Not every renovation is a total overhaul. When walls are structurally sound, the plumbing works where it is and the layout is functional, sometimes all a space needs is a refresh. That was the case with our client, Susan and Carl's, guest bathroom.Read More
Twice a year, in October and April, Linda from Calling It Home and House Beautiful hosts a One Room Challenge. Over the course of 6 weeks, 20 select designers and bloggers tackle renovating or redecorating a specific room, and share their progress with weekly blog posts.
When the April 2017 list of selected designers was announces, I was so inspired by how many of the participants are blogs and designers I admire. I knew I wanted to participate too!
The One Room Challenge encourages Guest Participants, so I'm joining the fun, sharing the magic of an Annex Guest Room makeover we have yet to tackle.
What's even more exciting, is this is a linked event, which means that all the Guest Participants will share a common link and you'll be able to easily surf through a ton of room transformations. You'll find that link at the bottom of this post!
Warning: The following "before" images are scary!
I often share this 'before' image with people who don't know the state in which we acquired Content.
I suppose this Annex Guest Room image was taken during the bank's repossession of the property prior to foreclosure.
Luckily, when we closed on Content in October 2014, the trash and junk had been cleaned out.
But, it always amazes me that just 5 short months after this picture was take, two knuckle heads (John + I) showed up bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and jumped feet first into the biggest renovation project of our lives.
Even though we've done a lot since 2014 (i.e. the blood, sweat and tears chronicled throughout this blog), nowadays the Annex Guest Room has mostly been used as storage.
|Here's John and my Dad, likely discussing how I'm a closet hoarder of second-hand furniture.|
Over the coldest winter months, I did spend a few days replacing all of the window weight mechanics so all the windows now properly function.
People often ask, "How long will Content's renovation take?" Our honest answer is - forever! And that answer is said with love. We love working on old houses (ours + our home consulting clients) they're just needy! . We promised early on to approach every project with the motto "do it right the first time". . And this weekend we were reminded of that motto when a simple paint job required us to first pull off all the window casing to fix the double hung weights. We're pros at window weights these days!
The overall goal of this makeover is to clean up the walls and ceilings with fresh paint, and create a "disappearing" guest room. Huh?
Stay with me... We refer to this as the Annex because it attaches to Guest Suite #1 and the Great Room. We think this would be the perfect space to provide friends and family, traveling together, with additional accommodations.
But we want to reserve the ability to remove the beds should the space be needed for a special event, in conjunction with the Great Room.
So far, I have a vintage camp theme in mind. I think this will lend itself well to the "disappearing" beds, as well as to a lounge setting.
I have a bunch of ideas floating around, and can't wait to see this fun, quirky makeover come to life.
Be sure to follow along with our progress and comment below with your thoughts!
KEEP IT GOING!
You can connect to all the One Room Challenge Guest Participant week 1 updates here! #oneroomchallenge
Well, this year, it's up to me. Thankfully, all the decor used in the Makeover was ours to keep for years to come. The Makeover was just in the Great Room, so I wanted to spread the cheer out a bit throughout the house and add my own spin.
Content. has 10 fireplaces. One day I hope to decorate them all completely different, with their own theme, but 2016 was not that year...
This year, our theme was "don't spend any money + use what you have". We added greens and garland to accent the mantels, and I reused my favorite mix-and-match brass candle sticks with simple white candle sticks.
|My favorite Makeover keepsake, these blackboard Nutcrackers!|
The Great Room is a pretty large space, so we used both of the artificial Christmas trees again, which are prelite and a dream to put up and take down.
We did quite a bit of personalization this year, adding this cherished ornament to the tree which was a gift to us from our friend Lin.
Lin is not only super thoughtful, she's also REALLY creative. For a whole year, she held onto this stamp which she received and saved from our wedding invitations and collected these tiny pine cones from the camp where we were married.
She made this beautiful ornament and it was a house warming gift when we moved into Content. and we couldn't love it more.
