We just returned from long-time customer, Carroll Villa Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey. Mark Kulkowitz and family have been running this local institution for over 30 years and they have recently made some bold changes and inventive updates. We wanted to share a particularly interesting before-and-after shot. Previously, the hotel had maintained a very Victorian theme, which was fitting–Cape May may be the most famous “Victoriana” destination in America. While updating the room decor to a more contemporary style, they made the decision to paint over the dark-wood Victorian-era furniture with contemporary colors. The lines and style of the furnishing still reference the era and the Cape May’s Victorian heritage, but the paint really updates the look! The innkeepers use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to transform the old furniture. It’s a great product that requires very little prep such as priming or sanding. We also LOVE the green aspect to this approach: reuse and recycle (and save a few bucks while you’re at it!)
The innkeepers also made a few dramatic wallpaper changes. They removed the heavy floral wallpaper and replaced it with a subtle, textured, grasscloth-style wallpaper. The feel of the room takes a total 360–from busy, dense Victorian to restful and serene, with colors that seem to reference the Atlantic Ocean, just a block away.
Check out this dramatic before and after:
Another clever thing the innkeepers did was to convert the Victorian era-full size beds to king-size beds. They built a custom frame around the bed and modified the old small headboard with some simple carpentry to be a king-size bed–notice how they reused the old footboard to extend the headboard. The new extentions on the headboard also provide a handy narrow bedside shelf. One of our number one recommendations to innkeepers is to remove footboards on beds to make a room airier and less congested–and they solved this problem too!
Cool! Check it out:
Like this post?? You may also like this recent blog post on room redos and with great interior photography from yours truly.