old country house blog

MONDAY MAKEOVER – SUZANNES COTTAGE IN THE CITY

My Dear friend Suzanne is a working actress who lives in New York City. She recently did a TWO WEEK stint on Broadway, playing “Gina Klein” – Carole King’s Mother-  in BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical! She will soon leave for the National Tour of the same show in the same role!! Congrats Suzanne!!!

SUZANNES LIVING ROOM...YEARS AGO I MADE HER THE CURTAINS. SHE HAD TWICE AS MANY PANELS AS SHE NEEDED, SO WHEN THE RENOVATION TOOK PLACE....SHE DISCARDED TH FADED ONES AND REPLACED THEM WITH FRESH ONES!
SUZANNES LIVING ROOM…YEARS AGO I MADE HER THE CURTAINS. SHE HAD TWICE AS MANY PANELS AS SHE NEEDED, SO WHEN THE RENOVATION TOOK PLACE….SHE DISCARDED THE OLD FADED ONES AND REPLACED THEM WITH IDENTICAL FRESH ONES!

Suzanne and I go way back to graduate school in Theatre together at the ASOLO CONSERVATORY in Sarasota, Florida.

suzanne apttableYears and time have passed and our lives have taken dramatically different DIRECTIONS and paths but while our lives are sometimes polar opposites – our friendship is a constant….that never changes.

SUZANNE'S LIVING ROOM PAINTTED BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY
SUZANNE’S LIVING ROOM PAINTED BENJAMIN MOORE CLASSIC GRAY

          A few years ago, Suzanne and I found ourselves in a similar predicament – Both of us renovating Bathrooms and Kitchens in our very old homes. My Old Country House was built in 1880 and Suzanne  lives  in an 1884 Queen Anne “House” on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Her home was built by an architect for his family. For a reason unknown to Suzanne, it was moved a few blocks 9 years later to its current location .The Co-op has 4 apartments and I love Suzanne’s the most because she has a garden…which in New York City is like having 5 acres of yard someplace else.

SUZANNE'S LIVING ROOM IS SEPARATED FROM HER BED ROOM BY OLD WINDOWS TURNED INTO BARN DOORS!!!
SUZANNE’S LIVING ROOM IS SEPARATED FROM HER BED ROOM BY OLD GLASS DOORS TRANSFORMED  BARN DOORS!!! SHE CHOSE THE AUSTIN WALL SCONCE IN BLACK FROM BARN LIGHT ELECTRIC
OVER THE DINING ROOM TABLE - AUSTIN SCONCES
OVER THE DINING ROOM TABLE – AUSTIN SCONCES

2 YEARS AGO – Suzanne’s apartment underwent a total renovation. Here is her story:

“The Renovation happened as a result of Structural Damage in the basement, right below my kitchen.  One section of the kitchen had slowly been sinking, and when we pulled the ceiling down in the basement, we discover five wooden Structure Beams had broken – old age, water damage, termites over the years had compromised the beams.  The only way they could get the steel beams into the basement – was through MY kitchen, and thus began the Renovation.

SUZANNE HAD "BARN DOORS" MADE FROM OLD ABANDONED WINDOWS.
SUZANNE HAD “BARN DOORS” MADE FROM OLD ABANDONED WINDOWS.

“They gutted my Kitchen and Bathroom, and I was only going to renovate those two rooms.”

SUZANNE'S BEDROOM
SUZANNE’S BEDROOM – SUZANNE DID A NATIONAL TOUR OF THE PlAY “QUILTER’S , A FEW YEARS AGO – SHE LEARNED TO QUILT AND COLLECTED MANY QUILTS WHICH SHE DISPLAYS ON AN OLD LADDER!”

“Of course, after everything was done, I knew I had to do the rest of the apartment, and if I didn’t do it right away, I would never do it.  The Contractor drew up a new contract for the Living Room and Bedroom, and a few weeks after the Kitchen was done, he moved on to the rest of the house.”

THIS LITTLE HALLWAY IN THE KITCHEN LEADS TO THE GARDEN BACKYARD.
THIS LITTLE HALLWAY IN THE KITCHEN LEADS TO THE GARDEN BACKYARD.
THE BATHROOM IS OFF THE KITCHEN - THE BARN DOOR IS ADORABLE!
THE BATHROOM IS OFF THE KITCHEN – THE BARN DOOR IS ADORABLE!

THE BATHROOM

“A lot of things were saved from the old apartment – the original Tub, the original Pedestal Sink, the original Medicine Cabinet.  I kept the Parquet floors in the Living Room and Bedroom, and moved the Built-in Closet in the Bedroom more toward the front of the room.”

SUZANNES BATHROOM IS SO INVITING!
SUZANNES BATHROOM IS SO INVITING!

“The original Bathroom door was cut down and turned into a Barn Door, as were the French doors in the Living Room.  The Living room doors are painted the same color as my Mother’s front door in Alberta, Italy, where she was born.”

