I work with Jen and she recommended your blog to me and told me to email you. I am building my first house ever (in Levan Utah) and I am in desperate need of design advice. Our basement walls have been poured so I think I have a little time to decide some things but I'm finding that I have to learn about things I never thought of before like what kind of lighting do I want in my house and on our wraparound porch, what kind of flooring is best, what fixtures to buy, faucets, etc....also I will need help decorating it but I'm trying not to think of that at the moment--too overwhelming! :) We want a rustic, warm, country, homey look and we originally wanted to build a cabin but it wasn't in our budget. Jen said you might be able to help and from looking at your blog I believe her. You mention on your blog that people can send you floorplans---can you tell me how best to do that? I would really love your input if you have the time.
Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!
- Don't find a line of lighting- that has coordinating chandeliers, pendants, and sconces, as well as bath lights and buy the same thing for throughout your home. If you are building a custom home- let's not make it look like a tract home.
- Along the same line- don't select a cabinet color and have it in your kitchen, laundry room and all of your bathrooms. Again- a horrible tract home look. (Coming from a humble girl that lives in a tract home.) I participated in a dream home showcase here in Sacramento where this beautiful custom home had cabinets like that- everywhere. I thought it showed a total lack of style and originality. That would never have happened in a showcase house in L.A. Use a console sink in your powder- have some painted and some stained- don't go cookie cutter in your decorating.
- Don't have drywall on all of your walls and short baseboards everywhere. That will not begin to give you a rustic warm country homey look. Have decent moldings. Have some paneling. Have a coffered or beamed ceiling. Create a pallet with your walls, floors and ceilings. Check out the wood on the ceiling in the top post. If these things are a stretch to your budget- choose to do them in small rooms. Have your windows framed out. Readers in the east won't know what I'm talking about because they are ALL framed out with wood trim. Here in California some builders offer it as an upgrade- but most don't bother at all. Laziness. It only adds a couple thousand to the house. I have mentioned it to some clients and they seriously had no idea what I was talking about.
- I would work with a lighting designer - and customize the lighting needs for each room. This is the kind of thing you are going to want to avoid changing at a later date. These designers are sometimes free if you go to the right lighting showroom to purchase your lights. If you are getting them through your builder- see if you can change that. Don't forget sconces. Don't put can lights throughout your living areas and bedrooms. Incorporate levels of light.
- For the look you are describing-- I would go with hardwood floors. Don't break up your flooring and have carpet in the living area- if you can at all afford it- go hard surface with area rugs rather than carpeting certain rooms. I try to avoid flooring changes wider than 3 or 4 feet. My least favorite is the open family room and kitchen with hard floors in the kitchen and a sixteen foot transition to carpet. "Ohh- but my children play in there- I don't want them to hit their heads!" Whatever! Kids need a hard head to succeed in this world. Don't make babies out of them. I have stone floors throughout my house- and had hardwood throughout my last house- my kids are fine. In fact- we have yet had to have any stitches- and our only broken bone was from a trampoline. I did 7 posts on shopping for wood floors. Carpet can go in the bedrooms. Look at the photos in this post. Every one of them has wood floors. I also want you to notice all of the ceilings in the post. Include some beadboard- like you see below. Include wood beams.
- With wood on the floors- I would go painted in the kitchen. I like white kitchens because they are so timeless. Never out of style. Check out the beautiful white kitchens in these posts. Don't think because you are going for the warm and rustic look that white cabinets are not the right choice. I think that look means that wood floors are the best choice- and wood with wood is a hard look to pull off beautifully. It usually requires a very large home in my opinion.
- Hardware? In the 80's it was gold- in the 90's it was chrome- then brushed nickle- now it is heading towards bronze- and you know what's after that? Gold. The colors come and go. I would use black or Tuscan bronze.
So- this is all my advice without a budget of course- sometimes the ideal will not be an option- but it is a good place to start.
Hey readers- which photo is your favorite in this post? I like the 4th one- with the light wood beams on the ceiling- and the beadboard walls and black sconce with a sisal rug. What a great look.