Introducing: The Preppy Modern House

I’ve talked in vague terms about “that house we’re building” and you’ve seen bits and pieces on Instagram, but I haven’t really shown you guys much of what we’re building!

It’s been busy, to say the least.

This project flew through the planning stages pretty darn quickly – I already had a good idea of what I wanted, and our architect was totally game.  We worked well together, and this is the result!

The Preppy Modern House - Exterior Elevations - It's Great to Be Home

(Update: if you don’t know what I mean by “preppy modern,” click here.)

What you see above is the front elevation of the home.  This is an oversized lot for the neighborhood, which makes me SO happy!  Front-entry garages aren’t for everyone but they’re very common in this neighborhood, and putting the garage in the front allowed us to maximize the backyard space while still creating a really gorgeous exterior.  I have a thing about backyards (because we have a tiny one…) and really wanted to preserve the size of this one since the oversized lot is such a fantastic feature.

So, what are you looking at up there?  :)  The home will be all brick (I have one picked out and I loooove it) with cast stone accents at the front entry, and the window sills and lintels (the detail above the window).  We’ll likely have to nix some of the cast stone to save costs, but we’re going to try to keep as much as possible!

The majority of the roof will be composition shingles, with a standing seam metal accent on the street-facing part of the first floor.  Ever since we did the roof of our own home in standing seam metal I’ve been obsessed!

I’ll get into the floor plan in another post, but here’s what you’re looking at in a nutshell:

  • the two-car garage is on the extreme left
  • an office is to the right of the garage, with 2 large windows
  • to the right of the office is a powder room, with 1 smaller window
  • the entryway (and entry vestibule) is to the right of the powder room, shown with cast stone
  • the dining room is on the extreme right
  • on the second level, the “play room” is those first 3 windows, then a bedroom with 2 large windows, and then a jack ‘n jill bath to the extreme right

There’s more going on in the back, obviously, but I’ll get to that.  :)

The Preppy Modern House - Exterior Elevations - It's Great to Be Home What you see above is the left-hand side of the house, to the east.

      • the master bedroom is those first 2 windows on the left
      • the master bathroom is that large space between the windows, plus the 2 side-by-side windows
      • the garage takes up the rest of the space from the exterior door all the way to the right
      • the chimney you see is coming up from the living room on the 1st floor
      • the window on the 2nd level is at the head of the stairs

The Preppy Modern House - Exterior Elevations - It's Great to Be Home

What you see above is the back of the house.

        • on the far left is a large covered patio, and behind that is the kitchen
        • the living room is the bank of 3 windows in the middle
        • the master bedroom is on the far right
        • on the 2nd level there is a bedroom on the far left
        • and another bedroom on the far right of the 2nd level

The Preppy Modern House - Exterior Elevations - It's Great to Be Home What you’re looking at is the right-hand side of the house.

          • the dining room is the 2 windows on the far left
          • the butler’s pantry is the 1st small window
          • the kitchen is the last 2 small windows
          • the covered patio is on the far right
          • on the 2nd level, the 1st 2 windows are a jack ‘n jill bathroom
          • a bedroom is the last 2 windows on the 2nd level

All told, this house is just under 4,000 square feet (which is the average size for new construction in this neighborhood) and has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms – it’s going to be awesome!  Framing is almost complete and walking through the house might just be one of the most exciting things I’ve done in awhile.  :)  I was having a bad day last week but it instantly improved while I was standing on the second level, soaking up the sunshine – it was an awesome feeling.

So that’s the exterior of the house we’re building.  If you want to follow along on Instagram, the hashtag is #thepreppymodernhouse.  Talk to you soon!

The 4 Pairs of Heels Every Girl Needs (Saturday Style)

I like shoes.

Since I like shoes and I’m a casual gal, my dressed-down shoe collection could probably rival Kim Kardashian.  I have like 5,000 pairs of sneakers and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  #sneakers4life

However, occasionally this casual gal needs to put on something fancy.  And by fancy, I just mean it shouldn’t be worn with sweatpants.  ;)  However, my fancy shoe collection is dismal – every pair is either way out of date, or looks orthopedic, or hurts my feet so much that I never wear it.

In an effort to avoid the inevitable scramble to look acceptable when a girls’ night out presents itself, I’ve started scoping out . . . heels.  Gasp.  I typically avoid them like the plague, but I think it’s time to grow up and get some big girl shoes.

