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Project Update: The design change that will save us lots of money


A glimpse into renovation life….

Will it ever be finished? (cue “All I want for Christmas…”)

To be honest, I’m actually happy with the progress we’re making. Jaga only has Sundays and weeknights to work on it, so even though we’re almost two months in already, I can see a finish line in sight. And, as I had mentioned in the last update, I made a change to the floor plan which will actually make our To-Do list even shorter, and most likely save us a few thousand dollars—a considerable chunk of our entire renovation budget. So in today’s post I want to share this brilliant little idea I had last month.

Amazingly, all this change is happening in just a small area. Check out this little animation I made thanks to Photoshop to illustrate the change. Fancy, I know. (Turn on Iggy’s Fancy to make looking at this graphic that more enjoyable). The highlighted area shows the difference between the original plan and the new revised plan.


The Change: Instead of connecting the existing hall to the new hall through a cased opening, we are now going to put a linen closet between the two halls.

Why? One of the biggest reasons to do this is because it means we can delay or eliminate Phase 2 of our plan. Phase 2 was the reconfiguration of our existing bath so that it was more of an ensuite bath off of our bedroom rather than the hallway. Redoing that bathroom would perhaps be ideal from a re-sale perspective, but it also would cost 2-3K. A painful 2-3K.

Back when I was originally drawing up the plan, I tried lots of different solutions to avoid redoing the arrangement of the fixtures in the current bath. But I felt it was necessary to have one central hall connecting all the rooms together, and I couldn’t find a way to do it without changing that bathroom. Because if I didn’t change that bathroom it would mean I would have two bathrooms right next to each other on the same hallway. We joked around about putting men and women restroom signs on their doors. It would be silly, but not so funny in reality.

But, now after seeing things take shape, I came to the realization that I don’t need or even want that central hall anymore. It does mean that the two bedrooms will still share the same one bathroom, by proximity. But I’m ok with that. Just having another bathroom somewhere in the house will be a luxury for us. We’ve never had a place with more than one bath before. We’re also going to put a single french door on the opening between the hall and the living room to make that area of the house more private. And having a real linen closet would be huge since we don’t have one. (The closet designated for the pantry could be the linen closet, but I desperately need that pantry too. So now I can have both. *win*)

Speaking of this linen closet, here’s an idea of what it would look like:

new linen closet 2

I’m actually thinking of using this IKEA cabinet and installing it in the wall for a more built-in look:

akurum-high-cabinet-with-shelves--doors__48126_PE144526_S4And I’m also thinking of maybe making it accessible from the other side as well, which would super functional. Yea or nay?

new linen closet

What do you all think of this change? Genius? I guess it all comes down to money. If money weren’t an object, I would probably still prefer to have a private bath off of our bedroom.

But…I have thought that as our family expands we could make the family room our bedroom, and then the two bedrooms and bathroom could be for the kids. Just an idea.

So, that’s the big change. It’s not often that my husband LOVES my ideas as I have many, but he was a big fan of this one. I am too. Less work, less money.

Here’s some of the latest pictures of the project. Drywall is hung and the first application of mud and tape is done. Still more sanding and layers of compound before priming for paint, but it’s close!

DSC_3439 DSC_3434

Remember the skylight episode 1 from last week? Here’s what it looks like now. This 9″ diameter sun tunnel adds an incredible amount of light.DSC_3407 DSC_3418

I’m hoping to have the family room somewhat complete in time for my brother’s visit during Thanksgiving. Not finished completely, but at least livable, with painted walls and floors installed. And maybe, just maybe, everything will be done by Christmas.


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  • gordonpwpa
    October 21, 2014 at 4:43 am

    It will be harder for someone in the second bedroom to use the new bathroom because they will have to go through the living room and kitchen to get to it. Therefore I’d look at this as a good interim solution for a guest / day bathroom with a long-term goal to complete the original plan.

    • Tamara
      October 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      I agree, Dad! And I think maybe one day we will move forward with the original plan. It depends, of course, on what other wild ideas I get in the meantime!

  • Children’s IKEA | The Made Home
    December 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    […] went a couple of weeks ago to the store in Charlotte. I wanted to look at a cabinet for a possible linen closet solution but mostly just wanted to get out of the house and let Jack run around. It was a fun day […]

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