FINALLY made it through pre-start! It was fun, but would’ve been better if Brendan was around to help me decide. Although that said, our consultant Verity was a blessing; she was honest with her opinions and knew my style perfectly. She didn’t try and sway me, but warned me about some of the options available. And she helped us save about $2000 in wasted expenses—couldn’t have asked for better!

With our ideas (shown in my previous post) on my trusty iPhone for reference, we went through all the options we had to select and have chosen the following:

This is the exterior colour palette. We’re going with the “Monument” Colorbond roof, and matching “Charcoal Lustre” window frames. The paint colours for the elevation will be Solver “Dune” (the right swatch) and the contrast colour will be Solver “Charcoal” (on the left). The grey “Designer Pave” pavers will cover both the driveway and the alfresco. The face brick (see below) for the non-rendered back of the house is Austral “Collie” and the garage door will be Colorbond “Surfmist”.

Here’s a closer look at the brick:

Now to the bathrooms. We decided to keep the scheme in the guest bathroom and laundry identical because they are adjoining rooms in the same area of the house. We chose slightly different options in the ensuite to keep with a look we want to achieve at a later date.

As you can see, we chose a slate-grey floor tile with a matching grout, and went with a large, rectangular wall tile with a very slight horizontal stripe. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a close-up of the pattern but I will do the next time we visit the pre-start room with Brendan in tow. The cupboard fronts are Laminex “Espresso Ligna” and the counter tops are Laminex Squareform “Ash Dust”. The “Piano” feature tiling will only be used in the shower and is from Crosby Tiles’ Impulse glass tile range.

For the ensuite, we kept everything the same except for the floor tile and the cupboard laminate. We went with a black floor tile and matching grout, and chose a dark grey Laminex chip called “Burnished Wood”.

We originally intended to have an all-black, including wall tile, ensuite, but they didn’t offer the option. And since seeing my selections, Brendan has suggested he may want black counter tops for the ensuite bathroom:

I don’t actually like either because they look too artificial but he might be able to convince me.

And now to my part of the house I made the most changes in—the kitchen! I love cooking and so everything about the kitchen—from the sink placement to the height of the shelves in my pantry—was adjusted to my satisfaction. Of course, there were some ideas that had to be forgone to curb excess spending but I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done.

Anyway, let’s stick to talking about the finishes. We can’t afford stone benchtops at this point (next home!) so we’re going with Laminex Squareform’s “Pure Calcite” instead. Since I left the pre-start interview, I have been veering toward the “Natural Quartz” countertop instead because it seems to go better with the cupboard laminates I’ve selected. For the oven/stovetop bench (the one installed against the wall), we went with a very neutral Laminex “White”. But to create a bit of a feature in the living area, I decided to choose the woodgrain Formica “Prestige Walnut” in a velour finish for the island bench. The kickboards will still remain white, but the cupboards and entire back of the island will be finished in the wood. We chose the dark walnut because that will be close to, if not slightly darker than, the laminate flooring that we will be laying in the living areas.

Here’s a better look at the benchtops for comparison; tell me if you reckon I should make the switch to the Natural Quartz:

Let me know what you think—all suggestions are appreciated!