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All Posts By Sarah

Durham Project: Introduction

Allow me to introduce you to my newest gig, the Durham project. The Durham project is a neo-colonial, two-story house constructed in the 1980s. It’s the first home for this growing family and they’ve saved and budgeted for some remodeling and updating and that’s where I come in.

We’re on a tight timeline with this remodel because the aforementioned growing family is expecting a baby girl at the beginning of November and the construction is just getting underway. Some might say they are nuts to have a newborn AND a renovation. But I’ve assured them that they can handle it, it will not always be easy and it will be unpleasant at times but it’s certainly do-able.

The Main Components of the Durham project remodel:

durham master bath

 

durham master bath2

Remodel Master Bathroom

The master bath is a narrow space where currently you’ll find that you can sit on the toilet and lean over to the shower to wash your hair at the same time. How do you say…ah not cool. We’ll expand the room just inches because the room is sandwiched between an exterior wall and the stairs but we’ll eliminate that whole simultaneous shower/toilet situation. Dated cabinetry goes bye bye, things get shifted and we add more glass to provide the illusion that the room is larger.

durham family room

Focus on Family (Room)

This couple isn’t shy about telling you they like their TV and I like mine too and I recognize and value the importance of a comfy, stylish, well constructed space to watch the new season of Game of Thrones in. They’ve inherited built-ins in the family room but they are a little off. They need paint, hardware and a little tweaking. We need to create a fireplace/TV/built-in dynamic that makes this a functional gathering space for the whole fam.

durham kitchen

Kitchen Update

A lot of the budget will be spent in the kitchen and it needs an update. Stainless appliances, rehabbing and painting cabinets, bringing the hardwood flooring in, new electrical, countertops and a backsplash will move us in the right direction.

durham wall

Open Up

A wall stands now separating the dining nook and the family room. If removed all of the important main spaces will benefit. You will be able to see all the goings on in the family room from the kitchen, the space will feel modernized, receive more natural light, feel more open and spacious.

durham dining nook

Banquette on Wish List

A banquette in the dining nook in the kitchen is on the wish list.  Everybody loves them and it’s a great little character add-on. Once we open up that wall between the family room and the kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to add on a banquette or window seat on to the bay window.

 

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A Robert Stilin kitchen

I’ll be quick and to the point, you need to put the work of designer Robert Stilin on your radar. It’s subtle, a little masculine, collected and just all around genius.

Over the holiday weekend I got obsessed with the kitchen in an East Hampton village farmhouse Stilin designed that has been featured in House Beautiful. It whispers of what my house could one day become.

What I think is unique about it is that it openly melds the mudroom, sitting area and kitchen all together making the kitchen a space other than just a place to cook. It reminds me of another kitchen that I love, the kitchen of Mark Sikes. And I like that space because of that beautiful sitting area framed by built-in bookcases.

So often I sit in my Mom & Dad’s kitchen in a wicker chair, feet propped on an ottoman and talk to whoever is milling around in the kitchen. I choose the wicker chair over the bar stools every time. I find that a lot of the time, we hang out in there rather than in the living room unless we want to watch something on television.

This leads me to conclude two things,  1) I like eat-in kitchens  and  2) a comfortable sitting area in the kitchen is important, more so than barstools

Here’s the kitchen I’m drooling over-

aah those industrial pendants and that island hard at work,

robert stilin kitchen

 

View of island in other direction,

 

robert stilin kitchen island

 

painted floor in the kitchen and the mudroom wall,

robert stilin mudroom wall

 

Have a little bite or sit and talk to your peeps working behind the island,

robert stilin sitting area

 

 

 

 

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Kitchens with Vaulted Ceilings

I recently noticed kitchen spaces where the opportunity was seized and the resources were there to expand the kitchen space and reach for greater heights in a cathedral or vaulted ceiling.

You may find that you love kitchens with vaulted ceilings too, once you really dissect the examples to try and figure why it is that you like the room so much in the first place.

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Jenny Wolf Interiors

I have found quite a bit of inspiration in the designs of Jenny Wolf Interiors but I wasn’t properly identifying the source until recently.

There are so many spaces and vignettes that people pin sometimes without the source identified and that’s why I wasn’t aware of my appreciation for JWI but now I know where to properly direct my kudos and so do you.

