Oh JoyOh Joy

tile love...

Oh Joy Favorite Tiles

As I work on finishes for our house, I've been immersed in the world of tile lately, and there are SO many good options. And, since I don't like keeping things to myself, I had to share a few of my favorites with you...

1. Tabarka Kavim, 2. Oh Joy for Clé pinwheel tile, 3. Fireclay Ogee, 4. Tabarka Kavim, 5. Juju Fruit Salad, 6. Fireclay Runway.

wallpaper love...

Oh Joy! Loves Wallpaper

As I work on the interiors of my home, I've been having a great time exploring new wallpaper collections and dreaming of new spaces. I had to share a few of my favorites with you in case you're searching to spruce up a room yourself!

1. Eleanor Bowmer pink leopard, 2. Anewall citrus, 3. Calico ursa, 4. Juju Papers bomba, 5. Drop it Modern bosom. 6. Urban Outfitters pink current.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Interior Layout of our Home!

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Interior Layout of our Home!

When we last left off with the design process, I shared the exterior design and architecture of our home with you! While the house was being designed, we had weekly meetings with our architect to review each step and the design plans as they evolved and needed tweaks. I remember being SO pregnant at the time with my second baby (this is back in 2014 when we designed the house!), and there was so much to consider. We were designing and building for our future life with two kids (a life I wasn't living in YET), so it's wild to see this house now coming to life with our two kids now being 4 years older since it was originally designed by our architects at Project M+. Here's a look at how the layout of the house was designed to consider form, function, and our family's needs....

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Interior Layout of our Home!

As a refresher, the overall shape of the house is like a "U" on the bottom with a long rectangle on the top. It was designed to give flow and movement between the inside and outside and really make the house feel one with the outdoors. When you look at a house to buy, layout is something you notice but you don't have a ton of say over. The layout of an existing home may be important in your decision to buy a house, but often you work with what exists. So in thinking about layout for our home build, we had to retrain our brains to think about how we wanted rooms to flow with one another because we actually had the ability to decide...!

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Interior Layout of our Home!

The First Floor: When we were thinking about how the rooms were positioned, we started with the bottom floor. This is the heart of the home where we will spend most of our awake hours and where we will entertain with friends and family. With the U shape, the two largest rooms and biggest areas for entertaining were at the ends of the "U". They both surround the outdoor area so it made sense for us to focus those larger areas on the living room and the kitchen. We did away with the idea of a formal living room and more casual living room because we wanted to take advantage of the outdoor space, and we didn't really feel the need to have two living rooms like some homes have.

Also, while I would normally want the kitchen and living room to be side by side and spill into one another, the unique shape of the bottom floor makes it such that you can see the living room from the kitchen and vice versa through the large glass doors in the courtyard. Since we'll have an outdoor dining area, we're making our kitchen island a spot for quicker meals inside and the more official dining room in the back of the house by the kitchen.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Interior Layout of our Home!

The Second Floor: The second floor is all about the spaces we retreat to for relaxation and rest. Similar to how traditional two-story homes are laid out, all of the bedrooms are upstairs. With the desire to mix indoor and out, the master bedroom has a balcony and the girls' rooms share a balcony. It's a 4-bedroom home. And while we designed it so each of our girl's has their own room, they LOVE sharing a room currently in our apartment, so we'll keep them together until they are ready for their own spaces. The second kid's room will serve as their playroom until then.

When it comes to the master bedroom, we didn't need a huge bedroom. Sometimes I walk into homes, and the master bedroom is the size of a whole apartment! For us, it was more important to have double sinks in our bathroom and a bigger closest. I am finally getting a walk-in closet! If you follow me on Instagram stories and have seen my TINY closest, you know part is extra thrilling for me :P

Finally, our 4th bedroom will serve as an office/guest room. We don't have quite enough space in this house to have a separate stand-alone guest room, so this felt like a great way to double up on potential use of the last room. If you have any questions about any of this, please leave a comment below!

Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever for tips on what to consider when deciding the layout of your house during a custom build or major home renovation. Plus, I'll start sharing my design inspiration for each room with you in upcoming posts! 

{Photos by Lily Glass. Architecture renderings by Project M+

Oh Joy! Builds a House: A Construction Update!

