LD CLAWFOOT TUBS are a staple in almost all of our renovations. In our opinion, it is somewhat life-changing to take a long soak in an old cast-iron tub. We rarely refinish them on the inside for two reasons: we like the natural patina of time, and we don’t like things to be so clean that you have to maintain a level of perfection. We simply paint the outside with chalkboard paint to give it a beautiful matte finish.
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We exposed the original adobe wall, above, to act as a focal point in the kitchen. The large cast-iron sink protects the adobe from water and we love seeing what the house is made of. ADOPTED ANCESTORS We always look for antique portraits because they are usually inexpensive. We adopt these people into our old home family. PAINTED FLOORS Painting floors is a great way to bring a pop of color and whimsy to a space. We have painted floors mustard, sky blue, navy, black, mint green and pink, to name a few. We never feel guilty painting a floor; the original is still underneath, ready to be sanded and stained when the time comes. ORIGINAL MIXED WITH NEW Not everything can be original, so we add new elements when we have to (e.g., a new chandelier that looks old or new rim lock hardware that mimics the original). When we do have original features, like this staircase, we keep all of the imperfections but try to do a great paint job to update it just enough. PAINT DRAMA The office walls painted in Farrow & Ball “Studio Green” add a bit of drama to a home that is mostly white inside. In the room behind, picture-less gold-leaf frames are stacked against the wall to create a cluster of large objects that includes the chair. A modern lamp adds height to the grouping and with a small picture above, it’s a look we like; we aren’t afraid to challenge scale in this way. PAINT COMBINATIONS We seldom paint a house exterior or interior with more than two, sometimes three, colors. Keeping the palette simple allows the home’s decorating and style to be the main focus. OLD PORCHES Contractors stop by all the time and offer to fix this porch, but we left it as we found it because we like to think of all the kids who have played here over the last hundred years. When we dig around, we find marbles and bits of broken dolls; our own kids have lost Legos here. Things don’t always need to look brand new. MODERN CLASSIC STYLE SNOW HOUSE SHAKE SHINGLES
Naturally aged shake shingles add almost instant character to a new remodel. After only a year or two, these shingles will look like they have always been there.
This house is a perfect example of how you can infuse your own style and aesthetic into a historic home. Sally Snow, the homeowner, lovingly restored this home; she was careful to choose timeless finishes andfeatures, making it ready for its next hundred years.
Built around 1930, this charming little cottage had been remodeled and stripped of its original, albeit simple, character sometime in the 1960s or ’70s. Sally knew she had something special that was also perfect for her refined style.
It is not a large home nor does it have overstated architectural features, but it is absolutely stunning in its simplicity. The shake shingles and neutral color palette disguise the fact that it has been remodeled, making it seem like it has always retained its original materials and character.