By Andy Meredith
When Candis and I start on any older home renovation, we almost always begin with whatever is worst (fallen-in roof, rotted floors, etc.) Then we move on to the kitchen, the bathrooms and the master bedroom. Kitchens and bathrooms are pretty straightforward. The basic idea is to make luxury updates that are in keeping with the style of the house and would make anyone want to spend time in these rooms that everyone uses.
The master bedroom is a little trickier, though. Bedrooms are, by definition, private spaces that are highly individualized, and it’s not like we’re going to be decorating the place for our buyers. We just have to create a setting that they can see themselves living in and that inspires them to think of how they’ll decorate it and spend their time in it. And, while every master bedroom renovation is different, there are a few things we do on just about all of ours that really make a difference.
Improved Closet Space
Because we work with older homes, we run into a lot of bedrooms that have really tiny closets (or that don’t have closets at all). These homes were built back when most people had one or two sets of clothes they wore every day, and one nicer set of clothes they wore to church on Sundays. Because they didn’t have big wardrobes, there was no need for a built-in place to put their clothes, and they usually stored them in trunks.
While that piece of history is really interesting to people like me and Candis, it’s not so interesting to homebuyers, especially when it affects their closet space! They want spacious closets with lots of room for all of their clothes, shoes and other stuff. So, a lot of the time, we’ll take a good look at the floor plan of the house and see where we can steal some space to add a walk-in closet. Sometimes we can build them into nooks and crannies, and sometimes we can move a wall back and add a closet in that space, too.
If we can’t add a closet in the design process, we always make sure that our open house stagers include a wardrobe in the room. That gives buyers an idea of the kind of furniture they’ll need to buy for their new bedroom, and how it’ll work in the space.
Period-Appropriate Paint and Molding
This is actually more of a restoration than an update, but it really does a lot to make any master bedroom look more inviting. Do some research on the colors of interior paint that were used when the house was built, and check out what kinds of wall and ceiling molding were used at that time. Add some period-appropriate molding and paint the walls in an attractive and appropriate color, and you’ll add to the home’s style.
Add Some Attractive Lighting
Finally, don’t just go with any ceiling light fixture. Some of the houses you renovate may not have been designed initially with electric lighting in mind, so you have some freedom here. Choose something that works for the style of the house and draws the eye upward. That will highlight the ceiling and make the room feel bigger, too.
These three tips have helped a lot as Candis and I have worked together to create beautifully updated historic homes. We work hard to make our renovated homes as accurate as possible to the period when they were built — but we also know that our buyers love comfort and storage space as much as they love the look and feel of our restorations! Try these tips out and see how they help you on your next renovation.