today marks the end of my and brandon's first year living in our new house. in case you didn't know, brandon works for his stepdad's architecture firm as a draftsman/i.t. guy. because of this, we were given the opportunity to design (brandon drafted the plans for the house), oversee, and get financing for the construction of our first home! we are very fortunate, and it was a wonderful (though completely stressful!) experience, especially for two people in their early twenties.
in celebration of this special day, i thought i would invite you into my home through these pictures so you can see for yourself!
a few things about our house:
- we have no carpet in the house; we opted for stained concrete instead. i have to say: i love stained concrete! it's so easy to clean the floors, you don't have to worry about spills ruining your floor, and it looks really classy. we have area rugs down in most of the rooms of the house for that cozy feel.
- we were down at our homesite every day directing and overseeing the construction of the house (we lived in the architecture office for 1 year, believe it or not, while the house was being built; the office is just 1/2 mile away from the house). we learned so much about how a house is built. brandon was already used to this sort of thing, but it was definately a whole new experience for me!
- i decorated the entire house, from chosing the colours of the walls and trim, to the furniture, to the decor. if i had the time and energy to pursue it, i would consider going into interior design. not only did i do all this myself (with the go-ahead from brandon, of course!), but we came in extremely under budget on everything we had a say in.
- our house is a "green" home. it's made from a material called rastra, which is styrofoam and concrete mixed together. it is amazingly sound structurally, and because of this material, there is no need for insulation in the exterior walls. also, our house is tornado-proof (the exterior, anyway, and the wall around our home). our interior walls are recycled wood planks, and the ceiling is stained hardiboard under a layer of insulation under a layer of solar boards under the metal roof. the average central-texan's electric bill in the summer runs around $200/month; ours has never been higher than $130, and our house is 1200 square feet. coating the rastra on the outside of the house is stucco, which was then painted (of course, i picked the colour).
- we have these metal beams running through the ceiling of our house, which are really cool (see picture below). these are what allowed us to have a curved roof (if you look at the front of the house, it almost looks like we have no roof, when in fact, it is just curved to be lower at the back of the house).
- i still wake up every day feeling like i'm in a fancy hotel suite. i love this house so much, and i'm so grateful! my only wish would be that it be closer to austin (we're an hour and a half away, but i go in to austin usually once or twice a week).
okay, on with the tour!
the living room. can you tell my favourite colour is red? :p
the dining area, although i regret to inform you that we usually eat at the couch :p.
the kitchen/bar area. you can see one pantry there in the middle. that's where i keep the cleaning supplies and all my candles (i used to be a manager of a candle store, so as you can imagine, i have a TON of candles!). we have a bigger pantry just to the left of this photo, and that's where i keep the food.
where our lizards (4 leopard geckos) live. the laundry room is on the other side of this wall, and there's a storage closet just to the left of this photo.
the master bedroom. the walls are deep red.
the dresser in the master bedroom.
the master bedroom again. my collages are on the wall (some of them, at least), and on the left is the entrance to the master bathroom.
a view of the master bathroom. we have a giant tub :p. i also have a sizeable closet, i just didn't think to take a picture of it! we are going to paint this bathroom a bamboo green sometime soon.
a view from inside my meditation/exercise room. the walls are actually a dreamsicle orange colour, my camera was just not cooperating very well and made the room look neon orange, heehee.
the spare bathroom.
our computer room. brandon's desk is the one in the lower right corner, mine is the other one, and of course that's my crafty-time work table there on the left! what a mess, huh?
brandon's desk is messier than mine, though. i drew that picture of brandon that's sitting on that top shelf.
outside our house! yes, the dirt in the foreground is actually our street. don't ask me why the people here don't want to pave the roads, geez. anyway, our wall is made out of rastra, also. we got those huge rocks burried in the ground on our property; they're granite. i designed the archway and the path (ugh don't mind the "grass"... everything is dead here, haha). the jasmine plant we call "mean bean" is in that spirally part of the wall, hiding.
the left side of the house. from the street, the wall is only about 4 1/2 feet tall, but inside the wall at our patio, it's actually like 12 feet or something ridiculous like that. our yard is nothing to brag about, so i didn't take any pictures of that for you, haha. that sliding door on the left side of the house is the entrance to the meditation room.
our driveway, with my pretty little mitsubishi mirage parked under the carport!
anyway, that's our house! i think most people (including family) thought we were lying or exagerating when we told them we were building a house, but it was totally true! it is pretty amazing :). it definately wasn't easy: we had tons of problems throughout the entire process and i yelled a LOT. but it is very rewarding to have something so cool happen to us!
so if you ever need any advise on building or decorating a home, feel free to ask! i've been there, done that ;p.