It’s been 2 weeks since we moved into our new home, so I thought it was time for a proper introduction! We decided to build a new house 2 years ago (you can read about the minutia of that decision here), so this moment has been a long time coming! There are still a few things that need finishing up, but perfect or not, we were happy to be in before Thanksgiving so we could host some family and start to get settled.
We have lots of ideas on what we want to do with the space, but it’s exciting to have a beautiful blank slate to start with! While it was still empty, I snapped some photos to look back and reflect on. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you, as well as our thought process when choosing all the millions of decisions that come with building a custom home.
Disclaimer: I’m by no means a design pro. I’m just a regular gal doing her best and learning as she goes. I just thought it might be helpful to read about the process from someone who isn’t a pro so if you’re like me, you don’t feel alone.
We were not huge fans of the exterior of our last home, so this was something we thought long and hard about. R is really laid back when it comes to choosing “the pretty stuff” so he trusts me on color schemes, finishes, etc., but he was pretty involved with the exterior! One thing we both agreed on was that we didn’t want siding anywhere on the house. We went back and forth between brick and stucco, and ended up with a combination of both! Brick (even painted) is a lot less maintenance than stucco, and although I love the idea of all stucco, it didn’t make sense from a practicality standpoint. After a lot of research, we learned that it wouldn’t survive the wide temperature variability we have here in Oklahoma and would most likely crack within the first year. Instead, we decided to add accents of stucco all over the house to help us achieve a more modern, contemporary vibe instead of veering toward “modern farmhouse” with the painted brick, which was what I was trying to avoid at all costs. (No offense if you love it, it’s just not for us!)
Our exterior paint color is Arctic White by Kelly-Moore Paints (KM4968) and the trim is all done in Tricorn Black by Sherwin-Williams (SW 6258). We also did black trim windows to break up all the white paint, and I love the contrast!
The last thing I wanted on the exterior were HUGE windows. This gets a little tricky though, because I didn’t want the windows in the main living area. This required picking out the right floor plan, and thankfully we were able to create something that was perfect! We got our massive windows without sacrificing any privacy.
We chose to paint all the walls and trim white with plans to add more color eventually. White paint can be tricky, but we ended up going with Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore (CC-20). It’s the same paint color that donned the walls in the design studio where we picked everything out. I like it, because it leans toward a cooler tone which paired well with our other paint selections.
Our main living areas are floored with engineered hardwood, and I have to be honest, I’m terrified of it. I know it’s pre-treated and water/scratch-resistant, but I’ve never lived in a house with hardwood floors so it’s a bit intimidating. I’m sure they’ll hold up great, but for now I’m tip toeing around on them. We chose a light, warm color with lots of variation to help hide any scratches or pet hair. I’m really pleased with them so far!
The obvious focal point here is the fireplace. I knew I wanted a linear fire box, and I fell in love with idea of finishing it with tile from floor to ceiling. It really accentuates the tall ceilings in this space. We found this irregularly-shaped, textured slate tile and it was the perfect fit! We also love the built-in cabinets for extra storage and the floating shelves. They are sure to become a glorified cat jungle gym any day now. (Don’t worry, that cats are making themselves at home too!)
The other thing I love about our living room is the ceiling fan. I never thought I would say I love a ceiling fan, but you guys this one is different. There are some great ones out there! The one we chose comes in a few color combinations. We chose black blades with brass hardware to compliment the kitchen hardware. The curved blades make it look so sculptural and it looks like a piece of functional art. Happy to report you don’t have to settle for an ugly fan anymore!
This might be my favorite part of the house. It’s the first thing I found inspiration for and it all made sense after that. I had a vision from top to bottom and I think it came to life so beautifully.
Our cabinets are painted Queen’s Navy by Spectrum (SP40) which is the most marvelous, sophisticated navy blue. It definitely changes depending on the light, so in full sun it looks more blue, where as in the evenings it looks black. We ended up using this color all over the house because we loved it so much. It also looks great paired with the contrasting champagne hardware.
We went with stainless steel appliances for practicality, and I actually dig the mixed metals. Our countertops are a simple white quartz with some grey veining. The backsplash we chose is the exact tile from the inspo photo I found on Pinterest! I was thankful we were able to source it, because picking out backsplash is weirdly overwhelming.
This room is a complete blank slate, and I have been prioritizing putting together some ideas for it since it’s a room we see and use every single day. One thing I am giddy about, is that it’s large enough to fit a king-sized bed. Our last primary bedroom wasn’t able to reasonably accommodate a bed that large, so we’ve been super cozy in a queen-sized bed ever since we got married. Sizing up has been as life changing as I imagined it would be.
Our new, beloved king-sized mattress is currently on the ground, but we’ve selected some furniture and a general design idea for the space that I can’t wait to share!
This is a space that we asked the architects to completely reconfigure for us. The floorplan originally included a large pedestal table, and R and I aren’t bath people so we asked them to remove it and create a larger shower. We also requested separate vanities and closets. They took our feedback and created the coolest bathroom. It feels like a spa, which is exactly what I wanted, and our shower is epic. It’s massive with some of the tallest ceilings in the house, and it’s an experience to use. I look forward to it every day.
I actually modeled the finishes of this space after one of my favorite hotel bathrooms. We stayed at the Andaz Scottsdale in February of 2021, and I took lots of photos to remember it by. The stained cabinets, the chrome fixtures, and even the floor tile mimic what you see in that bathroom.
This room is small and funky and I love it! We chose Arugula by Sherwin Williams (SW 6446) and it is BOLD. It’s a true green that is a bit brighter than most I’ve seen commonly used. However, we used it in two spaces in our home that have zero natural light. I opted to go for a bolder color in hopes it would pop a little more. It was the color I was most nervous about, but I love it.
This room is almost finished other than adding a mirror over the vanity, but it’s such a fun little unexpected space. Since it’s not quite photo-ready yet, here is a photo of our utility room with the same green paint!
There is so much more I want to share, but I don’t want to spoil all the fun! I get on a roll sometimes and pick out a lot, but other times I just need a break. We aren’t in a huge rush to get everything furnished right away, but we are prioritizing spaces we use a lot. I’d rather mindfully curate our space into something perfect for us instead of throwing things together that I’ll want to change in a few years. Good things take time, and our home is no exception!
As always, thanks for reading! Please leave any questions in the comments and let me know what you think!