Bed + Bath + Laundry: Bedroom Edition

Make sure to check out part I (bath) and part III (laundry) of this renovation party!

At first, we thought we wouldn’t bother with getting our bedroom up to snuff – yet. We figured we’d get the bath and laundry rooms just so since they share a wall, but when it really came down to it, it actually makes All the Sense to throw the bedroom makeover onto the renovation pile! Might as well!

Because, you see, the bedroom also shares a wall with both the bath and laundry rooms, and like we did in the kitchen, we want to add a pocket door to the laundry room. If we’re going to add a pocket door, we might as well consider closing up that back door, too, and if we’re going to close up the back door, shouldn’t we get a quote on removing that non-functioning chimney? I mean, if you give a mouse a cookie, for goodness’ sake, am I right?


Our bedroom is literally that – a room with a bed in it – but it’s really ridiculous how little time we’ve put into making it a place we want to be. Let me rephrase that; we’ve put no time into making it a place we want to be! We actively avoid this room, staying up as late as we like in every other room in the house (well, okay, besides that bathroom!). It’s a mish-mash of dressers and tall boys, clothing rails and dust bunnies.

For our sanity (and a really, really good night’s sleep), we needed to get moving on this room. We’re very moody about this whole trio of rooms, but I will say that as grumbly as we’ve (I’ve?) been known to get about the state of things, we can see the light! There’s potential here! Just never mind the carabiner that’s holding up the light fixture. We’ll get to you, Carabiner Light.


Because this room used to be the kitchen in a second floor apartment, the only thing we’ve done is rip out the cabinets and cap off the gas and plumbing. So with our contractor being here to work out plumbing and electrical needs in the other two rooms, it really did make sense for his team to get our bedroom to a starting point at the very least! Let’s jump right into the punch list:

WE NEED A CLOSET. Those racks are on their last legs, and our dressers are stuffed full of forgotten wrinkled tees. We don’t have an over abundance of clothes, but we do need some organization in our life.


Originally, we thought we would build a closet where the racks are, and that was our plan all along – until we finally took out a tape measure and realized it isn’t possible! There is barely 2′ of space to the left of the door, and a standard closet needs at least that much depth. Even if we squeezed in an IKEA PAX system, there’d be no room for trim around the door, and it would make the entrance into the room feel too narrow.

Instead, we’ll be putting a closet along the wall where our dresser currently lives. If we play our cards right, we’ll build a wardrobe that will eliminate the need for dressers at all! The only thing the contractor needs to do is extend the drywall for the depth of a closet (giving the illusion of a built-in), and we’ll take care of the rest – likely with the PAX system.


THE CHIMNEY HAS TO GO. It’s non-functioning, it’s a space hog, and it isn’t anywhere as pretty as the one in the studio. At one point, we opened the drywall near the ceiling to see what it looked like underneath (you can sort of see the quick spackle repair job in the photos below), and it was a horrible jumble of messy mortar and crumbling, flaky bricks. This is one of the larger jobs in the bedroom, as it will need to be removed through the attic and involve roof repair, too. While they’re at it, the randomly placed window – 2′ from the side of our neighbor’s house! – will be removed and drywalled over, because…


… WE’RE ADDING A WALL OF WINDOWS! Does the view below look familiar? When our house was separated into a first and second floor apartment, they closely mimicked each other. At the time, this door was used as a back entrance, but it’s no longer necessary. Similar to our kitchen, we’ll be replacing this window and door with, we think, three larger windows to let in as much natural light as possible. We still need to go window shopping (literally, ha!) and quick. With a view that will look onto our back yard, this will be much nicer than sneaking a peek into our neighbor’s living room – and them into our bedroom.


WE NEED TO REPAIR THE FLOORS AND DRYWALL. Look! Old plumbing! Sticky vinyl! Missing floor boards! Back when we took down the severely crooked wall in the studio, we used flooring from here to replace flooring out there. This must sound ridiculous, but at the time, we were so sure we were putting a closet along this wall, and the flooring wouldn’t be missed. Well, now it’s time to address that mess-up. (And you know what they say about hindsight.)


