Category Archives: Bedroom Design

Things We Like: Floor Plans Made Easy

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Whether you’re redecorating your bedroom or are considering more extensive home improvement projects, a floor plan is an essential tool to help get you started. An accurate floor plan can help you arrange furniture (the easy way: on paper), estimate costs by calculating square footage, and better understand what’s possible should you decide to expand or enlarge your room. The only downside of using a floor plan is that you have to make one. That is, until now.

Roomscan is a new app for the iPhone that allows you to draw a floor plan by simply walking around the perimeter of your room and tap your phone against each wall. The app automatically draws the floor plan based on your taps and is accurate with measurements to one-half foot! Once you have the floor plan drawn out, which you can edit the measurements of the walls to correct for any inaccuracies, you can export the image via email. You can also visit their website here to learn more about the app and how it works.

I was skeptical about how well it would work, so I gave it a try for myself and have to say that I am impressed. The one drawback, however, is that the app is pretty sensitive to the speed in which you tap each wall. I noticed that in certain rooms of my apartment, it was difficult to tap across sofas, and over the bed and tables as quickly as the app would like. Then again, running a tape measure across the bed isn’t exactly the easiest thing either.

While I won’t be using this app to measure cuts on my baseboard trim project, I can see it coming in handy for several other projects that don’t require as much precision. Best of all, it’s free!

On a final note, this is my last post here on the Charles Rogers Blog. It’s been a great past couple years writing here, and I hope that everyone reading my articles has enjoyed them or at least learned something new/useful.  Thank you all!

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Things We Like: Subtle Contrast in Color

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

As part of my home improvement project , or un-improvement project depending on how you look at it, I am now painting the walls in my entryway, kitchen, and main living spaces. When I first painted them nearly 8 years ago, I chose a very sterile white. While I spent a considerable amount of time selecting that particular shade of white, it never really did much for me. The good thing about having white walls, however, is that they are very easy to paint over.

This go-round, I wanted to give the walls some of that personality they were lacking in white. After a few trips to the home improvement stores and much deliberation, I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Wickham Gray. An interesting bonus is that Wickham Gray is part of the Historic Color collection, which is inspired by documented colors found in 18th and 19th century architecture. A cool, modern color with some history behind it is a no-brainer for me.

What I like most about this color, and what inspired me for this post, is the subtlety of it. In certain light and at certain angles, you can hardly distinguish it from the white it’s being painted over. However, when you see it next to the Winter White baseboards and trim, it has a nice little pop. At other angles its appearance ranges from a steel gray to an almost velvety light blue. Generally hard to impress, I am floored by the depth and intrigue of this color.

So when you are deciding on new color palettes for your bedroom or other areas of your home, think about ways to create subtle contrast; contrast doesn’t always have to be big and bold. An accent wall, white trim, exposed walls and duct work, or incorporating other design and architectural elements can really help what you might otherwise think to be an uninteresting color stand out. As is the case with this Wickham Gray, in certain light, you may hardly even notice the color at all. But as the light changes, you and your guests will be in constant amazement over how the appearance of your room changes with it. A little time spent planning these subtle contrasts can help bring you enjoyment from your room for years to come.

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Things We Like: Sleeping In The Trees

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

If you want to connect with nature on a higher level or if you just want to feel like a kid again, a tree house might be just what you need. I never realized how prolific tree houses were until I started watching a new show called Tree House Masters on Animal Planet. You’d think there would only be a couple episodes, max, to squeeze out of what has to be a very niche market. However, there are actually a lot more tree houses out there than you may have realized. There is even a tree house community in Costa Rica. Very cool!

For those of us without the tree, the space, the budget, or the willingness to take the extra step of building a home in the trees, there are lots of other ways you can create the feel of a tree house in your own home. Check out what has been questioned as as the best kids bedroom design ever. Spoiler alert, it looks like a tree house! There are lots of other examples of children’s bedrooms that have been transformed into indoor tree houses too, have a look here.

If you prefer the experience without the hassle of building and owning your own tree house, or designing your home to look like one, there is a tree house hotel in Sweden. Can you imagine falling asleep to the gentle sway of the tree and sounds of the wind rustling through the leaves, and then wake up feeling refreshed to one of the most breathtaking views ever? Sounds amazing to me.

While tree houses aren’t for everyone, they certainly do make you wonder about the different ways people live. Personally, I don’t think I could live in one as my main residence due to size constraints. I also have enough frustration navigating the numerous elevators to get out of a modern high rise. That said, a tree house would make a very cool guest house, home office, or simply a relaxing get away —definitely something to think about.

            

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Things We Like: Barn Doors in the Bedroom

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Continuing through my bathroom remodel, which continues to surprise me in terms of how complicated and expensive redoing a small bathroom can be, I wanted to share with you a little design feature that I am going to incorporate into my master bedroom/bathroom: the barn door.

My bathroom renovation brings up a lot of design challenges, particularly because it is a small space and the plumbing for the toilet and shower cannot be changed. The way my bathroom was originally planned, the entry door (entered through the bedroom) opened inwards. While this layout made it easy to go between the two rooms, it took up too much of the precious space inside the bathroom. Worse yet, the door opened across the shower door, which meant that you had to enter the bathroom and close the door behind you before you could enter the shower. Talk about an inconvenience!

