Grout Cottage

Grout Interior Paint

Grout Cottage: Interior Paint Colors

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I stayed relatively neutral with all of my choices because it’s not my living space– it was made to be attractive to all sorts of prospective tenants. I got to try out some new grays, Classic Gray and Moonshine. I especially loved Moonshine. Simply White is my new go to trim color and Woodlawn Blue was great for the bath in Apartment B. If you’re looking for a “greige” I’d test Classic Gray. If you’re curious about which colors went where, they will all be labeled on the posts about the individual rooms.

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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 AptB Day 6 Head

Grout Cottage: Apartment B

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This was the only entrance to the upstairs dwelling, Apartment B. Scary exterior stairwell on the side of the house, There was already an existing porch up there but the stairwell was literally sitting next to the porch, it wobbled when you stepped on to the landing and then if you made it up the stairs of death you were met with a small porch that could’ve fallen through on any given day. The entire porch and the stairs were completely torn off and rebuilt. When looking at any of the before images of Apartment B, keep in mind someone was living here not long before the demolition began. It was fun to re-configure the living area, kitchen and bath in this space. We had the bath in a couple of different spots initially but ultimately kept it in the same place but enlarged it. After the Indiana project was posted, some…

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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 Kitchen Before-After

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Kitchen & Laundry

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  I created a new appliance and cabinet layout, added an island, a small pantry and took the opportunity to work in the two-color cabinet paint scheme that everyone is so wild about complete with a Farrow & Ball gray hue, Lamp Room Gray.   We began with a kitchen that the previous owner had started to re-work but it wasn’t something that I wanted to continue with. So I went my own way and I went in to designing this kitchen knowing that I wanted to try gray cabinets and I wanted to try the two-color scheme. This is the color plan that emerged, We left the windows in the position that they were originally in and salvaged the stain glass window that was there because it would later add a bit of character in our finished kitchen. We removed the last bit of a chimney that ran all…

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Apt A Living Rm Entry Compare

Grout Cottage: Apt. A Living Room & Bedroom

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Apartment A is the downstairs apartment of the historic Grout Cottage. It is a two bedroom apartment with an eat-in kitchen, one bathroom and a laundry/mudroom combination. In addition to the interior transformation, we also added a deck on the back of the house for the residents of Apartment A to hang out on and enjoy. In the beginning, Apartment A had a pretty odd layout. The apartment had two entrances from the front porch, one that entered the bedroom and the other that entered into a living room. Originally, if you wanted to go to the kitchen and you were hanging out in the living room you had to walk through a bedroom to get there. Obviously one of the first orders of business was to re-work the layout of the apartment. This is the future living room originally functioning as a bedroom with a small existing closet, a…

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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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grout light

Grout Cottage: Exterior Lighting Choice

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So we’ve checked out the field of choices for the exterior wall light for the front porch of the Grout Cottage. And this is the choice, I chose the Masonic lantern because I needed a hanging fixture with a lantern style. I liked the simplicity of the hook and loop and the curve of the framing detail around the seeded glass. I am pleased with the scale and the end result, see for yourself. Here it is in action on the front porch of the house,  I know the house looks finished in the photo and I haven’t shown you the complete renovation but it’s coming I promise. Can you tell what paint color it is?

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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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am limelight

Views from the Morning

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Out and about this morning, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen all of this business but for those who aren’t… Preparing for the open house happening this evening at my old house. Couldn’t help but notice the limelight hydrangeas doing their thing in the front yard. A quick PSA: Attention gardeners and landscapers in NC– who needs azaleas that only bloom for a couple of weeks when you can blast a mass of beautiful hydrangeas for two months that look good closeup and from afar. This gardener doesn’t– I liberated myself from the gazillion leggy, woody azaleas that were growing in this yard. Except for Encore azaleas, you’re cool and you can stay. The view from the front yard of Mid Pines golf course. The course is looking good, especially with a little morning fog.   And the porch brackets are up at the Grout Cottage, we’re bringing…

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grout carriage house

Grout Cottage: Bye Bye Carriage House

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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. I know I said that we were going to keep the old carriage house but after taking a serious look at it in the back yard of the Grout Cottage, we decided that it would cost too much to save it. We wouldn’t really be able to recoup the cost to basically rebuild the dilapidated carriage house so last week it came down. My Dad skillfully demolished it with the backhoe. Here’s a snippet of the action, well that was fun if you like watching buildings being demolished…and then after a few hours work it was reduced to this, Nice view of the neighbor’s pool now. They’ve got to love us after rehabbing this dump and they’ll love us even…

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grout columns

Grout Cottage: Columns and such…

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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. I thought you might like a little update on how the Grout Cottage is looking. We’re in the home stretch now. The columns are up and the porch is about half way complete. The foundation was repaired and re-coated by Howell Masonry. The old picket fence was finally mended. We should wrap the exterior work up this week.This is what the “character grade” maple floors look like down in the apartment. This is a phone pic but they look seriously good. This is a view back towards the kitchen area and front door. The floor tile is down but not grouted. Cabinets are going in today! Moonshine is seriously a fantastic gray and you can see more of the maple…

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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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