Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 6 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Whole grain bread from the kitchen of  The Inn at Sunrise Point


We just returned from another visit to the gorgeous, ocean-front Inn at Sunrise Point near Camden, Maine. It’s always a joy to shoot for Innkeeper-Proprietor Daina Hill and her team of hospitality pros. We spent some time early one morning shooting breakfast prep in the kitchen, where we noticed Chef Brad Purdy whipping up a quick loaf of bread. He casually mentioned that he could make this loaf from scratch in less than 90 minutes, with no kneading! He makes this yummy loaf primarily as a “toasting” bread, and it is fabulous! While enjoying it at breakfast, we both tried to remember the last time we had a hearty, homemade toasting bread at an Inn…sadly, nothing sprang to mind.  Muffins and scones tend to steal all the glory in the B&B world, and 99% of the time, toast is made from boring, commercial, grocery store bread…and honestly–it’s just not good. Chef Brad said it was adapted from an old Fanny Farmer recipe. Here it is. It’s a keeper.


Chef Brad’s Multi- Grain Bread from The Inn at Sunrise Point


Sir together:


4 cups lukewarm water

2 T sugar

2 T yeast


Let bloom for 5 minutes.



4 cups white unbleached flour

4 cups whole wheat flour

¾ cup cornmeal

1 cup (total) containing millet, sesame seed and flax seed

2/3 cup honey

1 T + 1 t salt


Pour yeast mixture over dry ingredients in a big bowl. Mix together by hand.


Take 2 large 5″ x 9″  loaf pans and spray with no stick spray. Divide mixture into 2 parts and place in loaf pans. Spray top , then cover with plastic wrap and let rise one time, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Heat the oven to 350°F and bake the breads for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer or knife blade comes out clean. Let the loaves cool for a few minutes, then turn them out onto racks to continue cooling.

Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 2 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Chef Brad whipping up a loaf of bread…in less than 90 minutes, start to finish!

Sunrise Point u Breakfast Bread 4 X2 Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Excellent crumb and texture…and it slices beautifully!


But Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone–Here are a Few Pictures from our Shoot.

The Inn at Sunrise Point is always on our list of favorite places to shoot. It is sited on an incredible ocean-front, leafy spot near Camden, Maine. In addition to the top-notch accommodations and food, Daina has instilled a palpable sense of service and professionalism, not seen at many inns.


Sunrise Point Gardens 25 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Bad news: you gotta get up early to see the sunrise (this was at 4:30 am in June). Good news: it’s worth it.


Sunrise Point Gardens 5 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

A romantic couple enjoying a gin and & tonic on the lawn…Wait a minute…Is that MARK?? “GET TO WORK, SLACKER!”


Sunrise Point Rooms Homer Cottage 3 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

View from Homer Cottage


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Beautiful light in the just-remodeled bath of Homer Cottage.


Sunrise Point Rooms Homer Cottage 8 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Outside of Homer Cottage at sunrise.

Sunrise Point porch 2 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

Guest enjoying a blissful moment on the porch


Sunrise Point T Misc 6 XL Easy Recipe for Whole Grain Toasting Bread from a Superlative Maine Inn

View from the Inn’s library


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The Main House, looking through to the blue Atlantic


We just returned from a photo shoot at Brass Lantern Inn on Nantucket, Massachusetts. We are thinking this might just be the most dramatic transformation we’ve ever seen in 11 years! Also, we picked up some innovative tips on creating a functional and beautiful pet-friendly guest room. Our hats are off to Innkeeper and Proprietor Michelle Langlois and designer Barbara Halsted. You can see all the new pictures on the current Brass Lantern Website, but watch for a brand new White Stone Marketing website soon! Here are some of our favorite Before and After shots from the shoot… After….

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Campanula Room: After


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Campanula Room: Before

Same Room, Another After shot…

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This After is from the same perspective as the Before shot

After shot of Wisteria Room….

BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 1 XL Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips

Wisteria Room: After

Before shot of Wisteria Room….

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Wisteria room: Before

After shot, Family Suite bedroom…

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Family Suite Bedroom: After

Before shot, Family Suite bedroom….

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Family Suite Bedroom: Before

BrassLantern Rooms Brant 2 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 1.Synthetic, washable “outdoor” carpets have come a long way in the last few years. You can find great designs and colors and can hose them down if a red wine or pet accident occurs. The gorgeous wood floors are awesome for pet-friendly rooms; they add a beautiful warmth to the room and give it a contemporary flair.









