Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Craftsman Bungalow - Getting Started

This may seem odd, but my very first thought when we bought the bungalow:  I know how I want to do the kitchen backsplash.

Weird, huh?  Seems like there are lots of other things I should focus on first.  But there's an art studio around the corner from the house that has beautiful pottery and art tile.  I've swooned over their window displays for years and was thrilled to have an excuse to learn more about the artist.  So, a few months ago, I had the opportunity to meet Jon White, the artist and owner of Odd Inq and see some of his work up close.  It's stunning and the perfect accent for our Craftsman style home.  I made an appointment to meet him at his studio, when he returned from the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

Glazes, glazes and more glazes
Jon has spent years developing his own version of the gorgeous matte glazes that are so typical of Arts & Crafts pottery and tile.  As he gave me a tour of his studio, I was wowed with the extensive capabilities he has available: slip molds, presses, kiln, glazing station, etc.  But my favorite was seeing the extensive variety of products, from vases to lamps to sculpture to my favorite - art tiles.

We considered several different ideas for the backsplash.  I want a focal point in the space over the new stove we'll be installing.  So we got a yardstick out and laid out the space on his design table.  After looking at different sizes and formats, we decided on these large, beautiful tiles.  With the graceful oak trees framing the water and mountain view, these tiles reflect Maine's beauty with an Arts & Crafts sensibility.

Aren't they amazing?
Seriously, they make me swoon!  Love these!!!

So now that I have these beauties in hand - it's time to start the rest of the design work!  Stay tuned!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Craftsman Bungalow - The Exterior 'Before'

So, where will we spend the biggest percentage of our budget?  You guessed it, the exterior.  It needs a lot of attention and will be one of the first things we do.  And it needs updating from both a functional and aesthetic standpoint.

While I love cedar shake shingles, these are past their prime.  We've talked about it before - when you're this close to the water, it's really, really hard on wood.

What are the tell tale signs you have problems with shingles?  You want to look for a couple of issues:

Curling Shingles

Multiple vertical gaps - the whole reason shingles are staggered is to prevent water from penetrating beneath them.  If you have vertical gaps on rows that are directly above one another, you lose the benefit of the staggered orientation.  Particularly as the shingles shrink with age and the gaps get larger.

Missing shingles - we get some nasty storms here in Maine and shingles can take a real beating.  And sometimes they get ripped right off the building!

In addition to replacing the siding, we'll be replacing the roof, with new architectural shingles.  With such a steep pitch on the roof, it's very visible from the road and we want it to look good!

Oh, and the chimney sweep came out to clean the chimney, but there were so many issues to deal with, we ended up replacing the flue with new bricks and a stainless steel liner.

But on the bright side, this oversized one car garage is wonderful!  It has lots of room for a car and 'stuff'.  And we've already succeeded in filling it with lots of stuff!

Above the garage is a big, unfinished bonus space.  We've decided to leave it that way, so the new owners can decide how they want to treat it.  Hmmm......did your kid get a drum set for his birthday and is forming a band?  That might be a perfect place for the band to practice (ha ha,,,,  did I mention Richard just got an electric guitar? And yes, the thought has crossed my mind!).  But you might want to insulate the walls a bit first, to stay on good terms with the neighbors!!!

We've spent a lot of time formulating a design strategy to pull together the whole house.  I'll be sharing the design options soon - can't wait to get your thoughts as we move forward on the plan!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Next Project: The Craftsman Bungalow

Shhhh……so while we were finishing up our last project, we quietly started working on another one (There was a prediction that I would go crazy trying to do two houses at once…..I'll let you be the judge of that! I know the guys have already come to their own conclusion.).  We decided to wait and share the photos after we completed the Beach Cottage, so it may seem like we're going extraordinarily fast on this one  :-)  But don't be fooled, this has been a long work in progress - you can tell by the fall leaves in this photo.

