Thursday, April 7, 2011

Opinions please!

Hey there. We need your help. We're a week or two out from pulling the trigger on the beginnings of our 2nd floor renovation and it's time to make some final decisions.

We're starting with the master bathroom (from scratch), walk-in closet & a small front study off the master bedroom. There will not be any work done yet in the master bedroom itself (just these 3 rooms off of it) or the new mini-den due to permits. Basically we have an open permit for the 3 rooms I mentioned so we need to do that work before moving on......that and because our money tree in the backyard hasn't begun to sprout dollars yet.
Over the weekend we made a special trip to Lowe's (and Home Depot....shhhh!) to scout out doors and windows.

The 82 year old doors in the rest of our home look like this.

We're sort of hoping to "update" the look on the 2nd floor; still keeping with the traditional bungalow style of our home but maybe making it kind of a "new traditional." As you can tell by the work we've done thus far, we prefer clean lines, lots of bright white and traditional materials.

New board and batten in the dining room
Traditional tile in the mudroom

And a sneak peek at our fireplace remodel

The 2nd floor has lower ceilings except for the front study which has a nice vault. This is the space of our future master bedroom.

Although we do plan to eventually put a skylight in the bedroom (over on the right side), there aren't any actual windows in it.......just the 3 that are in the front study which will be connected to the master by glass paneled french doors. Because of the lack of windows in addition to the low ceiling, we plan to keep that space white in hopes of down playing the low ceilings by making the wall/ceiling one and brightening things up by doing so. To make it a bit more architecturally interesting we'd like to do some type of board and batten on the wall behind the bed. Maybe something like this.

We've also tossed around the idea of adding some wall sconce reading lights like these...

or maybe these.

And I'd love to have the Colette Bed from Crate and Barrel........
and this Dwell Studio duvet duvet paired with a white coverlet and shams.

The master bathroom will have this look, as I'm sure you recall.

And we're thinking about highlighting the height of the ceiling in the study with a natural wood, like this.

Do you get a feeling for the look we're going for? Bright, clean, crisp with contrast - color, but nothing too bright? More serene than the 1st floor, where we are using some strong pops of color. Now, here's where we need your help. Do you think we'd be making a big mistake if we shook things up a bit upstairs with natural clean pine doors (no paint) and black window frames? Like these......

Black windows (and lighting) on white walls

Natural wood doors with white door trim (but not brass hardware).

You see we're worried that there is already going to be so much white up there, so if we do white windows and doors (like downstairs) that it will be a white overkill.
Of course we'll do a glass french door for the study, but we even like the idea of frosted glass doors for the bathroom and closet too. I think it will feel so much lighter than a heavy solid (non-glass) door. We don't have our minds 100% made up though since we're concerned about the cohesion between upstairs and downstairs. We've mentioned some of our ideas to the contractor but while he's done great previous work, it seems it's all been pretty "safe" traditional Charlotte style -white trim, white windows, white doors - so he doesn't really "get" it.

We know that typically our choices are a bit more unique than the norm, and we like it that way, but we also know this house isn't forever.......
So what do you think? Take the safe route that won't offend anyone, but also won't make us stand out in the crowd of mid-sized bunglows? Or go with our gut and pray that our efforts for being "unique" will be applauded?

Your opinions are greatly accepted and appreciated!


Liz @ It's Great to be Home said...

I just LOVE what you've done so far!!! Seriously swooning. As for the windows and doors, my vote would be for black windows but white doors. The pine doors might be a bit too rustic, and a big departure from the rest of the house? Then again, everything you've done so far has been fab, so that probably would, too! :)

Susan said...

Love your house and all you've done so far. I'll have to look more to render any opinions about your choices but I do have one question.

We're considering a matte black hex tile floor in our bathroom (probably with very dark gray or black grout). I wonder if you could tell me whether you find your mudroom floor to be difficult to keep clean. Does it show every streak of dirt?

I love, love, love those black swing-arm library lights. And your fireplace. Is that soapstone tile by any chance?

Thanks and good luck with your remodel.

Krista said...

Hi Susan,

We love the matte black hex and are so glad we did it. It does tend to be a bit higher maintenance than a lighter color, but for us it's mostly hair from our Golden Retriever that I'm always sweeping up. We don't really see much dirt on it and our whole yard is practically dirt at this point, so we're the true test!

Truthfully, the black is just so striking that I really don't care if I have to clean it more often. It's the perfect amount of classic meets funky for us. We used a gray/beige grout (london fog) from The Tile Shop.

The only thing I would worry about with a darker grout is that if there is some dirt, it wouldn't blend into the grout and possibly stand out more. Just my guess, but I'm certainly not a professional.

Oh, and the fireplace surround is slate but soapstone would have been great. I'm hoping for it in the kitchen one day (a long time from now!).

Thanks for reading!

Krista said...

Thanks for your opinion Liz. I tend to agree with you about the doors, but I really really love the look of the other. It's so tough having to decide to do what is right for the house even when it's not what you like the most. I just keep reminding myself that this isn't our forever & our dream designs can wait for forever! PS. I'm very jealous of your awesome new table & chairs!

Susan said...

Thanks for the quick response. I'm definitely leaning toward the matte black hex. I think we're going to use 2-inch hex. Yours looks like it's probably smaller?

My inspiration for the matte black with black grout was the blog Door 16. Do you know it? Here's the link to her reveal of the bath (it was all DIY):

We put soapstone counters in our kitchen 3 years ago and love them. Definitely worth the splurge.

Thanks again.

Krista said...

That bathroom looks really great! I'll add it to the inspiration files. Our hex is the 2". We're planning on a 1" black/white combo for the bathroom in a few months.

Beth said...

All your designing and are ideas are fun to look at and dream about.Looks like you are making some good progress. My opinion (keep in my mind I'm older) I would say put the doors in you like. From the perspective of someone buying the house down the road, a door is certaintly something that can be changed/replaced pretty easy if they don't like it/doesn't go with the house, I doubt it would really make a buyer not buy if they fell in love with the rest of the house. Defiinitely do frosted glass, my neighbor did this in her pantry and loves it. We have a pocket door in our master closet which is always open, who really needs a door anyway? Bottom line in my opinion is do what you and Ben want, not what the contractor wants, you live there. :) And from your next can always sing in the church choir with your showchoir experience! LOL Beth

Susan said...

Krista -- It's me again with more questions about your black tile. I'm still angsting over whether the solid black tile (especially with dark grout) is going to be a cleaning nightmare. I was looking back through your site and found a close-up of the tile in your post from December 13.

In that picture it doesn't look like ceramic tile but maybe like some kind of marble? But not solid black, in any case? Is that true? And, if so, could you tell me where you sourced the tile?

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my myriad questions.

-- Susan

Krista said...

Hey Susan,

You're quite perceptive! Actually the 12/13 photo was one that I just grabbed from the internet to show the general idea of the colors (sorry for not sourcing - I'm not that best at that!).

The actual tile we used was a 2" ceramic matte black hexagon purchased from The Tile Shop. Our one and only oops is that we seemed to have gotten 2 different lot #'s as after we laid the tile we noticed some were grayer than others....oops. It wasn't obvious at all to us because of lighting during the process but now that it's done and being lived in, we barely notice the different. Just be warned!

If you are laying the tile yourself also be prepared for the mesh backing to disintegrate with the wet saw. We were advised to use painters tape to hold it together while cutting, but that didn't work at all. It got a little tricky trying to get the spacing even when we had to place each little 2" hex by hand around the edges. We're perfectionists so it was intense!

I'd love to see your end results if/when you do it, so please send some photos our way!