Riha Manor: Bathroom Addition

Farmhouse bathrooms got some major design attention in 2017 so we decided to finish out the year with our own rendition of this classic style.


Our design was influenced by simple materials including subway tile, porcelain fixtures, polished chrome mixed with rustic farmhouse elements and a sliding barn door concept. All of which were found in images we had saved to our Pinterest board, Riha Manor.
Inspiration to Reality:


With our laundry room already on its way, shown in a previous post, we already had the unique entrance to the washroom decided. A large school house door affixed on an industrial barn track sets the stage for our farmhouse bathroom. Once inside the space is bright with a window that runs the length but placed high to ensure privacy. We framed the space with black crown molding, baseboards and subway tile with black grout. One of our favorite quirks is the existing tiny door that once led to a blanket closet in the original footprint. We finished the space off with an antique apothecary cabinet for storing towels and toiletries and a few of our collections including the framed silhouettes found locally. The Recessed medicine cabinet is from Pottery Barn, and the pedestal sink is from Kohler Memoirs Collection.

Our Ebth Picks

Our new online vintage shopping obsession is Ebth. We love it because you can browse and bid on high end estate sale pieces from the comfort of your own home!  Each sale starts at $0, so it’s easy to snag a deal.  Check out a few of our cheap and cheerful picks below.  But hurry, sales expire quickly!
1. Bill Angressano Oil Painting on Canvas Portrait of a Woman, 2. Hooker Glass and Paint Venetian Wall Mirror, 3.Vintage Wilardy Lucite Purse, 4. Teacups and Saucers Featuring Nippon, 5.Vintage Pair of Brass Cranes, 6. Duncan Phyfe-Style Upholstered Love SeatSlide2
7. Mineral and Rock Specimens, 8. Burroughs & Mountford Floral Pitcher, 9. Antique Eastlake Oak Parlor Table, 10. Silver Plated Tray and Trivets, 11. Vintage Wicker Side Tables, 12. Marble Table Lamps, 13. Hand-Woven Accent Rug, 14. Bill Angresano Oil Painting on Canvas Board Portrait of a Woman

House of Hackney + Bergdorf Goodman

Maximalism is a term we see popping up on design blogs and magazines.  This style is combines intricate pattern, rich colors and adornment.  It is an abandonment to the minimalism that has reigned in interior design for the past several years.  House of Hackney is a London textiles, wallcovering and accessories brand that encompasses this trend.  The company was founded by a husband and wife team in 2011.  We are inspired by House of Hackney’s modern vibe while still maintaining an ode to the past.  And who doesn’t love a good botanical layered on botanicals?! Erica and I took a field trip to the 7thfloor of Bergdorf Goodman to see the collection in person.  If you are in NYC, pop in and check it out for yourself. The House of Hackney-Bergdorf’s takeover is available through May 10th.

Riha Manor: Washroom

As a follow up to our previous exterior post we wanted to share the interior starting with the new mudroom that is now the main entrance to our Iowa Farmhouse.
We wanted to combine the washroom and entry to corral dirty boots and clothing from working on the farm.  We also wanted it be a place to welcome guests on the back side of the house.  We looked for inspiration on pinterest.  The laundry rooms above are by Studio McGee, Johanna Gaines and Muskoka Living
The original laundry room was dark, dingy and small which didn’t make the task of doing laundry any easier.


Our design combined white shaker cabinets, painted black wood floors to hide dirt and exposing the original brick exterior wall.  Beadboard was used on the ceiling to bring architectural interest and craftsman style moldings replicate the original moldings found throughout the house.  Farmhouse details included the sliding black barn door into the new bathroom which was originally from a old schoolhouse.   Industrial pendants add warm lighting and a schoolhouse fixture from Home Depot provides general lighting.

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Riha Manor

Riha Manor | Cresco, Iowa | Completed 2013
We grew up on a small acreage in rural Iowa where we played, learned to tend to the gardens, helped maintain the house, and began designing what became our first project, Riha Manor. When it was decided it was time to update the 1914 farmhouse by adding modern conveniences (first floor bathroom, full size laundry room, formal entry, and attached garage) we kept in mind the simple structure, interior details and keeping the scale appropriate to the existing footprint.
Inspiration: Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse on HGTV which was a similar brick farmhouse where she added additional living room and entry.  We also looked to pinterest to find farmhouse exteriors with a similar simple style.  We chose vertical siding that mimics  traditional barnboards.  Grey was a nice complement to the red brick of the original house.
Design Development: We took our our pens and pencils to sketch up our initial ideas of how the addition should look.  After a few alterations the dormer over the garage became the main architectural interest to the addition.  Also, we brought the entry forward to add a third dimension from the garage and brick house.  We added a peaked roof to the well room to tie it back into the garage design.  We further developed the floor plan and scaled the garage after the size of the original brick house.  The Sketchup model became a great tool to visualize the form in relation to the original house.  Finally, a little photoshopping of the model with finishes and colors brought our concept to reality.  Using these tools helped sell our parents on the design as well as inform the contractors.  Being from Iowa we had quite a crew, an Amish team from up the road and our uncle Steve to complete the interior details.
Before: The original brick structure had a laundry and well room added onto it, both lacking character and clad in basic white plastic siding. The adjacent garage was looking more shabby than chic with peeling paint and structural issues. The front exterior of the house had faux shutters that diverted attention away from the classic brick, and the roof was due for an overhaul.


After: We demolished the garage and laundry room addition. We reworked the well room because moving or replacing the it would have blown the budget.
Finishes Chosen:
  • Metal roof was selected in a charcoal grey for its ease of maintenance. It has become a trend in modern farmhouse style but still is reminiscent of historic roofs.
  • Vertical siding in a warm grey which is a nice accent to the warm brick vs. the original stark white siding.  It also reminded us of barn boards and felt appropriate on our farmhouse.
  • Dormer shingle siding in a lighter shade of grey which was selected as an accent to break up the strong vertical siding and highlight the dormer.
  • Red painted door pops against the 50 shades of gray we have going and repeats the red of the original barn on the property.
We are so excited to share this with you!  Please follow us to see upcoming posts on the interior reveal.