Practicing Patience

Well, I’m not surprised to announce to you all that not much has changed on my own personal home building front. Our insurance company, at first so responsive and lovely to deal with, has stopped returning our emails and we are left hanging, wondering how much of our extended policy we can access in order to re-build. Unfortunately, with the inflated cost of code upgrades, materials and labor, it looks like we will need all or most of that particular part of our policy. I guess that’s why the insurance company doesn’t want to be our bestie any longer...we’re too needy!

So, we proceed as though all will be well and meet with our architect, builder and now an engineer. We’ve made a few finish choices that I’m very excited about, but, without a commitment from our insurance company, this is a very scary experiment.

Some of you know that we are selling our lot in Fountaingrove and have purchased a lot just a touch outside of our old ‘hood. We wanted a little more space and the new property is lovely.

The local lot market, unfortunately, is flooded with options and, although we’ve had a few nibbles on our lot, we haven’t found a good buyer...yet. I know that something will happen eventually and understand that in this market, the supply far exceeds demand and we may have to be patient.

I’m still researching decor blogs. I’ve also checked in with friends/clients in the rebuild process. Rough estimate...about two-thirds are using designers and the other third are valiantly choosing finishes on their own. So far, we/I fall into the latter camp, but it’s not for the faint of many decisions! How wide do I want our window sills??? I have know idea!

One item that my husband and I want to try to “re-buy” or “replace” (totally impossible!) is our art. Yes, we loved what we had and no, it wasn’t Guggenheim-worthy, but it made us happy and we very much appreciated the work that went into each and every piece.

Because we live in a creative part of the world, we’re lucky enough to have something called Sonoma County Art Trails. Each artist is local, unique and talented. There are multiple mediums from which to choose and something for everyone...pottery, paintings, jewelry, etc. If you are in our area in either April or October, I encourage you to pop in to a participating artist’s studio.

I’ll post what we ended up purchasing in my December blog installment and hope that you all enjoy a Thankful Thanksgiving!

Cheers, Cindy

The Design Phase — Do You Need a Designer?

Building a house is more than geotech and roof lines, so I’ve been told. For me, it’s all about how we will live in the space and how to make it as comfortable and practical as possible. Do I need a decorator? A designer? So far, it’s too early to tell.

Most builders, of course, have a decorator that they work with, or at least one or two that they can recommend, to help the typical client get through the morass of knobs, paints choices and door styles.  A good designer will quiz his/her clients to narrow down their aesthetic and help them down the path to a beautiful future home.

So, it’s time for me to get a new lease on what’s trending and what needs to go bye-bye. One good way to get inspired is to read a designer’s blog/website (or two or three).

I’ve found an interior decorator’s blog that I’m really enjoying and finding quite helpful. Her name is Laurel Bern. She’s from the east coast (her style is east coast, too, which may or may not be your thing) and, through her blog, she offers really practical advice, shares resources and has a very entertaining, readable voice. Here’s an article she wrote about kitchen cabinets that I liked reading. Perhaps you will, too:

Emily Henderson, from LA, has a great design aesthetic and is very generous with her resources. Check her out for new products, projects and pretty things to buy:

Speaking of designers that are generous with their knowledge, if you haven’t checked out then you should immediately. Reichel Broussard is from the Bay Area (Oakland) and she’s got a major knack for sourcing more affordable versions of products that we all long for...Arteriors Jacob coffee table for a fraction of the price...done! She tracks home trends, offers advice and I can spend far too much time surfing her site. It’s filled with lovely pics, as well, for added inspiration. Highly recommended.

In the market for a designer/decorator and want to know the difference between the two? Here’s an article to help you out with that:

Anyway, I’m not far enough along in my personal rebuild story to have to choose interior finishes, but, when I am, I’ve got several Pinterest boards prepped and a bevy of other people’s blogs to help me work through the choices. I still may end up having to hire a decorator, but at least I’ll have a running start.