Living in Our Dream Home

foggy-outside

There hasn’t been a real British Columbia rain day in the 23 days since we’ve moved in, that is, until today. Today is one of those perfect rain days – you wake up to rain, you hang out with the rain, you eat with the rain, you go to sleep with the rain… You can adventure in the wild on this rain day, or you can cuddle up with a cuppa on the sofa and watch cartoon after cartoon with the kidlets, who are still in their pajamas…

We’ve been settling in at our place, even if there are many, many, many things that are still on our list of things to do. It’s comfortable enough to live in, and things are definitely coming together, no matter how slowly they take! I took a few pictures of our upstairs yesterday that I thought I’d share with you.

These pictures aren’t ‘styled’, and are not in any form a perfect state of interior design at all – but it’s how we’re living right now, and you can easily see the checklist of things-to-do!

our-kitchenOur kitchen, my beloved kitchen! It’s almost perfect in how I envisioned it, but there are still a few things to get done: third cabinet needs to be installed, the white box under the end of the island will be wrapped in stainless steel, extra chairs are needed, some task lighting needs to be added…

The island was designed and built by Jay & I, we used 4 pieces of reclaimed Douglas Fir, burnt them, sealed them, and slid them into the metal legs that have been powder-coated black. I think we’re going to sand it one more time and seal it again with a matte sealer, but we love it so far!

burnt-table

from-deck-insideThe picture above was taken from our deck, which is far from finished. We have to finish the floor (either by putting down paving stones, or concrete, or wood – we’re still thinking about it), put up the glass railings, and then furnish to our hearts’ desire – and get a barbeque! The summer will not be the same without an outdoor grill.

From here you can see the large white drywalled-in stair case, which will eventually be removed and replaced with a glass railing, and you can also see my favourite feature of the house: the folding glass wall system.

on-deckWe have these folding glass doors open every single day since they’ve been installed. I love sitting on our lounge sofa and watching the view – the sofa, btw, is the perfect jungle gym for toddlers! (and who said modern design didn’t cater to children?)

mahjong-sofa

mahjongWe bought this couch at Roche Bobois in New York City almost 7 years ago. On a whim. It was delivered to us in Vancouver about 3 years ago, and has been hidden in storage ever since. It’s so nice to FINALLY enjoy something you bought so long ago! We want to add shelving and art to the big blank wall, and put in a wood-burning fireplace as well.

glass-wallWhat do you think of our place so far? There’s still so much to do but it’s definitely starting to feel like home to us!  You can read the process of our build here, or you can start at Part 1 here!

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Building Our Dream Home, Part 4

Read Parts 1, 2, & 3 here!

This post has been a long time coming! After what seemed like months of nothing happening to the house, I finally get to show you some actual changes! For the last few months a lot of what I like to call the “behind-the-scenes” stuff has been happening – you know, the plumbing, the electrical, drywall mudding/taping and painting, exterior finishes – the stuff that makes a house, however showing pictures of pipes and electrical wire is not too exciting for a blog post…

Britannia Beach House
Britannia Beach House
You can see that brick is now finished, although that nightmare deserves a blog post of its’ own in the future, and the metal cladding is all done except for a couple of fascia pieces and the metal capping (the top part of the roof line). Let’s go inside…

Britannia Beach House

Britannia Beach House

We intended the upstairs living area to be a relaxing area to eat, hang out, listen to music, and entertain guests. When the sliding glass doors are installed (only a couple more weeks until they get here!) it will be a truly indoor-outdoor space, perfect for parties, barbeques, and even winter days watching the snow fall. In the future we’ll have a fireplace in this area as well.

Britannia Beach House

Britannia Beach House

The kitchen… so far! The two cabinets are in – no they are not blue, that’s the protective wrap – they are Ikea, in high gloss white. Why Ikea? We originally wanted to go with a very high-end cabinet system, which didn’t exactly pan out, so we started to head in this direction aesthetically – and now we’ve merged the two styles to create a minimal and industrial kitchen.  The industrial part? That will be more showcased in the island… which is coming soon! The cabinet on the left (which isn’t quite done yet) hides the fridge and other appliances, the other cabinet will contain the espresso maker and will be mainly used as a pantry.

Britannia Beach House

Britannia Beach House

Shall we go downstairs? Before we head down there, let me explain this big white thing in the middle of my room – I was so unhappy with it at first. It’s a temporary solution until we can afford to splurge for the glass railing that was intended for this room – I originally wanted to look directly across the room, from kitchen to living area, with nothing in the way. Do you know how expensive glass is? Seriously, choose that as your next career because you’ll make loads of money! So for now we have this big white drywall stair enclosure. The floors are natural hickory.

Britannia Beach House

For the time being, we will be carpeting the stairs. Downstairs we have our concrete floors, that still have to be sealed, but the radiant flooring works and is absolutely glorious to walk on! Below is the master bedroom, here you can see a better representation of the ‘no-trim’ look we went for – between the flooring and the wall there is usually a strip of trim, we forgo-ed that and went trim-less!

