Author

Shalice Noel

For Valentines this year, I got Reid a house, how about you?

In all seriousness, We’re spending Valentines Day doing the walk through for our house. I can’t wait! I love both of these tops from Revolve both for their shape and flattering fit. See more of my picks from Revolve that I love below:

Pants similar // Top in small // Mules // Florals

Pants similar // Red top in small // Mules // Bag

Which is your favorite?

Denim jacket in small // H&M pants (old) here are similar // Tee shopshalicenoel in small // Sneakers tts

Love this super soft denim jacket from the Splendid x MLL collab. It’s a beautifully broken in jacket I picked up in small. It fits perfectly and goes with everything. It costs more than the average denim jacket, but I have a feeling that I’ll be wearing it a lot. What do you think?

Advice on paint colors

by Shalice Noel
Dover white and Iron Ore

We went with “Dover White”

When building a new house, it is exciting to be able to pick the exterior colors.  But the pressure is on.  We will guide you through our exterior paint and finish selections. 

First things first, drive around your area.  Take note of what appeals to you.  Snap a picture of inspirational homes you see while driving or walking the neighborhoods.  We recommend seeing these paint colors in person verses online images.  Daylight and shadows can make a huge difference in paint colors only visible in person. Also, if the house is north or south facing can affect the color. When investigating paint colors, make a spreadsheet of everything that would need a color.  See below for a template.

Home Color Inspiration
  Window TrimWindow SashDoorsSidingGarageGutters / Downspouts
House AddressColor      
House AddressColor      
House AddressColor      
House AddressColor      

As you record what you see in detail, keep in mind the rule of three.  Aesthetically, the exterior should only have 2 – 3 colors.  The white farmhouse has dominated Georgia neighborhoods, so we decided to veer towards a creamier pallet.  We were also inspired on a modern take on the white and black look.  You’ll see what I mean by the photos.

With the rule of 3 colors or less, decide which are your favorite combinations.  Also consider the undertones of each color.  We also chose antique copper, exterior light fixtures, and the Dover White and Iron Ore is the perfect colors to compliment. Here is a list of our paint selections:

Our Home Selections
  Window TrimWindow SashDoorsSidingGarageGutters / Downspouts
House AddressColorDover WhiteDover WhiteIron OreDover WhiteDover WhiteDover White

As for interiors, we went with Snowbound for the trim and Pure White for the walls. More on the interior later!

Read more about our move to Georgia HERE.

Read more about the realities of a semi custom build and our house selections HERE.

What do you think? Are you bold enough to go with a black and white combination?

Looking for a new home is a stressful ordeal, but also can be fun and opportunity to express your creativity.  We have bought and sold many homes in the last 10 years.   This will be the first time we’ve done a semi-custom new build.

Tips on finding a new build?

We looked daily for on-line listings.  The most important factor is always location.  We wanted a couple acres, no HOA and low property taxes.  We then filtered our home searches to these categories.  You will need to research property taxes in your state to know best rates.  As artists, we didn’t want an HOA as well as the extra cost that come with it.

When looking for new-builds, you can use the search engine filter to show you all new-builds on the market.  In my opinion, these homes are often over-looked by the public.  Therefore, a benefit to new builds will be less competition and rarely paying over asking.

Look for homes that show pictures of the home fully framed or recently sheet rocked.  Most likely, the builder will have the home finished in a few months.  Here is why the timing is super important.  You want in before the builder chooses finishes.  We went under contract with our home right before the builder was about to select finish and finalize the cabinetry.  We were ecstatic to be able to provide our personal design touches to the home.

We customized the kitchen with a range cubby, tile selections, counters, laundry room layout, school room loft details and were able to choose all lighting.  We wanted all the design creativity without the long wait.

Since you chose the home based only on framing and drawings, it is a bit risky not knowing what it will look like when finished.  You must be able to take that risk and trust your vision.  You are also picking the house you like without knowing much about the builder.  It’s kind of like a blind date.  Before you fall in love with the home, research who the builder is.  Look for references and reviews.  Our builder lived nearby the new home, so we trusted him and his craftsmanship.

