This post has been a long time in the making and for me, it's a giant leap towards finishing the interior projects here at Content. Don't ask about the exterior, that's a whoooole other can of worms!Read more
We’re sharing an easy and inexpensive DIY method of pouring concrete vanities and shower curbs, with our step by step instructions and recommended products.Read more
Taking a look back, and realize I never gave you a full look at the before and after of our Master Bathroom. So, here is the entire run down including all the before and after shots, which I know you all enjoy so much!
For basic necessity, the master bathroom was the first space that needed to be tackled FAST in order for us to move into Content.
Our main priorities in the master bath were to:
open the room up
bring back some historic, architectural interest
and add interest and a modern touch with a bold accent.
First, we removed the existing Jacuzzi tub that was taking up nearly half the floor space.
With a ton more square footage to work with, we created a full walk-in shower:
With such a large space, we decided to construct a wall to separate and enclose the toilet. Not only did this add privacy, but allowed us to add necessary storage as a built-in.
Privacy wall for toilet & added storage
Privacy wall for toilet
To bring back the historic, and architectural detail that this old home deserves, we added an cast iron, claw foot tub that I found on Craigslist and refinished in a matte black. I kept the feet original because I loved the nostalgia the old paint colors invoke.
John wanted to create interest and detail in the master bath, and did so by joining the double windows with a decorative trim which acts as a picture frame for the claw foot as well.
Then, we chose a deep, dramatic blue paint color for the walls to highlight the freshly painted trim, exposed ceiling beams and original, oak hardwood floors.
Ready for the glamour, after shots? Enjoy!
Now you can get this look through our Shop Our Home page here.
WALL PAINT: Van Deusen by Benjamin Moore
TRIM PAINT: Advanced White by Benjamin Moore
CLAW FOOT TUB: Vintage from Craigslist
VANITY: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking
VANITY COUNTERTOP: Blue stone
SCONES: French, vintage, Ebay
RUG: World Market which is currently unavailable but a similar is here.
WINDOW SHUTTERS: Lowe's
ACCORDION COAT HANGER: World Market
WALL SHELF: John's custom design made from walnut. Content Woodworking
PLANT POTS AND BASKETS: Ikea
TOWELS: Crate and Barrel (teal)
Renovating any room of the house can be pretty annoying. Dust, construction debris, hazardous equipment. But the renovation of a bathroom quite literally messes with basic human needs, and that my friends is no fun...
John's sister Kristen is currently undergoing a bathroom renovation which has me excited to see her (my FIL Dave's) progress but nervous how even a minor setback could effect her. Knowing my father-in-law though, I'm certain they're right on schedule. Unlike Content. renovations that seem to have a mind of their own.
Nonetheless, the ensuite bathroom of guest room #2 is finished and you can get the look with paint color, fixture and accessory suggestions through our Shop Our Home page here.
If you missed it, you can find the full bedroom reveal of Guest Room #2 here.
Ok, now hold on, here we go!
Guest Room #2 Ensuite Bathroom
Our completion date was set in stone when I agreed to host our first wedding ceremony here at Content.
Can the bride and her friends stay over the night before as well? Sure!! Now, let's get to work...
*Side note: I can't wait to share all the details of the wedding and all of Content's event hosting potential. Stay tuned!
Originally, this bathroom had a prefabricated tub and standard vanity. There were two entrance doors; one from the hallway and one from the bedroom.
In an effort to create more space, the following structural changes were made:
the drywall ceiling was removed to expose beams.
the prefabricated tub was removed.
the bedroom door was shifted to allow more shower space.
the hallway entrance door and random dead space was eliminated.
new shower stall built.
new built-in for storage built.
Layout: Before renovation
Layout: After renovation
There was nothing particularly wrong with the bathroom, it was just dated and not our style.
Before (view from the hallway door)
Curb Alert! Our magical street that makes things (even old toilets) disappear in less than 5 minutes
WALLS: Continued from the guest room, the walls are painted Horizon by Benjamin Moore OC-53 in matte finish.
ACCENT WALL: I wanted to tie the dark ceilings of the bedroom into the design of the bathroom, which inspired the charcoal accent wall in BM Mopboard.
FLOORS: The wide pine, hardwood floors in here, though original, were in rough shape, especially after removing the tub and vanity. We had these professionally sanded and polyurethaned.
Before + After
Before + After
WOOD VANITY: A Content Woodworking original! John decided early on to feature one wood type in each new bathroom. Guest room #2 bathroom's details are all black birch.
The vanity design is a repeat from our master bath, adding continuity to Content's interior design as a whole.
MIRROR: Vintage mirror with etched flower detail. Flea market find. $3
COUNTERTOP: We used bluestone in our master, and wanted to repeat the industrial feel without the price tag. This was our first attempt using poured concrete. We are very happy with the final result.
Here is the DIY tutorial of the poured concrete bathroom vanity top and shower curb.
