Sunday, April 19, 2020

A Bedroom In My Family Room?

Many of my regular readers know I've been going through my home room by room redecorating and updating them.  As I design the room, I'm not just interested in updating the decor, but making the space more practical for my new stage of life as an empty nester.

The room we chose to update this year was our family room.  It's a large, long room and it has always been an awkward space to decorate because of the length and the lack of light.  In the two "before" pictures the room is decorated for Christmas, making the room appear even more cluttered.

This is a view of the room if you just walked inside.  A large mammoth entertainment center covers one long wall (remember when these were all the rage?).  The walls are stucco with a faux painting of gold and creams.


This is a view of the room if you were standing by the Christmas tree looking back.  Again, it is very cluttered because I had to make room for a Christmas tree.  But I really want you to notice the French doors, as they play a huge role in the renovation project.


The Reason

Now, before I begin my tour of the beginning of our renovation project, let me explain my reason why we decided to do what we did.  As you know, we are empty nesters.  We have three small bedrooms on the third floor of our house with a narrow staircase leading to them.  When the children and grandchildren come home to visit, they usually stay about a week and average about three or four visits a year.  The last time they were here, we didn't get much sleep.  The crying grandchildren woke us up at night and Ashley, who doesn't like the mattress in the guest room, requested to take our bed.  So we gave up our queen size bed for Ashley (I know, what a princess).  But now my husband and I were sleeping on a full size bed and we weren't comfortable as we kept hitting each other all night.  Then Jason, Ashley's husband couldn't sleep with the baby in the master bedroom, so he went to sleep on a sofa in the living room.  Of course we then teased Ashley the next day and asked her how she was enjoying that nice, large Queen size bed all to herself while her elderly parents suffered on a full size bed.

Now there are two other reasons we wanted a bedroom on our main floor other than guests:  accessibility for old age and air conditioning.

 We were concerned as we age that we may not always want to or even be capable of climbing the stairs to the master bedroom.  It would be nice to be able to stay in our home as long as possible by making it more "old age friendly".

The last reason is that our home does not have central air.  We have one small window air conditioner that miraculously cools the entire main floor to our satisfaction, but the third floor is hot.  The lack of central air is usually not a problem for us.  We are outside more than inside during the summer and neither my husband nor I even like air conditioning.  We are able to sufficiently cool our house with box and ceiling fans.  However, every year we get about a three day heat wave, which makes sleeping upstairs very uncomfortable.  On those days we sleep on mattresses or cushions on the floor on the main level.  We thought it would be nice to have a real bed for those hot summer days.

The Problems

Now that you know why we wanted a fourth bedroom in our home,  let's discuss the problems with creating a sleeping space in a living room.  The main problem we had to deal with was how to create privacy without losing the light.  The living room is a dark balcony space that overlooks a sunroom.  There are only two windows on the east side of the house.  I did not want to just wall a portion of the room off and lose all that light.

The second problem, was losing too much space for a bed so that there wasn't enough seating space.  The bedroom portion of the room had to remain as small as possible so that our family still could gather together in this room.  I should also mention that I have three total living rooms in my house, so I'm not really giving up a large space for large gatherings.  I have a small sitting/living room open to my dining room, and a very big open sunroom that was large enough for my daughter to be married in.  I only needed enough space for the family to comfortably watch TV in this room.

The Solution

Now that you know the reasons we wanted to renovate this room, and the problems we had to overcome, here is how we solved them.

The first thing I did was to paint the walls pure white in a semi-gloss finish to brighten the room and reflect light.  The white instantly updated the room and made the woodwork pop!

After months of thinking, talking, and researching, we decided that a wall of glass that created a partition but still let light in would be best solution.  We used the existing French doors to the room.  Hubby simply took them off their hinges and made a wall with them.  Then we purchased Plexiglas and hubby made two sliding doors that operate like the popular barn doors in Farmhouse style homes.

Here is a picture of the the room still under construction.  The French doors were made into walls to section the room off.  I stained the new wood surrounding the doors black.  Later I would stain the area on the outside of the black "Early American".


My husband created a sliding barn door system all by himself.  He did not purchase one of those fancy, expensive kits.  We left the wheels and nail holes all exposed for a modern industrial look.





The clear Plexiglass slides directly behind the French doors so you can't even tell it's there when the glass is open,


As I stated earlier, the room is actually a balcony, so we wanted to close off the opening to the sunroom below for sound privacy.  We decided a bookshelf would not only be very practical but very pretty as well.


Here is a view of the Plexiglass doors closed.  Now I know most of you are wondering about privacy.  As of now, privacy is not an issue.  We have a pocket door attached to the main living space of the house that we can close anytime my husband and I want privacy.  If more privacy is ever needed, I could also put a rod behind the doors and add a curtain that I could open and close.  My husband and I have been using this room for a month now that the kids have been living with us, and we have not felt privacy to be an issue yet.  I also realize that if I ever have guests use this room, they may want more privacy so I would definitely hang drapes for guests.


A view of the room open with the doors behind the French doors.



Here you can see what the doors look like closed from inside the bedroom looking into the family room.



The Bed

For the bed, we wanted the largest bed possible without sacrificing space, so we decided on a queen mattress.  I ordered a fabric headboard from Wayfair and we attached it to the wall.  Then my husband built a wooden platform that a mattress could sit on top of.  There is plenty of space underneath the bed for under-the-bed totes.






