Isn’t it annoying when someone makes a big announcement like, “Hey, I’m building a house!” and then you don’t hear anything else about it for months and months?
Yeah, that’s annoying. People that do things like that drive me crazy.
On the house-building front, things have moved in fits and starts since we first bought the place. I won’t get into the boring backstory (some of which is already addressed here), but I think we’re getting close to actually breaking ground and moving forward with construction (hopefully those aren’t famous last words).
Anyhoo, now seems like a good time to start getting you up to speed with what we’ll actually be building.
Here’s my viewpoint on houses – you can have the most beautiful light fixtures and tile in the world with a gorgeous view of the ocean from every room, but if the floor plan stinks then living in that home will never truly be enjoyable.
Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but I totally think it’s true. Wonky rooms and terribly used space will impact your day-to-day life in a home, so getting the floor plan of this new home that we’re building just right was incredibly important to me.
We first spoke with our architect back in February, and we constantly tweaked the floor plan up until mid-July. At our first meeting where we walked the lot, we emphasized that we wanted to take advantage of the amazing lot and make sure that we had a large backyard. I had a feeling that building the house in an L-shape would make the most sense, but we were totally open to the architect’s suggestions.
We went through a few rounds of rough sketches that didn’t really float our boats – it turns out that we weren’t really open to suggestions and that Jason and I were really set on the L-shaped floor plan since we strongly believe it makes the best use of the lot. :) So, we headed down that road.
But even once we honed in on a long structure with an L-shaped wing, we still had a long way to go before we found a floor plan that fit our initial requirements of engaging the lot and giving us a big backyard. Here are two of the floor plans that were interesting, but didn’t cut the mustard because the house ate up too much of the backyard (among other reasons):
This was our first time working with an architect, and it’s been a really interesting learning experience. It turns out that I have really strong opinions and, I think, good ideas, but that it can be hard to stick to your guns or always know what you want, especially when you’re working with a professional that also has good ideas but might have a slightly different aesthetic or have a different list of priorities when it comes to a home. It’s been pretty easy for me to avoid being swayed when it comes to the floor plan, but I’ve never felt entirely comfortable designing the exterior elevations of a home. One night during the summer I couldn’t sleep at all because I was completely stressed out about the exterior of the house – it was going to look amazing, but it wasn’t a look that I felt entirely comfortable with. All along I had said that it was what I wanted, but in the end it just didn’t feel right to me. I was sitting in my office at 4:30 in the morning, looking at elevations and crying. What?!? I can look back at that moment now and feel completely ridiculous, but at the time it was terrible. Luckily, I finally figured out what I really wanted and said something and our architect was totally cool with changing course at the last moment. Kudos to him for rolling with the punches, and I feel so relieved that we got everything figured out before it was too late. Designing this house has been a bit of a roller coaster. Jason and I both care deeply about getting this house just right, for a lot of reasons – building a spec house is a huge investment, a successful build and sale has the potential to do great things for our careers, we really want to create something that we’re proud of, and we especially want the future owners to love their home. Pressure, much? ;) So, that’s kind of the back story to the floor plan that we’ve ultimately settled on. It’s been a labor of love, and I’ll share it with you soon!