ALL THE DETAILS FOR YOU BUDDING BUILDERS!

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time between posts as the house is now finished and my biggest effort is keeping it clean – just like a typical family home! However I still receive lots of comments and questions about the house from people who are building or renovating and using it as inspiration for their Hamptons dream house. So here is a list of the most common answers I get asked.

PAINT COLOURS

Exterior cladding – Wattyl Wicker White

Exterior Trim – Wattyl White

Roof – Colourbond Shale Grey

Interior walls and all joinery including kitchen and bathroom – Wattyl Chalk Dust

Interior trim – Wattyl White

Ceiling and beams – Ceiling White

Kids Bedrooms – Dulux Vanilla Quake

Study – Dulux Pacific Line

 

BENCH TOPS

Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo

 

TILES (all from Beaumont Tiles)

Laundry –  97740 Devonshire Sky Gloss 75×300

Kitchen –  97733  Devonshire White Gloss 75×150
Ensuite Walls –  1000891   Devonshire Seamist Gris Gloss 75×150
                          – 97744 Mosaic Carrara Bianco Herringbone (23×48) 280X280
Ensuite Floor – 183019 Rio Limestone Grey 456×456
Bath Walls – 97734 Devonshire White Gloss 75×300
                     – 1000547  Agrestic Ash Gloss 75×150
Bath Floor – 32853  Artisan Oslo Colour GL-Porc Rect 200×200 C714-01 MIST
                    – 32851 Artisan Madrid Colour? GL-Porc Rect 200×200 C715-02 ASH

 

KITCHEN & ALL JOINERY

Alby Turner and Son Kitchens

 

FLOORS

Plantino Oak in Natural by Choices Flooring

 

SOFA

Lazytime by Camerich

 

STONE FIREPLACE

Original stone reclaimed from the old house

 

I think that’s it! I won’t be able to respond to comments or emails for a while as I am working on the workshop of my musical but hopefully this answers most of the questions! xx

 

Home tour video!

Hey guys. Choices Flooring came to visit and film the house for their website so I thought I’d share it here! I am still receiving lots of comments about the house and try to reply to them when I can but am about to have a very busy month with Fringe shows so if I take a while that’s why. Thanks for the continued love. Amity xx

 

All the final photos (Part 2)

As promised here is part 2 of the final photos. If you missed part 1 you can find it here.

KIDS BEDROOMS

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MAIN BATHROOM

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LAUNDRY

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 PLAYROOM

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 BACKYARD

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Details below. For extra details check the older posts as I gave a lot of supplier details in each of them.

Builder: Scott Salisbury Homes

Kitchen, Bathroom and all joinery: Alby Turner Kitchens

All Tiles: Beaumont Tiles

Timber floors and carpet: Choices Flooring

Paint: Wattyl

Pool: Narellan Pools

Pavers: Maison Design

Thanks for following this blog and our building journey. I hope you’ve been inspired by the process! Massive thanks again to Scott Salisbury Homes and Alby Turner & Sons Kitchens, who we worked with closely to create our dream home and had such a wonderful experience with. And who knows, we might decide to build again and I’ll see you again then!

Amity xx

The Kitchen, ensuite and deck reveal.

Thanks so much for all the fantastic feedback you’ve been giving us on the blog, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve loved reading all your comments and are thrilled that it’s inspiring people for their own homes.

So here are the next batch of shots, first up our gorgeous Hamptons inspired kitchen.

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In the lead up to designing this I spent many many hours on Pinterest looking at Hamptons style kitchens, so when it came time to doing mine I would know exactly what I wanted. It was always going to have shaker style cabinetry, marble or marble look bench tops, a big island bench, a butlers sink, free standing oven and tiled splash back – they’re pretty much all standard in a Hamptons kitchen. I was also always going to go to Alby Turner and Son to make it, because in Adelaide they are the best company for this style of kitchen. I have admired their work for years and was so excited I was finally getting to do my own kitchen with them! I met our designer, Sophie Doumbiotis and we hit it off straight away. We put thought into every single detail, to make sure the kitchen was as fabulous to work in as it was to look at. Sophie had so many great suggestions on how to store things, just little ideas that make a difference like the bin pulling out from the middle of the island bench, which is so handy, and lots of the deep drawers with smaller drawers inside them, to make the most of every bit of space. I would send Sophie links to online pics late at night and she’d respond straight away, we both get equally excited about kitchens!

