Flooring Selections

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Today we went to Casey Carpet One Floor & Home in Amarillo to pick out flooring for our new home.  Dustin was super helpful, and we’re excited about our selections.  They had everything we were looking for.


We had initially thought that we wanted hardwood flooring in the entryway.  The more we thought about it, the more we decided we didn’t want it.  It’s expensive, and between Tibby going crazy barking at the front door and a house with young child(ren) in it, we figured it wasn’t a wise use of our money.  We like the look of slate, but it’s also pricey and has a bit of texture to it (that would make cleaning not-fun).  We compromised with a slate-look tile (I don’t remember if it’s porcelain or ceramic or something else).  We’re going to use 12″x24″ rectangles.  This will have a tan-ish colored grout.  There was a lovely limestone tile that we really, really liked, but it was crazy expensive compared to this and needed to be sealed every few years.  We just couldn’t justify it.


Downstairs Bathroom Floor

Bryan really wanted to use penny round tile somewhere, so we chose to use them in the downstairs bathroom.  We’re using a light gray grout.


Kid/Upstairs Bathroom Floor

I wanted to use a hexagon tile somewhere, so we chose the kid/upstairs bathroom for that.  These are small, 1″ hexagons.  We’re using a light gray grout.


Master Bathroom Floor

Our current master bathroom has two Monet prints that we bought in Giverny on the wall, as well as two canvas prints of photos that I took during our trip to France (one of the coast of Etretat and one of the Eiffel tower).  We’re planning on using the same decor in our new master bathroom, and we thought that a classic black and white tile would look nice with it.  We chose to go with a smaller black and white basket-weave tile with white grout.


Tub Surrounds / Master Shower

We didn’t take a picture of it, but we chose to use glossy, 3″x6″ white subway tiles for all 3 tub surrounds and for the master shower.  The master shower floor will be the same black and white basket weave tile that we chose for the master bathroom floor.

Laundry Room

I wanted to use a “fun” tile somewhere, and the laundry room seemed to be the best option for that.  We were excited to find a tile that we liked in warm/brown tones (everything seems to be black/white/gray these days).  This one is going to have a slate gray grout.


Kitchen/Dining Area/Mudroom/Hallway

For this area, we chose to use Forbo Marmoleum.  We realize that linoleum is an unconventional (super-not-trendy) choice, but we feel like it’s a good option for us.  We LOVE the way it looks.  It’s easy to install.  It’s in the same price range that tile would be in.  It’s maintenance-free.  It doesn’t feel cold.  It’s not hard.  It wears really well.  Recently divers explored relics for the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic and discovered lots of Marmoleum flooring that was still intact in the cabins after being underwater for 100 years!  We’re using 12″x 36″ tiles in the Van Gogh colorway (right) with a walnut border (left).


Screened-in Patio

We really wanted to use a thin-brick type tile for our screened-in patio.  We’re excited about this one (despite the fact that it may not be easy to keep clean).


Living Room/Study/Stairs/Bedroom

We chose to install carpet in all of our bedrooms, on the stairs, and in the living room and study.  Yes, we’re weird, and we like carpet.  Don’t worry — I have a good vacuum cleaner.  We will be installing an upgraded pad for extra cushion.  I don’t remember the brand or anything about the option that we picked; the color is “sandstone.”


Design Inspiration — Porch Columns, Kitchen, & Fireplace

We’ve spent a bit of time thinking about what we want the front porch, kitchen, and fireplace to look like.  These are the parts of our home that we are most excited about design-wise.

The fireplace and the built-ins flanking it will be the focal point of our living room.  We’re using the fireplaces in these two photos as the design inspiration for our fireplace.  We decided to go with tile because it’ll be cheaper than stone, and we like the look of it better.  I want the raised hearth so that we have somewhere to sit (or put our feet) close to the fire place.  We like the tile and the mantel in the photo on the left and the raised hearth in the photo on the right.  We’re pretty excited about the Carreaux du Nord art tiles (we want the evergreen glaze).  The field tile will be Fire Clay tiles (they’re similar but less expensive than Carreaux du Nord) in matte clover.

We’ve thought a lot about what we want the columns on our front porch to look like.  We know from talking with our builder that tapered columns are more difficult (and therefore more costly) to build, so we’ve chosen to go with a square footer.  Half of the column will be a square footer in creek rock (Coronado’s southwest blend), and the top half of the column will be a grouping (we’re not sure on the number yet — 2, 3, or 4) of square wood posts.  We really like the look of the columns in this photo.

Front Porch

photo from This Old House

The design inspiration for our kitchen has largely come from the photo below.  We’re hoping to be able to procure the same linoleum flooring that they have (it’s Marmoleum’s Van Gogh tile).  We’re also planning on having soapstone countertops, white walls, lightly stained cabinets, and a green subway tile backsplace (Fire Clay’s Sea Green tile).


photo from New Bungalow Kitchens

Light Fixtures, Doors, & Windows

There’s not much to see on our lot yet — the pad for the foundation has been prepped, and this week they’re trenching for plumbing.  In the meantime, our builder has had us choose all of our light fixtures, and today Bryan went to Amarillo select exterior doors and windows.  I don’t feel comfortable stealing pictures from the manufacturers’ websites, so there aren’t any pictures in this post, but there are a lot of links.

