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Master Bedroom; Retro Remodel

14 January 2010

Our master bedroom remodel never seemed to end.  It was a continuing project.  We cleaned it out, then cleaned it up, finished and then started again, re-installed a closet and finally finishing for good.  That sounds all short and sweet, but it happened for about 3 years. 

I will explain as I go.


(you can see the old closet doors that later became
our interior window shutters in the living room project!)

Technically the wall paper is kinda cool, the blue print was actually velvet.  But the room was just old and smelly and really needed to be refreshed.

We started by taking out the book shelves around the hall door (in the picture directly above).  And we found a little surprise when they were removed.

The original closet!!  It was so tiny! only 16 inches deep and on a diagonal. 

Here is the view of the floor of the closet.

It was full of junk and we even found a purse with receipts in it.  I wish that it could have been full of money!

Next we removed the paneling and all the wallpaper. We got rid of the junk on the ceiling. 
This wall paper was under the paneling, I actually liked it but it was in such bad shape.

There was a cool painted design on the ceiling too.

The closet was really very small, and not planned very well.  We had a room right next to ours that was really small so we made it our dressing room for a few years.  We removed the closet, with huge future plans for an addition, ha. ha. 

Here is the wall after.  Can you see that there was once a sink on this wall?  I think this might have been the kitchen at some point.  The basement, suggested that it had been built on to where the new kitchen was.  I wish I could know for sure!  Honestly I think that the house was a little older than the 1904 date that was documented.

The floor came next.  (At the same time we sanded the living room.)  There had been a rug in the center of the room and the outside edges had all been painted.  We got some heavy duty ventilation masks and Justin removed it.  It is kind of scary to me now that we even did it.

At this point we lived with the bedroom for a while.  We were working on other projects, so we brought the one scrap of carpet in the house that was relatively decent from the Blue Room and used it as a rug under our bed.  Also, we had boxes around the edge to keep the floor in tack.  Ghetto!  Just the way we like it!

When I finally got around to finishing it, I had learned from the living room that I must stain. So, I did, the outside 3-4 feet and finished it, then we installed a rug in the center.

We didn't own a head board... Oh wait, we still don't! OOPS!  Anyway, I had made these drapes for our apartment in Orem and as you can see the wall was sorta falling apart, so I made a curtain head board for the mean time.  ( I ended up revamping these drapes and using them in the blue room with an added panel at the bottom)

I made these nightstands in wood shop.  One of the only electives I took in college.  I am so glad I took it!
I used a stain wax to finish them (thanks to the New Yankee workshop, I love you Norm!) instead of regular stain and poly. 

Here they are with the clearance lamps we got at Kmart sporting goodwill lampshades, later we switched those out, with Wally-world shades!  I Got rid of these lamps and now I totally regret not having them... What was I thinking?

You may have noticed that the walls were falling in around us.  I got sick of it and used some left over bathroom drywall to do a patch... It is rather homely!  You may also notice that the original door had been replaced with a boring hollow flat panel door...ugh!

Luckily we had a some friends who had a hundred year old house that was being torn down.  They let us come and take all their old doors, and we replaced all the doors in our house and some more with original 5 panel doors.

Our good friend Jared who was a drywall contractor came and taught us how to really do drywall.  Thanks Jared!  It has helped us in all three of our houses!  First we removed the crumbling plaster, and concrete patches, I think there were 2 truck loads of plaster.

We found yet another little surprise and more evidence that this was in fact the kitchen at some point.  A fireplace flue.  We decided to leave the lathes, since they would have just royally added to the mess. 

Justin updated the room electrically., and added a 2 way switch!  Thank heaven for switches at each door.
Luckily we had an electrician across the street for questions!  Holy cow, we have great friends!

The drywall begins!

The window wall was the only wall in good enough shape to leave it intact.  I primed the wall with pink, because I had some and thought it would make the painting easier, it did!

The actual paint is on below, now for the wainscoting, and crown.  We used a trick for the crown which I didn't get a close up of.  We used regular crown, then about 1-2 inches below that we put up a small half round molding.  We painted the crown, small half round and wall in between the same color, so it looked like a huge molding.  This is a similar trick to the base molding trick we used for this house.

We did this project before we had a nail gun!  What a mistake, it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Here is our friend Matt volunteering for free labor!  Thanks for that!

And finally real walls, with the wainscoting.  We were so tired of the project that I think it took me about 6 months to actually even think about painting and caulking it all.

We added valance boxes since the windows went right to the ceiling and that sorta messed with the crown molding, which you can see in this image.***  We got a little smart with the moldings around the window, rather than remove them, we put the new boards on top.  The problem was that they were level with the plaster, so it actually worked out well without all the demolition.