Here are some of the looks I’ve been drawn to:

well-heeled - Saturday Style on IGTBHwell-heeled - Saturday Style on IGTBH

well-heeled - Saturday Style on IGTBH

I quickly noticed that you can achieve just about any look with just 4 pairs of heels – hooray!  Here’s what you need:

  • a simple black heel
  • a pair of strappy black heels
  • a pair of heels in a fun, solid color (I like red)
  • a simple nude heel in patent or matte leather

That’s pretty easy, right?  Since I’m not a fancy gal and these shoes won’t get worn every day, all of the heels I chose are below $100.  Also, I noticed that you need to have more than a kitten heel for the shoes to look “sexy” (RAWR), but I’m pretty darn tall and my feet don’t like high heels, so all of my picks are 2.5-3″ – enough to look sassy, but not so tall that you’re begging for flip-flops or towering over your partner. Up first are the nude heels – perfect for making your legs look longer.  #nicestems how to wear nude patent leather heels I chose this one because it is the perfect shade of “nude” and the toe is pointy but not so pointy that it will break your toes off.  It’s the little things.  ;) Black heels are a staple in every girl’s closet.  My old pair is a matte black leather kitten heel, and I feel like a Sunday school teacher in them.  Not that that’s bad, it’s just not what I’m going for.   how to wear black suede heels     This black heel, on the other hand, is simple enough to go with everything but has the fun d’Orsay detail that makes it a bit sexier.  (How many times can I say sexy in one post?  Pretty sure I’ve never said it before…)   The strappy black heel – I’m excited about this one!!  This shoe can go with anything, but instantly makes any outfit more fun. how to wear strappy black heels You can go for either the simple ankle strap or a pair that has a lace-up detail like the one above.  I think the simple ankle strap is more versatile, but the price on this lace-up one is great and it’s just SO CUTE. And now for the “bonus pair” – it’s true that no one really NEEDS a pair of red heels, but they’re just so fun!!

how to wear red suede heels

I love this pair because the red is a slightly poppy shade, rather than fire engine, and because it too has the d’Orsay styling that’s so flattering.

So that’s it!  The 4 pairs of heels that can get you through any occasion.

the 4 pairs of heels every girl needs - It's Great to Be HomeWhat are the “go to” heels in your closet?

Updates on the House We’re Building

I had hoped to have a post ready for you guys today about the guest bathroom and bedrooms at our 10th flip (long overdue!!), but this week has been crazy so it ain’t happening.

While I don’t always have time to update the blog, I usually share little snippets of what’s going on over on Instagram (@itsgreattobehome).  Here’s what’s been going on over there lately!

Instagram updates on new construction

We are THIS.CLOSE to having the foundation poured for #IGTBHnewbuild2 – I feel like a kid at Christmas!

Instagram updates on new construction

Fun shoes for a dirty day.”

Instagram updates on new construction

“Do you see that board running horizontally through the middle of the photo? I noticed it this morning, and the foundation should be poured later today or tomorrow. I’m glad I saw it because it’s not supposed to be there! 😳 it’s a tire stop in the garage, and we don’t want it. So out it goes!”

Instagram updates on new construction

So this magical thing happened over the weekend…💃💃💃

Instagram updates on new construction

“It may be rainy and disgusting, but a torrential downpour didn’t stop our framing materials from being delivered!

Saturday Style

Hey peeps!  Did y’all have a good week?  We’ve had the most BEAUTIFUL weather here in Dallas, I feel like frolicking!

This week called for about a zillion outfits – I had a road trip, two special dinners, and a baby shower mixed in with my regular run-of-the mill agenda.  Are you ready??

red sweater + plaid blanket scarf + leather booties + distressed skinny jeans + leather hobo bag

red sweater – American Eagle (similar) // distressed skinny jeans – Blank NYC // leather booties – Lucky Brand // leather hobo bag – HOBO // plaid scarf – Target (and similar) // gold studs (not pictured) – Etsy