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Construction Update

What a year it has been! In my spare time, I've been overseeing the construction of our new house...which is equal parts scary and equal parts exciting! We're now more than halfway done with most of the work so far being structural. Every single detail is checked and permitted to make sure the home is safe, stable, and earthquake proof. However, we've just started framing the house. This is the phase where it's really starting to look like a house! So here's a fun video today to share a construction update with you!

I'm so glad we installed the time lapse cameras as it's so crazy and cool to watch this long process over the course of just a few seconds. And, once the house is completely done, we'll have incredible footage what it once for our forever memories.

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Construction Update

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Construction Update

Now that the site is a little more safe for our kids to visit, it's been SO fun bringing them regularly so they can see all the work involved in building a home from scratch. In 2019, we'll be ramping up our posts more often and beginning to share my interiors process and plans with you as we get closer and closer to finishing the house. 

Oh Joy! Builds A House / Construction Update

Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever to read a more detailed breakdown of all the phases shown in the above video. In the new year, we'll start diving into the interiors process and design!

{Photos by Lily Glass, video by Jenner Brown. Brinno timelapse cameras from Timelapse Cameras.} 

How to Stay Married (and Keep Your Sanity) While Building a House!

Oh Joy / How to Stay Married While Building a House!

When people find out that we're building a house, they always joke, "So, how's your marriage going?" Oftentimes, people say that when you do a large renovation or home project together, it takes a real toll on your relationship. Honestly, the process of building a house has made me the most stressed than I have probably ever been in my entire adult life...yet my marriage has never been better. I know, how annoying that I can say that, right? In contrast to how giant projects like these can be hard on a relationship, I think it's actually this process that has made my husband, Bob, and I communicate even more than we normally do and work through things because we HAVE TO for the sake of meeting deadlines. The urgency to communicate about our future kitchen's layout or where our outlets need to go has also led to more communication between us in general. So, today I am sharing our tips for How to Stay Married (and Keep Your Sanity) While Building a House (or during a major home project)...

1. Decide jointly upfront what's most important to you. Are you most concerned with form and style, function, budget, timeline? At some point, any one (or all) of those things will be called into question by you or someone who is part of the construction process with you. That's when you need to be firm and united on what can budge on or what can't.

2. Assign who will interact with vendors. You will make everyone's life easier (yours, your contractor, your architect, the bank, and everyone involved) if you designate one point person for each of them. If both you and your partner have the ability and time to be very active in the project, you can assign different teams to each one of you. But for us, it made sense for me to be the primary contact for everyone because I'm just better at quickly communicating, I have a more flexible work schedule, and because I spend more time in front of a computer than my husband does.

3. Put one person in charge of most of the decision-making. With a home build, there are a million decisions to make...from large ones like deciding the general layout of your house to tiny ones like what color knobs your kitchen drawers will have. Both of us were heavily involved in the overall look and functionality of our house. We had weekly meetings with our architects while in the initial design phase. But now that we're in the construction phase which has a lot of smaller changes and decisions that need to be made weekly, we jointly decided that I would be in charge of those. I will make the decision about most things, and if there is something I know my husband will have a strong opinion on, I'll wait for him to weigh in before answering.

4. Have regularly scheduled meetings about the project. Our architect team had weekly meetings with us during the phase when we were actively designing our house. Now, that we are in construction phase, we have a weekly meeting with both our contractor and architects to review progress and on-going updates. Those standing weekly meetings get built into our schedule and we try to work everything else around them. The meetings have helped SO much in keeping us up to date. And if one of us can't make it due to work conflict, then the other one still goes to represent us both. If your construction team does not have these regular meetings planned for you, get into a habit of doing that yourself, either weekly or every two weeks so you are both caught up on where everything is and there are no surprises. 

5. Be okay with compromise. I love bell-shaped brass lights that unfortunately make an annoying noise every time they get touched, but Bob HATES them because he somehow finds a way to bump into them no matter where they are. So as I am looking at light for our bedroom, I knew I had to consider both functional and beautiful options that we could both agree on. And although I imagined our yard filled with wildly colorful flowers, Bob also is allergic to pollen so we are designing our landscaping with low pollen or no pollen plants that would keep him from sneezing every day.

