Decorating at the inn-Segment 1- the Tea Room

Ceiling medallion in our tea room
Tea Room chandelier

We have just completed our major renovations at the Captain Freeman Inn- a long project that took us over 7 years. When we purchased the building  in 2011 she was very tired- dated decor, old wallpaper everywhere,  mechanics that were in dire need of upgrading and the list goes on and on.

Captain Freeman Inn parlor
Parlor at the Freeman

Guests frequently compliment us on the decor, and I thought it would be a fun series of blog topics to talk about each room, the colors I chose, what I learned after redecorating each roon and where I found some of the items.

The tea room at the Freeman which includes a ceiling medallion and chandelier
The tea room at the Freeman- first round of redecorating

Two years ago we renovated and redecorated our tea room. It actually evolved over a two year period and what I learned through the whole process is that taking your time in a renovation and not being afraid to move and change things around gets you the final results you dreamed about. The picture above was taken after the first round of renovations  that included new paint, pictures and window treatments. You’ll notice the black and white Gate Pictures on the wall- I originally hung them off center- thinking it looked better. I later realized that the designer rule of thumb is to always hang a pair of pictures the same height. The only exception is when you are hanging pictures in a stairwell where they do look better staggered.

Gate Pictures
Gate pictures in our tea room

One can tell this is a phone shot rather than Byron’s professional ones but notice how calming the pictures look hung together. Our eye responds to things being in balance.

Paint colors

One of the most important decisions to make when redecorating a room is to choose your paint colors and it’s always a good place to start your design project. For the tea room I wanted to create a feeling- a feeling like you were in a cafe in Europe. I wanted old world colors and turned to Farrow and Ball. Their paint is expensive but the colors are all so beautiful and timeless.

For the walls I chose- Babouche #223 as I knew I wanted to be bold. I was a little unsure if that was the right choice,  so I purchased small test cans to paint one wall. (I added the ceiling color above to make sure that was right as well.)

I always knew the ceiling would be blue. It’s a Victorian tradition to paint the porch ceilings a light blue so as to to discourage birds from building their nests there- thinking the ceiling was sky. And while our tea room is not the porch I could just envision a deep light blue color with the mustard wall. I chose Cooks Blue#237

The old artwork above the fireplace did not work with the new color but I found the perfect picture that Byron took of P’Town harbor. The colors blended so perfectly-

Tea room mantle with a picture of PTown harbor above
The tea room mantle

All of the projects at the inn put practicality first. This room had an old closet that was converted into storage with two shelves. We added a frig to the lower part for our breakfast fruit. We staged a few dishes above but we never could organize everything well. With this remodel project we added more adjustable shelving which has been invaluable to our breakfast organization in the morning.

Storage area in the tea room
Storage area in the tea room

We have a wonderful contractor that was able to frame the storage area like it was always there and the adjustable shelving has been invaluable.

Penguin server
Our server at breakfast

I found this little guy at an estate sale, and he has found a perfect home in our tea room. Just above is a print of a poster that was from Captain Freeman’s Clipper Ship days. It’s historic pictures like this that tell the story of our building and its original owner.

Fireplace in the tea room
Fireplace in the Tea Room

Originally the bricks on the old fireplace were red. When we repainted this room I knew the bricks would look so much better painted black- amazing what a little paint can do to transform a room.

Corner of the tea room
Corner in the tea room

I just love this little corner of the room. We always place our daily menu here with a dried bouquet of flowers. The mirror was my moms and I love it here with the two round floral pictures. We also changed the tables in this room from 2 round to 3 square marble tables. They allow us extra seating and actually look better as small square tables.

Coffee station with chalk board
Coffee station with Good Morning board

I had seen a picture on Pinterest that started me thinking about placing a chalk wall behind our coffee station. We needed the shelf storage and a functional sideboard for our first floor coffee station.

Coffee bar
Coffee bar inspiration

I loved the chalk board and had read how you could actually paint the chalk board on the wall. I also loved the old wood shelving. Pinterest is such a great place to get your design ideas flowing.

We had an old antique side board that was not giving us the storage we needed plus it really looked old and dated. I thought a pop of red would complete the decor and found one on Ballard Design- There was a long waiting time for the SPO but I knew it would be worth the wait since it was the perfect size, was a little distressed and gave us all the storage we needed.


Hope you have enjoyed the first of many series about the redecorating of the inn. It has been so much fun and so gratifying to have everything come together.

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Seating in the Truro room
Comfortable seating in the Truro room

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