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Throwback Reno: Dismal Den to Cheerful Master Bedroom

This month, Austin took a sledgehammer to our upper cabinets and, sadly, they did not survive. But we’re still working on this project, so I’ll save it for another day. Stay tuned! This month I’m throwing it back again to our first home and our favorite upgrade of our den to master bedroom.

Here we are again with an awful picture from the original listing – I call it “death by paneling”. I must admit how thankful I am for the look of this tired space. If it had looked even somewhat appealing someone else may have noticed the potential and we may not have lucked out.

As you can see we had our work cut out for us turning this dingy den with 2 entrances into a master bedroom. Our plan for this space was to remove ALL of the wood paneling and hang sheetrock, enclose one entrance and add a door to the other, replace the carpet with laminate, frame out a closet, add crown molding and paint. Yes, the list was just as exhausting to complete as it sounded reading it.

After the carpet was removed completely our next piece to tackle was the removal of the wooden paneling. We were able to knock it out (literally) in a few hours with help from my grandfather and uncle. With any renovation there is a risk of running into hidden problems and this project was no exception. Once the paneling was removed from the wall, we found old mold from a previous bathtub leak and some ancient unsavory mouse poop (YUCK!).

This was simple enough to take care of, but it did add a little extra time and money to the project. Austin (I am still pregnant in this scenario) ended up spraying the old mold down with bleach, scrubbing, repeating and replacing all of the nasty insulation and with new.  Once the extra cleanup projects were complete, the sheetrock went up!

 As you can see in the pictures below, it was already a major improvement to the space. I cannot stress enough how lucky we were to have family and friends with time and talent to do the work we couldn’t. (Did I mention that we had only 3 weeks to finish all the renovations to our home and move in?)

The space was FINALLY beginning to resemble a bedroom and we were making a dent in the long list of items we needed to do to start painting. If you ever wonder how you and your spouse will perform as a team try to lay laminate. Haha! Enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff.

Our costs for this room

  • 2 Gallons of Paint $50
  • Laminate flooring/underlay $325 (estimate based on square footage)
  • Miscellaneous lumber for framing $70
  • Insulation $50
  • Crown molding $100
  • Sheetrock $120
  • Sheetrock finisher $275
  • Bedroom door $60 (it had a black mark on one side and we negotiated the price down. A little paint fixed it right up!)
  • Closet doors $100 (they were a return to Lowe’s and were heavily discounted)

Our estimated total cost came in right around $1150 for this room. We saved a lot of money by doing the labor ourselves and getting help from family. This project transformed our home from a 2 bedroom/2 baths to a THREE bedroom 2 baths, raising the value quite a bit.  Even though we spent every night after work and every weekend on it for 3 weeks, it was completely worth it! Below are the pictures we used to list the house when selling it. Can you tell the difference?

We chose a bright cheerful green to finish out the space and left the original beams to tie the room together. The final picture shows the room from the hallway with the newly installed bedroom door.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the world. I hope this has inspired you to spruce up a space of your own and realize you can always change a space on any budget. If you have any questions or comments feel free to shoot me a message.