Grout Cottage: Apt B Bath & Bedrooms

Grout AptB Day 2 Head

This is the bathroom in Apartment B before the demo and expansion. It leaves umm…much to be desired.

grout apt b bath before

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.

grout apt b bath before2

 

grout apt b bath vanity

 

grout apt b bath light

The wall color in this bath is Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue, I’m 99% certain that this color would perform well any where.

bm woodlawn blue

The best place to install our towel bar was here,

grout apt b toilet

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.

grout apt b cabinet

The bedrooms were a relatively easy fix. Once we knew where we were going to put the bathroom and we knew that the apartment would remain a two bedroom, we got to work carving out proper closets for each of the bedrooms. Some sheetrock, trim and new maple hardwood flooring and someone could rest easy in these equally sized bedrooms.

grout apt b bedroom1

 

grout apt b bedroom2

 

And that folks concludes our tour of the Grout Cottage. The house has two apartments and a complete exterior renovation so in case you missed everything prior to this post, go back to the beginning here. The whole project reveal can be found in the “Renovation Projects section at the top of our page.

If you want to read about the decisions and the design process when it was happening simply type in the word “Grout” in to our search block.

Tomorrow we’ll have the color palette up for the house.

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Bath

Grout AptA Day 5 HeadWe 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.

Grout AptA Bath Before After

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.

stratton blue

 

 

Apt A bath vanity after

 

Grout AptA Bath Vanity detail

I also had been itching to try a patterned tile and a Victorian age home like this was the perfect opportunity. I loved the black and white floral patterns but didn’t want to make it too feminine so I used this starburst SomerTile from Overstock. Along with the blue vanity, the tile gives this small bathroom a little interest and character.

Apt A bath tile closeupAnd to finish it off, we used a standard fiberglass shower/tub surround because its a rental property but if this was a private residence we would certainly go with tiled shower surround.

Sources:

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Hall & 2nd Bedroom

Grout AptA Day 4 Head

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,

grout apt a old wall

 

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 doors to create a slim door for the closet. We added some great schoolhouse flushmounts and bronze hardware and refinished those heart pine floors and things are looking up.

grout apt a hall after

 

The trim is painted a non-traditional satin finish, most would use semi-gloss. The satin still has a pretty sheen. All the trim throughout the apartment is Benjamin Moore Simply White.

grout apt a hall trim detail

 

grout Apt A hall linen closet

We leave the hall and move in to Bedroom Two in the apartment. Bedroom Two is the smaller of the two bedrooms but to compensate for less space we went bigger with the closet. We left the single window in it’s original spot and doubled the size of the tiny closet to make it a walk-in. Refinished the floors, new everything and you have Bedroom Two.

Before, always scary-

grout apt a bedroom 2 before

More door salvage happening in here, we matched up two equally sized doors existing in the house and made a set of double doors for our new expanded closet.

grout apt a bedroom 2 closet after

 

grout apt a bedroom 2 closet after2

Tomorrow we are headed in to the bath complete with blue vanity and retro snowflake tile.

Grout Cottage: Exterior Reveal

Grout Queen of Hearts top

Grout AptA Day 1 HeadThe 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, an overgrown yard and two tenants living upstairs. Today, it is still a duplex but everything else changed.

The total renovation took a little more than nine months. The finished product is a unique rental space with modern interior amenities and an exterior that stays true to the Queen Anne architectural style without some of the fuss. We think it folds comfortably in to the landscape of the small quaint town it stands in.

The Grout Cottage now stands between a bunch of new narrow houses that resemble free-standing row houses. Some members of my family were a little concerned that the Grout Cottage would look out of place even though it was the native in the neighborhood. I wasn’t concerned, if you stand there for 119 years, neglected and most recently existing in the middle of a construction zone you deserve some time to shine and I think that’s what happened.

A lot of time, careful choices and consideration went in to every detail of this renovation. I’ll let the images tell the story.