In this picture you can see the shelving unit my husband created.  He put bead board paneling behind the shelves.  I painted the shelves a bright high gloss white.


Now I know you're anxious to see the final results but I don't know when I will be able to show them to you as just days after we almost completed the room (I still have to polyurethane the glass doors) the Apocalypse happened and my kids moved in with us.  It was actually PERFECT TIMING,  but I never really got a chance to decorate the room the way I planned so I haven't taken pictures.  However, I will say that the room is working out perfectly for our now multi-generation household.  Because there is a living space right next to the bedroom it's as if my husband and I have our own "Master Bedroom Suite".  The kids have the entire third floor of the house to themselves.  Each grandchild has their own bedroom.  We share the bathroom, kitchen, and dining room, but at night my husband and I can retire to our "suite" and have time to ourselves before bed.  It couldn't be more perfect!  

The funniest part of this whole story is that I always felt led by God to do this but I didn't really know why other than the reasons listed in the beginning of this post.  Every time I would tell people I was putting a bedroom in my living room they looked at me as if I were nuts...including my own kids!  I would reassure them that we would make it look spectacular and not weird, but no one believed us.  So far I only had one friend and my kids see the room since the pandemic occurred, and everyone now agrees it's the coolest thing ever.  Before the room looked very dated.  Now it looks hip and cool, like a New York City loft;  and it's not even decorated yet, plus we still have some of our old furniture!  I was planning on carpeting over the tile, and buying new decor and furniture, but now that is all on-hold until we see what the future holds.  For now, the room is perfect as it is!

If you really want to see "After" pictures without it being completely finished just let me know in the comments and I will post a few current shots.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!





34 comments:

  1. I do so love the traditional look of the living room before the renovation, but I can totally see why you wanted to make a bedroom downstairs. And with already having other living/family rooms it's the perfect solution. It looks like it's coming together so nicely!

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    1. Thank you Ellie. The "before" look was just so dated to me and driving me crazy...especially the gold walls. We gather in this room a lot and all my photos always looked bad because of the color of the walls. Not to mention those huge entertainments are way out of style now.

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  2. This was such a great idea and well executed, Amy! I love the sliding doors and the cool vibe they bring to both rooms. Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together!

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    1. Thanks Jennie! Hopefully I can post some "after" pictures soon.

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  3. Wow! It looks great, the white really opened up the room.

    Perla Lifestyle Blog

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  4. It's amazing how things work out the way they do, Amy. Of course I want to see a couple of photos. I think this is such a great idea. Especially that you are on the main level now. How about closet space?? Did you move that too or this is just for sleeping?
    Xoxo.
    Jodie
    www jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thanks Jodie! As for closet space, this was never meant to be a permanent bedroom but more of a guest room to be used just as needed, so we didn't plan a closet into the room. However, we did purchase a dresser and that is where we store the clothes we use the most. We never thought we'd be using this room for such a long time. Most of my clothes are still upstairs in my old master bedroom. I really don't need much since we're still under quarantine and I can never go anywhere.

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  5. I'm having a hard time picturing it but do think I get the gist of what you did. How fortuitous that you finished just in time!

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    1. Oh, you will get a better idea when I post more pictures. I think I'll do two separate posts. One the way the room looks now and how we're using it during the apocalypse and another maybe a year from now if/when life returns to normal and we can put in carpeting and buy new furniture.

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  6. I enjoyed reading about your changes and seeing the progress of your DIY projects.

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  7. Brilliant! congratulations to you and your husband for your hard work and keen foresight. I think you have found a perfect solution for your problem and it looks great. You are so generous with your kids, you deserve much credit for being so generous and opening up your house to the extended family.

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    1. Thanks Julie. Oh, I don't see it as generosity. I truly would be losing my mind if they weren't here. I don't know how other parents/grandparents are surviving without seeing their kids.

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  8. Looks wonderful I love seeing a room being transformed!


    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  9. Divine intervention and direction!! You and your husband are so clever with the things you have done to this space. I bet it will become your favorite part of the house when you get it just the way you want with all of the personal touches you are so good at.
    You have been a blessing to your daughter and her family. I know it is difficult to go from empty nesters to having 4 'guests' even when they are family. Just know this chapter will be behind us soon.

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    1. Definitely Devine intervention! I do love it, but hope the day will come when I can put all the finishing touches on it. It really hasn't been difficult at all having the kids living with us. I think the difficult part will come when it's time for them to leave.

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  10. I just love this Amy. I don't think you're crazy at all. In fact, it's so smart to have your room on the first level. Did you move your closet too?
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thank you. You must not have seen my response to your first comment about the closet above. No, I only moved a few things into a dresser in this room. I have way too many clothes to fit into this tiny room. I'm wearing the same thing almost everyday as I never go anywhere, so it doesn't matter.

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  11. Sounds like a great idea, looks nice so far! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 11, open April 1 to 26. All entries shared on social media if share buttons installed.

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  12. Wow! I really like the out of the box thinking that went into this project. It looks great! And the timing is amazing.

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

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    1. yes! We definitely had to think outside the box for this one. Thanks so much.

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  13. I think it's a great idea to have a first floor bedroom. I love how you transformed this space! And those sliding barn doors are fabulous!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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  14. I saw the pictures on Instagram and was impressed. I think it is a great use of space and I love the style you have use. Worked out perfectly for the changes in living arrangements in your family.
    www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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  15. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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  16. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing with Encouraging Hearts and Home link-up, and please come back again!Pinned!

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