Spare bedroom done! Sort of.

Let me start this post by saying the only way I get my husband to finish anything is to invite guests and tell him he has a deadline, otherwise my projects would go on forever.

With out-of-town friends coming the race was on to get the spare room done asap. When last I left you the room looked a lot like this:

Studs were up for the new closet and linen closet and we were awaiting drywall installation.

The drywall went up pretty quickly (remarkably), and taping was not as bad as I thought. I did manage to injure myself twice but Shawn moved like he was on fire, so I’ll take the hit for the team.

Drywall and trim is the most boring part of the process for me. I love the initial designing, I even enjoy laying out the studs in the construction phase, but once we get to drywall I usually prefer to run the other way, my husband feels the same way so that is why this takes so long.

Once this is done it’s back to the fun stuff: paint, wallpaper, lighting and furniture installation. I had a general idea of what I wanted and then that changed about 100 times. My plans are fluid and the ability to be flexible when going through a remodel process is really important, but do not give your contractor too many change orders, even if he is your husband, because those changes can be costly.

Now, the “after” pictures in this case are not necessarily the completed project. They are pictures of a room that is complete enough to house our guests. The baseboards are not painted (although, I may leave them like this). Neither is the ceiling trim. The attic access is not trimmed out, the floors are not carpeted, and the windows will eventually get replaced but that is a much bigger project that I’ll get to down the road. This is the “after” we have done the heavy lifting and made it livable.

Heavy lifting: As told in past pictures, we tore out walls, added the attic pull-down, and reconfigured the space which meant moving walls and replacing studs as well as adding new drywall over the beaverboard. Beaverboard is what was used in this house in place of plaster or drywall. It is about 1/8 of an inch thick, wavy in most places and just inadequate. Instead of pulling it down we decided to go right over it. We updated the electrical while we had the walls open and now this room has more outlets than the rest of the 2nd floor combined.

We also decided to blow in insulation into the walls since there is absolutely no insulation anyplace in this house except the attic. Blowing in insulation was cumbersome but not that expensive and it is eco-friendly. You buy the recycled insulation for about $10 a bag and then the machine rental is free for the first day. You load the insulation into a hopper and it is then “blown” into the holes that have been drilled in your wall in each bay between studs. It took us about 6 hours for the entire room but my husband did blow it all the way down to the first floor and the result is amazing. This room feels completely different now, soundproofed and cozy.

Decorating: As we are always on a budget, the decorating funds for this kept shrinking with every item that was added on the front half, like insulation and additional studding and drywall for closets. So here we go…… it only took a gallon of paint for the ceiling and a gallon of paint for the walls so about $70 total. I could not afford wall-to-wall carpeting installation so I bought the biggest rug I could fit in the room (9X12) and covered most of the floor for about $200.

I already owned the dresser, chest, light fixture, lamp, artwork, shelf, bed, and linens as well as the curtains so the only other splurge besides the rug was the wallpaper. (Queue the angels singing!) Let me now sing the praises of wallpaper, specifically peel-and-stick wallpaper.

I bought 4 rolls of peel-and-stick wallpaper for a 9ft wall. At about $1.37sq/ft it came out to roughly $150, my other big splurge! The rolls were 16″ wide which made it much easier to manage than what I had previously experienced and it went up like a dream! Seriously! I would recommend this all day long. It comes in hundreds of patterns, is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. What more could you want.

I will not say there aren’t a few mistakes on my wall but they are nearly impossible to see. I absolutely love the effect and it is already getting rave reviews. See for yourself:

This bedroom is about print on print. Staying within the same color family and choosing a more neutral palette allows the eye to move around the room from pattern to pattern without it feeling too busy. Breaking it up with subtle color tones on the wall and larger furniture pieces help keep it grounded. I chose a light to medium grayish blue for walls (Sherwin Williams Fresh Idea), simple white bed linens, and a soft mint green tone for the dresser.

Total cost for this simple reno was around $970, most of that was eaten up by drywall, lumber, and insulation. My learning here is spending more on the hidden items really pays off in the end, I’m talking about the insulation. I had to be talked into this but it was worth every penny. And on the pretty side, wallpaper is fabulous and I will be using it in almost every room upstairs!

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.