Monthly Archives: June 2014

Home Remodeling / Restoration (Part II)

Last time I talked about our fire story and the kitchen remodel. If you missed it, you can see it here. This post is about the master suite remodel.

We didn’t change a whole lot in the actual bedroom part of the master suite, other than the paint color, and (as with the rest of the main level) no more popcorn ceilings. Yippee! We did change the layout of the his/hers closets a little, but that was it.

SW 6206 Oyster Bay
SW 6206 Oyster Bay

The color I chose for the walls was Oyster Bay.

The furniture we had in the bedroom was all salvageable, which was nice because some of it had a little sentimental value. My dad is a pretty talented (hobby) carpenter, and he built us a sleigh bed and a large heavy-duty easel (Restoration Hardware-inspired). I decided to arrange the bed at an angle for a dramatic flare, and put a decorative metallic-champagne framed mirror on the easel.

 

 

 

Sleigh Bed and Easel
Sleigh Bed and Easel

 

Now we just needed new linens for the bed.  It just so happened that my mother-in-law had offered to make us a quilt and asked what we would like (colors, design). I did some looking around for ideas and fell in love with a bedspread I found at Anthropologie. Then I found a blog about how to make one yourself. My mother-in-law found some light ivory jersey fabric to use and got to work on it.  This is how it turned out. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Comforter

Knotted Comforter

 

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

As opposed to the minor updates in the bedroom, we made a lot of changes to master bath. It looks COMPLETELY different. I wish I had some “before” photos of it, but unfortunately I don’t. So I’ll just have to be descriptive. Our bathroom is laid out in the shape of an upside-down “L”. Originally, it had a linen closet, one sink, a small corner shower, and a Jacuzzi style tub.

Bathroom Floorplan Before

Bathroom Floorplan Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The floors were white linoleum and the vanity was the same oak as the former kitchen cabinets, with brass hardware.

One of the first decisions we settled on for the new bathroom was to have a double vanity instead of just a single. I looked through catalogs for ideas and showed the carpenter one I liked from Pottery Barn. He pretty much replicated it for us, except customized it to fit our bathroom dimensions.

Custom Built Double Vanity

 

For continuity, we chose the same paint color, cabinet door style, and hardware as we had in the kitchen.

For the bathroom walls, I chose a color in the same family as we used in the master bedroom, but a lighter shade. Sea Salt.

SW 6204 Sea Salt

SW 6204 Sea Salt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For mirrors, we went with two simple dark brown framed mirrors we found at Home Depot. I also hung a large metal / glass sconce between the two mirrors.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

 

The bottom shelf of the vanity is great for storing bulky items, like towels and toilet paper, which leaves the linen closet open for storing medicine, band-aids, and other toiletries. To keep things looking neat, and because I love industrial decor, I put a couple of large heavy vintage metal bins on the vanity shelf to hold the towels and toilet paper.

Vintage Milk Crate

Vintage Milk Crate

The next decision we made was to lose the separate shower/tub set-up (in order to create more space for a double vanity) and instead, put in a large, walk-in, tiled shower. We chose porcelain tiles that have a stone look (easier to maintain) and had them laid out in a staggered brick pattern. For the shower floor, we went with the same tile, but in a two-inch mosaic cut. The shower has a tiled bench on one wall, and two inset cubbies for shampoo, soap, etc.

2-inch Mosaic Tiles (Shower Floor)

2-inch Mosaic Tiles (Shower Floor)

Tiled Shower Cubby

Tiled Shower Cubby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toilet was moved to the opposite wall and we had a half-wall built to separate it from the vanity area.

Bathroom Floorplan After

Bathroom Floorplan After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far, one of the hardest decisions for us to make was what tile to use for the bathroom floor. It took us forever to settle on something. We looked everywhere and nothing really jumped out at us. We wanted a natural look, but no maintenance, so we were mainly looking at porcelain. We had a hard time finding anything we really loved. Eventually we returned to one of the first tile shops we had visited and wandered around looking at more samples. They had some of their tiles laid out in little sections on the floor of the store, and the husband and I were discussing a couple of samples we had picked out. We looked down at the tiles we were standing on and remarked, “I wish they had something like this in porcelain.” One of the store reps happened to hear us and said, actually that IS porcelain. I had assumed it was stone, it looked so natural. And we both loved it. So it was settled. We finally found a floor tile. Drumroll, please… This is it.

Matte Grey Porcelain Floor Tile

Matte Grey Porcelain Floor Tile

The light grays, taupes, and browns actually pick up the Sea Salt color from the walls quite well. We picked out two different tile sizes, both square, and decided on a pinwheel pattern (the tile guy loved me for this – apparently this pattern is a bit of a pain to do, as EVERY tile has to be cut differently). Oh well. I don’t feel too bad. That’s what he was paid for. And it really creates an entirely different look than tiles laid out in a regular grid.

