I always love working in Hyde Park because usually the houses are super old, super big, and have been super run down over the years. This house was no exception. The interesting thing is that somebody else had already started working on it, which is not unusual that I would find a house that construction had already been started on. However, on this one, the previous contractor had done a few really weird things and we just had to embrace it. So walk with me through the odd, unusual, and awesome things we did to this house.
One thing that is unusual as soon as you see the house is that the front door is actually on the side of the house, but that just means you get a big beautiful wrap-around front porch. I wanted this front porch to really pop and I know a lot of times I do a really beautiful soft blue on the underside of the ceiling for my houses, but I wanted to be a little bolder with the color choice for this house because once you open the door it’s all about the blue! Throwing in this pop of coral was the perfect touch this house needed. I feel like this house had a very southern vibe and I wanted to do ceiling fans instead of light fixtures. So, we wrapped the entire front porch with these awesome ceiling fans and then did these hanging swings that the boys and I built together. They really added a lot of charm to this space.
One of the things I just had to embrace was the color of the exterior. All of it was already done. The siding was new from the previous contractor and so we stuck with that because there was no point in spending money where it was not needed. The grey/greenish-blue color wasn’t necessarily what I would pick for the house, but it wasn’t a bad choice either so we embraced it and threw in a pop of pink on that front door.
Light Fixture: Kichler | Stairwell Sconces: Kichler | Wall Color: Snowbound (Sherwin Williams) | Art: Glenna Adkins | Rug: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home | Blinds: Weave Gotcha Covered
Like I said, you walk through the front door and you’re immediately blown away by blue. This entryway, like the rest of the house, was stripped of all the charm and character and the woodwork was in really terrible shape. It was dry and brittle and most people probably would have ripped up the staircase. I didn’t want to rip it up but sanding it wasn’t an option because it would have destroyed it and I might as well put new treads on. Since that was the only original woodwork I wanted to give it a little bit more appeal, so we went with this dark grey blue. Because this is a huge entryway, we added this teeny tiny piece of trim up the wall to give it the effect of a wainscotting. However, it’s really just this tiny molding we painted from there down to give it the feeling of a handrail on the left of the stairs, as well as on the right. We also painted the ceiling, the trim, the doorways, the windows, and basically everything in this entryway. A little side note, I was painting those windows the day before we filmed the finale. They weren’t finished and needed some love and it was a major hustle to the end. The hardwood floors on the first floor were gone. In the before picture, you can see the stairs had just been destroyed and the back staircase was just un-saveable, so painting was truly the only option.
I did love this little window seat! Kelly at Weave Gotcha Covered did an amazing job with these darling blinds. They look like woven blinds on the front and then fabric on the back, which is super charming and added a lot of character to this space. I didn’t just want to leave that window bare because this is the first thing that you see when walking through the front door: a big beautiful bay window in the middle of the stairs.
Living Room / Breakfast Nook
Wall Color: Misty (Sherwin Williams) | Window Color: Wall Street (Sherwin Williams) | Art: Chelle Gunderson | Living Room Rug: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home | Breakfast Nook Rug: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home
To the right, wow what a space! When we first walked through this space it was very bare and really unusual. One of the weird things about this house is that there was a full bath to the right of the front door that you didn’t see on the show that had access to the entryway and the extra office we designed. The thing is though because it was a full bath, the previous contractor thought that they needed a half bath into this first floor and I totally disagree. I think the space that we turned into a pantry was a much better use of space. I capped off all the plumbing and decided that that space could be much better utilized by closing this wall up between the entryway and the kitchen opening. When we closed that wall, it created the perfect space for a living room. It was an awkward space to have the dining, kitchen, and living room all open and once space, but I think we managed to make it work with our furniture placement and closing up that wall. I wanted to make sure that the breakfast area was a fun use of space so I painted those windows. Which again I painted the night before filming the finale. The painters had painted them white on accident, but I was desperate to make them look right, so it was totally worth the extra hours we spent there! I wanted the breakfast table to be more of a bar height table so that it could actually be seen from the front door. Making the space feel less like a dining room and more of a breakfast nook, but of course anybody can use it however they want when they live here.
Light Fixture Above Island: Kichler | Lighting Sconce Above Window: Kichler | Wall Color: Misty (Sherwin Williams) | Cabinet Paint Color: Aleutian (Sherwin Williams) | Countertop: Daltile | Backsplash Slab: Daltile | Art: Katie White | Runner: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home
It’s not very often that you have a truly blank slate like this and so we were able to embrace the open feeling of the space! We wanted to continue the blue from the entryway and I felt like having the white walls in the living room and the blue cabinets in the kitchen, really made for a cozy space. I felt like it kind of brought a modern kitchen into a hundred-year-old home with a lot of style and grace and being blue made it feel historically accurate. We went with a more modern touch by continuing the countertops up the wall and makes for an easy to clean kitchen. The movement in the counter and backsplash was truly stunning. Of course, just like in all my houses, I make sure I leave them well protected with a coat of Rock Doctor sealant in all my kitchens. Also, be sure to check out these beautiful floral arrangements done by Branches & Twigs.
Wallpaper: Wallquest Coastline | Door Color: Charming Pink (Sherwin Williams) | Art: Susannah Bleasby
This back area is where the bathroom would have been, but was obviously a much better use of space to have a big walk-in pantry. We were able to salvage this awesome door and give it a little bit more character and charm. We wanted to add a little touch of fun by adding in that beautiful wallpaper in the back of the pantry. To the left is a coffee/wine bar that we left open so that the potential homeowners could choose to use it as they want. It’s a great spot for a dog bed, or one could make it an awesome spot for a wine fridge, as it can fit either!
