I’m going to do a series of posts on our home renovations. We’ve owned four different homes and done a lot of work on all of them. The first three we fixed and flipped which enabled us to keep moving up. When we bought our current home our family was growing and decided to stay put and raise our kids. In the beginning it was all DIY and now we do some jobs and hire some out. We do all the design work though.
First project to post: Master Bedroom
We purchased this country home in 2004 from a builder who was an avid hunter and homesteader. While it was very impressive and full of rustic materials it was lacking in a few creature comforts some of us less rugged types are accustomed to (dishwasher, central heat). One such feature was a master suite. Our bedroom was upstairs with two other bedrooms and all three shared a bathroom. Downstairs was a large office, full bathroom and laundry room/pantry. Initially we were fine with that layout since we just had Zach who was a toddler and one on the way. Keeping the kids close was natural and sharing a bathroom wasn’t relevant as we were still in the diaper stages. Eventually though when we had a teen, tween, preschooler and a fourth one on the way I became pretty adamant about having a sanctuary all our own. We evaluated all the options. Go up, down, out, over, add a prefabricated addition, put up a yurt and build a tunnel to it, find an old church or barn to reconstruct in our driveway…. Seriously we were extensive. I downloaded some floor plan apps and utilized my pregnancy induced insomnia time to pour over houzz, Pinterest and the www and apply the ideas to our floor plan. One day looking over the current layout for the millionth time it clicked. Why are we using ALL this space for an office, guest bath and pantry and cramming everyone into one level upstairs??? All we need for a guest bath is a half bathroom. I started knocking down the walls on my floor planning app and what was left was a huge space that was poorly utilized currently and just right for our master bedroom! It’s funny how the answers are staring you straight in the face sometimes.
Zach took over our room, Scarlet took over his room and Frankie who had been in with us moved into Scarlet’s old room so the kids are all upstairs. Alexis is now sharing a room with Frankie (at least her things are).
We moved all our pantry items into a sideboard in the kitchen which made baking much simpler. We relocated the laundry area to another under utilized space, the landing upstairs. This made perfect sense as it’s the central area between all the kid’s rooms so the epicenter of dirty laundry.
The rolling carts separate lights and darks and roll right up to the washer for easy loading. The stainless table is mounted to the railing on a hinge so can fold flush, and hanging clothes dry on wooden hangers on the valet hook above.
The pull out shelves hold milk crates for easy storing. One per child, one for towels and one for outgrown clothes to store, pass on or donate. It’s based loosely off the family closet idea. It’s basically a holding station so I can fold right out of the dryer (either on the folding table or in the air) and sort directly into the milk crates. When they are full it’s time to send them to their respective owner for unloading into their closet. It’s a great system!
This opened up room for a walk in closet, open concept master bedroom and bathroom. Once we had the space allocated it came down to design and layout. Having travelled a lot I based the flow off a well designed hotel room. It was our sanctuary so not necessary to close off the bathroom (although the space is there if someone wanted to add a wall someday). When we bought our first house my parents gave us an amazing anniversary edition red Kohler claw foot bath tub that has travelled with us to every home but never quite fit. Finally it had a place to take center stage. I placed it by the window so you could see the view, fireplace and television while soaking. We ordered a shower conversion so that bathing or showering would be an option.
There is a bump out where the tiny half bath sits on the other side of the hallway and this was designed to exactly fit a double vanity which we purchased from Restoration Hardware. All the lighting and medicine cabinets came from there as well.
The toilet is in the corner behind the tub. We debated walling it off but chose to divide it with a tall open book shelf. This serves two purposes, to create a screen and to hold towels and toiletries. A wall could always be added here someday.
At the end of the bathroom there is an open doorway to the walk in closet. It has a his and hers side set up with an easy closet solution. My husband has a “thing” for shoes and sweaters I know. We are working on it, it could be worse!
For the bedroom side we used the existing bookshelves to house the television and left the gun safe as is. The open wall holds a King sized bed perfectly. I have some wall mount shelves waiting to be installed (on the honey do list) directly on the bed frame for water glasses, remotes etc.
The tiny hall guest bath is one of our favorite rooms. It’s so quaint! It was a little tricky finding a sink to fit and we went through a couple trials before finding this sliding barn door but it turned out great in the end!
We finished with the rooms JUST in time for Alexis’s birth and it made me a happy mama to have this beautiful space to nest in. It’s not exactly the adult sanctuary I had imagined since the kids love it as much as we do. Taking a bath in the big tub by the fireplace with cartoons (or cooking shows for Scarlet) is tough to beat.