Operation Master Bedroom: Phase One

Warning: what you are about to see is not pretty. In fact, it is messy, covered in dust, and probably smells like someone who needs to reapply their deodorant.

When we moved into our house in April, the space that will one day be our master bedroom looked like this:

This past April, Rick demolished an obviously-not-original closet that was in this room. (You can see it in the picture on the right above, right across from the...birdbath...) Since then, we've also ripped out the carpet and re-plastered the ceiling. But since we want it to be our master bedroom, we needed to do a bit more than that, as described in this post about our floor plan. So when we donned our long sleeves, gloves, dust masks, sneakers, and safety goggles and were officially reminded of what it was like to go trick-or-treating in Western NY ("But Mommy! Princess Jasmine didn't wear thermal pajamas and a hat!"), here's what we had in mind (again, see this post if you're wondering why we're getting rid of these things):

Aaaand here it goes:

A regular hammer and a crowbar were our tools of choice for these steps. We tried to reduce the mess by removing large sections of plaster at a time, which we did by using the hammer to sort of "outline" the section we wanted to remove, then using the crowbar to gently pull off that entire section in one big piece (usually about 2'x'2). It's worth noting that we have all plaster walls, and a regular hammer (as opposed to a sledgehammer) might not work if you're dealing with drywall.

See that garbage can? That was our "waste management" system. We looked into renting a dumpster, but even the smallest ones were super expensive, so we instead bought a package of heavy-duty contractor trash bags and filled them with our plaster and lathe. I think total we filled 10 bags, that Rick's dad then helpfully took away on his truck.

(Was I right? Messy. Dirty. Stinkier than a ninth grader who forgot to shower and is now sitting in my classroom after playing kickball in the blazing sun for 85 minutes.)

I should also note that this closet was not load-bearing, which is why we were able to do all of this ourselves without the house collapsing. We got the go-ahead from Rick's contractor dad, who just recommended that we reinforce the door frame before taking down the last section of studs that you see above.

Rick's sister Bethany graciously came over to help do fun things like remove door frames. :)

I got to remove the last section of studs, by the way, because Rick decided that I had mastered the drill and could be allowed to graduate to the next power tool, which he deemed to be the circular saw. I am woman, hear me...saw.

Aaaaaand that's as far as we've gotten. I told you there would be no pretty pictures! Well, okay. Here's a pretty picture for you.

Well. It's the best I can do. I'm feeling sort of...adolescent, what with that lingering scent of someone who needs to re-apply deodorant and/or shower after gym class. I swear I'm not a creepy Justin Bieber stalker. I've managed to cut back my teen heartthrob drooling to once every other Wednesday, and today's the off week.

*Don't forget: if you have someone you would like to show your appreciation to, go here to win four handmade thank-you notes! It's open until Friday. :)*


  1. Looks like you guys had fun! Kind of makes me wish I could hammer some drywall! Can't wait to see the finished room!

  2. Really Erin? Bieber? I'm pretty sure our 20 year friendship just flew out the window.... :P

  3. Hey Erin! I think you are ready for a reciprocating saw - those are fun! :)

    As for dumpster rental.. Did you see this post from Jessica @ Decor Adventures??


    Great solution for your trash! I have a feeling you guys will be generating plenty more to necessitate the need for one of these! :)

  4. Already a huge difference! My only concern is how you're going to seamlessly transition the flowery fence into the new blank wall space? Surely you have a plan for this. Perhaps adding another bird bath?

  5. hahaha Aislinn...so does this change your mind about me accompanying you to a movie? I promise I won't sing any Bieber songs. Mainly because I only know one. And I don't really think he's pretty....I promise...now will you invite our friendship back through the window? :D

  6. That is amazing! You guys are such pros! Removing walls is so satisfying...

  7. I really hope you plan to repaint all of those pretty bird houses....

    Ever need to get your husband to cut his hair? I just start calling mine "Biebs"....Hey Biebs, take the trash out. Works like a charm...every time....

  8. power tool therapy? Methinks this could be a viable therapy option. That lovely mural looks like what our guest bedroom looked like when we bought our house. The only difference: ours had hundreds (I counted one day...think it was like 215 or something) birds, bugs, bees...and frogs covered every inch of non-birds-nested and/or fenced space. They say it was a kids room. I fear the poor thing may never recover. I scarcely did.
    Can't wait to see how you continue to transform it!!

  9. Haha, are you keeping the fence posts?! Those are LOVELY! ;) And I'm glad you graduated to the saw, I think we need a picture and trophy of this accomplishment!

  10. I love the way you wrote adios and ciao on the photo!! he he, so clever. Love this.

    xoxo, chrissy
    The Perfect Palette

  11. WOW!!! that is the worst before picture i have ever seen with that fencing on the wall!! Props to you guys for being able to see beyond all that :). You have done a lot of work on the closet, it looks awesome! Can't wait to see the final product :)

  12. It already looks so much better without that lovely picket fence! haha Demolition is my favourite part of renovations. :)

  13. ooooh! I can't wait to see the next steps and obviously the finished product (which I understand will be wayyyy down the road :) ). Good luck with everything...if you've hauled all that stuff AND replastered the ceiling hopefully most of the dust is gone!?? (isn't plaster dust the WORST)

  14. wow, amazing , well cn't wait to see the new master bedroom, i Know it will be amazing


  15. Words like "reinforce" and "load bearing" make me super nervous. I am *not* a DIY girl in the home renovation sense so I am super impressed with people that are!

  16. WOW! SO much work but it's looking awesome! You guys rock! Can't wait to see more! You are so funny too! ;)

  17. I'm so impressed that you took on such a major job. The biggest change we ever made to a house was knocking out some hideous spindles that separated our kitchen from our family room. (Well, actually, it wasn't us, my little brother did the work!)


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