4th Anniversary Tour – Back Bedroom

The back bedroom, oh my. At the start it was tiny, the floor had a terrible slant (normally I’m okay with crooked floors but this was too much), and the closet was once again 12 inches deep.


Back bedroom

Let’s not forget the horror story of the wall behind the radiator. Whoever did this can’t have been sober. It didn’t look this bad in the before pic, did it?


Moving the bathroom made this room 34 inches longer, or about 12 ½ x 9 feet, plus an alcove where the closet used to be, making half the room 10 feet wide. You can still see the footprint of the bathroom in this picture of the new closet


There were some unique challenges in here, like marrying new framing into old when we made 1 window into 2. And the new studs warped so we had to clamp them back into place.


And we put custom cut sleepers on top of the original joists to level the floor while still allowing the exposed beams in the kitchen downstairs.


Then I glued down the original pine floors (which were under the oak in the before pic) onto the new subfloor, plus a bit of extra wood I had to buy.


And are you ready for this one? A sloped ceiling designed expressly to fit the salvaged doors I had already bought. Here’s the deal. Rowhouses have low slope (not actually flat) roofs, so when this house was built, a level ceiling was framed out at a different height in each room. I measured the bathroom ceiling since this end of the bedroom was then the bathroom, which had a higher ceiling. See how the break in the ceiling slope lines up with the corner where the closet was? I was obsessed about that detail. Also, I left the exposed brick where the closet had been so you can see the original low ceiling. The chimney is abandoned and was for the original stove, so I guess that hole was to heat the bedroom with kitchen exhaust?



This also meant that the center of the room has a level ceiling which allowed me to use a flushmount light fixture. This one was a bargain at Philadelphia Salvage. I needed a flushmount in here because the ceiling is about 7’-9” so I was grateful to find something that didn’t suck or cost hundreds of dollars.


I was emphatic that the jamb extensions and casings needed around the windows needed to come down in the middle so I could inside mount two sets of blinds. This was hard to do but the Irishman came through.


And I painted the room green because I wanted a color that brought out the really great morning light. I didn’t think I liked this color while I was painting but now that it’s on the walls it’s perfect. It looks bright in the morning and quiet in the evening. And the doors, also from Philadelphia Salvage, are 1930’s Georgian. Not quite right for the house, but just the right size.


I also scored a third knob matching what came with the closet doors and put it, incongruously, onto the Victorian door into the room. Remember: door hardware is the most important thing in the world, but I haven’t finished installing it anywhere in the house.


I had the room entirely furnished with leftovers. Every piece is a different age, style, and type of wood, and I really loved it just like that. The braided rug was very good quality; the comforter was by some cheap brand like Dorm Essentials. It’s showing its age after 5 short years in college but gets the job done.

Now, I’ve had this room rented to a friend since last Easter. Yes, she moved in Easter Sunday. So here it is as it appeared right before that.

Then a reader mailed me curtains! Thank you Mary Elizabeth! (Also note my friend’s bed in the room. I’d say the biggest downside of having a roommate is having to store the bed I had in my bedroom.)


And I scored this lamp during one of my grandmother’s several moves.


My roommate wants to live on her own sooner or later, but since it’s never too early to plan, feel free to weigh in on finishing off the room now.


6 thoughts on “4th Anniversary Tour – Back Bedroom

  1. Mary Elizabeth

    Chad, regarding the hole in the chimney, I believe there must have been a small iron stove (such as a Franklin stove) in the bedroom for heat. The hole is the right height for there to have been an exhaust pipe that attached to the same flue (or a parallel flue) as the one from the kitchen stove.

    You’re welcome for the curtains! It is so much fun to find something from my house that fits in someone else’s.


  2. Mary Elizabeth

    Oh, and feel free to pass those curtains on to your roommate if you find something that works better for you in the redecorating.



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