Rest, Recharge, Refuge
Our floor plan was modern, our kitchen was rustic modern, and our children were safe and happy in their bedrooms. Yet, it was mid 2016, a whole year after we had purchased our home, and Matt and I were still living in the bubble room. We had known from the time we met Lady Beekman, that her old layout of bedroom/office/small hallway bathroom, could give way to this gorgeous owner’s suite (bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet). Structurally speaking, we would keep the main bedroom where it was, but would uncover its self-contained refuge-potential by enclosing the adjacent office and hallway bathroom into its footprint.
And so we embarked on making our dream of a first floor suite come true. We demoed closets to gain space and efficiency, we closed an old passageway into the office that used to be in the middle of the room, and opened a new hallway at the edge of the room to lead into our walk-in closet and main bathroom.
The original bedroom had beams, which, upon further inspection, not only turned out to be fake, but concealing a severe leak from the upstairs balcony that ran the whole extension of the room. Since we had addressed the source of the leak during our daughter’s bedroom demo day, all we were left to deal with was the destruction and mold given the years of seeping water. The “wood” paneling was of a composite material, so they also came down to give the whole room to brand new sheetrock.
Not everything was demoed, though. We were always very intentional in preserving and saving Lady Beekman’s gorgeous character. We retained the original wide-planked hardwood floors, and refinished them to match the balance of the house. We also “harvested” the original skinny lap ceiling from the old hallway to be able to feather it into where the foyer ceiling had changed during construction. We intentionally featured the original wood-burning fireplace and rustic wood mantle, while creating a soft, textural environment around it.
The bedroom is not what I call “done” yet. We have kept most of our old furniture even though we have evolved our taste in the last 14 years of home ownership. There are a few pieces that haven’t been brought into the bedroom yet, such as a custom french cushion being made for our reading nook by @gratefulhome. And, as much as I love my upholstered headboard, I wouldn’t mind experimenting with an accent headboard in this room.
Despite my 1001 ideas of process improvement every single day, Matt and I are very conscientious not to step out of our budget. We have learned to be patient, prioritize projects, needs and wants, and follow through with our plans. Instead of investing in all new furnishing for our main bedroom, we decided to create the bathroom of our dreams! Since we had to build our main bathroom and walk-in closet from an existing hallway bath and office, there was nothing saved.
I love a bathroom with a window, and I knew I could work a highly functional and gorgeous floor plan in the existing footprint. We went clean and timeless with our main bathroom design aesthetic while sprinkling a few rustic elements in. We knew we wanted tile all around the bathroom, a double vanity, tall oval mirrors, a separate soaking tub and a seamless glass shower. Since this was the first of three full bathrooms to be done, and I am a fan of replicating elements throughout our home for cohesiveness, I picked a glossy white elongated subway tile for the bathroom surrounding, a Carrera-marble square tile for the shower enclosure, and an elevated clear-glass tile for the shower area. A long white and gray wood-texture tile complemented our design, installed in an elegant “V” pattern. We ended up choosing a dark walnut vanity and installed a white ice granite top for an added, soft textural element. And, though I often dream about going moodier and darker in our main bathroom, we originally painted it a true gray, Benjamin Moore Baltic Gray.
Looking back (4 full years ago!), I still love every single design decision we made for this space. However, our tastes have been ever-evolving, and we have become a lot more bohemian-influenced as the years have progressed. I often flirt with the possibility of refinishing the existing vanity to uncover a more natural tone of wood.
Finally, to round out the suite of our dreams, we designed our closet. For practical reasons, we decided to go with the natural U shape formed by not moving the original bathroom wall. It contained most of the upstairs plumbing and that wall was the only real option for adding HVAC ducts to the upstairs bedrooms. With those limitations, we designed the closet to have the most functionality and yet still fit the calm aesthetic of the whole suite. Necessity is the mother of invention – that wall became a perfect space for a full-length mirror, and, because one of us is not a neurotic organizer, the half of the closet behind the wall can get messy (love you, Matt!).
Since we had such a positive experience with our Amethyst closet system, which we had installed by ourselves in 2007 and held up wonderfully through the years of use (we we were there until 2015!), we decided to go with it again.
Our closet, much like our bedroom, is not “done” yet. Though we have done a good amount of work by installing these systems, lifting them from the floors, crown-molding it, it is still a work in progress. We envision a beautifully built-in look in this space… I am hoping to finally call this walk-in closet project DONE this Winter.