Fall One Room Challenge: Week 2

We're renovating, exploring style and design with a dash of cocktail making and cooking thrown in. 

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The first full week of the One Room Challenge renovation project has come to an end and it was a messy one. We made progress this week in terms of gutting the space and getting it to a starting point for the weeks to come. This post is a bit of a design sketch book where I recap the conversations and head thoughts I had leading up to the project.

We didn’t work all weekend because we met with friends and attended Field + Supply and went apple picking. Field + Supply is easily my favorite events in the Hudson Valley. The caliber of artisans in one place is just inspiring. Get an air bnb early if you want to attend, they go quick!


Things we can check off our list for week 1:

– Get new tile floor
– Find replacement door, solid wood from salvage
– Look into ordering new wood paneling
– Gut space
– Get new toilet
– Get new faucet
– Order wall paper
– Find new mirror
– Get new toilet paper holder
– Pick paint color
– Order paint
– Order new sconces
– Get new ceiling fixture (check third floor for vintage one)
– Get new hand towels

We gutted the bathroom and took advantage of our town wide junk day to dispose of the fiberglass shower. Will is going to be dry walling over that corner, this bathroom is drywall, not plaster. This bathroom is the only place in the house that’s not plaster. On the bright side, it makes it way easier to repair and move things like the electrical! We have to move a light switch, move the sconces, remove an outlet from one wall and install it on another wall by the sink. The sconces were in this strange position where they weren’t centered over the sink. It really bugged me they weren’t centered! This is all on the technical side, mow let’s talk about design.

ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

So much dust. Forgive my housekeeping skills for the next several weeks.


ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

The shower is gone! Now to drywall the hole.

ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

You can see the old floor from the ‘hallway’ that was here before the space was converted into a bathroom.

ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

Removing the tile was nasty business.

ORC Week 2 / House of Brinson

We are saving the sink and the drain!

Design Talk

I always start with design theory. My main focus is to have a balance between form and function. Let me tell you, I got some very passionate messages from Instagram stories about removing the shower. I have never been more sure about making a renovation move. We do not need a shower on the first floor of the house. If I get old and can’t walk up the stairs, I’m getting one of those stair lifts installed and I’m going to have a song that plays when I use it. Being stuck on one floor of the house where there are no bedrooms – that would not make me happy. I feel good about removing the shower.

Moving on: we’re moving the toilet. Right now, it faces out the window. When you are doing your ‘business’, you can wavy ‘hi’ to the gentleman who cuts our lawn. Or perhaps when we put a patio out back you could say hello to someone having a cocktail. No, no, no. The toilet is moving to the same wall the sink is on – so the toilet user is not looking out the window. Do you think it’s strange to look out the window while you are doing your business?

We have a complete blank canvas in this space. A modern bathroom space that needs to fit into an old home. All our other bathrooms have tile a little more than half way up the wall. We didn’t want to put tile walls downstairs, thinking it was too sterile. We looked at old pictures of Stony Ford for inspiration and saw there was wood paneling at one point. Can we recreate a version of that for the bathroom? It would tie in perfectly with the formality of the first floor and help to bring some of that texture and detail back into the space. We worked with Metrie for all the wood moulding we will use to create some of the details in this paneling. They we’re really helpful, working with us to find moulding profiles that were similar to our home. If you are renovating a home and want to add back moulding detail, Metrie is a great resource. Let’s go back to the picture and talk about the little shelf! Ekkkk!

House of Brinson / Stony Ford

Stony Ford room from around 1870. This part of the house doesn’t exist anymore, but it is a great reference if we have an opportunity to bring back detail.

But wait. MORE texture. I’m a maximalist. Let’s keep going with the texture. This party isn’t over. I have Anaglypta wallpaper for the walls and the ceiling, in different patterns. If you’ve never used Anaglypta wall paper, it’s one of my favorites. We used it in our Manhattan kitchen 8 years ago, and I’ve been looking for a reason to use it in this house. It’s going to be your best friend because it will hide a lot of uneven walls and general ugliness. Anaglypta goes back to 1887, about the time that our bathrooms were installed. This wall paper scratches another itch for me: it allows me to incorporate cultural references and still feel really authentic and not forced. One of the patterns I picked is a middle eastern inspired pattern, which I love.  I picked a second pattern for the ceiling so the space would look a bit cobbled together over time.

The floor is a huge design statement. I can show you 1 million things I love on the New Ravenna website. If you’ve visited their site, you will spend two hours looking through tile. I’m still dreaming of a project for this tile. When I saw the tumbling blocks pattern, I knew it was something I needed to have in our home. It flooded back memories of our high school trip to Italy – I remember the patterns being modern yet old. I loved the churches with black and white patterns. If you follow us on Instagram, one of the things I talked about this past week is the small grout lines in their tile. This will help the tile look older and less manufactured. Details like this are critical to an old home.


Now on to the next week… Follow us on Instagram stories for the daily rundown

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  1. Emily says:

    I can’t wait to see this come together. And good riddance to the shower! It’s amazing to me how others FEEL so strongly about function and form decisions for homes that aren’t theirs!

  2. Amanda Perez Lancaster says:

    I would love to hear more about your process in salvaging. Where do you look, what details are important, and how to do you make sure it blends with what you already have in the house? Doors, for instance. Is it important for all the doors, knobs, etc. in the home to match? Do you look for just the right fits and sizes, or do you look for what you love and then alter the space to make it work? How have you handled replacing old windows? These are some of the issues we’re facing with renovating our not-nearly-as-old-as-your old home! Thanks for your great content!

  3. Andrea says:

    Love the progress! Is it wrong that I loved that floor? I would have had a tiny tear removing it. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  4. Erin says:

    I can’t get enough of those tiles – they definitely need to happen in my next bathroom remodel!! And that textured wallpaper, swoon! Can’t wait to see this room transform!

  5. Dabito says:

    Yaaas! Give me all the textures! And tumbling blocks!

  6. So love seeing peeled back layers of an old home! I really enjoy all of the textures/patterns/colors you use in your design. I’m looking forward to seeing the final reveal.

  7. Love that wallpaper choice! And how interesting to have old photos of your space. How inspiring! Great progress.

  8. Textures! Textures! You are so good at what you do. I also say good riddance to the first-floor shower. If you lose the use of your legs, I imagine that the fact that you removed the shower will not be the first thing that concerns you. 🙂 (If only I’d kept that shower…)

    Side note: My husband just rode the train through the Hudson Valley, and he said it is beautiful. We are in Western New York, but we are fairly recent transplants. NY is a big state with plenty to see. I hope to hit the Hudson Valley sometime soon.

  9. Emily says:

    Checking in everyday-love the progress!

  10. Diane says:

    I love seeing your thought process as you make your plans and forge ahead- it really helps me break down what I want in my home more clearly- you guys are so inspiring! More!

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