Ah, this darn red sweater – I want to love it.  I wore this outfit to meet my friend’s sweet new baby boy, and then to some meetings and to check on the new build.  The morning was cool enough for the scarf (which I’m obsessed with) but by the afternoon I had to ditch it and then I didn’t feel nearly as sassy.  ;)

camel leather jacket + black tunic + black infinity scarf + black leather boots + black pixie pants + cheetah clutch + hoop earringsleather jacket – Bernardo (similar) // black silky tunic – Express (similar) // black ponte knit pants – J. Crew // black boots – Steve Madden // leopard clutch – Etsy // gold hoops – similar But then dinner time rolled around and I got to get fancy!  My husband’s birthday was over the weekend so we celebrated Friday night with a birthday dinner in Deep Ellum and a comedy club afterwards.  The comedy was so-so, but it was SO nice to do something fun and different!  What sorts of fun things do you do to get out of the dinner-and-a-movie rut? boden wrap dress + tan booties

wrap dress – Boden (similar and similar) // oxford booties – G.H. Bass & Co. // earrings (not pictured) – similar and similar // necklace (not pictured) – similar and similar

Saturday morning I hopped in the car bright and early to head to Austin for a friend’s baby shower – for her twin baby girls!!  I love these shoes, but I didn’t love them with the dress – but what’s a girl to wear on her feet to a baby shower when it’s still a little chilly outside?  I’m stumped.

olive vest + striped shirt + distressed skinny jeans + tan bootiesolive vest – Target // striped shirt – Banana Republic (similar) // distressed skinny jeans – Blank NYC // oxford booties – G.H. Bass & Co. // earrings (not pictured) – similar and similar // necklace (not pictured) – similar and similar After the baby shower I hung around Austin overnight with friends that I get to see all too infrequently.  Drinks on the patio rounded out a great day! striped shirt + tan booties + distressed jeans

striped top – StitchFix // distressed skinny jeans – Blank NYC // oxford booties – G.H. Bass & Co. // earrings (not pictured) – similar and similar // necklace (not pictured) – similar and similar

For the trip back to Dallas on Sunday I threw on the same jeans and booties but switched up the top – yet somehow, even with repeating much of what I wore, my overnight bag was completely full.  Funny how that happens, right?  Anyway, back at home it was my hubby’s birthday so we took advantage of the fabulous weather and frolicked with the girls at the park (we’re exciting like that).

black blazer + white tunic + black pixie pants + black wedges + long necklace + hoop earringsblack blazer – Aritzia // white silky tunic – Express // black ponte knit pants – J. Crew // black wedges – Steve Madden (similar) // long necklace – Madewell (similar and similar) // gold hoops – similar And on Sunday night my dad’s law firm threw a dinner celebrating his recent lifetime achievement award!  We’re all so proud of him and it was nice to see him receive some well-deserved accolades. olive vest + white top + skinny jeans + gold necklace + white/gold sneakers

olive vest – Target // white top – Old Navy (with white tank underneath) // skinny jeans – Old Navy // white and gold sneakers – K Swiss (similar) // faux opal studs (not pictured) – similar and similar // long charm necklace – Madewell

You saw that right.  The olive vest is back at it.  I just can’t quit you it.  That makes 3 times in two weeks if you count this one.  No!  FOUR if you count the this one, too!  I have a problem.  But anyhoo, this was just a regular Monday, snazzed up with some gold-accented kicks.  Oh, and we bought another quick flip that morning!  More about that in the coming weeks.

tan cardigan + gray v-neck + skinny jeans + Vans hi-topstan cardigan – Old Navy (similar and similar) // gray v-neck – Old Navy // distressed straight-legged jeans – Hudson // hi-tops – Vans // faux opal studs (not pictured) – similar and similar So I was going for one of those “effortless” neutral looks, but I think it just wound up looking frumpy.  Thoughts on jazzing it up?  Maybe a necklace?  Maybe having more contrast on top?  Anyhoo, this is what I wore to scope out the townhouse that we just bought – you read that right, we saw it AFTER we bought it.  Let’s pretend that’s not terrifying. black shirt + buffalo check + black vest + leopard sneakers + skinny jeans + gold hoops

black top – Old Navy (similar) / buffalo check flannel (first half of the day) – Old Navy (similar and similar) // black puffer vest (2nd half of the day) – Old Navy // skinny jeans – Old Navy // leopard slip-ons – Sam Edelman (similar and similar) // gold hoops – similar

So apparently I channeled my inner 90s again today and opted for the whole “flannel around the waist” thing.  I’ve seen other girls do it and look adorable – however, that was not the experience I had.  ;)  Maybe it was because the flannel I chose was such a bold pattern?  I may have to revisit this.  Anyway, it also got a little chilly so I made a half-day switcheroo into my black vest and I instantly felt like JLo with my giant hoop earrings.  Can’t complain about that.

gray sweater + distressed skinny jeans + white converse sneakers

sweater – Loft (similar) // distressed skinny jeans – Blank NYC // sneakers – Converse // silver bar studs (not pictured) – Etsy

Today we got green-tagged to go ahead and pour the foundation for the house we’re builting – woohoo!  Things have been crazy at work lately, like heading back to our desks after the kids go to bed, but we’re making lots of progress so all’s good.  It was such a BEAUTIFUL day today, I had to escape from my office for a few minutes to bask in the sun like a fat cat.  It was heaven.

