Tuesday, November 29, 2011

*Original 1930's Hall Bathroom Remodel * Before and After

Time for another Before and After!  This is our upstairs Hall Bathroom.  The green and peach wall tile was original- and made of metal!- probably about 70+ years old when we replaced it.  Amazingly, it was in perfect condition, but the colors were just not ever going to work for us...  It is also our guest bathroom and an upgrade was in order.  We hired Ed Dolan of Chatham Place Remodeling to remodel it for us.  Ed has done lots of work for us and I am always thrilled with the results.  I trust Ed to make the right decisions, so much so that I let him work on this bathroom while we were out of town!!!  And as you might imagine (or already know) I am one picky customer...  I think it turned out beautifully!

Here is a Before picture of the Bathroom- 
It's pretty small - typical of older houses, and so it is hard to get good pictures. 
Years ago, we had replaced the original wall hung sink with this snazzy pedestal sink, and the vinyl floor was an interim move, too....

Here is the old shower wall enclosure, Before:

 And here is the tile pattern in the old shower, Before:

And here is the window and the ceiling  in the room Before- 
interesting ceiling line and what was a pretty modern ceiling fixture in the thirties- 
old house quirks!

Here is a view of the remodeled Bathroom, After:  
 Medicine cabinet and light fixtures from Pottery Barn.
Kohler "Memoirs" pedestal sink and toilet.

We used classic white subway tiles and white grout on the walls 
and a beautiful aqua blue iridescent glass tile on the floor and as an accent on the walls.  
New sink, toilet, light fixtures and shower enclosure -with privacy glass in a rain pattern.
I know this is not the trend right now, but I really hate having to squeegee shower walls and this bath is shared by guests and kids and I thought privacy was important.  
Here is the shower enclosure now:

Good design is timeless- so we duplicated the old tile pattern in the shower 
and around the walls of the room.   It just made sense.

Here is the giant new Rain Style Shower head- very luxurious.... 

And a close up of the glass floor tile- Love, love, love the watery blue colors!  
The tile is all from Thomas Tile and Carpet, 
supplied by the one and only Mary Lou Skalkos.  Gorgeous!
We custom mixed the grout color.  
White would have been too checkerboard-ish (not to mention high maintenance) 
and none of the blues really matched.  I wanted it to look watery and soothing. 

Here is a vintage mirror I hung opposite the medicine cabinet.  This bathroom is pretty small and the window and the mirror help to expand the room visually.  I kinda like the "infinity" mirror effect...

Getting the right paint color for the walls was the usual struggle for me.  
Mr. Grand was kind enough to paint the room twice, using first two colors I was sure were right based on the swatches....  
I was on my own after that... I think I finally got the look I wanted after two more tries.
Good thing we get a discount on paint! 

We kept the original tub - and the tub filling faucet. 
While not perfect, they are in amazing condition for their age. 
The tub faucet is an old Chicago Faucet model, made to last a long, long time.

I love the vintage style of the tub faucet and tried to duplicate it on the sink faucet, below. 
I think I got close enough.

The shape of the original tub (just visible on the right, below) is very graceful
and works perfectly with the new fixtures.
I have probably lost a few jobs over the years by telling my design customers to keep the old things when I think they still have value and  charm.  I'm soooo green!

 This tile always makes me want to take a dip!
Isn't Ed an artist?  The tile work is wonderful.  He has many other talents, too...  
But that is a post for another day...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Greetings!

The big day is almost upon us and the mad preparations have begun.  
I want to share some of my Mom's vintage Thanksgiving postcards with you 
and a wonderful recipe for Aunt Dottie's Quick Pickled Peaches.

Look at this gorgeous rafter of turkeys
great vintage colors and of course, I love the cottage in the background.  

The Bounty of Fall - that says it all!

Another rafter of wonderful turkeys and yes, another cottage in the distance...

Don't forget to share the wishbone!

Love the use of the stars and stripes in this one. 
The American holiday!

And as promised, the recipe for Aunt Dottie's Quick Pickled Peaches.   
She made these for us at Thanksgiving more than 25 years ago and we have been enjoying them ever since.  I always think of her and our Thanksgivings together whenever I whip these up!
So easy and so good.
Thanks, Aunt Dottie!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Aunt Dottie's Quick Pickled Peaches

2 large (29 oz) cans of Cling Peach Halves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 whole 3" cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice

Boil the syrup drained from the peaches with the vinegar, brown sugar and spices for 5 minutes.
Add the peaches and simmer for five more minutes.  Let stand in syrup overnight, in the refrigerator.
Serve with or without the whole spices - I left them in, because in my new found career 
as a blogger/ food stylist, I think they look so elegant.