Check out my post on Architectural Digest's Clever where I'm asking tips from other married couples who have built a house together, too! And, next month, I'll be back with a construction update!

Have a great weekend!

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

I'm so excited to finally start sharing the design process with you on our house! Let's start at the very beginning...and now queue the Sound of Music ;). Before I can show you every room we are designing and get into all that juicy interiors stuff, let's dive into the design of the physical structure of the house. This is the part of the process which you don't have to think about when buying a house because it's already there. But in our case, we're building from scratch and have the ability to customize and design our house based on my family's needs. It's been a long (but very fun!) process...

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

Previously, I shared how I found an Architect and Contractor for our house. So, now let's go back 4 years in time when we first began the process with our architects, Project M+.

Here's what we knew we wanted and some inspiration images we pinned for them:
- 4 bedrooms plus 3-4 bathrooms
- At least 3000 square feet. We didn't need a HUGE house but wanted more space than our current 1500 square feet that we've lived in for the past 8 years. We wanted a size that was reasonable for our land but also not too small that we would eventually outgrow.
- A flat outdoor yard so our kids could play and we could entertain
- We did not need both a formal and non-formal dining room since we wanted an outdoor dining area, too.
- We also did not need a formal and non-formal living room as we didn't have endless space to be able to build and we're completely happy with just one main living room area.
- We wanted the flow to feel very indoor/outdoor with large doors and windows. We love mid-century and Danish modern styles so we wanted those as inspiration while still feeling warm and cozy

Here were a few of my inspiration images from our Pinterest Board:

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

(Sources, left to right, top to bottom: Contemporist, Studio Ko, Ventanas, Blueprint Effect.)

Based on those images plus the information we provided our architect, here's a look at the evolution of the design process for the home's design...

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

1. Looking at the levels of the house and how it fits into the hillside. The first step was for Project M+ to explore multi-levels and play with modern shapes to create a continuous space that would be built into the hillside. This is where they were also considering our hillside view from inside out and where you find refuge and cozy areas as well. While we were open to three floors because it felt unique, we didn't like how the levels felt too boxy with and didn't connect as fluidly to one another. We also preferred two levels vs. three after seeing this first rendering.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

2. Revising the general flow. Next, here was a two-story approach still working off modern lines but connecting them a bit more by having one large rectangle sitting on top of two smaller squares. We liked the large windows and the flow from inside to outside but wanted a mix of glass, wood, and some warmer materials.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

3. A 3-D Model! Then, the house became more finalized as a two-story house that had a bit of a U shape from the top. Real-life materials were added in for reference and Project M+ even made us a small version for ants (ha!) so that we could begin to visualize it in 3D. From there, we made some more tweaks but were overall happy with the layout and structure of the house.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: The Design and Architecture of our Home!

4. Renderings. Then, we got more detailed renderings to help visualize the scale, materials, and how each part looks in relation to one another. After this step, technical plans were finalized and we were ready to go into the permit process (which took TWO YEARS after that)! A few things have changed from here, but this gives you a good idea of where we're headed.

The design process from start to finish took less than a year. We could have finished sooner than that, but I had a baby mid-way through the process, so we took our time. Then, the permits took about two years, and then we went and found a contractor. Hence, why I have to go back in time to tell you all of this, but it's SO, SO fun to take this trip back and still be very happy with where we are headed.

Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever for my tips on what to consider when beginning to design your home! And, if you have any questions or other parts you'd love to learn about in this process, please leave a comment below!

{Unless noted, all photos by Lily Glass. Architecture, renderings and models by Project M+

Oh Joy! Builds a House: Construction Loans!

Explaining Construction Loans / Oh Joy!

This might be the most exciting day of your life because I am holding a TON of piggy banks about to talk about LOANS! But seriously, I am VERY excited to discuss this topic with you because there are lots of misconceptions about how anyone can afford to build a house. The answer is...most people do it with loans! I was completely overwhelmed by this process when I started, but I have since learned SO much and want to share that with you...

