Archive for the ‘New House’ Category

It’s almost been a year…..

June 19th, 2013

Bet you thought I was going to say since I’ve blogged right??

{Ha-Ha} It’s been close. But no, I was going to say it’s almost been a year since we moved over to Dovershire.

We haven’t tackled any big projects on the interior, but have done a few things outside.

One of my favorites so far is the front flower beds.

Here is what they looked like when we moved in last July.

And here’s how they look now!

Thanks to ALOT of help from my gardener, aka my mums, I’m very pleased with how the flower beds turned out! The hard part was digging up the old stuff, but the fun part was planning what should go where.  We ended up hunting around local greenhouses for stuff on sale and then transplanted a ton from my moms yard.  Now I get to just sit back and watch it all grow.

The backyard is another story…We’ve got big plans for it, but right now it’s a hot mess.  One big reason is because we decided to cut down some trees, dig up the asphalt driveway, and build us a big old garage!!  That’s right… I might have mentioned that we weren’t doing any BIG projects in the interior, but I never said anything about the exterior!!

Our good buddy and architect friend, Jay Chiaramonte, helped us draw up some plans and figure out the best way to tie the new 2 car garage into the back of our existing garage.

Here’s a sneak peak..

This is the interior sketch showing the existing garage on the right hand side and the new 2 car garage on the left.  Once we get the old garage stuff moved into the new garage, we then plan on finishing the old garage into a playroom/den/man-cave.  But that will be awhile down the road.

Here’s an elevation of what the Exterior will look like..

Again the section to the right of the door is the existing garage and the left side is all new.

Pretty exciting right?? {Would I have ever thought I would be excited about a garage, no probably not.  But the idea of getting into a dry car on a rainy day, or a warm car on a cold day does excite me!}

Things are moving along quite nicely and van is LOVING having diggers, dump trucks, and cement trucks in his driveway on a weekly basis!

Here are 2 of my favorite photos of him during the construction..

He is always very eager to watch the whole process and is ready to assist on a moment’s notice!

And finally, a quick shout out to our Contractor, Daniel Kaufmann for putting up working with us.  I reminded him just yesterday that when you do business with a “retired” interior designer and a guy that knows how to build stuff, your bound to get some micro managing.  {sorry dude!} For example, the other day when the cement guys were here pouring the floor, it didn’t appear to have any slope to it which I knew the plans had called for.  I quickly grabbed my set of blue prints and ran outside to tell that I thought they were doing it wrong!!  I believe I caught them quite off guard and luckily we were able to get it all sorted out.  But you see what Dan has to deal with! {ha-ha} Anyways, Dan is a great guy and we are very excited to be working with him and his crew.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram {tottyvb}, you’ve already seen progress shots.  If you’re not following me, you better start now cause who knows the next time I’ll be back with Progress Shots!! Just Kidding…

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New House, Yard/Garden

Door Drama

November 12th, 2012

So it has taken approximately 3.5 months, 6 tester paint pots, and 500 million paint swatches, but people, we have a new front door color!

Who knew it would be so hard to pick a freaking color!  {Not me, that’s for sure.} You all know I was ready to pull the trigger on that gorgeous turquoise color, then Mr. vB had to come along and shut that down..

Then I was all gung-ho about this cool navy color I picked…

But upon further inspection, it seemed to blend with the roof too much and I wanted a serious pop of color!

I got so frustrated that I was throwing anything at the door to see what would stick..seriously!

What a HOT mess..

Thankfully at this point the storm door was no longer attached to the front of the house, so no one could see the madness that was going on.

But I’m pleased to report that Mr. vB and I {finally} came to an agreement on a color and  I’m putting the final coats on the storm door as we speak.  Then I hope to get started painting the main door later this week.

Here’s a sneak peek!

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Front of the House Makeover, New House

Blog Break

October 28th, 2012

So apparently I took a self imposed blog break.

Didn’t mean to, but time goes by so quickly these days.  Every night after we got the dude to bed I would think, I should blog about {insert project here}.  But then I would open my laptop and stare blankly at the screen.

Maybe I was overwhelmed at all the info I thought I needed to be sharing on house projects, or the reality that it is hard work being a full time mother, wife, employee, DIY’er and blogger.  And when trying to make it all happen simultaneously, sometimes something has to give.

