Old House rooms are weird. They really are. Especially in Queen Annes, because NOTHING is square.  There are turrets and bays and it’s ridiculous. And that is one of the BEST things about them. If I wrote a sonnet to my house, one of the top five reasons I would be in love with it, is the lack of square rooms.

Here’s the other thing about old houses : the windows are ginormous. Again, not a complaint – it’s pretty amazing. Where it gets challenging is furniture placement. For me, it’s one of the best puzzles about putting a room together. Some people like Rubik’s or Sudoku – I like Victorian Furniture arranging.

This bedroom that we’re working on – from a layout standpoint – is the WORST. From an Amy standpoint, it’s phenomenal. Here are some old pictures of the room in progress to show you what I mean.

A bay window! And a turret! SIX giant windows! There are really only two walls in this room – the one to the right of this picture…..

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…and this one.

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This room is going to function as our master (for now), and a guest room eventually. And no closet. In my brain, you need a wall for a wardrobe (to hang up clothes), a wall for a bed, and a wall for a dresser or some other type of furniture. We toyed with the idea of putting the bed in the bay window, but measurement-wise, it just wasn’t going to work. So, we needed three things on two walls. I thought putting a wardrobe on a wall with the dresser would look lopsided. And then I thought about scrapping the dresser altogether (but I had already picked up a cute dresser at the salvage yard that needed a home). Finally, after much pondering, I sketched this:

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Two skinny wardrobes, with the dresser in-between.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know we’ve been working on this for a while. If you need to catch up, you can HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

(Yup. This took a while. Worth it.)

For a super quick recap:

We built boxes!

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And stacked them on top of each other!

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And put a bridge between!

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And I painted them!

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And we built doors out of antique picture frames!

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The frames we found at Small Town Salvage. So great.

And we added a light!

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Okay. We’re caught up. That makes it seem like it wasn’t an eternity to build these.

The next step was to build the closet interiors – some shelves, and curtain rods.

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The rod holders look like ghosts. Seriously. They seem surprised that this project is nearing an end. I’m right there with you, Casper.

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Next : Doors! They are giant.

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It looks like a closet!!!

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Each door is 6’6″ tall (the whole unit is 10′!). So there were some serious hinges going on.

First, the center of the hinge hole is marked with a jig.

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Here’s the hinge, and the bit that drills out the hole.

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Sawdust. For days.

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Perfection.

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Happy Hinge.

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Screws go in!

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And, repeat. Four hinges on each lower door, three on the uppers.

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Hanging them up, Doug clamped a board as a rail, to ensure that each door was the same height. I held the door, and he hung them up.

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EEEK!

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Next up : the mirrored doors, which we needed the scaffolding for. Not kidding, once the first one was up, I stepped back to look at it, and started crying. It’s been a long time coming. And a long couple of weeks. You can also see that the room is getting darker (it was late).

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So by the time both doors were up, I got an evening shot. I absolutely love how this turned out, and I’m so proud of it. Doug figured out exactly what to do to make this look perfect. And it’s amazing.

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INSIDE, there’s some good space behind the baseboards above the floor.

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I dug in my “drawer of leftover hardware” and found some homeless knobs….

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….and now we have SECRET storage underneath!

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So cool. I predict this will become a time capsule that never actually gets opened. Please send your suggestions for additions post haste!!!

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Are you ready? Here it is.

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Obligatory “Amy in the mirror” shot. (Fun fact – the light switch for the pendant and an outlet are on the wall to the right of the mirror, but they’re black, so you CAN’T SEE THEM!)

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And then I got annoyed that the scaffolding was in the picture. And since WE DON’T NEED IT IN THERE ANYMORE (rejoice!), we moved it out.

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And here’s the wall for the bed!

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The floors. Still sawdusty.

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My terrible drawing….

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Doug’s amazing realization of it.

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The dresser came from Madison Street Salvage (as did the center light, sans globes). A few more pieces from there will find their way in before it’s done!

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A closer look at the upper doors, made from frames from Small Town Salvage.

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Open and Closed.

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I’m waiting for my handles to come in for the doors. Of course, once I ordered them I found out they were back-ordered. So I’ll post those when they’re here!!!

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Also – flood clean-up is going well. Not much rest is happening here, but school starts next week, and we need the house and many of the rooms to host my band staff for band camp! We’re doing well with all of it, and I hope this bedroom finishes for real – very soon. Because I’m ready to move in.

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20 comments

  1. This turned out GREAT!! I’m also restoring a historic house and have been working on building a closet for a year, as of this week. I *think* it may be finished before I head back to school in August. I’m modestly referring to my project as The Greatest Closet In The History Of The World (with chandeliers!), but now I’m worried your closet may be competition. I, too, am anxious to have a bedroom and closet any time now and really hoped to have that organized and happening before it was time to start prepping my classroom. I had a sewage explosion and new roof (instead of a flood), so I’m also delayed. We’ll both keep our fingers crossed for happy, super-organized, and livable bedroom and closet spaces very soon!! I can’t WAIT to not do laundry and put my clothes “away” in the moving boxes (for 5 years now…)!

    Love your wardrobes so much!!

  2. I didn’t think I was going to like the black walls, but you were right on! Every thing looks GREAT. Love your work.

  3. You two are a great team. You have the creativity and he has the ability to turn it into something fantastic! I love reading your blog. It’s inspiring. We’re still at the practical stage in our tiny Victorian cottage working on exterior scraping and painting but I’m looking forward to starting on the “creative” part soon.

    1. Thank you so much! Sometimes being at the practical stage is frustrating for me, but Doug thrives in it – I guess that’s why we work so well together. Good luck with your project, I’d love to hear more about it!!!

  4. Wow!! I gotta say, when you first posted pics of those black walls I had a very hard time believing it would work – but now that it’s all done and coming together, I now gotta say wow, wow, wow! It is so beautiful!

    1. You weren’t the only one. I wish I could’ve done a blog post of pictures of people’s faces when I said I was painting the room black. It almost always was a look of terrified horror while still trying to be loving and supportive. 🙂

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