Here's what most people think about paying for a huge home project (a custom build or major renovation):

A. You need all cash to build a house. (NOT TRUE. I don't have cash just lying around, and here I am doing this crazy project!)
B. You need to have saved up a lot of money. (SORT OF TRUE. You do need to have some savings to be able to qualify and provide a down payment to close a loan. The amount of the down payment will vary, but could be up to 20-25% of your loan amount. However, things like owned land can be used as equity towards this down payment.)
C. You can use a credit card to pay for a home renovation. (NOT A GOOD IDEA. Credit card interest rates are much higher than a loan and unless you are using a credit card to help your overall credit, get points on your credit card, and then pay off each month in full, then don't do it.)

Mortgages vs. Construction Loans
You may already be familiar with mortgages if you've ever bought a home or are in the market for a home. A mortgage is a loan you can get to buy an existing house that you pay back over time (10, 15, 30 years, etc.). The amount of the mortgage you are given is based on your financial credit, cash flow, income, and the value of the home you want to buy. Construction loans are similar but also different. If you do Google search for "Construction Loans", you will get a ton of information about it. All of that information can be overwhelming and confusing, so I wanted to explain how they work from my experience over the last couple years.

Essentially, Construction Loans can be used to build a house from scratch or to do major renovations on an existing house.

Explaining Construction Loans / Oh Joy!

Here's how a Construction Loan works:

1. In order to qualify for a Construction Loan, you need to first be approved for a Mortgage. The Construction Loan that you could get will eventually turn into a Mortgage when your renovation work or your new home is finished. So if you don't already have a mortgage, a bank needs to work backwards and first approve you for the Mortgage that you will eventually be paying off over time. This process is the same as applying for a Mortage, except that even if you are approved for the mortgage, it's not guaranteed you will be approved for a construction loan. You still need to go through additional steps to qualify.

2. A bank will usually lend you 70-80% of the value of your finished home. So, hypothetically (with made-up numbers here), if your finished home will be valued at $100,000, the bank can approve you for $70-80K in a construction loan. In some cases, that amount could completely cover the cost to build or renovate your home. But, let's say your work will cost $85K and the bank can only lend you $80K, you will need to come up with the difference of $5K to get approved for the Construction Loan (in additional to standard financial paperwork). Now, if you already own a home with a mortgage and looking for a Construction Loan for major renovations, your current mortgage will get factored into how much a bank can lend you for construction.

3. In a Construction Loan, the bank pays the contractor — not you. So, let's say you do in fact get this hypothetical $80K from the bank to cover the cost of your construction. Once the work starts, your contractor would request draws from the bank regularly (usually monthly) by providing a record of what work was done and what funds are being requested to be paid for. The contractor sends a "draw request" to you, you sign off on it, and then the bank pays that amount to the contractor. Sometimes the bank will send someone out to your project to make sure that work has, in fact, been completed before paying that amount. This process happens monthly until the project is completed. This is when a qualified and organized contractor comes into play because their ability to stay on schedule and complete the work that they are asking to be paid for will be reviewed by the bank regularly in order to get each phase of the project paid for.

4. Once building is complete, home construction loans are either converted to permanent mortgages or paid in full. Depending on your type of construction loan, you have either decided you will pay off the cost of your construction by the time the project is done. Otherwise, the money that you borrowed from the bank to pay the contractors now turns into a mortgage which you will pay off over time just like any other mortgage.

Now, keep in mind, I am not a bank nor am I a finance person. This explantation is a "101 of Construction Loans" and how I would explain it to a friend or family member asking me about it. But, if you have any other questions...please feel free to ask in the comments below and I will do my best to answer!

You can see more over at my post on Architectural Digest's Clever to see the details on what a Construction Loan can cover.

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance by Jess Hong.

Oh Joy! Builds A House: Choosing an Architect and Contractor

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

After finding land, our next step in building our forever home was to find an architect and contractor to make this dream come to life. The process in which this happens can vary depending on what type of home you're building. There are some developers and builders you can hire to design and build a custom home with both parts built into their process. In these cases, they may have specific types of land to build on or have a set style they build and design to. But you know by now, our land is on a hill and not the easiest to build on, so we chose each partner (Architect and Contractor) separately based on who was the best fit for our project.

Here's a video that shows at a glance of the process and how we went about it! We found an architect first and fully designed our house before finding a contractor that could execute it. Because the reality is...you can't get an estimate for the cost of construction until you have a design to show. And, both are crucial to my next post about getting construction loans for a home build. And, you can't get a construction loan until you know how much it's going to cost to build your home and you don't know how much it will cost until you have a design in place. There are so many interconnected parts to this process that heavily rely on one another.  

