A Busy Two Months for Our Home!


Hello! I hope everyone has been enjoying the summer.  I love the summer season, especially after spending our first winter here in the Carolinas compared to a "winter" in Florida.  We have been looking for ways to enjoy the weather outdoors while it lasts, that is... between everything we have been doing for our NEW HOME!

Closing went well, and after moving, unpacking, and spending consecutive weekends at Lowe's and Home Depot, we are definitely ready to settle back into a routine.  We have been in our new home for two months.  It's time to embrace the fact that we have at least gotten ourselves an organized start, and begin to build a plan to complete "one room at a time."

I can't believe I haven't posted since closing! We have so much to share, and haven't had much time to do so.

Anyway, let's get on with pictures of the finished product!

ryan homes naples south carolina arizona stone elevation d
Our New Home!

ryan homes naples elevation d arizona stone
Ryan Homes Naples Elevation D with Stone
ryan homes naples elevation d with stone
Ryan Homes Naples Elevation D with Stone

We decided to switch from the accidental "Rustic Suede" stone to our original choice, the "Arizona," complete here at closing.  Since we've moved in, we've pulled all the pine straw out, added black mulch, and hung Boston ferns from the top of the porch for the summer season.

Front Entryway
View of the Study to the right

Since moving in, we've added roller shades to the front windows in the study for privacy, and filled the study with the desk we currently have, along with odds and ends like wall art that we aren't quite sure what to do with yet.

ryan homes formal dining room
Dining Room

We have a drop-leaf table in our dining room right now, and a china cabinet.

ryan homes morning room naples reverse floor plan
Morning Room from Hall

The morning room is our absolute favorite room of the house and we hope to make it into a sunroom to extend our entertaining space, or at least a breakfast room.

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Morning Room from Kitchen

ryan homes naples reverse floor plan kitchen
Kitchen from Morning Room

ryan homes kitchen naples reverse floor plan morning room
Kitchen from Living Room

The kitchen is accessible from the dining room, morning room, and living room.

ryan homes living room naples with fireplace
Living Room

We have a new Pottery Barn sectional in the living room, posted up the Ikea Hemnes entertainment center we already owned, and have a few decor items in the living room.

ryan home stairs upgrade

Unfortunately, the polyurethane coat on our stairs was peeling shortly after closing. It was fixed during our "30 day check-in" through Ryan Homes.

ryan homes loft

We have our old couch upstairs against the capped wall in the loft.  Eventually we hope to get a bigger TV for the living room and move the older TV upstairs to the loft area.

ryan homes
Future Nursery
We have deemed the bedroom to the right of the loft the "future nursery" and have pretty much forgotten this room even exists.  It will remain empty until the day we have a use for it :)  We are using the closet space in this room for my craft items and gift wrap, but we don't see a point in filling the room with anything else.

ryan homes naples master bedroom his and hers closets
Master Bedroom
ryan homes naples master bedroom sitting area
Master Bedroom
ryan homes master bedroom his and hers closets sitting area
Master Bedroom

Our master bedroom is a work in progress mainly because we need to purchase dressers and a vanity for our room.  Our king size bed fits perfectly between the two back windows, but we have a ways to go!  Besides our living room, the master bedroom is top priority on the "one room at a time" list.

ryan homes master bathroom garden tub
Master Bathroom

I only have a picture of the garden tub in the master bathroom at closing.  Since moving in, we've removed the towel bar above the bath in favor of hanging a picture there.  I've never really been a fan of "fancy towels" for our master bath, I will decorate with towels in the guest bath and powder room, but for the master I didn't think we needed them.  The bathroom actually lacks a good space to hang our day-to-day towels.

ryan homes naples elevation d guest bedroom
Front Guest Bedroom

We have two extra bedrooms for our guests (until the future kiddos take over).  The cute oval window on our front elevation is actually in one of the guest bedrooms, so it is on our to-do list to get the window fitted with custom wood shutters.  The oval trim piece actually had to be ordered twice, and then kept fitting incorrectly, so Ryan Homes ordered a trim piece for the window that was only replaced a couple weeks ago.  Until the trim was in place, we couldn't get anything measured for the window treatments.


Our backyard is pretty private with only woods behind us.  We would not have built our home had it not been for this lot.  At the time we purchased, it was the only lot available that didn't back up to another home.

Our home is definitely a work in progress and I will share "progress" photos very soon!

Paint & Trim


The first round of paint and trim is complete!  Our new home will come painted entirely in Dover White by Sherwin Williams- I'm not sure the color of the white trim.  Dover White is, in my opinion, a much better all-over color to start out with than the beiges of our former rentals, and not so "white, white" that it will be completely unbearable.  Of course, we plan to add our own paint choices to each room as we build a plan for our decor.

sherwin williams dover white ryan homes living room
Living Room in Sherwin Williams Dover White

ryan homes dover white sherwin williams capped wall at stairs loft

The capped wall at the loft is the only "non-standard" request we asked for and were granted from the builder.  Typically, with hardwood stairs like we will have, the loft is entirely done in balusters as shown on the right side of the stairs above (not yet stained).  In order to keep noise down and to enhance furniture placement for the loft, we were able to change one side of the balusters to the capped wall that is offered when you choose carpeted stairs.  We're really happy we were granted this request!

