It's here! After 20 weeks of construction and 9 weeks with a newborn, the house is finally ready for a reveal. We continue to be absolutely in love with the space and while we plan to expand the house in a few years and have plenty of outside work to keep us busy this spring, we couldn't be in a happier place with it for our current needs. My intention was to reveal the entire house to you but it was the longest post ever so I decided to start with the bedrooms this week! You'll see a theme (or an obsession) of oversized light fixtures, vintage rugs, and plants just to name a few. But more than that, I hope you see the history and soul of this house was cherished and restored. And for those that just want to see an explosion of pictures...head over to the projects page for allll the photos.
One of the most challenging rooms is also my favorite - it warms my heart every time Hans jumps on the bed and we start our days cuddling as a family of four. It's exactly the cozy space we wanted and to get there we maximized every inch! We knew we needed to gut the bathroom and closets to meet our needs for a master bath but this left us without an obvious wall for the king bed and closet space given the chimney created a 4" alcove on one of the walls, which also included a window. I was completely opposed to placing the bed against the alcove or the adjacent wall with two windows. The bed/closet debate became comical with my crew as I spent several days measuring out ideas with tape and asking their opinions. Finally I decided to take out the 3rd window and build out the wall to meet the 4" alcove. This created a long flush space for the king bed and left me just enough space to add custom built wardrobes o the existing front wall. We then built a reach in closet on the wall opposite the bed, added sconces to frame the bed, and installed this chandelier that gets all the attention! And that bed wall - originally I thought I wanted wallpaper but ultimately I decided a strong neutral charcoal was more relaxing and up'd that warmth factor even more paired with crisp white linens and vintage textiles. I was able to repurpose our vintage navy dresser and source end tables that met my mid century style, provided at least one drawer of storage, and fit my dimension max of 20" L. I intended to add a bedroom bench but I felt this beautiful corner needed some love so I repurposed a mid century wooden arm chair paired with a vintage Franco Albini rattan ottoman.
The original bath was charming but so small it was impossible for two people to share and I have no idea how the original owner, at 6.5" fit in there for 70 years! To double the footprint, we gutted the existing bath and two master closets but space was still tight and I really wanted a double vanity. In fact, we really need a double vanity for everyday sanity! To create this, I worked with the team at Ferris Custom Cabinetry to create a smaller depth double vanity paired with Kohler brass wall mounted faucets. We loved the light the existing window brought to the space so I added a vintage shaving mirror paired with a brass oval mirror for his and hers (though I find myself sneaking over to use the shaving mirror for my makeup often:)). Keeping the vintage vibe alive, I selected all brass hardware/fixtures, Carrara marble subway wall tile, and Carrara marble basketweave floor tile. In truth, the spend on this small space almost broke the bank but it was definitely worth it! And of course no room would be complete without a vintage rug and plant to brighten your mornings.
The bay windows in this space are to die for! I wanted to make this the master but the walls were even more limiting for a king bed and closet so Hans got the best room in the house. As we gutted the existing closet for the master bath needs, we add a new interior wall with a reach in closet (which also provides an additional reach in closet in the nursery) and created a super cool space room that takes you to infinity and beyond! The self stick constellation wallpaper was incredibly easy to install (look for upcoming blog post on this install when I was 8 months prego!) and brings the pop of color this bright white space needed. I repurposed his industrial bunkbed, antique dresser, and bookcases paired with a vintage rug previously used in our dining room. The bay windows have my heart but I also love the unique entrance this room offers (and all the lovely nooks and crannies this house has), which is the perfect home to extra coat/back pack storage for this big boy.
This sweet room is the perfect nursery size but we've already planned to bump her out down the road. In the meantime, I added a second reach in closet (from the new wall in Hans' room) and created a nursery set for a prince with an antique dresser, vintage rug, boho curtains, and black/white rocker. The marble shelves include an antique globe and vintage dinosaur poster - all little nods to the houses' original owner, Frank Taylor, the founding director of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. But the prize is the crown chandelier!
As the only room in the house that did not see significant renovations, I did switch out the existing mirror, light fixture, and toilet for a quick update. Our expansion plans down the road include doubling this space but for now we are loving the vintage black and white tile paired with this fresh floral shower curtain.
Just one more thing I love about this house - that window! And the warmth this little plant and vintage rug add.
Basement - Guest Room
The original basement was much scarier than this picture lets on (props to great listing photography!). What you definitely don't see here is the molded walls from water damage, the cracking asbestos tile flooring, and the recessed fluorescent lights that were just plain terrifying. We gutted the entire space to create a family room (we haven't furnished this space so its' reveal will come down the road), guest room, guest full bath, and laundry room/storage. The interior wall was added to create a guest room but loving the natural light the three windows provided, I selected glass french doors (paired with vintage brass knobs I found at the most adorable shop in Adams Morgan) to keep the light moving throughout the entire basement. Given the state of the subfloor our options for flooring were carpet or laminate and carpet in a basement creeps me out a bit, so I selected a laminate similar in pattern/tone to the existing hardwood on the upper floors. I repurposed the vintage rug, bed, dresser, and ivory linens from our previous home but added sconces, new overhead lighting, the perfect curtains, and a fancy juju hat to complete this cozy but bright guest space!
Basement - Guest Bath
Again, I feel this picture looks much brighter and less scary than the powder room did in person! Yet, it was the perfect space to expand to a full bath - giving our guests their own private suite. That said, I wasn't quite prepared for the extensive excavation that would be required - at one point there was a hole the size of a swimming pool in the basement with the excavated dirt piled to the ceiling in what is now the family room. Unfortunately this went on the list of issues you can't be aware of until you start digging and once we dug it was clear the original piping to the main sewer line wasn't close to code so we dug deeper and wider to get the job done. But of course we love the results! For this space I wanted things to be a bit more modern than the other baths so I specified a standard white subway wall tiles and white ceramic hexagon tile flooring paired with gold/black midcentury sconces and a black round mirror. While I love the color and function of this stock vanity, my one regret is not going custom here for a shorter depth that would have increased our walking space by 4". But if this is my only regret, I feel pretty good! And this black/white tassel shower curtain combined with gold faucets/hardware and a vintage rug make me smile.
Project Team - hopefully it goes without saying this would not have been possible without an amazing team. Love you all and thank you so much!!
Architect: Adam Bressler
Design: Caroline Bressler Design
Construction: Santiago's Company
Custom Cabinetry: Ferris Custom Cabinetry, California Closets
Photography: Lauren Louise Photography
Wardrobes - California Closets
Wardrobe Hardware - Rejuvenation
Rug - RugsUSA
Velvet Throw Pillow - Etsy
Ruffle Blanket - Home Goods
End Tables - Target
Sconces - Shades of Light
Chandelier - Pottery Barn