A little holiday cheer was added to Guest Room 1. The large green accent wall was begging for some holiday inspiration.
What, doesn't every room need a full sized toboggan? I certainly think so...
This little spot is now the perfect nook for reading Twas the Night Before Christmas.
The dining room got some handmade love. The wreath on this fireplace was made by me during a second annual wreath making day with my favorite girlfriends.
My girl Veronica captured this pic and said it best:
Tradition. It's so important to me, and thankfully to my closest friends as well. Last weekend, my ladies and I got together for wreath making and bubble drinking. We applauded (and teased) each other's evergreen building skills (and bow tying skills!) while discussing very important topics (nap schedules, baby bumps and who's pouring more prosecco) I don't know what I'd do without these friendships + the laughs that come with them. 👭
I picked a few cards from Christmas past to display along with the new cards we received this year.
Renovating any room of the house can be pretty annoying. Dust, construction debris, hazardous equipment. But the renovation of a bathroom quite literally messes with basic human needs, and that my friends is no fun...
John's sister Kristen is currently undergoing a bathroom renovation which has me excited to see her (my FIL Dave's) progress but nervous how even a minor setback could effect her. Knowing my father-in-law though, I'm certain they're right on schedule. Unlike Content. renovations that seem to have a mind of their own.
Nonetheless, the ensuite bathroom of guest room #2 is finished and you can get the look with paint color, fixture and accessory suggestions through our Shop Our Home page here.
If you missed it, you can find the full bedroom reveal of Guest Room #2 here.
Ok, now hold on, here we go!
Guest Room #2 Ensuite Bathroom
Our completion date was set in stone when I agreed to host our first wedding ceremony here at Content.
Can the bride and her friends stay over the night before as well? Sure!! Now, let's get to work...
*Side note: I can't wait to share all the details of the wedding and all of Content's event hosting potential. Stay tuned!
Originally, this bathroom had a prefabricated tub and standard vanity. There were two entrance doors; one from the hallway and one from the bedroom.
In an effort to create more space, the following structural changes were made:
the drywall ceiling was removed to expose beams.
the prefabricated tub was removed.
the bedroom door was shifted to allow more shower space.
the hallway entrance door and random dead space was eliminated.
new shower stall built.
new built-in for storage built.
Layout: Before renovation
Layout: After renovation
There was nothing particularly wrong with the bathroom, it was just dated and not our style.
Before (view from the hallway door)
Curb Alert! Our magical street that makes things (even old toilets) disappear in less than 5 minutes
WALLS: Continued from the guest room, the walls are painted Horizon by Benjamin Moore OC-53 in matte finish.
ACCENT WALL: I wanted to tie the dark ceilings of the bedroom into the design of the bathroom, which inspired the charcoal accent wall in BM Mopboard.
FLOORS: The wide pine, hardwood floors in here, though original, were in rough shape, especially after removing the tub and vanity. We had these professionally sanded and polyurethaned.
Before + After
Before + After
WOOD VANITY: A Content Woodworking original! John decided early on to feature one wood type in each new bathroom. Guest room #2 bathroom's details are all black birch.
The vanity design is a repeat from our master bath, adding continuity to Content's interior design as a whole.
MIRROR: Vintage mirror with etched flower detail. Flea market find. $3
COUNTERTOP: We used bluestone in our master, and wanted to repeat the industrial feel without the price tag. This was our first attempt using poured concrete. We are very happy with the final result.
Here is the DIY tutorial of the poured concrete bathroom vanity top and shower curb.
SHOWER TILE: From early on, I had my heart set on a herringbone tile pattern. We are frugal with our materials, and changing up the pattern was a great way to add interest to standard matte finish, white 3x6 subway tile (that you can find here). Platinum Grey grout.
Don't get me wrong, I know what I asked for and this was a huge undertaking by John. So. Many. Cuts! Yes, he's amazing!
The floor of the shower is Carrara White 2 inch Hexagon Mosaic tile also with Platinum Grey grout.
