About catherine
Catherine is a CPA-turned-creative entrepreneur. She is the founder of Beginning in the Middle. an interior designer, photographer, writer, and business schemer.  She loves being cozy at home, miniature everything, and has a not-so-secret dream of living on an island one day.
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Before & After

Progress + Inspo: Blonde Vic 3rd Floor Master Suite

The Blonde Vic

We’re skipping from the kitchen progress post at the Vic to the 3rd floor master suite because we are SO EXCITED to show you what it looks like up here!  (Also, the rest of the first floor is a huge mess and not photo-ready yet, so there’s that… :))

You may have seen the Insta story we posted of the tile we’re installing in the master bathroom.

I KNOW.  Worthy of all caps.  We’re gettin to the good stuff, folks!

Let’s go back in time for a sec and look at what the third floor layout used to be.  There were two bedrooms, a large hall and a large closet.  If you missed our full third floor “before” tour, you can check it out here.

This was bedroom #1 (on top in the drawing).

And this was bedroom #2 (on bottom in the drawing).

In our reno, we changed up the layout to create one large master suite.  The master bathroom is now where the old blue bedroom was, and the master bedroom is where the orange bedroom used to be.

Here’s the view of the bathroom right after we had insulation installed.  Our best discovery was uncovering the peak in the ceiling by the window.  We had to get an engineer out to determine how to redistribute the load before removing any of the collar ties, but it was worth it!

Here’s the same view after drywall went up, stepping back a bit (closet is on the right, stairs down to the 2nd floor are on the left).

We kept the wall going into the old blue bedroom (now bathroom) intact, but moved the doorway into the center to make room for these beauties, which are over 8′ tall!

On the bedroom ceiling, we added cove lighting similar to this photo.

Mercer island residence stuart silk architects (3)

The light is indirect and soft, which will be really nice for a bedroom.  The plan is to also add a few beams from AZ Faux Beams to the area below the light opening.  It’ll look something like this, but instead of mounting the beams to the ceiling, they’ll be suspended to allow the light to shine through.  We’re hoping that you guys are the only ones who will ever know they’re fake!

Going into the bathroom, we’re putting a large freestanding tub in front of the window and hanging a chandelier above.  It’s going to be a pretty focal point!

Vanity #1 + the water closet will be to the left of the tub.

Vanity #2 + a double shower will be to the right of the tub.

Throwback to these photos that we took at the same angles before we started, when the bathroom was a bedroom.

We purchased a gorgeous black & white marble hexagon tile for the floor, which inspired the rest of the design.  We have been eyeing it for years now (it’s called Hex Appeal from Mission Stone & Tile) and finally had an opportunity to use it.  It’s not cheap and we needed to wait for a project where we could justify the cost.  On the walls, we’ll probably do subway tile (maybe marble, depending on budget), marble/quartz floating vanities, wood shelves that’ll be built into a few nooks in the bathroom, brass fixtures, and some floral curtains above the tub (TBD).  We’re really, really excited to see it come together!

Turning around, this is the view looking into the bedroom (which was previously the hallway + old orange room).  It feels so much larger opened up.  Similar to the bathroom, we opened up the ceiling in front of the windows.  We’re going to add a nice long window seat to that nook.

The layout will be similar to this from Urban Grace Interiors, with a bed on the left, window seat in front of the windows, and sitting/lounge area on the right.

Last but not least, here’s the entrance to the master suite.  We’re going to keep the brick exposed, and we’ll be adding a custom railing that continues from the 3rd floor down to the 1st.

It feels great to be making progress, especially now that we’re getting into installing finishes.  Next up, we’ll photograph the 3 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms on the second floor, and share inspo for each.  Follow our Instagram (and Insta Stories) for updates in the meantime!

We’ll leave you with a peak at one of the guest bathrooms that we posted on Instagram a few days ago. 🙂


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  1. Jill Kostolanyi says:

    AHHHHH!!! SO AMAZING! I can’t get enough of what you guys do with your renovations, so much vision and talent!!

  2. JoAnn says:

    Oh my gosh, all of a sudden I realized my heart was racing I was so jazzed by these photos!! I saw such potential
    for a project my Husband and I are working on. Totally impressed!!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Now that’s a master suite! ???? This is SO good. And that tile is out of this world. Bravo, guys!

  4. Magpie says:

    Amazing!! I have a question though — how are you gonna fir mirrors above the vanities with the wall angled in like it is? Cant wait for this reveal!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks!! The sink in each vanity will be off to the side in the peak (right above where the drains are roughed in), which will allow us to get some decently tall mirrors in there. 🙂

  5. Anne Healey says:

    Hello! I’ve been following your Insta but this is my first time to your blog. These renos are AMAZING. I’ve been obsessed with historical homes ever since I was a little girl and your projects are making me giddy! Thanks for sharing all the behind the scenes. It’s fascinating!! (And bless you for rescuing these gorgeous old beauties that so deserve to be restored to their former glory!) ❤️

  6. Very nice blog ! Thank you very much for letting us know the such a important information about skipping from the kitchen progress and installing in the master bathroom.please keep posting such type of blog with us.

  7. Sarah says:

    Love this bathroom – the materials are gorgeous! Very happy I found you guys from ChrisLovesJulia. One question for you on the Hex Appeal floor – I notice you’re using it in the shower too – any concerns or comments on the porosity? I’d love to use it in my shower but am worried about yellowing and or issues with soap, hair dye, etc. Thanks!

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Sarah! It’s marble, so the key is sealing it really well to prevent yellowing & stains, and then re-sealing periodically depending on the sealer you use & amount of usage it gets. Marble is higher maintenance than other types of tile, like porcelain and ceramic, and even other types of stone, but it’s not uncommon to have it in the shower. It all depends on how you’ll be using it & your lifestyle (we’d probably suggest steering clear of natural stones and light grout if hair dying will be taking place :)).

  8. Kelene Richart says:

    LOVE this tile. Just ordered a sample. Have been staring at my gutted bathroom for weeks trying to choose a tile. Love how it mixes with the wood and marble. When will you be sharing pics of the entire finished bathroom space?

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you!! It’s so pretty in person – you’re going to love it. We’re planning on sharing finished photos at the end of the summer. We can’t wait!

  9. Rosemary says:

    Could you tell me the source for the pendant light on inspiration board for master bath?

  10. Kate says:

    This is such a joy and an inspiration, wow! May I ask for the source for the beautiful sconce you included in the inspo board? I look forward to following along with the rest of the renovation.

  11. […] the master bathroom, we went full on marble in the shower and on the floors to make the space feel classic & […]

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Catherine & Bryan Williamson moved from NYC to Columbus, OH in 2013.  Beginning in the Middle is a journal of the couple's design and renovation projects, real estate investment and Airbnb hosting journey, travel, and other life happenings.



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I grew up in New Jersey and always had a dream of living in New York.  There was something about the energy of the city that drew me inOur journey started unexpectedly in 2012, when we decided to make a big move from New York to Columbus. The glamour of climbing the corporate ladder was wearing off, and we knew that renting an expensive small apartment and dealing with crowded subways everyday was not going to work forever. We wanted to start creating something for ourselves, and although we didn’t know exactly what that something was, we knew NYC wasn’t the place for it.

We decided on Columbus because Bryan grew up here, and we were intrigued by all of the development going on in the downtown area at the time. We drove through many of the neighborhoods and admired the boarded up old houses, most of which were built in the early 1900s, and started dreaming about the things we could do here.

I'm Catherine, and I'm the founder of Beginning in the Middle.

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