Home & Garden

Design Master Class: A farmhouse with a downstairs master suite

Raleigh designers Carole Marcotte and Mary Leigh McDonald created a master suite that reflected a modern country style and equipped the owners to spend many more years in their beloved home.
Raleigh designers Carole Marcotte and Mary Leigh McDonald created a master suite that reflected a modern country style and equipped the owners to spend many more years in their beloved home. CAROLE MARCOTTE

The challenge

When the homeowners envisioned this Wake County farmhouse, they had the foresight to incorporate a downstairs master suite. Fast-forward 30 years. The entire house needed refreshing with considerations for aging in place. Raleigh designers Carole Marcotte and Mary Leigh McDonald created a master suite that reflected a modern country style and equipped the couple to spend many more years in their beloved home. See how they made it happen, page 2C.

Super space

The homeowners wanted a fresh start for this new retreat. They chose a nightstand and dresser from Kincaid furniture, and we added other pieces to complete the look.

As a starting point, we chose a soothing palette of blues and tans. The 12- by 18-foot master bedroom is painted in Sherwin Williams Rainwashed (SW-6211), a soft blue that continues into the adjacent bath. Blue and white bedding from Pottery Barn, natural linen and nail-head trim on the custom upholstered king-size bed from Bassett and a tan and cream stripe on the chaise continue the restful theme. We found the tufted bench, nightstand lamps and a leaning mirror at Hunt & Gather Fine Estate Furnishings and Premiere Fabrics made the linen table skirt.

We reupholstered a chaise from an upstairs bedroom and tucked it into the window bay to create a cozy reading nook. With a nod to its farmhouse roots, we topped an antique family crock with leftover wood for the perfect side table. The existing wood floors, from an old grist mill in South Carolina, were left mostly uncovered, adding warmth and character. A pair of 3- by 5-foot Persian rugs from Greenfront Furniture provide a soft landing spot in the mornings and can easily be removed to accommodate a wheelchair or rolling walker someday.

The furniture placement created a wide path to a hallway leading to the adjacent bath. The former shower and toilet area were absorbed into an existing closet off the hallway to create a much larger, luxurious walk-in closet for her. This 8- by 7-foot closet and a smaller one across the hall for him were outfitted by California Closets.

A dated whirlpool tub was ripped out and replaced with a level-entry shower (VIM Products from Best Tile). Its pebbled floor is flush with the 12-inch porcelain tile in the rest of the bathroom, and the shower is equipped with a hand-held showerhead, both with an eye to accessibility. The new toilet is an ADA-compliant model with a higher profile designed for accessibility. We aimed to make the bath as beautiful as it is practical. Shower walls were covered in 12- by 24-inch porcelain tile in a silver travertine color that matches the floor. The walls are accented with a multicolored band of glass tile at eye level and a sand-colored braid.

The original stained oak cabinets were painted a glossy white and transformed with matte finish cultured marble countertop (Michelangelo by Majestic Kitchen and Bath Creations). Brushed nickel faucets by American Standard, rectangular undermount sinks and new knobs completed the update.

The new scheme reflects the homeowners’ farmhouse taste and respects their wishes to stay in this house a long, long time.

Terrific trick

If existing cabinetry is sound, there is no need to rip it out. In this case, the cabinets were solid oak and in great condition. In addition, the sinks’ location could not be improved upon, so removing them was not necessary. Nothing like a fresh coat of paint, new countertops and fixtures to modernize even the most dated cabinetry.

Form & Function

1914 Bernard St., Raleigh

919-831-2838 or formandfunction-raleigh.com

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