It’s been almost two months since I’ve shared an update on progress at the beach house. Most of our efforts have been on the second floor lately and that’s what I want to share with you today.
Phase 1 of the project was focused on the first floor. While some work was done upstairs when we moved the stairs and then again when the heat pump was installed, we didn’t have plans to do anything major until Phase 1 was complete.
While technically there are some smaller tasks to be tacked on the first floor, Phase 2 is now in full swing. I held off sharing much of the work upstairs because construction photos aren’t exactly “pretty”. It can also be difficult to visualize what you are looking at when all you see are a lot of bare studs. Even though it still looks like a construction zone, we are at a point where I feel it makes sense to share our progress.
The Bedroom / Main Space
After a lot of back and forth, we have decided to design the upstairs bedroom suite sort of like a loft rather than a closed off space. Rather than wall the stairs in and put a door to the bedroom, we will be adding a railing so the stairway remains open. 99% of the time we will be the only ones there so we aren’t overly concerned about privacy.
After the heat pump was installed late last fall, we started by framing in the space that houses the equipment on the back side of the space. We framed this wall further out into the room which gave us plenty of space to get around the equipment should it ever need to be serviced and this gave us a taller wall for a dresser and/or TV.
On the front side of the space, we used the knee wall that was already framed as our guide. This gives us a little bit of “attic” storage and will be the perfect spot to put our bed. We framed openings for doors on both ends for easy access since the space is tight.
The stairs come up the length of the west wall which is where the railing will eventually go. For safety reasons, we’ve temporarily put up a makeshift wall there using some scrap materials. On the east side, we framed in a closet and a small ¾ bathroom and left the window open to the bedroom where we are thinking of building in a small window seat or built-in desk.
We’ve been back and forth on a bench or desk. I like the idea of a window seat since this window gives us views of the bay but we don’t have a good place for a desk downstairs and I thought if either of us ever have to work while we are there for extended periods of time, this would give us a quiet place to work with a little more privacy. B spends 90% of his days on video meetings or on the phone.
This also brings to mind a detail we toyed around with for the first floor bedroom which may become a future project. Converting the bed to a Murphy bed and putting a small desk in there would also give us a dedicated work space should we need it while not taking away the bedroom for when family or friends stay there.
As you can see, there is still a lot to do but in this main space, which will be our bedroom, we have completed installing all the shiplap all the way around. We are hoping to paint in the next couple of weeks and then we’ll be ready to install the ceiling material which will be beadboard to mimic the ceilings downstairs.
Once the shiplap was installed, most of the progress moved into the bathroom.
The upstairs Bathroom
This tiny bathroom has been a challenge. B wanted to do a sink and toilet only, but I kept pushing for adding in a shower. For me, I’d rather not have a bathroom at all if we only had a second toilet and sink.
You can see who won that debate but, B and I have had to be creative with layout and design to fit everything. Of course for me, it not only has to function, it also has to look good.
When it comes to the design of the bathroom, we are keeping with the same materials as the first floor, sort of. I admit that the designer in me would have loved to shop for new tile and fixtures but it makes more sense to keep everything consistent.
For the shower tile, we went with the same white, wavy subway tile that we used in the bathroom downstairs. Subway tile is classic and the subtle wavy texture feels beachy without being themey. Also, because we had some left over from the first floor bath, we didn’t have to buy as much for the second shower.
Similarly, for the floor tile, we ended up using the patterned tile that we used for the backsplash in the kitchen. We had nearly an entire box left over so we didn’t need much making it kind of a no brainer. This patterned blue tile is the element I picked first for the house way back when. It was the basis for pretty much everything else we’ve done and it’s beautiful so why not?
Using the patterned tile as our starting point, I narrowed down a couple of blue paint colors for a wainscoting detail and let B pick the final one. I really love the color he picked and with the tile it looks beautiful.
I’ll share all the details of this space with sources soon, once it’s finished. It should be very soon now!
We still have a long list of projects to tackle at the beach house, but we do feel like we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a long journey so far but so much fun and challenging for us tackling our first full house all at once. I can’t wait to share more with you soon!