How this dental duo made their 1950s Pepper Pike home colorful and cozy

How this dental duo made their 1950s Pepper Pike home colorful and cozy

The 1950s Pepper Pike Colonial was a fixer-upper, a patchwork of interiors installed over the decades. Most of Dawn Cook’s clients had started their entire home renovation in the old kitchen or first floor living areas. But the new owners decided to start in the 800-square-foot owner’s suite. The thirty-year-old husband and wife dentists returned to Cleveland from Chicago to take over a family practice. Busy professionals wanted – necessary – A private haven where they can end each day and start the next in comfort and style.

“They wanted a very curated, custom space that represented what they were looking for but also felt very relaxed,” says Dawn Cook Design/BLDC of Cook of Shaker Heights.

Cook responded by creating a space that was comfortable but far from yawn-inducing.

1950s cleveland interior design paper pike home bathroom remodel
(Courtesy Suzuran Photography)

One of her first steps was to work with contractors to raise the bedroom ceiling into the attic. “It really opened up the space and made it more airy,” she says. The score rose from 8 feet at one end to 15 feet at the other, a change that accommodated a contemporary brass chandelier and an updated version of a wrought-iron four-poster bed.

Like many of Cook’s clients, the owners were drawn to a design consisting of light floors and walls that showcase colorful window treatments, furnishings, artwork and accessories. Cook ordered the walls painted white and the floors finished in French white oak, warmed by a damask-style rug in shades of taupe.

“(The pile) is cut very low, so it has an antique quality,” she says. She then added “jewel tones and (similar) jewelry details.”

The inspiration came from the garnet red silk with abstract floral patterns used to make the curtain panels.

“I knew it would stand out from the white walls,” Cook says of the fabric.

The rich red color is replicated in the velvet cover of the contemporary wing chair, and the sapphire blue velvet on the taupe mohair cushions, which, like the curtain panels, “pop” their white background – in this case, the bedding. The oatmeal-colored custom seat at the end of the bed, generously decorated with metallic beading, appears to be covered in velvet as well. But it’s actually a performance fabric.

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1950s cleveland interior design paper pike home bathroom remodel
(Courtesy Suzuran Photography)

“We knew the dogs would sleep on it and jump on it,” Cook says. This black resin canvas dresser is more a place to place hanging TV components than it is a place for dresser storage.

“When you custom build a closet, you don’t really need any furniture for your clothes,” Cook says.

The contractors created the larger bathroom the couple wanted by expanding it into part of its adjacent counterpart. Cook’s design called for a wet room, a newer feature in which the bathtub and shower are surrounded by glass in one area. “We’ve done quite a bit of work on these older homes where we’re reworking to make space,” she says. Decoration represents another trend: saturation of the entire bathroom with colors. The wet room was tiled in deep indigo porcelain, and the balance of the walls was covered in a matching vinyl sheet that resembles the look and feel of grasscloth. Even the outside of the bathtub is the same dramatic blue.

“There are a lot of sinks now that you can customize to be a Benjamin Moore paint color,” she points out.

White, which has remained the color of choice in many bathrooms, is carried over to the porcelain tile on the floor, the quartz that tops the floating makeup table and chocolate-stained custom dressing table, and the backdrop of exotic crane-print wallpaper hanging in the expanded water closet.

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1950s cleveland interior design paper pike home bathroom remodel
(Courtesy Suzuran Photography)

“We just wanted to add a touch of whimsy to the design,” Cook says of the latter. “And this wallpaper looked so fun, but still elegant.”

She also collected all the colors used in the bedroom and bathroom.

Cook points to the cane doors that “add architectural character” to the vanity, a detail repeated on the nickel door handles. She freely mixed brass with brushed nickel appliances and plumbing and lighting fixtures, which she likened to mixing gold and silver jewelry. But the hot and cold shower faucet handles and diverters for directing water to the wall-mounted showerhead, ceiling-mounted rain showerhead, and handheld personal shower are operated by a single control panel.

“We put these things up repeatedly,” she says. “You’re investing in all this beautiful tile, and you don’t want to have a bunch of holes in your wall.”

Cook believes the couple will be able to live with the luxurious, sophisticated decor in the bedroom and bathroom as their tastes and lives change. They love the use of color and contrast between light and dark in the pavilion.

“It’s something they won’t get tired of over time,” she says.

1950s cleveland interior design paper pike home bathroom remodel
(Courtesy Suzuran Photography)

Read more: How to decorate your home on a budget in 2023

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