My first thought to remedy this problem was to have a pocket door installed; however, there were some major negatives to this approach. Since building code prohibits many condominium dwellers from installing any flammable materials, like wood, inside the wall, I would have had to get a custom pocket doorframe fabricated from metal (read: expensive). If the cost of the pocket door frame itself wasn’t enough to deter me from the idea, I would have also had to relocate light switches and electrical outlets installed on the inside of that wall (read: more expensive). Thankfully, my designer had a great idea: install a barn door on the outside of the bathroom. Brilliant!

I scoured the web to learn everything I could about barn doors. What I learned is that no two barn doors are alike, and its really an excersize in creativity and personal taste. One big thing I did read up on before finalizing my decision was the pros and cons of using a barn door vs. a pocket door. Below are some quick bullet points of what I learned:

  • Noise. Barn doors and pocket doors both do not provide as much noise insulation than regular doors, and barn doors offer the least due to the gaps between the door and the wall. If you’re using a barn door or a pocket door for a room next to a high traffic area in your home, you may want to consider other options. My bathroom is tucked away in the back corner of my apartment, inside the bedroom, so noise issues weren’t a big concern for me here.

  • Cost. Barn doors can be more expensive than pocketed doors due to increased cost of the door and the track hardware it glides across. There are some really clever DIY solutions for making a barn door on the cheap, but I wanted something that would really stand out and enhance both the bedroom and the bathroom. Plus, a metal frame pocket door was going to be much more expensive than its wooden counterpart, so the price difference really wasn’t that much for me.

  • Design. Barn doors are more in-your-face than pocket doors, and some people are not fond of seeing the exposed track system on the outside of their wall. This is more of a personal preference, and I actually like the rustic style. That said, barn doors come in all shapes, sizes, and colors – so there is a lot of flexibility in finding a door that suits your décor.

  • Other considerations. With a barn door, you will also need an empty space on the wall adjacent to your doorway for the barn door to slide over when the door is open. This can be tricky in smaller rooms, and the space needs to be a bit wider than the doorway itself. You’ll also want to reframe your doorway or just have drywall edges if you’re using a barn door. This helps create a slicker look and makes it look like the barn door was meant to be there, not just an afterthought.

Feeling a bit more educated about barn doors, I headed over to Houzz to browse the galleries for some inspiration. One thing I noticed that really made certain barn doors stand out from the others was the use of reclaimed, or at least distressed, wood. Reclaimed barn doors can be very expensive though, and I wouldn’t have been saving much money vs. going with a pocket door. Thankfully, I found a local carpenter who takes apart old barns as a hobby and turns them into reclaimed treasures. I met with him, and we agreed that he would build me a custom barn door at a reasonable price. I think the fact that the door would be going into a reclaimed building (the building used to be, and still is to a certain extent, an old train station). I’m still waiting on my door to be finished, but am very excited about getting it! You can expect to see some photos when the project is complete.

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Things We Like: Bedrooms In The Attic

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

Now that I’m temporarily back in the world cable television, I’ve been able to catch up on all my favorite HGTV shows. Having watched countless episodes of Rehab Addict, Property Brothers, and Love it or List it (to name a few), I’ve noticed a bit of a trend: attic spaces converted into master bedrooms. This concept is especially apparent in older New England homes.

But why build a bedroom in the attic? Many older homes were never designed to accommodate a large master suite, something in high demand for today’s homeowner. And when lot size limits your ability to build an addition to your home, an attic bedroom provides a creative solution. While the idea of an attic bedroom initially seemed a bit strange, it’s actually started to grow on me. I am much more partial to an attic bedroom than a basement bedroom. Have a look at some wonderful bedrooms occupying these often-wasted spaces.

If you’re considering converting your attic into a master suite, there are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • Will you mind climbing up extra stairs to your bedroom every day? Most modern bedrooms are located on the main level, which makes them convenient to access. With an attic bedroom, you’ll have the privacy of your own floor, at the cost of some extra cardio.

  • Is your attic able to be converted to a master bedroom? The first consideration is size, as not all attics are big enough to accommodate a master suite. Also, if you have ductwork and hot water heaters in your existing attic it may be cost prohibitive to relocate all these utilities.  Other considerations include installing windows, plumbing and electrical, as well as structural limitations. That said many attic bedrooms often feature very cool vaulted ceilings, which can add some serious visual appeal to your space that you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) otherwise create.

  • Will converting your attic into a master bedroom yield a positive return on investment? To answer this question, you’ll have to do some research to see what price gains you may realize from increasing the size of your home’s living space. The return on your investment may not always be a top priority, however, especially if your home is already in your ideal neighborhood.

Understandably, attic bedrooms aren’t for everyone. But if your budget, lifestyle, and home can accommodate an attic-to-bedroom conversion, then you just may be able to create the master suite of your dreams. As always, I recommend checking out Houzz for more attic bedroom inspiration.

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