Flooring and Tile
With all the process stuff out of the way, I thought I'd share some of the nitty gritty detail stuff that was more enjoyable to choose. Dan was more concerned about the yard and layout so as long as it wasn't terrible (in his opinion) he didn't have too much of an opinion. Mostly just veto power, really. I made pretty much all the decisions about finishes and colors. I was going to wait until I could clean the house and take pictures with good light but I know if I have to wait for all of that it will never happen so pardon the unedited (and usually in-process) photos.
Let me just start by saying, while I appreciate wood and the depth and texture wood grain can bring to a space, after a while wood, especially if it's medium to dark, starts to make me feel claustrophobic. It's a weird personal thing. I've never been a fan of brown (though I tried really hard to like it a few years ago and failed) so most of our neutrals are on the white-gray-black spectrum, including our woods. As I stared thinking about what I wanted our house to look like I wrote down some words to describe how I wanted it to feel in it and based my choices around them. I chose words like clean, comfortable, airy, simple, minimal, inviting, and light. I think it was a huge help in making my decisions.
One of the first things we chose was the wood floor because it was the predominant flooring throughout the main living areas. I chose a manufactured hardwood from the Heirloom Hardwood Collection of the Hallmark Floors. It's a gray-leaning brown called Morning Mist. It's hand-scraped and I love the grain variations throughout the planks. I had learned from past experience that really light floors and really dark floors were not for our family and this mid-dark tone hides dirt well. Not that there is a lot of dirt tracked into the house every day because my children are angels who never play in the mud and always clean up after themselves, plus I'm an amazing housekeeper. </sarcasm>
Another thing we chose early on was tile. I chose a bunch I liked but when the bid came back way over budget we looked again at a different distributer and I ended up liking my options there better so I re-chose everything and to top it off, the prices were happier, too!
The master bathroom is done in a porcelain tile that mimics marble but unlike real marble it doesn't spot and doesn't require the sealing and upkeep real stone does. I love the 12x24 inch size. Around the tub we wanted a small decorative finishing piece and I ended up using real marble for those few pieces because there wasn't a porcelain option and it matched amazingly well. For the floor of the shower I went with a dark cut river rock and I adore it. The contrast with the large light tile makes my heart sing.
My daughter kept taking the ukuleles into the shower and singing because it has fun acoustics.
The tile in the powder bath took a while for me to figure out. I initially wanted to go one direction but couldn't find quite what I was looking for so I started pinning a bunch of stuff and realized it was a small area so I could do something a little more interesting and have a little fun. I ended up going with gray and white penny tile in stripes. I squealed out loud when I saw it finished and am so happy I went with it. Because I have boys I did a simple white subway wainscot all the way around to save my sanity when cleaning the endless pee-everywhere-problem (or making them clean it). For the same reason the kid bathrooms also have a white subway wainscot behind the toilet and a tile baseboard on the other walls.
The kid bathrooms and guest bath have a stripey stone look in a light color and I used the same tile in an 18x18 inch size and charcoal color in the mudroom.
The kitchen backsplash tile was one of the last decisions I made. A lot of it goes under windows making it only a few inches high so I didn't want to bother with a large pattern. It seems everyone is doing 3x6 subway tile backsplashes lately and I wanted something a little different so in looking around I noticed I loved a long, thin tile in a stacked pattern. I found a gray glass tile that worked well with my countertop and that was that!
The laundry room is sort of out of the way so I chose a vinyl tile with a textured pattern in a graphite color. They laid it down in a basketweave pattern and I love how it looks.
The last flooring I chose was a VCT for my studio and the bonus room upstairs. The sample box had a thousands colors and I loved that it reminded me of industrial warehouses and old schoolhouse floors. I wasn't sure about what to do for my studio floor because it needed to wear well but have a little bit of cushion so when I came across the VCT I was sold. I chose the colors for each and designed a pattern for each room in Illustrator and sent the plans to the installers. The day we got the go-ahead to move in I waxed it and have been so happy with how it's wearing so far.
I knew my studio would be blue, white, and gray so I chose variations of those and a simple geometric pattern.
Upstairs we went a little wacky and made actual usable checkerboards with some of the brighter colors I just couldn't resist. I'm so happy we did. The kids love to play up there and the blue and green make me really happy.