SHOWER TILE: From early on, I had my heart set on a herringbone tile pattern. We are frugal with our materials, and changing up the pattern was a great way to add interest to standard matte finish, white 3x6 subway tile (that you can find here). Platinum Grey grout.
Don't get me wrong, I know what I asked for and this was a huge undertaking by John. So. Many. Cuts! Yes, he's amazing!
The floor of the shower is Carrara White 2 inch Hexagon Mosaic tile also with Platinum Grey grout.
SHOWER CURB: We created the shower curb out of poured concrete as well, matching the vanity countertop.
BUILT-IN: One additional change which effected the layout of the bathroom, was the addition of a closet in the bedroom. However, we used this as an opportunity to add interest by way of a small built-in on the bathroom wall.
I had this pic pinned to my Pinterest board, and well John did the rest... basically replicating it exactly. It's insane.
If you want to get this look, follow this link through to the Shop Our Home page here for paint colors, fixtures and accessory suggestions.
WALL LIGHT SCONCES: I'm always looking to tie in Content's history into our renovations. But after the "master bath, French eBay score, incompatible lights sconce fiasco of 2015" I looked for an alternative.
I found a great Etsy shop called TheModMercantile, made up of a husband and wife team who offer vintage, refurbished lights at very reasonable prices. Who could resist!
SINK: Kohler Pennington Drop in Self Rimming with 8 inch faucet cutout.
FAUCET: I love how this chrome faucet, with porcelain "hot" and "cold" water details, provides a nostalgic nod to Content's history, while still feeling updated. Kingston Brass Metropolitan series available on Amazon.
TOILET: Kohler Highline Classic in white.
SHOWER TRIM KIT: Moen Kingsley in Chrome available on Amazon.
And now for all the AFTER goodness!
Now, when will we see you for a visit? Check out our Airbnb listings here!
If you remember, when last we chatted about the kitchen in my Phase 2 post, we had just completed all the dry wall. That seriously feels like a lifetime ago, but in reality was only 3 months or so. Since then, a considerable amount of work has been done on the kitchen.
Most notably, the new pine floors, the cabinets, the kitchen island and trim. All respectively works of art and achievement that my wonderful husband should be very proud of!
Let's start with the floors. If you recall, the existing oak hardwood in the kitchen was worse for wear. It was not original to the house, but was also installed around more recent constructed (1980s) cabinets, so when we removed these cabinets, huge gauges and holes remained.
|See the gauges and holes in the old flooring?|
It really was a shame to pull up that much oak, but we resolved to save the wood for future projects and moved on. Once several more layers of linoleum were removed, John had a fresh surface to work with.
In an effort to match the existing dining room hardwood, John first sourced wide plank, white pine boards and cut them to width.
Then, over the course of a weekend, John and I cut the tongue or groove into each side of the pine boards. It was a tedious, precise process but in the end saved us a lot of money!
|All of the completed boards, now with tongue and groove.|
Then, the tongue and grooved wood was left to properly acclimate to its new home indoors, and then installed the following weekend. In fact, it was Easter weekend. Holidays don't have that same relaxing quality much these days...
Working together, we glued and nailed each board, creating a similar pattern in board-length to the dining room floor. John couldn't wait to try out his new toy, sorry, tool.
|Like a kid on Christmas morning. "I've always wanted a flooring nailer!"|
Originally, John was opposed to using glue, hoping to use a more traditional method, but a good contractor friend stressed otherwise and reassured John using glue was the right move. Not only would the glue secure the boards over time, but would also alleviate floor creaking which, as we all know, is notorious in old construction.
High-fives celebrated each successfully installed run, and we pushed on with only one minor snafu. Probably celebrating a little too early (more high fives and a dance break) our pattern accidentally got out of wack causing us to scramble to pull up the glued and nailed board without damaging it. Aside from that 30 minutes of panic, all went extremely well!
After the boards were laid, we started on the decorative flat head, steel nail detail, again mirroring the dining room pattern. John sources these from the Tremont Nail Company who are known for their authentic restoration products.
To install the decorative nails, first I drilled pilot holes using a simple cardboard template. I'll admit, this was nerve wracking. Drilling "not so random" holes into a JUST perfectly laid floor seemed insane.
But once John nailed and set each one by hand, the extra effort was clearly worth while.
Then, John used a tung oil finish diluted in mineral spirits to seal the floor. We long debated trying to match the 100 year old dining room color with a new stain in the kitchen, but in the end, have opted to let the wood age naturally.
Honestly, the tung oil and mineral spirits smell like stinky feet, and has permanently ruined a few articles of clothing, but the smell dissipates a bit everyday and now I burn even more incense.
Long story short, the floor is gorgeous! I love my kitchen floor!
|Protective paper is down|
Once the floor was in and the oil had several days to cure, we placed a protective cover on the edges and John and our brother-in-law Joe installed the cabinets. Woot woot, thanks Joe!
|Thanks for the digital level Dad, it was a life saver!|
You remember, right? We purchased all the kitchen cabinets back in November, and I have since been staring at them since, dreaming of this magical day...
