duplex

Grout AptB Day 2 Head

Grout Cottage: Apt B Bath & Bedrooms

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This is the bathroom in Apartment B before the demo and expansion. It leaves umm…much to be desired. This was in use and although a sight for sore eyes it was operational. The biggest changes to this bathroom were 1) the addition of a window and the gain of natural light and 2) the creation and installation of a custom storage cabinet with glass doors to fill an awkward nook.     The wall color in this bath is Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, I’m 99% certain that this color would perform well any where. The best place to install our towel bar was here, One of the best parts about this bathroom renovation was the addition of a custom cabinet to fill this nook next to the shower. We put a vintage styled latch on the glass doors not long after this photo was taken. The bedrooms were a relatively easy…

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Grout AptA Bath Before After

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Bath

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We started with a shell of a bathroom. When I say shell I mean just framed walls with plywood because the previous owner had at some point demolished the entire bathroom and was in the beginning stages of putting it back in. The shell of a bathroom that we had to work with was not quite big enough so we widened it and gained a few more feet. I also added a window in the bathroom because I just don’t like bathrooms without windows–that really goes for any room, natural light is always a good thing. I had a little fun and tried out a vanity in a color other than white in this bath. I waffled for a while about doing a gray vanity or a camo green vanity but finally settled on blue. The vanity is Benjamin Moore’s Stratton Blue mixed in Pittsburgh Paint’s Breakthrough paint line.  …

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Grout AptA Day 4 Head

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Hall & 2nd Bedroom

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When we began this project, the hallway in this apartment was a dark corridor with some wood paneled closets and some dirty and old beadboard wainscoting. The hallway is worth mentioning and taking a gander at because it’s no longer a hallway straight out of a horror movie. Peeling back some of the layers in the old hallway,   Again we salvaged the little stained glass window that was existing to add some character in our revamped hall. But we enlarged the window and had it made to match with the dimensions of the stained glass window to make it appear as though it was all one window but in fact it’s two separate pieces trimmed together to look like one. We also salvaged all of the old doors but in order to make a custom door for our linen closet, the carpenter cut down one of the old paneled…

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Grout Queen of Hearts top

Grout Cottage: Exterior Reveal

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The Grout Cottage was built in 1895 for the Grout Family, who actually utilized it as their guest house. C.B. Grout and family used the early resort cottage for their guests in the early part of the 20th century. The house was converted to apartments some time in the 1930s. The earliest photograph that the Moore County Historical Association has of the Grout Cottage looks like its from the 1960s, so we can’t see it in the early 1900s to determine what parts were original and what was patched over time but we have a pretty good idea that those clipped gables, sunburst motif and paneled cornices are original. We bought this “fixer upper” in the fall of 2012 and before Christmas of 2012 we had started demolition. When we bought the Grout Cottage it was a duplex with two apartments, with an old dilapidated carriage house in the rear,…

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The Estate of Things Connecticut Duplex After

Connecticut Duplex: Reveal

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The Connecticut duplex is complete! This project was particularly rewarding because it was relatively quick–about two and half months and the transformation is striking. I drew inspiration from this project from my neighbors 2000 miles to the west in Venice Beach, California. I wanted a little of a Venice bungalow feel and I had to squeeze a completely lackluster 1950s ranch duplex in to that mold.  Many of the Venice bungalows were constructed during the craftsman era and use a lot of the classic craftsman elements and that’s what we did here. The turquoise doors, boring tan paint color and the rickety railings and posts are gone.           Our friends from Butler Constructs landscaping planted the Confederate Jasmine to crawl up our trellis on each end of the duplex to create a green privacy wall and it will produce a sweet fragrance and white flowers in the…

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West Conn front yard before

Connecticut Ave Duplex: The Right Tree

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I have to tell you that the Connecticut Ave duplex facelift project is actually complete…except for the landscaping and that’s what the hold up is. We’ve been waiting for cooler temps to plant in and the time has come. The facelift was a success and I promise to share as soon as the planting is done. You are really, REALLY going to like it but first I had to select the right tree for the front patch of scraggly grass leading up to a drainage ditch. We’re going to turn scraggles up there in to a mulched bed with a nice flowering tree and some other shrubs and grasses. I knew I wanted a white flowering tree that only grew to about 20′ or so. I started out after a Fringe Tree. It’s a beautiful tree with these awesome white blooms that grows well here in the South that people often overlook,…

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DSC_1277

Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Checking In

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The Connecticut Avenue duplex project is a quick exterior facelift project. We are doing a quick renovation of the front exterior of a bland 1960s ranch-style duplex. Dropping in on the duplex to see where we are at on week 3. We were rained out a bit in NC in week 2 but we’re back in action in the 90+ degree heat. The framing is complete and the columns are set in their permanent spots.The trim out has started. We’ve got new windows and new doors. We’re really getting jazzy with our new wood craftsman doors from Tucker. In a week, we’ll be painting! I’m excited about seeing that dark color go on.   I’ve been working out the trim plan and here’s where I’m at with some of the finish elements. These are the parts that are really going to make all the difference in this facelift project.

