Tag archives for restoration

Renovation: Finishing Details

Today, I’m sharing all the miscellaneous details and bonus photos of our property renovation on Keats Ave.

There is a bonus room located off the kitchen, that was historically an addition to the property. We found evidence of the addition in the augmented rooflines of the home. I think this room might function as a formal dining room, den, office, extra bedroom or nursery. I wanted to keep the space traditional, neutral, and versatile. For this reason, I chose the color, Silver Plate by Sherwin William, which allows the window trim to contrast beautifully against the walls and ceilings.

In the daylight, I enjoy the combined look of the chocolate malt hardwood floors with the painted gray walls and white trim. We reinstated transom windows above the exterior and interior doors of the property to keep classic details within the property.

We fixed up the stairs by painting the steps espresso and white. The original banister really matched the floors pretty well, so we just kept it the same, which was lucky because they can get pricey. I thought a sisal runner would add texture to the stairs and protect the paint for the time being.

Meanwhile, we painted the upstairs bedrooms in Whisper White by Dunn Edwards. We used nice 5″ architectural baseboards through all the bedrooms of the property. Our carpenter created custom door and window trims ranging from sophisticated to basic. In the bedrooms, we kept trims basic.

We saved money by using closet doors from Habitat for Humanity resale store and economical carpet from Home Depot.

The basic light fixtures and recessed lighting throughout the property are all about creating illumination. You can see how the white walls and open doorways really create an open feeling in the front living space.

Painting the gray door was a finishing touch to the property. I felt it added to the Scandinavian sensibility that I am really drawn to.

You can catch up on the rest, if you missed out on the bathroom and kitchen designs.

As for now, I’m staying busy!  Lulu’s bathroom demolition starts tomorrow and I will keep you looped in via Instagram.

 

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Renovation: Master Closet Reveal

The Master Closet was something that I struggled with when renovating the property in Historic Clifton.

I loved the idea of a fully customizable closet and wanted to provide all of the features that I could. On the other hand, we were on a budget doing the entire property and the closets seemed to be something extra beyond a necessity.

I came across this closet by Ana White.

I love Ana’s carpentry and her comprehensive design plans. Since, I do not have the ability or time to DIY this one…I showed these to my carpenter to obtain a quote. Unfortunately, in this instance the cost was in the labor and not the materials. His quote was over $1,000….so I had to really consider the value vs. money a built-in closet might add to the property.

I was back at the beginning, looking for ideas when I came across this stunning minimalist walk-in closet on a budget.

via Stylizimo

From this photograph, I mapped out simple design plans for my carpenter to see. This idea came in way under budget because it required minimal labor and materials.

We planned to add:

  • 95″ wooden clothing rod
  • 95″ upper shelving
  • 95″ lower shelving
  • shoe rack
  • mirror
  • decorative lighting

The L-shaped closet within our Master Suite seemed to lend itself to a similar layout and design.

There is a area to the right of the door is large enough to place a dresser or dressing table.

Around 16″ from the floor we used a piece of paint grade pine to build a shoe ledge or shelf for bins and storage on top of a ledge placed by our contractor to hide some HVAC duct work.

Here, I would consider placing a large rectangular mirror on the wall at left.

So, there you have it…by providing minimal shelving along with a sturdy 95″ clothing rod, we designed an open closet space with lots of potential for customization.

I am happy with the results and believe that anyone would love to have a clean slate like this to dress-up and organize their wardrobe.

Thanks to Stylizimo for being my inspiration.

Stay tuned for more on the Master Suite coming soon!

 

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Renovation: Kitchen Inspiration

I hope you are enjoying this series of Renovation stories. Because something VERY special could be happening tomorrow on the home front, I have opted to share this Monday post one day in advance. While the landscapers are getting started working on the outside of the property. I would like to show you the Kitchen transformation from the inspiration to how it looks now.

I knew that for this house I wanted an open Scandinavian modern type of feeling. I felt that a future dweller might enjoy white cabinets, open shelving and warm wood countertops that accented the floors. I loved the kitchens by other designers below.

You may remember how the kitchen looked before drywall. I also wanted to preserve historic touches, where I could.

One thing that spurred me on from the kitchen before, was the overcrowding. There were just so many cabinets yet, all in good condition made from solid pecan wood. I liked the idea of reusing the cabinets and reconfiguring them in a better way. For this, I would need our carpenter to really help us make that work.

None of the countertops that could be salvaged because they were all mismatched pieces of stone, marble and plywood simply sitting on the cabinets unattached, in fact some of the cabinets were not attached to the walls!

The warm wood tops were a natural choice because of their color and affordability. The flooring is an engineered wood with a wide plank and a hand-scraped texture. I liked how the golden tones of the countertops matched the lighter gold streaks in the floors. You will see in a moment how well they match in the space. The floors actually look much lighter in daylight.

Below you can see a quick sketch by hand, where I rearranged about half of the existing cabinets to be installed by my carpenter.

