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Renovating Indiana house

The Indiana Project is a 1,600 square foot home built in the 1920’s in Sarah’s sweet North Carolina town of Southern Pines. This historic renovation took a full 8 months to complete, and got its start in January of 2013. Here on the blog, Sarah recounted the demolition, the woes of construction limitations and bureaucracy, the agony of lighting choices, and the decision, nope re-decision – nah… deciding again over the exterior paint color.

The story of the Indiana House unfolds before us in the chronology of blog posts below.

Indiana Project: Master Bath

In the beginning the master bath was an extra room off the downstairs hallway that was being used as a den.

downstairs hallway


We knew instantly that this space was wasted as a den and we needed it to become part of the master suite.

This was the master bath in mid-April,


DSC_0006 DSC_0007

To create this room, the door in the hall was eliminated, today the shower is now where the door used to be. You no longer enter this room from the hallway. It is now accessed by way of the master closet. Both original windows were removed.

Indiana master bath orig layout

Indiana master bath new layout

I was inspired by a number of custom bath vanities I saw in designer’s portfolios scattered across the internet.

bath vanity Molly Frey

Molly Frey

Urban Grace bath vanity

Urban Grace Interiors

Leverone design bath vanity

Leverone Design

Blue & white cottage bath

Source unknown

remodel boy's bath

Remodeling magazine

chunky open vanity Traditional Home

Traditional Home

I didn’t want to buy an off the shelf vanity and I needed a double that fit snug in to a custom space in front of the window. So I decided to have a custom vanity fabricated. I needed a drawing to give to someone so I talked with my brother in law Patrick. Patrick is currently in school for mechanical engineering and he knows AutoCAD. Perfect! Patrick was just the man for the job and he created this plan for me.

Indiana master vanity

Thanks Pat! If you need someone to create a drawing or a plan for you, we’ll be glad to pass along his email.

Here is the plan that Quality Cabinet Company made before beginning fabrication,

Indiana Master cab

This is the vanity in place in the bathroom. The towel bars have not been installed yet.

Master bath custom vanity

This is the plan for the finish materials,

Master Bath

The walls will be painted Benjamin Moore’s Healing Aloe. A great soft blue/green that will give the room a spa like feel.

paint swatch healing aloe


Indiana Project: Exterior paint color #3

Folks, I’m happy to report that I will not be painting the Indiana house a fourth time. The house is now Sherwin Williams Outerspace with Toque White trim.

3rd exterior paint job

new trim

We finally stuck the landing. And no the dental molding will not remain blue, it was just a little trial and error.

A neighbor drove by after the paint color had been changed for the 3rd and final time. She looked at the painter standing in the front yard and threw her arms up in the air as if to say “what next!” Maybe the paint fiasco drew more attention to the house and could prove to be beneficial in the long run. Lets hope so.

Now its on to porch stain, foundation color and front door color selection.


Indiana Project: Paint Take 3

I have found myself in yet another exterior paint related pickle. My Dad called me Tuesday night and told me he had cold feet about the Rainwater color. He wants to change it–again. Its a good thing vacation is looming.

I’m already pretty embarrassed about the failure of Mushroom. My embarrassment however isn’t half the problem. The budget is the main concern here and we must pay for each mistake we make.

Our real estate agent tells us that the feedback she is getting about the house is positive and people seem to like the color. My Dad still isn’t convinced.

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and show you some pictures. All of these images are iPhone pictures. Please keep in mind none of the trim has been painted.


The house in Mushroom

Indiana Paint samples

Close up of Mushroom with a Softened Green sample


Close up of Mushroom with a Rainwater sample

indiana rainwater & mushroom

The house in Rainwater with Mushroom accent

After four more hours of deliberation this morning, we have decided to change it. Yes, its crazy. Yes, its making me crazy. By midday tomorrow, the Indiana house will be SW- Outerspace.  The trim color as selected by my Dad will be SW-Toque White because he was feeling a bit left out in the selection process.

Sherwin Williams outerspace

Sherwin Williams Toque White


Indiana Project: Choices

We were in the throws of paint color selection last week at the Indiana house. Up first…exterior paint.

Remember this is some of our inspiration,

English cottage Inspace



exterior color CH&H

Canadian House & Home

also joining the pack of inspiration is this combination, which is really a reverse of the two examples above

Charlotte NC craftsman home Elizabeth

photo above & below via lumierefl

bungalow, Elizabeth, Charlotte, North Carolina

Honestly, I’m dying to paint something midnight blue but I don’t think this is the house.

Last week, we hashed it out over colors and this is what we initially narrowed it down to,

1. Iron Mountain, BM

2. Gabardine, Martha Stewart

3. Stonington Gray, BM

4. Mushroom, MS

Sherwin Williams came in to play because our painter prefers SW’s exterior paint called Duration.

Mushroom emerged as the front runner in this group.  But we weren’t sure so we added more to the field.

