Living Room - just need to finish hanging stuff in this room

Master Bedroom - it is huge and empty because we don't have much here.  I plan to use the  "sitting room" (not pictured) for my sewing area (need a table) and crafting supplies.  I actually have a large wardrobe armoire over there now that has all my supplies in it because our closets are big enough for all our clothes.
Guest bedroom - need a bedframe -- probably the only "real" furniture that we need to purchase -- otherwise we had stuff to put in all the other rooms.

Loft - LOVE this area!  It is the slightly neater area for the kids to play.  We will more than likely get some sort of futon eventually so adults can sit in here, but for now there are 6 kid-level places to sit and hang out.
Boys bedroom - they wanted Rockets and space so that is what we did.  Again, it will eventually be painted with better/more decor, but for now we like the way it is set up.  Once they are old enough we will bunk these beds and it will give them much more room.

Playroom - since the boys wanted to continue to share bedroom, we had extra space to create a playroom -- and this is where I decided to put all their more plastic-type toys (rather than in the loft)

Love this large linen closet -- works great for me to fold and store in my OCD fashion.  ha ha.

Boys bathroom - same decor from our old house.  I plan to put a 2nd towel rack over the toilet because that is where it was in our old house and I liked it there better.  We also put some hooks on the back of the door for the towels they actually use.

Unfinished basement -- MECCA of fun for the boys!  There is too much construction going on outside on a regular basis so I don't feel comfortable having the boys run around and ride bikes outside, so this basement has been GREAT for the boys to let out their energy!  I foresee this remaining unfinished for quite a few years.
View of the basement from the other side.
Temporary wall of (empty!) boxes -- we plan to put a wall up here (a few feet back from here) to create a work room for Russ -- right now his tools are over there so this box wall serves as a way to keep the boys out.

Mud room -not sure why this is termed a mud "room", because it is really just a small hallway.  It works fine for us, but I would not refer to it as a room.  I added our lower rod to the bottom for the boys jackets so we have more room for our stuff.
Love the pantry - I even had room for our large dog food container so we don't have to store our dog food out in the garage anymore!  Actually there are a lot of things in here that used to be stored in the garage -- and I have yet to fill this thing up even though I've made many trips to warehouse stores and grocery stores.  YEA!!!!  
That's it for now.  I hope that we will have more decorative photos to post in a few more weeks because we are planning a housewarming next month... yikes!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello PURPLE door!

The door is actually called "winestone", but it is purple to me and I love it.

We are on the home stretch.  I will not be able to go to the final inspection so I went this weekend and took photos of the rooms I did not have on the blog.  I was happily surprised to see almost all the little things have been done and CAN NOT wait until the work week is done!  
Standing in the morning room - looking towards the front of the house and family room 
Study with same carpet as family room
Dining room and Living room
Standing in living room looking towards dining room
Master bedroom towards "sitting room" or whatever they call it
Master bedroom looking towards hallway to the loft
Kitchen towards pantry
Probably my only complaint - I don't like this outlet for LOTS of reasons - mostly function & safety (?).. . we were also uncertain about that piece of molding -- it seemed like a lazy way to avoid having to cut drywall there, but then they added the molding all the way around and I think that looks OK now (see next photo).
The molding goes all the way around now.
Our house from the other side of the street - the foundation of the house to the left is already in place, so we will have all that space you see now... and you can just see the edge of the house to the right... so this is will be our whole front-house view.
Yea!  Can not wait to move in at the end of the week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Then and Now

I came across this photo from our old Ryan Homes build, so I wanted to share since I am opening the EXACT SAME drawer in the photo.  This is only photo of me opening a drawer in both houses under construction -- ha ha!-- notice the baby belly in the older photo -- I am at about about 23 weeks (twins).  

It's interesting to see the differences in the kitchen too... even though they are almost identical in layout (flipped) -- the Rome model just has a set of cabinets to the side of the fridge (not in the photos) AND we upgraded to the gourmet island this time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Updated Pics - floors and landscaping DONE

We have less than 2 weeks left for our final walk through (scheduled for Thursday 4/26) and things are certainly coming along!  
Here are the most recent photos from this weekend with all the floors installed, the first cleaning service complete, the landscaping done in the front, and many blue-tape marks to be fixed.

This photo shows the 2-tone paint that I actually really like -- much more than our old Ryan Home that was ALL white.

We did not upgrade our kitchen faucet, but plan to get one on our own very soon after moving in.

Plan to get some shutter-style window coverings for the bathroom... luckily this bathroom is in the BACK of the house, we had a window like this in our old house but it was on the FRONT!
My goofy mom and grandmother - ha ha!
Loving the boys larger bathroom with the double sink.

Loft with carpet installed - Winter Milk - no upgrade

Right bedroom - we THINK this will be the toy storage room, but I have to figure out which of the front bedrooms is smaller

Left bedroom - more than likely this will be the boys bedroom and I really hope both beds and both dressers will fit!

Laundry room!  Yea!
Hallway going down to and through the loft
Hallway/Landing light - happy to have a landing again -- we had one in our townhouse and I missed it at our last home.

Power Room - we are thinking of completely redoing this after moving in - possibly a vessel sink, more interesting mirror,  and DIY wainscoting on the walls.

Family room and Kitchen - with my mom

Me hanging on our "porch", "stoop", or mini-whatever you want to call it.

Front landscaping -- good enough for now but will DEFINITELY be changed as we live here!

Anyone who has been to our old house - notice our driveway is almost a carbon-copy of our last one -- just flipped.
I forgot to take photos of our living room and dining room - the floor is a laminate (cumberland jatoba) and I REALLY like it.  You can see it slightly in the photo of the powder room, but I will need to be sure to get some better photos to put on here later.