I found many inspiration photos that I liked which mixed stainless steel appliances set against the white cabinets and warm wood. Since stainless appliances were more costly, we had considered simply sticking with an all white palette. To our fortune, we stumbled upon an appliance sale over Labor Day weekend, which allowed us to afford all stainless for the much the same cost. Cha-ching!

We used a farmhouse pendant as a focal point in the center of the room along with natural light and recessed lighting as a part of the total lighting solution.

The kitchen’s overall size has increased exponentially and we created cleaner, straighter lines when we moved the original bathroom to create the L-shaped kitchen.

Below is the first shot of the kitchen showing things really shaping up! Now it’s time to show off the final photos of the kitchen! I had asked my friend, Kristin Goose to take the final pro photos. She has a really good eye and I think that the final photos came out great!

At right, you will see the original transom window above the doorway, that we reinstated as you walk through to the den/dining space.

There is ample space to place a kitchen island or a dining table. I pictured a large driftwood finish farmhouse dining table with modern chairs in this space!

I have always wanted to have a Farmhouse sink! I guess I will have to live vicariously through this property for now.

One solution that we had to lighten up the upper shelving was to use glass and open shelving. To create this look we cut open the cabinet doors and inserted plexiglas panels. Then, our carpenter John, worked on the custom open shelving adding white shelf supports for installation.

After waiting so long to be able to share these, I hope you are enjoying these final pics. The kitchen was a labor of love. (I am still toying with the idea of a tile backsplash behind the sink at some point. I would love to hear your thoughts on the transformation:)

Next week, I hope to share a little surprise with you and with a little luck the bathroom renovation photos which are in the editing stage.

 

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Renovation: Window Trims and Flooring

After the drywall went up, I began to work with the finish carpenter on all the beautiful details around the house. Since, the home was built at the turn of the 20th century both Victorian and Craftsman styles influenced the architecture of the period. I knew I wanted to draw on Craftsman construction, while staying true to a more modern vision. The home lacked ornamentation such as intricate carvings or stained glass windows which made transformation to a modern look and feel quite natural.

First, I went hunting for inspiration:

I found this picture of a simple window trim with a bullnose trim in the sill. The following style is what I like best for this house: minimal, modern, slightly craftsman with a little decorative bullnose lip near the sill. Additionally, the door molding was another source of inspiration for the large open doorway between the kitchen and dining rooms.

(photo via Houzz)

Below, these two window encasements also caught my eye for the slight crown molding on the top. I also loved the super tall baseboards in the picture at right. Since, we had 9′-10′ ceilings and above in many rooms of the home, I knew we could add character to the rooms by choosing a taller baseboard.

(photo via Houzz)

After talking to my carpenter and we decided to add a simple decorative crown molding on the larger windows in the main living room. For the rest of the home, we decided to keep the rest of the windows and doors well crafted and refined as in the first photo.

Here are some photos of his amazing work!

The photo at left shows the large and tall doorway from the kitchen the dining room. After finding that the original home had transom windows, we have decided to add a transom to the top of the doorway later in construction to even out the proportions of the frame. Below at right, you can see the large striking living room windows. Here we added a very subtle strip of crown to the top.

One of the challenges of designing and managing a project remotely is that I rely on so many people to take photos for me. Please understand that work is being documented while the home is a total mess and construction zone! To complicate things, I am also not local to help clean up:)

The kitchen window below was reframed about 5′ to the left from the original plan. The window was located inside the guest bath shower and had rotted out completely. We had to the apply for special permission from the Landmarks to move it a few feet into the kitchen. It was totally worth it because now both sides of the kitchen receive ample natural lighting!

Here is a kitchen window over the sink that I truly love.

These are 2 of the 4 large windows that run down the South side of the property.

You will see more dramatically, how the trim work transforms the interior design once we begin painting the walls and trims.

Next week, I plan to catch up on the exterior progress that is happening on the property. To see what the home looked like in the beginning read Renovation Story: Part 1.

Soon to come you will see the gorgeous Scandinavian inspired hand-scraped hardwood flooring in action with the tall 7″ baseboards!

Here is a sneak peak of the coloring. This one is a value for money.

Well, I hope you are all getting ready to see the next phase of renovations complete.

Please follow me here for the latest posts on Restoration and Design.

Have a fantastic week!

 

 

 

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Renovation Story: Drywall

I can’t even describe how exciting it was to see the drywall going up, once the demolition, framing, and repair were complete.

I promise to make this post extra special by including more before and after photos so that you can see the transformation of the space. If you are new to my blog, you can catch up on the rest of the Renovation Story here.

This is a view of the first room of the home, the living room, as it opens up to the kitchen. For the large entryways on either side, I was inspired by a local area homes and the intention to insert a see thru-direct vent gas fireplace in the future.

At the moment, plans to install the gas fireplace are undecided because we were not sure if a future buyer may prefer to use the wall space for a television or artwork.

For us, the transformation from demo through drywall was a real turning point in the design process.