 

 

 

Pinwheel Tile Pattern

Pinwheel Tile Pattern

 

With the bathroom tile decision finally out of the way, we could focus on what we wanted to do in the living room, which will be my next and final post on the remodel and restoration. Stay tuned for part III.

 

Home Remodeling / Restoration (Part I)

Did I mention I love designing? A few years ago I was thrown into the biggest designing project  I’d ever taken on: remodeling / restoring our home after a fire. A lot of our things were ruined. But we did get to totally remodel the main level.  This part I was excited about.

First, though, let me back up to the beginning of this story. It was Thanksgiving and we were spending the holiday in town (normally we travel to visit family, since none of us live in the same place, but not this time). We went out to dinner with a couple of our in-town family-less friends. At the end of the evening, they dropped us off at our house. We were talking in the driveway and noticed something smelled like burning tires. A few jokes were made, we said goodnight, and opened the front door. Confusion. That’s what I remember. A wall of smoke hit us in the face. You couldn’t see into the house, it was so thick. Then panic set in when it hit me my dogs were inside. Our friends were thinking more quickly than I was and dialed 911. I got down on my hands and knees and called the dogs. One came right away. Relief. They were hiding in the basement, thankfully, and were fine. The other dog was much more timid and was frozen at the bottom of the stairs (you could see him from just inside the front door as some of the smoke dissipated), so my husband went down and grabbed him quickly and got him out. The fire department showed up within 5 minutes and everything was under control pretty quickly. We had gotten home just in time. The dryer apparently had randomly caught on fire (it wasn’t running). None of the home structure had actually caught on fire yet. The smoke damage, however, was bad. So bad that the entire main floor would have to be gutted down to the studs.

Main Level Gutted

Main Level Gutted

We would be living in a hotel for the next 5 months. People always remark about what a pain living in a hotel must have been, but it really wasn’t that bad. Our room was pretty much like a studio apartment, with a kitchen and small living area. We didn’t have kids yet, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. The real pain was the almost daily phone calls we had to make to the insurance adjustors, contractors, and cleaning services to try to keep things rolling as smoothly as possible.

Anyway, back to the fun part. Now I would get to redesign a lot of our home! I was most excited about re-doing the kitchen. I had been wanting to update the standard oak cabinets, so that was one of the first changes we made. Standard kitchen cabinets often have a space in between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets. I hate it. You can’t really use it to store much of anything or it looks cluttered. So you are left with two other options. Putting nothing up there, or putting a few decor items. Either way, it gets dusty, and who wants to climb up there and dust on a regular basis? Not me. Nope, our new cabinets would go all the way to the ceiling. More usable storage, and no dusting!

Smoke Damaged Oak Cabinets

Smoke Damaged Oak Cabinets. See the microwave? It got so hot in the house everything plastic melted!

Before the fire, I was thinking of painting the cabinets white. I love how fresh and bright a kitchen looks with white cabinets. The contractors handed me a few paint swatch books to look through for picking out all our colors. Who knew there were so many different shades of white??? After doing extensive reading on selecting white paint for cabinets (apparently you don’t want to go with the whitest white or it will look too stark), I settled on a color.

Greek Villa swatch

SW 7551 Greek Villa

Greek Villa. I love some of the names they come up with for paint colors. Greek Villa makes me think of a Mediterranean beach house. Ahhhh.

I was nervous that the swatch looked a little dark since I wanted white cabinets, but trusted what I was reading, so I went with it. It’s funny how a color can look so “not white” on a swatch, but totally different on the cabinets. They definitely look white.

Custom cabinets

Kitchen remodel in progress. See how the cabinets go all the way to the ceiling? We have 10′ ceilings, and I was amazed at how much bigger the taller cabinets made the room feel.

White Kitchen Cabinets

White Kitchen Cabinets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose knobs and pulls in an antique pewter finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the backsplash, I chose a glossy gray subway tile, and the appliances were all upgraded to stainless steel.

SW 6372 Inviting Ivory

SW 6372 Inviting Ivory

The paint color I chose for the walls reminds me of french vanilla ice cream (SW 6372 Inviting Ivory). We also changed out the popcorn ceilings for smooth ones. Yay!

The breakfast nook at the back of the kitchen opens out onto the deck. Prior to the fire, it was outfitted with sliding glass doors. We decided to change these out for French doors, which insulate much better than sliding doors, are harder to break into, and have a much more traditional look.

Breakfast Nook

Breakfast Nook with French Doors.

Once the kitchen design choices were made, it was time to move on to the master suite. Updating and upgrading the master bath was one of the bigger challenges. That will be my next post. Stay tuned for part II of our home remodel and restoration.