Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

We broke in the house with our first dinner party! With six complete strangers. ... Not kidding.

We agreed to be a dinner host for a progressive dinner sponsored by a local social group. Guests found out where they were dining during a random drawing at the appetizer house. We ended up having a total blast with three couples we hadn't met before. And we got a chance to break in the dining room and our new buffet (love  you Arhaus!). On the menu: Mustard and herb-crusted beef, roasted squash and potatoes, and salad with gorgonzola and toasted pecans.

Had the table set for 10 - but one couple was a no show. Too bad for them!

Still need to hang this mirror. Also loving this silver glass pumpkin I just picked up at HomeGoods!

Kitchen island - plenty of room for prep and wine setup. 

Next up: Thanksgiving for 29.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Survey says

We've been in the house 30 days. Hard to believe! Our post-settlement meeting is tomorrow morning. Although, at the suggestion of our PM we sent a list of items last week, and repairs/fixes have already begun. Everything on that list is small -- some settling issues, one baluster that wasn't cut right, a shower drain that needs some love.

Most importantly, we got that magic survey via email. Both the husband and I are working from home today, so we filled it out over lunch. There are rankings -- and lots of places for explanation if anything is less than 10 -- for your sales team, your project managers, and NVR. There is a section on materials (appliances, flooring, etc) and of course open comments.

So, what did we have to say?

If you've read this blog before, you will not be surprised that we rated all the people we were involved with really high (almost all 10s). And we gave high marks to the overall quality of the home and Ryan in general. But we did have some suggestions:

-- Do a better job of listing all the options available, including providing a list of options that were done to the model. Also, do not add anything to the model that isn't actually an option. (Ahem, smooth ceilings. If you weren't around for this episode in our build, read this and this.)

-- Get rid of Guardian. Explore what other companies might be able to provide similar low-voltage wiring and security. They were beyond unresponsive and charge extremely high rates for what they offer.

-- Rethink some of the appliance options -- especially the dishwasher (it's less than great). Consider more widely offering a professional series option of higher-end appliances.

-- And finally, if RH really wants to compete in the larger/more expensive home market, offer more options and more modern options. Real wood cabinets, in a larger variety of colors; more variety and darker flooring choices; more countertop options, like Silestone or additional granite choices (especially lighter); glass tile; etc.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Goodbye beige

I had been firmly in the "no paint until after the 10 month mark" camp, thinking that I'd live in the space, start thinking about color, get those nail pops fixed and then start painting. Well, that was before I moved into a beige box.

So, I give you room 1 of the "need color" project: my office.

Walls are a dark grey and wallpaper is not photographing that well, but yes, grey, and orange! 

Many many thanks to the husband who painted the room last week as a surprise while I was on business travel. And also to my mother who kindly put her wallpaper skills to work for me.

Now I just need some window treatments -- probably blinds and a cool box valence -- and pictures on the walls. I've got a stack of really cool old mimeograph instructions and stencils from the 50s/60s that I inherited from my grandmother. Hoping to frame and hang some of those.