Tag Archives: renovation

Half Bath “Before” Shots and Design Plans

23 May

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I’ve finally broken ground on my half bath renovation by yanking a couple loose tiles off the wall.

By the way, I also ripped down the wallpaper. Yup. I’m crazy like that.

half bath instagream photo

Unfortunately, that’s where the reno stopped. You see that thick cement that was behind the tiles? That’s known as a mud job and it’s going to be a serious mess to take out. I’m getting a team on board to make this change happen but in the meantime, let’s look at the befores of this blue tile half bath and a peek at my design plans.

You’ll remember that this is the small bathroom off of our small master bedroom. (See more about that here.) It’s only a half bath because…well, who would want a shower in their master bath? (This girl. That’s who. And no, I’m still not getting one. )

Let’s go inside.

Oh yeah. That’s a lotta blue tile and tan checked wallpaper.

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There’s a window that lets in some nice light but that’s about the extent of the good stuff.

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We’ve got two “fancy” hooks from Target that we use to hang our towels on. (There’s not much room in the other bathroom to leave them there.) This was an upgrade from the wooden ones that were there when we moved in. Gross.

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Did you want to see my toilet? No? Well, then marvel at the grimy tile floor. (P.S. The toilet’s staying. The blue porcelain toilet paper holder? Not so much.)

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The vanity is…well, it’s pretty cheap and ugly. And we’re keeping it. No, that wasn’t a joke.  You see, the space between the wall and the doorway is tiny. And it can only accomodate a vanity that’s 18 inches deep or less. Have you ever looked for a vanity that shallow? The pickins are slim. And yes, I know we could have something custom but I just don’t want to get into that. (And the cha-ching that would go with it.) The plan is to paint it–either white or black–and change the faucet and hardware. Sidenote: Dontcha love the tinfoil and duct tape used to cover the vent? It’s right above the furnace and it’s the strongest vent in the house so this room–the smallest one in the house–has the most heat blasting into it during the winter. Make sense? I didn’t think so either.

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A medicine cabinet is a necessity (as is the vanity storage, which is another reason we’re keeping it) so as much as I would like to just slap a huge mirror up there, we need to replace this with something with storage. (Spoiler alert: I already found one and it. is. awesome!) The light, obviously, is going too.

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Overall, it’s not a horrible bathroom. It’s just not us. Because we’re not 1955.half bath 137

 Now, onto the good stuff. The inspiration for the new design!

Someone sent this box of Laduree macarons to me over a year ago and I put a picture of it on Instagram with the text “I’m getting SO inspired by this Laduree box! Bathroom makeover palette perhaps?” It’s proof that inspiration can strike from anywhere!

half bath laduree photo (1)

Since then I’ve been on the hunt for bathrooms in black, green and gold. Stuff like this:

pinterest green tile

And this:

malachite wallpaper

And this by Nate Berkus from Architectural Digest:

nate berkus AD

And this from Apartment Therapy:

apt therapy palm wallpaper

I thought about malachite (which I love) and wallpaper and malachite print wallpaper. And I thought about the banana leaf wallpaper shown above and the other banana leaf wallpaper. (Did you know there were two different ones? I didn’t until I found this awesome blog post on The Glam Pad. Apparently, the famous one from The Beverly Hills Hotel is called Martinique but the one at the Greenbriar is actually Brazilliance. Who knew?)

But ultimately, I felt it was all a little too dark and busy and dramatic for this tiny half bath.

Then I thought about adding in white. LOTS of white. And using the black, gold and green as accents. And then this happened. This being  that I stumbled upon this AMAZING powder room renovation that Jessica Waks posted on Style At Home.

malachite mirror

People. It’s a malachite-trimmed mirror. My head nearly exploded! Even Pablo was excited about it when I showed it to him. But then I saw the price. Unfortunately, this mama is not getting a malachite mirror for “price upon request”. (I can’t seem to find the exact price right now but I recall it was something like $3500 or maybe more. Obviously it’s from Made Goods because everything they make takes my breath away. Ya know, like a turquoise shagreen table or a gold nugget lamp or A MALACHITE MIRROR!)

But the look of the whole room did show me that more white was the way to go. So I’m going for a much cleaner, more modern, white bathroom with hints of black, green, and plenty of antiquey brass.

Soon I’ll be back with the full design plan but for now just marvel at the gorgeous new hooks and knobs I picked up at Anthropologie to get the process started.

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Do they make you as excited as they make me?

