Gran Nan’s House Update — She Closes THIS WEEK!

It’s been over two months since I last shared progress but Gran Nan is set to close on her new home this week! The journey has certainly not been without frustrations — more on that later — but before she gets settled in, I wanted to catch you all up with what things are looking like and some of the projects ahead. I’ve meant to share an update several times over the past month so most photos actually are a little behind her house’s current standing, but it’s enough where you can finally start to see semi-finished rooms. Since she came to stay with us, we’ve fallen into a pretty comfortable rhythm, and even though she’ll be just down the road, I’ve joked that I’m not sure I remember (or want) to go back to her not living with us, haha. I’m excited for her and her next chapter but having not had more than a week at a time with her since 2018, I selfishly am not done having her all to myself 😉 Let’s go ahead and get into the latest with her sweet ranch home — just a few miles down the road from our house!

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Gran Nan’s House Update — Almost There!

To catch up, you can visit the first post (HERE) with plans, the “why”, and more details — long story short, she’s moving into a neighborhood where she fell in love with the lots, vibe, location, and this specific ranch home plan (the layout is perfect for her!) The neighborhood is owned by a single builder (exclusive to metro-Atlanta) who seems to be prioritizing more spec homes over homes/lots chosen by buyers. While it became clear in the beginning that the builder wasn’t as flexible as she would have hoped, throughout the process, their stringent and uncompromising practices became glaringly more obvious. Still, more on this another day when I’ll contrast some of the decisions with how our building process worked 😉

The result — her home will be beautiful. And, she’s excited to make it her own — but, she will have projects ahead to get it where she wants it.

This snap of the outside of her home was before the railing on the left had been painted white and the cedar beams had been stained. The setting and large lot — especially for a neighborhood — is so incredibly serene. Getting her new black rocking chairs set up (the same polywood rockers I have HERE) will be priority; she ultimately wants to switch to larger scale lanterns as she had no say in lighting design. Side note — the scale of our small front porch lanterns bother her, also haha.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

Speaking of “lighting design”, this was one area the builder wouldn’t compromise. Before purchasing, she was told she would be able to make selections. What they really meant, is that there was a single fixture that had been pre-selected but she had a choice between two finishes. No substitutions, no upgrades. She essentially was given the option of nickel or bronze finishes in the house — whatever she chose would be what every light, pull, faucet, hinge, knob, etc. would be. She opted for bronze but regrets that a little now — especialy since most of those items listed will be switched out in the aforementioned list. You’ll see a few examples in these photos that she hates — she saw these photos before I posted and asked that I put red “x’s” over the light, haha! I didn’t but she really wanted to make sure I was clear that these lights weren’t her choice and aren’t permanent 😉

The little formal living/sitting area has really high vaulted ceilings. It also has a tiny little flush mount that disappears in the ceiling.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

I love her dining room, board and batten walls, and flat coffered ceiling — this lighting exchange was a priority and she already ordered THIS fixture to replace the light you see below.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

Aged Brass and Crystal Chandelier for the Dining Room


The entry was another priority lighting upgrade — she ordered THIS unique pendant in the “Weathered Verdigris” finish.

ranch home construction -- entryway

While this site does not have the Weathered Verdigris finish available, they do have both the brass and polished nickel for about 50% less! You can check those out HERE.

Favorite Glass Foyer Pendant Lights

Lighting Pendants (in Weathered Verdigris) | Brass & Polished Nickel for Less $

On the other side of the entry, she did also get her rattan desk ordered this week! We waited for a sale and once the not-so-often 20% off opportunity hit yesterday, we got it ordered. You can get 20% off today (10/20) with code VIPSONLY HERE. And as a side note, I ordered THESE backless rattan counter stools for our kitchen island at the same time, on sale!

Rattan Desk

Rattan Desk

In the kitchen, the inflexibility continues. There were a few countertop options — all granite — and the layout, configuration, and appliances were already determined. Some of these aren’t uncommon but some, well… Gran Nan is fine with most of that and was able to add some under cabinet lighting and pull out drawer slides within some of the bottom cabinets. The aspect she disliked most was the pendant placement. In (what I think) is somewhat of an odd choice, the builder uses three pendants — none of which are centered over the counter height bar…

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

While it isn’t ideal to move into a brand new house, only to start making changes, at least alterations are doable. Her ultimate plan will be to eliminate the far pendant, and center the other two over the bar.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

And, while backsplash tile options were limited, it was surprising (in a good way) that they agreed to installing the classic white subway tile in a herringbone pattern. I love this!

