Cottage Project

Boathouse Bathroom: Before & After

Happy Canada Day! Its a perfect day to share a before and after of a clients red & white cottage bathroom.  This boathouse bathroom evokes a classic canadian cottage style and what's even more dreamy about it is the sound of the waves lapping against the docks below you.

Last year I completed a whole Cottage renovation for a client that involved updating the main cottage and boathouse to incorporate all new finishes and fixtures but without doing extensive construction. I find these type of projects incredibly enjoyable because its so exciting to explore the potential of the existing space and see the dramatic improvements that can result by making a series of simple but thoughtful changes.  By simple I don’t mean the modifications didn’t still require a lot of time, effort, and co-ordination but they were simple in that they didn’t require new construction or complicated modifications.  I made a visit to the cottage a few weeks ago to check on the status before this season got underway.

Boathouse Bathroom Before

The entire interior of the boathouse (which is only used seasonally) was knotty pine, with exception of the floor which was carpeted in the living areas and tiled in the bathroom.  The biggest change I made was that every bit of exposed natural wood on the interior was painted white, and then we added new but reclaimed wide plank engineered pine on the floor.  Essentially I took all the wood away from the walls and ceilings and put it on the floor.  This effectively doubled the brightness of the interior, emphasized its dramatic vaulted ceilings and painting the wood panelling created interesting tone on tone texture.  The best part was the lake view and exterior landscape became the focal point. The white paint transformed the boathouse interior to a fresh, bright, summery oasis.

The boathouse bathroom is a good size with interesting ceiling lines but was dated with respect to its fixtures and accessories and the ceramic floor a bit too suburban looking.  Everything about the vanity was perfect though, it was excellent quality and was hand built from solid wood with lots of storage and was in perfect condition, that and the mirror were definitely keepers.  I even loved the natural pine countertop and wanted to preserve it because i think its an excellent choice for this application it’s not the place for expensive marble or quartz.  I saw loads of potential for this space merely with paint and new fixtures.  A main criteria for selecting new items was we had a very short timeline to complete all the changes so everything needed to be readily available and/or deliverable to cottage country.  Below is a rough concept I put together for the owners and they quickly agreed with all the proposed changes...

New proposed finishes, Carol Reed Interior Design.

The vanity and the existing mirror would simply be updated with a red paint and some new striped ceramic knobs.  New engineered plank fooring replaced the tile and was in the same tones as the existing wood countertop.  The key to retaining the wood countertop was replacing the old drop-in sink with a vessel style sink that would fit over the old sink cutout.  I decided to mix in some more contemporary fixtures with the otherwise very traditional space but keeping the metal finishes in a dark bronze gives them a more relaxed nostalgic look.  A gooseneck barn light fixture with filament style bulb gives the bathroom a modern rustic vibe.

Boathouse Bathroom - After

In the end we opted for a countertop mounted faucet in lieu of the wall mounted (from the same series) for an easier install.  A simple hook for a hand towel (I’m obsessed with turkish towels ones and stock up on them whenever I find them!) its rope fringe and blue stripes evoke a nautical vibe, an oversize seagrass basket and more wall hooks on the opposite wall (not yet installed) store large beach towels.

Boathouse Bathroom Vanity - After.

My visit to the cottage last month was my first since all the major installations were completed in the boathouse last summer so its was a thrill to see the progress.  I took note of some final details that still need to be addressed, one of them includes installing new knobs on the vanity, I'm in love with the white ones I found with a stripe around the rim which i think will be the perfect finishing touch.  Lastly I think the floor needs a fun colourful indoor/outdoor rug for in front of the vanity.  But so far the transformation of this lakeside loo as been a dramatic improvement - I think its now bursting with character and style!

Happy Canada Day!

All Photos and Room Design by:  Carol Reed

Springing Into Summer

Spring has come and gone and I didn't manage to get a single update on the blog.  Maybe because I was so pre-occupied waiting for Spring like weather to arrive I didn't realize it had come and gone, already?  So instead of jumping back in with new regular posts (I've already prepared a couple) I thought I'd do a quick recap of what I've been pre-occupied with during the past few months, wow the time has flown by - in 4 different time zones no less.  I love that with the advancement of technology and travel I can work on projects in various cities, provinces or countries.  Principles of design are universal but I really enjoy being exposed to different regional traditions and lifestyles as well as exploring the local materials that influence the design of a home. 

Upper East Side reno project, Living Room progress.

NYC - Construction on the UES reno project was completed some time ago and after taking a much needed break from more than a year and a half of reno madness, the homeowners were ready to focus on furnishings and decor.  So with the hard work done and a great canvas in place we've been working together on the furniture room by room.  The very first pieces to arrive this spring for the living room where the sofas and the area carpet.  So much more to come, tables, lamps, pillows, mirrors,,,its very exciting to see it coming together.  (no the table in the corner is not part of the new furniture plan ; )).

A whole home renovation near Sydney, Australia

AUS - Over the winter (their summer) construction started on a whole home renovation I designed for clients in Australia not far from Sydney, she's an expat from Toronto and he's a native Australian. Aside from having to learn some new jargon and conversing in metric, the process was no different than renovating in North America.  The entire renovation was completed in slightly more than 3 months and the homeowners moved back into the home in early May.  I'm looking forward to sharing more about this project on the blog and its entirely new floor plan.  The project began with a very modern vision of a white on white interior and for the most part stayed true to that initial concept.

Stony Lake Cottage main entrance sneak peek.

ONTARIO - In May I was in Toronto getting started on a couple of new renovation projects one is in Oakville and is a family home for a young couple and I'm so excited to get started on the design planning and the other is a master suite renovation for long time clients in Port Credit.   I also headed up to cottage country to get some progress photos of the Stony Lake project which wrapped up last summer.  It was finished and furnished enough for use last season, some more furniture and small accessories are still needed to fill in some gaps but its been a huge transformation so far.  Lots more before and after posts to come.  

Sneak peek of Karen's new kitchen.
Image from: The Art of Doing Stuff.
Over the spring I enjoyed keeping in touch with Karen and helping her work thru some final details on her long anticipated kitchen installation.  Its finally finished and ready for its close up, in fact its being shot for Canadian Living magazine this coming week.  If you haven't seen the sneak peeks on Karen's blog yet, click on over and have a look, as I try and contain myself from showing you the rest of it - which I've already seen, and its fantastic!! 

Field of beams.  Reclaimed antique wood, in Canning, Nova Scotia.

NOVA SCOTIA - Home of the world's slowest renovation, my own house project came to a halt in the winter when early into the kitchen phase of the reno we discovered we just couldn't salvage the existing wood floor boards.  Sheets of plywood screwed down with a million screws would make it almost impossible to remove without doing a lot of damage to the wood floor beneath.  The good news is I was able to track down some antique wood flooring of the same age and species.  The bad news is we had to wait for the snow to disappear before we could get access to where the wood was stored.  It was a looooong snowy things were at a standstill for a while but an update on my kitchen reno is coming soon, soon as I have some progress photos.  Any day now.  : / 

That's a really brief update on some of the things that have been keeping me busy without even mentioning the garden work I'm trying to do or the many E-design orders I've had the pleasure of working on.  I couldn't be more excited that Summer's here and especially to be able to enjoy most of it on the East Coast!

All Photos and drawings:  Carol Reed, except where photo is credited otherwise.