Picking and Choosing

Picking and Choosing

Yesterday, my husband and I spent almost five hours picking and choosing all the things (well, most of the things) that will go into our new house.
Five. hours.
It happened all at once, in a big design center. From siding colors to shutters. Flooring to counter tops. Lighting fixtures to paint colors. And, yes, appliances, too. We met with three very kind ladies who helped us with our selections.
I’ve always just moved into (and accepted) whatever is already in a house. And then changed things little by little. It’s called having house projects. Never have I tackled all the little house projects all.at.once to create one gigantic house project called building a house. And never did I realize how many little decisions have to be made during the process.
It was fun! To actually have all of those choices before you move in. Knowing you won’t have to change anything for quite awhile, until it wears out and you’re ready to replace it. Not because you don’t like it. Just because it’s time.
Admittedly, it was a little overwhelming, too. Toward the end of yesterday’s marathon selection process, I just couldn’t focus anymore. And I was hungry. Not a good combination when you’re trying to pick out appliances and stay within your budget.
But until that point, it went well. And I am very grateful my husband and I work well together. We make decisions well together, and each of us was able to compromise here and there. I always enjoy doing projects with him.
I think I’m most excited about all of our lighting. Pretty, coordinating fixtures. In an oil-bronze color.

One of our bathroom sconces.

The lighting fixture that will go above our kitchen island.

The lighting fixture that will go above our kitchen table in our dinette. (We do have a formal dining room, but we probably won’t use it as that just yet …)

The hardest part, before my weariness and hunger set in, was choosing paint. It was too much pressure to pick out color(s) in a matter of minutes. With an enormous swatch book and tiny swatches.
We just picked two colors. One neutral (think coffee with A LOT of cream in it) for the entire home, and a blue (trying for robin egg) for an accent in the kitchen.
We’re only painting two colors for now (even though we both like a lot of color accents in our home), because each color change costs extra! (Isn’t that crazy?! But that’s what you get when someone else does the work.) You would think, at least I thought, that if we’re building this house with a painter coming out, we may as well select our colors for all the various rooms in our house: bathroom, girls’ room, kitchen, master bedroom, family room, etc. But all those color changes would add up, and the key to building a house successfully, IMHO, is staying within our budget.
So, we’ll wait to repaint once we’re settled in for awhile, to see how we use our spaces and to see perhaps how those neutral walls talk to us (so to speak =).
I’m not completely settled on the colors I chose, because it was just too fast. So, I may go back and look through more samples, bring them home and ponder them a bit … I do have some time.
As for appliances, we were leaning toward stainless steal at first, but I am nervous about keeping them looking nice (i.e., six children = lots of finger prints). So, I am now leaning toward black. I’m not crazy about black, but I don’t think I want white. Not many options, but never have I had to decide. It’s kind of tough. What are your thoughts? I hope we’ll wrap up this decision this weekend with a trip to a few other appliance stores (for comparison pricing).
Overall, it was a fun day. I do wish I had samples to share (other than the lights), but we didn’t get any to take home. I was a little disappointed in that.
But it does feel like we’re making progress. All these little decisions are moving us closer to living in our new home. Yeah!
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12 thoughts on “Picking and Choosing

  1. Wow! Only five hours!?! That sounds completely overwhelming to me. I think I would feel the need to over-analyze every decision and drive myself crazy.

    Maybe we shouldn't build. 😉

    (We're still thinking about it — the girls want us to buy a hobby farm and we're thinking about that, too.)

  2. Sarah,
    I have a stainless stove with a black porcelain top. I can tell you that the black is much harder to keep looking nice than the stainless. The black shows every spot — and even wipe marks.

    You might want to test drive a few first: — take the kids to a showroom (either the one your builder uses or someplace like Sears), give them a snack just before they get there, but don't clean their hands (oily fingers make lots of marks), take some multipurpose or stove-cleaning wipes, let them touch, touch, touch, and then wipe. See which works best. My stainless stove instructions say to use special stainless wipes, which I do most of the time, but I've never noticed that regular soapy dishwater makes it look any different. Talk to the sales rep about cleaning, also. When we bought our stove, the sales rep was very forthcoming about problems with different materials (like enamel chipping).