XO

Sue at Home

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A Remarkable Renovation: 43 Church Street in Westborough

3 Mar

Last summer when we were visiting my parents in Westborough, Massachusetts–the town I grew up in (remember I told you about it here and here?)–I drove past this stunning house on Church Street and it stopped me in my tracks. I just couldn’t believe that I had never noticed it before. Well, that’s because it didn’t look like this when I lived there. 43church 225

Back when I lived in Westborough,  it looked more like this.

43 church as it was

Lucky for me, the stunning house had a sign out front that said 43churchst.com. So, I checked it out and found the story of how Michael Fitzpatrick (a very talented wood furniture maker) and his wife, Dr. Jean Keamy, had purchased the house with the intention of renovating it and bringing it back to its former glory. I mean, look how gorgeous it was back in 1880.

original house

Their website is great and it shows lots of process shots but I was dying to see it inside, so I emailed Michael and asked if he would let me–and the Sue at Home readers–take a peek. He could not have been more gracious and welcoming so the next time I was in Westborough, Pablo and I went to take a look. (Yes, it’s taken me over 6 months to write this post. What can I say, it’s got a LOT of pictures.)

They brought the exterior of the house back to its original style except for the addition of this porte cochere on the side. No need to Google it. “Porte Cochere” translates to Carriage Porch.  (It’s like a fancy carport.)

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Here’s the back of the house.

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As they were building the porte cochere, some birds decided to make it their home so they continued building around the birds and now they’ve got permanent houseguests. See that little square in the picture below? That’s how their little feathered friends get in and out.

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 Michael restored and built reproductions of all the exterior millwork himself. (See more about that in this video.)

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I especially loved the pale blue painted porch ceiling. Let’s go inside, shall we?

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While they respected the aesthetic of the original structure on the exterior, they opted for a more modern interior with an open floor plan and a focus on function. I loved all of the clean simple furnishings.

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The floating stairs–that connect all four levels–let in tons of light.

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This little sitting area connects the living room and kitchen.

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I love how the color of the mid-century chairs is picked up in the kitchen backsplash.

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The center column in the house, which has a small bathroom and an elevator on this floor, also includes this built-in bookshelf. (Note the wood carved grate. Yup – that was made by Michael, too. It’s the details like this that make this house like no other I’ve ever seen.)

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Here’s Michael showing us the diary of Mary White Forbes that they found in the house.  The entries are dated 1850-1857.

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The kitchen is a story itself. Every single shelf and drawer is completely thought out and made for full function.

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The wood veneer is Black Palm from Ecuador, a renewable resource. (Now’s a good time to mention that 80% of the materials that were taken out of the house at the time of demo were recycled to other homes around New England.)

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Adjacent to the kitchen is the dining room. That low table on the right is one of Michael’s designs made for a show at the Fuller Craft museum.

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Check out these small “floorlights” that connect to the basement below. (Remember those. You’ll see them again.)

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These amazing doors (from Thailand, circa 1780) were bought at auction. They lead to…

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…a small music room in the back of the house.

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Now, let’s go downstairs.  This spooky little pod is the entrance to the future darkroom.

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Of course, we had to go inside.  Here’s Pablo on the other side.

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They’re also working on a screening room that hasn’t been furnished yet. And the little space below is the future wine cellar. See those little skylights? Those are the floor panels we saw in the dining room above.

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I can’t get enough of these beautiful steps. Let’s go upstairs again.

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Here’s another one of those Michael Fitzpatrick grates.

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The entrance to the master bedroom.

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Here’s the TV in the bedroom. On the right is a jewelry box that Michael made for his wife as a wedding gift. This house is a fully wired “smart” house. I think the coolest feature is the keypad near the bed where they can put the house to sleep with the touch of a button: the garage locks, all the lights turn off and the thermostat sets to a predetermined temperature. Need the use the bathroom in the middle of the night? No problem. Motion detectors track their way back to bed and turn off the lights as they’re no longer needed.

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Of course the tub is surrounded by wood.

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Now, let’s go all the way to the top floor.  There’s a large TV room that has a balcony.

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The teak woodwork in the upstairs bathroom was my favorite.

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Out on the balcony, we get a better look at those shingles and the stunning millwork.

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And before we leave, we need to take a look at Michael’s wood shop in the back garage. There are lots of plans to renovate this space next.

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One of Michael’s beautiful veneer topped tables.

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Some more tables with mid-century hairpin legs.

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I’d like to thank Michael for the tour of his beautiful home.

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There are so many other rooms that I didn’t show here because they’re yet to be finished so stay tuned to 43churchst.com for Michael’s updates.

XO

Sue at Home

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