Saturday, October 17, 2015

Solstice Cottage from the outside

I don't have much to say about the outside. I think I have already written about picking the red paint and the windows.  We did some landscaping this summer and I am looking forward to it all maturing as the years go by.  We have since added a little mulch, but now the leaves are gone, so I am going to stick with these photos for now.  












This one is here just because I like the house in the fog. :)




Saturday, August 22, 2015

Solstice Cottage Tour - Part 2 - Upstairs


Want to see the upstairs?  Let's go!



This is the landing/library.  We're still trying to figure out what to call it.  Someday there may be a built-in for a tv or game console (on the wall opposite the sofa), but for now, the space is often a stage for the kids' plays. All those pictures are supposed to be on the wall, but that is as far as I got.  They made it through a 6.4 earthquake recently, so the pressure is off. :)






This is Oliver and Benton's shared room.  I didn't take any pictures, but they each have their own large walk-in closet.




Oliver's side of the room.




 Benton's side of the room.




 The kids' bath.



Linen closet in the toilet and tub area.



Handy shower nook.





Our master bedroom.  I recently got the curtains sewn and hung up.  I'm still looking for the right lamps, rug, maybe some decorative pillows, and furniture for the other side of the room.







 I'm still working on some of the upstairs rooms, including Dan's office, the laundry room, our closet and our bathroom.  Someday, I'll post some photos of those rooms too! 
It sure takes a lot of time and effort to get it all together.











Solstice Cottage tour part 1


Welcome and come on in!



Our entry, not quite done, but functional. 
 I plan to add a bench, a row of hooks, more artwork on the stair wall, but this it right now.





Our dining room and doors out to the deck on the South side.




To the left of the dining room is the kitchen.  I recently sewed the curtains (with my mom's help). I am pretty happy with the pop of color and personality they add to our kitchen.



To the right of the dining area is our Living room. I would like to add a lot of finishing touches like a coffee table, lamps, some pillows, quilts and a piece of art above the mantel, but for now, the living room feels cozy and comfortable.




The chair on the right is my favorite morning spot, especially if Dan is sitting in the other one.  




The long view from the back of the house.



The family room is at the back of the house and will be getting a makeover soon (built-ins, new table, etc). So, I am going to wait to post pictures.  But here is my laundry room.







More to come of the first floor...the mudroom (also getting built-ins soon), the guest room and bath, pantry, and other built-ins are in progress.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Eclectic but Cohesive Lighting?


A few months ago, we met with the electrician. I was hoping for some feedback or advice about the current plan, but didn't get any. We left with the plan to do what was on the drawings. 

Unfortunately, it took that meeting for me to realize that the lighting plan wasn't exactly what I wanted.  There were so many can lights in the plan. I hoped our house would have a timeless feel about it and I didn't think a bunch of can lights were going to help me achieve that look. I have to say, that can lights would be easy.  A modern house needs a lot of lighting, especially in the middle of an Alaskan winter. Since Erica, our architect, was already gone, I scanned the plans and whited out a lot of the planned lighting and started thinking about what I really wanted.

Meanwhile, I began spending uncountable hours looking at lighting online.  Many a Saturday morning was eaten up by searching for the right lighting.  

Eclectic but Cohesive Lighting?   

This is what I kept telling myself I wanted.  I didn't want to just go to the lighting store and pick all the coordinating pieces out of some catalog. 

The biggest challenge is that I hate most chandeliers. Then one day, I fell deeply for an antique piece.  It was the one.  Fortunately, over the next few weeks,  I realized couldn't bring myself to spend the money.  It might have been a little too beautiful for my kid-friendly home anyway.  

classic style
no exposed lightbulbs
antique pewter or a satin nickel finish
not trendy, not too fancy
total to stay within a healthy budget

I first picked the lighting for the family studio.  I was really interested in using the 3 light pendant in that room.  The following is an Olioboard I created with some of the pieces we already have and the lighting I plan to use.

Next, I picked pieces for the kids' rooms and their bathrooms (with their input).   Seeing those picks on the Olioboards helped me see the round and globe shapes in the fixtures. So, I added globes for the basics in the hall and laundry upstairs. 


So,  back to the main areas of the house.  The ceiling in these areas will be covered in 4" v-groove white painted boards. We have several pieces that will stand out - the entry light, dining room fixture, living room light and the kitchen pendants.  I gave up on the lovely antique and settled on an inexpensive, but quirky piece (center piece in following image). I am going to get the white porcelain fixture and likely the red cords.  From there, I found some small fixtures with round globes to fill out the lighting where many of the cans had been planned. 



As of now, I've decided to go with a classic looking drum pendant for the Living room with 6" globe fixtures in the corners.  There will be one can light for the art work over the fireplace.  The dining room will have white porcelain fixtures with 8" globes in the corners and the quirky chandelier. The kitchen has a variety of  satin nickel fixture all with globes.  I may choose something different for the kitchen pendants.  I am afraid I may have too much of a good thing going on.  So, I am back to looking at lighting again, but not so frantically anymore.

I am currently considering one of these for island pendants, just to mix it up a bit:


The lighting alone, has made me really wish I had an interior designer, but alas, I went it alone.  I can't tell you how many times I have said to myself "I hope it all works out."

I picked exterior lighting too, but I'll save that for another time.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Linnea's room


I started and finished a sewing project 2 weekends ago. It was single digits out and we were cozy here at home. The kids wanted to sew too and I let them do what they pleased with the scraps. Every time I got up to iron, one of them sat down at my machine to sewing something.  It was pretty fun.

Here are 2 lousy iphone photos of some their projects:



Here is my project, a wall pocket quilt:

It only took two afternoons to complete, but it has taken me a week and a half to post any pictures!  It felt wonderful to get out my forgotten fabrics and make something again.  I have a stack of other projects to work on next and I am excited about them all. I have quilt tops finished for the boys' beds and a quilt top started for Linnea's bed. I am eager to get those done and on their beds for them.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos of Linnea's room.  I like her room and so does she.  We still have curtains to hang, she kind of needs a dresser and maybe a bigger rug, but for now, the room is quite comfortable.







Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sinking in

We moved in over 2 months ago, and despite requests, I have yet to post anything about it or even share photos.  At the end, the stress of building and moving took its toll on me, in a big way, and I am still recovering.  We moved in and celebrated the winter holidays and now we are relaxing and finding our new rhythm.  I thought I might miss the building process and wondered what I would do with myself after it was all done, but right now I just want to move on.  I might like to be involved in home building, just not my house.

We are all sinking into this new life.  Our days are our own again. I am enjoying being a family, cooking, running, sewing, reading and playing with the kids, having friends over, and just living in a house where sun streams through the windows in January.

We have quite a list of up-coming projects, because the house is only mostly done (so many built-ins to come). It's not yet decorated, fully organized or photo-ready, but it doesn't matter.

I just like being here. I like our family here.  I like being a mom and wife here.  I like being me here.

What I have been trying to wrap my brain around, is that we created a reality from my daydreams. And now, instead of daydreaming all the time, I find myself exactly where I have wanted to be for the last 15 years.  I feel at home, in the deepest sense.

I know it is just a house, but it's not. It is the home and life I have been looking for my entire life; Dan, our kids, Alaska. Our life is different here, our family is different here. Moving 3/10ths of a mile changed us and made our family better.  How do you put all that in a Facebook post?

So, here we are, enjoying life and feeling grateful.



I still daydream, in a lovely new spot.  I am excited to figure out what is next for our family.