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house tour : part 1

LESSONS LEARNED and where to buy this stuff

· new house build,kitchen design,mid century modern,bathroom,tile

on to the good stuff - shall we?

This is the stuff that I look at (okay...stare at) each and every day in each and every room. The stuff that I agonized over many many late nights for the past year and a half. The stuff that makes you crazy but when it works sigh a huge sigh of relief and thank the old gods and the new that you put the effort into the selection. I mean...who wants boring light fixtures and plain Jane tile? Not this lady.

on our wish list...big ass smart tv for watching the Terps and Vanderpump Rules


If I could count how many hours it took to design this kitchen - ugh. I actually don't want to know. Lots of hours of Pinteresting and late night online shopping to get here. The cabinets are a brand called Ultracraft. We made a bold decision (IMO) to mix uppers (glossy white cabs)and lowers (warm walnut wood) but kept it clean with the white tile and the white quartz countertops.

My fave features? The sink that has extra accessories, the USB ports in the extra longggg island, and the backsplash that has glimmers in just the right angle and light. Also - this pot filler (with filtered water) is an absolute game changer.

shiny back splash by Atlas Concorde. Purchased through Mosaic Tile

Remember the dish drying drawer idea from a previous post?? didn't happen. I disappointing. First off - the cabinet that was to house the dish drying cabinet came in too wide so I scrapped the idea because I didn't want to wait. Luckily, Jan the kitchen designer (see previous post) was here that day and suggested to just do 2 dishwashers (one small and one regular size). Then I could still dry pots and pans out of sight and then when we have people over and we use tons of dishes I could use them both at the same time.

Did you know...that if you need a quartz countertop that is extra long...that you need a "jumbo" slab...and your choices are limited? And of course - it's more expensive. This island was designed originally to be 11 feet long but it had to shrink because quartz tops aren't made that long. I thought "jumbo" meant like 11 or 12 feet. Ha - nope. Now I know (and so do you).

I agonized over this dining room light (Regina Andrew Design). I could not for the life of me find one that was going to be THE feature in the great room. Luckily my good friend Jen W at Folding Chair Design showed me this one and helped me source it. It's like a jewel hanging over your dining room table. Super fun chess set by Jonathan Adler.

Another must have for neat freaks: the appliance garage. One REALLY important tip...make sure its deep enough...ours is not deep enough and I have to put the rice maker to the side when closing the door.

Swoonworthy pendants by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The countertops are Silestone Calacatta Gold quartz - with just the right amount of veining. Open shelving next to range with LED light strips for a glowing effect. Waterfall edge - is it gonna be a trend that will go out of style soon? I hope not...I'm really enjoying how clean it looks

Prolific sink by Kohler - one of my fave kitchen features. It has 3 interior ledges that comes with accessories like a cutting board, a pasta drainer, and 2 plastic racks. Ledges are there to place the accessories in whatever height you like

guest bath

Just in this bathroom alone there were 21 decisions that I had to make (I counted). Just for one small but heavily used bathroom. Since this is the main bathroom for guests (we decided to forego a powder room) I wanted this baby to be as exciting and get as much wow factor as a master bath.

Here is the list in case you were wondering:

  • tile - what type of tile on floor vs shower vs wall; direction of tile
  • grout - color and width
  • color of metal Schluter strip (for clean edges)
  • vanity 
  • vessel sink (separate from vanity
  • faucet
  • shower
  • toilet
  • power receptacle locations
  • recessed lighting
  • lighted LED mirror - no need bath bar or wall sconce!
  • paint
  • toilet accessories
  • shower door
  • type of shower drain
  • floor register
  • type of baseboard
  • phew.

I used Architectural Ceramics (highly recommend!) for all the tile in the house (except for the kitchen backsplash). Almost all of the plumbing fixtures we chose for the house are from a line called Brizo - made in the US and parent company is Delta. The fixtures are really solid and I wanted fixtures that look modern, a bit whimsical but not too weird.

the tile installers looking at the different ways to install. The tile is way cool in that each tile is 2 feet wide by 4 feet long.

tile to the ceiling makes the room look and feel larger

the mosaic tile in the shower took forevaaaa to be delivered. The large format tiles were sent to someplace in Joisey to be cut into 2 x 2 squares. Totally worth the wait.

The mirror is cray looking but really does a great job for putting on make up and getting glamorous. This toilet has been my dream for many years (weird i know) because of that side skirt. It doesn't have that weird profile that you see on most toilets = easy to clean! I loved this toilet so much we bought 5 of them.


For any family this room is critical to keeping parents sane. Remember our old door from the old house? Well - here it is! It makes me SO happy to see it here. Mimi the cat still loves looking at birds and chipmunks from the bottom window.

Storage by IKEA. Big thumbs up for the PAX product. Thumbs down on the IKEA delivery and install service.

Mimi watching Cat TV

This floor is not your grandma's vinyl flooring...this is an amazing freelay LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) made by Milliken Flooring (a line we use in commercial projects). I love how there are floor plans and house elevations printed on the tile! The best part? My husband installed only took a couple of hours to do with some LVT glue, a sharp utility knife and a measuring tape.

Although there is still tons left to do...we are in and for now...everyone is happy to be home.

Part 2 of the house tour...coming up in the next blog post. Stay tuned!

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