Remember the crowded kitchen corner? Here it is after reframing and drywall. You can see how we actually expanded the space to include the former bathroom and shifted a window over a few feet to provide some natural lighting on the north side of the kitchen.

Later, you will notice the farmhouse sink will be centered on this window.

A large doorway leads from the right hand side of the kitchen to the sitting room.

This additional side room ended up being the largest in the home based on the square footage. I feel that this room could be used in many ways: a home office, dining room, sitting room, den or even additional bedroom.

As you can see we made the decision to line up all the doors on the right hand side of the home. This is consistent with the layout that would be found in a shot gun home of any era.

Drywall installation meant that the real fun as a designer: Floors, Trims, and Material finishes were soon to come.

Also, you may have noticed the beginnings of a lighting plan emerging in the drywall ceiling photos.  Next, I will begin to share the recessed lighting schedule along with the material and trim selections for the home.

If it seems like everything was happening at once, it really was! Just wait until you see the exterior changes that were happening at this time.

 

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Renovation Story: Demolition Part 4

You may be wondering…how all the construction work began and what was left of the house after the demolition?

First of all, we needed to strip everything down to the studs in order to preserve the original historic footprint of the home. We preserved framing and structural supports when the wood was in good condition. We removed everything from drywall to ceilings to sub-flooring.

You may remember that this hallway would be one of the largest changes within the floor plan.

We prepared to move the original bathroom into the hallway to enlarge the kitchen and serve as a guest bath.

Then, we would include a Master Bathroom within the remaining hallway space. Below you can see the new framing for the Master Bathroom and the Guest Bathroom  is framed out directly behind it.

Below is a segment of the original spacious hallway that I shared pictures of last week. The original floor tiles pictured which were in not able to be reused.

Next, a small transitional space leads from the Master Bathroom to the Master Bedroom.

All other areas of the home needed equal reconstruction through demolition. Some were in a state of disrepair!  As I am writing this, I am really appreciating the amount of work my contractor took on! In the front of the house the living room had been used as a bedroom and needed considerable demolition.

The crumbling chimney and fireplace in the living room was a major concern to our HVAC installer. We decided to remove it completely and leave open the option of installing a see-thru direct vent gas fireplace down the road.

Below you can see how the living room walls, chimney and closet have been completely removed and the new framing is in place. I chose to create 6′ wide doorways through to the kitchen on either side of the fireplace wall for an open concept look and feel.

The 2 upstairs bedrooms and the stairway leading to them were stripped down in a similar way.

Next Monday, I will show you where all this demolition leads! With the drywall in place, we can begin to visualize the overall look and design plan.

Have a great week!

Hilary

 

 

 

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Renovation Story Part III: Interior Floorplans

At the time of purchase, I did plenty of internet research about the history of shotgun houses. I want to share what I learned with you. Part of what makes this neighborhood historic was the period these houses were built along with the traditional layouts and floor plans.

A classic shotgun style home would have only 3 rooms: Front Bedroom, Kitchen, and Living Room. Occasionally, the living room would be located at the front of the home.

Historically additions were added as fourth rooms to the side of the home. In this case, our home had both an addition and an upper floor, which offered 2 additional bedrooms.

You may remember from the previous post…this upper addition of a second floor over the back portion of the home is referred to as a “camel back”. So our home has 2 additional bedrooms.

The interior doorways would traditionally all line-up so that a single mythical “shot” could be fired into the front door and exit out the back door…our house was a little more chopped up than this…here is the original floor plan below.

You may notice the tiny bathroom on the North side of the property. This was likely an addition to the home. Although bathrooms did not exist within these homes at the turn of the 20th century, they were added to large hallways as indoor latrines became more commonplace. Not only did we decide to expand the kitchen into the original bathroom, but I designed a Master Bath to occupy the unused space in a large and grandiose hallway.

The hallway was really unique because of it’s high ceilings. There was evidence of really interesting hardwood floor tiles, but they had deteriorated so badly that I felt adding a Master Suite with a bathroom would add the most value to the house for a modern lifestyle. The high ceilings in the Master and Guest Baths also lend some charm to the rooms themselves.

The updated Floor plan below shows how we decided to open up the Living Space and Kitchen. We expanded the kitchen into the small bathroom to provide an open L-shaped work triangle. Next, the guest bath was shifted into a small section of the hallway and we constructed a linen closet at the base of the stairs. From the front of the house to the back we lined up the interior doors, which allowed us to move the exterior side door back into the original placement within the property.

Doing a floor plan remotely is more challenging than you may think. There are additional windows on the South side of the property that I only discovered upon traveling to see the residence early Autumn of 2013.

Here you can see how the crowded kitchen looked before the renovation.

and large hallways…as you can see, the hallway was large enough to be used as a dining room at one point.

Once the demolition began, we had lots of dated wood paneling, ceilings and floors to be removed!

If you missed my first 2 Renovation Story posts…you can begin reading here.

Come back next week, for an updated look at the interior demolition.

 

 

 

 

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