Monday, August 19, 2013

You Have to Feature it.

Moving right along, the next step was dealing with the three spare bedrooms.  Each presented its own unique set of issues and challenges, but perhaps none quite like what I'm about to show you.  This room was going to have an awkward layout no matter what because of the position of the stone fireplace directly underneath it and the duct work next to it that feeds the furnace in the basement.  All of this stuff had to go somewhere, so there was going to be a bumpout in the room--no way around it.  The architect who designed the house chose to take something that was annoying and make it a WHOLE lot more annoying by adding a double closet to the other side of the room--the end of which basically blocked the door.  It was both an aesthetic disaster and it made moving furniture into that room almost impossible.  Let me show you:

Charming, isn't it?  Since this bedroom is at the end of a long hallway, this was the view--or complete lack thereof.  I don't know much about feng shui, but I'm pretty sure this violates every rule imaginable.  The plastic football door knob was a bonus as well as whatever that weird thing is nailed to the wall above the adjacent bedroom.  Removing it destroyed the wall, so the hallway needed major drywall repair.

The view from the inside of the room.  Since this was the bedroom of a teenage boy, he didn't have much need for two closets, so he turned the other closet into a desk area.

Not exactly something you would pin on Pinterest...

This is the other side of the room--you can see the bumpout on the right side.

This is a better shot.  In addition to simply looking odd, it made furniture placement, well, strange.  There simply was no good way to do it.  Other issues included the chair rail, which was poorly done and really made no sense and the plaster textured ceiling.  This was not a simple popcorn ceiling that could be easily scraped off--it was PLASTER and it was cracked, yellowed and just generally awful.

Staring at the room one day, I had a revelation when I remembered an old Saturday Night Live skit where John Larroquette was playing Bob Vila walking around a house that suffered from demonic possession.  The homeowners pointed out a "hell mouth" and asked Bob what could be done about it.  His response was, "Well, you have to feature it--you know make it into a fireplace and roast marshmallows and tell scary stories."  This was my hell mouth.  So I decided to feature it.  I decided that this strange void in front of the window was...duh...the perfect place for a window seat.  Ditch the stupid door-blocking closet and build another one in front of the bumpout (basically, just bump it out more) and the extra space will accommodate a larger window seat.  Create a hinged lid on the seat and presto! instant extra storage.  Since we were tearing down walls, repairing flooring, etc, this is one of the rooms where we just got rid of most of the drywall.  In the end it was easier--particularly the ceiling.  Here's how it came out:

Current hallway view.  We replaced all of the luan doors with six panel white ones and European door handles, replaced all of the trim around the doorways, baseboards, etc., replaced the overhead light and painted my favorite color at the moment: Benjamin Moore "Night Mist".  Now you can actually see into the room.

We also added crown moldings (we did this to most rooms) and halogen pot lights (I LOOVVVEE the warm glow these lights give off).  Eventually, there will be a custom down cushion, just as soon as I decide what fabric to use.  The roman shades were off the shelf from Lowe's.  I really like how clean and beachy they look--adding something to the window without really blocking out much light.  I can never seem to get enough light.

Here is a better view of the face of the closet.  Still slightly awkward, but at least this makes sense to me.

The bed could be moved over a bit to give a better flow, but I like the view of the chair from the hallway.  If we host another exchange student, I will probably swap it out for the dresser and desk in the other room.  The other spare bedroom looks pretty much the same as this one and didn't have nearly the issues that this room had.  Next step, new bedding...


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