When we moved into our home in 2006 I fell in love with the location, but the house itself needed a lot of work.
Ours is one of about 500 small bungalows built in 1928 in a small beach community one hour from New York City. Over the years many homes have added second floors or extensions and my house has evidence of former bones but I do not have photos to show the original look.
After we moved in we added windows to the Master Bedroom and put new siding on the house. We replaced the fence and decks and painted most of the house ourselves. At the time that was all we could afford to do.
A few years ago we sanded and stained the wood floors from a white washed 70’s look to an updated dark wood floor. That was a really nice difference but then future renovation plans went on hold after the sudden death of my husband.
Moving forward after the loss of a spouse is different for everyone. My sons were both away at college and my commute to work continued to be all of 5 minutes so staying put was something I felt lucky to be able to do.
After some time grieving, I decided to give dating a try. I met a very nice gentleman who made me smile again. We made plans to get married, sell his house and have him move in with me.
Before any of this happened, I needed to change the master bedroom around. It would have to be different than it was with my late husband, but how would I be able to do that?
The room is long with a wall of 6 windows looking out on somewhat obstructed water views. For years we never had a headboard and the bed was in the same spot the last owner had placed the bed, on the wall with the windows.
The first change I made was the location of the bed to a short side of the room. Now I could look out the windows while laying in bed. Not sure why it took me 13 years to figure that out. On the opposite short wall, the ceiling slanted down until to 24 inch wall. This short wall had some built in shelves and a gas fireplace that was not vented and never used. We were a bit afraid.
The water views and large space was a bonus but the master bedroom lacked a bathroom. On the third floor of my house there is a large master in the front, 2 smaller bedrooms in the back and a small bathroom with a tub across from the stairs.
I know a selling point for homes is a luxurious spa master bathroom. You know with a soaking tub and a walk in shower and of course dual sinks. Well, this old house did not have room for one of those bathrooms unless I took out a bedroom so I had another idea.
The part of my house that I most disliked was trudging down 2 flights of stairs to a nasty old boiler room to do the laundry. Why does that always end up being the job of the mom? All those stairs only to be greeted by spider crickets and too many wires coming from the fuse box was no fun.
What if… I could move the laundry to the third floor?
I took part of my late husband’s closet and put in a stackable washer and dryer. The connecting door from my bedroom would pass by the laundry unit into the newly renovated bathroom!
Then, to make up for the lost closet, I extended my closet to cover the slanted wall and old fireplace unit and make a huge L shaped closet with doors on both ends. Having a full size wall on the opposite side of the room from the bed is the perfect spot for a brand new 60 inch high definition television set, an extravagance new husband added to the renovation.
Add some new paint and artwork and the master bedroom makeover is complete.
I love having the laundry near my bedroom and not 3 floors below in the basement. Doing a quick load is easy and fun as my new Samsung washer and dryer even play little songs when completed. Moving the laundry next to the bedroom has indeed been a life changer!
So far, the improvements have been successful and I am so pleased. The bathroom updates with new tile, vanity, lights, tub and toilet were enhanced by adding a bidet toilet seat similar to the ones common in Japan. That could also be considered a life changer – once you try it, you never want to go back.
Now for the main living space, kitchen and bathroom. The plan is to take down a wall, add an island – all new cabinets and appliances. With some help from Home Depot and their kitchen design center and of course my amazing General Contractor and his team of excellent local professionals, I am excited for the new space.
After one week of demo. The wall is down! A few surprises including a newspaper from February 1963 but still moving forward. Loving the open space. To see how the kitchen came out click here: Black and White kitchen renovation