BrassLantern Rooms Family 4 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 2. From an aesthetic, functional and sanitation point of view, the all-white triple-sheeted bedding is a perfect solution for a pet friendly room. We always recommend a bed saddle (AKA bed scarf) or quilt at the foot of the bed to protect the bedding from “foot of the bed” wear and to add color and interest to the otherwise white bed.                 -









BrassLantern Rooms Hydrangea 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 3. This is not your grandmother’s wallpaper…We love they way they used fresh, new wallpaper to accent the wall behind the bed. It makes a boxy room warmer, softer and accents the “face” of the bedroom (the head of the bed).










BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 3 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 4. Another clever wallpaper application: using it in the dormers around the bed. It creates a subtle canopy effect with the pattern and color. It also visually softens those very hard angles.










BrassLantern Rooms Jonquil 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 5. Innkeeper and Proprietor Michelle Langlois looked to a local Nantucket photographer for fresh room decor. Just like the finest 5-star hotels in the world, the rooms feature original art from a local source!










BrassLantern Rooms SconsetRose 4 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 6. Sunbrella fabric (the sun-proof, waterproof, “wears-like-iron” fabric) previously came in very limited patterns and colors that were more appropriate for your aunt’s 1980’s Florida sunporch than a upscale boutique inn. That’s all changed!! Here, the inn slipcovered the upholstered headboard in designer Sunbrella patterns and also had coordinating bedskirts and bolsters custom-made for each room. This is an amazing pet-friendly solution–just remove the soiled slipcover and wash. This material is perfect for innkeepers!










BrassLantern Rooms Campanula 2 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 7. Wall-mounted upholstered headboards are one of our very favorite solutions for any inn or hotel. Here’s why: They’re easy to clean if slipcovered, easy to redecorate (new slipcover!) as trends change, and comfortable for today’s traveler who does much more than just sleep in the bed. Also, they’re acoustically awesome—they add another level of sound absorption to a hard-edged space. More good news: they tend to be one of the most affordable options. Finally, they are foodboard-less, which means they save space and “open-up” the room!










BrassLantern Rooms SconsetRose 5 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 8. A few coats of white paint on their old pine dressers completely freshened up the furniture and added a seaside feel to the space. This is also a very green idea,  giving these old pieces a new life. Lastly, it’s a great budget alternative to buying new furniture!











BrassLantern Rooms Wisteria 1 300x300 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 9. Dormered rooms are notoriously difficult to decorate. Brass Lantern had the brilliant idea to add shelves in the nearly unusable space where the dormers meet the floor. It takes the space from “attic” to “room”.










Untitled 1 Most Dramatic Room Makeovers Yet: Pet Friendly with a FLAIR...and 10 Tips 10. This innkeeper “knows what she doesn’t know”—a very unusual trait. She hired a professional to help her transform her inn. We see multi-million dollar inn construction projects culminate in the innkeeper doing the decorating, often making wrong, expensive turns. It’s fun to participate in the process, but we implore innkeepers to seek outside help. Innkeeper Michelle Langlois hired Barbara Halsted, ASID of Fenwick House Designs in Nantucket to assist. Designers add a cost to the project but can help you save money with clever repurposing ideas and GETTING IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.


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:

CarrollVilla Rooms 28 4 Edit XL Victorian to Stylish: Great Budget Makeover at Carroll Villa Hotel

AFTER: Room 28 with newly-painted Victorian furniture

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BEFORE: Room 28, with no place “for the eye to rest”!

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:

CarrollVilla Rooms 11 1 XL Victorian to Stylish: Great Budget Makeover at Carroll Villa Hotel

Room 11 with modified full-sized headboard

Like this post?? You may also like this recent blog post on room redos and with great interior photography from yours truly.


In case you haven’t noticed, food is HOT!  And if you own an inn, bed and breakfast or hotel where food is an important part of the experience, you need great pictures to entice potential guests and to let them know what to expect. It’s still shocking to us how many bed and breakfast websites have no pictures of breakfast! Keep in mind that breakfast is a big differentiator between a traditional B and B and a hotel or vacation rental. If you are doing it, FLAUNT IT! Perhaps one of the reasons innkeepers avoid breakfast pictures is that they can be difficult to style, compose, light and shoot. But believe it or not, you can get great photos with a simple smartphone camera these days. We hope this post inspires you to take a few food shots of your own.