We’re in for another hectic weekend, but it should be lots of fun – two kiddo birthday parties to attend and hopefully lots of time outside!  What do you have on the agenda?

P.S. Check out all the Saturday Style posts here – there are some real gems! ;)

Before + After – The Rest of the 9th Flip

This might not qualify as the most gasp-worthy renovation post I’ve ever done, but there are still a few goodies left to be seen at the ol’ 9th flip!

You’ve seen how it looked before we got hold of it, and we’ve also shown you the “afters” of the exterior, entryway, dining room, kitchen and the bathrooms – now it’s time to check out the rest of this cute home.

One of the best parts of this house is the giant living room – no out-dated formal living rooms here, this is the perfect family hang-out space!  Well, maybe you can’t see it right now…

9th Flip - During

Our 9th Flip - Before

Our 9th Flip - Before

The living room is at the back of the house, and connects to the entryway (where that pink tile is peeking out on the far left of the photo above), the kitchen (at the back of the photo, with the wallpaper and wainscoting), the backyard (through the windows…obviously), and the master suite and an additional guest suite (through a little vestibule where this photo was taken).

Ah, here’s a superb photo of the side of the living room that connects to the entryway and bedrooms.  ;)

9th Flip - During

There are some killer built-in bookshelves that line the wall backing to the dining room.

Our 9th Flip - Before

The room was rather dark when we first encountered it, so we knew that the paneling would need a coat of fresh white paint to brighten things up.  We also added some new recessed lighting…

9th Flip - During

…and laid down hardwood floors.

Entry, Dining Room, Exterior & Staircase - Our 9th Flip

The new buyers put a contract on this house before we finished renovating it, so they were able to make a few requests along the way (like the kitchen counters and a few paint colors).  One of their changes was to expand the opening between the kitchen and the living room.  To be honest, I didn’t really think it was necessary since the opening was already pretty wide, but I was TOTALLY proven wrong!

widening the opening

You can see in the top left photo above that we were able to expand the opening by about 3 feet – and since the kitchen and living room aren’t really “open concept” by today’s standards, this change went a long way towards modernizing the flow of this house (and enabling the new buyers to keep an eye on their little girl!).

Here’s a side-by-side comparison so you can see how much larger that opening actually is.

side by side opening

Good decision, buyers!

So are you ready to see how the living room looked after it got the royal treatment?

Here she is, all fresh and pretty and ready for her new owners:

After - IGTBH Flip 9

Isn’t it so much brighter?

After - IGTBH Flip 9

(You’re not crazy, that outlet is totally crooked in the floor.  It’s driving me nuts, too, but there was nothing we could do about it – it was installed in the slab that way when the house was built!  Sigh.)

Here’s how that enlarged opening looks from the kitchen/breakfast room:

After - IGTBH Flip 9

And finally, here’s how those glorious bookshelves turned out:

After - IGTBH Flip 9

I’m secretly jealous of anyone with built-ins.  We have a serious lack of display space in our current house and it’s starting to drive me crazy!  What I could do with those bookshelves…

I didn’t really take any “after” photos of the bedrooms, but you can use your imagination there – they’re square rooms that are painted gray.  There.  :)

So that means that the last stop on the 9th flip tour is the staircase that leads to the 2nd floor.  It started out looking okay, but we knew it could be SO much better.

Our 9th Flip - Before

Here it is awaiting a new window, and without that fancy green carpet:

9th Flip - During

And here’s the glorious “after,” all bright and happy! 

After - IGTBH Flip 9

That’s all, folks!  What do you guys think of the 9th flip?  The thing that I love most about this house is the layout (which, of course, you can’t see in photos), but it’s just so darn livable – I could see our family there.

Now that we’ve wrapped up the 9th flip, I should probably wrap up the 10th flip!  Be on the lookout for the final rooms of that flip soon…

P.S. Thanks to those of you that left sweet comments on the Saturday Style post – y’all are the best!

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