All of the cabinets were designed by John and I, and Dawn, our awesome cabinet consultant at Home Depot.
At the time, Home Depot was pushing American Woodmark with extra discounts if you attended information sessions so we signed up, ate complimentary doughnut holes, and got free upgrades.
All in all, the standard cabinets through American Woodmark are good quality, durable, and spot on with production time. We were very happy with the process and purchase, now, I'll just be over here paying them off till 2035 ;)
From there, John was focused on the kitchen island. From the start of designing the kitchen, we envisioned a very large island. Remember the kitchen itself is pretty big, and we wanted the island to fill the space and adequately host lots of family and friends. I don't think we anticipated as many Beer Pong/Flip Cup requests right away, but hey, we love it that everyone is excited to hang around in our kitchen.
|The cabinets are IN!|
We designed the island to be double sided. One side would be for food prep, with drawers and a microwave cubby below (thanks for the idea Kyle & PJ!). The opposite side would hang over 12" or so, creating a counter height seating area, with large bulk storage below.
John sources these large, rough, locally cut oak slabs from a guy named Dave. I'm not entirely sure how the bromance began, but I'm pretty sure John is looking for any excuse to pay Dave another visit, so let us know....
Once we had all the pieces laid out, we determined which natural features in the boards (curving, cupping, mill patterns, etc) worked best side by side.
The wood was then scrubbed, treated, dried and prepped.
|Looking dark brown from being wet, washed and treated.|
Choosing the best 4-board arrangement, John cut six of the center edges straight, and left two rough at the outside edges.
|This is me "supervising"|
He then joined the center edges together with dowels and glue as not to show any finishing (nails) on the surface.
Then, he applied a dark, oil based stain which will repel water, stains and will be easy to clean.
|Applying the oil, stain.|
This island is a beast! It took 4 guys (thanks for your help Ryan, Shawn & Vin) to move it into place.
Truth be told, its not 100% installed. Overtime the wood will dry and react to heat and humidity. So far, the over hang has started to curl a bit. We have added some temporary bracing to help the wood dry flat.
The island is a work in progress. We absolutely love the rustic look and feel, and because of that, will work with the natural reaction of the wood to see how best to make it happy in Content.
Our friend PJ was back at it, priming, and prepping for paint. Thanks PJ! The old kitchen had faux wood "wainscoting" as a chair rail. Instead of recreating something new, we matched the existing faux paneling, and will paint it white to match the other trim.
I haven't shared any of the decor decisions made for the kitchen, which will follow in a separate post. Also, I haven't picked a wall color, so you're suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed!!
What do you think so far? Let me know by commenting below!
It's weird though, sometimes I forget just how absurd of a property Content. really is. So often, John and I are busy micro managing projects, making sure we're making forward progress, that the big picture of the house gets lost. It's only when a new visitor or contractor stops by that we're reminded just how different Content. actually is. Our favorite question, "What is this place?"
|The real BIG picture!|
During a recent visit with our friends Veronica & Shawn, we pointed out that one of the two fireplaces (yes, two in the same room) located on opposing ends of the master bedroom would soon be concealed in the new walk-in closet and only used as an architectural detail. Veronica's reaction was priceless, "Two fireplaces in the same room? Now you're just showing off." Not on purpose of course, but yes, this house has charming quirks and a zillion stories to tell and we're having a blast figuring them all out.
Likely, Content's rooms were once half the size, and each of the bedroom fireplaces were originally in separate rooms. These small rooms are rumored to once have been used by ladies-of-the-night and gentleman callers (more to come on that in later posts). The house is also rumored to have been a horse stable, but either way, I guess a fireplace and a small private room work for both enterprises.
But now, as the newest owners, we are left puzzled and dumbfounded by how to layout the simplest of room elements, like our bed. And because the house was vacant for over 2 years, we can't even copy the prior owners attempts.
Take a look at the original layout of the master bedroom and some of the odd elements we have to quickly address:
- Two fireplaces
- Railroad style layout connecting kitchen, master and bathroom
- One full wall of windows
- Two exterior (courtyard) access doors
- Window in closet
|Before: Master Bedroom|
This is the MLS listing photo of the bedroom before we even owned the house.
See, I'm not exaggerating! The layout is perplexing to say the least, and not in a fun "oh lets stretch our design creativity" kinda way....
|Architect, what's that? We just hand draw our plans.|
You should see what we submitted to the town for our permits. Ha!
|Before: Master Bedroom|
Old closet is out exposing two exterior courtyard doors. The door on the left will be covered up.
|Partition wall (view facing bathroom)|
|Partition wall (view facing kitchen)|
As I've said before, we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by talented tradesman that willingly volunteer their time and energy to help us with Content. And in the case of the master bedroom and bathroom, John's father Dave was our saving grace.
Dave traveled from John's home town in Bristol, Connecticut for the weekend to help run all the rough electrical and install recess lighting. Thanks Dave, we couldn't have done it without you!
|John, and his father Dave.|