Before & After: From Bland Bedroom to Longed-For Library

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Mandy)

Mandy’s first-floor master bedroom was strangely laid out and not particularly “master-sized.” She and her husband decided to sleep in another room upstairs, and completely change this one to something they always wanted—a library.

(Image credit: Mandy)

The “before” faces the window that’s on the left in the “after,” since they completely changed the floor plan and that door no longer exists!

From Mandy:

My husband and I bought our first home last October. It had “potential” and “good bones” – meaning it was ugly, really ugly. When we moved in, this room was the master bedroom, or so we were told. It is a small room (about 11′ x 13′) and it had two doors, one coming in from the living room, and one going in to the bathroom. The bathroom already had a door and the second door was just… awkward. We had no need to keep the master on the first floor, and this was kind of a bonus room, so we decided to turn it in to a library. Both my husband and I have dreamed of having libraries since we were kids – so we’re pretty pleased with ourselves.

The first thing to go was the moldy baby blue carpet. Then we found some rather awesome linoleum, but sadly, it was covered in mold too and had to go. We took out the original door coming in to the room and covered that hole; we also removed the door going in to the bathroom and covered that opening. We then cut a new opening in to the room through the dining room wall, creating a large archway opening. We demolished the closet and took out the built-in ironing board cupboard. The drop ceiling was a huge task – but thanks to a strong husband and his trusty maul – we got it demoed. The plaster under the drop ceiling was in great shape, so I just patched it where it needed and painted. The walls were also painted – those rose stencils weren’t really working for me.

This room was the only room on the first floor in which the original woodworking was in place. This was great because it allowed us to find matching woodwork to replace every other piece of woodwork in the house.

After much wall patching, the floors being sanded and refinished, and general cleaning, painting and re-wiring of lights and outlets, we have the finished product.

We built the bookshelves using the Kreg Jig my father-in-law purchased for me for Christmas. The shelves were a breeze to build once we got the hang of the jig. It was the sanding and staining and shellac-ing and polyurethaning that was the hard part.

Overall, the project was really cheap to complete. We built the shelves for much less than anything we could have purchased in a store – including IKEA shelves (and ours are real wood!).

For more photos and details, including before & after floor plans, check out Young Branch.

Thank you, Mandy!