Something a bit different today. With the state of the world and the lack of travel going on in most of our lives right now, I thought it was an appropriate time to update you on life changes.
I built my dream home! Well, not me myself, but my friend and contractor did. It’s an amazing space into which I put a lot of time dreaming up ideas and bringing them to life.
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In 2012, almost a year after my husband Mike passed away, I bought a tiny 450 square foot studio condo in Maui for super cheap when the market was quite low. I had a lot of help from friends on the island who helped me remodel it. I rented the condo to vacationers for 6 years before deciding I was tired of running it from the mainland and stressing every time Maui flooded. I sold it with good market timing, more than doubling my money.
Chris and I were also ready to sell our previous home and come up with something a little more fitting for our tastes. We wanted less space to maintain but something more conducive to having a rental space (more on that later).
All things fell into place with the sale of our house and my condo in Maui, and we decided it was time to build. We bought another lot at the golf course in Chewelah…2 lots down from the house we sold. We like how quiet and low maintenance it is up here.
After way too long of living in a little rental house in town, the new house was finally completed this spring (with the exception of a few small details we’re stilling finishing up).
I want to walk you through the home and tell you about some of the products and decor choices. A lot of hours on Pinterest were spent along with multiple Instagram polls and facebook voting to help me make design decisions along the way.
The floorpan and architecture of the home was done by Gene at Independent Home Design in Spokane. I would recommend him to anyone. I wanted very high ceilings, lots of windows, and an open floor plan all on one level. Some of the things that mattered to me were:
- Modern shed roofs of varying angles
- A garage entryway room/laundry room to store shoes, keys, jackets, etc. (which is still not finished, unfortunately)
- A garage entryway close to the kitchen for carrying groceries, etc.
- The master bedroom close to the laundry room
- A master bathroom with a separate shower and steam room
- A rental studio with it’s own entrance and kitchenette
- An open floorpan where the kitchen and living room all feel connected
I also wanted the interior to be very modern and minimalist. After having an aging dog, I never want carpet in my house again. Griffey can pee on these concrete floors all he wants. The overall color theme is neutral and modern with white walls, grey concrete and plaster accents, and black windows to contrast. We also went with no trim around the Pella windows to keep it modern and sleek.
The hanging light in above photo is from Wayfair. People never know it’s a light until we turn it on. The sheepskin on the couch is from a traditional tannery in the Isle of Skye and the couch is from CB2.
The exterior siding of the house is divided into three sections. The first is the garage, which has grey metal siding. We alternated the direction of the metal from horizontal to vertical for the two sections of the garage.
The middle section is the main living area which has light grey (almost white) stucco.
The third section is the studio apartment with cedar siding.
I wanted these three materials to starkly contrast against one another but also complement each other. We agonized over plaster color for months, until finally deciding on lighter to contrast with the metal. I think it turned out pretty well.
I wanted sleek Scandinavian inspired cabinets with plenty of lower storage in the kitchen but open shelves above. I feel lucky to have had local cabinet makers and lifelong friends, PD and Jerry Voelker grace us with their exquisite work.
There is a lot of white to keep it timeless, but I indulged in a few trends like hexagon tile backsplash and black hardware and faucets. The kitchen countertops are quartz.
The appliances were one of the hardest things to choose. After going into Fred’s Appliance like 300 times, we ended up going with a Fisher & Paykel package that included the built in fridge/freezer compartments, the two-drawer dishwasher, a 30 inch convection oven, and 36 inch gas cooktop. I also added a lower Frigidaire microwave oven in the island because I figured I may want to cook two separate things at the same time, like once per year. Time will probably show, this was a waste of money on a glorified microwave. The Fisher & Paykel hood is framed in with sharp modern lines.
The faucets are by Moen, and I’m completely obsessed with the motion sensing feature of the main sink. How fabulous to not have to touch the handle with dirty hands.
One of my favorite elements in the kitchen are the industrial Brooklyn Pendant lights by Troy Lighting. They truly are a statement piece. Everything on Troy Lighting’s website is stunning and high quality. We popped these fabulous Edison-style bulbs in them to complete the industrial vibe.
In our kitchen, my contractor built floating shelves in the rift white oak to match our cabinets and doors throughout the house. The left side serves as our little coffee station. Our new Breville coffee maker is amazing. It’s been one of the greatest joys in my life, literally.
All my coffee mugs are either locally made or purchased somewhere traveling (Santorini, Poland).
The oil dispenser is from Etsy and I love it! I have one in our rental studio too. I love finding unique handmade items made by small businesses.