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West Conn color samples

Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Exterior Paint Selection

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Lately I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual state of paint color selection. It was time to begin the color selection process for the Connecticut Avenue Duplex project. You might recall we’re giving a rancher a Venice Beach bungalow inspired facelift. I knew I wanted to go dark because the trim work and arbor we’re adding to the front will really stand out on the dark house. Set that dark house and white trim up with some more green in the landscape and maybe a white flower here and there and we’ll have a solid outcome. Here are the lead off colors (all Benjamin Moore), In this image, we’re looking at these colors in the harsh morning sun in a spot on the house that gets the most direct light. The reason I put the samples up here is to ensure that I choose a color that has enough…

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West Conn duplex

Connecticut Ave Duplex: Venice Beach Inspired

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I’ve just started a quick exterior renovation of a 1960s duplex that we’ll call the Connecticut Ave Duplex. It is a facelift project where we are only altering the exterior, no interior work just yet. This duplex is in a great downtown spot but it needs some character, charm and architectural dimension. Here’s our project, You love it right?! Was it the turquoise doors that really sold you? I’m working these elements around in my brain. The pressure is on and it’s order time. The project only moves as fast as your ability to have the decisions made and the materials sitting and waiting for hands to install so I’m trying to stay on top of it. After this property was purchased, we knew that it would eventually need a renovation and so I began collecting images here and there when I saw something that might fit there. I pinned…

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Grout front

Grout Cottage: Exterior Paint Selection

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Leaving dirty yellow, Pepto pink, white and a battleship gray foundation would be no trouble at all. From previous experience I know how painstaking the process of choosing an exterior paint color can be and I didn’t want to be rushed or procrastinate. I’ll sheepishly remind you all that I once had a house painted three times. In order to get ahead and never make that mistake again, I let samples stay up for something like two months at the Grout Cottage. In gathering inspiration at the start of the project on the Grout Cottage pinboard, I pinned a few color combinations on Queen Anne style homes. For a hot minute, I kicked around maybe stepping away from the blues, greens & grays and doing some sort of terra cotta combo. Ultimately, I couldn’t depart from what I love so much so I decided that I would do something in…

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Grout front

Grout Cottage: The Porch Plan

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house. After hours and hours of pouring over pictures of Victorian era porches, Queen Anne style architectural accents and referencing my Field Guide to American Houses I’ve finally committed to a design plan for the front porch of the Grout Cottage project. I think it was more of a challenge to make design decisions this time because Queen Anne isn’t my favorite architectural style. Front of house before renovations began, I’m naturally pretty indecisive and I always pour over this stuff for too long, waffling back and forth. But I feel good about the plan that I’ve created. There is always a sense of temporary relief associated with making these big design decisions. But it’s only temporary relief because the next…

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grout front 7-24

Grout Cottage: Porchectomy

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Our skilled surgeons performed a routine porchectomy this week at the Grout Cottage. The old columns are stacked neatly in the yard but I’m not going to re-use them, sorry purists. I’ve got a new plan but not to worry residents of Southern Pines, neighbors, blog readers. Looky here, some stairs are complete! That nice wide landing will be more conducive to moving furniture up. Some windows got trimmed too, siding replaced, exterior carpentry happening. Imagine a carriage once parked here and horses tied up. A sight for sore eyes certainly and recently I voted to tear it down but was overruled. Once we stop that tree from eating it, it will be great storage for the renters. And finally, the samples are still stewing in harsh 5:00 sunlight. Betsy likes Woodlawn Blue but its pretty light, Wythe has a little more substance. And while we’re talking about paint, the…

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grout cathedral

Grout Cottage: Checking in Upstairs

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex that we began remodeling in December 2012. Here’s the introduction post to the house. While Apartment A (downstairs) of the Grout Cottage is getting the finishing touches, Apartment B (upstairs) is getting new frame work and a new layout. It doesn’t look like much now but this is the current state of Apartment B after demo is complete and re-framing is well underway, This is what the living area looks like now, The future site of the bathroom and kitchen, And those bedrooms now have real closets with average size doors. So we’re getting there, you have to get through the important structural stuff to get to the fun stuff.

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grout cottage back door

Grout Cottage: Overhangs & Such

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To review… the Grout Cottage is a Queen Anne built in 1895. It is a duplex and we are presently remodeling the ground floor apartment. Here’s the introduction post to the house. The rooms have taken shape, all the sheetrock has been hung and mud applied and sanded. We’re ready for the big trim out. I spent about an hour + talking about the right overhang for the back door. I should’ve taken some pictures of my carpenter Joseph putting head in hands. I know he loves the special kind of torture that I put him through. Here is the back door. I know it still looks very sad but don’t worry it will get better. The deeper yellow patch to the left of the door is all new wood lap siding! Going in to the conversation about the overhang, I did the crew the great service of narrowing it…

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grey bath vanity

Grout Cottage: Bathroom Design

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The crew began hanging sheetrock at the Grout Cottage late last week, rooms are beginning to form again. I’ve been making some decisions and dragging my feet on making a lot more. I’ve been working on some choices for the one bathroom in the apartment. Here’s where my inspiration comes from,       I’d like to use a flower tile like the bath pictured above but I worry that its too feminine. Overstock has a good one and regular deals if you’re in the O club. If I decide that the flower tile is too gender specific then I might go with something like this, I’ve been thinking about a Benjamin Moore color Kentucky Haze since I saw it on a vanity a while back. Not sure if I want to paint the vanity or the wall this color or something entirely different.

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