New House Updates

I wrote this blog post months ago and forgot to post it, so I wanted to go ahead and publish it today!  We did, in fact, finally move in about 2 months late, in mid-June.  More updates to come, or follow along on Instagram (@stripesandwhimsy) to see the content I’ve shared there!


Only a month left until we move into the new house!  In my first post about the new townhouse we’re purchasing I shared photos of the house without insulation, drywall, or or electrical, but now we are closing in on the finishing touches and I am so incredibly excited!  (Let’s so how many times I say “excited” in this post and over the next few weeks lol.)  Jack has now seen the inside of the house once and Caroline has seen it twice.  They are a little nervous about moving because they don’t really remember our big move from Hawaii to Virginia 2 years ago, but they are very excited to have more space and they had a lot of fun running around.  I was able to pop in really quickly and add some bible verses or blessings to a couple of the rooms before the drywall went up.  I wish I’d had more time but I was about to be late to pick up my girls so had to scrawl some abbreviated verses as fast as I could.  I love knowing that these messages are in the walls of our first family home.  Here are some photos from when we stopped by the house in March!

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Blessing in the kitchen:

Blessing in Jack’s room (he struggles with restful sleep):

Girls’ room blessing:

Our bedroom’s blessing:

Photos shortly after drywall was up and cabinets had been installed but were covered due to painting:

Back wall of living room.  I’m not sure if I’ll put the sofa back here or if I’ll be able to float it closer to the fireplace.  We have tray ceilings in the living room, dining room, and our bedroom, and it turns out those will make hanging drapes tricky because the windows go almost up to the ceiling now.

View of stairs down and up from living room:

Jack’s first time in the house:

Brick is up on the front!  All of the houses have different facades:

I was able to stop by the house the first weekend of April and even more progress has been made.  Dry wall is up, walls are painted, cabinets are in, some of the countertops have been installed, bathrooms have been tiled, light fixtures, switches and outlets have been installed, brick and siding are up, and closet racks have been installed.

The range will be cut into that slab along the wall.  The stone I chose throughout the house for the countertops is sea pearl quartzite.  It’s a natural stone that is white with some swirls of gray and occasional flecks of iridescent green.  It’s really beautiful and it should be durable too.  I think it’s light and neutral enough to look good with my Carrara marble dining table which will be in the adjacent dining room.  Can’t wait for them to install the slab over the island!  I asked them to wire for but omit the pendants over the island, and I’ve purchased two of these gold faux bamboo pendants (smaller size) to install once we move in.

We will have white subway tile on the wall and I plan to take the cabinets up to the ceiling (eventually).

We will have a real pantry again!

This chandelier comes standard.  I plan to swap it out for my Serena and Lily natural colored one.  Though maybe this would look nice with a coat of gold rub n buff!  What do y’all think?

We have white marble as our fireplace surround.  I plan to hang our Samsung Frame TV over the mantel.  I’ve ordered the 55″ Frame TV and the teak frame, which just attaches magnetically.  This recessed media box is used to hold the Frame TV box inside the wall, so that the tv truly does look like a picture frame!

These two niches flanking the fireplace will be prefect for built-ins (eventually).  The windows will prevent me from taking the shelves up to the ceiling, unfortunately.  Nice that we have a little extra natural light though, due to us having the end unit.

The shower in our bathroom.  Love all the white and the fact that there is a bench!

This is our bathroom countertop.  Also Sea Pearl Quartzite.

Not a fan of these lights, but they come with the house.  I’ll swap them out eventually, and we are also providing our own mirrors.

Below is the girls’ bathroom:

The girls’ bathroom vanity:

Jack’s closet.  We will likely do more functional storage eventually.  Right now he can’t even reach the rack to hang clothes.

We won’t have room for our porch swing anymore, but I’m wondering if I could use one of the joists on the overhang for a hanging chair, like this one from Serena and Lily.

I plan to slowly swap out light fixtures and cabinet hardware because they were default choices made by the builder that I wasn’t able to change, and we’ve already solidified plans for our custom closet and mud room (entryway) cubbies for the kids.  I’m not crazy about the giant beige tiles that will be in the non-primary bathrooms, but this was an upgrade the builders chose before we signed on (white subway tile is the standard and I wish we had that!) and I wasn’t able to change it…oh well.  And there are lots of “boob” lights in the hallways and stairways, so those will be swapped out as well.  We will also add built-ins flanking the fireplace, update the closets for the kids to make them more functional, and add cabinets up to the ceiling in the kitchen.  I have a mile long to do list that I want to tackle in order to make this the perfect home for us, but for the first time ever, time is not of the essence because we are finally putting down roots!  As a military nomad all of my adult life it’s so surreal to think that there is no ticking clock on this home (we normally have 1-3 years in one place).  I really do foresee us living here for 10-15 years, and I’m so excited to make this house our home.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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