Master Suite Masterpiece
To convert this un-cared for bedroom into a master suite, we had to junk all the horsehair plaster, crumbling lath and decrepit knob-and-tube wiring. We then stripped the structural walls of the house back to the block, installed new studs, updated electrical, insulation, HVAC chases, windows and drywall. Once back to a blank slate, we could connect all the dots and make it pretty.
As shown in this article, we finished and sanded the drywall, switched and plugged the roughed-in electrical, and ran nice, classic moldings. We also installed a wide-plank pine floor, painted and—the piece d’resistance of the entire project—used stock cabinets to create two custom built-in closets for the previously storage-free space. They graciously contain all the things typically stored in a bedroom, and smartly—not to mention affordably—solve a serious storage dilemma part-and-parcel to old and/or under-detailed houses. And it all ties together in a super-sweet package, faithful to the look and detail of an old house. Here’s how we did it.
This is a room upgrade that relies heavily on the right design for the space—both for function and form—and here, necessity was the mother of beauty.
The 12-by-13-foot room, which would be a master bedroom when we were done, had no closet. Thanks to old house designers, that is roughly two fewer closets than a modern couple needs. That was the inspiration for the custom built-ins.
The core of the room would be two elegant and very customized storage systems that my co-remodeler Theresa designed, using stock cabinets from Thomasville cabinets. Using just about every page from their extensive catalogue, we pulled together a totally detailed, functional system that stores everything from shoes to gym bags to dirty clothes and everything in between. And it’s all behind sweet raised-panel doors that close and hide just about any mess.
Before and After
To make it all flow, we took a closet from an adjoining room, so one of the two built-in banks would live inside the new space.
To add to the overall look and feel, we spec’ed a nice, three-piece crown, tall base molding, pine floors and just the right color to tie it all together.
Banks O’ Built-Ins
The built-ins are three towers, essentially, made with 24-inch deep kitchen cabinets (25 inches with the doors) ganged on top of and next to each other rising to 89-3/4 inches tall.
The left and right towers have drawer bases, an armoire as the center element and a hopper drawer cabinet at the top for tucking away things used less frequently (like your ski cap or small set of bagpipes). The center tower swaps out the drawers for two slide-out trash cans.
Now, I know you need a trash can in a bedroom—but four of them!
“They’re the clothes hamper, Mark,” Theresa pointed out.
Sheeee-yaaa…like I needed that explained to me.
Theresa really worked—without overworking—the details. Inside the drawers she used silverware organizers as valets to separate little things like watches, wallets, change, and so forth. Each drawer base has toe-kick drawers which are awesome, again, for lesser used things. And she even re-invented a wine storage rack as vertical shoe storage for flat shoes, scarves, and other things more commonly found in a lady’s closet.