Here I am LOVING our new clean carpet.  We bought a remnant had it finished around the edges, it looked great but we had a few problems with it From the very beginning, we should have installed it to tack strips and stretched it really well, so that it didn't wrinkle.  Which we ended up doing later.

At this point I went our to Walmart and bought a bed in a bag set for cheap.  I also made a headboard out of one of the old doors in the house.  We were done with the room for about a year... And it looked like this:

We didn't have a T.V. at all for the first year, but we bought a little one at a garage sale.  I built this entertainment center from wood scraps and two old closet doors, that were original to the house.  We got rid of it when we moved to Asheville, it makes me sorta sad!  Can you tell I regret moving into a tiny house... and getting rid of all sorts of cool things.... bummer.

Justin thinks it is funny that we removed the closet only to build another one in the exact same place, but with all due respect to my hunky spouse, it is just so fun to watch you be all tough and build stuff that I couldn't help myself.

The truth of the matter is that the old closet was 2 feet less wide and it was broken up at the top, and it only had one set of doors.  What we did was basically build two small very organized his and hers closets.

We custom built the interior with the pre made vinyl shelving components you used to be able to buy at Home Depot, and MDF 1 x 4's.  I measured all our clothes and my side was slightly bigger, but we both had two areas for shirts and a shared area for long stuff, with laundry at the bottom shoes on the doors and shelves in the middle.  We didn't even need a dresser, and I have a lot of clothes.

Starting to paint the real color again.  For some reason the second time I bought the paint it was not as good as the first batch and took a lot more coats.  I also fell off the later doing this and burned my hand from the friction of grabbint the door way!  It really hurt a lot... including my pride!

the Final Afters:
(I wish I had better pictures, but this will have to do, many were slightly fuzzy!)

The drapes are a long story, they shrunk in the wash and I had to add another layer of fabric, so to me they look a little like Neapolitan ice cream, not exactly what I was going for, but I didn't have the time or money to change them.  Oh well!

Well, what do you think? 
Do you like the way it turned out?
I really loved this room, it was sad to leave!



Wilcox Family January 14, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

I remember seeing your room and thinking WOW!!, but I had no idea how bad the before was. What a project!! You guys did a great job...like always. You really saved a gem of a house.

Sonja, Queen of Crafts January 14, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

What a fantastic remodel. You guys are pros! I love the panelling you put up. Always looks nice in an older property. And I just can't believe you made those bedside tables yourself!!! So you are a cabinetmaker, too!? Anyway, very impressive!

Matthew January 14, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

It was fun seeing the before. Remember when I would come over while Em closed Joannes? Ahh the good old days...

I would still help you guys in a heartbeat instead of studying:)

Chari January 14, 2010 at 3:30 PM  

Hi...I'm back! Hehe!

Girl, you had me sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the rest of the story of your fabulous bedroom remodel (I checked out your first post this morning)! Wooowww...oh wooowww!!! This is fabulous! And the great thing is...you have documented this remodel so well with all the photos and have it right here on your blog! You and your honey did a magnificent job...and these are times and experiences that you will have many fond memories of down the road...believe me! I do know what a job this is, my honey bought our original 1927 home several years ago and he added on to it...but he gutted all the old lathe and plaster from the old house...quite a job!!! Congratulations to you both...bravo!!! I love, love, LOVE the colors that you chose...red being my favorite color! Love the paneled walls...that is the first thing that my eye was drawn to! They just lend such architectural interest to the room!!! I love the layout...love those nice big double closets! You've decorated this room so beautifully too!!! I'm so very happy for the both of you! Job very well done, my friend! Thank you for sharing your beautiful bedroom with us and your "remodel journal" was so interesting!!!

Warmest wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

Tink January 14, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

Wow, that made me tired just reading! I can't believe how total the transformation was - it's amazing! You guys have some serious talent!!!

Katie January 14, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

This is the room I've been waiting for! :) It was my favorite when we were in Logan and is what inspired my current color and soon to be paneling in the dining area of my kitchen. Love, love, love it!!!

Shane and Stephanie January 14, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

Wow! What a change. It must have been really sad to leave this house after all the work you guys did!

somedaycrafts January 15, 2010 at 1:25 AM  

Gotta love lathe and plaster. I've never thought of leaving the lathe and just removing the plaster. We still have a few room left to do and I just might do that. Your room looks great! I wish our house looked like that!!!

autumn January 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

oh my gosh! you and your hubby are HARD CORE. i was getting tired just looking at all the work you guys did! nice work, by the way. i love the wainscoting!