  3. I have no experience with stainless steel, but this new house we live in has black appliances and I love them! Definitely like them more than white.

    The extra charge for color changes doesn't surprise me too much– have you ever painted the entire interior of a house? I did just that last winter, and color changes make the project a LOT harder and a LOT slower. So maybe that will make you feel better. They probably aren't charging extra just because they can. It really is extra work.

    I'm so excited to see pictures of your house when it's finished– and I love your lighting!!!

  4. Sarah, in my experience, black appliances show WAY more fingerprints and smudges than stainless steel. (B's parents have black and we have stainless in our new kitchen.) And Method makes an awesome stainless steel cleaner that I use occasionally to keep our appliances looking fresh. I really think you'd like the look of the stainless and honestly I don't think it would be any more maintenance than black, and probably less. Just my two cents. 🙂

  5. PS-I think my husband owes your husband some painting time, so please be sure to sign him up. I hear there's some radiant tubing rough-in project coming up too. 🙂

  6. What I remember about the day we picked out lighting is that I had a splitting headache. Not a good combination!

    We have stainless and I don't think it's that difficult to keep clean. Williams Sonoma makes a great cleaner with essential oils I love to use. What I do miss sometimes is that the front is not magnetic. On the other hand, it keep the fridge looking more tidy without all the paper attached to it.

    Otherwise, appliance-wise, I love having a double oven and gas stove. I wish the stove top were BIGGER. Our first dishwasher had a plastic basin which eventually leaked. Now we have a Bosch with a stainless interior – worth the extra!

    I wish our fridge was bigger. We ended up buying two extra freezers later – one for the basement and one for the garage. I wish I had an extra fridge too, but we buy in bulk quite a bit from a buying club as well as Costco.

    I am fairly happy with the washer & drier but wish we had a much bigger mudroom, bigger pantry bigger kitchen, and more main level closet space, especially for things like board games and photo albums.

    Nails pop out the first year or two so you will probably have wall repair and repainting to do anyway. We have repainted every room except the upstairs hallway and the master.

    Good luck with all the choices and may the Lord bless your new home!

  7. Wow! I will remember this about the black appliances . . . I am loathing the white, which we always have had as renters/gov't housing. In the condo we had stainless steel, and the only drawback I found was "no magnets" . . . but that's a good thing 'cos I'm a clutter horse! 😉

    I'm so excited for you!!!

  8. Hey, Sarah! Like you need any more cents after all the comments, but oh well I'll give you my 2 regarding the stainless appliances. We have stainless and chose them because of the sleek updated look they give to a kitchen IMHO. As far as keeping them clean, I use what Martha Stewart recommends just plain old glass cleaner. I keep a bottle in a cupboard within easy reach and spray down my appliances at least 2-3 times a week. I don't even think about it really. In about 5 minutes I can clean off the fridge, dishwasher, and my range top is always clean because I clean it with just a dishcloth that is usually wet at the kitchen sink. So I have no special cleaners and my appliances are usually looking great. I will say the drawback is the nonmagnetic surface, but I, too, am a clutter horse so that's probably all the better for me! Good luck & God Bless the building process of your new home…how fun!

  9. That's an amazing accomplishment for one day! Isn't it funny how using mental power creates hunger, too??

    I only choose to use one paint color for the majority of the main floor. Two bedrooms are painted & the rest is white. It was just easier and I wasn't ready to make paint decisions. I'll eventually paint, though!

    We have stainless steel & like the finish. It does get fingerprinted, but it cleans up quite easily. I miss magnets, too, but it cuts clutter. 3M makes poster adhesive squares that I have considered using to 'post/hang' artwork … but I haven't used it yet.

  10. WOW! Thank you all for your input! I wasn't expecting such a response, but I really appreciate your advice. We're off to the appliance store this morning, as a BIG sale ends today. I'll let you know what we decide!

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