Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Today I thought it would be fun to post pictures of the house we just sold. Our home was built in 1989 and designed by Robert McArthur, the same architect who is designing our new house. Here are the things I loved about that house:
Architectural details
Varied ceiling heights
Custom metal railings
Separate kitchen and family room
Timeless architecture
The neighborhood
The decor
The patio
Interior French doors
I miss the house but I also feel like it served its purpose in some way. The people who bought it are absolutely adorable so I know it's in good hands!

I also like our current townhouse. It's small, simple and best of all, maintenance free!
I am also looking forward to the future and our new house. Can't wait to enjoy the amazing view!

In the end, I feel very blessed and lucky. I live in an amazing place and I am so grateful for all that we have. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Project Organization

Today I started to put together my project binder. What exactly is a project binder and what is it used for you ask? Let me explain.
Basically, a project binder is a way to organize your information during the building/remodel process. Typically, it is a simple 3-Ring binder full of ideas gathered from magazines, photographs, home shows, and the internet. It's also used for keeping track of measurements, for storing samples and materials, and can also be used to track your budget. I also like to include a page with contact numbers for my contractor, subs and suppliers. I can't stress enough how very important it is to create one of these as soon as possible in the building/remodel process.
You can buy existing project binders like this one I found online called a Home Project File. Or, you can get a really cute one! See Jane Work and Russell and Hazel have a great assortment that go up to 3" wide.
I've decided to stick with a plain old Avery 3-Ring binder from Wal-Mart. I chose a 3" wide book so that I can add lots of pictures and samples to it. My book in particular contains categories like exterior and interior. I've broken down those categories into specifics such as kitchens, fireplaces, bathrooms, flooring, landscapes, etc.

I usually make notes on each picture. There are so many things going on in each photo that I often forget what I liked it in the first place.
Dividers for my binder.
Some of the categories I like to use.

It's also great to keep your binder in some sort of tote so that it's easy to carry around. Make sure it's big and sturdy enough to carry samples too! I always include a tape measure and copies of my floor plan in there as well. Ballard Designs has some fun bags to choose from.
Over the course of building our house, I will refer to my binder. A lot. It will also a great tool for showing the contractor exactly what we want. I can't wait to add more ideas to my binder!


Glass Office Desks

Pottery Barn Wright Desk
Believe it or not, I've already started shopping for furniture for our new house. With the furniture plan I've created on the floor plan, I know exactly what I need in the proper dimensions.
This weekend I stopped into one of my favorite stores for home furniture, DownEast Home & Clothing. Basically they take damaged and returned items from Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and similar stores. You can find really great things for a fraction of the cost. A lot of items are noticeably damaged, but a lot of them are not. I only had a few minutes to pop in. I wasn't looking for anything in particular (you never know when or where you will find something!), but I stumbled across this amazing glass table.

Beveled glass edge. Chrome trestle legs. Very sturdy and heavy.
The 36" x 60" top will be great for a large work area.

My first thought was that it would make a great desk in my office. I had been thinking I wanted a glass desk but I wasn't sure of the practicality of it (no drawers, files, etc.).
I noticed a small Williams Sonoma Home logo under the leg so I knew it was good quality. DownEast priced it retail for $800 and clearanced it for $150! Oh how I fretted over whether or not to get it! I didn't have my floor plans with me, so I couldn't remember how big the room was or what size the desk needed to be. Initially, I ended up not getting it.
Once I got home, I wanted to find it online to get a better look, so I googled "williams sonoma glass table" and the Mercer Dining Table came up. Retail price? $1550! And that doesn't include shipping! Of course I immediately decided to buy it - I called DownEast first thing Monday morning hoping and praying they still had it. Alas, they did!
I now own the Mercer Dining Table that I will use as my office desk. We'll have to keep it in storage until the house is done, but I'm glad I can at least check one item off my list.
Check out these other great glass desks:

I love West Elm:
West Elm Triad Sawhorse Desk $349

You can also use a kitchen table:
Ikea Torsby Kitchen Table $179

I don't think this available at PB anymore, but it might be worth looking through craigslist or ebay:
Pottery Barn Ava Desk

Or, create your own:
IKEA Vika Artur trestles with beveled edge glass top.

Last but not least:
Restoration Hardware Corbel Glass Desk $1095


House Plans: Schematics

Exterior sketch of our new house!
So here's what this blog is all about - our new house! We've been working on plans with our awesome architect, Robert McArthur. He design, built and landscaped our last house. We love Robert's homes. They are all so architecturally unique. We often drive around in Bountiful looking at houses and you can spot one of Robert's homes instantly.
The purpose of building a new house is to create one level living. Jeff, my husband, was in a serious car accident 13 years ago. As a result, he is an amputee. Our last home had tons of stairs and major yard work. We want to simplify. Our new house will have the master bedroom on the main level. The boys will be downstairs. Our yard will be small. I am hoping this will make life easier for all of us!


What's This All About?

Love this living room. Old and new. Black and white. Modern and traditional.

Well, I've decided to join the masses and become a blogger! This one is based on the fact that I was/am/always will be a designer. An interior designer to be specific. Although I'm creative in lots of areas of my life, interiors are my specialty. In addition, we are building a new house next year and I thought it would be fun to blog our way through design, construction (ya, right), and landscaping but mostly designing the interiors!

Now, about the name. I've always told my husband, Jeff, that I wanted to start something with the name Spruce Hill. My dad was raised in a tiny mining town in northern Minnesota called Eveleth, otherwise known as a part of the Iron Range. The part of town he lived in was called Spruce Hill. The interesting thing about Spruce Hill is that the mining company took a plot of land and created a community for their employees to build homes, raise families, etc. As I mentioned, we are building a new house on a gorgeous piece of property. Spruce trees happen to dot the property. This is where we will build our home, raise our family, etc. See the connection?

The design part of the name is, well, about design. Interesting and unique design. Things I love. Things typically not seen in Utah. Things I would like to see in my own home. Things I admire in others. The inspiration part will come via these interiors and elements of these interiors that inspire me. As a bonus, and as a doctoral student of theology, I may even throw in some bits of inspirational wisdom now and then!

My goal is to physically create the vision I carry around in my head in a cost effective, fun and creative way. In all my years of design, I would have to say that my forte is creating champagne interiors on beer budgets. In other words, I'm really good at making things look expensive when they really aren't.

I love to bargain shop, hunt, research and ultimately find the best fill in the blank for the best price. Eventually I would like have an online store for reasonably priced furniture and accessories. I'm excited to see how this blog evolves.

For starters, I will post a few exterior and interior designs that have inspired me. Enjoy!

We have an amazing north unobstructed view of the valley so
floor to ceiling windows would be perfect in our family room. More on that later...

2006 HGTV Dream Home in Tyler, Texas.

White and bright. Notice the expansive windows over the sink. No upper cabinets!
The jury is still out on whether or not I think this is a practical idea.