THE ONLY WAY THAT SUZANNE USED TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS HER BASEMENT WITHT HE LAUNDRY AND STORAGE WAS TO GO OUTSIDE AND RE-ENTER FROM AN EXTERIOR DOOR! DURIN THE GUT RENOVATION, A DOOR WAS INSTALLED LEADING FROM HER KITCHEN TO THE BASEMENT STAIRS!!!! IN ADDITION...THE YELLOW HUTCH STANDS WHERE A DOORWAY USED TO BE...IIT WAS A RATHER USELESS HALLWAY - NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR FURNITURE...THAT WAS CLOSED OFF TO GIVE ANOTHER SURFACE FOR STORAGE
THE ONLY WAY THAT SUZANNE USED TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS HER BASEMENT WHERE THE LAUNDRY AND STORAGE IS – WAS TO GO OUTSIDE AND RE-ENTER FROM AN EXTERIOR DOOR! SHE DID THIS FOR TWENTY YEARS!   DURING THE GUT RENOVATION, AN INTERIOR DOOR WAS INSTALLED LEADING FROM HER KITCHEN TO THE BASEMENT STAIRS!!!! IN ADDITION…THE YELLOW HUTCH ABOVE STANDS AGAINST A WALL WHERE A DOORWAY USED TO BE…IIT WAS A RATHER USELESS HALLWAY – NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR FURNITURE…THIS WAS CLOSED OFF TO GIVE ANOTHER SURFACE FOR STORAGE!! THE KITCHEN FEELS HUGE NOW!!
SUZANNE'S KITCHEN IS AMAZING. SHE CHOSE A SOFT YELLOW CABINET AND THE WALLS ARE CLASSIC GRAY
SUZANNE’S KITCHEN IS AMAZING!!!! SHE CHOSE A SOFT YELLOW CABINET AND THE WALLS ARE CLASSIC GRAY. SHE GOT THE NEWPORT BRASS FAUCET ON EBAY.
SUZANNE'S SWEET YELLOW KITCHEN. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THE FARM SINK! SUCH A PERFECT ADDITION TO HER COTTAGE KITCHEN!
SUZANNE’S SWEET YELLOW KITCHEN. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THE FARM SINK! SUCH A PERFECT ADDITION TO HER COTTAGE KITCHEN!

“And the best part of the Renovation is the Stove.  It is a 1935 Wedgwood Stove, and it was my Grandmother’s.  When we sold her house years ago, I said I wanted the Stove, and put it in storage, hoping that one day I would find a use for it.”

“I had it shipped out last year and delivered to The Stove Lady in Mt. Vernon, where it was cleaned, and when the Contractors were ready for it, it was installed.  It works like a dream.”

SUZANNE'S GRANDMOTHER'S STOVE IS A WORK OF ART AND IS IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER!!
SUZANNE’S GRANDMOTHER’S WEDGEWOOD STOVE IS A WORK OF ART AND A HUGE PIECE OF HER HISTORY AND BEST OF ALL- IT IS IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER!! EVEN THE SALT AND PEPER SHAKERS ARE ORIGINAL AND PERFECT!

“It feels like my Mother and Grandmother are there cooking with me.”

SUZANNE SCORED THIS AMAZING VINTAGE BLENDER AT AN ESTATE SALE !
SUZANNE SCORED THIS AMAZING VINTAGE BLENDER AT AN ESTATE SALE !

“As I had said before, every inch of this apartment has Lesli’s influence, from the Farmhouse Sink to the Light Fixtures to the color on all the walls…….I don’t know what I would have done without her.

Suzanne”

SUZANNE DINING ROOM - AND THE PAINTING BY ME!!!
SUZANNE’S DINING ROOM – AND THE PAINTING BY ME!!!

SO THERE YOU HAVE SUZANNE’S AMAZING NEW YORK CITY COTTAGE HOME!

SUZANNE'S SWEET YELLOW KITCHEN
SUZANNE’S SWEET YELLOW KITCHEN

I love you SUZANNE!!!!!

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11 thoughts on “MONDAY MAKEOVER – SUZANNES COTTAGE IN THE CITY

  1. I love everything about this apartment! I’ve been to NYC many times and it must be such a relief to leave the concrete and hustle and bustle behind when you enter that charming home.

  2. This place is a charmer! I can see myself cuddled up there on the sofa in the winter with a cup of hot tea watching an old movie……..I might as well be honest…….I could picture myself living there 24/7-365 days a year.

  3. Oh Lesli!!!
    Thank you for documenting my journey through this renovation, of which I could NEVER have done without your incredible expertise, wisdom, keen eye, attention to EVERY detail, and pure joy of the art of reinventing space. “The Barn”, as we now like to call our apartment, would have ended up as a mish-mash of thrown-together ideas without a cohesive, thoughtful overview. You took my love of “All things Cottagey and Farmhousey” and gently guided me from “How to shop for Farmhouse Sinks online” all the way to the last coat of paint on Alba’s Green Barn Doors.
    To everyone who reads this blog from my dear friend, just know that she is the real deal.
    The sweetest of friends, the most artistic Designer/Artist/DIYer I have ever met….
    And the best Mom EVER….

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