Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spiffing up the Loo

The British have a way with words. Spoken with a proper accent a post on bathroom renovations sounds almost genteel, but the only thing cultured about the stone-cottage bathrooms was the marble. So, Marcus and Anna chose those two rooms for major renovation.

This adorable sign can be purchased at:

The goal was to transform the small spaces into mini-Cooper versions of a 1930's luxury hotel, the same era as the home. Taking  the Waldorf Astoria in New York City or the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Beach as their inspiration, the couple chose period fixtures and tile for the two bathrooms.

The upstairs bath needed the most attention. The pink marble palace was gutted, save for the bathtub.

This is an after picture; unfortunately, I didn't get the pink marble beforehand.

Restoration Hardware was a good source for vintage medicine cabinet and sink. While Circa lighting provided a contemporary take on Pullman lights (Boston Square Three-Light Sconce).

 Rhol fixtures supplied the hotel-style, train-rack shelf

and double towel bar.

The polished nickel, vintage hand-held shower fixtures are also Rohl,

as are the sink spigot and handles.

Marcus and Anna picked white subway ceramic tiles for the walls and hexagon Calcutta Gold marble tiles for the flooring to continue the grand-hotel theme. The marble baseboard is the final nod to the Great-Gatsby era.

Here is a peak of the completed room from the doorway.

The downstairs bathroom didn't need as extensive a renovation as the upstairs bath.  The black and white tile was probably original to the home, but in fine shape.  

The couple did replace the sink, the toilet, the medicine cabinet, lights, and hardware, since they had seen a lot of wear over the years. With new Rohl fixtures, the bathroom is a refreshed version of the original.

Leave it to Anna, my "necessity" queen, to find the perfect final-touch accessories.

In their refurbished splendor, I do believe these two loos could pass royal muster.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Autumn in the Air

Not a fan of winter, I usually am sorry to see summer slip away, but not this year.  After the steamy July and early August, this week's cooler temperatures are welcome. The lower humidity makes walking less strenuous. The ever-so-slight nip in the air and the first falling leaves, brings to mind the plaid dresses I wore on the first day of school as a child and signals the approach of autumn.  Time to decorate!

Here is my fall tablescape from two angles:

I began this collection of Murano glass pumpkins last year when I found two at a favorite gift shop.  They were pricey, but--knowing I wouldn't be replacing them every year--I thought worth the expense.  Then this year at Home Goods, I found a few more pumpkins in different sizes and the Murano glass bowl, all for a great price!

However, when I brought the pumpkins home, added them to the couple I already had, and tried to arrange them; I realized I needed more. So, I made a trip to the Silk Flower Warehouse in New Holland.  Yay!  They had three more in small sizes and slightly different shapes. What is more, they were a deal, too! (Rationalization: Now, I won't be buying flowers for my table until after Thanksgiving.)

Oh, let's be honest, I'm always ready to deck the halls for the next season. When I was teaching, I made welcome-back bulletin boards depicting desks, apples, blackboards, lunch boxes, and books. Now I must put all my energy into our front door and tablescapes.

Here is my front door ready to welcome Labor Day weekend guests.

What are you using for a centerpiece?  What is on your front door?