Britannia Beach House

Our bathroom tile is almost finished being installed, we are just awaiting the extra tile that we had to order. The tile is by Salvatori called ‘raw bianco carrara’, which is a raw cut marble. The bathroom has a bit of a ways to go still – glass shower walls have to be installed, all fixtures have to be installed (shower heads, faucets, taps), the vanity, the toilet, the mirrors, the lighting…! And we have a two week time crunch…!

Britannia Beach House

I’ve been at the house site every day and most evenings, which explains my absence here and online. We have about two more weeks left – in two weeks we are finished our lease and we have to move into our dream home, whether it’s ready for us or not! (and I’d obviously prefer to have a toilet…)

This is the house at it sits right now, and next time I post about our dream home we’ll hopefully be living in it!

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And a Tree Falls Down…

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Before we had a chance to install the windows at the back of the house, a crazier than usual rain and wind storm knocked down a tree into our backyard…

Thankfully, nothing was damaged, but it definitely gave us a fright! Especially when checking in with the workers that morning and getting a run down of what’s to happen that day, and he slyly drops a “Oh yeah, a tree fell on your house last night.”

Thanks for the heart attack!

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Building Our Dream Home, Part 3

Read Part 1 & Part 2 Here!

As the construction on our dream home starts coming to a close, I’m getting more and more excited! I cannot wait to move in – building a house is a lengthy and stressful process. From the financial side to managing the workers and the supplies – it’s a huge headache.

Jay was our own Builder, he was in charge of the project from the very beginning – he designed it, he worked with the architect to create the plans, he hires all the trades, he orders the materials, he oversees every last bit of this project – I think when we’re done we’ll need a LONG vacation!

01I thought I was really excited when the roof was put on the house, however what really excited me was the STAIRS! When the stairs were put in, and we no longer had to access the upper floor from the outside – it really started to feel like a proper building!

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Our son’s bedroom is to the left of the stairs, the Master is to the right.

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Another view of the stairs, here you can see all the spray foam insulation used in the walls

I think I took about 100 photos of the stairs from all different angles. I was that excited about them!

stairsAfter the stairs went up, the walls started going up. We chose spray foam insulation to insulate our house, it’s a great product, but we learned that it’s fairly difficult to make any changes to the electrical wires after everything has been sprayed…!

Another exciting day was when the glass started being installed. The window panes and glass arrived seperately because everything was custom-made for the home. First they installed the window frames, remeasured everything and then we ordered the glass afterwards and had it installed.

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The First Piece of Glass to Go In!

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Large Pieces of Glass Going In!

Just the feeling that your construction building is becoming an actual dwelling – a home that you can make memories in one day! Every little part of our build added to the fact that we’re getting closer to living here, we’re on our way!

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Only the very left window pane has glass in it

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Chanel is testing the glass!

After all the glass went in (except for the sliding glass wall…) we still had to wait a while for our doors to be installed. Lots of work has been done to the grounds on the outside, we had a digger come and dig trenches while cables and plumbing and everything was being laid out to be connected.

In a couple more weeks our house will be supplied with electricity and water! There is currently A LOT going on with the house, a lot of things are being installed and finished and it’s looking amazing! We will definitely being moving into the place by the end of March – that’s two months away! Stay tuned!

Read Part 1 & Part 2 Here!

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Building Our Dream Home, Part 2

Read Part 1 and Part 3

An exciting moment during building our dream home was when the roof was put on. Suddenly it went from a concrete and steel foundation into a structure, a structure that will become a home – OUR HOME! Now I’ll be the first to admit that construction bores me… I mean, I want it to be finished so I can put all the finishing touches on it!

secondfloor1

It still doesn’t quite look like a home yet.

We went with a material called Q-Deck for the ceilings, which was later painted white on the inside, to give our ceilings a cool industrial feel. Q-Deck is a metal cladding that’s great for insulation and pouring concrete on top of, and also as a waterproof base for our roofing material.

secondfloor2

This picture is from the back of the house. In between most of those steel beams there will be windows, giving it a ‘glass wall’ effect.

secondfloor3

Here the front walls are starting to get framed in, almost everything in our house is framed in steel! One of the biggest reasons was to keep the inside open, without too many interior walls or structural beams.

secondfloor4

There’s my husband & my daughter on the roof!

The center section of the house holds the bathrooms, and in the end will be clad in brick. This is the only part of the house that will be bricked, everything else will be concrete, glass, or zinc cladding.

secondfloor5

Concrete floors after being poured, with in-floor heating tubes sticking out.

 We built our home “opposite” of a standard home, where the bottom level houses the bedrooms and a living area, and the upstairs has another living area, dining area and kitchen. Downstairs we poured concrete, which we will later polish to a salt and pepper look. The concrete floor has an in-floor radiant heating system that is water based.

I am super excited for all this work to be finished up so we can start painting walls, tiling bathrooms, decorating – building our dream home!… but until then – it’s a construction site! Stay tuned for more!

Read Part 1 and Part 3

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