Posts Tagged With: building

tricked out kitchen in a smart house

When it comes to the new house, YBW is eager to make it a smart house. He’d love for there to be a central command (thingie) that we can tell to do what we want it to do. You know, like saying “OK Google” or “Alexa” but it’ll be connected to all of our house and have it’s own name.
It feels so Varrick to me.

(For those of y’all that don’t know, this is a The Legend of Korra reference. I did not enjoy Korra anywhere near as much as it’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I absolutely adored.)

Anyway…
YBW is all about making the house work for us. To be able to control lights and thermostat and even the garage door from a tablet. That if we weren’t sure we’d turned out the lights on the ground floor he could push a button from the bedroom so we didn’t have to go down and back two flights of stairs. He wants the house to do as much as possible from a central hub.
I love to watch his brain work. See his face get all excited at the smart house possibilities. He’s committed to making our forever home one that does all the things we need, and many of the things we want.
For the most part, I’m interested in learning how to use it once it’s set up, but I’m less enthusiastic about choosing how to set it up. He’s cool with that, as long as he can get his geek on. He’s super patient when I ask questions that probably aren’t applicable, or he just explained to me.
I’m more concerned about surround sound for the big tv, and speakers around the house so I can play music. But there is a bit of pleasure at the thought of being able to turn things on and off from a screen…
We each love what we love, right?
My husband loves science and math and tech and super cool nerdy things. He is getting to play with that in creating a smart house that works for him.
I support this fully!
I’m like, get your geek on, bud! Hook it all up and make it do your bidding. (But please let the command be “Zhu Li do the thing” so I’m constantly amused.)

I want to get my geek on in the kitchen!


This picture is the kitchen at the model.

My kitchen will have a bigger island (my favorite design option). It will have another row of cabinets above the wall cabinets up to the ceiling. The hood vent will be hidden behind cabinetry. And the lower cabinets will have more drawer units than cabinets with doors.
All the cabinetry will be navy and look a little something like this.

I’m salty about paying so much for a brand new house and having wire shelving, so…
I may want to trick out the pantry.
I’m already designing closet systems for our closet, probably Pax from IKEA, but I’m also looking at Easy Closets.

The laundry room is on the bedroom level (thaaaaaank yooooou) it’ll start out boring, but I’ll fancy it up too.
With a roof deck, main level porch deck, and ground level back yard, I’m getting excited about designing outdoor spaces too. Plant life and lighting, water features and accessories will create beautiful spaces for us to be outside.

Now, if YBW’s smart house can control outdoor lights and fountains, etc. or could somehow make my laundry run, I’d be inclined to get as excited as he is!
“Zhu Li do ALL the things!”

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

the hard hat tour

YBW and I are planning to move.
We have chosen the perfect home in the perfect spot.

These townhomes are within walking distance to YBW’s office. Literally right across the street from our favorite grocery store. And closer to the university where I’ll be spending so much time in the next two years.
We’ve been tracking this neighborhood since the first rumors of building in the area began.
We’ve become rather friendly with the sales staff. They know exactly which unit in which building we want. They know we’re unwilling to settle for anything else.

Of course as with all building everything happens in phases.
The unit we want is in the far end of the fourth building, which is the end of the second building phase. The builder opened the first two buildings for deposits before construction even started, but put sales on hold for a while until building really gets going. Of the first fifteen units, there are only four or five that remain.
The latest information we have is deposits for the third building will open in the spring, and for the fourth building in the late summer or early fall. Each with delivery approximately a year after.

Saturday afternoon the sales office hosted a ‘hard hat tour’.
An invitation to come ask questions, have nibbles, and check out construction.
Also in this new neighborhood there are smaller townhomes and multi level condos. These units were open for touring in their initial state of construction. The larger townhomes (the ones we’re interested in) only have preliminary building started.
After chatting with the sales staff and getting an updated deposit date, YBW and I bundled up to brave snow, sleet, and cold winds to check out the new construction and walk the property to where our building will be.

This snow covered pile of rocks and semi-frozen mud upon which YBW stands is where we plan to live in late summer/early fall 2021.

It’s an interesting bit of living and retail space in a larger office and (light) industrial area. But none of it feels out of place. The development of the area makes sense for the way people in Northern Virginia live.
We’re looking forward to being in a less suburban area. We like the idea of being able to walk more and drive less. And YBW is all about walking to and from work every day!

There are walking trails and an adorable creek down the hill behind the building site.

Of course it’ll be prettier in the spring, summer, and fall than it is now, but even now, it’s not too bad.

While we’re excited about the prospect of making this our home, we’re keeping in the back of our mind that it may not go the way we plan.
But, we’re doing everything we can to make sure it goes our way.
I am hopeful our plans will become reality.
I have faith that this is meant for us.
I can be mindful and excited at the same time.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

when porch life is work

Saturday was one of those rare gorgeous summer days. Sunny and breezy temperatures in the 80’s no humidity to speak of. Of course I took advantage of the beautiful weather by spending the day on the porch but not in the way you might think.
There was no lounging about. No day drinking. No journaling.
It was work work work!
Wanna see?

This reclaimed red oak needed a little love in the form of stain before it becomes our outdoor dining table.

Fence posts are the perfect choice for this bar height table’s legs. A coat of Sikkens is about to protect them even though they’re pressure treated.

Remember I said it was breezy? The plastic blew right over that last post…once I put down the camera, I was able to sort it and got quickly to work.

These “flaws” are what drew me to this piece of wood in the first place. I believe it makes them even more lovely.


Once I got everything finished and lined up to dry, I took a much needed break.


With a little “House Wine of the South” and my special birthday birthday Queen straws from Sundance.
But wait!
There’s something even more exciting!!
I realized that I could “have my cake and eat it too”!
I wanted to be outside in the breezy weather. But I also wanted to be in front of the TV watching the Nats game.
Oh my goodness!

To my surprise and delight, I realized I could sorta-kinda see the game and have porch life at the same time!

The table top wood was still drying Sunday afternoon, so we moved it into the house and set a fan on it. Everything else was already dry so it went back into the garage. It’s raining today, and supposedly tomorrow also, so there will be no actual construction for a few days.
I’ll keep y’all posted on the progress…right after I go shopping for chairs, and perhaps a sail cloth for shade over that part of the porch. Might need some pillows too…guess we’ll just have to see.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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