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Connecticut Avenue Duplex: Exterior Paint Selection

by Sarah on July 21, 2014, one comment

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

by Sarah on July 10, 2014, one comment

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 the 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

by Sarah on September 18, 2013, 2 comments

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

by Sarah on August 12, 2013, one comment

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,

Grout front

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.

Grout front June

After porchectomy in July 2013,

grout front 7-24

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.

tucker alder door

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

gable accentThis 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,

grout kitchen window

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

by Sarah on July 25, 2013, 2 comments

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.