Happy Thanksgiving to All!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Charming Kitchen * Before and After!

Today I would like to show off a charming kitchen recently remodeled to reflect today's lifestyle.  
I designed this kitchen for Mary Prescott and her busy family.  
You'll soon see Mary in a photo below - she's very cute- and warm and friendly.
You can see that the style and finishes she chose for her kitchen really suit her! 

Mary hired Doug Funk of Spengler Designs for this project and her cabinets were made by the Amish.
This "Before" photo shows the old entrance to the kitchen from the front hallway.  
You had to walk past this closet and turn right to get into the kitchen.

We removed this closet and the pantry behind it to gain a better traffic flow through the new kitchen. 

This sweet Viking refrigerator has been placed where the old pantry was. 
Here is the view now from the front hallway.

When you entered the old kitchen, you would see this wall on your right:

Notice the very low soffit over the sink wall. That soffit had to go....
And see how the refrigerator blocks the view into the kitchen? 

Here is the same wall, with the refrigerator relocated to the opposite wall to open things up 
and to increase the useable counter space. 

 The new Viking commercial range shines where the refrigerator was:

Isn't this tile gorgeous?  It's a mix of glass and marble. I love how Mary had it installed vertically- 
it gives it a little modern vibe.  Here is a close up of the tile:

Here is the old wall where the ovens used to be-  
They really took up some prime counterspace.  

And below is the same wall after the renovation.
When the ovens were relocated, the whole kitchen opened up!
Lots of useable new counter space and I love the drawer style microwave- one of the best appliance inventions of the last few years, IMHO.  

You can just catch a glimpse of the sink wall beyond
and one of the wonderful new bead board open shelves.

Here is a view of the sink wall, before the super low soffit was removed 
and before new windows were installed.

Here is the same wall, with taller new windows installed and the soffit removed.  
Love the custom valance, too.

And here is a view of the old back closet and that low, low soffit over the sink:

And here is the new version- now a pantry - I love the textured glass on the custom built pantry door.  
And the bead board open shelf and the new French door and the raised ceiling and the pendant light!  
Just  perfect.

Here's a close up view of one of the pendant lights and the silky, embroidered valance fabric:

Mary already had a bright and cheery breakfast nook- here is the "Before" photo:

Now there are custom built in benches and the granite table 
seems to float from the steel support attaching it to the wall.  
No table legs to get tangled up with in this cozy spot.

Notice the little coffee bar Mary has set up near the bead board open shelf, above.  
Everything she needs is right at hand!

Here is the view from the Breakfast nook looking towards the range.  
Love the snack bar, too- lots of features packed into this gracious space!

Mary used this gorgeous hardware throughout her kitchen 
and highlighted a few cabinets with these detailed backplates for the knobs.

And, at last, here is Mary and her adorable dog, Scotch.

Don't they fit the new kitchen perfectly?

Linking to:
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Before and After * Scallopy Shelf Project

Here is a mini Before and After project!  Just shows what a little paint can do.

I had my eye on this black wall cabinet in an antique shop near our cottage in Michigan for a while.  
I love the bonnet style top and the grooved paneled back and the little drawers and the scallopy sides. 
I'm a complete sucker for anything scallopy!   
I finally broke down and bought it, because every room needs a little black, so they say.

Sadly, the lighthouse collection did not come with the cabinet.  I did lust after the scallopy little gold dresser right below it, though...

I brought it straight to our cottage and leaned it against the wall where I thought it would go.   OOOPS!

 Too big and too black.  Kind of hulking over the room.  
I tried it on several other walls and it still didn't work.  
Time for some paint therapy.  

I am eternally grateful to those generous and talented folks who are organized enough to take Before, During and After photos of all of their projects and share the details online.  
They constantly inspire and motivate me.  
I have learned so much from these wonderful people.  
However, for this simple project, I will spare you the real time, "Here is how I applied the white paint" part of the Before to After process- you're all smart - you know what to do.
Plus, I did not take any "During" photos...
Here is the after:

I found a place for it after all, and the crisp white paint makes it work for me.
I am still looking for two perfect, vintage knobs for the little drawers.  
These will work in the meantime.

Thanks, Mom, for the gorgeous aqua Blenko carafe and the ruffle edge aqua bowl- 
we have always loved so many of the same things. 

And just for fun, here is the Before picture of this same wall - 
the Brady Bunch fireplace used to warm this corner.  
I miss those drapes and the paneling and the fine masonry.

Stay tuned for more grand transformations!

Linking up to:
Not Just a Housewife

Link Party
Linking to Miss Mustard Seed
Linking to Savvy Southern Style

Link Party

Link Party 
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