As I wrote about earlier on the blog I weighed up the pros and cons of marble and decided it was too risky with a family home (and a daughter who is obsessed with craft and drawing) and I wanted the island bench to be the heart of the home and not to be worrying about every tiny thing that went on it. So I went with Caesarstone, which to me looks just as good as marble but is way more practical. I chose the Statuario Nuvo, which has the veined marble look, but is a slightly warmer tone from their Calcutta Nuvo (which is also gorgeous, so it was a tough choice.)

I absolutely adore the butlers sink, which is huge and can fit the largest of trays and baking dishes. You can also hide dishes in there if people pop over unannounced! The tap has a pull down option, which you really need for such a large sink. On the right of the sink is the concealed dishwasher. I went with the Bocsh one (after it received the most recommendations on our FB page) and it’s fantastic! I may have mentioned before that we didn’t have a dishwasher in our last house so this may be my favourite thing of the whole house!!

In the butlers pantry there is another sink, a dish drawer and the pantry storage. We designed it so you would only see closed cupboards from the main area and the food shelves are in the corner, so it looks tidy but is still practical. This is also the coffee/toast/sandwich making area. We made the fridge accessible from both the pantry and the kitchen which also works really well.

The oven is the freestanding Ilve oven and convectional oven with Teppanyaki hotplate. It’s a new model that has a 1000mm top with a 700mm oven and 300mm convectional microwave built in. How fancy is that?! I haven’t actually used the teppanyaki plate yet because we’ve been using the BBQ non stop, but I will!

Above the oven there is a patterned feature on the tiled splashback, which if you look closely is a variation of the herringbone pattern. I came up with this pattern because I wanted something slightly different to the standard herringbone. These tiles are hand cut subway tiles in a warm white/cream and they’re from Beaumont Tiles. They shine when the light hits them and I love them!

Finally with the lighting I have a combination of down lights and pendants, with lighting built into the cabinetry as well. I decided to go with two pendants above the island instead of three because I felt like three was a bit done to death, but both would’ve worked. Then I added some texture and warmth with the oak stools. I did try white stools first but felt like it was too much white, so I changed to oak.

Next up, the ensuite….

SSH Ensuite

My inspiration for this was the luxury American bathrooms I have drooled over on Pinterest (you can find my bathroom board here) which were always grey, marble and white. The shaker cabinetry is also from Alby Turner and Son, who did all the joinery in the house, and they’re painted Wattyl Chalkdust, the same as the walls. The grey tiles are a hand-cut subway tile from Beaumont Tiles and they are the most gorgeous warm grey colour. The marble mosaic is also from Beaumont Tiles – you can’t have a Hamptons bathroom without marble and I decided if I had any marble it would be in the room the kids don’t use ! The taps cut into the ceiling height mirror looks amazing but was a bit of a challenge, we went through two cracked mirrors to get to this point! Finally we installed a skylight in the ceiling so we didn’t have to have the lights on all the time, because it’s an internal room. The toilet is on the right and is painted the same grey colour as the tiles. We also have underfloor heating, which we had on The Block All Stars and I feel in love with, it’s so nice to wake up to!

Next up, the deck and living…

SSH Lounge

The exposed beams were really the first thing we were certain on with the house because we knew we wanted to do them every since our Block All Stars renovation, where we had cathedral ceilings. Yes, they’re probably dust catchers but I love how they look so much that I don’t care! They give such wow factor and make an impact the minute you walk in the room. They give the space height and impact and give the home character. So the were there from the start and when our Scott Salisbury Homes designer, Peter, suggested we take them through to the deck we loved that idea and the house really grew from there. Again the look I’ve gone for when decorating is Hamptons meets modern country, which an emphasis on neutral and blue and white tones and natural textures. I love bright colours but in this house I wanted it to be very calming and soft, which works beautifully.

The sandstone fireplace is another thing I love. We recycled the sandstone from the original house and had it cut into tiles and it looks so beautiful and warm. I can’t wait to turn the fire on as soon as this unseasonably warm weather ends, although we have enjoyed being able to swim right up until May! I realised after posting this photo that the TV is crooked (I had only seen the photo on my phone!) but don’t worry it’s not always like that – my OCD couldn’t handle that! It’s on an arm that tilts and moves so it must have been tilted.

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This artwork is from our dear friends Waz and Gav, from the first Block series. It’s from their Designer Boys Art Collection and I have a few of their pieces, their whole range is stunning. These ones went perfectly with the house and I’ve had my eye on them for years!