Follow us on Instagram (“jumpingrocksphoto” is the username) to see what we are shooting on our iPhone (lots of food!) or visit the professional food photography gallery on our website  for more inspiration.


1) Focus First on Your Intention

Whenever we are on a photo shoot involving food, we first try to clarify what type of food photos a property needs. On your website, you should strive to capture WHERE breakfast is served (i.e. a porch, individual tables, group dining), WHAT is served (your culinary style, close-up shots), and HOW (“in process” shots of food, or food being prepared in kitchen). A successful photo should have a clear purpose and intent, well before you snap the shutter. In this post, we will primarily focus on the “WHAT” type of photo.

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WHERE the food is served, at Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn, GA

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WHAT will be served. Close-up of food at Lucille’s Mountaintop Inn, GA

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HOW is the food prepared. Food in process at Abeja Inn, WA

2) Keep it Simple

Keep the food and the propping simple. Stay away from heavily-patterned plates, placemats and colors or textures that “fight” with the food. The goal is to highlight the food and make the viewer’s mouth water…and get them to book a room! The viewer should be able to easily relate to the food; more recognizable dishes are best. Stay away from casseroles (what is this, breakfast or dinner??) , soufflés (they FALL!) or overly-complicated dishes that require a long verbal description to tell the story.

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Keeping it simple at Glasbern Inn, PA. It is what it is! Note the play of shapes: triangles, lines and circles.

3) Turn off that Flash and Find a Window!

Great photos of ANY kind are all about light, so first turn off all incandescent lights and use natural light. Our favorite set-up for any type of camera is window light backlighting the food and using mirrors and white foam-core boards to reflect light into the scene. Pick a bright window with direct exposure, then diffuse it with vellum or window sheers, wax paper, parchment paper or even get creative with lace! Set up a table in front of the window and get a couple of white boards to reflect that window light back onto the food. Get a small make-up mirror or wrap a brick in foil and use that to help open up the shadows on the dark side of the food. You’ll notice you are shooting into the light (what photographers call “backlighting”). Backlighting is key to bringing out the texture, dimension and color of food. Also try side-lighting, where the window is to the right or left of the camera. As you get more experienced, you can experiment with more direct light on the food. This is tricky, but it can be beautiful.

Check out this illustration (from above) for a back lighting set-up:



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The breakfast table at Crisanver House Inn, VT. This is an example of direct lighting – tricky but beautiful when it works. We used a very thin piece of silk on the window to cut down on the highlights and control contrast.



4) Props and Background

Remember this type of shot is all about the food. But a few well placed props can provide context or make it more visually appealing. For a breakfast shot, we often use coffee or tea and/or juice, some silverware and a napkin. You can use these elements on the edge of the frame just to warm up the shot. Do you do a menued breakfast?? If so, add the menu just coming into the frame. Think about contrast: too many darks and lights outside of the food will detract from the food itself. Again–this shot is all about the food! Keep bright color and contrast in the frame to a minimum. Keep in mind your background as well–it does not have to be a white tablecloth. We have been known to shoot on wood floors, slate, tile, or black felt. Dark plates can be a beautiful and moody background for some foods, especially darker or jewel-toned food (roasted plum anyone?)

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Menu with Berry Shortcake at Lookout Point Inn, AR


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Roasted plums at Brampton Inn, MD. Keeping the background mid-toned rather than white brings out the great jewel-tones in this dish

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This pizza and beer sampler at The Inn at Turkey Hill was shot on the wood floor of the old barn in which the the restaurant is housed. The wood tones work beautifully with the amber beer colors and toasted pizza crust.

5) Compose It

Great composition is about engaging the viewer and keeping the eye moving through the photo. Use color repetition throughout the scene (red peppers and a red napkin) and shapes (round sunny-side-up egg with triangular toast points) to create interest and harmony. Don’t be afraid to crop a part of the plate off and get closer! Shoot from the diner’s perspective. Try shooting from above. Getting on a step ladder and shooting down at a table-scape works great for many dishes.


