Historic Preservation Eight begins with an early evening arrival to the property. Holiday wreaths welcome the owners (me, the Creative Designer) and visitors alike. In this post, I am taking you inside to discuss some of the preliminary cosmetic updates to the interior that focuses on the original part of the house. Remember, the two wings (Living Room & Kitchen/Bathroom/Workroom) are later additions in the late 80s & 90s.
I am anxious to see the progress since my first visit in August. I have also brought the preliminary furnishings plan and some additional textile and fabric options.
Shown above is a section of the dining room wainscoting area that needs some serious attention. Beautiful crumbling plaster...reminds me of the 2016 HEC, AVOCA show house library, and the 2017 White Hall library. OMG that was some work! The owner shared an interesting story. The first contractor that arrived thought that she was going to "...drive me to the Home Depot to get some wallboard?" WHAT? Ummm, may I show you out? Plaster restoration is now on the way.
Shown in the after image, the plaster wall is beautifully restored. It is now ready for the existing chair rail return, and on to prep work for painting. Overall, the walls are in good condition considering the age of this room, the entry, and the library (original kitchen). The floor/furnishings plan will show the original rooms.
In the above image, the original hardwood flooring was refinished. See my previous post on hardwood flooring. The beauty of the grain, knots, and imperfections are still there and the surface has a good feel to it. I am also analyzing how to treat the baseboards and base heating system.
This trip was also to discuss my painting specifications for all of the rooms. The desired color palette is similar to that of the previous home located in Historic Ellicott City, MD. However, in this house we collaborated on warmer tones for the entry, library, stairwell, upstairs hall, and master bedroom.
Next, I laid out the color palette for the entire dining room. It incorporates the existing Empire dining chairs upholstered in Lee Jofa damask, Kravet's silk stripe for the window treatments, and large paint cards for the ceiling, walls, and trim. I am still deciding how to treat the baseboards and base-mounted HVAC.
One of six upholstered Empire dining chairs
Moving back to the entry and stairwell, the walls in the original part of the house (entry shown below) are rough in some areas, and requires aggressive preparation. A fine paint surface finish is only as good as the prep work beneath it.
Ascending the stairs reveals quite a bit of cracked and peeling paint, but everything is structurally sound. This area, which extends up (left) to the ceiling has multiple profiles and level changes. Looking from the downstairs hall (below) you can see how choppy it appears, especially given the stark color contrast. My interpretation will be less of a contrast. Don't you love the terracotta stone flooring imported from Mexico by the previous owner?
In the library below (which use to be the original kitchen) dark book cases flank the North wall. Wood is the dominate element here and I am specifying a warm color that will complement the wood and the brick hearth. I like the window seat, and the fabric I have in mind brings will add a whimsical element to the room.
New wall color, including trim
In the image below, the fenestration on the South wall has beautiful symmetry, and has a good view of the original rough beam ceiling, The mirror shown will be replaced by a selection from my client's art collection. I am specifying that the rails, meeting rails, stiles, and muntins get painted to closely match the color of the wood in the room. The casings, stools, and aprons receive the same color as the walls, only in a different sheen level.
During this 2nd site visit I also discussed circulation and upholstered furnishings with my clients. The Library took a bit of analyzing to arrive at the best layout due to it also being a pass-through room. Three feet of space is required from the entry to any furnishings in this room. I also looked at some additional antiques and furnishings acquired by my clients and their relationship to the overall circulation. My next site visit will most likely be in late Spring.
Meanwhile, I will communicate with my clients virtually to follow the progress made by contractors and updates to the plan from my studio. I work in person, and I can also work virtually depending on the scope and level of detail required for your project. If you have a project in mind, book your Discovery Call with me to discuss the details.
In my next post, I will walk you through the next phase of the furnishings plan, and share a few ideas on furnishings and color schemes, and fabric choices for other rooms that were discussed during this site visit.