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

Because of the limited knob/pull options, she requested that they simply not be installed so she could select and install her own at a later date. Unfortunately, we coincidentally showed up for a check-in, while they were mistakenly just starting to install knobs on cabinets that weren’t selected. They removed them but also refused to replace any cabinet doors they had drilled into. Hopefully, their initial placement was good so it won’t be an issue once she determines the route she wants to go and selects knobs/pulls for her kitchen and bathrooms.

Another upgrade she will make in time is the kitchen faucet.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

While the majority of pieces she has already ordered won’t arrive until later in the year, her new counter stools did come in! And, they are sturdy and beautiful. Here’s a photo I snapped that I shared in my recent Windsor Style Furniture post (they come in both bar and counter height HERE).

Favorite Black Windsor Barstools, Chairs, and Spindle Furniture Favorites

Counter Stools

Luckily, they hadn’t drilled into the bathroom drawers just yet.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

She had to select her finishes back at the beginning of January. About a month ago, she was told that her initial bathroom tile was no longer available — despite having to choose finishes so early, they waited six months to order. This was also the reason they gave for her delayed closing. Fortunately, she loves the similar tile she picked for the master bathroom flooring — resembling light wood planks. And I really love it.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

Some of her more immediate work after move-in will be focused on landscaping. In addition to an extended paver patio and more sod, she wants some underbrush cleared around the property. I cannot wait to sit back here later this year — this back patio gets no direct sunlight and is always so pleasant. We’ve seen several deer tracks but even bear tracks during one visit.

Georgia Ranch Home Construction Progress

She’s getting there! Of course, she’s been busy securing dates and vendors and following up with unreceptive involved parties but finally — she’s getting there. She still can’t establish internet and is going around in circles with a couple providers who can’t say if service is available where she lives but… SHE’S GETTING THERE! Her PODS and movers are scheduled and we’ll be making trips with some of the things she’s acquired while living here but the finish line is in sight.

I’ve loved walking this journey with her and can’t wait for her to finally enjoy her new home — and make it hers. Her style is a little different than mine but we also have similar taste on some things, too. I’ll be sharing more of it as projects commence so don’t worry — you  haven’t seen the last of Gran Nan’s house; this is just the beginning 😉 And, like I said, I’ll have to share more of the process to contrast with our building process and experience, too. It was eye opening to contrast such similar builder situations with how differently they operate. To catch all the upcoming projects to see how her house evolves, be sure to subscribe to emails at the bottom of the post.

Gran Nan’s Home Sources

While she hasn’t gone overboard with furnishings just yet, I have started a folder with her recent purchases to outfit her new home. You can check those out below!

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Kelley Nan headshot


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  1. 10.20.20
    C Faison said:

    So happy for Gretchen and thanks for sharing with us. Waterford will miss you.

    • 10.20.20

      Hi Cathy, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a note. My mom speaks of you so fondly and says hello!

    • 10.21.20
      Elisabeth said:

      It’s a shame that there have been so many issues getting the details she was hoping for; but so exciting that she’ll have her own beautiful place soon! It will be fun for Eliza to get to go to “Grandma’s House”!

      • 10.28.20

        Hi Elisabeth, We are so happy that she is “in”! We will definitely have fun in the next phase of the process. Eliza already loves visiting Gran Nan’s house!

  2. 10.20.20
    Rachel said:

    Really overall it is lovely! The boob light on the vaulted ceiling…..truly odd. Can’t wait to see more.

    • 10.20.20

      Hi Rachel, Yes, the “bones” are the most important thing and she is pleased with that. She will be prioritizing and tackling some of the cosmetic things as soon as possible. Please stay tuned!

  3. 10.20.20
    Shelly said:

    Oh my gosh, I love Grand Nan’s house. Obviously the builder doesn’t know anything about lighting. I would think a builder would want a happy client. When we had our house built we knew nothing and had no one to help us. They placed our thermostat right smack in the middle of the family room, I always hated it, thank goodness we bought a wireless. Thank you for showing us her house, I can’t wait to see more!

    • 10.20.20

      Hi Shelly, Thank you so much for taking the time view the update! I guess the times have changed quite a bit since both of our last builds. She is very pleased with the lot and the floor plan. The cosmetic things will come in time. Most of all, we are so happy to have a move in soon!

