Welcome to the boudoir.
I don't generally swoon when I visit the beautiful sprawling suburban homes of our friends - I love living in Brooklyn, I love the character of older homes, suburban life is not for me. But when we were starting this and we were trying to put the best of modern life in the house, we couldn't help but think lustfully of those fabulous master suites with a huge bedroom area, giant walk in closets and en suite bathroom complete with giant soaking tub, separate shower, etc. We knew we couldn't do anything that grand - we simply didn't have the space. That didn't mean we couldn't do some scaled down version of the master suite.
We knew we wanted to take the largest bedroom as our own. The bedroom is hardly huge but by old house standards its pretty spacious. It also has the prettiest features on the top floor - the bay windows and a (non working) fireplace. While drawing up the plans, we had a choice about placement. We could take the larger middle, windowless room that was currently open to our bedroom (but could have been closed off to make a private room) or take the really tiny room next door. If we took the really tiny room next door, we could make better use of that space as a bathroom rather than a room so small its barely a bedroom. But if we did that, we would still have no closets in our room. Ultimately, we decided to sacrifice a normal sized middle room in exchange for both a master bathroom and two smallish but walk in closets.
Here is how the two rooms looke before the renovation got started.
The bedroom room itself stayed mostly the same but needed a lot of clean-up. The ceilings were totally wrecked after years of water damage so that was one of the first things that had to go. After what was left of the ceiling came down, we used that opportunity to add some insulation. The area around the fireplace was in very bad shape and needed a lot of plaster repair. There was an extra door to the teeny tiny room next door. I never quite understood the point of that door but that had to go as well to make more wall space.
The once open space connecting the bedroom to the middle room became a short hallway with a closet on either side and the master bathroom at the end of the hall. Since space was tight in there, we used pocket doors.
For the bathroom, we opted for a shower stall rather than a tub. I originally specified a bench in there but ended up scraping it after feeling the contractors weren't able to do it without it looking somewhat different than I imagined. This left enough room for a double vanity which was much more of a practical luxury for us than a tub ever would be. Having my very own medicine cabinet and vanity to store all my junk seems absolutely like heaven.
This was a totally new bathroom of course so we could have went a lot of ways with the style. We ended up with a look thats a tad more contemporary than the other bathrooms in the house but also has some accents that recall the older style. Honed marble basket weave tile, an exposed shower fixture, inset medicine cabinets and the polished nickel finishes were all a modern twist on old. More in line with todays bath choices are the frameless shower doors (not pictured but in progress), vanity style, skylight and light fixtures.
Its hardly grand or spacious or perfect but its quite a luxury for us to have our very own bathroom. I love how its turned out.
Here are photos of the progress from when the work started in Sept to what it looked like at the end of the year.
Not yet installed are the Elfa closet systems. I'm very excited about the prospect of a beautiful closet even though my wardrobe full of rags is hardly worthy. We were lucky that we ended needing to order them just as they had their 30% off sale. Even so, these aren't really cheap by any stretch of the imagination and they require some effort to get sorted but they are a lot cheaper than California Closets. Whether they are worth the price or they do the job or they look as good in place is yet to be seen. What I can say is that the people at the Container Store are quite helpful, they have quite a few nice options and their delivery fee to Brooklyn is only $35. More to come.
I'll post some semi-finished photos in the next paint color post. Its not quite finished but we're quite close in here. The whole space makes me feel a tiny bit more tranquil and there isn't even a bed in here yet. So I'd say it worked out pretty nicely.