Monday, June 30, 2014

Brainstorming & Views

We're moving really fast on house ideas, yesterday Mark came up with an entry around a two-sided version of the fire-place, we looked at counter-top refrigeration units (like they have at Subway or a buffet), and the list goes on.  What we didn't resolve was the hardwood flooring.  Basically we like the feel day-to-day of our current industrial carpet.

We're leaning towards a Mowhawk carpet in Confetti
with a good pad underneath.  Sorry boys, sliding on
hardwood would have been a lot of fun.

The new house will have terrific views, and to get an idea of
what they would look like, Mark mowed out the plot area.

Its pretty stunning, that's Mary's Peak in the distance.

Vladi gets excited when we are excited, so he's chirping and
scampering around.

Tanji is a little grumpier, this was not pre-approved.

Uschi is busy staring at Mark lovingly, as usual.

For now we are leaving the little birches, they give the prettiest
dappled shade.  Mark limbed them up a bit.

Plus they are home to plenty of smaller critters.

And Vladi likes to play koala on them too.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Better Head to Jerry's

We're on our way to Eugene for a planning session at the
fantastic Cornbread Cafe, a trip to the 5th street market,
and product shopping at Jerry's home Improvement store. 

I'm going to "need" this crystal lamp in my closet.

After sitting on some plush swiveling and rocking outdoor
furniture and scoring a new drainer for our pots, we
are totally focused on flooring.  The Ideabox homes
typically have bamboo, but its just not singing to us.

But we really like this black sink, it'll hide all kinds
of cleaning sins.

Most of our focus is on countertops.  Cambria quartz is
one of our choices, but similar to the bamboo flooring,
there isn't one really jumping out at us.

I may have found the countertop material for my
bathroom, it looks just like nougat candy.

Its a recycled glass countertop by Geos
in "Red Rocks."

Mark is looking at the Hi-Macs Cosmos pattern for his sink.
It has nice depth, like seashells and glass on a sandy beach.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Glass Counters, Misty Fires, & Water Walls

After years of living in a one-room strawbale bachelor (and bachelorette) pad, we are drawn more than ever to unconventional design.  We like a lot of the "high-end" Ideabox features, and have quite a few ideas of our own...

 There is a beautiful glass ceiling installation by  

Dale Chihuly in the Bellagio lobby.

We found Vetrazzo, a company that makes stunning glass countertops. 

For our kitchen island, our favorite is "Millefiore"
made from "salvaged glass from a renowned art glassmaker."

 For a fireplace, we are thinking of a Dimplex Opt-Myst
electric unit that uses water vapor to simulate smoke.

The best part: you can have the "flames" with or without
the heat for full-year enjoyment.

And for a water feature visible from the living room,
a water wall reminiscent of the Vegas walls at Aria and Wynn.
Maybe just a bit smaller :).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Manufactured Homes

This has been the most amazing week, and today we got more
good news at work and I had a decent medical exam,
so we are celebrating again.

It just hit me that this is the happy time we were dreaming of.

To get a feel of the size and layout of room spaces,
we headed to a nearby manufactured home sales display.

Its always fun to walk through "someone else's" houses,
and this lot has a dozen models to explore.

This one is pretty big, we're probably going to be narrower
with some of the cool features like the big windows.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

More to Celebrate

We're eating Mark's birthday cupcakes and double celebrating
because we qualify for a construction loan!

Its the perfect day for a trip to McMenamins and...

Back home for birthday doughnuts and a walk with the boys.

Another Birthday!

This isn't just Vladi's birthday month,
today is Mark's special day too!

Along with the festivities and giant cupcakes...

...there is plenty of singing.
Uschi is reminding us its his half-birthday month too.

Monday, June 23, 2014

L-Shaped House

Today's the first day of summer school and we are doubly
excited because today we got the word that we will be able
to get a permit to build on our property. Woo-hoo!

An idea we are playing with is an "L-shape" with the
kitchen in the corner, two living spaces to either side,
and the master bedroom suites at the ends.

"L" for Lavs and Les!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

All of Our Training Pays Off

For over 20 years we've been dreaming together of designing
and building a small house.

Mark has accumulated two paper boxes full of ideas; from
hand-drawn plans to magazine clippings and product catalogs.

Its "Go-Time,"  all of the books and folders are out and we still
like the ideas now that we liked before.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Location, Location, Location

Today we are meeting our potential contractor and our place
has never looked prettier.

This is paradise, complete with cotton ball clouds.

Friday, June 20, 2014


We're trying not to get too excited about the house, because we're not sure yet if we can build on our property.  A contractor is visiting tomorrow to look at the site and determine feasibility, cost, and to assist us in navigating city and county codes.  So, O.K., we're pretty excited and since Ideabox has designed with Ikea, we're heading to Portland to the nearest store.

Let's do this!

So many kitchens, this is hours of entertainment.

Its a kick to think about designing a complete house from siding
to flooring to drawers and utensils.

Reflective appliances?  You bet.

We're interested in effective use of space, the house won't be huge.
The plan we've been working on the past few days is to have a
kitchen/dining/living space, with two master bedroom
suites, one that each of us will design.  Fun!

I'm loving the pink cabinetry for my bedroom,
apparently its for for 5-8 year olds.

Lemon drop chair!
I'm definitely going to want this little yellow puff velvet
swivel piece...

...and this green velvet couch (Stockholm collection).

I'm using Mark's birthday cupcakes for my color scheme :).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


We heard about Ideabox homes in Salem, Oregon back around 2007, and Mark remembered them as soon as we started thinking about a new home.  Perusing their website, we were instantly impressed and decided to head to Salem to see one of the models, which doubles as the office.  We had the opportunity to sit down with the owner/architect and see two models on the site, both well-designed, comfortable, and a bit sexy.   We like the larger Confluence 2 model, or maybe something a bit more custom to our lifestyle. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

New House?

On the day we got engaged, one of the many ideas we floated was inviting my Mom to come live with us.  Since we currently have a one-room house, that's not super-feasible.  On top of that, we would benefit from a bit more space and a relatively allergy-free home. 

So after years of us day-dreaming about houses, Mark is researching current pre-fab and modular structures built in Oregon or nearby.

If a new house is in our future, we know one of the most significant decisions will be where to put the Fancy Feast cans.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vegas IV: Boy, the Cats are Going to be Pissed!

We're heading home after a surprisingly big breakfast at the
Prestige floor at Palazzo.  Its been an awesome trip!

A few things we learned...

A buffet a day is a blast if you eat mid-day,
stay the full two (plus) hours, and
eat light spa snacks the rest of the day.

We came up with a lot of really good ideas brainstorming
in the new environment.  Food + Spa + Exercise =
Worth every penny.

Although we are thrilled to be back with the boys
(who had the most capable of catsitters and didn't miss us much),
we are already looking forward to a return trip.