When we moved into our new house a year ago, at the top of my GIANT to-do list was the master bedroom, which the prior residents had used as a family room. The 20’ by 20’ room was an add-on that could be used for several purposes, but since it had a walk-in closet an en suite bath, to us empty nesters this was a no brainer. Giant master bedroom suite, please!  

But converting the space into a master meant tackling several challenges... 

Challenge #1: No Privacy
When we moved in, no doors existed between the main living area and our future master bedroom, just a double-wide opening where a patio door had originally led to the backyard. Since we want privacy when guests stay over (and since sometimes one empty nester wants privacy from the other...) doors were first on the list.

The large opening required custom double doors, and we wanted the option of keeping one door stationary. While we have done a lot of DIY in our lives, hanging doors is on our “no way we’re attempting that” list, so we hired a contractor. It took him and his helper almost six hours! The price was right, and we’re so glad we did NOT try it ourselves.

Challenge #2: Ugly Wall Heater
We knew we needed to get rid of an outdated gas wall heater that was taking up a big portion of one of the walls. In San Diego, there’s little need for this type of heater and if we had kept it, we never would have used it.

Again, not a job for the average DIYer, so our wonderful contractor and his helper removed it, fixed the drywall, and capped off the outside gas line. 

Challenge #3: Dusty Old Light Fixtures
It was the battle of Michele vs. four badly outdated wall sconces.

Since my décor tastes are fairly contemporary, it was a no brainer... bye-bye sconces. Replacing the lights was easy, inexpensive, and a task that’s been on my hubby’s DIY list in many houses across many years.

Challenge #4: No Paint Pizzaz
Of course, the room had to be repainted. If you know me at all, you’d know I repaint things whether they need it or not. Heck, I repaint things I just repainted. One of my joys in life!

In this case, I was not merely satisfying my painting addiction. The previous owners had painted everything that lovely eggshell color people tend to use when they put their house on the market. Well, time for a personality injection!

We decided to go with a lovely light to mid-shade of gray (Behr, Cool Ashes). We also painted the doors and trim a nice clean white, covering up the orange-oak look—not a fan.

Challenge #5: Beam Me Up, Scotty!
Next on the list was the mother of all home improvement projects… the ceiling.

Yes, it was a wood-beam ceiling made with that same orange oak—REALLY not a fan when it dominates a 20’ by 20’ master suite. Also not a fan of feeling like I live in a cave, which is exactly how it felt with all that dark-toned wood.

To find out what we did to the ceiling and why I call it the mother of all home improvement projects, (and to see all the "after pics" from this project) stay tuned and read my forthcoming blog: Master Bedroom Makeover – Part 2

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


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