Main Floor Bathroom Updates

It was a busy weekend spent working on the main floor bathroom makeover (learn more here and here). First, we finished touching up the paint, then we installed the freshly painted vanity with new lucite and brass hardware. Next up was swapping out the old faucet for my new brass Craigslist find. This is where we hit the biggest roadblock, our old faucet had rusted at the base and wasn’t budging. After a Home Depot run to stock up on huge wrenches, we finally freed the countertop from the faucet. Installing the new faucet was a breeze. And she’s so pretty. Following the faucet (and one minor leak situation), we installed our Restoration Hardware pivot mirror (ain’t she a beaut?). We also swapped in new outlets and switches, because there’s nothing like new, crisp white outlets on your walls.

This is a peek at how the room looked Sunday morning. I’m loving the black and white contrast so much. That pretty Anthropologie candle smells like firewood. Aka cozy winter nights. Yes.

um5a9383

That afternoon we installed a vintage lion’s head towel ring (excuse the poorly folded monogram towel). As you can see, we’re still missing light fixtures. I made an audible today and reverted to a different Schoolhouse Electric sconce. The third one. The current plan is this sconce with this shade in gloss black. It’s on a 6-week  delivery delay, so we’re going to have to slow our pace on completing this room.

um5a9389

And slightly pulled back so you can see the lucite and brass pulls.um5a9395

And a close up on that lion’s head. We really can’t help including some form of a brass animal in every room we complete. Seriously.um5a9398

Just to touch on the sconces again, the reason I’ve changed by mind again is that with the slightly protruding mirror, it was feeling like the Schoolhouse Electric fixed Satellite sconce would be too cramped against the mirror, so a swing arm sconce gives me the flexibility to have some breathing room, while introducing some more height into the vanity area. Not to mention that the light will be a bit better if directed closer to you when you’re at the sink. And a little example of why I changed my mind to a swing arm sconce (that drama!):

SourceBathroom-black-faucet-6.jpg

And what’s left on the docket to call this room done:

  • Swapping in a vintage doorknob (the doorknob arrived but we had no idea we needed to get rosettes / door plates, so those are now on order #diylessons)
  • Installing a new brass toilet lever (our old one was once white but is no longer white), the new one is on order
  • Ordering a vintage Persian or Turkish rug to break up the graphic black and white floors – I currently have our Lulu and Georgia Mirabelle rug in there but it isn’t saturated enough to compete with the high-contrast graphic tiles
  • Ordering and installing a sconce, as well as an overhead light fixture
  • Selecting artwork for the wall above the toilet – I’m torn between a bold black and white fashion-forward photograph (see below) or a floor to ceiling wraparound gallery wall. I’m lazy though, so the former will likely win.
  • Build or buy a brass shower curtain rod – any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated
  • Ordering a chic toilet paper holder (if such a thing exists, I will find it. PS it’s probably this one, which looks awesome on high gloss black and is budget-friendly)
  • Order fabric for a Roman shade and construct the shade (our first Roman shade has taken us a month to complete, so… yeah. Tutorial coming soon, once we’ve figured out a less tedious method).

Hunted Interiorguest-bathroom-05_edited-1-1

 

 

Main Floor Bathroom Design Plan

Last week I shared the before photos of our main floor bathroom makeover and today I’ve got the design plan for you. Work is already well underway and I’m so happy with how things are looking. Breaking it down by category, here we go:

BathroomDesignBoard.gif

Paint

We ended up going with Sherwin Williams Black Magic for the walls and ceiling. I had originally purchased the paint during a sale at Sherwin Williams with the intention of using it to paint the doors black on our main floor, but gave it a try on the walls of the bathroom and loved it. I was a bit worried about the satin finish (perfect for doors), but it lends some extra dimension to the bathroom walls and definitely isn’t too shiny.

For the trim, we had originally planned on Benjamin Moore Simply White, but after looking at the swatches at our paint store, it looked too creamy for our taste, so we took the plunge with Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White and are so happy with this decision. This is a bright white but with subtle grey undertones, so you really get to see the contrast in our decorative trim. We can’t wait to use it on the trim in the rest of our house.We went with a high-gloss finish, so it really stands out from the dark walls.

