Small Bedroom Remodel; Retro Remodel

This room was by far the fastest project that we ever did.  It is funny how after 3 years of remodeling a house, you actually learn how to do things quickly and efficiently, that and at this point we had all the tools that really made things simple.
When we first walked through the house we didn’t even enter this little room.  We couldn’t, it was SO full of stuff that we actually couldn’t even enter the room.  So, it was nice to actually see the room for the first time … and all the carpet (you will understand in a second)
This project was the first without a huge demo.  We removed an old chimney and carpet, and more carpet and MORE carpet, the front of the closet and that was about it.
We decided that it would be far easier to just cover the old walls than deal with the mess of removing them.  Also, we actually had to do more building out than anything else in this room because of the strange foundation which you will see in just a second.
Here are the first few shots of the room, I apologize for the quality, this is before digital and I had to scan them in, and they were bad to begin with.
Why yes that is carpet on the window bench and wall.   And it was the first thing to go.
When we pulled it up we found the most beautiful wool carpet.  It was ruined unfortunately.  I wonder if it could have been repaired, either way we didn’t have the money for it but here is a picture of the carpet.
Within the first year, Justin installed some carpet that we got from my mother’s friend.  It was only a few years old she was replacing it with vinyl flooring.   It was free, and you know you can’t beat that.
After that, we used the room as a closet and dressing room for about 2 years.  We don’t really have very many pictures, but we built a little free standing hanging rack and it was about 7 feet tall.  Here is Kitty sitting on top of it, I think it is funny.  (this house was a cats dream, so many places to explore)
We took out a few things almost immediately, like the board under the window seat, I think we were planning on taking the whole thing out, but that is when we found out that the foundation was hidden underneath it.
Why yes, every inch of the interior of that closet is covered with random orange
(and below purple) carpet remnants, very plush wouldn’t you say?
We took the closet doors off because the closet was less than 16 inches deep, which made it almost useless,  hangers are wider than that.   I built the entertainment center from them, I showed you the in the master bedroom remodel post.    We used the adorable hinges in our hall remodel.
After we rebuilt the master closet, we moved our exercise equipment into this room.
Here is what it looked like for a while.
You can see how the foundation juts out into the room here, at a sort of random height.
When we were finally ready to work on this room, the first thing we did was remove the chimney stack, A new roof had been built over it, so from the outside you didn’t even know it was there, but it was an eyesore in the room.
Well, when we started taking it out, I guess at some point previous owners had filled that baby up with about 70 pounds of SAND!  and it was filthy, we started taking out the brick, and sand just started pouring into the room.  We got a little dirty (understatement).  Oh, and yes we are wearing bike helmets… Uh… I was worried we’d have our head smashed in, and these were the closest things we had to hard hats!
Uh, yeah, those aren’t flattering pictures, but at least now you can sorta see how dirty we were… sorta.
We found some holes for pipes, (more under the wallpaper) I really don’t understand what this room was.  But you can also the all the layers of wallpaper, and old paint colors in this picture and I always think layer pictures or fun.
Well we got it out and so we had a huge gaping hole in the ceiling, actually though, there were two.  Over the window seat there was this little arch thing that made absolutely no sense.  At some point the ceiling had been lowered, but they chose for a “design feature” to have this little thing, for lack of a better word.    (you can kind of see it in the picture below, I never really photographed it, sorry!
We really wanted to raise the ceiling back up, but we ran out of time.  Instead, we just patched the holes.
We removed the front framing of the closet entirely.
By the way, you can see the purple carpet tiles that were on the foundation better in the second picture.  These were the same tiles that had been at the top of the stairs on the landing, that I never got a photograph of.
Then we framed in the new front of the now a normal depth closet.
And I had Justin frame in the foundation.  I decided to bring the foundation height up to an average wainscoting height.
When it comes to drywall, we covered all the existing walls without removing the old stuff, It was the best decision we ever made.  It went SO fast and was SO much cleaner!
After taping up all the seams, we primed and started adding moldings. (Oh and I finally painted that one wooden window… It took forever, and even though I used a primer, it kept yellowing the paint. urgh!  But it turned out pretty decent in the end)
You can see the interior of the closet here, we decided to have a shelf at the height of the foundation, and a shoe shelf or what not below.   We figured this would be an office or kids room either way.
One of the major problems with this room was the difference in windows.  One is wood, one metal, I couldn’t afford to change them out.  The one thing I realized, I could at least mask was the different dimensions.  By visually bringing one down and the other up, so the molding may look strange, but I promise it works in the end.
We decided on Valance boxes again, I have to admit, I like the formality of them when done right. But the other reason was the fact that the tall window was almost exactly the height of the ceiling, which made it hard to install the crown in the room.  However, with the valance boxes, we could continue wrapping the crown around the whole room without strange stops and starts.  This also helped to make the windows look more the same than they were.
Now we just installed all the moldings and painted…
Lastly, we installed new carpet.  We did find one other fun secret.  Under the closet, was a door to the cellar, and in the cellar you could see big grooves in the floor where there had been a ladder.  The cellar was built in two sections.  But this portion was part of the second addition to the house.  The other portion was the third addition to the house.  It was fun to piece some of these things together.
Ready for the finals?

And I made a quick composite image, not perfect but you get the idea.
What do you think about the windows now? 
That was my favorite change in the room  They actually appeared to be the same height.. Finally!
Do you like the room?
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  1. >Whoa!! What a huge transformation!!!! You guys worked hard! Everything looks amazing. Love the windows and trim work. Fabulous job 🙂

  2. >I have seen a lot of ugly bedrooms, but that "before" has to be THE UGLIEST bedroom ever! You are miracle workers. Wonderful, beautiful job!

  3. >HOLY. CRAP. …. for a greater effect, let me say that again – HOLY CRAP. the state of that room in the before pictures was just…. ghastly. but you made it BEEAAAUUTIFUL. i am still in disbelief….. AWESOME makeover.

  4. >You did an awesome job! I love the windows I actually had to go back and look at them again..I would have never guessed they were different heights!! Wonderful post..your hard work shows!

  5. >Amazing transformation! The window treatments and cornice boxes help unify the windows. I have to ask, is you kitty sad you got rid of its jungle gym clothes rack?

  6. >The room is so light and airy and beautiful now. Great job! I can tell that was some haaaard work!! and that old carpet looks so grody! But, all the hard work paid off with that lovely room!

  7. >You guys must have the gift of "vision". That's the only way someone would buy that house. It certainly was colorful and, um, creatively put together/decorated. It's turned out beautiful and you've done a wonderful job.

  8. >What an awesome make-over! WOW! It also reminds me of the one remaining room we have in our home that has to be made-over at some point (it's storage right now). It too has 700 layers of wallpaper to contend with. Goodtimes

  9. >WOW – you really can take on a room and show it who is boss! I love the transformation! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! : )

  10. >Love the windows now! It all looks spectacular. What a difference!. That old carpeting running up the wall onto the seat was NOT GOOD! : ))

  11. >Oh my Goodness–
    what a mess and y'all made it look wonderful!

    That took some thinking skills right there. I'm flabbergasted!

    The windows… those turned out great.

    You did a fantastic job taking the before and after pictures.


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