The humble 8 foot ceiling

I live in Atlantic Canada and 8 foot ceilings are the norm. Sure you see the odd “great room” with vaulted ceilings or newer higher-end homes with 9′ or even 10′ ceilings but most homes have 8′. Until just recently I had never given it a second thought.

I’ve been led to believe that, in some parts of North America, most houses are now built with a minimum 9′ ceilings. If you visit any design advice website, designers are quick to poo poo building a new home with 8′ ceilings. If money were no object, I would tend to agree but building a home is expensive. I would think that the overall costs is an important factor for most people.

8 foot ceilings are pratical. They are cheaper to build due to less cutting/labour and less material waste (=greener). It’s not a coincidence that most building material comes in 8 foot lengths. When you live in a cold climate like we do, 8 foot ceilings are easier to heat (=greener). I have to believe this would also be a consideration in warmer climate where cooling in needed.

In a world of excess, 9’+ ceilings feel extravagant. An extravagance that I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, I hope to have a new home that feels bright and airy and I will use design strategies with paint, furniture, window coverings and lighting to acheive this. Some great ideas HERE

Here’s another great article that embraces 8′ ceilings and list advatages such as boosting productivity and making decorating easier. Check it out HERE

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I’m happy & looking forward to living in my new home with humble 8 foot ceilings!


In kitchen design, form follows function but what about fashion?

“Form follows function is a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which says that the shape of a building or object should be primarily relate to its intended function or purpose.” Source Wikipedia.

This principal can be applied to a kitchen. The first thing to consider in designing a new kitchen is function. You want the kitchen to be functional. Once the layout is established for functionality you can step back and ensure that the resulting “form” is also pleasing to the eye.

“The phrase “form (ever) follows function” became a battle cry of Modernist architects after the 1930s. The credo was taken to imply that decorative elements, which architects call “ornament”, were superfluous in modern buildings.” If this “credo” were taken to heart in designing a kitchen no one would add crown moulding, “furniture corners” or decorative brackets to their kitchen cabinets. Many designers still adhere to this philosophy. If the “bracket” that is holding up the counter on the end of your island is purely decorative then it’s just “lipstick” and it would be better to omit it.

Home design and decor is very personal and I say do whatever makes you happy.

Top 99 decisions to be made when building a home

Once you’ve chosen a plan and have a contractor, you will have to make A LOT more decisions. The following is a list of 99 more decisions that will have to be made. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but definitely should hit the highlights.  This list could easily be expanded because I lumped some decision together . For example #57 – “Kitchen Island. Function, design, size, material and colour” is actually several decisions which I’ve only counted as one. How many “micro” decisions do you think are actually listed here…

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Happy Holidays!

The best of the holidays from our family to yours!  ~ Home on Salt Marsh


We signed on the dotted line!

After all the exploring of options and weighing of pros and cons, we have finally signed on the dotted line. We have chosen to order a manufactured home through Disher Homes in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. As previously mentioned in my blog post Manufactured Homes versus stick-built, the #1 selling feature of a “pre-fab” home for us was guaranteed price. The idea of “pay-as-you-go” time and materials was not at all appealing to us.

At first glance, we ruled out a manufactured home because some of the “must haves” on our wish list did not seem achievable with a factory built home but after carefully considering all of the plans offered, we realized that one of their plans could actually give us most of what we wanted and, with a few “tweaks”, could be almost perfect. Almost perfect is pretty darn good!

Check out our plans HERE


Manufactured homes versus “stick built”

Image result for modular vs stick built 2017We have been doing some research on manufactured homes and considering going this route. The thing that appeals to us the most in purchasing a manufacturer home is a guaranteed price. In addition, the speed at which these homes are built means we can enjoy it sooner and the quality can be as good…if not better!

“The materials used to build a manufactured home and a stick built home are exactly the same. The key difference is that a manufactured home is built in a factory, then moved to a community where final assembly occurs. The entire manufacturing process may take one to three months and, because the home needs to be strong enough to withstand transportation, it is often built more robustly than a stick built home would be.” Source

Some of the other advantages include: supervised construction, built indoors, experienced build team, material buying power, less construction waste (greener) and usually better insulated.

Here are two good articles which explore this debate further…

Manufactured Homes vs Stick Built Homes: What’s the Difference?
10 Basic Facts You Should Know About Modular Homes

The Golden Hour (Photos)

Spent the eve of my 50th birthday in gorgeous St. Andrews by-the-sea.



Home placement & position of the sun

The ideal placement of our new home will be to maximize the views from our second floor master suite balcony.

I found this very neat on-line app which allows you to see the position of the sun in your area throughout the day & year. The image below shows the sun’s position today at 8 am on Salt Marsh Road, St. Andrews, NB. I can just imaging sitting on the sunny second floor balcony enjoying a coffee while looking out at the Passamaquoddy Bay.