I love Wolf’s work for moments and spaces like these,

jenny wolf aqua door

 

jenny wolf interior

 

jenny wolf match

 

jenny wolf interior 2

 

 

jenny wolf bar tray

 

 

jenny wolf hamptons cottage kitchen

 

jenny wolf chicken wire

 

jenny wolf breakfast nook

 

 

jenny wolf living room

 

 

jenny wolf bamboo dresser

 

 

jenny wolf trestle table

 

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Our Most Popular Pins

We are always so honored to see our work on your Pinterest boards. It gives us a thrill each and every time. So, we thought we’d take a little look into the most popular pins from TEOT projects that you guys have saved on Pinterest.

You can follow Sarah here and Betsy right here on Pinterest.

 

I love a nook, you love a nook and we all love it when you take an awkward and unused space in an old house and turn it in to something functional and cool like this cabinet in the May bath renovation.May nook

One of the things you love to pin the most is the right neutral paint colors, so we did this little roundup and you liked it, you really liked it…

Best Neutral Paint

 

I think you guys were in agreement with my color palette on the interior of the Indiana renovation!

indiana interior paint

Continued interest in paint color choices takes us to the exterior of the Indiana renovation. You loved the bold blue and yellow combination. Funny story here…I painted that house three times to get it right.

Indiana House Exterior The yellow front door The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

 

Additionally, we pondered, “what is the perfect light grey?” This is one of life’s great mysteries and it looks like you all are trying to answer it too

Master Bedroom Paint

These shaker style kitchen cabinets are our favorite and yours too. You guys pinned this cabinet closeup from the Indiana project.

Indiana House Interior kitchen cabinet The Estate of Things Sarah Farrell.jpg

 

We’re always on the lookout for affordable and classic floor tile, and this floor from the May bath renovation is inspiring,

May bath tile

In my own previous house (the Connecticut house) I gave my hallway a quick spiff up with Ben Moore’s Wickham Gray paint and a new hurricane fixture from Shades of Light. Here it is.

sarah new hall light

 

I am not much of a DIY-er but when I shared my DIY necklace rack it looks like you’re put it on your list of things to attempt too.

DIY necklace rack

 

Choosing the exterior paint colors for the Grout Cottage total renovation was a success and you’re storing it away for future reference,

The Grout Cottage Exterior Paint Colors The Estate of Things

 

And lastly, my Mom’s “Desert Diamond” agave from Plants Delight in it’s second season is a huge hit,

desert diamond agave

 

 

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Patterns of Josef Frank

I often survey the undecorated spaces in my home, my dining room being a space that is front and center on that list mostly because I can see it from the sofa. I lean toward casual inspiration for this space, a dining room that gets everyday use. When I review inspiration for my dining room, I often think about this one featured in Domino a few years ago,

Josef frank domino drapes

The drapes and chair cushions are in a Josef Frank pattern called Vegetable Tree.

Josef Frank was an Austrian born architect that lived most of his adult life in Sweden where he was the most prestigious designer for a Stockholm firm called Svenkst Tenn (Swedish Pewter). Frank not only lent his vision to buildings but also to vibrant and modern textiles that have a certain Alice in Wonderland essence.

Designer Katie Ridder is certainly a fan of Frank’s patterns, they show up in many of her designs including her own home featured in AD this month. The shade above this banquette is in Vegetable Tree

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katie ridder stripes

 

 

Ridder uses an abstract map print Manhattan, on the custom shade in this boy’s room.

 

Josef frank katie ridder boys room

 

Here’s the Manhattan pattern again in this toddler girl’s room,

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Josef frank dining

 

josef frank bedroom built ins 16

 

Josef Frank pattern

 

Josef frank green

 

josef galley kitchen

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Decorating with Yellow

All you need is a dollop, a splash, a pop—of yellow.