ELECTRIC, ELECTRIC, ELECTRIC. Where do we begin? All the outlets are well above counter height – you know, because of that whole kitchen thing – and the main light switch is by the back door. The outlets will all move down, the switch will be relocated and our overhead fixture will be re-centered in the room. As it stands, it’s not centered to… anything. Weird, but in this house, also very not weird.


Only after all these things have been done can we move forward with painting, closet building and, my favorite, baseboards! (Ha.) We’re still deciding if we want to go dark and cozy or bright and cheery in here, so time will tell.


And just beyond that doorway? The laundry room! Coming soon.

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  • Christin11.5.15 - 7:56 AM

    Wow! I feel tired just reading what all work you guys are planning on doing in these rooms. I love your idea of creating a wall of windows. I am a sun lover and would do the same if given the chance. (my husband on the other hand could live in a cave and be fine)
    Can’t wait to see the progress you guys make!ReplyCancel

  • Trish11.5.15 - 8:07 AM

    Can’t wait to see how all of this comes out! Great idea on the PAX – will you do like Jenny Komenda and add antiqued mirrors to the doors? I do so love the rug you have in there, as well as the mirror. LOVE that mirror. It’s no Kingdom mirror (you’ve read that blog post, right?) but it’s cool. The dresser is so nice – even though you won’t be using it in your bedroom, I hope you find a nice spot for it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 8:48 AM

      No mirrors on the doors, but we’re still really early in that stage! I’m not sure what you mean by the Kingdom mirror? And all the furniture in this room is up in the air! It’s just a big mish mash of everything we’ve ever had or found, haha.ReplyCancel

  • Jacki11.5.15 - 8:13 AM

    Thanks for showing what you have been living with. It’s so easy to check out DIY/Decorating blogs and feel down about the state of your own home (the drywall that has needed to be patched for 6 years and the floor that needs repaired). Seeing your real life and real home helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel – which is probably when I’m prepping the house to put it on the market.ReplyCancel

  • Kevin11.5.15 - 8:24 AM

    LOL at “window shopping!”ReplyCancel

  • Katie11.5.15 - 8:30 AM

    I’m so excited for these changes! Bedroom/bathrooms are some of my favorites to see in blog-land, because they’re so much more personal than common living spaces. Isn’t there a deck outside that door? Will you be getting rid of it? If so, how did you come to that decision?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 8:47 AM

      Hi Katie – yup, there’s a deck out there, but it’s really more of a fire escape from when this house used to be two apartments. It’s a BEAST of an old wooden structure that feels like it’s going to collapse at any moment, ugh! We have plans to get rid of it this coming summer, we hope!ReplyCancel

  • Laura (LK Art)11.5.15 - 8:54 AM

    Great ideas! I had a small PAX wardrobe back in the day when I lived in Ravenswood and had a bedroom with no closet. It was great and kept everything super organized. Will you move flooring from the new closet area to where it’s missing now?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 10:40 AM

      We actually have enough extra flooring from when we had to re-do the landing, so all we’ll need to do is patch everything in – no more shuffling around what we already have!ReplyCancel

  • Lori11.5.15 - 9:46 AM

    Oh wow, that’s gonna be a ton of work. But I can easily visualize how awesome it’s gonna be when it’s done. I was half-expecting you to do a sliding door combo like you did in the kitchen on that back wall, but I guess you don’t really need the access from outside. I think I just like the idea of double balconies!

    BTW, what kind of hardwood flooring do you have? I need to replace my floors and am having a hard time deciding between engineered hardwood or traditional hardwood that would need to be glued down (slab foundation). I really like the look of your floors, and judging from these pictures, it doesn’t seem to be glued.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 10:41 AM

      We thought about a balcony, but it just seemed very unlike us. How often would we really use it? A bunch of windows seemed like a better fit. :)

      We just have tongue and groove hardwood flooring. It was installed by the previous owner, and everyone assumes it’s original, which it’s most definitely not! But we like it fine, and it fits the style of this home nicely.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ onesuchlife11.5.15 - 9:53 AM

    Oh, the snowball effect. Can’t wait to see how this all turns out!ReplyCancel

  • Laura11.5.15 - 10:53 AM

    I love the idea of having the laundry room connected to the bedroom! So efficient! Mine is in the basement and I definitely get my steps in going from our second floor bedroom to the basement to do laundry. I think the only thing that I could foresee as an issue is that I something throw a load in the dryer before I go to bed, are you guys able to sleep through the noise or have you just become very organized and thoughtful about when you do your laundry? Anyway, can’t wait to see how it turns out!ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 10:54 AM