Staircase in the Bedroom
We started with a nondescript 1928 bungalow -  with a fatal flaw.  The flaw:  while actually a 4 bedroom house, only two bedrooms were usable, because of the staircase location.  You had to duck under the staircase as you entered the back bedroom to go upstairs.  And because the staircase ran down the middle of the house, it made the upstairs back bedroom very, very narrow (and to further complicate the floor plan, the furnace flue ran through the middle of the skinny room).  So it wasn't a great design for a family.

But I LOVE this house.  I can't tell you how excited I've been to update it!  And while it doesn't have a lot of design elements at this point, we're going to transform it into a Craftsman bungalow.  So you'll see us adding lots of Craftsman details to give it a little more character.  When we get done with it, it will have a fabulous layout and lots of architectural detail.

But first, let me share some before photos of the First Floor Interior:
Enclosed Front Porch - Love the shingled space!
Living Room - Generous sized room with multiple windows and glass door to let light stream in
Dining Room - looking towards Living Room and Front Door
Nice Sized Kitchen - Maple Cabinets look like new
Full Bath - Love the claw foot tub!!!!

Downstairs - Front Bedroom
Great doorknobs on 1st floor!

Staircase Room - aka Back Bedroom
So, what do you think?  Are you starting to get some ideas for changes?  Wait, there's more!
Here's the Second Floor - Before:
View up the staircase

Back Bedroom - only wide enough for a twin bed and there's the awkward flue coming through the room
Front Bedroom

Any guesses where we're going with it?  Our initial plan was to only do minor updates.  But as typically happens, that plan got thrown out the window and we're doing a major configuration change (can you hear the cha ching, cha ching noise of spending??)!  Stay tuned!  We'll have lots of updates and you can always follow us on Facebook to see even more photos.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Children's Rooms - Before & After

Like the Master Bedroom, this side of the 2nd floor almost doubled in size as we changed from a low profile cape cod roof to a taller, shed dormer roofline - without any footprint change!  Instead of one, narrow room, we now have two light, bright bedrooms (plus a hall bath!).  Here's where we started.

Floor Plan - Before

Floor Plan - After

After building the new 2nd floor, 4 feet taller than the original, we have a dramatic change from the 'before'.  We now have lots of windows and light.  And on the interior, we popped the ceilings up a bit higher than planned, to take advantage of all the new space.  This added lots of architectural interest in the rooms, thanks to the dormer angles.

The Girls Room

If you remember the plan for the back bedroom, we wanted to create a girl's room with no pink (click here for more info).  It was a bit of a challenge, but we think we pulled it off.  Here's how we did it.

At the Open House, we heard lots of comments about the angled feature wall.  Painted Sherwin Williams Retiring Blue, it really adds a lot of interest to the space.  And while the rest of the room is painted a basic Sherwin Williams Extra White, the blue wall reflects and adds dimension to the white walls as well.

I love the Pottery Barn duvet cover and pillows, as well as the faux fur bean bag chair.  Remember the little chandelier that I spray painted?  Doesn't it look great installed over the table (with the bling!)?

We love this room!

The Boys Room

The front bedroom has lots and lots of sunlight streaming in.  With 5 windows, facing south and west, it's a really bright room.

We capitalized on the cool space under the dormer, by creating a wall of built ins.  We were able to reuse the built in dresser from the original space, but added a closet and a cozy window seat as well.
Inspiration for the room came from the very colorful geometric sheets that I found at Target (on sale!).  The striped coverlet and decorative pillows are from Pottery Barn (except for the custom window seat cushion that my friend Faith made!).

So what do you think?  Isn't this a big change from our starting point?

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beach Cottage: Post Blue Bathroom

Quick update:  We had an amazing amount of interest from last week's Open House.  It resulted in multiple offers and we're now under contact (yea!!!).  So I finally have a moment to catch up and share the rest of the before and after photos.

We all got a big chuckle out of this blue-blue bathroom.  And because of the overwhelming amount of blue, I decided that it should be very neutral for the next owners!  I wanted a cream and white color scheme.