  4. 10.20.20

    Your mother must be young or a real whirlwind! I can’t even imagine taking on all the problems that automatically come with building a house! I am sure having you has been immensely helpful. Can’t wait to see the finished project!

    • 10.20.20

      Hi Marilyn, I shared your comments with my mom and we had a great laugh! We are both perfectionists, so we like things to go as smoothly as possible. It has been so helpful to have her here, so we both help each other. Hope to share more updates soon!

  5. 10.20.20
    Cindi Walker said:

    GranNan’s home is beautiful! I am so glad that you will have her nearby to enjoy. Mothers are definitely special.

    • 10.20.20

      Hi Cindi, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a special note! We are beyond thrilled that the building process is almost complete and that she will be close by in her forever home. xoxo

  6. 10.20.20
    Brenda Cullen said:

    Oh Kelley …. this is all so exciting!!! Your mom is going to LOVE being so close and Eliza will get to grow up with her grand Nan 🥰🥰🥰 Her new home looks so nice ( I especially love the setting too) and at least the changes she needs to make are easy changes. Hope all goes well this week ❤️❤️

    • 10.21.20

      Hi Brenda, We are all so thrilled! Thank you so much for your well wishes. I always appreciate your sweet and thoughtful support.

  7. 10.20.20
    Vicki said:

    What are her outside paint colors? I love them! And love her house. She has a beautiful home and she will make it her own very quickly. She won’t notice that lighting while she is decorating! And Christmas is coming!

    • 10.28.20

      Vicki, Thank you so much for stopping by and your sweet comments. The house siding is Roycroft Pewter with Pure White Trim. The door is Tricorn Black. It will be a wonderful Christmas this year!

  8. 10.20.20
    Jo said:

    I love that y’all call her Gran Nan. That is precious! I was wondering what her paint color was on her back porch?

    • 10.28.20

      Hi Jo, Thank you so much for stopping by. One of my mom’s former co-workers suggested Gran Nan. We love it too and Eliza has her own version, “Nan Nan.” The color of the siding is Roycroft Pewter.

  9. 10.20.20
    Carolynn said:

    Her home is going to be lovely. Three years ago we bought a builder home and ripped out the kitchen, and master bathroom. It took six months to finish it all but was so worth it! I am still trying to find all the lights that I like.
    The thing I love the most about your mother’s home is the outdoor fireplace. What memories will be made out there with your daughter!

    • 10.28.20

      Hi Carolynn, You are so right that it is worth it to make the needed changes to make your house a home. I’ve switched out most of my lighting in my house. We will have lots of fun making the needed improvements to my mom’s house. And yes, the outside fireplace is one of our favorite features. Eliza loves it too!

  10. 10.21.20
    Sharon said:

    What a lovely, lovely home! Wishing her many years of joyful living there. And how wonderful that she is “just down the road.” A super PLUS in addition to the new space!

    • 10.28.20

      Thank you so much for your nice note! We are so thrilled to have her in and here. We are already making new memories.

  11. 10.21.20
    Paula said:

    I love the board & batten on the exterior and interior of her home. Can’t wait to see what you two come up with for her decor because I know it will be wonderful. How exciting that she will be able to have her first Christmas this soon. Too bad the contractor could not just leave the light fixtures, hardware and plumbing fixtures out, reduce it on the total cost, and let the customer select all those items. Seems like such a waste. Well … the home is going to be gorgeous and lucky you to have your mom so close 🙂

    • 10.28.20

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! We thought the same with the lighting and plumbing fixtures. But, oh well… We are already have lots of fun choosing some new decor items. Christmas will be extra special this year and we can’t wait!

  12. 11.7.20
    dawn said:

    Your mom’s home is simply beautiful. The setting is just gorgeous. She’s going to love it. This post is such a valuable lesson for those looking to buy their dream home. I first asked myself why wouldn’t a credit simply be issued for a fixture in order to upgrade. My assumption is the fixtures are bought in bulk for next to nothing and the goal is not customer satisfaction but rather, maximum profits. I am finishing a home build and have learned so much. It was a painful process however. Looking forward to seeing it all done with her favorite fixtures.

    • 11.9.20

      Hi Dawn, Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and for your kind words. Things have certainly changed since she and I last purchased a new home. Fortunately, she is not impatient or in a hurry to make the changes she wants to make. We will have lots of fun making some changes together!