These shelves were definitely a labour of love to style. I spent weeks, actually months, looking at them, moving things, buying things and stressing over it until it was just right. Shelves are hard to style and there are a lot of shelves in this house! I wanted to get the mix right between looking magazine ready but also like a family home. I wanted it to have character and depth and texture and stay within the soft tones of the room. Hard, but worth it once you get it right!

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SSH Deck

I love that this shot shows the skylights, which are such a great feature. I love looking up to see sky and clouds, and trees from certain angles, it’s so restful. We have since added plantation shutters to the windows above the outdoor kitchen, unfortunately they didn’t arrive in time for this shoot. The outdoor kitchen is so fabulous, we use it all the time. That was also by Alby Turner kitchens. I went with a stainless steel bench top here, which is great for outside. Seeing as Poppy loves to paint and craft on this outside table it’s also good to not worry about it getting dirty!

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In our old house we had a tiny paved courtyard and a dark living area, so this is such an amazing change! Being able to open up the bifold doors and let the light in is just heaven and this yard and deck has literally changed how we live. We used to have to go out on the weekends to enjoy the weather but now we don’t need to go anywhere. If the kids say they’re bored I won’t hear of it! With all that lawn, the pool, a trampoline and a puppy – what more could they want?!

The pool is the Symphony from Narellan Pools and the colour is quartz grey. It’s interesting that a grey pool turns a beautiful turquoise colour when it has water in it and that’s the exact colour I wanted – the colour of Fiji beaches! We weighed up the pros and cons of a fibre glass versus concrete pool and I’m really happy we went with this one. You can’t even tell it’s fibreglass when the coping was done.

The pavers are porcelain pavers from Maison Design and they have a very high non slip rating, which is perfect for around pools. I know light pavers are probably a bit impractical for keeping clean, but they look so pretty! I came up with the idea to do the river pebbles around the edge to cover the black drain, which I thought was a pretty good way to disguise it. And then there’s the lovely glass fence, which is also a nightmare to keep clean but looks so fab. That is from Signature Stainless, who were fantastic to deal with.

We’ve entertained so much since we got here and it really is the dream Australian lifestyle, which was exactly our aim when we were planning the house. We feel very lucky indeed to have such a beautiful house to call our own and are once again so appreciative to our builders, Scott Salisbury Homes for doing such a great job.

Have a great weekend and I will be back with kids bedroom, playroom and study photos next week.

Amity xx

The big reveal!

It’s been a long time between posts so thank you for sticking around and waiting patiently for me to do the final reveal! We’ve now been in the house for just over 3 months and have settled in to normal life. It was a big push to get the garden ready and the house styled in time for the photos so it consumed me during that time, but since then I’ve actually been able to sit down and enjoy it, which has been lovely! I will write another post soon about what I love and what I would change, but there isn’t too much I don’t love. I’m happy to say it’s as pleasurable to live in as it is to look at, which is ultimately what’s important when you build or renovate.

But right now how it looks is the the focus, so enjoy the photos!! A massive thank you again to Scott Salisbury Homes  for being such a joy to work with. Their attention to detail has been amazing and the quality of the build is first class. This style of house is quite different for them, but I have a feeling they’re going to be building a whole lot more of them from now on!

So now, here’s the house!

SSH Front

As I may have mentioned before my inspiration was a Hamptons meets Edwardian meets Queenslander weatherboard and I think that’s exactly what I’ve ended up with. The wrap around verandah is very Australian and I love that the front two rooms open up with french doors to the verandah, letting the breeze in. The cladding isn’t timber, it’s actually a James Hardie product called Scyon, which is a concrete composite. The paint colours are Wattyl Wicker White for the cladding, Wattyl White for the trims and Colorbond Shale Grey for the roof. The driveway and edging is Boral ClassicPave in charcoal and the light pavers are porcelain pavers from Maison Design.

Isn’t it so cute?! Every time I drive up the street and see it and can’t believe it’s ours. :) Next up is the main bedroom…

SSH Bedroom

The inspiration for this room, along with the whole house, was the relaxed luxury look of the Hamptons. It’s a little bit coastal and a little bit modern country, with an emphasis on natural tones and textured layers. I have used blue and white throughout the house because it’s my favourite colour combo for interiors.

I knew I wanted wall sconces because they’re synonymous with the Hamptons look, but they’re really hard to find in Australia. So I bought these online from the US Pottery Barn store and a friend bought them back for me (actually a friends husband who’s a pilot bought them back, earning MAJOR good husband brownie points!!)

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The walls are Wattyl Chalkdust and the trims are Wattyl White. The carpet, which is just heaven to walk on, is the Habitat Collection from Choices Flooring. It is honestly the thickest carpet I have ever walked on and I love it!

