March 8, 2011 in Making our House a Home
Over the past several weeks, I have shared why our current bedroom arrangement has required re-evaluating and re-arranging. Now it is time to share our solutions!
We have decided to make the basement bedroom our master bedroom. With the most floor space and an attached bathroom, this would have been a natural decision to make from the very beginning. The biggest reason we did not do so originally was so that our master bedroom would be on the same floor as the nursery…a reason which holds absolutely no sway anymore (see my “How We Got Our Baby to Sleep Through the Night” Series). (You can also click here to find out why we felt this room was not serving its purpose well as our guest room and sewing room, and click here to find out whey our old master bedroom was not really meeting our needs as a master bedroom if you want to hear more about our motivation for swapping these rooms around and have not yet read these posts.)
While there are several reasons that our new arrangement will work better for our family, one of them is that it will allow us to fix our home’s problem of little closets. While this room already had the largest closet in the house, we felt that the somewhat awkward length of the room would lend itself nicely to a nice, big walk-in closet on one end. (We are pretty sure that in the original floor plan of this house this was two separate bedrooms and a separate bathroom…but now it is just one really long bedroom with an attached bath).
These pictures are from before we moved in. Here is one side:
It is hard to get the idea of how long it is with pictures alone…so you’ll have to take our word for it. But it may help if you use the ceiling ductwork as orientation for how the photos fit together: it is the same duct seen from different sides. Anyway, we decided to go for the walk-in closet idea…adding a simple wall that didn’t need to be load-bearing sounded like a simple enough project which would really make this space work well for us (I think it will also appeal to the future home-owners, but we’ll have to wait and see about that I guess).
The one VERY BIG disadvantage to this plan was that it was that there would be a window in the closet (the new closet will be where the sewing space once was):
I think a window in the closet is weird…but taking out a window in a home that only has 8 to begin with didn’t seem like a wise move, either. And it would be pretty expensive and a lot of work. So I decided that we could take advantage of the natural lighting in the closet, and use french doors with glass panels to allow that light to filter in to the bedroom as well. I was excited to find this set of french doors on Craigslist.
Since we would already be dealing with framing and dry-walling a new wall, I convinced my husband that it would be nice to raise the ledge that goes around the exterior walls of the room. You see, I am really not a fan of the way that the ledge around the room accentuates the fact that our new master bedroom is at the garden level. And I REALLY don’t like that the headboard of the bed and dressers were higher than the ledge and looked weird backed up against it.
However, I think it would also be a shame to get rid of the ledge by framing it all in, as those extra six inches around the upper part of the room makes the space look bigger–even if it isn’t actual floor space that is gained. I DO really like the look of board and batten and decided that we could imitate a board and batten look and make better use of the ledge by raising it up higher than any dresser or headboard we would be and using it for decorations (I am picturing lots of frames of various sizes arranged all around the room on the ledge). We might also extend the board and batten look around the entire room minus the ledge…we haven’t decided yet.
What do YOU think? Should we continue the board and batten look around all the walls or stick to the exterior walls with the ledge only?
Wondering what board and batten is? The irony actually sort of makes me laugh…because I would probably describe it sort of like paneling…but paneling probably initiates a sort of gag reflex in the minds of most people of my generation. You see, while paneling is OUT, board & batten (along with bead board and wainscoting) is IN. My understanding of board & batten in particular is that it is a kind of vertical siding that would technically be constructed something like this with separate boards and battens (hence the name): (The instructions that accompany this diagram can be found here.)
These photos are from Karla @ It’s The Little Things That Make a House a Home. She seems to be the resident blogworld board & batten expert (most other bloggers who do board and batten link back to her post and tutorial)…and you can tell why, its gorgeous!
Back to our plans…this room is significantly larger than the one we have been using upstairs, and the temperature will be much more comfortable throughout the summer without air conditioning. We will have a walk-in closet and attached bath…both very nice master bedroom features that sort of make me feel more like an adult . Since our master bedroom has been a conglomeration of mismatched furniture and random pillows and blankets for so long I am very excited about the prospect of decorating a whole matching room!
My plan is to paint our dresser and nightstand (which are both in this picture:)…
…a nice robin’s eggs sort of blue/green with distressing. Sort of like this one from Abigail’s Pocatello:
(I promise this was my vision even BEFORE I found Karla’s board and batten tutorial in a room which also features robin’s egg blue furniture..for me, the idea started with a can of oops paint from Lowes.) I think the wall above the board and batten is going to be a sagey green, like this: (another can of oops paint, this one from Home Depot)
I plan on making a new set of His, Hers, and Ours Blankets with the top sheets from these two sets:
I have already gathered several frames at garage sales and thrift stores to refinish/paint for the ledge…and I hope to put together a gallery of photos around the ledge that represent what “home” feels like to us (I’ll share some photo selections when we begin to work on that part of the project…but I already know this will add some touches of a sort of weathered red to our color scheme).
One day, when scanning the free stuff list on Craigslist, I ran across and called on a king size mattress. It was close, clean, and FREE. Since we have the space now for a bigger bed, I emailed about it…and it was still available…so now it’s ours It didn’t come with a box spring and we don’t have a headboard (never did for our Queen either). But I thought it would be really cool if we made one like this (The Stratton Bed from Pottery Barn):
All those storage baskets for extra linens, blankets, and decorative pillows was REALLY appealing to me. We don’t use a comforter (I’ll share more on this next Saturday in my sleeping series), I also thought that a bed like this (which doesn’t require a bed skirt but has a cleaner line where the mattress meets the bed) will look really nice. The hubby agreed to these advantages and also really liked the look…so we have added “knock-off Pottery Barn Bed” to our list of construction projects. It is NOT however, in our current projected timeline and may be a bit farther down the road.
So that is the plan for our new Master Bedroom…the construction of which has already begun. I will be sharing pictures of the process soon. But here is a peak:
What do you think?
Can we do robin’s egg blue furniture and the board & batten look without including starfish?
It seems this color scheme most naturally lends itself to a beach house/coastal look…like in Karla’s beautiful room I mentioned above…
…Or this one which I saw featured on Beauty in the Attempt…
Will we be able to pull it off?
If you are new to my “Big Bedroom Swap Around” series, check out this post for an overview of our project.