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Thursday, June 25, 2015

It Is Never Just ONE Decision!

When choosing elements for a new home, or a re-do it is never just one single decision that you have to make.

 All of your decisions will be connected in one way, or another. You must stay aware of this in your design making process. There will also be compromises that will have to be made along the way, as well.

Compromises are part of the design process. We all have to make them at one time or another.

They are usually based on, availability, practicality and affordability. What one person will compromise on another would not even think of making that compromise.

First I have to say that when I use the word compromise in referring to any of my design choices, it really is not a complaint at all because, let’s face it, it is unbelievable to me that I get to buy a brand new home at our age.

When I speak of a compromise it is based on what I wished I could have had over what I chose due to the criteria of availability, practicality or affordability. 

Today's post is all about making choices/decisions where compromises were made, and what I based my choices on.
In our newly built home we will have two full baths. One in the guest bedroom area, and one in our master bedroom.

 This is an image of a standard guest bathroom. You can see the color of the  standard countertop. 

I opted for a shower in the guest area because no one in our family takes baths, and if my Mom gets to visit I did not want her to have to get in, and out of a bathtub. 

Of course that was an upgrade, but worth it to me for future safety purposes. That choice was based on practicality.

The standard option for counter tops, and shower walls in both bathrooms was a solid surface product called Piedrafina. It is ground up marble with resin added to it to bind it together.

The builder offered one standard option in a beige tone, which I am referring to as sand, or linen in order to help me see it differently in my brain since I am not much of a beige gal. (it is all in attitude)

piedrafina arena counter top

It is very neutral, and light enough that I am going to make it work in my design pallet.

This is a girl that wanted white, or Carrera marble, neither were offered, without a horribly expensive upgrade, and marble was not even offered. 

I personally could not justify the expense (affordability), so this will be on the counters and on the shower walls. I did upgrade the counters edge to a thicker profile.

This one decision (the slab counter top), dictated the tile flooring choices, and also the carpet that will butt up to the tile in the master bedroom area. Sigh!

They had standard choices that ranged in color from beige, to beiger, to beigest. This is where I had to decide on standard, or upgrade. 

If I had chosen the standard choice in the tile, then I would have had to choose a color of carpet that would not go with anything in my master bedroom, or home.

 Sooooooo I had to do an upgraded tile.

Now you would think since I was upgrading there would be lots of choices, and for some their would have been, but from the non-loving-beige girl I was very, very limited.

This is when I had to quickly put on my designers hat and think rapidly of possible design choices in the future. Luckily my cabinetry was all white so that was my starting point. I had …..

White cabinets

P1150179 (453x800) new house kitchen - Copy

Neutral/Sand Colored counter top
 and shower walls……

piedrafina arena counter top
I can make this work if I keep my master bathroom sand ,and white because my bedroom furniture is linen and creams.

Ribbet collage MASTER BEDROOM

This won’t be so hard after all, until I took other elements into consideration.

Now we have to choose the floor tile. This is where it became a bit harder for me because I had to choose something that would work with the shower walls that would butt right up next to the Piedrafina  in the shower.

I chose a 2X2 matte white tile for the shower flooring since I want to keep the white, and cream color scheme going in both bathrooms.

I kept in mind, light, soft and sand. The only tile that would work that was offered that I remotely liked was a porcelain Travertine tile, but it was CREAM!!

Okay, I can make this work!!! To make it look a bit more up to date, and current I chose a 12 X 24in. tile that will be installed in a brick pattern .

The grout I chose is very close to the overall background color so it will be a soft look. Notice I keep using the same buzz words, light, soft, cream, sand and white?

It does have some colors in there that I am not that fond of, but I am going to try, and neutralize those by keeping the surrounding elements neutral, and soft.

This tile will also be in the laundry room, and the guest bathroom which will butt up to the hardwood flooring in the guest area hallway.

Something else to think about!!  
So now I have to keep in mind not just the carpet in the master bedroom, but the hardwood flooring. 

Remember when choosing elements always, always, keep in mind how they will relate to the elements that they will be in direct contact with, and also how you can make them work into the look, and feel of your home. 

All of these thought processes were going on in my mind at one time, and Oh! one more thing, the grout color also had to blend with the carpet and the tile.

Counter top, tile flooring, grout, carpet, hardwood, all needed to look good with each other. Yikes!!

Next was the carpet, AGAIN, I had to upgrade in order to get a soft sand color that would blend with the travertine, and work with my existing bedroom furniture.

Here are the three elements lined up next to each other. I know everyone’s monitor will read the colors differently, so you will have to trust me that they all work well together.

Ribbet collage New house bed, carpet and tile

I know that most people think it is always a slam dunk for designers, but you can see we have the same struggles as our clients.

We can not get whatever we want, and what we want is not always attainable.

 However, as long as you have an over all plan, and feel for  your home you will be able to adjust accordingly, and come up with a  look, and feel for your home that you will be comfortable with in the end.

The Important Take-Away:

  • Make an overall design plan before ever making any purchases.
  • Always make sure that  all of your elements marry well together.
  • Never choose one element without thinking of what other elements in the room it will be next too or seen with.
Remember these three take-aways whenever you make changes in your home. 

It is all in the details, and you need to think them through before jumping in with both feet, and possibly make an expensive mistake.

I don't have a complete decorating plan as far as accents for my bathrooms, but we will be exploring some ideas together in some of my upcoming post.

Stay tuned for my continued journey!
I plan on continuing to:

"Enjoy the Process!"



Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I know these decisions can be a bit difficult at times as you want to make the right decision, but in the end, you always do through your research and instinct!

Ter'e said...

