Cote de Texas - Friend or Foe?

Cote de Texas is mostly definitely a Friend. But would she think I was a foe? Every single detail in our house was selected by her, because of her and always with her in my mind. I scoured every last post on Joni's blog. I bought most every book she referenced, I went to every store she mentioned. I was her Blogger STALKER can I call it Stogger. Yes I was her Stogger. I even stalked the houses she referenced and route she took in the morning to Starbucks, to get a better look at the houses she herself stalked. The information I collected over the last 2 years was invaluable. I am not ashamed that I lurked and stalked her blog endlessly, because now I have a beautiful house. I am sure I am one of many Stoggers that Joni must have. So here's to you Joni, I plan to get pickled tonight in celebration of my coming out of of the Stogger closet.

I sat down today to read her current post, she was discussing readers redos, photos and kitchens. I thought OMG - Joni designed my whole house even the down to the style of architecture and the landscape, It's time to tell her.

OPEN Letter to JONI: Because of you I felt empowered about lighting when I poured over the Visual Comfort (Circa Lighting) catalogue, I felt confident to ask questions when I walked into Brown, I felt knowledgeable and certain when I selected and designed the kitchen. I was always afraid to leave comments on your blog, I feel very much that I was stealing your ideas and thoughts and applying them every single day during our building process. I really tried to apply them as I thought you would.THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Living Room
Colors, Mantel and lighting selected based on Belgian influences
that is often discussed on Cote de Texas

Dining Room
Details used from Cote: Dark wide plank foors
Chalkboard off the kitchen

Kitchen View 2

I plan to spend the next 9 months completing the decorating process. I will also post many more room photos, you will see.............I absorbed it all, all that Cote de Texas had to say...Thank YOU.

NIghtmare or Dream?

Wow has it really been a year since I sat down and wrote an update: I intended to faithfully write weekly and was very excited to do this. I can remember the first time I received a comment, I was a scared to respond and never did. Little did I know the nightmare ahead.........

Our house is finished but not fully decorated. That is my next project: to decorate the house. Things you must know to understand the lack of interest and quite frankly my lack of enthusiasm for the whole project for the last year ( I call it the NIGHTMARE).

January 2009 - found out our Builder would barely be able to finish the project.
February 2009 - Financial Market in extreme downturn - Banks not very friendly regarding converting construction loans to mortgages. House appraises for $350K less than originally thought.
March 2009 - Move in, Builder files bankruptcy and leaves subs unpaid in the six figure amount.
April 2009 - Need lots of Cash and Aspirin and the occasional large ( Very Large) glass of wine.
May 2009 - Construction loan due - hired attorney, cleared liens after large amount of cash is spent.
June 2009 - No money left for decorating.


Prepared or Unprepared? - Guidlines

Building a Custom Home

  1. Don't obesses over every detail with your archetect. This can be costly to you and time consuming. Focus your communication with your archetiect on use of space and size of rooms. Visit open houses, gather floor plans from homes where you prefer room sizes, especially secondary rooms, such as kids rooms, bathrooms and utility rooms. Be specific, give minimum acceptable room sizes to your archetect.
  2. Spend money and time gathering home design magazines; focus on rooms and details, one at a time. Spend an hour cutting out only fireplaces and mantels, quickly select what appeals to you. Once you are done, analyze why you cut them out, look at the details, is there a hearth, is it raised or flush with the floor, etc? Do this for everything that is important, matter how mundane; kitchen, pantry, bathrooms, floorboards, flooring, ceiling detail, windows type, hardware and even utility rooms.

Ahhhhhhh..........Excited or Nervous

I tend to worry and fret over EVERY decision.........as I see paint choices and other details being installed............I am feeling very calm and accomplished.

We are at week 45 and things are coming along. It is very exciting. I am working on a "Checklist" for people who are considering hiring custom home builder. Things I wish I would have known before the process started, look for that post soon.


Over Budget: Necessary or Not?

Selecting Plumbing has been one of the most difficult processes during our building project.
Here are some of my final selections. We worked with Beth at Morrison Plumbing.

I liked Beth, but felt at times that I was directed to only high end items and not given a choice of finding a like item at a reduced price. They have a very large inventory on site to see first hand and Beth is an expert on all the things plumbing. So all in all, I was satisfied and went a little over budget on my plumbing selections.
Pool Bath
Pool Bath includes a rectangular travertine vessel sink,
a single lever faucet made by ROHL with extra height to stand behind the sink in antiqued bronze. I posted previously about my DROOG light fixture that was purchased while I was living in my old home that we tore down to build. I love this light, but I was afraid I could not find a place for it in my new home. I am putting it in the Pool bath. Everything else for the pool bath has been selected to highlight the Chandelier. I am crossing my fingers, hoping it all works together.
Master Bath
All I can say about these choices, wait till they are installed and see everything together! I love this Tub.

Powder Room
It is all about the sink! A beautiful 16" round mother of pearl vessel sink that can be mounted recessed on not, from Linkasink has been ordered for the Powder Room.
The drain cover issold separately, but well worth the cost. They have the best selection of drains I have ever seen. I never really looked for decorative drain covers. When we starting building the house, who knew you could buy such cute things. I choose only one for the house, the one above that matched the sink. They are costly but I needed some bathroom jewelery for my powder room. I have always wanted a standout powder! Let's hope it all works out.
Linkasink has a great selection of metal, stone, shell drains. Check it out!


Train or Untrained?

Our new Puppy! We need a good local dog trainer that will come to our home.
Our puppy is adorable and good natured. We selected him from a litter that were left to die during Hurricane Ike.

Our neighbor is a wonderful lady who is part of a rescue team that help local Great Pyreness that have been abandoned or left. They are wonderful breed and we are thrilled to add Ike, yes his name is Ike, after the horrible hurricane that left Houston paralyzed for almost 2 weeks.


Fake or Real???

Busy making decisions and using the wonderful design blogs that are out there. I have only one design blog listed, my favorite and out of respect and out of awe she stands alone. If you are interested in design or just want to be entertained- visiting Cote de Texas is a must!!!

The house is coming along and should be done soon - 45 days! I wanted to post the whole process on this blog, but all the decisions, economy, kids and life got in the way. Currently I am selecting my Kitchen island lighting. The island was designed by Nikki - at Cabinet Innovations located in the Design Center. Love her!

The island is 121 1/2 x 60. LARGE!!! I was just told today by Rafi at, Olympus Marble and Granite, that I would have to order a Jumbo piece from Sileston. I wanted Ceasarstone, but I do not want a seam. Any suggestions? I will be researching this soon. Back to lights. I need 2 pendants. I really would like to purchase from Visual Comfort (Circa Lighting), not only are they produced by a Houston company where I live , in this economy I like to trade with local businesses as much as I can, but I love this design. They are costly $525 for the small.Restoration Hardware
Versus the copy from Restoration Hardware that are $250 each. Design is important to me.....Do I need to spend for the original? Yes? Another decision is Circa's has 2 sizes, small and large ($725). Which is best? Can you tell the difference?
Circa Lighting (Yoke Pendant)


Week 1 to Week 26

We are building a new House!!! These are photos of the day they plotted out the foundation.
We were so excited that first day!!! Week 1 -

Our excitement continued when the foundation was poured.

Then the framing.....

Oh no....the excitement is gone.....and we have trash in the house and the job seems to be stalled. Week 26.......no progress. Rain bad subs....
I am going to focus on the good stuff, pretty stuff...the design and finds for the house.
I would appreciate any comments and I will always ask advise.