Creating Storage and Space in a Small Cape Cod Bedroom

The next step in the process was to build a window seat in the dormer. Two front dormers were added when we put the garage and breezeway addition on, Gaaa!, 17 years ago. I’d better look this up… Honestly, cold air came in around both dormer areas. The window seat took care of it though. This window seat was mostly build from scrap wood. I REALLY miss working next door to a shop that builds fine furniture. The guys who worked in the shop shared the wood scraps with us and there were some beautiful scraps. When I think of how many of those beautiful scraps we burned in the fire pit I cringe deeply and get very depressed. The window seat(s) came up before I realized I could easily build my own drawers. so for this project I bought pre-made Closet Maid drawers from Home Depot. I was not happy with the cost — close to $100 for the 4 drawers. Fortunately, they closed out this color two weeks later and Home Depot willingly refunded the difference, which was around $40!

Space saving drawers and a place to sit!

Space saving drawers and a place to sit!

I set to work sewing pillows for the room, a cushion for the seat, and a roman shade for the window. I bought a piece of foam online somewhere for around $30 and made the cover and blue pillows from leftover fabric. The fabric for the tan pillows and shade came from The Curtainshop. Hanging the drawers was no picnic but it was easier than I thought it would be. Here’s a picture of the dormer part of the project. I should add that I painted the room and refinished the window trim before building the window seat.

Here's the window seat with the cushion and pillows.

Here’s the window seat with the cushion and pillows.

Window dormer with roman shade, and window seat.

Window dormer with roman shade, and window seat.

Funny, I just noticed the Stieg Larsson books on the shelf which were not published yet when I did this project. Soooo, recent picture and nothing’s changed except the books on the shelves!

After the window seat came the floor. This is the crappiest laminate flooring I’ve ever worked with but the price was obscenely low — $0.69 a square foot from Home Depot. So, it was less than $100 for the flooring. Nice! I like it in the room for now. I need to be more patient in the future with floors because there is an obvious place near the door that had to be filled (I just could not get it right), and I cut the closet door trim too high. Not professional by anu means — last time, promise. Here’s the “showcase” floor picture.

Laminate floor in cape cod bedroom.

Laminate floor in cape cod bedroom.

As you can see, the baseboard trim has been removed. My architect, sister was on my case to update the “stock” baseboard so I replaced the “stock” baseboard with a two-piece system – costly but nicer, I think. The new baseboard is kind of a disaster in places though. One of the inside corners needed more than an 8th of an inch of putty. I kept measuring too short! It’s not really noticeable, except to a discerning eye, but it still sucks. And, I’ll need to maintain that corner because the space is so big that the fill will fall out over time. Again, last time, promise.

Onward and upward!

Storage and Space Saving Ideas in a Cape Cod Bedroom

This was a REALLY fun project. The front bedroom…. When the offspring were all out of the house and our nest was empty for the first time, I had the opportunity to redo this room from top to bottom. First of all, this is one of the best rooms in the house — very quiet and private with lots of interesting angles, and there is a view of the marsh at certain times of the year. It is, however, on the small side at 11′ x 14′. The room needed to be changed from a teen ravaged bedroom (for many years) to a guest bedroom that could sleep a couple, and still accommodate the ‘coming home for awhile’ of an offspring here and there. Because it is a small room. I wanted clean simple, and MOSTLY easy to clean fixtures and furniture that are still comfortable. I had the idea that some of the insulation had fallen down behind the knee wall because the room was always pretty cold. So, I started by cutting between the joists in the knee wall for the shelves you see here. The double shelf unit is on this wall and a single is on the other side of the dormer space.

These shelves are cut into the knee wall, framed inside the wall with 2'x 4's, insulated all around, and trimmed on the inside with 3/4' pine.

These shelves are cut into the knee wall, framed inside the wall with 2′x 4′s, insulated all around, and trimmed on the inside with 3/4′ pine.

Actually, I started by calling in the oil company rep and asked about extending the heat register in the room. Apparently, the door to the room needs to be left opened to allow the heat to circulate through the upstairs properly. Needless to say, during a decade of teenagers the door had been mostly closed. I discovered after cutting into the wall, however, that as suspected there was a piece of insulation behind the knee wall that had fallen down. There was also a hole from the outside, to accommodate a phone wire, that needed to be caulked. And! There were holes from a fallen down shelf in the closet that were blasting in the cold air.

So, I built a sort of frame system out of 2x4s for each of the shelving units that could be fitted into the holes in the wall, and built the shelf units separately from pine. The 2×4 frames were specifically built so they could be screwed into the existing framing of the house – the rafters, flooring board, and wall studs. I put insulation all around the inside of the frame and taped all the outside joints of the shelf units with Frost King tape. I regret not having taken pictures during many parts of this project.

More soon!