We are in our 60's and definitely not wealthy. When we built our new home, 6 yrs ago......we really disliked many of the choices the Bldr offered. Like you, we bent the rules a bit and used many of the Bldr inexpensive choices.
In the kitchen, we chose the cheapest Formica offered......and as soon as the home was ours, we had the Formica pulled out and had a gorgeous Granite installed and then had the backsplash put in. The Cabinet Specialist also added some caninets and a wine fridge built-in area.
We did the same thing with our carpet in the Library and Dining Rm. Once the house was ours......we had a much better grade of hardwoods installed.
We also bought all our own lights and fans for the house.......not using Bldrs grade. In the long run, we got much nicer items, still saving money!!!!!
😜 Oh yeh......we also took out all the faucets and had really nice ones installed.
Sometimes this is what you have to do. I was so disappointed in the offerings of our Builder.....as this was to be our last house.
A girl wants what a girl wants. We bargained over what we bought, hit great sales and ended up with a beautiful home. (In our eyes, anyhow)
I learned you don't have to settle..........just find a creative way around your situation.
But............here we are.........6 yrs later and selling this house to move to KC, MO, where our kids are. I am tired of the FL dream. It's just TOO HOT here!!!!!

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

I think you've made some great choices. I don't see the beige as such a big deal- and mixing white with it is easy. Keeping things neutral allows you to mix in things easily as you know. I wish I hadn't put in the spa tub in our bathroom- you are wise to make the guest bathroom more safe with a shower and no tub. I'm excited to see all this come together. I know once the drywall goes up things start finishing off quickly!

Rattlebridge Farm said...

This is so true. I had my heart set on an all-white master bath, too, but it wasn't in the cards. Due to budget constraints, I kept all existing elements, except to replace dated tile on the floor and in the shower. In this spirit, I "matched" the new tile to the existing countertops (ubiquitous brown/black/tan speckled, solid surface--but indestructible for my messy DH). The only thing that worked with the counter tops was crema marfil. So now I have a beige bathroom with disparate elements. I may even have to paint the grasscloth ceiling. So a plan that was meant to save $ could end up costing more than I'd budgeted (it better not). Even the trim color had to be changed-and it is different from the rest of the house. Argh. Had to be. On a design note, I will bring in creamy whites--fluffy towels, sparkling glass jars, etc. For the master bedroom, however, I'm sticking to my guns and going with off-white, which I do have my heart set on, and I'll just bring in creamy elements). I like your images of sea sand--it puts a different spin on "beige." Your choices are magnificent!

June from Oregon said...


I so appreciate your explaining your approach to design. Routinely, I've had no overall plan, but things seem to pull together OK as long as I surround myself with colors I love--PASTELS!!! Even so, I've wasted $$$ on impulse purchases that were not returnable.

My main problem has been our master bedroom, which my husband wants in a western theme. (Pastels not so good in this application!) I painted the walls CARAMEL; and despite having to incorporate a 10x12 red "oriental" rug, the room looked great in RED and GOLD (even have a real saddle!).

Then we talked of moving... Thinking we should go neutral for purposes of selling, I painted the bedroom walls GRAY--and everything went sideways!!!! Nothing is working now. Maybe I should get rid of that huge red rug...but my husband still wants the western theme. Hmmmmm maybe I should just go back to my former color scheme....but crumb--I've donated the western pillows and caramel chair with nail head trim that really went with that scheme. And the gray does look good with the fireplace tile.... (You can see how my thinking gets me in trouble.)

Yesterday I saw some faux cowhide pillows. I was thinking of getting them today as they are on sale, but after reading your blog yesterday, I can see the mistake I've made in the past with not having an overall plan. I also remembered the thought and time (planning!) you put into getting new throw pillows a few months back.

I also followed your fireplace mantel decisions, your kitchen planning and your guest bedroom choices. Still, the process didn't totally sink in until you started to make decisions on the surfaces of YOUR NEW HOME.

THANK YOU for sharing with us so generously. You give me hope.

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

I am looking forward to this. I am anti-beige too. It is everywhere.
No doubt you will have something beautiful working.

michele said...

oh kathysue, i get it. i totally get it. and i think your thinking process is brilliant. i do. the palette in my old bath was very similar to what you are doing, and i can assure you that it works beautifully to combine creams and clean whites. the cream warms the other cooler tones, and white sand is welcoming, embracing and nurturing to live with. our whole house was painted in benjamin moore's white sand so i can attest. love that you opted to choose the thicker counter--that will be beautiful. and i appreciate your commentary about shower over tub because i am planning on putting a tub in the guest bath, but i do think i should seriously consider whether that is wise. peace to you right where you are.

Woodside Park said...

Kathysue - Your posts are always so educational and informative. I'm excited you are sharing your home building process with us. I know your house will be beautiful and practical. Keep on doing what you do, girl. xoxo

Unknown said...

Your new home will be fabulous. While we are taking our builders spec home from basic beige etc., to J and Pat, I totally understand. Still a bit of this and that and the deck but progress is being made.

I also cannot believe we are able to have this lovely new construction home at our age. It is truly unbelievable that over the past 12 years we have custom built a large home then moved to downsize and actually found what we wanted without building. But then, there is a lot of work transforming, if not building from scratch.:-) Two of my dear school friends of nearly 60 years, email every day. Today, one wrote, the deck is your last big project for this home. The other one replied...how long have we known them! You know this isn't the last project, they will be doing something else! Of course, we have already discussed more projects. We truly enjoy the process.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Well, I should have known that you were a designer/decorator. You have such well orchestrated thoughts. I have a fabulous designer that has walked through our entire construction with me. If it had not been for her I'm quite sure I would not have made as good of decisions. She was a life saver for me. This will be our last house before we opt for something much smaller or a condo, so we wanted it right. Happy new week!