This back staircase is definitely a forgotten spot in a lot of houses and is underlooked for opportunities to be awesome. This is one of those spots that I really wanted to have a wow effect, but I didn’t want to go over the top in expense with painting in case somebody didn’t love being bold and bright. In my opinion, I think it was a really fun way to give style to an underappreciated spot in the house and make it a little bit more memorable. These are actually removable, so anyone who didn’t like them could just peel them off nice and easy!
The office is one of those spaces that could have gone either way: super dark and daunting or dark and delicious and I’m feeling that it was delicious! The space was definitely a cozy spot, but there was zero charm and the fireplace was falling apart. I wanted to make this spot really work as a bedroom, a den, an office, or a living space and I feel like we really accomplished that. I think a picture frame trim around walls is definitely a splurge, but an easy way to accomplish that is by using 1″ x 2″s, which is an inexpensive alternative to frame out all the walls. We then painted the entire room in this beautiful naval color that really had a richness to it that I think anybody is going to appreciate. The elegant white glass tile up the wall created a striking modern touch to the space that ended up brightening up the room especially with those three windows and all the natural light. What also helped brighten up the space was topping each picture frame trim section with a sconce and then crowning it with that gorgeous center chandelier.
This master bedroom is huge and has a ton of space! I love having a sitting room right off the master bedroom like this because it adds a lounging space for the family at night, which I know I would spend a ton of time in! I would hang out in there and probably install a tv and enjoy wine with my hubby, read books with the kids, or play Uno with the family, which seems to be a nightly occurrence these days. I wanted to make it pop since it’s such a long space and so I went with this really bold wallpaper that I know production was initially scared to use, but when it was up it was stunning! Because it’s in the sitting area, and not the bedroom, it really made it it’s own intentional space.
Light Fixture: Kichler | Ceiling Wallpaper: Wallquest Retro Living
Opening up the sitting area into the bedroom beside it made room for beautiful french doors and a walk-in closet with this custom closet system. We then topped it with this art deco retro chandelier and wallpaper. It was such a bright white space and I didn’t want to put wallpaper on the walls so that it wouldn’t compete with the sitting room, so we decided to do something fun on the ceiling!
Light Fixture: Kichler | Wall Color: Aleutian (Sherwin Williams) | Knobs & Pulls: Addison Weeks | Countertop: Daltile | Backsplash: Daltile | Floor Tile: Daltile | Wainscot Above Light Switch: Daltile | Shower & Tub Back Wall: Daltile | Shower Side Walls & Tub Side Walls: Daltile | Art: Susannah Bleasby | Art: Ginger Leigh | Rug: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home
This master bathroom was initially super weird and super awkward. This might be the weirdest space I’ve ever done, but budget-wise there wasn’t any room to change things around, unfortunately. Having a shower and a tub shower space definitely felt a little awkward, but it had already been plumbed and the bathtub and pan were already there so it just didn’t make sense to change it. This layout wasn’t my first choice, but it was definitely budget-driven to leave it as it is. It was nice to have the toilet separated, but not have a closed-off door. We did add these cute shelves between the toilet and the tub giving the room extra storage. I know some of you may be wondering: Where’s the mirror? We decided to not drill into that gorgeous tile with just any old mirror and the mirrors that I wanted to put up were just too expensive to leave with the house, so we opted for no mirror and we can let the homeowner decide if they want basic of beautiful. A lot of times, that’s the reason we don’t install mirrors.
Light Fixture: Kichler | Wallpaper: Wallquest Maui Maui | Shelving Paint Color: Charming Pink (Sherwin Williams)
Everyone knows I love a good laundry room and this is no exception! We did a lot of blue throughout the house, but I also love the pink we added to the porch, so we carried that into the laundry room. We also wanted to do something fun with the light fixture, so we added these fun soft blue lantern style lights in a cluster. I felt like this was a very unique outside of the box thing to do, but it ended up being the perfect finishing touch to the space. Having the navy and the soft blue with the floral pink pattern was definitely on the girlier side, but it is a small laundry room, so why not be bold and beautiful?!
Third Floor Kids Bedroom
A lot of third floors have tiny rooms and low ceiling heights, but this house was the exception to that rule! These rooms were huge! The ceiling heights were amazing. The dormer spaces were super fun and just really gave a great way of laying out the room. You’ve got a space for your bed, a chair, a desk, and a chest of drawers. These spaces were really great in size and had a lot of charm.
Third Floor Bath
Light Fixture: Kichler | Wall Color: Argos (Sherwin Williams) | Countertop: Daltile | Wainscot Around Room: Daltile | Shower Wall Tile: Daltile | Floor Tile: Daltile | Art: Audrey Benskin | Rug: Kaleen Rugs, can be bought at Growing Days Home
The bathroom before was wretched. It was super tiny, awkward, and it was really unusable. We bumped out the side of the house and did a third dormer, so each bedroom has a dormer and each bathroom has a dormer and that’s where we placed the shower. This was actually one of those spaces where you could feel where the original wall was with that wall that comes forward with the baskets in front of it where the shower used to be. Before, you weren’t even able to stand up in the shower. Maybe Elenor could, but my boys, no possible way! Adding this dormer did add some cost, but it was worth it! We went with the white subway tile all around the room and then did this gorgeous scallop accent wall on the back of the shower. This was a really beautiful space and I love the functionality of it because now you have washable walls in a wet space for kids.