But enough of that.. I’m back and ready to chat.  We’ve got a lot to catch up on…

Since we last talked some doors have been painted, our fence has been finished,  landscaping in the front yard  has commenced, a new mantle piece is on its way, there have been several trips to the pumpkin patch and plans for a new 2 car garage and kitchen have been drawn.  A pretty slow couple of months if you ask me! {ha-ha}

I’m going to recap it all the best I can..get ready!

Back in September I started testing out some high gloss paint colors on our front door.

Here is the boring before…

And during the testing process..

I think I freaked out the neighbors a bit because at least one asked if we were going to use the same color on our shutters.

I was going for a bright blue..obviously, but it just didn’t work.

So back to Lowes I went and this time came home with a more turquoise color..

Can you see the difference between the turquoise at the top and the blue at the bottom?  They kinda blend together in this photo.

I loved the new color so much I instantly went to the back door and  painted it without asking Mr. vB’s opinion. {why you might ask did I not paint the front door?  Well we will soon be getting a new front storm door and I didn’t want to waste my precious time painting something that was headed to the Restore.}

Viola..Totally the pop of color I was going for!

Unfortunately Mr. vB greatly, extremely, passionately dislikes the color.

My compromise was that we would paint the Front Door a more purpely-denim color and leave the back door this color.  Jury is still out.

On to the Fence!

Never thought I could be in love with a fence- but I am.

This is the gate on the right side of the house.

Rusty at Creative Custom Structures took such pride in making it absolutely perfect.  I would HIGHLY recommend him to anyone in or around Richmond looking to build a fence.

Here is the view from the driveway into the backyard.

Mr. vB had to create a temporary fence to keep B&B contained until the garage addition is built.  Once it is complete, Rusty will come back and finish the 4th side of the fence that will butt-up to the back side  of the garage.  Again we totally confused the neighbors with a 3 sided fence.  Lots of head scratching going on in this neighborhood.

NEXT… Landscaping!

One might say that our yard has very mature landscaping.  Not in the sense of our curb appeal screaming mature adults live here, but more in the sense of “hello, I’ve gotten to the end of my life cycle, please do something.”

Ever noticed the 2 HUMUNGOUS English Box-woods in the border by the front door?  Couldn’t miss ‘em if you tried.

And the holly bushes that were packed in like sardines..

Due to budget constraints we could only tackle the front yard to start, but what an immediate difference!

We hired a high school buddy of mine that owns a Landscaping Design Company called Natural Progression Landscaping to do the dirty work.

Hasta-la-vista bushes.. Here’s what the front yard looks like now.

Our Curb Appeal screams.. Cool Hip People (with a crazy half blue, half green front door) live here now.

Mantle Time!

We have an awesome fireplace in our living room but it does not have a mantle.

I mentioned to Mr. vB one day  that I really wanted to investigate getting a refurbished mantle from the local salvage store.

And then I left to go to the grocery store.  When I returned this had been built.

We are still working on adding trim pieces and the actual mantle part, but it should be done in time to hang Christmas stockings!

The Pumpkin Patch

vannyB loves him some pumpkin patch.  We talk about it often and have been several times.

Lastly, we have been brainstorming ideas for our new 2 car garage and kitchen renovation!!

I’m not going to give away too many details on these yet.  But hopefully the garage will break ground by the first of the year and then the kitchen in late 2013/early 2014.

Congrats- You are now fully up to date!

{And I am exhausted.}


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New House, Yard/Garden

Paint, Fences, and Cool Dudes

August 31st, 2012

So what’d ya think of the new place?  Pretty cool even with its crazy colors right?

Well the painters are officially done and the place looks and feels great.  I still haven’t had a chance to take “after” photos of every room, but here are a few for you!

WOW- right? Remember it use to look like this…

And here is my other favorite transformation.

{close your eyes if you are not a fan of painting over wood paneling}




We used the same paint, BM- Tapestry Beige, throughout most of the house. {thanks anne w for the recommendation!} I love the light feel that the color has, and it will really allow me to play up bolder colors in artwork, fabrics, etc.

The second big project that we have begun to tackle is having a fence built.  My four legged babies haven’t had a lot, okay any, unsupervised outside time since we moved in a month ago.  There was the one time that I tied each one to a separate tree and came back 10 minutes later to find both in tangled messes.  Bad idea mom.