Grout Exterior Before & After

Working in the spring on straightening those clipped gables out, before we got scaffolding,

Grout exterior ladders_optRight side of the front porch,

 

Grout exterior porch side before_opt

 

Grout right front porch

 

Grout exterior front entry before_opt

 

Grout front entry

Straightened out those dog-eared gables,

Grout exterior gable front before2_opt

 

Grout front gable after

 

Grout exteropr 2nd floor before_opt

 

Grout top right gable

 

Grout exterior brackets before_opt

 

Grout Exterior porch bracket after_opt

 

Grout exterior light_opt

 

Grout Exterior porch closeup_opt

Crusty brackets and railing before,

Grout exterior front porch columns before

 

Grout exterior columns & brackets after

 

DSC_0218

DSC_0216

 

DSC_0104

So tell me was it worth the wait?

Sources: Light fixtures, porch brackets, porch railing, front door, house numbers

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Duplex: Reveal

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.

Conn Duplex B&A

Conn duplex paint color

 

connecticut duplex house number

 

 

connecticut duplex 230 windows

 

 

connecticut duplex stairs

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 spring. The variegated plant that thrives in the shade in the foreground is Fatsia.

 

connecticut duplex trellis

 

 

connecticut duplex 240 stairs

 

 

connecticut duplex whole house

The addition of the arbor was key to add dimension and character to the long, straight lines of the duplex. Our carpentry crew from Locklear Brothers Home Improvement executed those brackets perfectly. The style of the bracket under the arbor echoes the straight lines of the simple corbels on the gables over each entrance.

 

connecticut duplex arbor

Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Oil changes during the day and has a beautiful sheen and looks incredibly rich in the shade. It is the perfect color for this project.

 

connecticut duplex 230 stairs2

 

 

connecticut duplex trellis2

 

 

connecticut duplex 230 stairs3

 

 

connecticut duplex 240 entrance

Your thoughts concerning this swan?

Want to see previous posts about the Connecticut Duplex facelift, visit the 1st post, 2nd, 3rd and 4th

Sources: Outdoor Sconces, House Numbers, Entry Doors

Connecticut Ave Duplex: The Right Tree

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.

West Conn front yard before

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, it’s a great alternative to the boring old Crape Myrtle.

tree fringe

But…everyone is out of Fringe trees here. So I travel a bit out of my neighborhood to go to one of my favorite retail garden spots, Garden Supply Co. they are out of Fringe trees too but they do suggest an Amelanchier (am-ə-LAN-sheer) and a Japanese Snowbell.

tree amelanchier

tree snowbell

The helpful people at Garden Supply showed me a few other trees, no dogwoods thank you, no redbuds, no Mom I don’t want to plant a Coral Bark Maple. I liked the Amelanchier and that’s what we’ll plant and enjoy those white blooms against that boldly painted duplex.

Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Checking In

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.

DSC_1277

 

DSC_1276

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.

Conn Duplex Trim

Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Exterior Paint Selection

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),

West Conn color samples

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 substance to stand up to direct sun exposure. I’m looking for a charcoal that has a navy cast at times. So far, French Beret is out. What’s your feeling here?

Connecticut Ave Duplex: Venice Beach Inspired

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,

West Conn duplex

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.

West Conn Duplex

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 this image of the Venice Beach Eco Cottages very early on,

eco cottage

I pinned some more modern exteriors over time but ultimately returned to the Venice Beach cottage look. I researched bungalows and cottages in Venice further and found my inspiration. This all amounts to me turning a 1960s ranch duplex in North Carolina in to a Venice Beach cottage inspired duplex in NC.

Further inspirational subjects include,

beach cottage

 

columns

 

 

 

california bungalow

 

 

BHG ranch remodel

 

 

chevron trellis

 

dark beach cottage

 

ace hotel palm springs

Ace Hotel, Palm Springs

venice cottage

 

 

swedish dark exterior

The plan is starting to come together. The front of the duplex was demolished Monday and the framing started Tuesday. We’re on our way!

