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.
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