Saturday, April 16, 2011


After years of dithering and delay, I've finally committed to remodeling my master bedroom. I've talked about doing it forever, but opted for other projects (kitchen, guest bathroom, boat, pool) instead. This time, it's for real! I've spoken to my favorite contractor and have even set a start date. He's going to do the bulk of the work while I first cruise to Alaska and then have a work-related conference. This means that a lot of messy stuff can get done when the dogs and I aren't around.

Bonus -- He'll be around the house while I'm gone and will feed my fish!

I've thought a lot about what I want to do. Remove the paneling, install insulation and put up non-paneled walls. Rip out the wall-to-wall carpeting and put down flooring, then area rugs. There are two closets. If the wall between them isn't a bearing wall, then I'd like to covert two into one larger closet so I can do organizers and maximize the space. New windows.

Nothing to it, right? Hah. Let's just say that I'm glad I'm not the one doing the work. It's taken me long enough to move forward at all. The contractor's coming over next week to give me good measurements so that I can order the flooring and windows. There's no turning back!

Now I'm on a deadline. Before any work can happen, I need to completely clean out the room. I made a good start on this a couple of weeks ago and now I've developed a clean, clear action plan. This weekend, I'm going through the two closets. If there is any garment in there that I have not worn more than once in the last two years, it goes into the pile for donation to the Salvation army. Everything that remains will be folded neatly into plastic tubs and moved into the spare bedroom.

The ginormous suitcase that I'm taking on the cruise is already on one of the beds in the other room. I've started putting in clothes that I know need to make the trip.

I have many, many books in that room. Going through the titles and deciding what to keep will be more difficult than sorting through the clothes. I have great sentimental attachment to many of these and this battles my practical streak. There is only so much room in my house for all the titles I'd love to keep and right now the bookshelves are at max capacity and piles are overflowing.

The saving grace is that I can donate paperbacks to the local library, so I know that they'll find their way into the hands of appreciative readers.

The furniture's going, too. Believe me that this bedroom set has more than served its usefulness and then some. When my parents bought the house in 1978, this furniture was included so it's at least that old, maybe older. The mattress is at least 15 years old. Yes, I'm overdue.

That's the nuts and bolts of the remodeling project, but amid the tasks I know there's something more emotional going on, too. I think that, more than any other room in a home, our bedrooms are personal space. They're where we rest, rejuvenate, and dream. We prepare in them at the beginning of the day, and unwind in them at the end.

In a sense, I never really created this room as my own personal space. Instead of it flowing out from me, I sort of fit myself into its four walls. Consequently, I've never loved the room as a personal space.

This remodeling job is more. It's a reclamation and I'm going to enjoy every bit of the creation.

What have you recreated or remodeled lately? Does the process affect you emotionally, too?


Anonymous said...

Oooohhh, Mary Stella!! Your re-modeled bedroom sounds beautiful. It sounds like you already have bookcases in your bedroom, which must be heaven. If I ever get to re-model mine, I'm going to put in a wall of built-in bookcases of beautiful wood with crown molding and gorgeous trim. There'll be
cabinetry with doors at the bottom for paperbacks and "to be read" and "donate" stacks, and open shelving above for "best loved" books and mementos. Yep, that would be heaven. I'd never want to leave the room.

Mary Stella said...

Wow, your dream bookcases sound heavenly! Actually, I have one small bookcase in the bedroom that I plan to repaint for the remodeled room. My main bookcases are out in a "Florida room" and the office. You can tell you're a booklover and want to give your books a beautiful space.

lora96 said...

Yay! You deserve a serene and happy space to case you ever do slow down and rest for a minute!

Havea wonderful cruise and then promise to post pics of your dream room in progress!!! What color are you painting the walls???

Mary Stella said...

I'm undecided about the room color. I'm leaning toward something in blue or something in light violet.

Hope said...

That sounds awesome! I can't wait to see pictures!

SisDora said...

I wish we lived closer so I could give you a hug! I love how this is more than just a physical remodel. Wish I could be there to help you go through stuff! So much easier when you have an understanding friend there AND if you need it, someone to say, "Do you really think you're ever going to wear that XMas sweater from 15 years ago?" *vvvvbg*

Can't wait to see pics of the new space! Love the light violet color idea.