Master Bedroom Renovation (Phase 1)

In an effort to sustain our home renovating energy and enthusiasm, (and not go instantly insane) we have been focusing on projects within Content that will immediately benefit John and I. For instance, completing the master bedroom and en suite bathroom. Like every floor plan we've encountered within this house, thus far, the layout of the master bedroom is challenging.

It's weird though, sometimes I forget just how absurd of a property Content. really is. So often, John and I are busy micro managing projects, making sure we're making forward progress, that the big picture of the house gets lost. It's only when a new visitor or contractor stops by that we're reminded just how different Content. actually is. Our favorite question, "What is this place?"

The real BIG picture!

During a recent visit with our friends Veronica & Shawn, we pointed out that one of the two fireplaces (yes, two in the same room) located on opposing ends of the master bedroom would soon be concealed in the new walk-in closet and only used as an architectural detail. Veronica's reaction was priceless, "Two fireplaces in the same room? Now you're just showing off." Not on purpose of course, but yes, this house has charming quirks and a zillion stories to tell and we're having a blast figuring them all out.

Likely, Content's rooms were once half the size, and each of the bedroom fireplaces were originally in separate rooms. These small rooms are rumored to once have been used by ladies-of-the-night and gentleman callers (more to come on that in later posts). The house is also rumored to have been a horse stable, but either way, I guess a fireplace and a small private room work for both enterprises.

But now, as the newest owners, we are left puzzled and dumbfounded by how to layout the simplest of room elements, like our bed. And because the house was vacant for over 2 years, we can't even copy the prior owners attempts.

Take a look at the original layout of the master bedroom and some of the odd elements we have to quickly address:
  • Two fireplaces
  • Railroad style layout connecting kitchen, master and bathroom
  • One full wall of windows
  • Two exterior (courtyard) access doors
  • Window in closet

Before: Master Bedroom
This is the MLS listing photo of the bedroom before we even owned the house.

See, I'm not exaggerating! The layout is perplexing to say the least, and not in a fun "oh lets stretch our design creativity" kinda way....

Architect, what's that? We just hand draw our plans.
You should see what we submitted to the town for our permits. Ha!

The result of all this master planning (i.e. doodles on a cocktail napkin) was the construction of a mid-room partition that will serve as our headboard and the main wall of our closet. This new addition will nicely position our bed within the room, facing the fireplace. Ohh, how romantical!? 

Before: Master Bedroom
Old closet is out exposing two exterior courtyard doors. The door on the left will be covered up.

Partition wall (view facing bathroom)

Partition wall (view facing kitchen)

As I've said before, we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by talented tradesman that willingly volunteer their time and energy to help us with Content. And in the case of the master bedroom and bathroom, John's father Dave was our saving grace.

Dave traveled from John's home town in Bristol, Connecticut for the weekend to help run all the rough electrical and install recess lighting. Thanks Dave, we couldn't have done it without you!

John, and his father Dave.

That's Phase 1 of the Master. More to come soon!