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Durham Project: Progress City

The homeowners at the Durham project really steamrolled through this quick update with the help of their contractor who actually listened when they said, we have to finish this in a month before our baby is born.

What happened in about 3 weeks time? Interior paint, new flooring throughout most of the downstairs, kitchen cabinets painted, quartz counters on!

The Cosmos Carrara Classic counters are in, as well as their new faucet and single bowl undermount stainless steel sink. Subway tile backsplash awaits a light gray grout.

quartz countertop

 

Newly opened up space, combining the kitchen with the family room, the hub of the house. New flooring and paint color unites the space.

Flooring & paint progress

Unfortunately, the client couldn’t put hidden hinges on the existing cabinets, so they went on a quick hunt for polished nickel hinges to match our chosen kitchen cabinet hardware.

hardware matchup

Family room looking extremely fresh with new recessed lighting, Benjamin Moore Moonshine on the walls. The fireplace is primed in this photo. The homeowner liked the washed brick look and in a clutch decision decided not to paint the fireplace brick white.

Family Room moonshine

Horizontal backsplash border, some folks opt for a vertical bullnose border on the ends of the backsplash.

vertical backsplash border

Primed fireplace brick up close.

brick fireplace close

The TV is now mounted on the fireplace and the built-ins were repaired and got fitted with new shaker style cabinet doors.

TV installed2

Picking the right light gray grout for backsplash.

grout choice

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Durham Project: Introduction

Allow me to introduce you to my newest gig, the Durham project. The Durham project is a neo-colonial, two-story house constructed in the 1980s. It’s the first home for this growing family and they’ve saved and budgeted for some remodeling and updating and that’s where I come in.

We’re on a tight timeline with this remodel because the aforementioned growing family is expecting a baby girl at the beginning of November and the construction is just getting underway. Some might say they are nuts to have a newborn AND a renovation. But I’ve assured them that they can handle it, it will not always be easy and it will be unpleasant at times but it’s certainly do-able.

The Main Components of the Durham project remodel:

durham master bath

 

durham master bath2

Remodel Master Bathroom

The master bath is a narrow space where currently you’ll find that you can sit on the toilet and lean over to the shower to wash your hair at the same time. How do you say…ah not cool. We’ll expand the room just inches because the room is sandwiched between an exterior wall and the stairs but we’ll eliminate that whole simultaneous shower/toilet situation. Dated cabinetry goes bye bye, things get shifted and we add more glass to provide the illusion that the room is larger.

durham family room

Focus on Family (Room)

This couple isn’t shy about telling you they like their TV and I like mine too and I recognize and value the importance of a comfy, stylish, well constructed space to watch the new season of Game of Thrones in. They’ve inherited built-ins in the family room but they are a little off. They need paint, hardware and a little tweaking. We need to create a fireplace/TV/built-in dynamic that makes this a functional gathering space for the whole fam.

durham kitchen

Kitchen Update

A lot of the budget will be spent in the kitchen and it needs an update. Stainless appliances, rehabbing and painting cabinets, bringing the hardwood flooring in, new electrical, countertops and a backsplash will move us in the right direction.

durham wall

Open Up

A wall stands now separating the dining nook and the family room. If removed all of the important main spaces will benefit. You will be able to see all the goings on in the family room from the kitchen, the space will feel modernized, receive more natural light, feel more open and spacious.

durham dining nook

Banquette on Wish List

A banquette in the dining nook in the kitchen is on the wish list.  Everybody loves them and it’s a great little character add-on. Once we open up that wall between the family room and the kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to add on a banquette or window seat on to the bay window.

 

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Designing Ideas for our New Home

At some point in the house hunt, the dude and I started referring to the blue paned house, aka Silver Springs as Shaniqua. It is a reference to the street it’s on, but really it’s more about personifying the home that we couldn’t get out of mind. The name has since grown on us, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Even Heffe’s kids have taken to it.

We got to take them over on Saturday and get a few measurements. Part of our negotiations allowed the previous homeowners a leaseback for 30 days after closing. We had to make formal arrangements to see the home, but we were thrilled to find it mostly empty.

It feels more real than ever now, and we’ll be glad to finally have full access at the end of the month.

welcome shaniqua

Step into her little foyer, where you are immediately greeted with a set of stairs! I’d really like to change that, but we’ll have to wait and see what’s possible.

Come on up!

Shaniqua Living Room 700

We previously discussed the wall of traditional shelving. After seeing the home empty, I’m leaning more towards removing the entire thing. It’s just so heavy and that crown moulding and cabinet facing is not speaking my language.

I’m curious to hear from Sarah, and you if you have any opinion on the matter.

It might be interesting to see what the dude and I could do with some more personal choices for that wall. I’ve seen his carpentry work firsthand, he’s gifted. We might prefer to design something ourselves, but what would that look like?

Where do you see a football & futball lover’s gigantic TV fitting in?

Shaniqua Living Room other side 700

To help me think, I’ve taken to the drawing board. While we there on Saturday, we grabbed all the measurements so I could put together a floor plan. It was a rather painstaking process, but I’ve finally got it pulled together, and relatively to scale.

I used Homestyler by AutoDesk. It was fun and I really lost myself working on it for hours. You can even go fantasy furniture shopping and outfit your entire house with new products from select retailers that they have partnered with. Pretty futuristic robot awesome if you ask me.