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Architects. Cleo and McShane of Project M+ had recently finished building their own house around the time we were contemplating this crazy project. We had mutual friends in common so we chatted with them about their process. The next thing you know, we got to see their own home first hand which is a prime example from their own portfolio. Their style and aesthetic matched what we were looking for, and after a few phone calls to various past clients, we decided to hire them to design our home. They were really the first partners of ours for this project when we first found the land four years ago as we spent a good chunk of the first year with them designing and prepping for permits. We have had many in-person meetings as you do in the early stages of any design process. But once major designs are in place, we now communicate a lot by phone and email. In upcoming posts, we'll dive deeper into our actual home design and that whole process!
 
If you are looking for an architect and don't have any personal referrals, ask around as much as possible on Facebook, Instagram, and any social media channel you use. Chances are that friends, acquaintances, or even strangers who follow you or you may follow have similar tastes so those suggestions are a great start! You can also check out sites, like Houzz, where many architects feature their work!
 
How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Contractors. When it came to finding a contractor, I asked every architect I knew for a referral. Architects are a great place to start because they have to work with contractors on every job to make their designs come to life. Because both my husband and I work very busy full-time jobs, we needed a contractor who was very organized and had great communication skills. This is where Boswell Construction came in. While they were higher in price than another contractor we almost went with, their communication and organization skills are incredible so we felt they were worth the value they would bring to our project. We have weekly meetings on site (which is crucial for us on staying informed with our entire team), they respond to emails and texts quickly, and really make the process as seamless as possible for us. Most of your interaction with a contractor will happen after construction begins. Some people are very involved with their sub-contractors and want to be able to choose each sub-contractor for the job. We chose to let our contractor handle most of that. We do get to chose between some subs if there are varying price options, but for the most part, we do not interact with the sub-contractors.
 
In this process of choosing both an Architect and Contractor, you'll likely meet and interview several of each. After you decide who you're going with, I always like to close the conversation with those you have not chosen. While you don't necessarily owe them a "We've chosen someone else" email, I think it's good feedback for everyone to know why they didn't get chosen for a job. Whether it's due to their fees, you wanted a smaller or bigger company to work with, their style wasn't quite right, etc. That helps to inform them for their own knowledge and everyone can move on being in clear communication with one another of where you stand.
 
Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever, for the specific criteria I suggest looking for in both an Architect and Contractor!

If you have any other questions about this process or anything else you want to see in my upcoming posts on this project, please leave a comment here so I can make sure to reply and cover it!
 
{Photos by Lily Glass, video by Jenner Brown}

my first major meltdown in the home build process...

Oh Joy Builds a House: My First Major Meltdown

I have something to admit. Building a house has given me a LOT of stress and anxiety lately. I have been hesitant to talk about it because I feel so very grateful to be able to even do this project and to be able to share it with all of you. But after cry sessions in front of my husband, kids, and life coach recently, I realized there are things here that I wanted to share. So, here's the deal...

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oh joy builds a house: how we found land to build on!

2018_07_03_Joy-House-8-blog

First of all, thank YOU for your super kind words and messages after our big announcement last month on our very big, new personal project of building a house! I'll be sharing the whole process from start to finish as we finish the house build in real time. For these first few months, I'm going to catch you up to how we got to this point in the first place. Then, as we get closer to the house being finished, we'll ramp up to more regular updates into the nitty gritty of design and so much more! Today's post is all about...how we found LAND to build on...! 

So let's go back to 2014 (OMG, it's crazy this process started FOUR years ago!). We were ready to take a big leap and felt that building instead of buying a house could be for us. But we needed to find land to actually build on. Los Angeles doesn't have a ton of open lots just sitting there. Typically people tear down old homes or whatever land is left is super small or tricky to build on (otherwise a developer would have already scooped it up). So here are the steps we went through to find land...

1. Location, location, location. In the same way that people go about deciding on neighborhoods to look for a house, those are the same factors we kept in mind for land. We wanted a neighborhood we loved and could stay in for a very long time, somewhere near good schools for our kids, and land that was big enough that we could have a flat yard for our kids to play.

