Jim Hawes of Caldwell-Beebe is my sister’s designer, and he always does such a beautiful job creating a serene and nuanced interior. This picture is one of my favorites from his portfolio, and is from my sister’s vacation house (since sold).
Recently my sister moved to a new house – new to her, but an older home that was built in the 1920s. The home had been renovated a few years ago, and came with a carriage house that had a room over the garage, but was in a state of disrepair and needed some TLC and cosmetic improvements. The repairs were literally finished the day I arrived for a visit – so I was the first guest!
Hopefully my sister won’t be upset that I am posting pictures of her carriage house, because it is still a work in progress. There are no window treatments yet (the measurements were taken just yesterday – they will be a Clarence House linen with the Clarence House Greek key trim), the bar stools and bedskirt have yet to arrive, and the decorative accessories and art items that finish off a space are not yet in place, but the comfort and beauty of the space was so striking to me that I had to share it with my readers! Please excuse the quality of the pictures; I was using a little point and shoot tourist camera that fits into my purse, and the configuration of the space combined with my tiny camera did not allow for sweeping vantage points.
The view of the guest house when entering the door – it is essentially the space over a 2 car garage, with a floating wall that separates the living area/kitchen from the bedroom. The floating wall is actually an ingenious solution for this space – it keeps the rooms open, yet also creates distinct spaces. The sofa is also a bed, from Lee, which will accommodate extra guests. The Ian Mankin pillow is from a small store in Primrose Hill in London, a play on the Union Jack flag.
The kitchen is clean lined and elegant, with open shelving for the basic dishes a guest might need. The kitchen faucet is the Grohe Minta, with a pull down sprayer spout. I am loving the color on the white oak floors – my sister said that it took a long time to find the right combination of stain and finish to achieve this color (which I am also experiencing in my quest for the perfect light floor color). For the finish, my sister wanted to use an eco-friendly, low VOC product, and ended up using a product from a Canadian company called Saman (http://www.saman.ca/home). The wood has a relaxed and slightly rustic appearance, which works beautifully in this space.
A view to the entrance and the bathroom. Since I am the first guest, a temporary TV is perched on the floor –works for me! The little window over the door brings light into the stairwell.
It was almost impossible to get a decent shot of the whole bathroom with my pitiful camera, so I will show some of the highlights. The floor is a marble basketweave mosaic, sourced from Amazon of all places! My sister reports that this particular tile is no longer available on Amazon, but there are others that are similar. Just search for basketweave mosaic.
Not the best picture, but the space is small and tough for a good picture without a wide angle lens. The vanity has misty carrera Caesarstone as the counter, and it is SO great – no worries about staining or etching, and it is really attractive. Also, the vanity has decent counterspace – a great thing for a guest who has a travel kit. My sister’s previous house had a pedestal sink in the guest bathroom, and there was nowhere to put stuff!
A closer view of the countertop. I am seriously considering using Caesarstone for my kids’ bathroom countertops – with three daughters all approaching the teenage years, I need surfaces that will withstand a lot of wear and tear. Note the Greek key border tile along the wall, which is by Michael Smith for Ann Sacks. The subway tile is from a different manufacturer; usually people get the tile from the same company, as they want to match the color – but my sister fell in love with the Greek key tile, and wanted to use an inexpensive subway tile. It all worked out well - the grayer white of the Greek key tile actually provides a nice subtle contrast and blends well with the floor tile and the cabinet base color.
Love the shower fixtures – the squared off shape is so unusual. They are by Kohler.
The tulips came from Whole Foods, and are the perfect accent to the custom ‘X’ motif table/island that was made for the space. The marble is Calacatta Caldia, from a marble store in Virginia. It is great looking marble, primarily white with subtle soft gray and taupe veining, honed, and is such a luxurious surface in a guest house. The bar stools are arriving tomorrow, and will be a great addition to the space.
This stainless steel counter protector is a clever idea – my sister got it at Peter Jones in London. Has anyone ever seen one sold in the States? It fits right over the edge of the counter, and provides a great surface that helps protect the marble.
I thought that this set of drawers, full depth but built into the slope of the wall, was a very clever use of space.
Here is the bedroom behind the floating wall (picture taken on a gray, rainy morning – the light was tough for a picture). The room is still coming together - the bedskirt is not ready yet – but the linens are pretty, with a subtle Greek key embroidered into the duvet cover (from William Sonoma Home). The side tables are antique Swedish tables from Tone on Tone. The rug is a sisal that came from the old house.
This picture, also taken on a gray and rainy morning, shows the separating effect of the floating wall. It both separates the two spaces, and creates a great wall for the bed.
The hardware for the doors will be arriving next week – Ashley Norton, in the white bronze finish.
And finally, the view from a window of the guest house - a rainy day, but beautiful nonetheless with the National Cathedral in the distance.
Update: my sister just emailed me a before picture of the guest house - what a difference!
The guest house, before.
Here are some other details about the space:
- cabinet color: amazing gray by Sherwin Williams
- wall color: Benjamin Moore white sand BM-964, trim Benjamin Moore dove wing
- bathroom walls: Benjamin Moore silver satin BM856
If you have any other questions, please feel free to post in the comments here. I thoroughly enjoyed staying in this wonderful guest house this past week, and look forward to many more visits!
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