Friday, June 21, 2013

Architectural Trim & Wainscoting Inspiration

Our home has a pretty modest central stairwell that runs from the first floor entryway all the way up to the 3rd floor.  While we LOVE the floorplan that comes with a central stair (and our original dark oak banisters are gorgeous), the tight corners and small spaces leave something to be desired.  It's not like we want anything grandiose-- this home was built as a summer home for the original 19th century owners.  So, it's supposed to feel somewhat simple and comfortable.  And, I get that.  But, Dave and I still want the hallways and stairs to feel special, like the rest of the home.  So, we decided that we would like to spruce up these areas with architectural elements like wainscoting, trim, and some additional lighting (which was greatly lacking here).
Here are some of our personal inspiration images (all links can be found on my Pinterest page)...
love the clean white look and simple details.
compared to the first image, we loved the addition of a detailed trim on the inset and decorative cap on the base molding.
another great example of flat panel wainscoting-- simple and beautiful.
within the same home as above-- it's interesting to study how the wainscoting makes each tiny turn around the doorway and down the hallway (they used small plinth blocks at the doors).

love this room-- the height of the chair rail is lower than we would like, but we still love the elegance and simplicity of the trim... and color scheme with the wall paint (ps. I want a Dutch door somewhere, someday).

DYING over the semi-gloss finish of this hallway!

this is a more modified version, with a chunkier chair rail piece.
Love this example on the stairwell-- excellent spacing and proportion.  Also, love this chair rail.
again, same story.
We found this diagram over at Wainscoting Long Island and thought it was a pretty good example of what we're trying to achieve:

We decided to go with a flat panel wainscot design that incorporates some detailed pieces (like the panel molding on the inset and the baseboard cap).  We need a little bit of "fancy" to complement our original banisters, which are solid oak and feature turned spindles.  So, this combo of simple/fancy is good for us.  Also, if we went too simple, and ditched the decorative trim elements, I feared that we would be crossing into Craftsman/Mission style territory.  This is not a space where we belong.  :)  Our house tends to lean more Victorian (late 1800s), so adding the little bits of decorative trim went a long way.
I suggested applying the wood directly to the new drywall and painting everything to match (since I have seen this trick done all over the web, and it looks pretty good -- see here and here).  But, Dave wanted to go a more traditional route and apply solid wood sheeting within the insets.  So, the entire application would be made from wood, top to bottom.  He's doing the majority of the work, so I didn't complain about that.  :) 
I measured the space and drew it in AutoCAD with our proposed wainscot design. 
(just an FYI, the wainscoting continues down the stairs to the second floor -- that drawing is not pictured above, but you get the idea).

And, just to give you guys a good idea of what we're working with, here are some "before" pictures of the 3rd floor hallway.  These were taken the day we closed on the house (about 3 years ago).  We have salvaged all of the original door trim and baseboards, and we will be using all of it.

you can see the detail of the original stair here-- we're preserving all of the original wood, so I think that the bright white finish of the new wainscoting will be a welcome complement.


And, the space looks like this today...

Now, we've got some work to do this weekend.  :) 
Progress pictures to come!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

3rd Floor: New Drywall & Paint Colors

It's been a REALLY long time since I've posted any home renovation projects.  Our last project was a biggie (the new Carriage House), and since then, we've sort of taken a break on the house.  But now that we have a baby coming (yay!), we're cracking down on the interior of our home and knocking out some of the biggest projects.  So, I have some updates to share.

If you remember when we bought this house, the plaster walls/ceilings on our 3rd floor were in terrible shape.  The plaster was cracking, many places had been poorly patched, and overall it was a disaster (the plaster literally crumbled off the wall when we touched it).  It could not be saved.  So, we carefully removed the original trim, and demolished everything else.  Everything.  Once the walls were gone, we cleaned out the debris that was hiding behind the walls (you don't want to know), we replaced the rotting windows with brand new double-paned wooden windows, and installed proper insulation throughout.  And even though the 3rd floor was still down to the studs, you could see progress.  We had a space that was WARM and functional-- perfect for two cozy future bedrooms.  :) 

And then we lived with it like that for 2 years.

