Welcome to another peek of our Connecticut beach bungalow. As I mentioned in my last blog post, the previous owners of our home had done extensive renovations, nowhere more apparent than in the kitchen. Would I have done a few things differently? Perhaps…
But nothing that I can’t live with for now or maybe for a very long time. They really did a beautiful job! While the island provides much needed storage, I would have liked a stand alone piece, perhaps something vintage. I also would have done a different floor. The gray modern tile strikes me as cold and not in keeping with the rest of this charming vintage home. Wood would have been my first choice but may have been impossible to match with the dining room and living room floors. I think I would have painted it! Anywho, other than that, the kitchen is pretty and functional and I have my first farmhouse sink! I also changed out the window treatments and added woven shades to bring in some texture and warmth.
Just off the kitchen is a small butler’s pantry and powder room. The powder room is too small for a decent photo, however it’s simple, clean and new. The previous owners stored their dog’s crate behind the fabric curtain as seen in the first photo. I added a vintage stool from Green Peak Elements and a cool metal crate from Terrain to store extra wine bottles. This now doubles as both a single breakfast seat overlooking the soon to be renovated backyard, and a bar to store glasses and liquor bottles.
When I was in Vermont visiting my parents, I went to one of our favorite antique malls located in Chester, Stone House Antique Center . My mom and I never fail to find furniture and accessories there. I had coveted a folk art whale on my last visit, and when I saw it was still there, I took it as a sign that it should come home with me. I hung it above my painting of the Nantucket Whaler…how perfect!
Just off the living room and the kitchen is the dining room with sliding glass doors to the backyard and a lot of natural light from the large windows. Before, it was a perfectly nice room and painted a soothing blue. Everyone, including my husband was horrified that I wanted to paint it white. In fact, I painted the entire first floor my go to White Dove by Benjamin Moore! This is a small house and with every room painted a different color (all pretty colors by the way), it just didn’t flow. I wanted it to be fresh, bright and with a casual coastal vibe…a bit less traditional. Apparently a bit of my California design sense followed me back to the East Coast!
I was also determined to improve or tear out the long window seat everyone loved but me. I appreciated the extra storage in the cabinets, but found a long “church pew” like seat next to the dining room table a bit odd.
Mind you, I have nothing against church pews, I just didn’t want one in our dining room. I would have rather had a long buffet or something more useful. My husband won that battle. But, I had the church pew like “arms” cut down, removed the cushion, and now use it to display some pretty vintage items, like my antique chest that holds all my candles.
There was also a built-in corner cupboard that seemed overly ornate for this bungalow. I just didn’t like it. I think part of it was the dark color of the interior which just made it stand out too much…and not in a good way.
After I found the perfect blue to paint our porch ceiling (Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue), I loved it so much, I had the interior of the cabinet painted the same and lo and behold, with some simple accessories it’s now one of my favorite things in the dining room!
Our long French farm table fit perfectly with it’s six metal chairs. I added a Pottery Barn jute rug for a more casual beachy feel. Last, but certainly not least, I turned my attention to the lighting. I knew with our long narrow table, that I wanted to do two pendant lights instead of one central chandelier. Again, I turned to Brad Andres at Green Peak Elements who was so helpful in determining the size of the vintage fixtures and how much chain for our low ceiling.
Two simple sconces from School House Electric, some Belgian linen drapes (which still need to be hemmed) from RH and hardware from West Elm and this little dining room is a laid back gathering place to share food and conversation with friends and family.
In next week’s post, we will head upstairs!