You are now having to learn to work with the builder as a team. 

Here are some tips that we learned.  Ask the builder what they had in mind first.  Then go from there if you want to upgrade or adjust.  You don’t want to change anything drastic and the builder most likely won’t agree to it.  Some changes we made were adding arches to doorways in the main living space, adding a built-in school desk for the kids and having hanging gas lanterns instead of wall sconces.  NOTE: any big changes you must make to the house (within reason) should be added to the contract before you finalize the offer. Ours was the range cubby, but I wish I asked for a stairway off the back patio. This is key.  Communication with the builder is very important and keep a record of all decisions and receipts. Any upgrades we had like lighting, we paid for and kept receipts of.

As we write, we have 1 month left of our semi-custom build. Some of the pro’s of this experience have been just that, a good experience! We love seeing a quick turnaround, like the arches we asked for, put in that same week. Some con’s have been the fact that we feel like we’re flying blind, not knowing what to expect and when. Like I said earlier, it’s a risk, but if you don’t jump, you can’t fly. We’re super excited to share more blog posts of REAL experiences that social media glosses over or fails to divulge the details. Want a paint color, we will share it, want a tile source, we will share it. What else would you like to see? Please share your thoughts and comments below. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

Here’s a sneak peek of our faucet, lighting and tile we chose:

Lighting we chose

The Jacqueline chandelier is on sale!

Faucets we chose

Tile we chose

White hexagon tile

Foyer Black and white tile

Boys bathroom hexagon floor tile

Boys subway tile for the wall

Girls bathroom shower floor marble hexagon

Girls bathroom white hexagon floor

Master bathroom floor tile in running board

Master bathroom shower floor

Laundry room tile

Similar vegan shorts // Shopshalicenoel tee // 327 New Balance sneakers tts //

Want to see more?

Let me know in the comments

As you’ve seen on my social media, we are going through a housing transition in our family, again.  I want to share our experiences in the housing market.  Buying and selling.  How to work with realtors and how to make a final housing decision

We decided to strategically sell our last home for a number of reasons.  A major one was, Reid had a job offer back in California.  We also seem to sell after every kitchen renovation.  We do this because we feel our home has the most value while the newly remodeled kitchen is fresher.  For some reason, we deny ourselves the beauty of living in a new kitchen.  As designers, we love a new project.  We also felt the timing of our sale would be ideal late summer.

We listed our house in August and priced it competitively.  It seemed like the house was on the market for a while and we were extremely discouraged knowing all the work we had poured into it.  We did one price drop and finally got some better offers.  Ironically, many of the people interested in the house were from California.  We finally went under contract, but did not have another house for us to purchase at the time.  This was panic time.

Buying and selling is unavoidably stressful, so do not do it as often as we do.  We felt that we could not buy a home until ours closed, just in case something fell through in the contract.  At this time, we were planning on moving back to California and house buying is difficult and contingencies are not ideal for a buyer’s offer.  Therefore, we had our hands tied until our home closed. 

Once we closed, we made a house hunting trip to California, with the entire family.  The kids were grieving their friends in Georgia and I had a gut feeling of hesitation.  My gut is usually what we go with.  In summary, we could not find a desirable house in California for the right price, size or condition.  It was gut wrenching.  One house that Reid loved and would have made for great content had a squatter living in it.  Could you imagine?  The kids revolted and my gut finally said, that’s it.   We decided to pivot back to Georgia and Reid would work remote.

Fortunately, we were able to stay with family and neighbors for a couple weeks and then Florida, while we searched.  We focused our house hunt within a 20 minutes radius of our church.

What have we learned about making a final decision on a home purchase?  Here are five tips we’ve experienced.

1)     Location is always everything.

