by Donna Cain,
2016 turned out to be quite a year of change for these 2 innkeepers on Cape Cod! We sold our beloved Brewster by the Sea in November to Amy Chesnut!
In looking back, we had 13 wonderful years there and met some remarkable guests. We celebrated many family occasions including a large pool side party to celebrate Nanna turning 80 and Donna turning 50! Amy is a dear person who we made an instant connection with. She is an honest, hard working, loving individual who is passionate about inn keeping. We could not have been more pleased when we all agreed that the two inns will continue the wonderful synergy that has worked for so many years.
After the holidays, our minds started thinking about our winter renovations at the Freeman. Last year we did a total remodel of the back of the property to make for comfortable owner’s quarters. This year we are tackling 3 new bathrooms and a new tea area. Byron and I often laugh as when we first started inn keeping many years ago we were afraid to remodel a bath. It was not high on our priority list as most of the bathrooms at Brewster by the Sea were recently done. When we purchased the Captain Freeman out of foreclosure 6 years ago our priorities had to change as most of the bathrooms were VERY dated. We are now not afraid to totally gut a bathroom thanks to our wonderful contractor Derek.
Derek is posing above in the Wellfleet bath. Both 3rd floor bathrooms have been totally gutted and a wonderful ski slide was fabricated to the front of the building to make this process speedy. Both Wellfleet and Truro will have luxurious soaking tubs, tiled floors with heater pads underneath and new tiled showers with rainforest fixtures.
I always have fun picking out the tiles, decor and fixtures for our remodels. Since I was a buyer in a previous career I always take the details seriously. Well for this project Donna made a HUGE goof and it started at the beginning of the first day the contractors were here. I ordered two large tubs which were delivered at our door. Byron came rushing in with a look that said trouble. I had gotten the sizes right but did not look at the weight:( Each tub weighed over 500 pounds-cast iron- not a good thing when going to the 3rd floor. The wholesaler of the tub offered to loan us a crane but Byron was concerned about getting those large tubs through the windows. So we had to buck it up and pay for the fright to get those puppies back to a warehouse in New Jersey. 500 pounds is a lot of weight to just get on the lift of the delivery truck. I felt so bad but now that they are gone and the new ones are being delivered on Tuesday, hopefully that will be a distant memory, but guessing Byron will bring up that incident for years to come:)
We have a wonderful flooring resource on Cape Cod, Cloutier Supply. They have samples galore with helpful, experienced designers to help put your project together. For the third floor I chose a beautiful ceramic tile that looks like wood for the floor and some grey and cream subway tiles for the showers.
Danny is our finish carpenter, and we always love talking with him about the details. Shown here in the Truro bath where a cute modern grey vanity will be.
This vanity was perfect as we had a small spot for the sink and did not want to give away function for guests to have space to put their toiletries. I also loved the modern fixtures and color as we were going for an industrial/modern feel on the third floor rooms.
We had a little more room in the Wellfleet bath to accommodate this beauty-
The counter top will be white Carrara marble and the finish a gray wash. We have had good success with Wayfair and Signature Hardware for many of our projects. Both of their customer service departments have been very helpful over the years. This is our first bath remodel to have a double vanity….a nice treat for our guests.
Shown above is the demo in the Orleans bath on the first floor. We were tickled to find the original fireplace on the inner wall and were able to plan 4 shadow box cases for guests to have extra storage near the vanity. Just love to have original details featured in our rooms.
Since this room has many original details such as the herringbone wood floor and ceiling medallions we wanted to keep the design traditional. The floor and shower will be ceramic tile that looks like white marble and the vanity continues that theme with Italian Carrara marble. We also just purchased a solid wood 4 poster king bed for the bedroom with a lovely French settee.
Onto our last project- the tea room and coffee bar on the first floor. I have had a vision in my mind for this room as I want our guests to feel like they are being transported to a lovely French bistro while they are enjoying an afternoon repast with their cup of tea or coffee. This room had the last of the dated wall paper, and I knew the color had to be a deep yellow. Yellow is a hard color to work with and my fear was that the room would look like a school bus…… I decided to take the extra step of going to Farrow and Ball to choose our two colors to give me that “feeling” I had in mind. I also wanted to get brave and tie it all together with a blue/green ceiling.
These sample cans were perfect as I was able to test the color and then bring the cans to our local paint store where I could purchase our favorite Muralo wall paint.
The painter finished the ceiling yesterday, and I absolutely LOVE the color. To complete the room we have ordered a red sideboard that is being custom built in Italy from Ballard Design. We have to wait until May for it’s arrival but that will be worth it:) Above the sideboard will be two functional wood shelves with LED strip lighting under the shelf.
My inspiration originally came from this Pinterest page but our look will be totally different. We are painting on the wall chalk board paint so that we can have fun with daily saying or poems.
We went to the lumberyard yesterday to pick out some old planks from a barn in Vermont and a friend is plaining the wood to our specs. Very exciting!
Around the corner is our coffee area, and we have made do with an old sink with a formica top and ugly oak cabinet….VERY ugly but we had to keep our priorities straight with central air conditioning and guest rooms a priority. We have ordered a granite top for this area that matches the granite in our farmhouse kitchen and are painting the wood shelves above, a yellow color from the tea room, to tie it all together.
Byron is researching a new expresso machine for the tea area, and we have exciting plans for the outside with a pool makeover, fire pit, fountain and large country garden below with a new game area. We are having so much fun and this does not feel like work, so I know we are in the right business. We LOVE what we do and are passionate about inn keeping and sharing this incredible historic building with our guests.
Happy New Year’s everyone!