Before and After Old House Design The Scenery House

Before and After: The Powder Room Reveal

January 23, 2018

The Powder Room Reveal - The Sweet Beast Blog

It’s here! The powder room reveal is here. We started this project in early 2017 and wrapped it up in the summer, but it’s taken me some time to get it ready to share. If you want to see the steps on how we renovated this bathroom ourselves, check out How-To: Modern Board and Batten Powder Room!

The Powder Room – Before

Before - The Powder Room | The Sweet Beast Blog
This is a shot of the powder room from the listing photos (that mirror/nest may have burrowed into your brain from when I shared the first floor listing photos). I’m still not over it.

Before - The Powder Room | The Sweet Beast Blog
The previous owner did not leave the mirror for us, so we threw this little vintage guy up there when we moved in. Andy added the garland (leftover decor from our wedding) because it just needed another decorative touch. You may be seeing something on the ceiling that the realtor left out in the listing.

Before - The Powder Room Cherubs on the Ceiling | The Sweet Beast Blog It’s a cherub border. Are the youths saying that things are ‘extra’? I think this is what that is, in the wallpaper world.

This tiny bathroom was – a lot – which is pretty much on par for the rest of the house. I think powder rooms are a great place for having fun with pattern, color and texture but I guess I found the line and it’s cherubs on the ceiling.

We had a lot of thoughts about how we’d tackle the powder room remodel. Its small size made it less daunting, both in the time it would take us to do it all and in the total spend. It remained a “maybe that’s next?” project for months until one day, home sick from work, I started picking at it.

Revealing the Details

Before - The Powder Room | The Sweet Beast Blog

I started picking at a corner of the wallpaper which peeled off easily onto the floor, taking the rubber cove base with it. Emboldened by the disgusting mess I was making, I moved on to the floor tiles.

Before - The Powder Room - Original Tile Discovery | The Sweet Beast Blog

I ripped up one of the linoleum squares to see what was underneath. I FOUND THE ORIGINAL HEX TILES. It’s that dream moment from TV shows where they find the original hardwood floors under the carpet but instead, it was hex tiles under linoleum tiles and adhesive and it was ME and not a TV show. I texted my closest friends and my realtor immediately.

Before - The Powder Room | The Sweet Beast Blog
Before - The Powder Room | The Sweet Beast Blog

I continued tearing at the fleur-de-lis wallpaper to find underneath what I least expected – handpainted fleur-de-lis. There is something very endearing about the time and care it took to paint this pattern on the wall.

The Powder Room - Before | The Sweet Beast Blog

Before I knew it, this was the mess I’d made. And it stayed like this (okay, I cleared out enough room to get to the toilet) for months.

I took that time to pin, plan and gather inspiration for what our powder room could be. I decided to add detail and texture to our vertical board and batten. I’ve got all the plans, steps and process photos to share with you but to keep this post concise, I’m saving the “how to” for another post.

So, let’s see this beauty.

The Powder Room – After

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog
Here is the finished powder room with floor-to-ceiling board and batten painted a warm gray.

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog
I am not scared to mix metals. The brass hardware, frame and light fixture paired with the black mirror and accents modernize the board and batten walls. The chrome faucet compliments the gray walls.

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog
I replaced the brushed chrome hardware that came with the vanity and sink combo with brass handles.

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog
We were able to uncover and preserve the original hex tile floor. It has some discoloration and imperfections but I love it.

Powder Room - After | The Sweet Beast Blog
Towel hooks are much more elegant than towel bars and hoops and a great solution for small spaces. The toilet paper holder (not pictured) matches.

Shop the bathroom below and look out for a post coming soon about how we uncovered the tile floor and put up the board and batten walls.


This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Before and After Old House Design The Scenery House

Before and After: The Blush Bathroom Reveal

January 16, 2018

Classic Blush Bathroom
It’s been a while since I first showed you a sneak peek at the blush bathroom. Since then, you’ve gotten a better look at it in our home tour on Design Sponge but I want to show you where we started. Who doesn’t love a good before and after?

When we were shopping for an old home, one of the things on my dream home list was a bathroom with its original bits. I dreamed of original tile, original hardware, an original sink. We were lucky enough to find all of these in one bathroom in our home. The only challenge was letting those original elements of classic charm shine without overpowering them with design choices.

A bathroom with too much pattern
Here is the bathroom in the listing image. With so much pattern, so many CHOICES, your eye doesn’t know where to go and you could easily miss the charm. You’ll also note that the listing photographer attempted to crop out the wallpaper border.

