What's your story? Here's a little history on me...

coastal_modern_loveMay 4, 2011

Hi all!

Just thought I'd post here as LL and some other well known names have "crossed over". There has been some confusion in my postings as I am asking for help on a current project and also recently posted a finished modern kitchen. So here's the story, hence my name:

We bought our home new (full time residence) 8 years ago. It was a solidly built, horribly finished craftsman style plopped in the middle of a 4 acre wooded lot without a driveway. Having 2 kids under 3 and one on the way, I was not ready to tackle the inside so got started on the out. We paved the drive, put in paver patios and walkways, planted about 100 pines of various varieties, landscaped yard, planting beds etc. That took 2 years to complete, but we are still adding and changing to this day. When my youngest was 3 we started on the inside. Finished the basement with toy room, media room, kitchenette/craft room and office. Then came the "modern" kitchen, and modern inspired decor, hoping to redo the bathrooms in the next few years.

4 years ago we purchased a summer house. It was newly updated by the sellers. All we did was paint and plant and we were in! The winter before last, we suffered a pipe freeze/burst, and that along with the 95*+ temps in the house from heat and hot water caused the whole interior and contents to be considered a total loss. The house was gutted and we began the renovations.

I decided to go "coastal" on this design as I just love the look of white linen on driftwood tones and seaglass. This is a new look for me so I have taken to the boards for help. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, and after I got over the initial loss, wanted to make it a fun experience. We are big DIY'ers, when it comes to planning, designing and decorating. Not so much in the building dept., but very involved in every aspect. I just love taking on these projects, and with your help here plan on keeping it up with little updates here and there.

So I hope this was an interesting read into my history and would love to hear your stories as well!!!

Talk soon!


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So your white house is your summer house and the contemporary one with the blue accents is your full-time house? Do I have that straight? Is your summer home on the coast - I always assumed that it was. I have a coastal living magazine that I pick up and I love the lightness of the decorating in it. Although we live on the west coast I actually live on the North Shore mountains which border part of the coast and I although our renos are done I'm trying to incorporate a little bit of both of the styles into the decorating. We'll see how it goes.

I'll post later about "my Story" - I just came in from my run in the pouring rain and am getting cold so it's time to hit the shower.

Thanks for picking this "move" over and starting a topic. I'm looking forward to this. Maybe a little more relaxing and finding out about how we make the decisions that we do through who we are and where we live.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 12:42PM
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blfenton, yes the white house is the beach house. Although my full-time house is in a sleepy coastal town as well, there are no beaches only rivers and marshes and lots of woodland and farms. I went with a modern decor here because of all my open spaces and floor to ceiling windows, plus my equal love of modern design and architecture. But the beach house is quintessential coastal cottage style - sink in a poofy linen slipcovered chair and sip a heavily *spiked* lemonade so that the kids putting their sandy feet on the white sofa won't kill me kind of decor that I equally love! I'll have to look up some of your posts to check out your reno pics!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Coastal- Can you post a picture or two of each home? I'm sure you've posted them before, but it would be great to see a picture to go along with your wonderful descriptions.

Did you say you're on the west coast? I was wondering, due to all the pine trees :)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Hey CML, Lavender, bl

I had a story, lost it, and waiting on a new story to develop.

We thought we had the house sold, didn't.
Thought we had a foreclosure we could buy, bank hasn't put it on the market yet, waiting.

So everything changed......

I doubt if the timing is going to work out, so we are waiting and starting over.........


    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 4:01PM
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My Story:
We've been in our house for 22 years, love the house, adore the neighbourhood. It took us 18 months to find the house as we wanted a place to raise our kids (who were 20 months old and 6 weeks old when we moved in - 2 boys) and that we could retire in. I hate moving and was only going to do it one more time.
One day we were out looking at a new subdivision of cookie-cutter homes on tiny lots - yech and were on our way home when my husband said lets go up this road. We turned left up a steep hill, went over the crest and fell in love. An older area of homes on large lots (for a city) of 75'x125', well-maintained mature gardens, people out walking, talking to their neighbours, etc. We went home ,called our agent and told him to find a house in the area. Two weeks later we had our house, two weeks after that we had our new baby and 6 weeks later we moved in.

We live in the mountains and our neighbourhood isn't very big. To the west about 4 blocks is a ravine with a river, to the east about 5 blocks is a wildlife sanctuary and to the north about 5 blocks is a system of trails that take you into the mountains in which you can get lost. The mountains go literally forever and include 3 ski hills within 20 minutes of us and Whistler within 1 1/2 hours, world-class mountain biking, running (which I do) and a river with swimming holes where my kids grew up. Can't beat it for kids. When we bought in here we didn;t realize we were buying into a lifestyle of the outdoors. And all of this 30 minutes from downtown over a couple of bridges. My kids ski, mountain-bike, hike. They're older now but still do it all.