This lovely window is actually in one of the front guestrooms.  We thought it would be in the loft by the way the elevation looks from the outside, but we were wrong.  This guest room will arguably be the most charming extra room in the house!  The window will be trimmed in white as well.

My neighbor chose her permanent paint colors in advance of their move and had a paint crew come in and paint the whole home before she and her fiance even moved in!  It's awesome that she won't have to worry about moving furniture around or doing "one room at a time" in terms of paint.  Me on the other hand, I have a bunch of jumbled Pinterest boards I still need to sort through to choose the final inspirations for each room.

How long did it take you to paint the rooms in your home to your liking?  Do you know exactly what you want, or will you have to take some time to choose?

Windows & Drywall


Our windows were installed right after the framing was complete.  We chose beige exterior windows to compliment our beige exterior trim (garage door, molding, gutters).  The beige windows were actually required with the beige trim package, and the interior windows had to be beige (also called almond) as well.  At first, we were skeptical about beige interior windows because typically interior window trim is white, but after researching the look of the almond windows online I am really excited about them, and they won't look awful if we decide to install white trim.



Now for our REAL windows!

ryan homes exterior rear morning room naples

Hopefully, we'll get lots of natural light in our morning room.

The drywall went up quickly and was at the "mud and tape" phase during this round of photos.  

ryan homes living room drywall naples mud tape
Living Room

ryan homes naples morning room
Morning Room

ryan homes naples loft

There were some areas of the framing that needed to be re-secured, such as the wall at the top of the stairs shown above, but it was no big deal to point it out to Ryan Homes to correct.

Much more progress to come!  You can definitely see things coming together here.



At one point our home went from this:

ryan homes slab

To this, seemingly overnight:

ryan homes framing

Really by the day we knew the framework had started, our entire house was up!

ryan homes morning room naples
Morning Room

ryan homes living room
Living Room

ryan homes guest bedroom naples elevation d
Looking through the walls of Bedroom #1

ryan homes stairs naples

Even with the weather delay we experienced in the very beginning, at the time of framing we were still on track to close by the end of April, and once the roof is on, weather is no longer a problem.

The entire process really flew by after this!

30 Days Until Closing! The First Big "Oops"


Today marks 30 days until closing!  Here's to hoping it's not so much of a bumpy ride.

It seems every big milestone in life is sometimes accompanied by an "oops."  On our wedding day, the chairs were late for delivery, delaying the start of the ceremony.  For our neighbor's Ryan Homes build, the big oops was their kitchen island (later corrected).

Well ladies and gentlemen, Ryan Homes installed the WRONG STONE on our home.

The sample at the bottom is the stone we selected, Arizona.  Rustic Suede is the stone that is installed.

We did not discover this mistake ourselves.  Our project manager sent us a sweet little email last night, almost like clockwork with 30 days to go, saying honesty is the best policy and somehow it was determined the wrong stone was installed.  We have seen the stone on our home once in person, and we asked about how the stone looked scuffed up (apparently it will be pressure washed back to normal).  We didn't look hard enough or remember that the stone we selected is actually lighter than the stone installed.  The "Rustic Suede" stone has pieces of grey and red in it, and the Arizona does not.

The stone installed is a stone that Ryan Homes does not even offer (at least in our community).  Of course this can be corrected if we want it to.  Basically, our project manager gave us two options:

1.  We can keep the stone that was installed.  We will be the only ones in the community to have it (a mistake laced with positives)!

2.  We can have the stone replaced with the stone we actually selected.

This mistake does not bother me that much because it can be fixed, and I've already seen the stone once and didn't think to question it, but it certainly makes you wonder what other mistakes happen that are overlooked, hmmm?

We plan to visit the neighborhood this week and knock on the door of the house we modeled our selections after, so we can examine the stone on their porch (as we've only really seen it from our car on the street).  Then we will simply decide if we prefer the "Rustic Suede" mistake stone, or the stone we actually chose.

Have you had any big things go wrong during your home building process?

Exterior Elevations


Before we started the process of buying a home I had no idea the term "elevation" referred to the look of the exterior of a home.  You would think it had something to do with how high the home sat on a piece of land, or something having to do with that.  However, the term exterior elevation refers to the overall look and feel of the outside of your home, aka 'curb appeal.'  When you drive up to your home, you want to feel like you LOVE it.  You also want your home to appeal to others, so if and when you go to resell, it is easy.  Choosing an elevation was one of the most important parts of the new-construction process for us.

Ryan Homes Naples Elevation D
Ryan Homes Naples Elevation D

When we did our initial pricing meeting with Ryan Homes, we chose our elevation based on blueprint drawings.  Our floor plan only has one elevation with a front porch available, which we knew we really wanted, but later we initially eliminated this choice in favor of a less expensive elevation, due to seeing how much costs were adding up.

