Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Farmhouse: Sneak Peeks

We're getting close to the finish line and I can't believe how great this place looks!  The painters have wrapped up and now we just need to get the flooring, lighting, appliances, hardware and final plumbing completed (okay, so that's still a lot!).  But I thought you might like a little sneak peek.

What really strikes me about this house is the big living space on the first floor.  The rooms are connected seamlessly, which is perfect for family life, but also for entertaining.
The new gas fireplace is a focal point, with its marble tile surround, antique mantle and board & batten trim.

And what about that arched antique door???  Isn't it amazing?  Chris did a masterful job creating a custom door jamb - a complicated job, to say the least!

But best of all - check out the kitchen.  This is a biggest island we have ever done, with lots of space for cooking prep, kids doing homework and casual family meals.

The 'X' wood trim on either end is reclaimed lumber from our demo work - which is a special touch, linking to the history of the house.  We also used that wood for a trim piece on the stove hood - oh and we'll use it for floating shelves next to the window.

And we incorporated it on the back of the mud bench.  Don't you love it?
My personal focus has been completing the tile work.  It was a challenge - but the antique cast iron fireback makes a pretty cool focal point on the stove backsplash! 
And I love how the mantle is coming together! 

The bedrooms don't disappoint.  The master bedroom, with its new cathedral ceiling is a bright, welcoming room, with windows on three sides.

The bathrooms?  Well here's a peek at the tile.  What do you think?

Upstairs, we have 3 bedrooms that are almost ready for decorating.

I polished up the original doorknobs - but was disappointed to discover they are brass plated.  That means I can't get too carried way with polishing or the base metal will show through.  And unfortunately, most of the brass had worn off the knobs themselves (leaving just the base metal), so I painted them black as a focal point and polished up the backplates.  They're not perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with the result!

Stay tuned - there will be more to share soon!  I'm hoping to get it finished and on the market in mid September.  Seriously, how do those HGTV shows do an entire house in 7 weeks???

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Fly Me to the Moon Bedrooms

Full confession - I love decorating kids rooms.  They're fun and you can do some creative things that might look a bit odd in say....a living room!  And I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow the moon ended up as a theme in both the kids rooms at the Farmhouse (I keep hearing Frank Sinatra singing Fly Me to the Moon as I work on these rooms!).

First up - the former 'pink room'.  It's a really nice sized room with 3 windows that face south and west, for lots of sunlight and cross breezes.

The inspiration for this room?  This amazing light fixture that was custom made by Brian, the incredibly creative shopkeeper at The Lamp Repair Shop in Knightville.  It's a combination of a lot of different fixtures, all pulled together into the perfect rocket ship.  I just love it! (PS - he has another one that's a tall floor lamp size!).

Add to that this very cool bed I found at Crate & Barrel and we have the start to a very fun room.

For the bedding, I've added these glow-in-the-dark sheets from Garnet Hill - complete with lots of rocket ship style.

I'm going to add the black and white solar system wall stickers from Lovely Wall Co. to play up the theme a bit.

Oh, and did I mention this will be a girls room?  So we'll have this NASA T-shirt and some other girl future-scientist clothes in the closet!  Plus the very fun astronaut stuffie from Target!  And last but not least, a movie poster from Hidden Figures (didn't you love that movie??).

Source:  Birch Lane
And while none of the bedrooms had overhead lighting when we bought the house, we'll be changing that with this fixture on the ceiling.

And I'm also adding this Restoration Hardware sconce between the two windows.
Restoration Hardware

Next up:  I've decided to design a nursery
for what started as the 'green room'.  This room is a bit on the small side, but again, it has windows on the east and south - so lots of light and airflow.

The inspiration here - this sleeping moon rug from Pottery Barn Kids.  Thanks to the neutral color scheme in the rug, it will be a very neutral room, suitable for a boy or girl.

I can always count on Julie at Earth Angel Arts to come up with amazing art work for staging the house.  She's so creative!  She made this sweet string art for the walls.  Aren't they adorable?

I'll add a polka dot quilt, pillow and lots of other details to pull it all together!
We've still got a bit of work to do, but I hope to start pulling the rooms together soon!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Design Trends? Lots of New Ideas!

For me, a highlight of every summer is attending the NY Now show, to get a preview of new trends that are coming in interior design.  It was a dark, moody Monday in Manhattan, but I didn't care, I was in the Javitz Center checking out lots of new products.  This year didn’t disappoint, with lots of fun things to see.

So, what was different from last year?  Well the most noticeable change was the return of color.  In the past I've seen a lot of white, but this year color was everywhere.  And surprisingly, gray wasn’t part of that color palette – maybe it’s finally starting to fade in popularity? 

