Decorating A Cape Cod Inn

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I just finished redecorating the half bath on the main floor of the Inn. It’s the final space in the entire Inn to get a makeover. The previous owner and I have very different decorating styles. While I go for clean lines and a contemporary look, embracing the philosophy of “less is more”, her taste ran toward what I can only describe as “more is more”…lots of  knick-knacks and froufrou and clutter.

When we first moved in, we had to remove about 150 hand mirrors she had nailed around the perimeter of one guest room, and nearly the same number of flower frogs that adorned the archway between the living room and the great room. She was a collector, to say the least, of everything from porcelain rabbits to wooden angels to bird houses that she displayed both inside and outside the Inn. It must have been a nightmare to keep clean.

Needless to say, it has been a slow journey to get from what my husband likes to call her “Liberace on acid” style to a less jarring blend of casual and comfortable that is my particular bent. When we applied the final coat of paint to the bathroom recently, we realized that every surface-walls, ceilings, and trim-both inside and out has been repainted or replaced in our short tenure as innkeepers of the High Pointe.

The half bath we just did over had been wallpapered in a very dark paper that sported gaudy flowers of red, yellow, and blue. The ceiling and trim she painted a mustard yellow. The dark wallpaper, as my housekeeper commented, “sucked the life out of the room”. So I was determined to give the room its life back.

Not a fan of wallpaper to begin with, I decided to paint the walls a lighter color and attempt a faux treatment. I poured through “how to” books looking for an inspiration and finally settled on a technique that called for using a leaf as a stamp. I’ve been making my own cards using products from Stampin’ Up for more than 10 years, so the concept was not foreign to me. But using an actual leaf as a stamp, rather than a die-cut rubber stamp, intrigued me.

I purchased a large split-leaf philodendron from my local arts and crafts store, ¼ inch foam core board, some latex paint and went to work. Though it took some patience (not my long suit as my husband would tell you) and a lot more time than I anticipated, the result is stunning. The feeling is light and airy, clean and simple. Just my style. And, even more satisfying, it is a one-of-a-kind design.

Split-leaf philodendron

Now those of you who know me, or have been a guest here at the Inn, know that I like to name my rooms. It started long before I ever owned an inn, when Rich and I bought our first home together and set about decorating. Each room’s name naturally evolved from its décor. Our first named room was our guest bedroom, which we called the Adirondack room for its lodge-like feel. This tradition carried on through the 11 rooms of our former inn in North Conway, NH, the Cabernet Inn, and now here at our inn on Cape Cod. We have our Williamsburg dining room, the Regency Park living room, and the West Palm Beach great room. The guest rooms are named Sea Dream, Sand Dollar, and Moonglow. And then there is our newest room, the Treetops Suite, named for its view across the treetops to Cape Cod Bay. But what to name the new bathroom?

It was my housekeeper who finally came up with the quintessential name for our newly adorned bath. I’d purchased some decorative antique keys and placed them in a shadow box to hang on the wall. The bath is just off our West Palm Beach great room and has a distinctly “Florida” feel. So it has been christened the “Florida Keys” room. Perfect!