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One of Gayle’s amazing quiches from Eden Vale Inn, CA. This is a great study in contrasting shapes and color repetition.

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The granola parfait at Sea Rock Inn, CA. This is a close up element from their buffet. One parfait would be boring, but three makes the composition engaging because of repeating colors and shapes.


6) Food Styling…with Style

Styling can make or break a good food photo! When you create food for a food shoot, every step from cooking the food to assembling the plate should be in service of telling the story of this plate. If you are shooting an omelet, construct that omelet in a way that the viewer can tell what kind of omelet it is without a caption. One of the biggest mistakes we see is innkeepers over-garnishing (powdered sugar, parsley, sauces) so that you cannot even tell what the food is. A minamalist  approach is best. One trick we employ often is accentuating the three dimensional aspect of a dish by stacking it a little higher than you would normally serve it. Also, always add sauce and garnish at the table at the last minute and keep an eye out for wilting herbs. You could write a book on food styling, but wait–it’s been done! Our favorite book on the subject is by Delores Custer called “Food Styling”. Matthew took a class with Delores a few years ago; she is a genius and this book is interesting to any foodie.

Beechmont Breakfast EggHamCup 04 2 XL Blog

This egg baked in a cup at Beechmont Inn, PA was completely reconstructed for the camera to tell the story of the dish and highlight each element.

7) iPhone or Fancy Camera?

As much as we hate to say it, these days you can honestly get great photos with a smartphone. The newer models of the iPhone shoot quite well in low light conditions, they have built in features like image stabilization and High Dynamic Range (HDR) and also have good color representation. Will you get better photos with a fancier camera? Yes, but you must know how to operate the camera to get those photos. If you put a $1000 DSLR in automatic and shoot away, the results will honestly only be marginally better than with a smartphone. Understanding the manual controls and lens selections of a DSLR unlocks many of its strengths. The latest version of the iPhone operating system even has a slider to control exposure, which we use all the time. Also remember–most smart phones have a feature to select focus by touching the screen. Be sure to do this or the food might be out of focus, while the background is in focus.

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These were shot with the diagram in tip #3, using side lighting . Can you tell which photo is the iPhone shot? The left is from a professional DSLR and the right from a older model iPhone, the 3S.


Here is a gallery of some iPhone food shots we’ve done over the years….



8) Add a Sense of Life!

What takes a food photo from great to awesome?? A sense of life, a captured moment or a movement. In food photos, you can get that through steam coming off a plate, an action shot of a sauce being poured, or a hand flipping an omelet. A chef’s hand, adding a garnish, also can add a sense of life and captured moment.

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A lemon soufflé getting a hit of powdered sugar from the chef at Goodstone Inn and Spa, VA. The black background makes the sugar really pop!

9) Selective Focus

Selective focus is a technique where one portion of the image is in focus while the background falls out of focus. It’s a great way to simplify the image and draw the viewer to a particular part of the image. It’s easy to achieve with a DSLR camera and a lens with a low aperture, but not really possible with a smartphone camera. The good news is you can achieve that same effect with some of the special smart-phone apps out there. Yes–there’s an app for that.

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iphone photo with selective focus technique added via iPhone app “Camera+” filter called “depth of field”. It simulates look from a high-end DSLR

10) Apps and Such

Speaking of apps, if you are shooting with a smartphone, you can use one of the many camera apps to tweak exposure, color and clarity. Our hands-down favorite is Camera+, ($2.99) available for iPhone only. Camera+ allows you to shoot in manual mode, changing many of the settings that are “baked in” to the native camera app in the iPhone. You can also do lots of tweaking to make your pictures pop. AND, they have that filter called “Depth of Field” that simulates the selective focus technique we mentioned in tip 8. Instagram, free for iPhone or Android has some great editing tools including “Tilt Shift” which mimics selective focus. Be careful not to overdo it with filters though; the food should look natural!

11) Inspiration

To shoot great food, you need great recipes. Eight Broads in the Kitchen, a collective of innkeeper-cooks just released a beautiful new cookbook with tons of fabulous recipes and photos (many from us, including the cover!) Believe it or not, the cookbook even includes one of Matthew’s own recipes for Buttermilk Biscuits, which we made at our inn, The Woolverton Inn. Another book that was just released which we LOVE for breakfast recipes is Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets  and Recipes from our Kitchen. Huckleberry is one of our favorite breakfast spots in the country, in Santa Monica, California. This is a great book with creative and inspiring breakfast ideas.