5. Liveable Green, SW

6. Softened Green, SW

Paint samples

Liveable Green did not live up to it’s name at all.  Softened green was a strong contender.

Our decision went down to the wire last week and we all were having a really hard time selecting, we even had to call in our real estate agent for an opinion.

Finally after stretching our painter’s patience to the max, we settled on Mushroom. Our reasoning, we have incorporated some craftsman elements and many craftsman homes were painted to be in harmony with their surroundings.  Also, some of the old shakes have some imperfections, the darker olive green provided better coverage.


Mushroom was a complete and total failure, it was muddy in stead of olive and it was too oppressive and dark. The Indiana project was a giant, swampy mud puddle of a house.

Back to the drawing board and more samples,

7. Clary Sage, SW

8. Enamelware, MS

9. Sea Salt, SW

10. Rainwater, MS


FINALLY we ended up with…

Martha Stewart rainwater

Martha Stewart, Rainwater

Martha Stewart Mushroom

Martha Stewart, Mushroom

Rainwater is the body of the house, Mushroom is on the gables and is an accent color, stay tuned for a white trim color. The colors on my monitor do not look like these colors do in person, so you’ll just have to wait for the finished product.

I can sleep again.


Indiana Project: Upstairs Bath

This is what the bathroom looked like in the beginning,

upstairs sink

upstairs bath upstairs bath

Upstairs bath sink

This is the current state of the upstairs bathroom at the Indiana project.


I did consider leaving the brick exposed but the mortar was in bad shape and decided to skip expending time and resources on revamping it.


A close up of the window and the shelves that have been framed in the shower.


Standing in bathroom looking toward door and hallway.  You can see the ring for the toilet on the floor on the right.

Both rough in electrical and plumbing work are complete, as well as insulation.  This room has passed inspection and is ready for drywall.
This bathroom presented a few challenges,
  • Challenge #1– How to best position the shower?
    This room is long and fairly narrow but the challenge is the slanted ceiling.  We had to restructure the entire bathroom and really part of the upstairs hallway to get the room you are looking at now. We had to carve out a space in the room for a shower. Our first design included a clawfoot tub along the slanted wall and then the shower stall against the right side of the room, eliminating the window and adding a large skylight. The final design is a tub/shower combination at the far end of the room.
  • Challenge #2– Where can we put the toilet?
    We are required by code to have a certain amount of vertical inches from the front of the toilet to the ceiling.  Normally this wouldn’t be an issue but in a room with a slanted ceiling it quickly becomes a problem. The inspector was asked to come and consult with us on our preferred spot for the toilet. He agreed to allow us to put it where we wanted to because it was a remodel and it had previously been a bathroom. If it would’ve been a new house, the inspector wouldn’t have given us as much leeway.  Even after we placed the toilet, the challenge wasn’t over.  The plumbing has to tie in to the sewer so it has to travel down to the lower level.  The position of the toilet routed the pipe through the downstairs hallway ceiling. When this happens you have to build a box to house the plumbing. In order to make this box make visual sense, the carpenter built a tray ceiling in the downstairs hallway–problem solved.
This is what I have planned for the fixtures in this bath,

Indiana Project:Upstairs Bath

Some of you might be interested in some other details,

  • The window is vinyl clad with obscured glass.  The window itself will not be affected by shower water. The window will be trimmed in composite material that will not rot and then painted.  We may choose to apply a water resistant epoxy, which we’ve had a lot of success with in the past.
  • A custom, frameless glass door will be fabricated to shield the floor from splash.
  • I’ve already purchased the American Standard rain can, extension arm, faucet, shower controls and tub filler from Hubbard plumbing supply. I also bought the Aquaglass unskirted tub at Hubbard’s as well.  I did compare prices at Lowe’s and Hubbard’s because I knew Lowe’s carried the Aquaglass brand. Hubbard’s came out lower and they stock the particular tub I needed, no special order necessary. The side of the tub that is visible in the room will receive a custom wooden paneled front built by the carpenter. As plain as this tub might seem to those of you that are designers or cruise shelter mags or design blogs on the reg, it was still $500.00. Trust me, if it was in the budget I would install a $1500-$3000 soaking tub.
  • There are four 4″ recessed lighting cans in the ceiling in addition to the sconces.

Fixture Sources:

Vanity, Home Decorators

Hexagon floor tile, Overstock

Subway tile, American Universal

Sconces, Lighting Universe

Grohe faucet, Overstock (sold out)

Rain shower head, Faucet Depot

Wooden mirror, Overstock (I purchased ours at Home Goods)

Towel hooks, IKEA

Right now I’m leaning towards Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace for the wall color. I like to test the color out in the room so I’ll finalize the choice once I take the fan deck over and observe it in the room. The trim will be oil based, semi-gloss white and the ceiling will be white.

Indiana upstairs bath colors