Need a brightly colored pillow cover???  

And the color I saw the most?  Blue! Lots of blue hues, from soft pastels to navy. 

That's a lot of blue rugs!

For metal finishes, brass/gold is everywhere!! 

Another big trend was natural textures.  I saw lots of woven leather. 

And Richard enjoyed testing out some of the comfy looking chairs.

You'll see this cobbler mirror in a project we have planned for next year!

Textured pillows and wood were everywhere – stay tuned, you’ll see this cobbler’s mirror in a project we have planned for next year!    
Grasscloth, Linen and mini prints 
And I saw a lot of mix of contemporary and traditional, merged together, like this modern wing chair.  

For kids, there was the usual focus on pastels. So cute!! 

And finally, there was a lot of foliage.  I know we all hear that silk plants are history.  But they had a lot of them everywhere.  Lots of split leaf philodendrons, palms and the newest trend – rubber trees!

What was my favorite find?  These very cool birdhouses from a company called Five Ply.  Aren't they  adorable?  
I ordered lots of things that will be arriving soon.  Can't wait for them to get here!  

So what do you think - are these trends that appeal to you?  Or not??

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lots and Lots of Custom Details

At long last, we've gotten to the phase of the project where all the design elements start to take shape.   It's not a quick process, because we're always tweaking things as we go along.  But I thought it would be fun to give you a few sneak peeks.

First up - wrapping the beams with reclaimed wood.  We hid all those steel beams with wood we salvaged from another project.  I can't get over how the wood warms up the space.  So much nicer than just wrapping them in drywall!

Next, James set to work on the fireplace surround.  I've had this giant wooden beam kicking around for awhile (honestly, I can't remember where it came from, but it's been traveling from house to house for a couple of years now).  And this is the perfect place to use it!
We're adding board and batten trim above the mantle beam and on the base of the fireplace as well.  Once that's finished, I'll tile the surround next to the fireplace unit (by code, you can't have combustible materials close to the firebox), with a beautiful marble tile.

What else?  Well, the kitchen is underway.  One of the features I'm most excited about are the X's we're using to dress up the island.  This wood came out of the house and it's such a cool accent!  Don't you love the saw marks from when they built this house in 1925?

The railing is back in place with these great custom newel posts.

And it's during this phase that we always have 'That Moment' - where, despite all the chaos and clutter, you can suddenly see that it's going to be a fabulous house.  Stay tuned - there's lots more to come!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Summertime - and the Outdoor Living is Easy!

Back of Farmhouse - 'Before'
We put up with long, cold winters in Maine.  And as we shovel out from our umpteenth snowstorm, we remind ourselves that summer is coming - and it will be glorious.  Beautiful blue skies, BBQ weather, abundant sunshine (but not too warm!) and lots of playtime.

Once the weather warms up, we want to be outside.  ALL THE TIME!  And that means we need some great outdoor space.  And while this house has the nicest backyard we've ever had on a project, there wasn't a way to enjoy it.

French Doors Going In!
So we set out to fix that.  First up, a big, beautiful deck.  With the addition of the french doors on the back of the kitchen, we have the perfect spot for a big deck.

I spent a lot of time planning the deck and finally decided to go big.  At 16' x 16', there's room for lots of seating and a grill.

I'm a sucker for real wood, so we used a prefinished mahogany decking that can be left to weather to a soft gray or coated to maintain its deep red color.  The railings, posts and trim are all AZEK, which never needs painting - so zero maintenance.

And the result?  Well it's a great 'room' that merges the indoor and outdoor living space, to really enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Courtyard 'Before'
But that's not all.  When we moved the kitchen door to the back of the house, it made sense to move the staircase, creating the perfect spot for a courtyard.

Why a courtyard when you have a deck?  Well our spring and fall can be quite chilly for sitting outside, but this space creates a microclimate as the sun streams in and provides the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee.

We used concrete pavers to create the hardscape, with lots of curves to soften the edges.  And the planting beds provide the opportunity to add lots of color.

My favorite feature?  This beautiful cedar arbor - perfect for some fast growing vines.
And now that I've got some plantings in there, it's really feeling like a place to hang out.  

And to complete the outdoor beautification, yesterday the guys added a cupola to our bland, vanilla garage.  It looks amazing!!!  I can't get a good shot of it without the port a potty in the way - so it will be awhile before I can share a pic of the whole garage!

Of course we still have lots of construction equipment and material in the way of everything at the moment- but as we get that cleaned up, I'm getting pretty excited about the farmhouse!

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