After much contemplation, we also decided to paint the vanity high-gloss black. I went back and forth on whether we should paint it black, grey or white and finally landed on black. We picked up Benjamin Moore Advance in High-Gloss Black over the weekend and the paint has been applied and is curing as I write this. It looks so much better than the grimy stock laminate. As a tip, we’ve learned to pick up the best quality paint possible to make your life and the outcome so much easier. We’ve used the BM Advance line before and have generally been really impressed. I was expecting to need to do two coats to get full coverage on the black paint, but honestly, it looks perfect after only one coat.

Hardware & Fixtures

I love warm brass tones (I know, who doesn’t) and I especially love how brass pops off crisp white and black, so I’ve been trying to source as much brass as possible, without going overboard. I’m also very picky about my brass (unlacquered is preferred, I won’t go near anything that looks too brown to be authentc).

A few weeks ago, we picked up this brass pivot mirror at the Restoration Hardware outlet, which was actually the impetus for kicking off this makeover. I’ve also sourced a heavily discounted brass faucet from Harrison Brassworks off Craigslist in a Victorian style to bring in that traditional charm. For the towel ring, we’ve ordered a vintage brass lion’s head off Etsy because you’ve got to keep it interesting!

We’ve also picked up brass shower curtain rings ($6 at Homegoods!) and are working out a plan for the shower curtain rod. We’ve been bouncing back and forth between a lucite DIY and a solid brass rod. This shower isn’t going to be used, so it doesn’t need to be the most functional, but I am worried about bowing with a lucite rod, since we can’t have a center support.

Lighting

Lighting is where I’m getting the most tripped up, right now I’m leaning towards the Schoolhouse Electric Sattelite Sconce 2.25 in unlacquered brass with a high-gloss black shade. Pencil and Paper Co.’s black powder room featured on One Kings Lane has been a huge inspiration as I’ve gotten into the design and I love how the glossy black of the shade pops off the satin black walls.

I’m also gravitating towards a capiz flushmount light that will add some new texture and lightness to the room. Right now, the Pottery Barn flush-mount has been at the top of the list, but I’m also looking at some others that hang lower into the room.

 

one kings lane_pencil & paper_MIRROR IN BATHROOM.jpg

one kings lane_pencil & paper_VERTICAL INTO BATHROOM WITH WALLPAPER.jpg

Textiles

We’re also sourcing a vintage Turkish rug (I mean, I love a good vintage rug), where the one in the design plan is currently at the top of the list. For window coverings, I’d love to incorporate Schumacher’s Zimba linen fabric, though it has a two-yard minimum for ordering, so I’m trying to find it remnant or another equally chic and organic looking fabric. I may end up a linen black and white stripe alternatively.

Stay tuned for the next update – we’re re-installing the vanity, counter and new faucet this week, as well as the mirror. I’m going to pull the trigger on a number of the items on the list this week, so we can have the bathroom done in the next two weeks, wish us luck!

The front hall

When we first walked this house, we were floored by the epic wainscotting but horrified by the choice of light fixtures in pretty much every room in the house. So light fixtures have been a huge focus for us since moving in and getting started on putting our stamp on the space. We’re pretty close on finishing up the front hall, or at least as close as it’s going to get for a while. Like the rest of the house, we’re painting the walls in here later this month, though I have dreams of hanging wallpaper (this one specifically) eventually and laying a Stark Antelope runner down the stairs. Those will happen later but are dependent on some other work happening first (namely refinishing all the floors in the house).

Moving on, here’s what the front hallway looked like just after moving in. I found that vintage rug on Cragislist for a mere $40 and trekked out to Dumbo for it – and am so happy I did. This hallway was desperately in need of a few things: (1) a stylish light fixture (2) that is centered on the door (3) pretty new door hardware and (4) a pop of colour on that front door.

