Sunday, January 26, 2014

From Sketchbook to Reality -- Our Home Takes Shape

"The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists."
Charles Dickens 

Bruce told me earlier this week that he's afraid he'll love our new home too much. It's true, when you create a home together from scratch you put your heart and soul into it. Bruce has been the true driver behind so many of the features of this home, working mind-to-mind with Jeremy Sommer, of Sommer Design Studio, the talented (and patient) architect who designed the house.

The talented framing crew for Schneider Custom Homes
Already we love our new home.  It's been amazing to see it take shape as the framing has been in full construction mode for most of December and January. The framing is almost done now.  Just a few tweaks and the porches remain to be built. Jim Schneider's (Schneider Custom Homes) framing crew has worked on cold days, snow days, and Saturdays to keep the house on track. (Thank you, BJ, and our other framing friends!) Jim's foreman, Jeff, has been on site daily as well and has been wonderful to work with. He's agreeable to slight tweaks (can you make this alcove 1-1/2" deeper?) and it's clear he knows his stuff. The best thing is that the people who are building our home take great pride in doing quality work. We are grateful for this.

Bruce standing in the rear courtyard,
 beside the future screened porch.
Bruce and I have been able to walk through the rooms and envision how we'll be living in the house.  We know where our furniture will go, where Beau Beau will peek out from windows to make sure humans and their pets are on their best behavior, and where our grand kids will play in the sleeping loft over the billiard's room.  (They'll have a wonderful view of the Chesapeake Bay, by the way!)

Beau Beau loves to stand guard!
Luanne, Monica, and Kristi at Superior Granite.
The wavy gray and white granite right behind us
will be used for Bruce's and my desks in our new office.
During all the construction, Bruce and I have made hundreds of decisions about fixtures, furnishings, and equipment (FF&E) with the help of two very special people.  My dear friend and interior designer, Jacqueline Johndrow of Romancing the Home in Warwick, New York, and the ever cheerful options professional, Kristi Nolasco Leonard, from Schneider Custom Homes have been invaluable during this process.  They've sorted through thousands of cabinet choices, light fixtures, tiles, carpets, hardware options, doors, windows, and other materials, each of which had to be priced, compared against the budget, and vetted against design and utilitarian parameters. Kristi has met with us (no lie) at least four times on granite decisions alone! Jacqueline flew down to spend three days with us to help with selections.  This was a blessing as she and Bruce hit it off immediately.  In fact, sometimes I think their minds are more in sync with each other and she was MY friend first!  (Secretly, I think this is great.  :-)

This weekend, Bruce and I went to the site to see our new windows which just arrived on Friday from Windsor Windows.  I've used Windsor Windows on my past two homes and loved them.  I'll take pictures once they are all installed and post them on the next blog update.

The framing is almost completed.
Meanwhile, stay warm and dry.  More snow may be in the forecast!  Monica
Building the roof of the screened porch in the courtyard.
The first Windsor windows were installed on January 24, 2014.
Kristi's mom sandblasted this
champagne just for us!
How cool is this!  A wedding gift to me and Bruce
from Schneider Custom Builders.

Views of the Chesapeake Bay will be enjoyed
from the front porches and windows
of the Billiards Room and Kitchen.


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