19 Nov

Before and after: the bedroom project

The painted red table is easier to clean than the old unfinished pine.  The basket on the lower shelf hides things that might otherwise be messy.

My bedroom was bad news.

After 18 years of living in the house, the bedroom walls were still the same dingy white they’d been on the day we moved in. Only dingier. The nasty blue carpet had been partially removed, revealing plywood with random splotches of paint. The Venetian blinds were broken. And the worst thing? The horrible, awful fluorescent light fixture that blighted the ceiling. It was like this one:

Yes, one of those. In a bedroom. I hated it. And yet, for 18 years it stayed. And stayed. On as little as possible, but it stayed.

Here are a few “BEFORE” pictures of the old bedroom.

oldbedroom

oldbedroom2

Note plywood covering big hole in the wall. Note also, horrible blue carpet. And cat tree.

bookshelf

This is about as good as any part of that room ever looked. And yet… the dingy white walls, brown trim and blue carpet are not a look any room should have.

It doesn’t look like that any more! 

I wanted color, warmth, and openness. I think I got it! This is the result of the 2014 redesign:

This is the same bookshelf that was there before. Only now, it's painted, has beadboard backing, and has added trim.

This is the same IVAR bookshelf from IKEA that was there before, in the same corner. Only now, it’s painted, has beadboard backing, and has added trim.

The painted red table is easier to clean than the old unfinished pine.  The basket on the lower shelf hides things that might otherwise be messy.

The painted red table is easier to clean than the old unfinished pine. The basket on the lower shelf hides things that might otherwise be messy.

The wall around the walk-in closet is now an accent wall in a rich chocolate brown. The baseboards are wider, and the art on the walls is better proportioned to fit the space.

The wall around the walk-in closet is now an accent wall in a rich chocolate brown that tones down the pink of the other walls. The baseboards are wider, and the art on the walls is better proportioned to fit the space. To the eye, the walls are paler pink than they appear in this picture.

Hanging lanterns cost me a total of $5 at an end of summer clearance sale at a local drugstore. The LEDs to light them (with remote!) come from Pier 1.

Hanging lanterns cost me a total of $5 at an end of summer clearance sale at a local drugstore. The LEDs to light them (with remote!) come from Pier 1. The tiny doorway leads to part of the attic; until now, that doorway was just a piece of unfinished plywood filling the space. Now, it goes with the rest of the house, which is a 1911 Craftsman bungalow.

The blue colors in the painting (by Seth Damm) are a necessary accent among the warm colors in the room.

The blue colors in the painting (by Seth Damm) are a necessary accent among the warm colors in the room. A sari serves as a decorative bedspread. (To the eye, the LEDs are whiter than they appear in this photo.)

In the afternoon, lanterns with LED lights add a warm glow to the room. Even with the white floor, the room never looks cold.

In the afternoon, lanterns with LED lights add a warm glow to the room. Even with the white floor, the room never looks cold. Two saris draped over the curtain add some panache to the plain, small window, even though the curtains cannot be kept longer because of the baseboard heater.

One final look at the bookcase, transformed with paint, trim, and beadboard.

One final look at the bookcase, transformed with paint, trim, and beadboard.

The side tables are the same IKEA RAST units that were there for the last decade or more -- only now, they've been painted a shiny red gloss. The hanging star was found at Goodwill.

The side tables are the same IKEA RAST units that were there for the last decade or more — only now, they’ve been painted a shiny red gloss. The hanging star was found at Goodwill.

So here’s what the project included:

  • Ripping out blue carpet
  • Removing old baseboards
  • Removing old fluorescent fixture
  • Priming and painting walls, floor, trim
  • Building and painting a door and trim for the hole leading to the attic
  • Painting shiny nickel light fixture to be oil-rubbed bronze instead
  • Repairing drywall ceiling, installing new oil-rubbed bronze light fixture
  • Removing/refinishing/replacing doors’ hardware
  • Replacing switchplates, etc.
  • Rebuilding baseboards into wider ones (stay tuned for more on that in a later post)
  • Spray painting old pine bedside tables with gloss red enamel
  • Adding beadboard back to old bookshelf
  • Adding trim to old bookshelf
  • Using MDF to fill in around sides of bookshelf, making it look built-in
  • Painting bookshelf
  • Decorating! Finding art, lamps and soft furnishings to suit the new room.

The project was relatively inexpensive, though like all such projects, it was still more than planned. Here’s what I had to buy (I’m sure I’m missing some things):

  • Floor paint
  • Wall paint
  • Trim paint
  • Primer
  • Spackle
  • Various painting supplies, sandpaper, etc.
  • Spray paint for side tables
  • Spray paint for light fixture and some door hardware
  • Baseboard material
  • Drywall to patch ceiling
  • Spray texture to blend new drywall with old
  • New switch/outlet plates
  • Hinges, etc. for new attic door
  • Trim for bookshelf
  • Beadboard for bookshelf (some I already had, some I had to buy)
  • MDF
  • A bunch of decorating stuff — lamps, duvet cover, saris for decorating, picture frames, pillows, etc. A large number of things, however, came from thrift stores.

All in all, I’m deliriously happy with how this one turned out. I love the color and warmth of the room. I wasn’t sure about the white floor, but I love it, too. The room is much easier to clean now that the carpet is gone, and it’s so much brighter with the new paint.

Special thanks to my housemate Mike who went above and beyond in helping with the project, including building the adorable tiny attic door.

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