Blush bathroom before
But not me. Take it in, admire it. Here is the bathroom after we moved in and removed the skirt from the pedestal sink, the shades from the sconces, the scrunchies from the shower curtain rings, the wall shelf and the window treatments.

busy wallpaper and a hidden lightswitch
Can you find the lightswitch? Neither could most of our guests.

plaster in poor condition
Once we removed the wallpaper (some of which was held together at the seams with scotch tape with sharpie on top to keep the pattern intact) we found that though most of the plaster was in good shape, one corner was in trouble. In the corner by the window, some of the plaster had cracked and separated from its backing.

bathroom in progress, wallpaper removed
The wallpaper removal was easy but left a lot of paste. It took me several sessions scrubbing the walls to remove all the paste. In the middle, I resolved to give up, hire someone to finish it, most likely (definitely) cried, but got back up on that ladder and finished it.

I am pretty good at patching holes and imperfections in plaster, but these larger areas made me feel out of my depth. We hired a plaster repair person to come and patch things up but I ended up spending some time repatching, smoothing and sanding to get a nice surface for painting.

Blush Bathroom Before and After Composite
Wow, right?

Full shot of blush bathroom
The walls are painted Behr’s Cockleshell. West Elm’s Arc Mid-Century Sconces in Brass add a classic but updated look with their brass finish and white shades. The wooden cart is from IKEA as well as the window shades which fit our old casement windows perfectly. The folded towels are from Serena and Lily (I wrote more about these lovely towels in a post about bathroom details) and the shower curtain is from West Elm.

Blush bathroom brass sconces

blush bathroom with art
The print is ‘Passion’ by Camilla Engman framed in an old IKEA frame I spray painted matte black. The original medicine cabinet with its lightly foxed mirror is my favorite. I replaced the knob (which was a fleur de lis, of course) with a simple glass knob.

corner view of blush bathroom

detail of wall tile and hand soap
We are so lucky to have had such fantastic bones and original details to work with. The tile is in impressive shape with only a few broken tiles and some charming glaze crackles. While there are still a few things I’d like to update, including a new faucet set and curtain rod, this cheery bathroom makes our home feel so classy and finished.

Shopping The Scenery House

My Secret Source for Affordable Traditional Rugs

January 14, 2018

Record Shelves with Vintage Rug

I love rugs. Shopping for rugs is one of my greatest joys and as my home is almost all set with rugs, I’m still shopping for rugs to fill rooms I don’t have. ECarpetGallery is one of my favorite sources for affordable traditional and kilim rugs.

They have rugs that are vintage and rugs that just look like great vintage finds. Shopping for affordable traditional-looking rugs can be a bit of a crap-shoot because you find machine-made rugs that have patterns printed onto them rather than hand-woven out of colored yarns. Printed rugs look good from far away but often look pixelated or just cheap close up so my advice is to avoid them if you can.

Shopping for rugs online is a bit scary too because shipping fees are so high and returns can be a nightmare. Ecarpetgallery ships for free (US & Canada) but they do charge a return shipping fee based on rug size. I have ordered rugs both large and small from EcarpetGallery and even returned a big ol’ 9′ x 12′ during my great living room rug decision. The return fee was $80 (looks like the fee has gone up to $120 for a rug of this size according to their site) and they scheduled a FedEx pick up at my house. My other favorite thing is that you can often haggle down the price of a rug over chat – bargain hunting introverts rejoice!

This is not a sponsored post but it does contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Rounded Entryway Door with Kilim Rug
My first order was this rug for $47 from the clearance section. Can you believe this cutie was rolling around unwanted on sale? It’s a great colorway with deep pinks paired with navy and looks so good in our entryway.

Pink and cream kilim rug with corgi
After grabbing that first rug, I spotted this cream and pink kilim on sale for only $35. It’s the perfect size for our staircase landing and Penelope likes to sit on it while she waits for me to carry her down the stairs.

Traditional rug in living room with wood panel fireplace surround

This is the same rug from the top of the post. While the other rugs I’ve purchas were new, this one is vintage. I haggled down the price to $530 from somewhere around $700 on sale. The rug had been cleaned but had a bit of an old rug smell to it. Andy sprinkled baking soda and lemon essential oil on it, let it set, and vacuumed it up a few times to help neutralize the smell. Our living room is long and zoned into a record listening space and a lounging, netflix watching space. I paired this blue and coral rug with our more neutral morrocan-style rug and I think the two work together well.

Traditional Persian or Turkish rugs often have a lot of red in them, but I like to look for styles in more modern colorways to suit my home. I search for rugs with pink, blue or green as the primary color and have found some real stunners. There’s a pretty great sale going on right now and I’ve picked some of my favorites for you – ready to go shopping?