Anyway, fast forward to this spring.  A lot has happened on our tiny 3rd floor.  First, we hired an electrician and had him replace all of the wiring on the entire floor (our home had knob and tube when we moved in-- can you say fire hazard?).  Having the new electrical work installed was fun.  I was able to be my own client and draw up an electrical plan-- "we want a pair of sconces there, and an overhead fixture here".  I enjoyed it.  My husband and I love beautiful lighting, so we really had fun with the creative process here (more lighting posts to come).  After the electrical work was finished, we had drywall installers over to the house for a week.  They worked their magic and soon, the space was looking like a home instead of a demolition zone.  I could hardly believe my eyes.  After two years of nothing, we had a whole lot of something.  :)  Here are a few pictures I snapped of the progress last month...

one of the bedrooms-- Dave framed out the new walk-in closets  You can also see the new receptacles and switch boxes.

same corner-- new drywall (before the mudding and taping was complete)


the landing at the top of the stairs-- there is a small storage room straight ahead, with two bedroom doors on each side of the landing.

one of the bedroom dormer windows-- we added a small recessed can in this nook (you can see the rough wiring for that).  Someday, we will install window seats here!  How cute will that be?

at the top of the landing, looking down to the stairs (there will be an overhead fixture here and a pair of sconces flanking the window).
Looks better, right?  We were so happy!  So, once our installers had finished mudding and taping, Dave began priming the bare drywall and I was able to choose the paint colors.  Now, we're getting into the fun stuff.  :)  I'm a Farrow & Ball freak (every single color they make is beautiful), so I immediately grabbed my paint deck and started looking for the perfect shades.  We wanted the space to feel light and bright and sunny, so I narrowed the colors down to crisp whites and soft creams.  I selected a bright white for the trim, and picked a couple of "cream" colored options for the walls and ceiling (which would all be painted the same shade).
I ended up selecting Farrow & Ball "All White" for the trim. 
Then, we had two options for the walls: "Slipper Satin" and "James White".
Farrow & Ball "Slipper Satin" on the left, "James White" on the right
(as you can see, the "Slipper Satin" ended up looking like ballet pink in our house.  Not exactly the look I was going for.  But the "James White" had the perfect grey/green undertone.  It was the clear winner here).
We put one coat of "James White" on the walls and I'm in love with the color.  LOVE would be an understatement.  I'm obsessed with it.  I love the way the color changes throughout the day.  It looks amazing in every room, and I love the slightly cooler undertones within the hue.  It's honestly perfect for us.  Once again, Farrow & Ball rocks my world.

with the F&B "James White" paint



Next on the list:
      • repaint and hang the original trim that we so carefully saved (minus the shoe molding)
      • install molding around the windows
      • paint molding around the windows
      • paint and hang the new closet doors
      • strip the paint from the original doors, sand, and stain to the natural wood
      • install wainscoting up the stairwell, onto the landing
      • paint newly installed wainscoting
      • refinish the hardwood floors
      • install shoe moulding
      • final coat of "James White" on the walls
Lots of things happening here.  So, there will be more posts to come.  :)
If you want to follow along on Instagram, I post a ton of renovation pictures over there!  Follow me @kellyrobson

Monday, June 3, 2013

NEW in the store for June!

We have added a few chic pieces to the store this month-- including these AMAZING petrified wood bowls (they're gorgeous), a collection of framed insects, and handmade faux bamboo brass boxes.  We've also added some new linen pillows in a "cherry blossom" print (available in coral or chartreuse!).  Perfect for bringing some color into your bedroom or living room this summer! 
Check out the new pieces...
And, as usual, we've got a new collection of unique vintage pieces available in the store!  As a reminder, vintage items are one of a kind (and tend to sell out quickly).  Once they're gone, they're gone!  Shop our entire vintage section HERE.

if you would like to be added to our mailing list (to learn of new products and sneak peeks on our vintage finds), just enter your email in the box at the upper right corner of this blog!

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