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Cover of the new Eight Broads cookbook

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Wonderful creative recipes from one of our favorite breakfast spots in California

















Jack Hollingsworth, a professional photographer and iPhone photography advocate made this informational video about shooting food with a smartphone. Check it out for more information:






In preparing for our presentation, “Take Your Guest Rooms from Yesterday to Today and from Tired to Fresh—On a Budget!” at The Hospitality Marketing Summit in Denver next week, we stumbled upon some pretty interesting and inspirational room re-dos. We’ll be presenting these–and more great room decor ideas–gathered from our 10 years traveling North America, shooting over 150 inns, hotels and B&Bs.


Chanticleer Inn, Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Note all the changes that make this room feel much more updated!

1) A more tailored bedding approach. Note that the pleats are gone on the bedskirt and the pillow arrangement is cleaner, with a graphic-style decorative pillow and chic, white Euro-shams in the back. No more scalloped edges on the bedspread.

2) The top of the armoire has disappeared(!) and the flat-screen TV now sits directly on the fireplace, opening up the space and allowing a much improved TV-viewing experience. Clean, crisp upholstered chairs were added in slate gray, a great updated and versatile color choice–and now there are two chairs instead of just one (a major upgrade!) The toile curtains were replaced with a new elegant design. The bedside lamp was refitted with a sleeker drum shade.

3) The carpet was changed out for a wood floor. We are seeing this A LOT! Wood is much more sanitary and cleaning-friendly, especially in a room like this that steps right out to the garden. Also, wood makes the room potentially pet friendly, or at least MORE pet friendly.

4)  In a stroke of genius, the tiny pedestal sink was removed from the bathroom and a nice vanity sink was added in the bedroom. We love this change, as it allowed for a luxury shower to be added in the tiny bath–and justified a rate increase!

YOU GO Chanticleer Innkeeper-Designer Extraordinaire, Audrey! Amazing changes.


Chanticleer Inn Rooms 3 1 XL Get Inspired with These Room Makeovers!

Room 3 at Chanticleer Inn – AFTER

Before AfterChant Get Inspired with These Room Makeovers!

Another view featuring the sink that was moved to the bedroom to make room for a luxury shower- AFTER


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Room 3 – BEFORE

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Another “before” shot, showing the old bathroom sitting area configuration



Shiloh Morning Inn, Ardmore, Oklahoma

It’s been fun to keep flying back to Oklahoma to see all the changes Jessica and Dave have been making at Shiloh–and on a budget. One theme we have noticed in their renovations is adding a masculine twist to what was previously a pretty frilly and feminine inn. We’ve heard form many innkeepers that more masculine rooms are selling BETTER. That was also our experience as owners of The Woolverton Inn.

Adding reclaimed barn-wood to one wall and the interior of the turret transformed the space from a victorian fantasy (not Jessica’s thing) to more of a barn/silo theme. They did ALL of the work themselves. This was a budget job–you’ll notice they reused most of the furnishings, just adding the pendant light fixtures over the bar and new curtains. We suggested they paint the cabinetry (perhaps black or gray) to pull in the dark details of the barn wood and the fireplace surround. (Then again, maybe it was  just a ploy so they will invite us back again!!)

Kudos to Jessica–a very creative idea, indeed!


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Updated Bluebird Cottage–the reclaimed barn wood speaks nicely to the area’s rural landscape


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Bluebird Cottage – BEFORE


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AFTER – The Bungalow Cottage at Shiloh, reflecting a more masculine approach to color and decor


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Bungalow Cottage – BEFORE. This color is a bit scary–how times have changed!



Rabbit Hill Inn, Vermont

Leslie and Brian at Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom NEVER QUIT. We stumbled on this before and after of their Sterling Room and it almost knocked us off our chairs! They have added a contemporary twist to many of their new renovations and these changes have been very well received by their fiercely loyal  guests. It’s a bold move for America’s most venerable B&B market (and perhaps America’s most venerable inn).  We wrote a post a while back on another jaw-dropping room re-do at Rabbit Hill - read it here. 


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Sterling Room at Rabbit Hill after a dramatic redo


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Yes, this is the same room! Sterling! The bed is the same…but not much else!




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