The winner of the 2017 Remodelista Considered Design Awards Best Amateur Bath space is Juliet Feehan for her Hudson Valley Farmhouse Bathroom Remodel in Accord, New York.
Her project was chosen as a finalist by guest judge Sheila Bridges, who said, “I like the warmth of this traditional country bathroom—particularly the brass details. I love that they kept the hardwood floors and used furniture pieces with art in the bathroom, making it personal.”
N.B.: This is the last of eight posts spotlighting the winners of the 2017 Remodelista Considered Design Awards. Go to this year’s Considered Design Awards page to see all the entries, finalists, and winners, and have a look at Gardenista’s Considered Design Awards.
Juliet Feehan’s Design Statement: “1800s Hudson Valley farmhouse full renovation. Remodelista was extremely helpful in every way, from the trash can to the toilet paper holders.”
Q: Where do you live?
A: We live in Accord, NY, a small hamlet in the Hudson Valley. It’s about a two-hour drive north of Manhattan and is quiet and rural, with beautiful mountains, creeks, swimming holes, and deer who devour everything I try to plant.
Q: What were your practical goals for the project?
A: I wanted to create a new bathroom with functional plumbing and fixtures that appeared to have been in the house all along. Our house was “Frankenstein-ed” together over the course of the 19th century, and some areas of the house managed to maintain their original country charm; this particular bathroom did not.
Q: What solutions did you find to your design problems?
A: There wasn’t a lot of room for change in the tiny space, although we were able to open up the ceiling and shower area a bit by breaking through a frightening old closet behind the wall. Consequently, we were able to create a spacious shower in what was once a tiny cubicle, and this made the bathroom feel more open and “luxurious”—at least to me!
Q; What were the hardest lessons you learned along the way?
A: By far, we learned the importance of hiring a great contractor, with excellent referrals. We had some rotten experiences during the journey but were so lucky to end up working with wonderful contractors who were able to reverse the mistakes made and build us a beautiful home.
Q: What was your biggest splurge?
A: Our biggest splurges were the bath fixtures (which are thankfully developing a patina after looking like they belonged in Donald Trump’s gold latrine for several months). Since the room is rather minimal, it was important to me that the bath fixtures make a statement and lend authenticity to a small space.
Q: Where did you cut corners?
A: Our budget didn’t allow for the beautiful handcrafted shower tile I’d sourced, but I was able to locate an inexpensive substitute—a thinner tile that appeared crackled. When the grout went up it darkened the crackled areas a bit to give it the feeling of dirty old subway tile (though I’m well aware this isn’t a look that most people are hoping to achieve).
Q: If your room were a celebrity, who would it be?
A: Little Edie Beale? Miss Havisham? Those brothers who ended up getting crushed to death by all their newspapers?
Q: What is your day job?
A: I work for a small handcrafted furniture design company based in Hudson Valley called Sawkille Co. Sawkille makes incredibly beautiful furniture and I’m lucky to have the perfect stool to move around my bathroom and plunk towels and soap and books on.
Q: What is your best secret design source?
A: I’m not sure if it’s much of a secret, but Remodelista has been a tremendous resource during my home renovation project in every way. I sourced everything, including the pretty toilet brushes, through the site, and I’m incredibly grateful. (This statement is totally unbiased and in no way encouraged by Remodelista, by the way.)
Q: What is your favorite local shop?
A: I find lots of wonderful antiques at Handsome Ron Sharkey’s Black Barn in Stone Ridge, NY. If you go into Ron’s shop blindfolded and grab the first thing you stumble over, you can rest assured it will look great in your house.
Q: Where do you get your design inspiration?
A: World of Interiors, nature, old movies, and historic house tours.
Q: Which architects or designers do you admire?
A: When it pertains to my current home, I’m an enormous fan of Robert Kime, Ben Pentreath, the Bloomsbury Group, Rita Konig, or really anyone British who possesses a quirky old-fashioned design sensibility and a penchant for lots of bohemian patterns, country gardens, and rainy afternoons.