 

 

 

Grout Cottage: Exterior Paint Selection

Leaving dirty yellow, Pepto pink, white and a battleship gray foundation would be no trouble at all.

Grout front

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.

grout paint sample side2In 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 the blue/gray family.

There were a few Benjamin Moore colors I have been curious about and wanted to try including:

1– Woodlawn Blue 2– Hollingsworth Green 3– Stratton Blue 4– Wythe Blue

grout paint sideI narrowed it to Woodlawn & Wythe fairly easily. After viewing them at different times of the day, I found that the intense sun washed Woodlawn Blue out significantly at certain times of the day.

So I chose Wythe Blue.

paint wythe blue

And then the rest of the players fell into place after that.

The Grout Cottage Exterior Paint Colors The Estate of Things

 

Grout Cottage: The Porch Plan

To reviewthe 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 challenge in a renovation is never far off.

Front of house in June 2013 with repaired gable ends, dog-eared gables gone but still has the original porch.

After porchectomy in July 2013,

So here’s the plan,

A skinnier square column coupled with a curved bracket like the images below,

grout columns & curved

grout brackets & columns

This is the bracket I ordered to match up with my square column that the carpenter will construct,

grout crescent bracket

After pouring over different spindle designs for the railing, mulling over getting someone to make a pattern for me, I decided to keep it simple and purchase traditional turned spindles like the ones below. Also notice these spindles are paired with square columns and a mitered handrail. I love the panel on the base of the column, don’t you?

grout washington square2

Here’s the front of the same house, they have decorative brackets, square columns and turned spindles–all things that are good. Another thing to note about this house, its two colors–a trim color and a body color and the front door is stained which has really been my plan from the start.

grout washington square

That’s why I purchased a nicer wood species without totally breaking the bank, the front door at the project is a custom Alder door from Tucker.

The remaining part left undecided until yesterday afternoon was– should we add a gable accent on the front like this one,

This is a little more ornate than what I was considering but you get the idea. But yesterday we decided against the gable accent because our carpenter suggested that we trim out the top window to mimic the rounded gable vent trim on the sides of the house that looks like this,

You see that vent at the top with the pink trim, that little guy is original and that’s how we’ll treat the window up top on the front of the house. Genius! And I have no idea why that didn’t occur to me earlier because I love those vents. What’s even better is that my front door has the same curved shape at the top.

I’m still considering lighting for the porch, it is wired for two sconces, follow the Grout Cottage Pinterest board to see some of the selections.

Grout Cottage: Porchectomy

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.

grout front 7-24

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.

grout stairs

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.

grout carriage house

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 first coat went on the interior walls today.

grout sample 7-24

I’ve run into a scheduling nightmare today, the whole big finish on the inside just got pushed back two weeks and I talked with a brick mason today that said the foundation was a mess. Up and down, up and down.

Grout Cottage: Checking in Upstairs

To reviewthe 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,

grout cathedralThis is what the living area looks like now,

Grout Living Room BThe future site of the bathroom and kitchen,

Grout Kitchen B

And those bedrooms now have real closets with average size doors.

Grout closet frame BSo we’re getting there, you have to get through the important structural stuff to get to the fun stuff.

Grout Cottage: Overhangs & Such

To reviewthe 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!

grout cottage back door

Going in to the conversation about the overhang, I did the crew the great service of narrowing it down to two different designs.

The first overhang option,

copper overhang

 

And the second option,

A frame overhang

There were some impediments which made the decision difficult including the placement of my exterior lighting choice (sconce), the highest possible point for the pitch of the overhang and the siding.

In the end we collectively decided that the 2nd option, the a-frame would be best. It echoes the shape of the gables, its not too fancy (it’s the back door) and it can accompany my exterior sconce next to the door.

Check out the Grout Cottage inspiration board on Pinterest!

Grout Cottage: Bathroom Design

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,

grey bath vanity

 

green bath

 

black & white bath

 

flower tile

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.

flower tile overstock

If I decide that the flower tile is too gender specific then I might go with something like this,

hex floor tile

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.

kentucky haze