2. Search real estate sites like Redfin and Zillow. Next, we did a basic search on real estate websites. We had already been previously on all of these sites looking for a house, so we just had to change our search criteria to allow for land. Some of these sites even have a category you can check for land only. Now, those sites will show land IF someone chooses to list the land. But a lot of land simply isn't listed on a real estate sites.

oh joy builds a house: how we found land to build on!

3. Scour the earth and Google Earth (seriously!). Because not all plots of land are listed for sale, we then drove around looking for any area that looked empty. Since it's hard to aimlessly drive around all the time, we relied on Google Earth to really search and looked for open areas of land from the aerial view in our choice neighborhood. It was through Google Earth that we first spotted the land we now own today. Once you find land in this way, you can certainly grab the address, visit the site, and see if it happens to have a for sale sign. In our case, part of the land was owned by one owner and part was owned by someone else. If you feel comfortable knocking on strangers doors, you can ask neighbors if they know who the owners are. But if they don't know, you can find out from the city or county's assessor's office.

4. Visit or call the City or County Assessor's Office. One part of the land we found had a "FOR SALE" sign! Sweet! But the other had nothing, and it wasn't actually for sale. We needed both parts to make it worth even getting the land. For land that is unclear who the owner is, you can look up the address at the Assessor's Office of your city or county. That can involve a phone call or a physical visit to the office. From there, you can contact the owner to see if they are willing to sell the land. The same thing goes for a house that may be empty or in disrepair and no owner is present living in the house.

5. Contact Land Brokers. We ended up getting in touch with a land broker who was listed as the contact for one part of the land. He had helped us to broker the deal with his client, but then he also ended up helping us find out who the owner of the adjacent lot was and negotiate a price with them as well. Just like finding a house and working with a real estate agent, you can find a land broker to help you find land from the beginning. They do the same thing that a house broker does and can help you find, put in an offer, and negotiate for land.

Remember what I said about land that is usually available in Los Angeles is often small or tricky to build on? That's basically describes the land we got! We ended up combining two lots together that on their own would have been a bit too small for our house, but together would work. Also, because the land is on a hill, it's more challenging to build on and therefore a developer never wanted to put in the extra investment into something they needed to sell and make a quick profit. However for us, since this is our forever home that we are building to live in, we were okay with something that may not be the quickest or easiest to build. Hence, why so many years have passed since we found this land and more which I'll tell you in upcoming posts!

oh joy builds a house: how we found land to build on!

This is what our land looked like from street level. No one would have ever known there was land on top to build on if we hadn't found it from above! Also, I wanted to share some common questions you guys have asked...

What's the difference between building on Open Land VS. a Tear Down? Open land that has never been built on can be really hard to find, especially in large and densely populated cities. So often, people tear down old houses in order to build something new. The downside to tearing down a old house is that you're having to buy a house in order to just get rid of it, and a house costs more than empty land. We didn't even consider doing a tear down because we would not have been able to afford an existing house on top of the price of building a new one from scratch.

However, the benefits of a tear down versus empty land is that permitting tends to be easier on an existing house. Since the existing house has permits from whenever it was built in the first place, you can use those permits to help build your new house instead of starting from scratch if you keep some of the existing frames or walls of the house. It took us TWO YEARS to get permits for our project because of various reasons but mainly because we were starting from scratch with difficult land that has never been built on.

Are you building on flat land or on a hill? One thing you will learn about me through this journey is that for some reason, I never seem to be able to take the easy road :). We are building on a hill. We would have loved to build on flat land but that's even harder to find in Los Angeles. While we love having a view that a hillside home brings you, building on a hill also takes much more structural and foundation work to get a flat area to eventually build a house on.

oh joy builds a house: how we found land to build on!

Here's a flashback photo to right after we finally purchased our land in 2014! Ruby was just 2.5 years old, and my youngest, Coco, wasn't even born yet and happily growing in my belly at the time. This is a journey for sure, but it's fun to look and see that we've finally made it to the point of getting closer and closer to an actual house!

Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever where I interviewed a few friends from other parts of the country about how they found land...it's cool to see how they approached it in different cities...

{Top photo by Lily Glass}