Our second season finale was a renovation of this cute cottage in our hometown of Claremont. The house was built in 1923 and had many elements of Tudor style, which included a steep pitched roof and an arched front door that was inset. However, instead of stucco and decorative half-timbering this house has clapboard siding. We decided that it is a Tudor inspired cottage. The possibilities for design on this house were exciting.
Claremont is home to the renowned Claremont Colleges. Pomona College was the first of the Claremont Colleges and is 130 years old. It was built in a New England style, which was a nostalgic return to the homes and buildings of the English countryside. Our cute little Tudor cottage fits right in with this design trend.
Since the house is in downtown Claremont it had been home to several businesses, one of them being a hair salon. We wanted to bring it back to a single family home, so that meant changing the floor plan dramatically.
We decided to take down the wall separating the living and dining rooms from the kitchen. In order to make this an open concept we did something fun that wasn’t seen on the TV episode. The kitchen had stairs that went down to a partial basement, and Jessie decided to make the entry to the stairs a trap door. That way the entire room could be opened up.
The house was reconfigured to make it a three bedroom, with a full bathroom and a powder room. We also had the space to put in an office adjoining the living room.
Probably the most exciting change to the house was opening up the ceiling in the main living space and vaulting it to a height of 18 feet. This required installing a beam that was 19 feet long and weighed 350 pounds, and cost $8000. The transformation was incredible!
We had several original elements in this home, and were excited to keep them. The fireplace, built-in desk and shelves, and front door could never be replaced.
Tina wanted to honor the Tudor influence of the home when designing the kitchen. She found a beautiful cornflower blue paint that she wanted to use on the kitchen cabinets. The countertops are Calacatta quartz, which mimics marble but is much more resilient. The most eye-catching design element in the kitchen is the white natural stone that was put on the entire dining/kitchen/backsplash wall. We also found 1920s candle sconces at Scavengers Treasures in Upland. We had them wired by our electrical wizards, Rob and Evan, at Moonshine Lamp Co. in Claremont. To finish off this amazing kitchen Jessie made a 9 foot island out of reclaimed wood! This is truly a unique and beautiful kitchen that will always be one of our favorites.
In the bathrooms we used brick tile on the floors and the shower walls. We were so happy that we were able to reuse the original medicine cabinet, by splitting it into two cabinets. We placed one in each bathroom. And in the powder room Tina found a beautiful yellow and gray Toile wallpaper, which was very popular in England and France during the Tudor era.
Jessie decided that the hardwood floors were in such bad shape that they couldn’t be saved. He had brand new hardwood floors installed in the entire home, at a cost of $14,000!
On the exterior we painted the siding a cream color and the trim a sage green. The home is now very reminiscent of a lovely cottage in the English countryside.
This time we are back in our hometown of Claremont, with a large 1914 Craftsman home. This home is 2700 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is on a beautiful tree lined street right in the Claremont village.
We love Craftsman homes and this beauty has all of those features and more. The large front porch with natural rock, the original wide wooden door, the dining room built-ins with pagoda cutouts on the cabinet doors, the wood paneling, the grand fireplace, and the pocket doors between the living room and dining rooms – all we could say was WOW!
The main living areas needed cleaning and brightening and the large fireplace needed something special to make it stand out in this beautiful home. The fireplace is the first thing that you see when you enter. Batchelder tile was very common on fireplaces of that era, but our fireplace didn’t have any special tile. Ernest Batchelder was an artist and teacher who lived in southern California in the early 20th century. He created art tiles and was a leader in the American Arts and Crafts Movement. His tiles became hugely popular and by the 1920s could be found in homes throughout the country.
Pasadena Craftsman Tile currently has the blessing of the Batchelder family to make authentic reproductions of his tiles. We hired them to make special tiles for our fireplace, a tree pattern in a beautiful green/blue color surrounded by tiles in the same hues. The cost was $4500, and worth every penny!
The original hardwood floors were in great condition and only needed sanding and stain to bring them back to life.
The kitchen had been remodeled in the 1960s and needed an update and a style more in keeping with the style of the home. Tina wanted the kitchen to be bright and light, so she decided on white cabinets for the uppers and a sage green for the lowers. Also we had that amazing pagoda cut-out design on the dining room cabinet doors, and Tina wanted to carry that design into the kitchen. A template was made from an original door and a machinist used the template to cut out the doors. The result was truly original. The finishing touches were the soapstone countertop and handmade wavy tile backsplash.
The floor plan included two bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs, and one bedroom and bath upstairs. In order to make a true master downstairs we opened the wall between a bedroom and bathroom. This bathroom had a built-in that we decided to keep, and we installed the vanity in the center of the built-in. The original clawfoot tub was still there. We restored the tub by cleaning it, painting the outside black, and applying a wax pigment patina on the feet. We did a marble tile floor in a basketweave pattern and the same wavy handmade tile from the kitchen for the wainscot. The final result was beautiful!
We were so fortunate to have original pictures of the home, and the exterior of the home still had the original cedar shingles. We were hoping to power wash them and keep them in their original condition. However, the force of the water was making gouges in the soft wood. We had to paint the shingles instead, and chose an olive green for the shingles, blue on the windows, and brown trim. It gave the home a very natural look, which is the Craftsman way.
The original wide front door had a lot of cracks in it. We stripped it and installed a brand new sheet of oak on the face. Once it was stained you couldn’t tell that it had been repaired. It was good as new!
New landscape added the finishing touch. This home was returned to it’s stately elegance and will be a lovely home for at least another hundred years.