6 Traditional Rugs in Modern Colors

[ 1. 5×7 Antique Shiravan in Salmon + Tan $336 on sale | 2. 5×7 Antique Shiravan in Navy + Salmon $336 on sale | 3. 5×7 Melis in Navy + Salmon $336 on sale | 4. 5×8 Peshawar Bokhara Dark Teal $325 on sale | 5. 4×6 Antique Shiravan in Teal $213 on sale | 6. 5×9 Anatolian in Dark Blue + Copper $349 on sale ]

Wooow. If you wanna scoop of any of these rugs, get on it. The sale is running through 1/16 and be sure you’ve got the coupon code ‘CLEARANCE‘ applied to get the best price. Thanks for shopping with me!

Old House Design Shopping

Using New Technology in an Old Home

October 11, 2017

[Our Nest Thermostat sits pretty in our entryway]

My style walks a line somewhere between modern minimal and traditional. I love clean lines and new technology but I also have such a fondness for old things and craftsmanship. It can seem tricky to mix modern technology in an old home, but there are a lot of well-designed gadgets out there that are pretty nice to look at can fit right into a well-designed home.

I’ve gathered up a few items that we use and love plus some that that are on my wishlist.

[ Nest Protect | Samsung The Frame TV | Ring Video Doorbell | Sonos Play:1 |
Nest Thermostat | Aura + Jonathan Adler ]

When we moved into our house, the rooms had fairly new smoke detectors (the cheapest available) and some very old looking carbon monoxide detectors. We couldn’t tell when they were installed and to be safe, wanted to update and upgrade. We’ve been switching out our old detectors with new Nest Protects every few months. They talk to our phones, let us know if any smoke or carbon monoxide is detected, and check their own battery levels. A nice bonus feature is that they can act like a nightlight by detecting motion and lighting up a pathway, perfect if you stumble around in the dark like me.

The Samsung The Frame TV is on my never-gonna-happen-we-just-bought-a-new-tv list. There are lots of clever ways to disguise a TV or make it blend into a gallery wall, but this is the most stunning option I’ve seen. When it’s not playing your fav shows, it displays artwork with a realistic looking mat. Plus, you can pick up thin wooden frames to add a traditional framed art look.

My favorite piece of tech we’ve bought for the house is our Ring Doorbell. It detects motion in front of our house and sends notifications to our phones. We know when our mail is delivered, when FedEx shows up, when the DHL guy looks through our stack of packages, and when deer stop by to snack on our flowers. We can see and talk to anyone who rings the bell and let them know we’re too busy to answer the door or to leave packages without a signature. This has truly made me feel safe in our home. Plus, the matte black cover looks sleek against our home’s brick exterior and it works with our old hanging chimes in our entryway.

Sonos is one of those things we thought was neat but that we didn’t really need. We started using them at work and it wasn’t long before we picked one up for ourselves. We use ours in the kitchen and Andy listens to his favorite podcasts while he makes us coffee in the morning and washes dishes at night. The speakers come in white or black (we chose white) which will work with any space, light or dark.

Paired with our Nest Protect we have two Nest Thermostats. Our heat is gas and our A/C is electric so we have installed one for each. It is so nice to have it on a schedule so that our house is set to the perfect temperature when we’re home, but not when we’re away. The thermostats work with the Nest app which does a million things but I enjoy being able to crank the heat up a few degrees without having to wiggle out from under my blankets.

Aura is a digital photo display styled like a traditional picture frame. They recently partnered with Jonathan Adler for an exclusive rich navy blue design with gold trim. This touch of Alder glam would look stunning in a traditional home with moody tones and paneled walls. It syncs with your phone to update the frame with your most recent pictures, recognizing the people you take photos of most and even filtering out your nudes. Technology!

What am I missing? What technology are you using in your home that you can’t live without?

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions on these products are my own.

Interiors Inspiration Shopping The Scenery House

Deep Green Guest Bedroom Vibes

June 19, 2017

[sources: Aurelie Lecuyer | Rue Magazine | By Thornam ]

Ever since I went with a deep, moody blue shade in our living room, I’ve been looking for the right room to paint the deepest, darkest green. I’ve always associated dark colors with traditional decor, but I’m seeing moody walls paired with modern pieces more and more. The images above are clean, uncluttered and simple with just the right amount of texture.

I have to thank Deuce Cities Henhouse for inspiring me to pair our unpainted wood trim with dark walls. She is fantastic. And this look worked so well in the living room that I knew I needed to do it again. The guest room (already affectionately called the “green room“) was the first room to pop into my mind.