The most frustrating part of this entire process is there are no real-life examples of most of the options you can select.  We chose our elevation from a blueprint, and then chose some colors based on small samples in the showroom.  We later changed both.

ryan homes color selections english stone
Ryan Homes Color Selection Process

Looks good enough here.  After selecting our colors we asked our sales rep could we pretty please have some addresses of the houses in the neighborhood that have our chosen elevation or colors?

Ryan  Homes Graphite Gray Siding, Silver Mist Shake, Roycroft Copper Red Door
Ryan  Homes Naples Elevation L, Graphite Gray Siding, Silver Mist Shake, Roycroft Copper Red Door

I always wanted a red door, but at this point we realized we didn't LOVE the contrast of these colors, or the elevation very much.  It was time to make a change.

Now for my father's visit! He helped us determine what upgrades to add now and what we may be able to do ourselves later.  For example, crown moulding can wait.  We were able to move some money around on our selected options in order to get the elevation we really wanted, the one with a porch!  There is only ONE house in the neighborhood with our elevation!  There are other homes with front porches, but not with our floor plan or other exterior features.  We have a chosen elevation example and a color example, as we will be the first house with both used together (pictured separately here).

yan Homes Naples Elevation D with Partial Stone
Ryan Homes Naples Elevation D with Partial Stone

We are getting a porch!  I definitely zoomed in on this house from way across the street.  Sorry neighbors.  Future home-buyers are welcome to creep on my new house.  I won't be allowed to mind one bit, considering how many times we circled through the neighborhood while doing our research.  The home pictured here is our exact elevation, including the cute oval window!

Now for the colors!

ryan homes arizona stone outerspace front door pebble clay siding sandy tan shake brown shutters color selection process
Ryan Homes Color Selection Process

Ryan Homes Pebble Clay Siding, Sandy Tan Shake, Brown Shutters, Cream Exterior Trim

We must have researched every color color option available in the neighborhood when we were researching our colors.  Seeing the colors in "real life" was important to us because how can you fully visualize your home?  Our home will look very similar to the "real life" example above but we will have beige windows, that will blend into the overall color scheme even better, since we have beige/cream trim.

ryan homes porch elevation arizona stone beige cream trim
Ryan Homes Front Porch with Arizona Stone

Again, trying to not "creep" so hard on the neighbors.  House numbers have been removed!

We have seen a lot of progress on our home since I last posted, but once they started framing everything moved so quickly! Lots of picture updates to come.

What color scheme is the exterior of your home?  I'd still love to have a red door someday!

Our Kitchen Selections: Granite, Cabinets, and Lighting


Selecting the options for our kitchen was fairly easy because we pretty much knew what we wanted.  Luckily, the model home at our community features our selections, so it was easy to know and love what they will look like in "real life."

I love a timeless, white kitchen.

ryan homes naples kitchen model maple glaze cabinets santa cecilia granite
Ryan Homes Naples Kitchen Model
Ryan Homes Kitchen with Morning Room
Ryan Homes Kitchen with Morning Room (source)

The only thing hard to picture about our kitchen has been the actual layout.  The kitchens above have become the "old" kitchen models as Ryan Homes frequently changes their floor plans.

Our kitchen layout moves the fridge to another wall, adding extra cabinet and countertop space.  We have a morning room, so we will lose the window above the sink in the first picture and instead have bar space overlooking the morning room, as shown in the second photo.

ryan homes kitchen dining room

The refrigerator will now be on this wall, alongside the hallway leading to the dining room.  The pantry is on the right of the hallway to the dining room.

As mentioned, luckily our granite is installed in the model so it is easy to see what it will look like.  However, if you are interested in building with Ryan Homes, your granite samples to choose from are small squares.

Santa Cecilia Granite
Santa Cecilia Granite

The Santa Cecilia granite has two different shades to it, and can be either of the variations shown above (one has more gold to it).  So it is important that if you choose Santa Cecilia (and can't choose your own slab, which we are not sure we can at this point) that you love both variations.

santa cecilia granite ryan homes st. kitchen
Santa Cecilia Granite

You can see the different variations in color actually sometimes run through the granite as in the photo above.  Also note too when choosing a granite the granite names are standard.  We were able to go to Home Depot and pick up a small sample of our granite to have on hand.

santa cecilia granite ryan homes under cabinet lighting
Under-Cabinet Lighting

My father suggested we add the under-cabinet lighting and I am so glad we did.  It looks beautiful in the model, but it will also simply add more light in the kitchen, and it will be nice to not always have to burn the can lights overhead for our recessed lighting.

Timberlake Rushmore Painted Maple Glaze Cabinets ryan homes
Timberlake Rushmore Painted Maple Glaze Cabinets

We are really happy with our cabinets, the Timberlake Rushmore Painted Maple Glaze cabinets.  The Timberlake brand also offers a "hazelnut" glaze but we were worried they would look too dark, and liked the look of the cabinets in the model.

The next step for our kitchen (besides it actually being completed) is coming up with a "design" plan.  We will want to find a kitchen island, choose and DIY a backsplash after move-in, and determine what color to paint, as well as a color scheme for decorative accents.  It should be fun!

Do you like a white kitchen, or do you prefer darker cabinets?  Both styles will be around for years to come.