SHOWER CURB: We created the shower curb out of poured concrete as well, matching the vanity countertop.
BUILT-IN: One additional change which effected the layout of the bathroom, was the addition of a closet in the bedroom. However, we used this as an opportunity to add interest by way of a small built-in on the bathroom wall.
I had this pic pinned to my Pinterest board, and well John did the rest... basically replicating it exactly. It's insane.
If you want to get this look, follow this link through to the Shop Our Home page here for paint colors, fixtures and accessory suggestions.
WALL LIGHT SCONCES: I'm always looking to tie in Content's history into our renovations. But after the "master bath, French eBay score, incompatible lights sconce fiasco of 2015" I looked for an alternative.
I found a great Etsy shop called TheModMercantile, made up of a husband and wife team who offer vintage, refurbished lights at very reasonable prices. Who could resist!
SINK: Kohler Pennington Drop in Self Rimming with 8 inch faucet cutout.
FAUCET: I love how this chrome faucet, with porcelain "hot" and "cold" water details, provides a nostalgic nod to Content's history, while still feeling updated. Kingston Brass Metropolitan series available on Amazon.
TOILET: Kohler Highline Classic in white.
SHOWER TRIM KIT: Moen Kingsley in Chrome available on Amazon.
And now for all the AFTER goodness!
Now, when will we see you for a visit? Check out our Airbnb listings here!
I've made several attempts with a number of different paint stripping agents. With anything old, the chance that lead based paint were used is high and proper precautions should always be taken.
Here’s my experience with 3 of those stripping agents: Soy Gel, StripEze and Peel AwayRead More
It's weird though, sometimes I forget just how absurd of a property Content. really is. So often, John and I are busy micro managing projects, making sure we're making forward progress, that the big picture of the house gets lost. It's only when a new visitor or contractor stops by that we're reminded just how different Content. actually is. Our favorite question, "What is this place?"
|The real BIG picture!|
During a recent visit with our friends Veronica & Shawn, we pointed out that one of the two fireplaces (yes, two in the same room) located on opposing ends of the master bedroom would soon be concealed in the new walk-in closet and only used as an architectural detail. Veronica's reaction was priceless, "Two fireplaces in the same room? Now you're just showing off." Not on purpose of course, but yes, this house has charming quirks and a zillion stories to tell and we're having a blast figuring them all out.
Likely, Content's rooms were once half the size, and each of the bedroom fireplaces were originally in separate rooms. These small rooms are rumored to once have been used by ladies-of-the-night and gentleman callers (more to come on that in later posts). The house is also rumored to have been a horse stable, but either way, I guess a fireplace and a small private room work for both enterprises.
But now, as the newest owners, we are left puzzled and dumbfounded by how to layout the simplest of room elements, like our bed. And because the house was vacant for over 2 years, we can't even copy the prior owners attempts.
Take a look at the original layout of the master bedroom and some of the odd elements we have to quickly address:
- Two fireplaces
- Railroad style layout connecting kitchen, master and bathroom
- One full wall of windows
- Two exterior (courtyard) access doors
- Window in closet
|Before: Master Bedroom|
This is the MLS listing photo of the bedroom before we even owned the house.
See, I'm not exaggerating! The layout is perplexing to say the least, and not in a fun "oh lets stretch our design creativity" kinda way....
|Architect, what's that? We just hand draw our plans.|
You should see what we submitted to the town for our permits. Ha!
|Before: Master Bedroom|
Old closet is out exposing two exterior courtyard doors. The door on the left will be covered up.
|Partition wall (view facing bathroom)|
|Partition wall (view facing kitchen)|
As I've said before, we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by talented tradesman that willingly volunteer their time and energy to help us with Content. And in the case of the master bedroom and bathroom, John's father Dave was our saving grace.
Dave traveled from John's home town in Bristol, Connecticut for the weekend to help run all the rough electrical and install recess lighting. Thanks Dave, we couldn't have done it without you!
|John, and his father Dave.|