No matter how hard we try to wish it, our master bedroom just won’t go away. And it isn’t fixing itself either. The only thing left to do is acknowledge its presence and officially document the before pictures. Take a deep breath, people: we begrudgingly invite you into our master bedroom.
Before we got down to the working part, Bradley spent a few hours spying on our neighbors:
Just kidding. Bradley’s measuring a couple of window that need to be replaced. He’s hiding behind a window roller because it doesn’t technically roll anymore. We have to manually roll it up every time we want a little light in the room.
Most of the other window rollers in the house were ripped down during one particularly hilarious hissy fit. It was very Joan Crawford moment, except instead of NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!! it was more like WHAT KINDA ROLLER DOESN’T ROLL?! So far, only 2 rollers on the entire second floor have survived our wrath. They’re both in the room we frequent the least. Ahem.
Anyway, the window panes are so old that they have a wavy look to them, and they make everything look a little blurry.
Check out the Freestyle Painting around the glass. Maybe there was a masking tape shortage when they last renovated the house. Yeah, that must be it. The Blue Tape Shortage of Aught-Nine.
Single-pane glass has an Energy Star rating of Your-Heating-Bill-Will-Bankrupt-You, so we want to get these swapped out pronto. Ahhh, the joys of buying a 130-year-old house. No insulation, crusty windows, energy-sucking boiler. Our goal is to fix all of those problems before Old Man Winter shows up and drains our wallets. We’re starting with the 3 Smurf Room windows and 2 master bedroom windows. These are the 2 master bedroom windows that need help:
The thing in the middle that juts out a little is a chimney. And on the other wall is the radiator:
You can get a better idea of the ceiling height there. Bradley’s 5’10″ if that helps scale it. The ceilings are 112 inches tall, which is about 9.333333 feet. The height really helps open up the room and make it feel even bigger.
On the flip-side of the chimney wall is the entrance to the room. You’ll see some more Freestyle Painting around the door frame:
Please ignore the pile of insulation. That’s the stuff we pulled out of the guest bedroom / hallway wall. We were too t
ired to carry it up to the attic, so we piled it up in front of the master bedroom until we could barely see the door. It’s all part of our delusion master plan.
We’ve already shared our faux marble turquoise light switch covers:
Those are perfectly complemented by our faux marble pinkish-red plug-in covers:
What color would you call that? Off-red? Rose? Mauve? Also, how exactly do you pronounce mauve? Moev? Or mawv? We say mawv, but it sounds a little too New Yorker to be right. Like kaw-fee (coffee) or bee-a (beer). My absolute favorite New Yorkism ever: brawr (bra).
However you pronounce it, that mauve monstrosity is not going to last much longer in our house. There was some talk of gathering up all of the colorful faceplates and repeatedly running over them with our car, but it didn’t seem like a productive use of our time. It also didn’t seem very sane, so we’re playing it safe and just tossing them in the trash. We’re laughing maniacally as we throw them away, though, so sanity is a moot point.
One of the biggest challenges we’re having right now is figuring out where we’ll put a king-sized bed in this room. All of the walls have something going on:
The fourth wall has a door smack in the middle. After years of living with a queen-sized bed and no bedside tables, we’re being pretty bratty about our master bedroom setup. We want a king-sized bed, 2 bedside tables with drawers, and lamps. The only wall that might work is the wall with the closet, but we’re not sure the bedroom door will fully open with a bed there.
After taking window measurements, we found ourselves staring at the walls, wondering how on earth we would make this a functional bedroom. And that’s when we had a brilliant revelation. We took a couple of measurements and confirmed it: the wall had a hollow space behind it!
We could remove the entire wall, move the closet somewhere else, and have a nice set-in section that would give us plenty of room! Bradley couldn’t wait to have a look at how much hollow space was behind the wall. He ran out of the room and came back with the sledgehammer:
Doesn’t he look so ecstatic? He made the same face when we ate at a Sonic for the first time ever:
Burgers and sledgehammers: it doesn’t take much to keep the boy happy.
Bradley used the sledgehammer to smack a hole in the wall, but the hammer just kept bouncing back. It wouldn’t crack through. Um…turns out he was hitting a stud. Oops! So he knocked another hole next to it:
There was lathe behind the wall, just like we were expecting.
We pulled the wood strips out, reached in to see how much room we had, annnnnnd…
….saw the back the guest bedroom closet. Oh. Crap. The wall was hollow, alright, but there are only about 4 inches to work with. Somehow we got our measurements wrong by a couple of feet.
We blamed it on the fact we had been doing manual labor all day before we got to this project. Our brains weren’t working at full capacity. Maybe we were holding the tape measure upside-down. We needed a nap. The dog ate our homework. No matter what excuse we came up with, we knew it all came down to this: we screwed up.
After a few choice profanities, we grew silent and just stared at the back of the guest bedroom closet through what used to be a perfectly good wall. Then we walked out of the master bedroom, closed the door behind us and stacked our insulation in front of it.
Mistakes: we all make ‘em. But it takes a special type of person to walk away and pretend like it never happened.
To help cleanse ourselves of the residual guilt, we decided to do something uber-productive and totally necessary. Like go up to the attic and look around at stuff. We’ll do whatever it takes to forget.
The attic door, in case you forgot, is in the Purple Room:
Purple walls. Purple trim. Purple door. Purple floors. Prince called. He wants his palette back. Or he wants to move in and pay rent. I forget.
The Purple Room is another one of those close-the-door-and-let-it-get-sucked-into-a-vortex rooms, but it does have one huge redeeming quality:
Brick! We’re such suckers for exposed brick. It’s going to take all of our will power to not go completely overboard and expose every inch of brick in this house. We sometimes struggle with taking things too far — why do it when you can overdo it?? — but admitting we have a problem is the first step. Still, when we need a hit of brick, we go peek at the attic wall. It fills a need and keeps us from going jackhammer-crazy all over the place.
For all of you who have wished us luck in finding some antique artifacts in our attic:
We found some shutters! They’re easily as old as the house itself and are covered in inches of grime. There are 4 windows on the front of the house and we found 3 shutters that look like a perfect fit. Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll find a fourth lying around!
We’re honestly not sure these shutters are even salvageable because they’re so covered in nastiness, but we’d be willing to give them a power wash if we find the missing one.
Those shutters, by the way, are the only thing we found in the attic. A few weeks ago, a sweet elderly couple dropped by the house to chit-chat, and they told us they were hired to clean up the house after the foreclosure. Apparently there was a lot of “junk” in the attic and garage, and they got rid of everything. We were a little sad, but also a little relieved because it means less work for us.
Sorry to disappoint, but unless we find something really cool hidden in a wall somewhere, our biggest finds have been a block of wood, a tin of flux, a roll of wire, a DVD and a half-empty can of beer. And that busted chimney that someone sealed up and hid under the guest bedroom floor.
What we learned from our venture into the forbidden zone:
- Measure twice, bust through wall once.
- The master bedroom may end up being the guest bedroom, and the guest bedroom may end up being the master bedroom.
- None of our friends are going to visit us after they see that last bullet point.