The long-awaited upstairs renovation! Part 1 – Before

I really want to add more exclamation points to that headline. I have been waiting a long time for this renovation. Conversely, over the years we’ve lived here it hasn’t been as important as travelling to Europe a couple of times and other, less sexy fixes to the house.

Our house should be a 2-bedroom house and that’s how it began its life in 1931. One of the previous owners went through an “open-concept” craze. I am thankful for some of the projects she tackled – she opened up the small living room, dining room and kitchen into a great open space that I wouldn’t have been brave enough to suggest and I assume she’s also responsible for painting out lots of woodwork, which again, would have been agony for me to cover up, even though I prefer the finished result.

The problem begins when you walk upstairs. No beautiful oak balustrade to hang onto when you’re heading up there (that will be a different post) and when you arrive at the top, instead of two bedrooms, complete with doorways, walls and oh you know, trifling little things like CLOSETS, you are greeted by a wide open space. She at least had the sense to keep the walls and door of the bathroom intact!

View from the top of the stairs

View from the top of the stairs

At first it was OK. Being childfree, the only reason we wanted two bedrooms was so that one of them could be an office. Easy –  one side became the bedroom, and we shoved the desk in the opposite corner.  There’s a large space in the centre, perfect for yoga. A couple of cheap IKEA wardrobes and a large dresser and we were all set.

The view from the office

The view from the office

The view from the bed

The view from the bed

Current his and hers wardrobes

Current his and hers wardrobes

Standing in the spot where the closet should (and will) be

Standing in the spot where the closet should (and will) be

BUT – no closing the door on an unmade bed and piles of dirty laundry before guests arrived. No shutting the door (or my mind) on a desk that, while rarely used for its intended purpose, is somehow always covered in papers that need filing. No easy way to temporarily sequester a naughty kitten who loves to chase her elderly cat housemate. And no door to shut if I need some peace and quiet – especially when I have a migraine.

Although there won’t be a fabulous-yet-frugal big trip this year, I think I’ll be happy to console myself by walking in and out of my new walk-in closet. Stay tuned for Part 2 – After.

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