UM5A7590.jpg

So, we did all of those things. A few weeks ago we set aside a warm weekend to paint our front door Farrow and Ball’s Stiffkey Blue in high gloss, and we’re in love. Before we moved in, we ordered new front door hardware from Baldwin in unlacquered brass (SO hard to find and SO much more expensive than you’d ever imagine as a renter). Also before we moved in, Cory and I made our first trip to Brimfield during our mini-moon and found a very cool never been used vintage mid-century modern brass light fixture. It’s definitely different and we love it. There was a kerfuffle with centering the light fixture, where when we removed the old one and opened up the junction box, we realized there’s a joist running directly down the middle of the hallway, oof. Long story short: my husband told me we couldn’t center the light fixture, I said “but if we could… how would we do it” and 4 trips to Home Depot later and 1 ceiling medallion later, we had a centered light fixture. Yes.

And the after photos:

UM5A8821.jpg

And a close up on the light fixture, which my sister has told me looks like test tubes and is weird but probably stylish? Eh, we love it, so it’s not going anywhere.

UM5A8827.jpg

UM5A8828.jpgUM5A8822.jpg

And that’s it for now. We still need to paint the ceiling in here, you can see some spackle that needs to be painted, but otherwise it’s a huge improvement. For consistency, we used the same ceiling medallion as in the kitchen.

Source:

Paint Colour | Front Door Hardware | Ceiling Medallion | LED Edison Bulb | Light fixture and rug are vintage

Picture perfect: Entryway

Sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what isn’t working in a space, it’s for those times that I turn to photos. It’s usually as simple as snapping a photo of the vignette or room and analyzing what jumps out at you and what really shines.

When we finished painting our entryway faux bamboo dresser, we were so excited to style it that pulled together a vignette late at night. And while it looked great, it wasn’t 100% there yet. So I snapped a pic and identified the problem areas. It’s so much easier than any other tactic I’ve tried.

Here’s my first quick attempt at styling the space:

UM5A9236.jpg

The bones are really good, that mirror fills up the wall nicely and bounces light around. The lamp is sculptural and adds height, while the lamp shade adds contrast. But there are some aspects that just aren’t working.

UM5A9236-Edit.jpg

There are a few things that can’t change yet, we’re painting the walls later this month a cooler light grey and I still haven’t found a fabulous sconce to replace the awful one presently on both walls. But, to neutralize those two eyesores, I did some creative editing in Photoshop. So. Much. Better.

UM5A9236-Edit-GreyWalls.jpg

And then I made some changes to how this entryway moment is styled that are so much stronger.

UM5A8809.jpg

And a side by side:

BANEtry2.jpg

 

New additions include the Target Threshold brass side table that helps anchor the dresser into the nook space, provides sculptural interest and serves as a functional place for me to leave my bag when I get home. I also swapped the basil plant for another ginger jar (a $6 Goodwill find!), replaced the tray with this great python one from Furbish Studio that had been on our coffee table and brought in these great smoked glass tea lights from CB2. I’m much happier with this little moment. Once the walls are painted and the sconce is replaced, I can call this space done.

Sources:

Mirror | Side Table | Python Tray | Smoked Glass Tealight Holder | All others are vintage

 

Tackling the main floor bathroom

And just like that, the first room in our house is done. Well, at least for now. Backing it up, as I wrote about previously, this bathroom is on our main floor and is the one most frequently used by guests, so I wanted it to make a strong impression that was true to our style.

We started out with a slightly sad butter yellow room with dingy board and batten, an old builder grade vanity, mirror and light fixtures. I have a whole post dedicated to the before photos over here, but I’m sharing a few here to set the tone.

um5a9985-2um5a9989-2um5a9999-2um5a0009um5a9988-2

And then I set forth the design plan, which leaned heavily on high contrast black walls with white board and batten, a warm brass mirror and faucet and a high-gloss black vanity. I also incorporated some natural materials, like a bamboo wastebasket and wood tray to bring warmth and character to the space.

Looking at the design plan, I’d say that the final room definitely stayed true to the plan.

bathroomdesignboard.gif

A few small things that changed: I ended up going with a slightly different Schoolhouse Electric sconce with an articulating arm in order to amp up the drama and make the most of the vertical space visually.