Our house is a 3000 sq.ft. 1972 post and beam which we have just completely renovated. We gutted it down to studs and plywood, rewired, replumbed, reinsulated, moved one 20' wall 4' out, and then put the whole thing back together.

One day when one of my kids sits down with me I will post photos. Our renos were done in an "organic" way to make it as environmentally friendly as possible. We found a GC who separates and recycles as much as possible. We also tried to tie our choices with the outside as much as possible while trying to stay true to the strong linear lines of the post and beam. We moved back in last fall and we love it. We're still decorating and choosing accent colours but it's coming along. Pics soon I promise!

Hopefully there are more stories to follow and that I didn't bore you with mine.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 7:41PM
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I love hearing more about everyone. Here is my story:

I'm in NY, fiance is in PA and I agreed to move there only if we found the perfect place to live. We originally intended to buy, but we couldn't find anything. We saw a house that had a view we adored but we hated the house, and a bunch of houses we loved but we hated the lots.

We found a lot next door to the house that had the view we loved, and got into contact with the builder who built the houses we loved. We made an offer on the lot but the people were insane. They raised the asking price of the lot by $10,000 over what it was listed at (it had sat on the market for almost two years already) and they demanded closing in 30 days with no contingencies for inspection of property, etc. We said no. They came back and agreed that they'd be more reasonable. We made another offer. Our realtor drew up a contract and I went back home. We got a call that they had given back our "signed" contract with all our contingencies crossed off and the price an extra $10,000 over the original extra $10,000. We walked away from that- nuts!

Went up there again the next week. We looked at EVERY LOT within our price range. The realtor encouraged us to go and see a lot that was above our budget that had been on the market for over a year (The neighborhood is on the site of where this old historic hotel sat, and there are pretty extensive deed restrictions regarding house size, finishes, etc. which scared a lot of people away).

We went and immediately fell absolutely in love. The lot is 5 acres and in the middle of a neighborhood with 200 acres of land, only 54 of which will be developed and only a total of 16 families/houses. There is a pond across from our house and the back of our house overlooks woods and a horse farm in the distance. There is a YMCA camp very nearby and we have access to the trails through an easement in our back yard. There are chainsaw carvings at random throughout the neighborhood and natural springs and old spring houses. It is really, really idyllic!

We made an offer on the land without even walking up the hill because it was so steep and wooded (contingent on builder approval though!) They came back with a counter offer that was only $3000 lower than their starting point but then they countered their own counter. When we first went with the builder, we were so scared because he was walking up this hill saying that there was no way anyone could build on such a steep hill. But, then it flattened out and made this perfect spot for the house. And there we were...

We broke ground in October. Scheduled to be done in December.
Pond that we can see from the front of the house:

Random wood carving at the corner of the street, decorated for the holidays:

See our steep hill!

Our land the very first day we saw it:

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 8:48PM
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WOW beagles!!! If this isn't the "perfect place" than I don't know what is! A little bit of everything!

OK LL- I've been working on this and here goes, before & afters and a few other rooms and yard...

north kitchen before


north family room before


north LR

north Dining Room

north ikea-kitchenette/craft room in basement

play room in basement

media room/bar in basement

back yard before


front before (and DH!)


The following pics are of the beach house...

outside before


LR/DR before (it was staged like this when on the market before we bought)


DD's bedroom before

after with roof bumped out

the water damage before

after (not done)

water damage

and now for some things I LOVE.......

AND************ the best view EVER from the veranda off the coast of the Mediterranean (family's country house)

Sooo that's my story! Looking forward to "meeting" all of you!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 8:04PM
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CML that's incredible.
You guys have done a fantastic job. I've done enough to know that you also worked your rear ends off!
It takes years to get there....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Coastal- Thank you so much for posting pictures! Your homes are beautiful and you've done so much work on them. It's amazing how much you've gotten done and it all has turned out so well. I'm looking forward to seeing the beach house finished, too. Great pictures of your dogs and when can we come visit you at your family home, on the coast of the Mediterranean? :)

Beagles- Beautiful property...you must be so excited to get all finished and moved in. It's going to be a wonderful home!

Corrie- So sad to read that your deal fell through, but hopefully an even better deal will come along, with the school year almost over. We had a terrible time selling my mom's old home, but then the perfect people came along and it was done in no time. Hopefully, that will happen for you, too :)

Blfenton- Oh, your location sounds amazing! Such a nice area. I'd like to read more about your organic renovations and I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 5:37PM
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