Next up is the music room….

SSH Music

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This has to be one of my favourite rooms because it’s my room! This is the room I write and practice music in, which is such revelation because in our old house the piano was in the living room, so I had to compete with kids, TV and noise. I would regularly get told to be quiet so the kids could hear the TV, which isn’t the most productive working environment! So now I can shut the door and sing to my hearts content. The kids also practice their instruments in here, but the rule is they are only allowed in there if it’s to read or practice music, which is working so far! And that means it’s the only room where the cushions stay where I put them, which any mum understands is an exciting achievement indeed!! This room can also double as a formal sitting room, so if I had friends over and wanted a cup of tea in peace we could go here. It could also be an extra bedroom if it needed to be, but for us I assure you it will stay the music room! Then there’s the main bathroom…

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The inspiration for this is the Hamptons bathrooms I regularly drool over on Pinterest!

The idea behind the layout was that I wanted it to look and feel like one room, but also be able to close off the toilet, sink and shower area if you needed to. So the beautiful opening  (that is so immaculately tiled) actually hides a cavity slider. I always had a picture in my head of the bath sitting under the window (with plantation shutters) with two pendants above it, with a tiled ‘rug’ pattern leading up to it and it looks exactly like I imagined.

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I had seen the rug concept in American bathrooms on Pinterest, but never in Australia before. So of course I wanted to do something new! For the ‘rug’ I choose the patterned concrete tiles, from Beaumont Tiles, with the same tile in a plain grey surrounding it. We then cut a charcoal concrete tile into thin pieces, to use as a border. This floor took a lot of thought and a bit of risk doing something so different but I’m thrilled with it.

The cream tiles are hand cut subway tiles from Beaumont Tiles, which I also adore. You can’t see the shower (although you can see a bit in the mirror) but there is a wall of grey subway tiles (which are the same tiles we’ve used in the ensuite) just to break up all the cream. The toilet is painted the same warm grey colour.

The cabinetry is by Alby Turner and Son, who did all the joinery in our house. Their work is the stuff of Hamptons dreams and for me they were the only choice in Adelaide when it came to that detailed shaker style of cabinetry. It’s painted Wattyl Chalkdust, which is the same as the walls throughout the house. The bench top is Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo, which looks like marble but is more practical and family friendly. The taps cut into the mirror looks amazing but was a bit of a challenge, we went through two cracked mirrors to get to this point! It looks so great though. As does the mirror going up to the ceiling, it gives the room so much height.

So there is the front exterior and the first three rooms! More to come next week, I hope it was worth the wait! I can’t wait to read your comments, I love getting all your feedback.

Amity xx

It’s all coming together!

It’s been a huge two weeks of progress in the house and I can finally see how it’s all going to look when it comes together. And it’s gorgeous – PHEW!!

The kitchen benchtops went in last week and I adore them. I wrote about my decision on marble versus engineered stone when I first started this blog, back when I was still tossing up the pros and cons of the two. I love marble but it is quite fragile and precious. And I have enough to stress about in life with adding a fragile and precious benchtop! So I ended up making the practical choice and going with Casearstone Statuario Nuvo, which still looks gorgeous but will withstand a little more family living.

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Right before the drama….

I can honestly say that when it was being installed I knew instantly I’d made the right choice. It wasn’t just that it looked beautiful, which it did. It was that when the installer was putting it in he happened to slice his finger, which resulted in him bleeding all over the concrete floor, and my new island benchtop. Can you even imagine if it had been marble?? It would have been ruined in the first TWO MINUTES OF ITS LIFE!!! As it was  I was slightly panicked about it (after I checked that he was OK) but luckily it wiped straight off. Giving me complete piece of mind that I made the right call and that sometimes it’s not a bad idea to be ever so slightly practical.

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Looks pretty gorgeous to me!

Having said that, I couldn’t resist having some marble in my Hamptons house. So I’ve got an amazing feature wall in my ensuite, which looks DIVINE!! But that wall won’t cop a beating from cooking and kids, so I felt I could justify it. And I swear, every time I walk into that room and see it it makes me happy. So I can definitely justify that.

After the stone went in it was time to tile the splashback, something I have really been looking forward to. My splashback tile choice has been changed many times over the last few months and I’m so relieved it’s finally done and I can stop thinking about it! Originally I feel in love with a tile I found on Pinterest, which wasn’t available in Australia. It looked almost like mother of pearl and I was desperate to have it.