The floor is a marble from Turkey that I love.  I used a color enhancer to bring out the coloration, before sealing the floors. And at long last, we got to install the George Jetson toilet and matching sink (aka Toto).  It really does have a wow factor!

The shower stall was done it a simple white subway tile, with a band of the marble used on the floor.

And we took advantage of a little niche in the wall to create this built in.

This was the very last room we finished - but we're so happy with how it came out!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Beach Cottage - The Hall Bath

I'd like to call this a 'Before & After' post, but since there wasn't a bathroom on the 2nd floor when we started the project, that doesn't seem quite right!  But this bath is one of my favorite rooms in the house, so I wanted to share some pics with you.

For starters, we wanted this room to be a bit distinctive.  I started with the tile mosaic floor.  It took some time to install - but I'm really pleased with it.  The outer edge is a travertine marble called 'Cafe au Lait'.  The ovals are a blend of 3 different marbles and the center is a grecian white marble.  What do you think?

And I echoed the banding in the floor with this accent marble stripe around the tub surround.  And since we have a cathedral ceiling in here, I took the tub surround up extra high!

We used a half wall at the end of the tub.  I've done this in several houses (including one of our own) because 1) it keeps the bathroom open and bright and 2) you can use a shower curtain at the end of the shower, but in reality, very little water makes it that far (and the wall cap is made of PVC, so no worries about moisture).

To add a little more light, we included the Restoration Hardware pendant.  I love that it is glass on the top and bottom, adding more light into the room.

I've already talked about our very cool reclaimed wood vanity - but if you missed it, here's the link.  I paired it with this dramatic mirror and a gunmetal finish on the light fixture.

But my favorite accent?  These numbered towel hooks.  Instead of the typical towel bar, we thought something special would be more appropriate.  And these are fun!

What do you think?

Marble - Paul G White in Portland -  Cafe au Lait, dalTile.  Ovals, SoHo Tile
Vanity Base - Pottery Barn
Toilet - Toto
Shower Sign - Pottery Barn
Towel Hooks - Amazon
Mirror - Roth & Allen

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Beach Cottage: Master Bedroom Before and After

At long last, I have a few minutes to share some of the 'before and afters' upstairs.  That's certainly the area with the most dramatic change in the house - thanks to the addition of the all new 2nd floor.  And the master bedroom is the centerpiece of that change!

But it wasn't easy.  We started with this awkward space.  No headroom (yes, I am tall.  But seriously, that's a low ceiling!!).  Tiny windows.  No bathroom on the 2nd floor.  And it was really, really dark - thanks to lots of pine paneling and a couple of wimpy lights.
Plus, there was this awkward dormer area,over the staircase where you had to twist and turn to climb into it.

Once we ripped off the existing 2nd floor, we were able to install a new rafter system and dormers that created the large new space with fabulous high ceilings.  Wow, what a change!

And with the addition of 7 (really, all in one room!) windows, this is a bright open space.  The main space currently has a queen sized bed, but there is plenty of room for a king size as well.

Since the ceiling is so high, we needed a really tall headboard, so I made the velvet tufted headboard - see here for instructions.

The sitting area has room for a cozy chair or a desk space.

I'd love to show you the 'before' master closet - but of course there wasn't one.  Now we have lots of room for hanging clothes as well as these custom built ins for shoes, sweaters, etc.

And the piece de resistance?  The master bathroom.  Starting with the marble mosaic on the floor, the bath has beautiful finishes.

The shower sports a seating area, marble compass rose and glass doors.  There's also a laundry closet, ready for stackable laundry units.

So now that it's done, what do you think?  Is this a room you could relax in?

Chandelier - Murray Feiss Arabesque
Bedding - Pottery Barn Sammie Duvet & Shams
Window Treatment Fabric -  Anne Selke Home
Lamps - Target Threshold
Round Table - Simply Home
Paint Color - Sherwin Williams Rice Grain (used throughout the house)
Master Bath
   Vanity - Foremost
   Toilet - Toto
    Shower - Maax, Toto, Moen

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