Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The Challenges of Updating a Second Floor With a Gambrel Roofline

As you may remember from previous posts, the second floor of this house was a big challenge - particularly for tall people.  So I had to think long and hard about how to change it for modern living.

First requirement was to move the staircase to the new addition - but then what to do in the funky spot where the old staircase was?  With its low headroom, it really didn't have a lot of useful options.

But as anyone that lives in an old house knows, storage is always lacking.  So why not make this space useful for storage?

We were able to create two nice sized closets - one for hanging clothes, the other with shelving.  And then we built in this drawer unit that I found on sale at Pottery Barn.

And do you see the difference the skylight makes?  Now the whole space feels light and bright.  And once the weather gets nice, the skylight opens for get great airflow.  And last but not least, the guys were able to stitch in original fir flooring from the old living room - so now we have a beautiful cohesive look!  You'd never know there was a staircase in that spot.

What else did we do?  Well, when you live in Maine, you tend to get a lot of houseguests.  So it's great if you can have a room for them when they come to visit.  For this house, we took one of the 2 original bedrooms and turned it into a quiet, serene room that will be welcoming for any guest.

How did we change it? This room was almost a mirror image of the room next door - it has the same funky gambrel roofline with the tiny, knee height dormer window.  We raised the dormer so we could add the required fire safety window - and also brought some nice light into the room.  And like the other room, we moved the closet to provide more floor space for furniture. 

Before - entrance was on left side of room
The other big change we made was moving the entry door.  That let us recess a large wardrobe and make much better use of the space!
After - doorway moved to right, so wardrobes could be recessed into wall
Don't you love these adorable prints from Valerie Paul?
And last, but not least, we renovated the upstairs bathroom.  They made good use of space here, so we didn't move any fixtures - just gave them all an update.
The amazing octagonal tub was refinished and now it simply glows.  A new faucet set really sets it off as well!
The new vanity provides lots of storage, with the help of a recessed medicine cabinet.  And don't you love the lights?
But my favorite element is the wallpaper.  It's like an engraving of clouds and tiny gold seagulls.  Very subtle, but so much style!

I'm really pleased with how much the old second floor has changed - now it's ready for it's new family!!

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  1. It all looks great! Can you share the name & source of the wallpaper?

    1. Isn't it great??? I can't remember the name, but I'm sure if you call Maine Paint on Forest Ave in Portland they could tell you. I ordered it under SoPo Cottage.


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