Master Bedroom Transformation

When we first moved into our house, one of the only rooms that didn’t need immediate TLC was the “master” bedroom.

But then we found the mold.

The house has had a mildewy smell since we moved in, but over the summer we started to really notice it; as things got hot, the mold and mildew grew happier. So Shawn started poking around a bit, knowing that the main source was the disaster that is the crawl space (the main reason for any of our grey hairs). But he also found that the master wall adjacent to the master bath had some black mold behind it. Needless to say, we moved out and into the lovely wallpapered guest bedroom, and the master become priority #1 (alongside all the other priority #1s: crawl space, putting the kitchen back together, getting Fios so we can watch TV and have real internet, etc). We really dove into the master bedroom project in December 2014, and finished the major things in February 2015. This past weekend we finally got curtains.

The bedroom before we moved in

Bedroom before we moved in


The bedroom after we moved in


The bedroom now

bedroom collage

Here are the steps we (mostly Shawn) took to get from Point A to Point B:

  1. Move as much as possible out of the room. Move anything that can’t be moved out to center, and cover.
  2. Tear down these walls! We ripped out the wood paneling, nasty drywall, terrible electrical work, trim, closet, and insulation. This part’s kinda fun.

    Photo Jan 03, 12 11 54 PM

    Partially torn down, partially re-insulated

  3. Re-insulate. Shawn insulated the exterior walls, and I did the soundproofing. Yes, I did something! Since the house is small and open concept, we decided to soundproof the interior walls (adjacent to the hall bath and guest bedroom).

    Photo Jan 06, 2 47 14 PM

    Some of my handywork in the closet. I’m too proud of this.

  4. Re-do all the electrical work. Before drywall went back up, my in-house electrician/lover rewired everything to prep for new lights, add outlets, add more switches for the fan and focal lights, etc. I did absolutely nothing for this part. Shawn was in the attic a lot. I ate snacks.
  5. Drywall Forever. This is the longest, most obnoxious part of the process–and that’s coming from the person who did maybe 1% of the work on it. Shawn hung drywall and re-screwed the ceiling into place, taped the drywall, mudded the drywall, sanded the drywall, mudded again, sanded again, mudded again. So my job was to hang the plastic to keep the sanding mess confined to one space. I wasn’t very good at my job. I also carried many objects to and from and tried to tidy up along the way. I was also bad at that job.

    Photo Jan 22, 8 17 33 AM

    Drywall going up

    Photo Jan 25, 9 19 15 PM

    Initial mud. So bright

    Photo Mar 06, 12 14 21 PM

    Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Sanding prep.

    First primer coat = still more sanding to go.

    First primer coat = still more sanding to go.

  6. Primer & Paint (and sand some more..). This is when the magic starts really happening. We finally started getting excited about this room. Shawn is great at painting, and I’m a writer, lolz. But I did primer the closet. The closet was really the place where I put in real work, and I think Shawn did that to me on purpose because it’s MY closet. I had to work for it. I also got paint on the floor.

    Photo Mar 07, 10 16 51 PM

    Primer with more mud on top

    Photo Mar 15, 5 16 30 PM

    Smooth layer of primer, and the closet

    Photo Mar 08, 1 01 29 PM

    Ceiling getting painted “Perfect Taupe” by Behr

    Photo Mar 15, 7 39 42 PM

    Primer: Tinted grey; Ceiling: “Perfect Taupe” by Behr; Walls: “Arabian Veil” by Behr

    Photo Mar 16, 6 43 55 PM

    Painting done!

    Photo Mar 16, 9 16 08 AM

    Light is fun. The left is during the day, with the lights on. Right is during the day, no lights..

  7. Add lighting, switchplates, outlet covers, and the fan. Go Shawn, go!

    We did 4 regular recessed cans and two small ones over the bed. & our fan doesn't have a light on it because it's 2015.

    We did 4 regular recessed cans and two small ones over the bed. & our fan doesn’t have a light on it because it’s 2015.

  8. Clean. I was finally useful! I filled 2-3 giant bags of trash and debris. I shopvacced (love that thing), swept, mopped, got on my hands and knees and scrubbed drywall and paint off the floor, moved stuff. I cleaned out the master bathroom, which had taken a beating from all the rinsing and moving and sanding.

    Look how dirty the floor is.. Yikes!

    Look how dirty the floor is.. Yikes!

  9. Build the headboard. All Shawn again. I should write an entire post about the headboard because of how magical it is.
    Photo Mar 23, 9 45 05 PM

    Headboard mounted

    Headboard finished

    Headboard finished

    Headboard in action

    Headboard in action

  10. Move in! Furnish! We moved in before it was totally done because we have missed our mattress so much and it’s exciting to not sleep in the wallpapered room. Furniture list:
    • Bed: Ikea Brimnes bed in black (we also have it in white)
    • Bedding: Ikea sheets and pillowcases, Ikea grey blanket, Ikea duvet and cover (canvas), Target sweater blanket (white and grey)
    • Desk and chair given to us by family
    • Side tables: $35 tables from The Christmas Tree Store (good thing they were cheap; dog chewed on the corners the first month we had him)
    • Dog: Calvert County Humane Society
  11. Move clothes in. This took awhile, but my closet is small and wonderful.


    Yes, my coats and boots ARE to die for, thanks.

  12. Months and months (OK, about a year) after we finished the bedroom, we finally got curtains and added little details.

12. Next: Add window trim. Make closet door (it’s gonna be a sliding barn door). Redo floors (throughout house..) and then add floor trim.


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