Project Ivy: Just Getting Started...

Building a brand new house was never my intention. To be honest, just the thought of it terrified me and still does...

Okay here’s the thing, I always had this fantasy of buying a little old turn of the century home and renovating the interior to be that perfectly imperfect mix of old and new... birds chirping outside my window, wood fireplace, ahh a girl can dream can’t she? One day I’ll get there... (and trust me, I’ll never stop bugging my boyfriend about it LOL!) BUT, for now in the current state of the housing market here in Niagara - where prices are rising like crazy, it makes sense to build (if you can) and Vince and I are lucky enough to be doing just that...

I‘m so excited to document and be able to share this journey of building our future home!!

It‘s going to be a huge learning curve for the both of us... I’m sure there will be ups and downs, exciting times and disappointing times, mistakes will be made - and hey, that‘ll be okay!

My goal is to LEARN as much as I can, and hopefully be able to share some insight through this crazy process... It’s going to be a long and slow haul boys, so buckle up!!

Step 1: Location Location

Here in Niagara, (a recently sought after area, slowly being gobbled up by the GTA) it’s VERY hard to find a nice lot. Most of the newer subdivisions popping up are filled with cookie cutter houses all squished together as tight as possible - which (in my opinion) creates a totally uninspiring atmosphere. For a visual person like me, I love seeing architectural diversity - I think it showcases personality and individuality... because hey, we're all different - and our living spaces should reflect that! This was one of the reasons why I was so skeptical about building a new house... so finding a lot in an area with a little bit of architectural freedom and flexibility was definitely something on the must-have list.

I’d be lying if I said we were looking for a property - because we weren’t... Ultimately his dad found the property, so we have him to thank. 27 Ivy Crescent is the second last house on a quiet little cul de sac, in a beautiful central location. We’re close to a pretty little body of water, nature trails and surrounded by friends and family. It honestly couldn’t be more perfect...

The subdivision is “architecturally controlled” meaning - the houses all have to have a specific look to them. Considering the area is close to Decew Road, (along the trail where the famous Laura Secord walked 100 years ago) the houses being built need to have traditional and historic elements... which is literally right up my alley.

Step 2: Getting Inspired

When starting any new project, my first course of action is always finding photos that inspire me and creating a "mood board" (this usually involves Pinterest)... establishing a clear vision of the overall look and feel I'm trying to create helps guide the project along with that end goal in mind.

Vin and I seemed to be drawn to similar elements, we both loved the classic off-white brick look with dark windows and accent... Wood tone features such as garage door, front door & possibly columns were a consistent material theme. Arches were something that I would also love to incorporate through the exterior design, within the front entrance/porch area.

A decent size front porch was also something that was important for us to incorporate on the exterior design... we had to think about how we would see ourselves using the font of our home, not just aesthetically, but functionally too. Sitting on the porch and listening to music or just talking is always something we loved doing - so a porch was definitely on the checklist.

My goal is to create a look that doesn't scream "BRAND NEW HOUSE" especially given the historic area it's located in, I'd like to incorporate vintage/distressed touches that will give the house that "worn-in" look... Distressed white brick - one that appears to be lime washed is definitely on wish list.... another building element on the wish list (one that I should probably start sourcing now!!) is a arched wood front door.

Stay tuned for my next post in the 27 Ivy Crescent series where I'll be talking about interior layout and space planning!