      We actually need noise to sleep, haha! Leaving Chicago and going home to visit family, it’s almost impossible to sleep in the STILLNESS of the night! :)ReplyCancel

  • Lauryn11.5.15 - 11:11 AM

    Maybe I missed this in the previous post? Im curious why you decided to do an entrance into the laundry room from your bedroom and didnt include an entrance into the bathroom. Does that make sense? Like instead of making it a master?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 11:17 AM

      This is the only bathroom on this floor, but there’s still another bedroom. If we ever decide to have a (human!) child, we didn’t want the only bathroom access through our bedroom. The laundry room USED to be an old bedroom, and we’ve loved having it there!ReplyCancel

      • Amy11.5.15 - 10:51 PM

        But what if you had TWO doors to the bathroom: One that opens into the bedroom and another that opens into the common area. Could that be the best of both worlds?ReplyCancel

        • Kim11.5.15 - 11:21 PM

          It really would! But the wall space isn’t there. It’s something we considered!ReplyCancel

  • Alberta11.5.15 - 12:38 PM

    I can see at least one person is really enjoying the room. Or the bed in it, at least ;)

    By the way, that chandelier is totally awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole M.11.5.15 - 5:36 PM

    So exciting! So, I am curious if you ever threw around the idea of putting the laundry room downstairs where your “workshop” is off the kitchen … and then using the existing laundry room as a walk-in closet or master bath. It obviously would cost a lot of money, but could definitely add value to the house.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.15 - 6:51 PM

      We did… But because we have an income unit in our basement, we needed and wanted a room that could act as our ‘basement’, and the workshop was born!ReplyCancel

  • Brynne@TheGatheredHome11.6.15 - 7:48 AM

    Wow! You guys have a lot of work ahead of you, but I know it’s going to be an incredible journey to follow! I’m so excited! :DReplyCancel

  • Carrie11.6.15 - 8:01 AM

    I am excited to read about the chimney removal… I have a similar issue where it runs through our already tiny upstairs bathroom then through the kitchen. Oh what I could do with that space if it was gone… but I am afraid of the demo processReplyCancel

    • Kim11.6.15 - 8:49 AM

      The chimney demo is not something we’re taking care of ourselves – due to time and, honestly, safety! That’s a hefty job for us to start messing with the roof without a pro around! I’ll be taking as many photos as I can of the process though!ReplyCancel

  • Jane11.8.15 - 4:20 AM

    I am so looking forward to seeing your progression on this Let’s hope its smoother going than the kitchen! have a question about window dressing! I have noticed that on a lot of US based blogs I read that the windows rarely have either curtains (drapes?) or blinds. In the UK (where I’m from) its usual to have at least curtains, and quite often blinds or net curtains.
    As someone who has blackout curtains and blinds and stills wears an eye mask as I like being in the dark this seems very odd to me! Are there blinds built into the top of the window structure so when they are up you can’t see them? Or does the light stream In anyway and that’s just how it is? Random question I know!ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.8.15 - 3:13 PM

      Hi Jane – we don’t have any window coverings in the bedroom at all, which I know is ridiculous! This room is SO BRIGHT too, and we plan on adding more windows, so we will definitely be putting in window treatments with blackout blinds as well. We’re still deciding on that. We just haven’t put so much as a penny into this room since we knew we would be changing so much, and that included blinds or shades in the interim. We can’t wait to get going on everything!ReplyCancel

  • Judy Woods6.15.16 - 1:46 AM

    Nice Designs. Thanks for the Idea.ReplyCancel

  • Steph11.5.19 - 7:27 PM

    I’m curious if you considered changing the original window behind the headboard to a high up horizontal transom type window rather than close it off completely? Also wondering how you determined  the electrical placement for the bed sconces- are they centred on that wall? Did you just guesstimate where the headboard would be and center them around the bed? ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.5.19 - 9:34 PM

      The sconces are plug-in! So we didn’t need to worry about electrical placement. And in our case, adding a window wouldn’t have helped much, since we’re only a couple of feet away from the building next to us. ???? City life!ReplyCancel


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