Behind the Build: Our Fall House Update

Jenna Kutcher 

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October 14, 2022


I can not believe that September came and went. I feel like I blinked and suddenly the leaves have changed and the temps dropped and while Coco is still holding on to wearing her unicorn tank top on the daily. I had to hide it in her closet because she didn’t understand why she couldn’t wear it and her ice cream bike shorts every day to school!

With the chill in the air, we’re reminded that winter is right around the corner — which also means we’re getting closer to moving into our dream home. Last night we were talking and Drew and I both agreed that it doesn’t feel “real” yet. Like we walk through it and we’re amazed and we’ve designed it all but neither of us can fully imagine being in the house and that it’s ours and it’s where we’ll be making memories together.

A funny moment happened last week! We went on a date night and we were running a little late and so we had planned to swing by the house and walk through before dinner but ended up going straight to our reservation with the plan being that we’d swing by the house on the way home. Well, the sun set… quick. So we pulled into our home build when it was getting dark outside but we had a flashlight and we just wanted to check in on progress and also walk it slower (because when we do home visits with the girls, we’re pretty in and out to make sure we don’t mess anything up!) We got to the house and all of the doors were locked so we found ourselves trying to break into our house (unsuccessfully, which honestly, I’m glad it’s secure!) By the end, Drew was climbing on the scaffolding to peek in the window to check on the floor tile. We definitely had a good laugh! 

House Progress Updates: 

  • Drywall is complete: The mudding, taping, sanding, and priming is done. The ceiling has a slight texture to it and that is also complete. Every time we walk in, I swear we have to catch our breath because it’s surreal to see each room with walls. 
  • Stucco is getting prepped: We ended up choosing stucco for the exterior of the house. I just LOVE the smooth and clean finish and after spending a lot of time in Arizona, I just love that modern feel of stucco. It’s a long process and so it’s just beginning (and we hope we’ll be okay with the weather!) There’s now scaffolding around the entire house! 
  • Retaining walls are in: Since our home was built on a bit of a hill that helped with our walk-out basement, we needed two retaining walls on the side of the house. We went with more squared-off stone and it looks SO good. I’m imagining beautiful landscaping in those areas. I’m super grateful we went with more squared stone because the initial design was round boulders and I love how this ended up. 
  • Tile is getting done: This was so, so exciting and transformative! About 80% of our time came from Fireclay Tile and my gosh, their tile is just so beautiful. It really made each room come to life. We did terracotta in our mother-in-law suite (we call it my mom’s room) and green tile in the girl’s bathroom and we tried to choose interesting and fun tile and so this was a HUGE progress update! 
  • Deliveries: It’s hilarious but every time I get to the house and see things getting delivered, I get so pumped! All of our doors and all of our trim has been delivered (doors have never looked more beautiful!) 
  • Well is dug: It’s wild building a bit in the country! We both grew up on well and septic and so that’s nothing new, but things like that when you’re building, leave ya holding your breath! We’re praying our water quality is great, because the well water I grew up on was amazing. Fingers and toes crossed while we wait for the sample tests but we found water, so that’s a win! 

What’s Next: 

Even in the process of writing this post, there has been a lot of progress on the exterior as the scafolding has gone up and the house is prepped for stucco! We’re hoping this gets moving (and quickly) as the upcoming temps are definitely dropping! As October rounds out, we’re crossing our fingers and toes that our cabinets can go in near the end of the month. Once we get those in then things start to move pretty quick!

Trim, paint, lights, fixtures, and finishes. It’ll start realllly feeling like a house when we get to that step and each little detail will make it feel like home. Last night I was laying in bed and I remembered these beautiful gold picture lights and I got all excited. We did a LOT of custom cabinetry throughout the house so I can’t wait to see it get installed (and see all of the fun storage we will have with it!) 

Let’s talk Tile: 

Something that’s been so surprising to me is how I’ve literally forgotten some of the decisions we made months ago! Since building a custom home means making a ton of decisions and a lot of those decisions happen months (if not a year before they are installed) it’s felt like Christmas morning when we go into the house and are reminded of what we’ve chosen. This has especially been the case with tile, especially since a lot of those decisions were made literally looking at tile online without holding it in our hands or seeing the finish in real life. Legit looking at these photos of the tile (not even complete, dusty, and in process) make me so happy.

I am also seeing how I stepped outside of my little black, white, and brown comfort zone (a bit, c’mon, give me a little credit here) when it comes to our tile choices. While the heart of a lot of our home’s design will be rooted in traditional and timeless, I wanted to make sure we had pops of color and fun and I feel like tile can truly transform a space (it sure has in our case!) I polled my Instagram audience and everyone’s fave was the greenish hexite tile in our laundry room from Fireclay Tile! I LOVE this star and cross pattern for the girl’s bathroom and the terracotta tile (all Fireclay Tile!)  that will be in our mother-in-law suite! 

Furniture Orders: 

We’re starting to figure out what we’ll need and also getting ready to start ordering. It’s tricky with supply chain because some things can ship in a day or two (which we’re not ready for) but others are weeks upon weeks back-ordered. The family that bought our current home is keeping quite a bit of what we have inside (think: dining table, bar stools, coffee tables, hutch, etc.) so we’re starting fresh with most things which I also love! When I have free time, you’ll find me browsing home decor magazines and websites, I love this stuff. We’re also super lucky because we’re working with Pottery Barn for the girl’s bedrooms and I can not wait to give Quinn an actual nursery (Coco has yet to give hers up, so Quinnie has just been sleeping wherever we put her!) and a big girl room and bed for Coco! 

We are also working with Lindye Galloway on some of our spaces. She’s done houses for a few of my friends (Amy Porterfield and Jasmine Star to name a few) and I LOVE her style. She’s helping us with the furniture and decor in a few rooms of the house and I can not wait to see what she chooses and how we fill a space. One thing that I struggle with in terms of design is scale and I want to make sure the scale of our furniture is right for the space! That’s why I’m excited to partner with a few key designers to make sure things feel good in the space! 

We got a pod dropped off on the property a few months ago and so we’ve been able to store some of our stuff in there while it trickles in as we get closer, we’ll start ordering more furniture and things we need and we’ll have a place to store until we install it all into the house! Truth be told, it feels unreal to start thinking about all of this! 


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  1. Ronen says:

    Sooo exciting!

  2. Danielle Lancy says:

    Love this!


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

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