Jun 28, 2010

Master Bedroom Mayhem

When we put an offer on the house, we knew there were two major drawbacks. First was the half bath - aka the toilet in the kitchen. The second was the size of the bedrooms upstairs. Between the radiators and the closet doors, none of the rooms were large enough for our furniture, including the master bedroom. The way it is right now, our bed was pushed up too close to the radiator and we couldn't fully open the door. I was literally sliding in and out of the room, stubbing my toes for a few days. Before we moved in, we planned a solution to remove one closet, add a new doorway where the closet was, rehang the door, and turn the current doorway into a closet door. We would then add a wall in the hallway, closing off the unnecessarily long hall and give ourselves a walk-in closet.

Current Layout:

Original Plan:

The problem? This new doorway has to be in the main support wall of the house. We talked to a contractor about the problem and unfortunately it is going to cost way more than we thought. As in the last of our money. His suggestion was that if we are going to spend the time and the money to open up the wall anyways (which is the bulk of the labor and cost), for a little bit more he could open up the closet doorway to be a double-wide closet door and make it a true walk-in closet. And he'd add the closet wall for us as well. The plan was also to salvage as much of the original trim as possible and rehang the original door in the new entryway. We decided that with a true double closet, we could eliminate the second small closet as well, giving us more bedroom space. In the end (for resale value) we'll get some return for a walk-in closet, and having room for a king-sized bed will add saleability to the house overall.

So now our plan looks like this:
Originally this house was a 2 bedroom home. Bedroom 3 (our guest room) and the master bedroom were actually one large room with two closets. At some point, a dividing wall was put up, they removed the second larger closet and turned it into the hallway, and added two small closets along the dividing wall. So half our plan is to reinstate the original closet and take back the hallway. Eventually we would like to refinish the floors in the bedroom, but it's a big job. Unfortunately years ago, a previous owner decided to paint the outer 2.5' perimeter of the floor red. Even better, they spilled a bucket of gray paint in the middle of the room and never cleaned it up. So for now, our plan for the room is to get a neutral wall-to-wall carpet in the master that matches the hallway and stairs (which will remain carpeted for Miss Georgia).

Last week when we had the side door replaced to bring the dryer inside, our carpenter mentioned he had a cancellation and he was free early this week if we still wanted to move ahead with the construction. After 3 days of toe stubbing, shin bruising and cursing the tiny closets for not even having enough room for even my clothes - we jumped at the chance. If we don't do it now, we might never do it once we get settled in and fully unpacked. As it was, it was a pain to move all our furniture (even with help!) to the office (bedroom 2) for now. It's so narrow in the office that our bed blocks both the closet and the radiator.

So today they started demolition of the wall and closets. I'm not sure what to expect when I get home (Mom was house-sitting today while they worked). They should be done with the work by Wednesday at the latest. I hope.


  1. What program did you use to draw your floor plan? Thanks.

    1. I drew the floor plan in Microsoft Visio. It's not the most intuitive program, but creating a basic floor plan is fairly simple and doesn't take long to learn how to do.