Now that I have saved the base floorplan on my free account, I can really play around with thoughts of moving doors, busting out built-ins and contemplating kitchen reconfigurations. I’ll be fantasizing here until we actually get moved in!

304 Chautauqua Floorplan

Shaniqua Floor Plan 3D

 

 

 

 

 

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A Historic Renovation Introduction: The Mount Vernon House

Mt Vernon House

Everybody, meet the Mount Vernon house…

Years ago when the real estate market didn’t have a monster face (remember those days?) and I had already cut my remodeling teeth on my own home, an old boarding house went up for sale.

Pineshire Sanitarium Southern Pines North Carolina

An old postcard depiction of the Pineshire Sanitarium

The Mount Vernon house is an imposing structure, built in the Queen Anne style at the turn of the century. It was originally a boarding house which actually served as a sanitarium called Pineshire Sanitorium. I’ve been told that the residents staying at the Pineshire would go up into the cupola where they had a clear view of the railroad station and could see when their friends and family arrived into town on the train.  Its unclear how long Mount Vernon was a boarding house but I understand that it was separated in to apartments sometime in the 1930s.

The Mount Vernon house changed ownership a few times in 105 years and sometime in 2004 the property was gifted to a local church who later made it available for purchase. The purchase of the property included the house with six occupied apartments, a dilapidated carriage house and a separate one bedroom cottage.

Interestingly enough, each tenant that occupied the Mount Vernon house at the time of our purchase all held varying occupations.

Apartment 1- Sculptor
Apartment 2- Teacher
Apartment 3- Chef
Apartment 4- Soldier
Apartment 5- Musician
Apartment 6- Actress

This is significant because the apartment numbers were confusing and the layout was such a maze that we couldn’t remember them when we would discuss the project, so we labeled the apartments by the tenant’s profession. These labels remained even after the tenants all moved out and we still use them today. The Mt. Vernon House remains the flagship of Beaver Path Properties, since it was our first complete gut and restoration project and our most ambitious one. Have a look at the before/after photos below.

Mount Vernon Renovation Before

Mt Vernon House

 

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Spring Hill: Working Plan

This is the plan I’ve worked up for the Spring Hill kitchen project. Its a general conception of the classic white kitchen with a farmhouse and industrial influence.

Spring Hill kitchen plan

 

We’re using some classic elements that you probably see a lot and that’s because they work and they look great for a long time. Some of the elements that make for a timeless kitchen are:

  • white shaker style kitchen cabinets
  • hardwood flooring in kitchen
  • white subway tile backsplashes
  • bin pulls
  • subtle wall color

Something that’s missing from this design concept that also stands the test of time is marble countertops. We love marble but we’ll save that expense in this project.

 

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White Appliances on a Comeback?

Speaking of a comeback, have you watched or are already a dedicated viewer of The Comeback on HBO? We recently watched 2 or 3 episodes and it was almost entirely too painful and awkward to watch. But Val is a train wreck and you have to return to see if she ever gets a break.

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I’m working on two kitchen remodels right now, the Spring Hill kitchen and the Bennett kitchen.

We are keeping our gaze firmly locked on a budget for both projects but more so for the Bennett kitchen. Because we’re keeping a budget-minded approach here, a more economical choice would be to re-use the existing gas range because it isn’t that old and is still in good working order. The existing range is white, as are the other existing appliances.

We will need:

  • a new fridge
  • add a dishwasher

We will be re-using existing:

  • microwave
  • range

For the most part everyone is using stainless appliances these days. The choices are actually a lot greater now in stainless than they are in white. So as a compromise, I briefly considered the possibility of mixing white and stainless.

green cabinets

We don’t know what color the fridge is here from this image but I’d wager a bet that it is a stainless steel Sub-Zero or Jenn Air to go with the white dishwasher and black range,

checkerboard floor

We’ve got a black microwave, vintage white range and a stainless steel dishwasher going on here,

vintage stove checkerboard

 

This is my favorite example and one of my new favorite cottage kitchens right now. It’s a cute southern cottage kitchen designed by Milk and Honey Home. The stainless gas range looks fairly comfortable sitting next to the white dishwasher.

mix appliances

 

mix appliances3

You probably already noticed like I did that a lot of the mixing takes place with a vintage or very expensive range in place. And we don’t have either of those in the Bennett kitchen.

So…we move forward in matching our existing white appliances. Let’s look at a few inspirational images with white appliances,

white appliances

 

GE artistry appliances

 

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White fridge happening,

mix appliances2

 

 

 

 

white appliance range

 

 

white appliance swedish home

 

So besides the normal white appliances we’re all used to, what else is out there? Let’s start with a reasonable price point.

The GE Artistry line is reasonably priced and has this cool retro styling with a white exterior and stainless accents.

cda783ca72f3553c8ed22537367f7fc6

The fridge is a little deep though so I’m considering using only the dishwasher from the Artistry line and pairing that up with a white fridge.

Whirlpool also offers sleek, white appliances in their White Ice collection. I can’t say that I like them as well as the GE Artistry line.

whirlpool white ice

I’m leaning more toward a slimmer, economical white fridge like this one,

white whirlpool

 

But what if you had a much larger budget? Well…then the white appliances get a lot prettier,

white viking

 

white heritage range

 

white wolf range

 

 

 

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