And here are the after photos.

UM5A9849-3.jpg

UM5A9796-Edit.jpg

um5a9801um5a9803um5a9767-2um5a9804-2

um5a9813um5a9815um5a9816um5a9821um5a9835um5a9843-2um5a9841um5a9838-2um5a9837um5a9852um5a9856um5a9862um5a9866

um5a9876um5a9879-2um5a9871um5a9883

um5a9863

So. Much. Better.

I’m going to do a full post on the faux Roman shades, because they were definitely an exercise in nailing the look I wanted in a creative way without spending nearly as much as I should have for a Roman shade in a stunning designer fabric.

I also wanted to speak to the black walls – they’re dramatic and totally unexpected, and I’m completely obsessed with them. But, we definitely get less light into the room now with fewer reflective surfaces. It doesn’t bother me at all, because this is a bathroom, not a space we’re constantly using, but I do think I would hesitate to go super dark in a frequently used space in the house in the future.

And the sources:

Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams Black Magic in Semi Gloss

Trim Paint: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White in Semi Gloss

Vanity Paint: Benjamin Moore Advance in Black

Lucite Vanity Knobs: Etsy

Brass Sconce: Schoolhouse Electric

Brass Mirror: Restoration Hardware (found at the outlet)

Brass Faucet: Harrison Brassworks (sourced off Craigslist)

Towel Ring: Vintage

Monogrammed Hand Towel: Pottery Barn

Persian Rug: Vintage from my fave rug shop on ebay

Flushmount Light Fixture: Pottery Barn

Brass Toilet Flush: Amazon

Wastebasket: Homegoods

Art Print: Mai Autumn

Frame: Framebridge

Toilet Paper Holder: Anthropologie

Shower Curtain Rod: Overstock

Shower Curtain Rings: Homegoods

Shower Curtain: Pottery Barn

Roman Shade Fabric: Schumacher Zimba in Charcoal

It’s funny, in looking over the list of sources, I realize a lot of pieces came from Pottery Barn. And yet, to me, this room doesn’t look like Pottery Barn. It’s a nice reminder of how you can make individual pieces your own in a space that mixes and matches both new and vintage and different retail shops. It’s ALL about the mix to make a style feel unique to your style and like it represents your own personality.

If you’re looking for more ideas for upgrading a bathroom on a budget: great looking peel and stick tile and this medicine cabinet makeover.

New kitchen lighting

I pretty much despise all the lighting in our house, so have been on a rampage to swap out as many light fixtures as I possibly can. I’ve also been taking the opportunity to add in ceiling medallions for an extra dose of style, where I’m obsessed with the mix of vintage, ornate medallion and the modern light fixture base.

So for the before photos:

um5a9197um5a9200um5a9203

These pendants just felt dark. And dated. Though taking them down did give us insight into when the kitchen was renovated, roughly 6 years ago.

We installed these globe pendants from West Elm with these ceiling medallions from Amazon. Easy and efficient. The trick for finishing the medallions off cleanly is to run a bead of adhesive caulking around the edge of the medallions to ensure everything looks perfectly flush. Ta da.

um5a9230um5a9221

The One Room Challenge: Week Two

I keep telling myself that things will look worse until they look better… and worse they currently look. Over the weekend, we demoed the built-in bookshelves that took up one full wall of the guest bedroom. I’m usually a big proponent of built-ins, but these were killing the layout and made the room feel unusually cramped. Also, it’s just plain awkward to reach behind you into a bookshelf to flip a switch. A switch that doesn’t actually control the light… because there isn’t an overhead light. As with most the rooms in this house, we’re discovering that overhead lighting was not a priority.

So, let’s get to the photos of the damage. If you can remember, these are the built-ins bookshelves in question:

um5a7563

And our current state:

um5a8378um5a8383

We’ve since started to prep the walls to be patched, though we’re contemplating just replacing the damaged drywall panels for a smoother finish. While the wall looks pretty terrifying right now (not to mention that strip of wood floor that needs to be refinished), the room already feels so much bigger and the view from the hallway feels less claustrophobic.