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The infamous Pinterest tile.

So the fantastic team at Beaumont Tiles Commercial in Norwood went on a search for me and eventually found it in America. I was so excited!! They sent us a sample and it was the perfect colour to compliment my cabinets and sandstone fireplace. Everything was perfect…until the supplier gave us a quote and we realised it was going to be obscenely expensive. That was less exciting.

I’m not going to deny I have pretty expensive taste. But, I am a firm believer that you don’t have to spend obscene amounts of money to have style. Some things are worth it and you can justify the spend. But in other cases you can get the same impact by being clever and spending less. And I knew that spending that much on a splashback tile wasn’t going to be worth it, so I picked another option. And then at the last minute I changed my mind again, and went back to the exact tile I had chosen in the very beginning.

Hey, it’s about the journey, right?! When it comes to Hamptons style kitchens you just can’t go past the subway tile. They are classic, timeless, elegant and they compliment the shaker style cabinetry perfectly.

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Inspiration via Pinterest.

So I decided to do subway tiles in both the kitchen and bathrooms, but in the bathrooms I went with a beautiful grey colour.

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A sneak peek of the ensuite. I LOVE this room!

Then in perfect timing, Beaumont Tiles had just received a delivery of new hand cut subway tiles, that looked like were a little old and imperfect, but still with the sheen I loved in the mother of pearl tile. So it ended up being perfect and I didn’t have to spend a stupid amount of money to achieve it. Two practical decisions paying off, who would ever have imagined?!

If I was going with subways I knew I had to do a feature section under the canopy, just like in all the Hamptons kitchens I love.

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But in this instance I strayed from the traditional slightly. Typically they do that part in a herringbone pattern, but I decided I would get a little creative and try and make my own pattern. So I bought a big piece of paper, got some of my tiles to trace and set about inventing a new classic pattern. As you do! At first I thought I’d found something genius, but then as it got bigger then pattern didn’t work, so I had to abandon that idea. But after about an hour, much erasing and a glass or two of wine I found something that worked. It’s a variation on the herringbone, but in a bigger form, and I think it works really well. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a little bit different and something unique to my house, so I’m really happy with it. Now I just had to convince my tiler to do it!

Both of the Scott Salisbury Homes tilers , Dwayne and Tony, that have worked on the house have been so lovely to deal with and their work is stunning. Laying those small subway tiles piece by piece takes a fair amount of precision and patience and I’m sure they were happy when the bathrooms were done. So now I had to tell Tony that not only was he laying more of them, but he was doing them in a pattern he’d never seen before! To remove any room for error I traced a whole sheet of how it would look, so we could follow the pattern. We stuck in on the wall to make sure the sizing was right and then we worked from that.

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I really enjoyed my day with Tony doing that splashback, while eating his mothers almond biscotti and singing along to classic rock! I actually feel really at home on a building sight and enjoy the tradies company and the SSH team working on this job have all been really great to work with.

At the end of the day Tony and I both stood back and admired our work and I think we were both pretty pleased with ourselves. You see, that’s the thing I love about building or renovating your own home! Every time I look at that splashback I will know that that pattern took me an hour and two glasses of wine to get right and that Tony and I made it happen while eating almond biscotti and singing Toto songs. I love that connection you can have to the place you live, knowing that everything is where it is because you chose it. I felt that connection to The Block All Stars house (which is why I cried when I left it!) but this is the first time I will have ever lived in a place that I have worked on, so that is special indeed.

More soon….

Amity x

 

 

 

Variations – make sure you’re prepared.

So it turns out there is a word in the English language I previously didn’t think much about, but now realise when you’re building a home it suddenly carries a whole lot more significance. Variation.

According to the dictionary the word variation means ‘A change or difference in condition, amount, or level, typically within certain limits.’ But to those of us who are building it means, ‘This is going to cost you more money.’

As I’m discovering in my ‘building in the real world and not on The Block’ experience, when you change your mind about something, or you want something that’s different to the standard inclusions of your contract, it’s called a variation. And variations can make or break your budget.

I was probably ruined by doing The Block (in so many ways!) because it gave me such a false sense of how the building process works. I mean, of course I knew building an entire kitchen in a week was insane, but it’s the little things that I’ve found to be so different as well. On The Block every decision is made at the last minute and if you change your mind and redo something it’s good drama, so everyone just goes with it. But in the real world no one is as excited about your spontaneous last minute decisions to change things, so if you decide you want to move where your pendant light goes after they’ve cut the hole, that’s a variation. I’m learning in the real world, and understandably, changes to the plan cost time and money.