I don’t have any personal desire to paint an entire room yellow or a house but yellow is a fantastic accent and it makes me happy to see the perfect execution of a yellow accent in a room. Case in point,

yellow chair

 

yellow pendant

 

yellow art

 

yellow twin beds

 

nestor yellow vanity

 

yellow armchair

It certainly went well with yellow on the Indiana project,

indiana yellow door closeup

My favorite yellow accent is a stool. In a quiet, white kitchen–yellow barstools scream at you. But it’s a joyful, playful scream.

yellow stool

 

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I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’d like to do a yellow wishbone stool in our home office makeover but I know I want a yellow accent and while I’m deciding enjoy the yellow roundup,

Yellow roundup

 

1. West Elm Ikat Bowl | 2. Dot & Bo Get to the Point Stool | 3. Schoolhouse Electric Studio Desk Lamp | 4. Fine Mod Yellow Shell Rocking Chair | 5. Gardener’s Supply Colorful Rubber Hose | 6. Gretel Home Twist a Twill Blanket | 7. Work on Paper Studio Scandinavian Pear | 8. Heath Ceramics Eames House Number | 9. Target Carlisle Metal Stool | 10. Dash & Albert Tivoli Wheat Wool Rug

 

 

 

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Renovation Trends: Hex Tile

tile graphic

By now you’ve probably noticed hexagonal tile appearing in bathrooms and kitchens galore, here are 7 examples of  some of our favorite hexagon tile applications.

Marble hex lives happily ever after with a modern floating vanity,

tile modern marble

I love simple shower accent walls that look good for a lifetime. This can be pulled off with some hex, a white pencil and some 4×4 tiles.

tile shower accent

 

The snowflake hex tile and Benjamin Moore Stratton Blue vanity made for an interesting combo in Sarah’s Grout Cottage renovation,

grout A tile

Hex with a classic border with a lime green wall sink for a twist.

tile classic green sink

We can still tile kitchen floors just maybe not in 12×12 squares if we can avoid it. This European kitchen is tiled in large hex tiles.

tile large hex kitchen

A classic bathroom clad in a greek key border and hexagonal floor tile.

tile classic bath

 

Small marble hexagonal tiles are great for recessed shower niches,

tile shower niche

For the bonus round and a slight change in shape, Sarah put affordable octagonal white tile paired with a light grey grout in the May bath renovation. Such a clean and timeless look!

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Bennett Kitchen: Shop the Look

We revealed the Bennett Kitchen renovation last week and I thought it would be nice to chat for a minute about the design process and that final layer, the one where all of the living and working comes into play.

BENNETT KITCHEN AFTER for blog

I’ve been living in an old house that needs the kind of renovation that I offer my clients regularly. I have been feeling particularly fed up with the downsides of age, so for this kitchen, I really keyed up the the crisp finishes. We ended up with a really strong modern take on a cottage kitchen with classic bones.

After beefing up the architectural elements of the space (applying quintessential Craftsman millwork on the doors and window frames and heightening the cabinets with a shaker style front, we finished the backsplash, counter tops and flooring in modern slate floor tiles, crisp subway tile and a quartz counter top.

This makes for a timeless base that should age gracefully and one that can evolve with the homeowner’s style.

Here is a design board that we pulled together, to guide us and the homeowners towards filling up the open shelving and counter tops with layers of warm form and function.

Bennett shop the look

 

1. Vintage Indigo Mudcloth Pillow | 2. Schoolhouse Electric Princeton Junior Sconce| 3. The Estate of Things Antique Bread board| 4. Restoration Hardware Aubrey pull| 5. Adesso Harvest Drum pendant| 6. Ribba picture ledge| 7. Dot & Bo Kelley Dining table| 8. Azzo Mid Century Shell Chair| 9. Lake Michigan print| 10. Fiesta ware dishes| 11. As You Are print| 12. Mornings Away print| 13. Vintage Swedish rag rug

 

 

 

 

 

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Bennett Kitchen: The Final Reveal

The Bennett kitchen renovation is ready for its debut.

There’s no two ways about it the Bennett kitchen was one sick puppy but now it’s a charming southern cottage kitchen with a splash of SoCal.

Let’s take a look at that renovation,

Bennett Kitchen Before After

It’s really gratifying to see the plan come to life and I love it to pieces. While I didn’t need to change the footprint of the room I did need to move the appliances around to create a layout that functioned more efficiently. The refrigerator and stove changed position, we added a dishwasher and put the microwave on a shelf freeing up valuable counter space.

The fridge was just sitting on a blank wall by itself. We needed to nestle that in and put that blank wall to work.

bennett before2

This is what became of that blank wall,

AFTER BENNETT KITCHEN Range 700

A custom range hood with shaker panels, a classic white subway tile backsplash, open shelves and white enamel sconces to set the whole situation off.

bennett stove backsplash

The old yellow linoleum floor was replaced with 24″ long charcoal grey tiles with a modern slate vibe. Storage space was maximized in cabinets that now extend to the ceiling and our cabinet maker, Quality Cabinet Co., built a blocked crown molding at my request with straighter lines to marry the cabinetry to the ceiling.