[ Black Evergreen Paint | Curtains | Flush Mount Light | Frame | Print | Bed (similar) | Vase | Bowl Planter | Dresser | Rug | Lamp | Nightstand | Duvet Cover | Pink Pillow | Square Pillow | Sheets | Basket ]

I want the room to feel cozy and clean while looking like it was assembled over time. To get the sort of “accumulated style” I’m seeing in my head, I’ll need to pick up pieces from a variety of sources in finishes that go together but don’t exactly match. The bed (which we already own) is an older IKEA style with a rattan headboard in a natural finish. I could go matchy with light wood night stands but I’d rather add contrast with black metal nightstands with brass pulls. I think any room needs at least one vintage piece and I’d love to find a gorgeous mid century dresser like this one from Chairish. I’ve been hunting craigslist and thrift stores for the perfect fit. A good light is so essential to the overall vibe of a room – we just installed a Cedar & Moss Conifer Flush Mount in our bedroom and absolutely love it – and I’m tempted to just spring for another one in the guest room. I like to go neutral on duvets (I’m dreaming of this linen one from Parachute Home) and add color and texture with printed sheets and throws. I can’t seem to decorate a single room in my house without at least one pink accent, so this room will be no exception. And there’s no color that looks better with pink than deep green.

Would you paint any room in your home this dark?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and buy, I’ll get a few cents. All opinions on these products are my own.

Interior Styling The Scenery House

Oh Hi, Design Sponge!

June 12, 2017

Oh my goodness! Welcome Design Sponge friends! I am totally flattered to have a tour of our home on my most favorite design blog ever. It’s honestly a dream come true.

This tour pushed me out of my comfort zone – I 100% did not believe the house was ready for this sort of thing yet. But then I talked myself through some facts like that this house will never be completely perfect, that it’s going to evolve with time, and that I need to chill out.

Check out our home tour on Design Sponge now!

The Scenery House

You Have to Start Somewhere – The Second Floor

April 30, 2017

I shared the listing photos of the first floor of our house last time and I’m back to show you the second (and third!) floor of our house, just as we first saw them.

This is the landing. And as I mentioned last time, the entryway/staircase/hallway walls were painted white when we first saw it but isn’t it nice to know it used to be this color? Dried flower arrangement on a door – the perfect touch. More chairs! From this view, you can see the smaller of the 3 bedrooms and the door to the 3rd floor.

This is the smaller bedroom and one that belonged to a teenage girl. It has two small square windows which are very cute and painted white. There are, of course, two kinds of window treatments on these windows. Oh yeah, and peep that chair rail.

Next is what we are affectionately still calling “the green room.” This was a boy’s room with a light space theme. The boob lamp on the ceiling has a great space design that glows in the dark. Our guests have been loving it.

This leads us to the bathroom. THE BATHROOM. Girl. Patterns on patterns on patterns in here. The toile shower curtain matches the 2nd layer of window treatments matches the sconce shades matches the skirt that was GLUED onto the original pedestal sink. When we moved in, the toilet had been replaced along with the shower curtain which now matched the wallpaper exactly. Oh, did you notice the wallpaper? Did you notice the border on top of the wallpaper? And lastly, because the more I stare at this picture, the more I remember: the shower curtain rings were covered in black ruffle covers like tiny scrunchies.

This is the master bedroom, which is pretty huge. There is more chair rail in here which I ripped down during our first weekend of ownership. Very fancy in here like a bed and breakfast. So many window treatments and so many cobwebs behind them.

Here’s the other side. The wardrobe is placed in front of a space that used to be a fireplace. There’s a nice bit of closet space in here plus a walk in closet built into the space above the sunroom. You can see the ensuite bathroom here and more tiny rugs leading to it. In this shot it looks like the original windows were still in place but were replaced with cheap vinyl windows when we bought it.

This leads us to the 3rd floor which runs the full width of the house and is finished. It has an exposed brick chimney and 4 small windows.

Here’s the other side. This is a great space despite the shiny walls. The unfortunate thing is that the former owners kept their cat up here and it didn’t take the move very well. The whole floor has a terrible cat pee smell, even after we removed the carpet and scrubbed the wood floors underneath them. I’m not sure if refinishing or painting the floors will help remove the smell. I have great hopes for this space as either a big extra bedroom or a photo studio space.

And that’s it for the listing tour! Through all of the extra stuff (so extra), I hope you see the amazing potential we saw, still see, and keep finding more of.