We didn’t initially set out with the intention of having a home that looks like a traditional bungalow on the inside.  We figured that we’d have the bungalow look on the outside and then would just do…whatever on the inside; however, that didn’t really sit well with us.  We really want to have a somewhat cohesive look.  Bryan has purchased several books on the interiors of traditional bungalow homes, and we’ve discovered that we can easily recreate that look without having to spend more money than we would otherwise.  We’ve always loved that look and are hoping that it’ll age well and we’ll still love it in 30 years.

For exterior lights (I’m super excited about these) I chose to go with lights entirely from Maxim’s Coldwater collection.  We’ll have two types of their wall lights and one type of their “close to ceiling” light.

For interior lights I chose to go with schoolhouse-style light fixtures.  We’ll have two sizes of this light fixture — smaller ones in our entryway and bigger ones in our dining area.  We’ll also have schoolhouse fixtures in our bathrooms — 4 bulbs for the master bathroom and 3 bulbs for the other bathrooms.

The other fixtures that I’m excited about are these stained glass fixtures that I picked out for the living room.

For windows, Bryan chose to go with Quaker Brighton windows.  Our house has 39 windows (we’re excited about all of the natural light we’ll have), and we’ll have a mix of picture, single-hung, awning, and casement windows.  They’ll be Quaker’s “redwood” shade (a deep red) on the outside; we’re still trying to determine whether or not to just stain the interior or to paint them white.  We’ve chosen wooden exterior grids in a 3-over-1 pattern.

Our front door is going to be a Therma-Tru door with arborwatch glass.  We’re purchasing the door un-stained so that our builder can stain it to match the color of our garage door.  We’ll have an identical door (though we may go with a plain glass option) going into the front of our mudroom (this door will be at the front of our house).  The doors going into the backyard from the garage and the house will all be much plainer (half glass with built-in blinds; no grids or muntins).  

Our interior doors are going to be Masonite Winslow doors.  We’ve chosen to use solid doors for the bathrooms (so that hooks can be installed on the back of them) and hollow-core doors everywhere else.

We are going to have a few columns on the front of the house and one in the backyard.  We’re currently planning on using Coronado “Creek Rock” in the southwest blend colorway.

For the garage door, we’ve selected a Clopay Canyon Ridge Collection, Ultragrain Series in design 12 with top 11 in “ultra grain cypress walnut finish.”  It’ll basically look like a big/brown version of our interior doors.

At this point we’ve also picked out our shingle color, bath tubs, toilets, faucets (kitchen and bathrooms), and a kitchen sink.


We’re Building a Bungalow!

This post has been a long time coming.  Earlier this year (around April or so) we started working with a designer to create a home for us.  During that process Bryan started researching what makes a “good” home, and we decided that the house that the designer was creating for us wasn’t actually what we wanted, so we went back to square one.

Bryan came across The Bungalow Company.  We really liked the look of their houses, so we decided to figure out which of their floorplans would work the best for our needs/wants.  We settled upon The Columbia.  It has the enclosed breezeway connecting the garage to the house — a feature that Bryan really wanted.  It also has a large living room, a walk-in pantry, space for my arts & craft room, and two walk-in closets in the master bedroom — features that I really wanted.  It was also really important to me that all of the bedrooms be on the same floor — another box that this floorplan checked off.  We both really wanted a large front porch and a covered patio — check and check!  There were a few things that we didn’t like about this floorplan, and we worked with a designer from The Bungalow Company to make those changes.  We got rid of the Jack and Jill bathroom between the two kids bedrooms on the second floor.  We also made some changes to the entrance of the master bedroom and the layout of the master bathroom.  We moved the laundry room upstairs (seemed to make more sense since the bedrooms are all upstairs).  We also had them flip the house, so that the garage will be on the left, and the living room will be on the right.

Now that we had our plans finalized we went to work finding a builder, which is easier said than done when you live in the middle of nowhere.  We settled on one builder, and felt confident that he was a good fit.  He spent all summer putting together a cost estimate for us…and it came back prohibitively higher than our budget.  We were really frustrated at this point because he knew what our budget was.  We were disappointed that he wasted our time rather than telling us early on that it just wasn’t going to work.  When we approached him about the cost estimate he was unwilling to work with us to get the cost down, and told us to take it or leave, so we left.

One of the things that didn’t seem to work with our previous builder was our desire to use hardie plank on the exterior of our home, so we started looking at new homes being built in Amarillo to see if any of the builders were using it.  That’s how we came across HOME by Lyons.  Chris worked really hard to make sure that our cost estimate was as accurate as possible.  The process took a little longer than he expected, but we anticipated that given that our home is so different from the majority of homes being built these days.  The quote from Lyons came back within our budget, so it was time to tackle the construction loan process.  That process was confusing, and I’m glad that Bryan took an interest in learning about it (I had no desire to do so).  We closed on our construction loan last week.

Cheers to building our bungalow!


We took this photo at our lot the day we bought.