Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Creating a Master Suite From Unused Attic Space

The biggest transformation in the whole project?  The Master Suite on the Tenant's side of the duplex.   It started as a sad hallway and small bedroom, but became a whole different space!
When we bought the house, this was the sight that greeted you at the top of the staircase.  There was a short hallway that led to a tired looking bedroom.  The only natural light came from one small window in the bedroom.  The door you see led to the unfinished attic space.

Bedroom Before

Bedroom After
Soon this will be the Master Bath!
Here's a view of the attic from the door at the top of the stairs (and seriously, why there was a dryer vent in there??).  We quickly realized there was so much space, it would allow us to almost double the usable square footage by creating new knee walls!   So I started fiddling with the dimensions on my CAD system and finally came up with a design that would allow us to make this a real master suite.  The new design included a larger living space, closet, and a full bath.

The team from Waterhouse Builders got to work.  They removed lots of walls, built the new partitions, installed two big skylights and suddenly it's a pretty amazing master suite.

Dollar for dollar, skylights are one of the best investments you can make (just make sure you buy a top quality brand).  Look at the difference having all that natural light makes in the space!  And these photos were taken with snow on the skylights (it's been a tough winter in Maine)!
Wall elimination plan

We were so excited to squeeze in a full master bath!  It's not a huge space, so we wanted to make it really special.  That meant lots of high end finishes and details.  We added a beautiful ebony-stained vanity, granite top, Grohe fixtures, and custom tile with glass and mosaic insets on the floor and shower. Next week, we're having glass shower doors installed, custom made to fit our angled ceiling.  And in the angled space next to the tub, we built shelves for storing towels and supplies.

See how the skylight floods the space with light, while also providing additional headroom on the sloped ceiling (I'm embarrassed to admit how much time we spent figuring out where a typical man needed to stand when we laid out the toilet location!)?

So I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Is this is a warm inviting place to get away and relax!

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  1. Laurel, you do such an awesome job and make these spaces so beautiful and functional. My friend is planning to update an upstairs bath with similar challenges and I'm referring her to this project for inspiration.

    1. Thanks so much Candice. I hope your friend can get some new ideas for her reno!

  2. What a lucky tenant!! All of your houses have turned out so beautiful. I look forward to your posts and can't wait to see the next project.

    1. Thanks so much for following along with our adventures!! We love to transform these great old houses.

  3. The dryer vent pipe was probably hooked up to a vent fan--I would guess, given that it's in an attic, to vent the area for someone's marijuana grow-up. Was there mold up there, also?

    1. We did find a grow room behind a sheet rock wall in our 2nd house - complete with a garden hose (still hooked up) and lots of electrical outlets. But this house just had the dryer vent. No water source and no electrical. And thankfully no mold!


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