2)    Know the value of the home and don’t get emotional.  (Study the recently sold listings to get a sense of fair values.  We will go back to old listings that we put offers on or were interested in to learn that the homes sold for exactly what we thought.  The realtor will try and get you to pay the most you are willing to pay to secure the deal in their best interest, but you need to be confident that you are the market and you know what you are willing to pay for.  Remember, you are the ones making the payments, not the realtors.)

3)    As designers, it’s easy to think of ways you can change a home, but consider cost of labor and materials.

4)    You will not find everything you are looking for, so don’t expect it.

5)    Date the rate, but marry the house.  We were overly concerned about changing interest rates until someone shared this with us:  We felt rushed buying a certain home, knowing the interest rates would rise the next day.  This was a bad mistake because we didn’t really love the home or the value we were getting.  Therefore, remember this saying:  Date the interest rate, but marry the house.  Interest rates throughout financial history have gone up and down, typically in a 3 to 7 years cycle.

While looking for homes, we were always disappointed in something about the house.  We ended up finding a listing that was at the framing stage and ready for the new owners to select finishes and we jumped on it. More on our new home later and our experience with new construction.  This is all new to us, so stay tuned!

Xo

Shalice

Boxing day sales

by Shalice Noel

We’re staying in today, picking interior paint colors for the new house, cleaning pine needles from our dead tree, and texting family members. How’s your boxing day going? Some retailers are boasting 70% off! I linked some of my favorites below:

Alo yoga

Amazon

Anthropologie

Etsy

J.Crew use code BIGGERSALE

lululemon

Nordstrom

Mango

Modere

Madewell

Target

Varley

Odessa jeans – size up! // Boots tts in “chestnut // Chestnut faux shearling jacket XS

Black faux shearling jacket xs // Spanx in small // Shopshalicenoel modal tee in xs

Faux shearling jacket in XS // Natalie knit in Small // Spanx in size small

Sequin top // Jeans size up! // Jersey dress $35! Woody Chloe flats // Valentino belt shown in size 80 (fits like a size 4)

Knit sweater in small in taupe gray // Spanx in size small // Satin skirt // Chunky knit cardigan // Woody flats

I on occasion will go to H&M new arrivals and go crazy. Well, I’m being dramatic, but you get the idea.

Here’s 4 finds under $50 that I was pleasantly surprised by: this knit, black dress and sparkle top. Which is your favorite?

No one does luxe layers like Varley. I’ve been wearing Varley for a couple years, and have always loved their workout looks from chic sports bras, to incredibly chic fleeces. They continue to innovate luxury layers that I cannot seem to live without. As we’re in between houses, I made sure to include my favorite Varley track pants and coordinating zip ups in my “only the essentials” duffle. I’ve been living in their joggers and zip ups here in Florida. Afterall, cozy clothes don’t have to be frumpy. Move over crop leggings, meet the joggers, knit zip up and jacket of dreams. Tell me your favorites and shop them all below.

Outfit 1

Rib beanie // Natalia half Zip // Quilted Coat // Sweat Pants (wearing small in desert sand)

Outfit 2

Side Zip Pants // Knit half zip in small “taupe gray” // Belt bag (wearing a small in all pieces)

Accessories: Spencer socks

Thank you Varley for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Skirt in small // Boots (size up) // Belt // Oversized cardigan // Turtleneck // Fendi strap or HERE // Meadow Satchel (trapunto monogram) // Sunglasses //

I turn 40 and I still can’t believe it! There’s a lot of trial and error that Reid and I have been though. I rounded up some things I’ve learned over the years.

Don’t take things too personally

Use face tape (shalice25 for 25% off at checkout!)

Do the research

Be kind

Work hard

Your husband is your partner in life. Picture both of you in a potato sack, trying to win a potato sack race. You gotta work together.

Take care of yourself: drink daily, eat well, sleep enough

Don’t confuse care with control.

You don’t owe anyone anything.

Serve God first.

Don’t people please, it isn’t genuine.

Wear arch support shoes daily. (these use code shalice10 and these for home are faves)

Listen to life giving words and give life giving words. It’s healthy.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. Take one day at a time.

Have a lovely weekend!

xx

Shalice

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