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie January 15, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

Now THAT is a transformation. I am nearly speechless. The before photos are quite shocking. You would never guess it was the same room!

Amy Sue January 16, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

That is awesome! I love all your ideas! And I love that you aren't afraid of a big project like that.

Jelly Girl January 17, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

Great job! I can totally relate to you about living in rooms that are half done because of budgets and other projects. High five from one chronic remodel-er to another.

A Jelly Girl

Marianne@Songbird January 18, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

Wow, this was some makeover! I can imagine it took you some time to do this, but it all turned out wonderful. You must have good memories of this room.

Kendall at Finesse Your Nest January 18, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

Looks great! I love the tall wainscoting and all the moulding...and the little red tassels hanging on your closet doors!

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking January 18, 2010 at 11:01 AM  

WOW! You guys were BUSY! Love the board and batten... just finished some in one of our bathrooms. Great job!

Snowman Hill January 18, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

WOW!!!! Love it! I just found your blog and can't wait to see more! Stop over and check out our bathroom reveal! Krista

Becca January 18, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

What an impressive reno. You can't tell that is the same room !! You guys did a wonderful job ... WELL done !!

Renee January 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

I love it, how did you do the bottom of the wall? That is my favorite.

Denise Marie January 18, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

you 2 are quite the team. Great job. He reminds me of my hubby. I hope my 2 boys will be as talented as yours and my hubby. :)

Linda January 18, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

WOW...what an AWESOME makeover...my fav is the wainscoting! Great blog you have...so I'm going to follow along with you:)


Katherine @ Grass Stains January 18, 2010 at 11:20 PM  

VELVET?? Wow. It looks amazing now! Great job ... I know you must be relieved to be finished AND to be able to show it off!

jenjen January 19, 2010 at 1:40 AM  

Oh wow. That is truly incredible. I can't believe how much work went into that project! You need to enter that into Better Homes and Gardens -- it would win some sort of huge contest easily!

I love it -- absolutely incredible!


Heather@ theherberfamily.blogspot.com January 19, 2010 at 5:25 AM  

I love this re-do- you guys did a fantastic job of making a horrible space turn into a fantastic space!

Feel free to link this up at Talented Tuesday on My Frugal Family:


The Persimmon Perch January 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM  

Wow that is quite a makeover...and time consuming. But it turned out beautiful. Thanks for sharing with Made it Monday! Jules

vignette design January 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

Unbelievable! I cannot believe how much work you did and how great the results are. Great job! --Delores

Tiffany January 19, 2010 at 9:26 PM  

Holy project batman! That is a fantastic re-do and I LOVE the organized closets...I'm sorry you had to leave too! :(
Thanks for sharing with me, I enjoyed it thoroughly!

sweetpicklesandchocolate January 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

WOW! You guys really had your work cut out for you! It is awesome now and so much more rewarding to know how you got there!

Sarah @ Hennessey House January 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

no freaking way that is the same room! when you started, that space was a raging hot mess. how did you see the potential, past the velvet wallpaper and floors?! :) you deserve a medal for this redo. it truly turned out stunning.

Chellie January 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM  

LOVE the transformation! My husband and I are buying an old house that will need much remodeling also. Great job. It's always fun to see DIYers!

fawnda January 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM  

Holy Makeover- Batman! This is an amazing transfomation! A lot of work went into this! Great job! I love the red.

The Fifth Street Mama January 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

Totally gorgeous! You did a wonderful job! I love the dual color on the walls. Very chic!

Delightful Dwelling January 21, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

Oh wow, that room made quite a transformation! I would have been too overwhelmed to even know where to start. The finished room looks amazing!

Steph @ somewhatsimple January 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM  

Holy cow! Just looking at these pictures made me tired! That room looks fantastic!

Lianna Knight January 23, 2010 at 7:17 AM  

All I can say is WOW!!!!!

You can see my project here...


steffany January 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

this is amazing, thank you for sharing. We are in the middle of a messy master bedroom re-do and this gives me hope!

Wenderina February 25, 2010 at 8:50 AM  

This is beautiful. I love the wainscoting and deep red color in particular. It is so classIC and classY.

Anonymous,  April 30, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for not choosing turquoise and white! You obviously chose colors that make you happy and are YOU, not what the blog world is doing. Good for you!

Anonymous,  January 7, 2011 at 1:58 AM  

I really enjoyed reading your post. You've done so much work. And how exciting finding all these nooks and crannies everywhere! I was so engrossed in your post that when I got to the photos of the drywall up, I literally did a sigh "aaahhhh"! My husband looked at me quite strange. We are renovating too.
I look forward to having a look around your blog! Thanks!
Megs :)

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