We also picked up paint samples for the room and are debating between a medium grey and a dark pewter, both from Sherwin Williams. Some days we’ve been gravitating towards the safer Summit Gray and other days it’s been the bolder Roycroft Pewter (very similar to Farrow and Ball’s Down Pipe). Fortunately, our local Sherwin Williams tipped us off to a big sale happening this weekend, so we have a few days to contemplate the right colour.

um5a8366

Also, we started painting a faux bamboo Henry Link dresser I found off Craigslist in a rich glossy black. It’s already looking pretty stunning, so photos are upcoming once we complete the drawers. This transformation is very good (total ugly duckling status).

This week, I’m sourcing a light fixture for the room, where we need to wire the room through the attic for an overhead light. I’m digging this one from Sazerac Stitches with an ornate ceiling medallion. The ceilings aren’t particularly tall, so an interesting flush-mount is the ideal solution.

Some variations that are currently in the mix:

 

Alternatively, I’m also considering this one from CB2:

vega-brushed-brass-flush-mount-lamp

And the modern meets traditional of a Serge Mouille light fixture with an ornate cieling medallion, as in the case of this image from The Decorista.

static1-squarespace

I know I haven’t talked too much about the plan for furniture, but this is the first time I’m decorating a room without a strict plan. My strategy for staying on budget has been to comb Craigslist for unique vintage finds that we can make our own in the space, with the goal of it feeling sophisticated, cozy and like a retreat. We’re debating whether we should build a headboard from scratch and cover it in a tribal neutral fabric, or if we can find a cool burled headboard or something else with character that we can lacquer. Hopefully by next week the plan will be in place. What I do know is that we’re keeping colour to a minimum with a gray, white and black palette with brass accents and a small pop of washed lilac linen, which we picked up for a long rectangular lumbar over the weekend at our favourite remnant designer fabric store in CT.

Check out the other One Room Challenge participants over here.

The One Room Challenge: Week One

For years, I’ve been following the One Room Challenge with admiration and finally, have decided to join the challenge. Twice a year, interior designers and bloggers come together to makeover a room over the course of six weeks (you can learn more here). Since we just moved into our first house in Connecticut, I had my pick of rooms for this challenge, and naturally gravitated towards the one room we have zero furniture for, because you know, why make it easy…

For the challenge, I’m tackling our guest bedroom, which is completely barren currently. We have never had the luxury of a second bedroom (not that it stopped us from hosting lots of guests over the years), so we’re eager to create a retreat that lures our friends from the city to visit us this winter and allows a comfortable space for family.

We’re starting from scratch with furniture, which is slightly terrifying but also completely exciting. Now, let me introduce you to the room:

um5a7563um5a7564um5a7567

The room is sizable, but is at present feeling very closed in with the built in bookshelves. I’m normally a huge fan of built-ins, but these are super basic and make the room feel much smaller than it is. One other challenge is that there isn’t a single overhead light in this room (we discovered that you learn a lot about the house you just purchased your first night). I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll be able to run electrical through the attic for a light fixture, otherwise lamps will very much be necessary.

And now for some inspiration photos. I have been dreaming about having a dark and cozy bedroom in here, but I’m slightly concerned about how this room will carry dark walls, given the single set of windows. I’m going to try out some samples on the walls, but am also preparing for a contingency plan in case we need to keep the walls white.

The primary inspiration is Christine Dovey‘s gorgeous, luxe One Room Challenge master bedroom from 2014. Every since I spotted this room, I’ve been head over heels in love with the clever mix of black, white and texture.

dsc_0765-615x943

Next up is Michelle Adams’s Ann Arbor guest bedroom featured in House Beautiful. The eclectic mix of styles, eras and textures is so sophisticated. I’m also loving the base of black and white, with color layered in to add dimension.

gallery-1451943499-michelle-adams-bedroom-2

I’m currently sourcing the perfect deep grey paint, attempting to source vintage furniture we can upcycle (hello lacquer and reupholstery), and blocking off time to dismantle the built-in bookshelves. Stay tuned!

You can follow the rest of the participants of the challenge over here.