Tuesday, August 11, 2015

5 tips for a (Sophisticated Coastal) New Home or Total Rebuild

The Headlines:

If you're taking on a huge project like a rebuild or a new home build...

Here are 5 things you need to know.

Plus, just check out this gorge beach house! 

I love homes.  I love to look at them, decorate them, dream about them!  My friend recently completely re-did her house top to bottom all in one sweep.  A complete home re-build.  Unlike me.   I'm doing a total remodel piece-by-peice.  She knocked down walls, changed floor plans and enlarged the house all in one sweep.  It meant the family and to move out of the house for over 6 months.  A HUGE undertaking.  But for her, much like it is for me, a fun one.

The reason?  Her family just needed more space.  She felt as if they were always on top of each other inside their house.  There was almost no where to go (under 1400 feet) for 4 people, it was snug!

So we came up with 5 tips for a Total Home Rebuild!

1 - Know Your Vision
This is true when starting any project.  It's kind of like DEFINING YOUR STYLE - something I talked about when I first started this blog... you can read more about that HERE.  But the bottom line is know what you want before you start.  Scour magazines, the internet, Pinterest, visit other houses, you need to do your research if you want to get this right.

In this case, she knew she wanted to change the whole feel of the house.  She went from "Casual Cottage Beach" to this...

what she likes to call: Sophisticated Coastal.  It's much more refined, upscale and, frankly, grown up.  The black and white is very popular right now among the west coast beach communities - but still has a classic and traditional vibe.

2 - Add as much detail to your Architectural Plan.
For big projects like this you're going to need to get an Architect to work for you.  My friend did and she regrets only one thing: that they didn't do more detailed work with him.  There was lots of "we'll just add that later..." but that skewed the cost a lot.  All of those add ins, well, add up!  She suggests putting everything in there, i.e.: built ins, light fixtures, fans, moldings.  Put them ALL in the plan and you'll get a better representation of cost.  It's her biggest regret because it really messed up their budget!
2A - Don't wait - it won't get done!
On that note, if you want to do something... anything... do it NOW.  She says there are some things they thought: "we can do that a few months after we move in" that will never happen.

For instance, this paneling/molding in her tv/family room is beautiful!  She considered doing it elsewhere... maybe in her daughter's room.  She now says that will NEVER happen.  SO if there's anything important to you, like Nike used to say: just DO it.

3 - Choose a "Project Manager" in your family
This is important.  Typically this person is the one who has more of the vision and really WANTS the job because it's lots of work.  They have to learn to make timely decisions and give answers on the fly... sometimes without consulting the other person so as not to slow down the construction process.  The spouse has to trust the PM will do the right things.  So pick wisely!

4 - Be prepared to compromise
This is unfortunate but true.  Not everything will turn out exactly how you want it.  Not everything can be done the way in which you dream it.  There are limitations.  Often those have to do with the pocketbook, other times it has to do with city ordinances and rules.  You will compromise at some point during this... once, several or multiple times... and that's just the way it is!

The floor in her bathroom, as you can see in a herringbone pattern, is a gorgeous marble tile and everyone loves it.  It kind of reflects the color of her sea foam green tiles from the shower walls which continues the coastal vibe... but guess what?  She wanted another tile.  It was $95 a square foot so it didn't happen... this one did, at $15 a square foot!  It's called compromise.  Live it and love it!

5 - Start shopping now!
Lastly, and this is the most fun one... most likely if you're doing a complete re-build you will need to shop a bit.  There's no time like the present to start this task... lots and lots of on line shopping.  Also, don't be afraid to bargain shop (or knock-off shop).  She says you can google the piece that you want by name and then add "knock off" to it, sometimes, if it's popular enough it may just have a chance of being made a little cheaper in pure "knock off" style!  And if it's a central piece in a busy living room area (and you have KIDS) a cheaper version of ANYTHING is a good way to go!

For instance, she found the chairs to the right (below) at a chain retail store for a great price... they're not the exact color she wants so she's thinking of painting them.

Same story with the aqua colored sectional you barely see in the right side of the picture (below).

Now that the tips are out there... let's finish the tour of this amazing "Sophisticated-Coastal" (with touches of industrial-chic) Home!

