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
|South Street Design Rendering|
As some of you may have seen on the Content + Company Instagram feed, we've been working with our clients on the #southstreetkitchenreno for the past 3 months, but believe it or not, this project has been a year in the making.
Let's back up to early 2017, when Mark and Marie contacted John to build them a custom dining room table.
The bones of this space were not too bad. Six, double-hung windows allow a ton of natural light into the room, and an addition put on by the previous owners (including the breakfast nook and mudroom), made the overall kitchen about 350 square feet. Plenty of room for improvement!
Curiously, during the construction of the breakfast nook addition, the previous contractor choose to add this dividing wall, likely as structural support, instead of adding a ceiling beam.
Though the addition may have been structurally sounds, the new wall presented mostly design "cons". It cut the space, visually, in-half, forced the refrigerator to open into the kitchen/dining room entry door and blocked all of that wonderful natural light. There was also a tremendous amount of unused space between the breakfast nook and the fridge wall.
Early on, we knew the wall had to go. Luckily, the removal of the wall created a great opportunity for us to add an exposed beam, not only for ascetics, but also for function.
- Removal of 4 layers of linoleum
- Exposing the brick chimney for architectural interest
- Removing the half wall
- Adding the expansion beam
- Re-configuring the walls to accommodate additional cabinets and a center facing refrigerator
- Ceramic, wood grain tile flooring throughout
- Ceiling beams wrapped in rough-sawn oak
- Custom range hood
- All new, white cabinets
- Apron-front farm sink
- Recessed lighting throughout
OH, and if there are any progress projects you'd like to hear more about in a separate post, please comment below!
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
Taking a look back, and realize I never gave you a full look at the before and after of our Master Bathroom. So, here is the entire run down including all the before and after shots, which I know you all enjoy so much!
For basic necessity, the master bathroom was the first space that needed to be tackled FAST in order for us to move into Content.
Our main priorities in the master bath were to:
open the room up
bring back some historic, architectural interest
and add interest and a modern touch with a bold accent.
First, we removed the existing Jacuzzi tub that was taking up nearly half the floor space.
With a ton more square footage to work with, we created a full walk-in shower:
With such a large space, we decided to construct a wall to separate and enclose the toilet. Not only did this add privacy, but allowed us to add necessary storage as a built-in.
Privacy wall for toilet & added storage
Privacy wall for toilet
To bring back the historic, and architectural detail that this old home deserves, we added an cast iron, claw foot tub that I found on Craigslist and refinished in a matte black. I kept the feet original because I loved the nostalgia the old paint colors invoke.
John wanted to create interest and detail in the master bath, and did so by joining the double windows with a decorative trim which acts as a picture frame for the claw foot as well.
Then, we chose a deep, dramatic blue paint color for the walls to highlight the freshly painted trim, exposed ceiling beams and original, oak hardwood floors.
Ready for the glamour, after shots? Enjoy!
Now you can get this look through our Shop Our Home page here.
WALL PAINT: Van Deusen by Benjamin Moore
TRIM PAINT: Advanced White by Benjamin Moore
CLAW FOOT TUB: Vintage from Craigslist
VANITY: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking
VANITY COUNTERTOP: Blue stone
SCONES: French, vintage, Ebay
RUG: World Market which is currently unavailable but a similar is here.
WINDOW SHUTTERS: Lowe's
ACCORDION COAT HANGER: World Market
WALL SHELF: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking
PLANT POTS AND BASKETS: Ikea
TOWELS: Crate and Barrel (teal)
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!
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.|
|Before demo (see the weird stainless corner triangle with power)|
|After demo (fireplace, still red)|