I was convinced for weeks that I wanted to paint the pocket door a pacific/denim blue color. I sampled several of those colors.

bennett paint samples

and then I was sitting in the room during construction contemplating something and I glanced over to see my turquoise Fiesta coffee mug sitting on the counter. A knee jerk decision to paint the pocket door a bright turquoise yields this.

BENNETT KITCHEN AFTER for blog

I chose Cosmos Quartz Carrera Classic for the counter top. Quartz for the durability and Carrera Classic for the classic look and subtle veining.

Bennett cut board

We added a built-in banquette for four with a ship lap back and shaker panels on the seat to match our cabinets.

AFTER the dining nook built in banquette 700

We already had our West Elm pendant on the ready to hang over the banquette.

bennett banquette after

I know you will definitely want to know what our color picks were in this kitchen and we’re happy to oblige, in a forthcoming post.

 

So who is ready to renovate their kitchen?

 

 

 

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Sarah’s Backyard Makeover

We are starting basically from scratch here in my backyard except for the old Water Oak standing solid in the middle. Everything else could go and it has for the most part.

sarah yard no fence

I have a decent plan that I’ve been adding to here and there…pretty much since I moved in. Progress seems to crawl at a snail’s pace around here and we’ve mostly just started the process of removing the overgrowth. When you buy an older home in Southern Pines that requires renovation, you typically get a random pile of bricks somewhere on the property and vines–wisteria mostly, choking the life out of the nearest long leaf pine.

So we’ve been clearing and we put up the fence we discussed here not long ago. From here I’m proposing that we take some smaller steps in manageable phases to eventually end up with a landscaped backyard that is irrigated, has an established lawn, a kitchen garden, maybe a bluestone patio with a firepit and a small perennial section alongside the patio. I mean, that isn’t really a lot to ask! Let’s just chip away at it and here’s how,

Sarah's yard phase 1-3 planI thought I’d just mock up a little something for everyone to see, maybe just to get a glimpse of what these portions of the yard might look like once we get through these phases.

yard right side

well that definitely looks real!

yard right side plan

And then the shed side,

yard shed cleared

 

yard shed cleared plan

 

 

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Weekend

thunderbird

Here’s hoping that you’re taking a drive with your squeeze this summer weekend.

Betsy shall return soon from the UK and return to blogger town, home from rockstar town. We’ll be dropping the reveal on the Bennett kitchen renovation soon, which I’m fairly sure you’re gonna love. If you follow us on Instagram you saw a little teaser. Hasta Luego.

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Mi Favorito

Sometimes the style of spaces that I love is so varied and other times consistent. Do you often see trends in the interiors that inspire you? Do you try to identify them?

This is what I’m loving on now.

Josef Frank fabric

josef frank dining room

I like purple and indigo together in my art

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I dream of putting l-shaped additions on to traditional ranches,

 

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cocktails with St. Germaine Elderflower

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I think about work spaces in the home that are both masculine and artful

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anytime someone wants to mix heavy wood with white and then toss in a Serge Mouille count me in

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Kitchen Essentials: Bread Boards

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So maybe you don’t bake bread, chances are excellent that you don’t.

You’ll be surprised to know that the fact that you don’t make your own bread does not in any way diminish your need for a bread board. Bread boards are in every kitchen, take a spin through your kitchen Pinterest board or the pages of Elle Decor, House Beautiful etc. and you’ll see them there propped on the counter top.

cut board3

They warm up those white kitchens we love so much, they add some rustic to our modern and they don’t just accessorize they are functional because they are…cutting and serving boards.

cut board

Do you need one? Yes. Should you have two? Probably.

Bennett cut board

Lean them against your subway tile backsplash. Stack them in a huge antique basket. Serve up something beautiful.

Here are a few choices if you’re in the market,

bread board roundup1. On Our Table slab 2. General Store cutting board 3. The Estate of Things antique bread board 4. Terrain Marble & Wood serving board 5. Early American Shop Artisan bread board 6. Wood and Table cutting board

 

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