I did my due diligence and interviewed more fence guys that I would like to admit.  We ended up going with Rusty at Creative Custom Structures and I am SUPER STOKED!

Our fence is going to look very similar to this one that he built for another client.

Insane detail right?

We will probably just leave ours unstained, but will make the final decision once he is finished building it.

Rusty got started yesterday morning bright and early.  First task was to clear the 15 years of unmanicured weeds foliage.

By the end of the day he had it all cleared and laid out the string line to show where the fence would go.

Today he started the holes for the posts. And hopefully by quiting time we might have some in place!

This weekend we are sticking close to home and are attempting to finish unpacking those last few boxes.  I still find myself getting very overwhelmed with the thought of decorating every room, but I just tell myself to get a grip.  It doesn’t have to happen overnight.  As with all good projects, it takes time.

Top things on my list are:

1. A New Storm Door for the Front Door, 2. an Upholstered Headboard for our bed, 3. a New Rug for our Bedroom, 4. Floor to Ceiling Shelving for the Pantry and Guest Closet

Minor Things on my list are:

1. New Bedding for the Master Bed, 2. New Bedding for the New Guest Bed, 3. Open shelving unit for the dining room, 4. Artwork

Anyone still there?  I feel like I just dumped a whole lot of 411 on you.  Guess it makes up for the 3 weeks of not posting anything.  Everyone have a great long weekend!

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New House

Welcome to Dovershire..

August 10th, 2012

Before I start showing you guys the fun stuff we have been up to over here, we have to start at the beginning.

Here is what our new bundle of joy looked like on Day 1.

vannyB says Welcome to Dovershire!!

The “foy-yea”

The Powder Room

The Living Room

The view from the Living Room back into the Foyer

The Dining Room

The view into the Kitchen from the Dining Room

The Kitchen

The view from the Kitchen back into the Foyer

The Family Room off of the Kitchen and Foyer {view from the kitchen door side}

View from the Foyer door towards the back of the house

Going up!

The doorway to the left of the top of the stairs leads to the Master Bedroom. To the right is the Guest Bath and other Bedrooms.

vannyB’s Bathroom

The Master Bedroom view from the hallway

View from my closet looking at Mr. vB’s closet

View towards the back of the house looking at my closet and en suite bathroom!

The Smallest Master Bath ever created….

Hallway to van’s room and the 2 guest rooms

van’s Nursery

The Hall Linen Closet

Guest Room #2 {will be van’s big boy room one day}

Guest Room #1

I think the only spaces I left out were the back hall that leads to the garage and the back yard area.  Otherwise, there you have it in all its 60′s paint color glory.

I’m imaging that if we waited a few more years our paint colors would be back in style.  But I’m not patient enough to find out.

So our First project has been to paint THE ENTIRE HOUSE.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Every wall in this house has been painted as well as the trim.

Here’s a sneak peek…

Mr. vB and I agree that it looks like a totally different house now.

Now just to finish unpacking and the real fun can begin!

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New House

We’re Here… barely…

July 21st, 2012

I feel like I have been picked up by a tornado, spun around till I want to puke, and then spit out.

Is that typical when one moves?


We’ve been here for about a week now and the kitchen has been unpacked but not much else. My mission this weekend is to tackle the room of boxes.  Unfortunately it is going much slower than I expected.

Did have to let you guys know though that Mr.vB and I are already working on our first project.  {that didn’t take too long did it?!}

We are thinking about building some custom bookshelves beside the fireplace in the family room… Mr. vB taped it out so we could ponder it for abit…

I’ll be back soon with a tour of the new Casa… until then feel free to stop by and help me unpack a box or two!

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New House

Packing- who me?

June 24th, 2012

I think, correction, I know that I am in some what of denial that we are moving in 3 weeks.

Denial in the sense that I have to pack.

Do packing fairies not exist?

This is what we’ve have been doing instead…

Way funner than packing if you ask me!

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Baby vB, Mr.vB, Mrs.vB, New House

And we are offically…

June 12th, 2012


We were able to release the contigency last night on the new house and are moving forward with the sale!  Hoorah!

Here’s a sneak peak at the new Cheateau vB…

So Exciting!!!

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New House