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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, heres the deal. In the next few years my fi and I are hoping to get our own home. If everything goes as planned, I will be a stay-at-home father, practicing furniture making in my spare time (two minutes a week
). I have hopes of turning the furniture making into a business once the kids are of an age to go to school. My fi has her eyes set on a business-human resources career, which she hopes to start when we move (the next time we move it will be to facilitate her obtaining work). We are looking to have kids a year or so after we move into our new home. If all things go as planned and my fi can financially support us both right after we move, I am hoping to spend that time renovating the house and yard. I love creating things and working with my hands, so I know I will be in heaven.

\tOnce we purchase our first home we are planning to go for a Mediterranean look, both inside and out. More specifically, we are looking for a blend of designs from Portugal, Spain and Italy. We have been spending the last little while getting ideas of what we can use in the way of materials and designs. Unfortunately, we have a few things restricting our range of possibilities. For starters, money will likely be an issue. Things such as paving stones and tiles are rather expensive. We will need to come up with some creative solutions to get the look, without the cost. Also, there is the matter of materials that we will be adding on to. For example, most floors around here tend to be made out of plywood (with carpeting or another material on top). Plywood flooring has a small amount of give, especially if you jump up and down on it. Our concern is that a tilled floor might crack. There are of course other issues we have come across, and Im certain that we will find many others.

\tHere is where I am asking for your help. If you have any experience working with paving stones, gardens, tiles or anything else Mediterranean, I would love to hear your experiences, ideas and suggestions (and possible problems we might want to watch out for). Also, because of our budget (which I am assuming will be tight) we will need to come up with some creative solutions to get the look we want, without the cost. So please post any thoughts you might have. And, as we find new ideas ourselves, I will post them in this thread.

\tI know the help I have asked for is rather vague, but I hope to get more specific in time.

\tThanks everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just thought of a good example that might help to better illustrate some of the ideas we are looking for. On an episode of Trading Spaces, one of the designers was running short of money, but still wanted to create a tiled back-splash above the kitchen counters. Instead of using real tiles, they painted tiles designs on the wall. From a few feet back they looked just like real tiles, but were created for a fraction of the cost.
 

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The Prince and I also love a Mediterranean feel. Having only seen the area through print and video we have not any one style in mind. To your mix we add Greek, Sicily, Crete and French. At least we imagine this to be so.

We could not afford building material, most of our creative juices and dollars have gone into making outdoor spaces. Our last project was a round patio with brickwork fitted to match the design of our herb garden. To add to the effect we kept an overhanging maple (decidedly American) where my hanging plants spend the summer on the patio. The weight of the hanging pots even helps keep the shape of the vine maple arch over the patio. A somewhat small tile-work table with an umbrella sets on the patio. I have three potted citrus trees that ring the solid patio as well as a number of terracotta pots of what I imagine to be of Mediterranean design that over flow with bright foliage and blossoms as well as peppers, tomatoes and herbs. I wanted to fill in the edges with lavender but because of the shade and damp we are looking for something different. Currently clematis weaves its way along the fence.

We have plans to expand the back deck into an outdoor kitchen overlooking the vegetable garden and the fruit maze that is still in the planning stage (money is always a problem).

I would suggest finding out what makes the right kind of foundation for your floor and looking specifically for that when you buy. Since you know you want children, get things that will not be destroyed by or need major up keep because of the children. They will want to call it home too.
 
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