My Guest Room Refresh with Crane & Canopy Bedding (and More!)

As I’ve mentioned before, after seeing the pictures of my house non-stop after book one, I’ve been dying to update some spaces in my house to give them new life.  The guest room was the easiest to start with since I loved the big pieces of furniture still (bed from Crate & Barrel, old WS Home nightstands I painted white (similar here), the Bling flushmount fixture and Hudson Valley sconces,  white silk drapes and IKEA dresser I hacked with big brass pulls. )  So I started with a color scheme of light greenish-grey (lightening the walls using Farrow & Ball’s new color Cromarty– LOVE) and warm darker grey.  I also knew I wanted it to be a little more traditional as I’ve been feeling more in tune with my classic New England roots these days.  As you recall,  this was the guest room before, and this is it today:
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Things I Wish I Had Done Differently: Home Renovation Edition

I may design homes for a living, but that does not mean I’m immunized against making mistakes.  Actually, I make the most mistakes when working on my own homes- mostly because I’m overwhelmed by options and ideas and make decisions on the fly instead of with careful consideration, as I do when working for someone else. “Ehhh, that’ll fit- we don’t need to measure” is a phrase that now gives me chills.

This weekend I began cataloguing some of the things I wish I had done differently in my renovations.  Most of them are from our first phase of the renovation right after buying our house, I think I had learned a lot by the second phase (still obsessed with my master suite).  But in life some of the best lessons come from examining your failures as to not repeat them again! So here we go:

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1) My Kitchen Faucet

From the beginning Andrew wanted a pull down spray faucet with a single lever instead of the separate hot and cold handles.  I, of course, love the look of widespread handles and went that direction- beauty over function, a common designer downfall. Now with a baby (and after a couple years of use), I fear I maybe should have listened to Andrew. The issue still stands that finding an attractive single lever, pull down spray faucet is very hard- but there are some good options here, here and here.  This is tough to remedy now that we have four holes drilled in our countertops so I think I’m stuck for now. At least it’s pretty (and MAN do I still love my Blanco sink– the BEST!)

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Marble Mantles New & Old

Since we bought our house three years ago I have wanted to redo the surround on our fireplace badly. I tempered the heinousness of our current brick and terracotta tile situation with several coats of black masonry paint, but the time has come to really do it right. And by right, I of course mean marble. Because marble is always just so right.  I don’t mind our actual mantle and I’m also not made of money, so I’m not going to do what I’d REALLY like to do which is to replace the whole thing with an antique salvaged mantle.  Instead I’m looking at remnants of Statuario, Calacatta and Danby marbles (my faves) to cover the brick and replace the hearth. We also plan to convert to gas because our flue is old and small and our wood fires leave the house smokey and smelly.  Oh, and we need to get rid of the shiny brass doors too.

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Above photo by Michael Partenio

So here are some inspirations of both antique mantles and new marble surrounds to inspire you and I!

Hello lovah.
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Henry’s Nursery

So here it is- finally- Henry’s nursery reveal! It’s taken a long time to complete, but I am so grateful to Wayfair for helping outfit this room with some seriously dreamy items! As you know, I went with a serene scheme aimed at calming not only the little guy but myself as well. I knew I wanted to do a scenic wallpaper and chose this Susan Harter muralpaper (Calmsden in Grisaille) to base the room on. It’s SO gorgeous, a real work of art. We want Henry to love being outside, so hopefully this starts him off on the right foot.

For the crib I chose the ducduc Campaign crib and I am OBSESSED. It’s the perfect mix of modern and boyish with the greyish stained wood supports. It’s an amazingly well made piece of furniture too.  The bedding here is from Rikshaw (quilt and sheet) which I have loved forever, and the mobile I got from a maker on Etsy (the brass finish is INCREDIBLE in person against the paper!)

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Front Walk Update

As I mentioned I’ve been Extreme Nesting- some of it totally just because I want to and some of it necessary. One renovation project I wasn’t planning to tackle right this minute was our ugly, old front walk and stairs.  But then our brick stairs basically crumbled to dust. And I figured, well that can’t be too safe with all our visitors coming to see the baby, so let’s see if we can just repair them.  Turns out, the crumbling old brick and concrete was so far gone we would have to rebuild.  And since we would have to rebuild them it made sense to do it how we’d like them- in granite slab, and replace the purple and maroon walkway stone with bluestone.  Not a easy nor affordable “surprise” fix, but as I always say to my clients- why do it cheaply when you KNOW down the road you’ll want to do it right and then you’ve ended up spending more!  If you can, just rip the band-aid off fast and do it right the first time.  But this one stung, as you know, masonry work is NOT cheap. Not by a mile!

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(I also love how my chartreuse door looks with my leopard stair runner!)

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