We have receieved our preliminary plans, which thus far seems to be builder speak for "we ignored everything you said, then got a drunk, blindfolded monkey to type up some random gibberish into a template". I'm working on a list of changes we need made and typos we need corrected - I'm up to page 2 and so far I have nearly an A4 page of corrections and questions !! I suppose there is a reason they call them "preliminary plans" and not "first draft".
In the meantime we are "negotiating" with each other important things like colours and floor coverings. It is no small miracle that we have already agreed on bricks, tiles for the living area and carpet, as well as a general idea of the colour scheme for the house.
Unfortunately the tile shop was rude enough to close for Christmas/New Year break, so my grand plan to pick the rest of the tiles before we go on holiday next week has been thwarted, and I can't give you a picture of our living area tiles. But they will be kind of like this.
As for carpet, we have had a big sample on the floor in the living room for a few weeks now "getting a feel for it" and during this time, I have gone from half-hearted to madly in love with it, possibly because I have realised how much it hides dirt compared to the beige carpet in our rental (cough). Here's a picture of it with some paint swatches that almost capture the general idea of colour for the house. Swatch 2 looks a little brown in some light so the hunt for the perfect cool-toned light grey continues and swatches 3/4 are in competition.
and as for the bricks...
except we will have a darker mortar. Roof material is currently the subject of high level debate but whatever we go with, it will be either dark grey or black, depending on whether Dan or I wins the materials debate ;)
So even though we still have a loooooooooong ways to go, it is pretty exciting to have made some actual decisions and although the first cut of the plans left a bit to be desired, I suppose the exercise at least demonstrates that we do actually know what we want.