Now that’s a minimalist bedroom

I reached a real milestone this week. All the bagged plaster is gone! That doesn’t mean I won’t find bits of it here and there, but I’m officially done hauling it out. And to celebrate, I vacuumed my car. I’ve also finished taking out the flooring in the back bedroom. All of it.


Those boards are just sitting there, in case you were wondering, and yes, one of them is a door.

This work was tricky because the ceiling in the upstairs hall is not coming out, and it’s attached to framing that was held up by the old wall into this bedroom, and that wall had to come out to get the flooring out. So we had to partially frame the new wall about 14 inches over from the old one and tear out the old flooring and wall framing simultaneously. That was kind of a pain but on the bright side, now we can see right where the wall is going to go. Have a look! We’re looking into a closet right now, so the walls will look weird with boxes around all those pipes, but it won’t matter.


That window is partially behind the wall, so it has to go. But don’t shed any tears for it; it wasn’t installed right and it doesn’t close. And I’m massively enlarging the windows at the other end of this room where they’ll be more practical anyway.

Now outside of the back bedroom I’ve made some progress, too. I cleaned the kitchen, and finally have pictures that will do all 4 former wallpapers justice!


It may be tough to see, but we’ve got more of the kitschy 50’s kitchen paper, this time with cooking grease all over it, but we also have a kitschy Dutch paper, an abstract googie geometric pattern, and a very 1970’s floral. On top of all that is another paper that I can’t identify because it’s been painted blue. and lots of the plastic tile that I’ve found traces of before.

And finally, I’ve put and end to my comical anxiety about choosing bathroom tile. I reached an impasse even though I don’t think I’ll end up caring that much what I get. But I wanted whatever I got to be nice enough that I’d never regret putting it in. In the end I turned to craigslist, and got an excellent price on fancy handmade tiles, and I grabbed them. I don’t think this was the direction I was going to go with, but I like it! The white penny tiles (also cheap on craigslist) are for the floor, and the blue goes on the walls around the tub, and I think I’ll use them for a 6 inch baseboard in the rest of the room. So there we are, I’m done choosing things for the bathroom! I’ll stick with bare bulb closet fixtures above the vanities for now because I’m just done picking things out.IMG_0572


6 thoughts on “Now that’s a minimalist bedroom

  1. Mary Elizabeth

    Chad, the old wallpapers are like history being uncovered. Never mind about the tile. I have plenty for now and can cannibalize the ceiling when I replace the full-tile ceiling with a normal one.

    I am enjoying your project very much. My husband and i have only done a couple of projects that involved taking down walls, and they were sheetrock, not plaster. In the old 1900 house I grew up in, we had plaster, elaborate woodwork, and layers and layers of wallpaper, so one of the first things I learned to do was scrape off wallpaper and old paint. No doubt lead ingestion accounts for the ADD rampant in our family. We got really good at painting woodwork and radiators and hanging wallpaper, however. I even helped my dad put up the four panels for a mural over the fireplace in the 1960s. Pam showed something like it on RetroRenovation.

    The tub-crashing video was fun to watch, but I’m sure it wasn’t as easy as it looks. Makes me even happier I kept the pink tub.

    Good thing the “crack-heads” who painted the stairway knew nothing about sanding and priming before painting over varnish.

    Your parents are great to put up with your stuff in their garage and driveway. I assume putting up with you is no problem, as they have been doing it all your life. I’m sure they are saying to themselves, “Thank God he’s demo-ing his own house, not ours!”

    What do you do for a living? My husband and I are retired, so we can work all day on our house, or if we get tired of that we work on our 1982 restored camp trailer. Next week it’s taking out the bedroom ceiling in the trailer and replacing some studs and wall-board.


    1. chadscrookedhouse Post author

      I’m a construction engineer, and only 2 years into the work force so very far off from retirement. And you put crack heads in quotes, but this is Philadelphia. It’s very possible that the people who did (terrible) work on my house before I owned it were actually on crack. Yes, my parents are great, but as far as the Bagster goes my om said it was relatively neat and it was gone in a couple days so she didn’t mind at all. I thought she would have.


      1. Mary Elizabeth

        Oh, I only put it in quotes because it was hearsay from the neighbors. Even in suburban and (in our case) rural Connecticut, you have to be careful who comes to work on your house, because there are drug addicts and alcoholics in the trades. Glad to hear you are a construction engineer by trade. Some of the bad surprises aren’t so daunting, then. Can’t wait to see the bath and other rooms as they emerge.


  2. madie

    Great blog. I am so happy to see you saving the random width pine floors! I love mine. I think that a lot of materials these days are such poor quality. Even a modest house like yours (and mine) have such great bones. It makes me a little sad to see house after house in our neighborhood being gutted and all the great wood, radiators, etc being trashed. I can’t wait to see the end product. I also love the “new” doors.


    1. chadscrookedhouse Post author

      Thanks. After all the trouble I’ve found with this place I can see the value in buying a flipped house though. Especially I’m replacing all the upstairs doors and woodwork anyway – though at least seeing the original stuff taught me what the replacement should look like.



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