Our dishes and bowls are from CB2. I love the warmth that the clay color brings to the kitchen. They do have a texture that makes them a bit cringeworthy when you scrape them with silverware though. The ceramic butter dish is from Etsy.
Our Smeg toaster was a total splurge but how amazing is the sleek retro vibe?!
Most of the other little decorations are from travels. I’ve got little bowls, a plate, and vase from Peru, a cooking tajine from Morocco, and a wooden carving from Cuba.
These bar stools are beautiful, comfortable, and super sturdy. I’ve had some crappy stools that became wobbly and fell apart quickly. These are legitimately great quality and look amazing in a modern or rustic kitchen.
The focal point of the living room is the faux concrete fireplace. We opted to skip the TV in the main room. Still deciding whether we like it or not.
We got rid of our giant sectional couch and replaced it with these two deep little chaise lounges that can be hooked together like a sofa or split like we opted. It is the Solae Chill Sectional from Article and we adore it.
The black and white Southwestern rug is from Ruggable. They make washable rugs that attach to a nonslip rug pad. They can easily be pulled apart and the rug thrown in the washer.
I didn’t do anything extraordinary with the master bedroom, and kept it fairly small and basic. The exception is this magnificent light fixture, again from Troy Lighting, called the Epic. When we first installed it, I feared I might not be able to sleep under it due to it’s sharp point hanging directly over my body. But so far so good. The dimmable glow is cozy and magical at night.
My dear friend and neighbor, and woodworking extraordinaire, Paul, custom built a beautiful bed frame. We had a mattress on the floor for a year and a half. I wanted it to follow the Scandinavian trend with modern, sleek lines and I love the “floating” look. I needed the bed to be low enough that Griffey could jump up and down. The rift white oak matches all the doors and cabinets in the house. There isn’t a large space for the bed, but I definitely wanted bedside drawers, so Paul built them into the bed and custom fit the whole thing into the space.
As for the bedding, I chose a Belgian flax duvet cover from The Citizenry. Everything on their website is stunning and well made. The duvet cover is light and airy and made sustainably in Portugal.
The bed sheets I finally decided on are from Cozy Earth. Oprah said they’re the best, so I figured she couldn’t be wrong. They are indeed ridiculously soft and silky and I liked them so much we bought a set for the rental studio too.
The wooden bench is from Etsy as well. It took forever to ship from Ukraine but I love it.
This was the room I wanted to be a sanctuary. I have fallen in love with so many aesthetics from around the world, I was determined to add some global inspiration into a few elements of the home, particularly the master bathroom. The faux concrete walls (plaster called Super Shower), concrete floors and the central element of the freestanding tub are inspired by some of the indoor/outdoor bathrooms of Bali.
This particular bathtub was the only freestanding tub I could find that also has jets! Seems like a highly desirable combo, but apparently not very common. Luckily it was not exhorbantly priced and came from Amazon! The company that makes it, Woodbridge, seems to specialize in modern luxury for less.
The light above the tub is called the Kokoro Pendant. Like the other lighting by Troy Lighting, it was gifted to me as part of a partnership and I couldn’t be more grateful. The Asian inspired style couldn’t be more perfect as a visual focal point above the window. All of Troy Lighting’s products are the best quality, most stunning styles, and I couldn’t be happier to have multiple pieces throughout my home. The Troy Lighting featured in the house was gifted, so this post is sponsored by them. With 100% honesty, their pieces are my absolute favorite.
The trumpet lights above the sinks are from Tudo and Co. The mirrors and the steam shower tile are inspired by Arabic (particularly Moroccan) design. Morocco truly is one of the most aesthetically beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Both are from Wayfair. Thanks to those who helped me vote on tile on Facebook – I’m thrilled with our decision! The steam unit is by SteamSpa from Wayfair.
The fact that I wanted a steam shower and a regular shower seems a bit over the top, I get it it. But I didn’t want to clean a glass shower door to prevent water spots every time I shower and I love the open air feel of walking in and out of a shower and having it flow seamlessly with the rest of the bathroom. I also didn’t want to have to clean soap scum out of a steam shower. Our desire for a steam shower comes from all the countries we’ve enjoyed them in: Austria, Germany, Greece, and for me particularly, Moroccan hammams.
The cabinets in the bathroom are also made locally by our friends who made the kitchen cabinets, and the concrete countertop with sloping sinks was made by the person who did all the concrete floors and patios. I’ve always loved this type of countertop and sink.
The polar bear shag rug is from Ruggable. I have bought a couple rugs from them because they’re easily washable and I’m so done with trying to clean up dog pee from rugs and carpet. Plus it’s super cozy on my feet while I’m getting ready.