It’s not just changes at the last minute though (and I haven’t done that many!). It’s anything that falls outside your original contract and agreed price that you should be aware of, because it can catch you out if you’re not prepared. Particularly with the cheaper house and land packages, this can be a huge pitfall. With some of those (you know the ones where you can’t believe you can get a house so cheap) you really do get what you pay for. That’s not to say they’re not an excellent option for people looking to get in to the housing market, they are. But for that price you will only get a very basic list of inclusions and anything else will be considered a variation. This can be a particular issue with things like electrics, where there is only one standard ceiling light and powerpoint per room allocated, or in the bathroom, where only larger tiles are quoted and anything smaller will be an additional expense.

So, when you are working out your contract and budgeting for the overall spend I would definitely advise anyone to budget for variations. Because even those of us who know what we want are bound to have some last minute changes and additions. So, it’s best to be prepared for them.

Here is a list of the areas and examples of where you could expect to encounter cost increases due to variations……

Paint. I wanted white gloss paint on the windows, doors and trimmings, but that requires a minimum of four coats to look good, on unpainted timber, something I didn’t realise when I chose it. The standard most builders budget for is two coats, so if you need extra that will cost more in both paint and labour. Luckily our builder Scott Salisbury Homes’ standard is three coats, but in this instance they’ve had to do four. I was told this would be a variation, but as I really wanted that look I still did it. It”ll look amazing, but next time I will know to expect this.

Lights. I don’t think there has ever been a build where the owners haven’t increased both the lights and the powerpoints that come as standard. But beware, downlights can prove to be expensive! Also, keep in mind if you want switches and points that are nicer than the ‘basic’ range that will probably cost you, as will adding dimmers to your lights. It’s the little things that add up! All building companies have a different package of what they include, with the more prestigious builders typically offering a much higher standard. Either way, this is somewhere that is open to variation based on your tastes and wants, so is something to think about when you’re working on your contract and lighting plan.

Carpet and floors. Again, you get what you pay for and the standard will vary from builder to builder. But, if you’re like me and have expensive taste, chances are you could fall in love with something that is outside the included range. Why do I never pick the cheaper one!

Tiles and tilers. This one came a bit of a surprise to me, but it does make sense. Most builders base their budget for tilers on a standard 600 x 400 tile which is pretty quick and easy to lay. So, if you choose a small mosaic, or subway tile, or anything that requires a more complicated patter, shape or size to lay, it’s going to cost more. So when small tiles and patterns like herringbone are what is on trend, this can be an unexpected cost.

Appliances, fixtures and fittings. Again, most builders have standard packages which include certain brands and ranges for kitchen and bathroom fit outs, so if you want something different it’ll be a variation. Although this one can go up or down depending on what you choose, so you could even save money here if you’re prepared to chose a more economical range.

Finally, another area you should be wary of with extra costs as part of the total build is landscaping. If you have a block with even a slight slope from street level, it will affect your budget with additional soil removal to get a flat surface to build on. Also retaining walls and fences that need concrete plinths to maintain the new level. This can add tens of thousands to the overall costs, so it is definitely another one to be mindful of and discuss with your landscaper upfront.

One thing we’ve found in the process of building our own house is communication is an absolute necessity. Be part of the process of your build. Talk thoroughly with your builder to understand not only what your inclusions are, but also the processes and steps. Don’t allow yourself to be swept away by choosing the colours and textures of the inside – these are just the icing on the cake. It’s the total structure of the home that you want to spend the most time, money and consideration on. You can always upgrade your carpet later!

In other news, everything is tracking along really quickly now and we have a full house of tradies working at the same time. The painters have started on the exterior and ceilings, the kitchen has gone in (I’m keeping that under wraps for now!) all the joinery is pretty much done and the lights go in in the coming days. Now, this is the fun part!

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It was all action this week.

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Our painters, John and Andrew. I’m so glad they are doing this and not us. They also like to sing while they work, which I appreciate!

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In the coming weeks they will take the board off the pool, connect it up and pave around it. I can’t wait to see some grenery, although it will be a while yet before it’s all finished. But we’re getting there!

Amity x

56 days until Christmas…and meet our new family member!

The countdown until Christmas is officially on, and more than ever for us this year as we’ve been assured by Scott Salisbury Homes that we will be in our house by then. That’s not to say everything will be 100% finished, it definitely won’t be. But I don’t care, as long as we can have our family lunch on the deck and swim in the pool I am happy. So it’s all systems go to make that happen, along with every other builder, renovator or garden improver in Adelaide it seems! Everyone I’m dealing with is flat out in the lead up to Christmas, because tradies usually go pretty quiet in January so it’s hard to get much done.

