A Disappearing Door and Other Illusions: Double Heart Farms Bedroom RenovationApr 30, 2021 01:05PM ● By Chris Stout-Hazard
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
“I cannot believe you did that.”
Over the years of renovating our houses, we’ve gotten used to hearing this from countless people. But the truth is, some homes present challenges that require unorthodox solutions.
For instance, take the primary bedroom in our old farmhouse. As an American Foursquare, there are four bedrooms upstairs, all roughly equivalent in size and layout. When selecting which would be our bedroom, we decided that the second-largest would best suit us due to its quieter, more private location at the back of the house.
Large windows in the room overlook the field to the north and a wooded lot to the east. All good, right? Except the west wall is short, and the south wall—the ideal headboard wall for a king-sized bed—had a closet door stuck right in the middle of it.
What shocking thing did we decide to do? Lose the closet, of course. We’ve got plenty of storage space and, like all of you who live in old homes know, these bedroom closets hold a half-dozen t-shirts, at best. We didn’t permanently remove the closet—we constructed an oversized headboard, upholstered in holstein cowhide, to conceal the door entirely.
To battle the boredom of four white-plaster walls, we covered them, floor to ceiling, with tongue-and-groove paneling to create the feel of a refined cottage. We carried the treatment onto a custom bed frame, built-in bookcases, and a mantel above a small electric fireplace for cold nights. The built-ins give the vibe of a houseboat, with everything in its place and sized just right for the rather compact room. To keep it cozy, we painted all the woodwork a soothing deep-brown color. To avoid a claustrophobic atmosphere, we built a huge mirror to lean against a wall, which helps bounce the room’s light and expand the feel of the space.
What other shocking thing did we do? After pulling up the dingy carpet, we discovered the wood floor was in rough shape with paint splatter, water stains, and damage from tack strips. So, we painted the boards, coating them in a creamy-blue porch paint.
Sure, sometimes people can’t believe the design decisions we make, but the end result is a room we absolutely love.
Until next time, Roger and Chris, at Double Heart Farm.
This article originally appeared in the May issue of Omaha Home. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.