The built in with the extra-large TV is one thing her husband said he MUST have.  And let's be honest... what man DOESN'T dream about having a 9,000 inch flat screen????  But she loves the look of everything that surrounds that flat screen and so do I!

Next up, the kitchen.  She opted for a gray Quartz (brand Caesarstone, color Raven) countertop.  She says it's more of a matte finish than the ever popular (but continually fading) granite so it shows smudges more.  But she doesn't care - still loves the look!  

Other highlights include a small sink in her island...  with a hammered finished that looks stunning.

Then if you look up... not only do you see the fabulous, nautical style pendant lighting... but focus on beyond that 

and you can't miss the paneled celling.  LOVE!  She also opted for a farmhouse kitchen sink... and above it you can see her "bar" area is a marble.  That, she says, is very hard to keep clean since it's so porous but the contrast is classic and beautiful.

Here's another view of the kitchen from the opposite direction: 

Just beyond the kitchen is the dining room with the board & batten paneling and lantern style light fixture.

Followed by the formal living in the front of the house.  

Side note, I have no "before" pics but I will say this view is a big difference from what her house used to look like.  The minute you step in the front door - there is a long, sweeping view of the house.  Yet, within that space, there are 4 totally separate and defined rooms (even though there's no separating walls).  It feels very open, especially for a house that is still just over 2,000 square feet.   

Her floors, by the way, are a very dark gray wood.  It shows like a dark brown in the pictures but that's mis-leading.  I might be afraid to do that but turns out it's a chance she took that really works.  I also love that they kept the dutch style door the house previously had when they bought it over 10 years ago.  My kids... loved it too! 

The laundry room is adorable and the light turquoise colored glass subway tile on the wall is the perfect addition to keep you in a good mood while you're working!  

Also, the countertop isn't marble but a look-alike...  it's a Quartz (brand Silestone, color "Lyra").   

She also chose a porcelain tile wood floor look-alike in here and in the kid's bathroom (not very visible in the below picture).  She wanted this bath to be fun, i.e.: the dark blue vanity... without being over-the-top crazy.  Her kids are close to being "pre-teens" and the bath also doubles as the visitor restroom. 

Still... she remained playful with her choice of an almost "mother of pearl" circular tile in the shower and backsplash!  

I love her son's room.  Like, be still my heart love!  He's in 5th grade so it's a room that is no longer too "boyish" and can absolutely grow with him!

This awesome desk is from Restoration Hardware Kids. 

Plus, don't miss the cute ceiling light fixture! 

Her daughter's room, also in the 5th grade, is super sweet!  Turquoise is definitely more "sophisticated" than pink.  We'll probably go there at my house sometime in the near future too!

You already saw a sneak peek of her bath...  but this is her shower.  She used an octagonal tile on her shower floor.  Which, by the way, you can never go wrong with... completely classic and timeless. Plus a sea foam large glass subway tile on the walls.

She added a bench... which is always a good decision in a large shower.

Finally,  saving the best for last... the house is fairly small.  They went from 1350 to 2050 square feet.  So the idea was... to make the best use of space possible.  Which meant adding a desk system in the hallway that was useful when you wanted it to be... yet out-of-sight when you needed it to be.  So she came up with this:
They haven't organized it inside yet but the point is... they really don't have to! Those doors slide back parallel to the wall and you can't see them at all! Genius! 

The whole thing is a complete home run!  I'm so proud of her accomplishments and she says, even after all the hard work, she's ready to do it again.  Now that she knows what she's doing... I know, crazy, huh?  Naaaaah... just having fun with homes!  From One Picky Chick to another!


  1. I LOVE every single thing about that house!! I am horrible at decorating and I have always been envious of people who are able to have a vision of what they want and actually bring it to fruition!

    1. it's certainly a job. but so worth it in the end! plus, it's fun once you get into it!

  2. Oh I just love that remodel!! I would have loved to see before pictures. The kitchen is gorgeous (I'm partial to that sink though because we have the same one ;))! My inlaws are about to start on a huge renovation project. They tend to redo their place every so often haha. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

    1. I should have mentioned... they couldn't find any BEFORE pics... I asked!

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