If you’re a 17-time New York Times best-selling author with over 10 million books in print throughout the world, what would you do with your down time? Renovate your home, of course!
Jane Green—author of popular summer read “The Beach House” as well as many other novels—and her husband own a historic home in Westport, CT. Since they moved in, they’ve been making changes both small and large.
“The local historical society dates it back to 1913, but our inspector believed it to be earlier given the foundations and construction of the basement,” says Green. “We were lucky enough to meet the daughter of the original owner, who came for tea and brought pictures from the ’30s and ’40s!”
This past September, she decided to take her dull beige bathroom tiles into her own hands (literally) and transform them with an intricate stencil job.
“I hated the 1980s beige tile and kept meaning to have it retiled, but didn’t get around to it,” she says. “I stumbled upon a video of a woman stenciling a very similar tiled floor, and immediately went to Etsy and bought a tile stencil, then Chalked paint from Amazon.”
She says the job took an entire Sunday, and was well worth the effort. Check the before and after photos for yourself:
Green’s made several renovations over the years, and not every project was of the DIY variety.
“We’ve made a lot of decorative additions—wallpaper, paint, carpet, and tons of bookshelves everywhere to house our thousands of books,” says Green.
The one room that had a total makeover was the all-important kitchen. Green is an avid cook and loves to spend time in the kitchen, which means she required a fully functional and beautiful space in which to work.
Though the renovation, which began in May 2017, was disruptive due to the traffic of contractors, designers, and the like, Green was happy to have the project underway. In a Facebook post she bid a not-so-fond farewell to some of her least favorite aspects of her old kitchen:
“Goodbye fridge that only seemed to fit drinks, and a handful of Tupperware containers, so everything fell out every time the fridge door was opened. See ya, tile floor that I would never have chosen. Buh bye, thirty-year-old cabinet doors that kept falling off.”
The kitchen was transformed from an open concept space to an enclosed space. Green told House Beautiful that with older children, the open concept wasn’t necessary, and the new kitchen is her haven to play music, cook, and just be in the moment. Her cookbook is on full display in that gorgeous kitchen as well.
We have a hunch the recent work won’t be the last of the renovations. Green’s dreaming of creating a library-style living space, and she also says she’d love to add a dining room, but that’s probably not in the cards.
“We are in a flood zone and not FEMA-compliant. I suspect we may not be able to do that without raising the entire house, which would change the house completely,” Green explains. Even so, she says she loves a good project and might be setting her sights on the master bedroom next.
And even best-selling authors have home goals.
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