The towels I settled on are from Parachute Home. They are beyond soft without being heavy. We also wanted a towel warmer so we ordered this one from Wayfair. It’s very nice to come out of the shower and have a warm cozy towel to wrap up in.
Now let’s talk about the toilet! This baby is no ordinary toilet. The base and bidet seat are by Toto. This spaceship of a toilet has a remote control to aim water and hot air at your nether regions in all different variations of temperature, motions, and angles. It mists the bowl before and after, has a motion sensor to open the lid and light up to greet you when you walk in the room, and a warm seat to heat you up when you sit down. It’s one of my favorite splurges ever.
2nd Bedroom and Bathroom
Although we don’t need them often, we added a 2nd bedroom as storage/office space/guest room and a guest bathroom. I didn’t even take a picture because of the bedroom because it’s so cluttered and unfinished. But it does have a nice big closet for future use.
Again the bathroom is done in the waterproof Super Shower plaster finish with a concrete floor. All faucets and black accents are from Amazon. The countertop is the same quartz from our kitchen counter. The cabinet in the bathroom is the Voelker’s work just like the kitchen and our master bath.
Since we went all out on our master toilet, we had to keep it affordable with this one. Made by the same brand as our master tub, Woodbridge, this toilet manages to look modern and expensive, is a one piece, with two flush buttons on the top. It’s $250 from Amazon and has great reviews.
This cute little “mother-in-law” apartment is really a third bedroom and bathroom, but it also happens to have a tiny and functional kitchenette making it livable. I had so much fun decorating and designing this space for guests/rentals. To rent the studio and come stay in this cute space, CLICK HERE. And to get up to $65 on your first stay at any Airbnb, use my promo link HERE.
The rattan light is from World Market. It was the cheapest version of this style of light I could find and I love it. The simple wood platform bed was from Wayfair. The bedside table on the left side of the bed is from Urban Outfitter and the terrazzo concrete one is from Anthropologie. It’s sold out but they have tons of cute side tables. The little lamp is from Pier 1 Imports. The extendable table is from Target and the chairs are from Amazon. The rug is from Wayfair.
I had a hard time deciding between “retro” and “boho” vibes, so I feel like I managed to blend a little bit of both.
The rental unit has a great sized closet as well.
The turquoise theme was a lot of fun in the kitchen, and believe me when I say I put a lot of effort into finding the right pieces to match the shade of turquoise.
It all started with the mini fridge by Daewoo. Adorable, right? Then of course I had to get the matching Daewoo microwave. Finding a toaster was tricky, but I found a good one on Wayfair. The crowning jewel of the mini kitchen is that gorgeous sink. The counter is a nonstandard size and finding a sink small enough to fit the cabinet and space was difficult. Let alone even attempting to get a nonstandard colored sink. Then, this one just magically found me on Amazon and was the perfect size and color. I don’t even know how I got so lucky.
My contractor built the kitchenette with open shelving. I love how it’s all exposed.
The backsplash is a fun black hexagon and we threw in some gold grout glitter to make the lines sparkle. So. Much. Fun. We used the leftover glitter on our back patio, mixed in with the clear coating, and it sparkles so fabulously day and night. And we kept the gold trend going with the faucet and paper towel holder.
The bathroom is done in the same Super Shower plaster as our bathroom and the guest bath. We did the same toilet as the second bathroom in the house too. My contractor did a great job making the vanity following a Pinterest idea I had and I used baskets from World Market, CB2, and Amazon to fill with towels, extra toiletries, a hair dryer, and yes…slippers:)
This bathroom was decidedly my “gold” bathroom and all the hardware, like the faucet, is brushed champagne gold.
The gold bathroom mirror is from CB2.
Moving outside, there’s an adorable private little patio with a black metal table from Ikea and chairs we got like 5 years ago. We put an attached shade that can roll up and down to give some privacy and hopefully allow you to sit outside without getting concussed by a golf ball. Again, if you’d like to come stay, you can find the listing HERE.
On the main side of the patio out back, we have a good sized area for a table or chairs. Normally in the summer, the bean bag would be out there. I have a great little concrete side table for my coffee in the morning.
Outside, we are trying to keep the landscaping as low maintenance and easy as possible. We’ve got sod in the back with a sprinkler system and in the front we did colored “western sunset” rock as well as along the side of the Airbnb. Then we put some concrete steps to the Airbnb and graveled the rest of the yard with black gravel. In the future, if we decide to plant something, we have a drip line ready to go.
That’s IT! I hope you’ve enjoyed the house tour. I’m working on finding time to do a full video tour as well. If you have any questions about anything, please feel free to comment or reach me by email. Happy New Year!
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