Even now when I’m trying to book in landscaping and pool related matters I’m hearing that people are booked up until January. Disaster! One minute it was August and too early to organise all these things and now suddenly it’s too late.

Remember when I wrote that post about saving money for landscaping? Oh my god, I had no idea. It is SO EXPENSIVE!!! With a block as big as ours I could drop $100K without even blinking to get it to look like I want. And who has that after building a house?!! So it will need to be done in stages, with the emphasis on liveability and the front exterior getting done first and then the far back after that.

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The pool went in first and has been boarded over ever since. The concrete has been laid for the pool fence, but there is still SO much to do.

Thankfully Narellan Pools made some time so they could connect the pool in December, so at least that will be working. Now my aim is to have most of the paving and at least half of the grass done by Christmas. So that way we can enjoy the yard and the kids won’t be dragging dirt in, but we can work on the rest over Summer. I just hope we’re not one of those people that ends up with nothing but dirt in the front and back yards, because now I so understand that!

Onto other matters, the bathroom and laundry benchtops went in yesterday and I LOVE them!

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I ended up going with Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo, which is one of their new marble inspired designs. I wrote about my considerations whether to do real marble or not in an earlier post and in the end I decided I would rather the practicality of Caesartone over the fragility of marble. I love the look of the Statuario Nuvo, it has a slightly brown tinged vein and a warmer tone than the Calacatta Nuvo (which I also love but is more grey toned) so it will go with my house perfectly. I am dying for the tiles to be finished and the mirrors and basins to be installed so I get the whole look. But I can already tell it’s going to be beautiful.

In other exciting news, the kitchen joinery starts going in on Monday! I think that’s probably the most exciting part, I cannot wait to see how it looks.

Finally, the most exciting news of all – look who joined our family this week!!

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This is Bessie Elizabeth Rankine-Dry (named by the kids!) and she’s a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel. We are all absolutely besotted with her, even if she is  quite partial to chewing my cushions! Here we are when we picked her up on Monday…

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She is the perfect combination of cheeky and cuddly, she runs around and plays with the kids when they’re home but then she will follow me around the house and snuggle up to me on the couch, which is lovely. It’s like having a baby all over again (even being woken by their crying at 5am) I know I’m biased but I think she’s the sweetest looking dog ever. Look at that face!

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There is so much happening in the coming weeks so I will have plenty of updates. I’ve already started to go through the rooms and start to sort through what I’m giving away, because I am only taking things into the house that I love and use. So I have 50 something days to de-clutter and box it all up. That bit is slightly less exciting, but I just have to imagine myself on the deck on Christmas Day to know it will all be worth it. 56 days to go…

Amity x

 

Bathroom selections (and being a girl who knows what she wants)

Finally, after months and months of looking at pictures of what I want in the house I’ve made it to the selections stage, where I can actually chose things. Hooray!

The process when you build with a company is very different to managing it yourself, which I’ve always done before. The team at Scott Salisbury Homes oversee everything and just direct me to the showrooms I need to make my selections in. When I arrive they already have my plans in front of them and know exactly what I need and what specs it has to meet. It is just so ORGANISED! I have already told our Design Manager Katrina that I want her to run every aspect of our lives, because I only wish it all ran this smoothly.

First up was the bathroom, laundry and kitchen selections, at the Routleys showroom in Unley. It’s a lovely showroom, it’s just been completely redone and is very on trend, with ‘scenes’ set up including pendant lights and tile ideas, so it’s great to get inspiration if you don’t know what look you want.

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But as you’re probably getting to know, I am definitely a girl who knows what she wants!

I went in there with my laptop and Pinterest page ready, so I could refer to the bathroom pictures I’d chosen when I wasn’t sure on something. I hadn’t worked the products I wanted, but I definitely had a look in mind. This is where I cannot stress enough how much preparation and research helps both you and the sales people helping you. When you’re looking at 50 taps it’s very hard to decide which you like more, so taking pictures of bathrooms you like helps give you a reference point.

So because I had done my homework I powered through the selection process and got it all done in 2 hours. I think I may have broken the showroom record! Not that I was rushing my decisions, not in the slightest, I just believe that your first instinct is usually the right one. Having done The Block within the last two years was also a huge help. Firstly because I wanted to use some of the products I had used in All Stars and secondly because I learned how to be decisive when I had to be.

