Traditional Cape Cod Bedroom Renovation

I’m not gonna lie – when we first bought this house I liked it, I really did…but MAN…there were just some parts of it that were straight ugly. The carpeting, the paneling…UGH.  Luckily though, it was mostly just cosmetic kinda stuff; there wasn’t anything that we were absolutely  stuck with. I just want to warn all of my fellow fixer-uppers out there though, once you start…it’s hard to stop! 

I was on our second floor one day (we have two bedrooms and one full bathroom up there) and I had this sudden urge to just rip through the layers of plaster on the chimney to expose that beautiful brick like we had done on the main floor. I made my way downstairs to find James and so nonchalantly said “Sooo….”. James response? “What do you want to do…”. HA! Cracks me up that he just knows.

So that night…I believe this was my Valentines Day present…we got to work! On the chimney, that is. We laid down a drop cloth real cute and romantic on the floor and started chiseling away at the plaster. A little while later, we had a beautifully weathered, exposed brick chimney in what we were calling the “office” at the time. I was literally so thrilled with it – it doesn’t take much.  Here’s what the room looked like!

I just wanted to paint the room. That’s it. Simple. Fresh color and done. But noooooo…a few days later, I had come home from work and heard James working upstairs. I went up to say my ‘hellos’ and see how his day was. You want to know what I walked in to? The ENTIRE room just totally ripped apart. I’m talking – down to the lath boards. Insert palm to face. 

Luckily, I try to be the kind of understanding wife and just let him do his thing. I trusted him, I always do. But like, I still had a really hard time wrapping my head around this one. See what I mean when I said you just can’t stop?!

After I got over my initial shock of the whole thing, he explained his plans. That’s the fun part of this all – you can start out with a ‘plan’ but chances are, it’s going to change a million times along the way…and your original plan will look nothing like the finished product. Just go with it! Although we initially referred to this room as the office, we knew that one day it would probably become a nursery. With that in mind, James put his handiness to work and made plans to make built-in shelving and drawer space. One – it’d look super cute, especially in a nursery. Two – with our space being so limited, built-ins would add more room for storage. Win win!

Being the Chip & Joanna Gaines wannabes that we are, of course we were going to incorporate the shiplap/farmhouse theme into this room…just like we had done on the main floor. Knotty pine tongue and groove boards (purchased at Home Depot) are what he used for the planking throughout the room…if you’ve never worked with it before, it’s so easy to install…it’ll blow your socks off.  

As for the built-ins, James framed out the openings with 2×4 studs and then planked the walls around them. Then being the crafty, lumberjack husband he is…did his own thang and built the shelves and drawers for them.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any plans to link or provide for this one…he just kinda winged it like a total badass.

To make the room appear bigger and also to  add more  storage space – we decided to leave the dormer area open to create a vaulted ceiling kinda look. James also crafted another built-in in the closet…almost like a little storage chest. Previously that area of the closet had been blocked off due to the stairs eating into the bottom of the closet…but he put that issue to rest real quick.

Aside from the house being older and not a damn thing being square, we ran into the difficult issue of what to paint…and what to stain. Luckily it wasn’t one of those ‘marriage-threatening’ arguments but definitely one we went back and forth about. The final decision? The end walls of the room we would stained (Minwax – Special Walnut) and the ceiling/remaining walls would be painted white (Behr – Ultra Pure White – Satin Finish). 

Another quick note – we did decide to cover the original flooring with Lakeshore Pecan by Traffic Master (Home Depot) to match the rest of the house. Even though I re-stained those original floors by hand…no big deal…just cover ’em up. To be fair though in my saltiness, they did get pretty dinged up during the renovation process. These new floors are not only cheap($0.79/sq ft when we bought them) BUT they’re pretty damn good quality! Again – win win!

James 100% gets all the credit for this project. The only thing I really did was chip away at that chimney. You go, James! Sprinklin’ a little bit of your awesome and man glitter everywhere you go. And by that I mean…I still love you even though you tracked a butt ton of sawdust through the house…

Here’s the finished product, enjoy!

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