Although funnily, when I told my mum that she told me I had always been like that and remembers us going to the florist to discuss my wedding flowers and me taking a heap of photos, explaining what I wanted and then leaving within 30 minutes, with the florist commenting that brides normally took four times that long! I don’t remember that, but I guess I have always been pretty strong in what I wanted. Unlike my lovely mum, who would go to every bathroom showroom in Adelaide, take every brochure, deliberate on every pro and con of the products and deliberate over her choices for weeks! I hear plenty of cases like that, like my friend who took 4 months to chose her kitchen splashback. I bet she ended up going back to her first choice too! We all have different shopping styles and there’s nothing wrong with spending lots of time on these decisions until you’re 100% satisfied with your choice. After all, you’re spending a lot of money and will be living with it for a long time, so you do want to be happy. But the more research you do first, the easier the process should be.

Finally, remember you don’t have to buy the most expensive items in the showroom to have a stylish end result. The first kitchen tap I chose was a mid range tap that I really liked the look of, but I then noticed a similar tap I also liked and asked for the price on that one. It was $1400 more!! There was no way I would get $1400 more wow factor if I went with that tap, so it was a no brainer to go with the cheaper one. There are some items where spending extra money will make more of an impact, but there are other areas where you get the same result for less. And you don’t keep the price tag on them!

(Having said that I did see a stunning bath that was $8000 and looked every cent of it. I didn’t get it, because my kids will be using that bath and I could never justify it – but damn it was a sexy bath!)

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The bath has the same contours as a woman’s body. Sexy.

It was a very fun process and a big thanks to the lovely Helen at Routleys for being so helpful. Next is floors and tiles. Floors I’m pretty set on but tiles I am less sure. So I don’t think I’ll be breaking any records there!

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What is your shopping style? Are you someone who knows what they want or do you like to take your time with your decisions? Let me know how you go about it…

 

 

 

I think we have a winner!

I think we may have our final floor plan! I have read every one of your comments and absolutely loved hearing all your ideas and suggestions. There were some great ones and a few that got us to look at things differently, which was fantastic. That’s why you should live with your plans for a while and show them to lots of people for feedback. Because when you’ve looked at them a hundred times you sometimes miss things that others will see with fresh eyes.

So, we’ve taken all the suggestions and this is the plan we’ve come up with.

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We’ve taken some space from the garage, which was already huge, and increased the size of the laundry to have a full wall of linen/storage cupboards. I don’t know why I didn’t do this before, but I guess I just explained that in my first paragraph! Now I can’t imagine not having that storage, so I’m so glad we’ve added it. The good things about this is the garage is still very wide, so there is still plenty of room to have shelves and storage on the side walls as well. If you notice there is also a roller door on the other side of the garage, so if you have a boat or trailer you can drive it through. This was pretty much Phil’s one contribution to the design, but I think it’s a great one! Not that we will ever have a boat, but I think it’s a great selling point if we put it on the market.

We’ve kept the ensuite as it was, but taken the storage square that was accessible from the garage and made it open into the house. This will be great for suitcases, golf clubs etc.

Then there’s the main bathroom, where I have gone with a modified version of option 3 (from the last post.) Now that we have the linen cupboard in the laundry we could get rid of the cupboard we had outside the bathroom and bring the toilet forward. I was worried a vanity in the toilet may feel too cramped, so I got rid of that. I agree with those that said you can use the main vanity, particularly now it’s separate from the bath and shower.

I have moved the bath and the window over to the right, so the shower space will be longer and wider. Then there will be a nib wall and a cavity slider door to close off the bath and shower if you need to. I would expect it would stay open most of the time, particularly while the kids are small, so I will still get my pretty picture of the vanity and then bath under the window.

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The nib wall from the vanity will be a bit like this one, with a sliding door that can join to it if needed. It’s also a nice way to show off your feature tiles.

I am really happy with this design and think it was an awesome team effort in designing it! Funnily, I rang the our design manager at Scott Salisbury Homes to discuss the plans and she said ‘I’m here with the designers, we’re reading people comments to see what they like.’ So there you go! The floor plan was supposed to be pretty much locked it, so they’ve been wonderful in making all these changes and giving me options, to make sure I was totally happy. And now I am!

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(Now I just need it to look like this! Isn’t it gorgeous. It will be a similar layout, but with the shower behind the nib wall next to the vanity. And how gorgeous are those floor tiles.)

So let us know what you think, we all can’t wait to hear your feedback!

Amity xx