A Tale of Two Dormer Windows

Well, believe it or not we have parts of our master bathroom & closet remodel complete! They are just a very small part of the total renovation, but hey I will take what I can get! So basically the dormer window areas are 100% complete, these are the two windows over the garage area as shown below. The window on the right is in the closet and the one on the left is in the bathroom.

Domer windows

These are the original plans my Hubby drew up before we moved in, you can see the dormer areas effectually created a 8ft long “hall” in each of the rooms. It was a lot of wasted and unused space, plus they really bothered the heck out of me.

Bathroom and closet plans

Let me start with the bathroom window makeover as it was especially annoying to me… I mean who puts a window seat down an 8ft. long bathroom hall. Just stupid and serves no purpose whatsoever. Would you sit here? What reason would you have to sit here? I just don’t get it…

Before dormer area

See what I mean? Obviously we removed the brown wallpaper (again people, why?!) and removed the stupid window seat (and the door to nowhere). You see, I had a plan for this space… and it’s going to be mine… all MINE!!! (can you read that sentence in a sinister tone, not sure how to make that come across just right in print Annoyed)

In progress dormer area

While I couldn’t make the “hall” any shorter without affecting the amount of space in the closet (nope, not making the closet smaller)I could however make the destination worth the “trip”! First we installed a floating vanity top. Nothing fancy, just smooth plywood with a 1×2 plywood face on the front edge. It is attached to wood cleats which are attached to the studs in the walls for extra support. Then I painted the wood the same color and sheen as the window trim (BM Decorators White Semi-Gloss) . This area is going to be my makeup/getting ready space. Also, you can barely see it, but my Super Awesome Hubby installed an electrical outlet on the left (smart right?) and a junction box for a sconce on the right.

Adding floating vanity top to dormer area

We also cut a big ‘ole hole in the wall on the right for a built-in area to house the laundry basket (this dormer is right across from the shower so it’s a very convenient space as well).

Using knee wall space for built in

Here is the “box” almost complete, I will have a how-to on this project that I will be posting soon for those interested.

Using knee wall space for built in laundry basket

Now for the finished project… my vanity area! Look at all this wonderful light I get in here!

Custom built in makeup vanity in dormer window space

I recovered the vanity stool and made the valance using the same fabric. I also spray painted the stool blue, it was originally black and just really didn’t have the “feel” I was going for. I do so love it blue and with the sheepskin rug draped over it, it feels and looks luxurious.

Custom built in makeup vanity in dormer window space

You’re also getting a sneak peek at the Board and Batten I installed. It’s only in the bathroom and it was a HUGE pain in the ass project but it really adds so much to the room. Plus the new engineered flooring that has made me so happy as well!

Custom built in makeup vanity in dormer window space

What do you think about my swing arm light? It’s perfect for getting additional light just where I need it and then I swing it back up against the wall and out of the way! Plus the color is divine…

swing arm light for vanity makeup area

Here the finished nook for the laundry basket. I was originally planning on adding a shelf in there above the basket, but I put that on hold because I want to wait and see how I use the basket before committing to the shelf idea… but it looks like I’ll have plenty of room for one if I want it.

Built in laundry basket space in knee wall

So now onto the closet dormer area.

Here is the sad BEFORE, again 8ft long wasted space, we really couldn’t utilize this space at all.

dormer window space before

Here is the “hall” now greatly diminished, by 4ft. to be exact, you can see the original footprint of the walls painted on the subfloor. Look at how much light floods into the closet now!

dormer window space in progress

This is just after the drywall crew came in and did their thing. Yup, we made use of the rest of that unused knee wall space, on both sides!

dormer window space in progress

These niches are about 2ft deep each and make the most of not only the unused space in the knee walls but of the (now) little hall.

dormer window space in progress

But did we stop there, oh no we did not! My Super Awesome Hubby (SAH) made and installed fabulous pull out drawers. They have full extension, under mount slides that are also soft close. Listen, these slides were not cheap at $20 a pair, but they will hold up to 75lbs. per pair and they open and close as smooth as silk… they were worth the extra expense in my opinion.

Dormer window space built in shoe shelves in knee wall

Dormer window space built in shoe shelves in knee wall

Plenty of room for shoes & purses!

Dormer window space built in shoe shelves in knee wall

I even have some empty shelves to fill Party smile

Dormer window space built in shoe shelves in knee wall

I also wanted some low profile handles for the drawers (I was concerned about jabbing myself on the handles, yes I factor in my clumsiness when decorating) and had settled on the idea of leather pulls. I couldn’t find anything that I really liked or if I really liked them they were $$$$ (of course right?!) so I decided to make them. All 16 of these pulls cost me $57 to make (not including the special end punch) and I absolutely adore them! I dyed the leather hot pink to match the drawer liner and they’re a pretty close match if I do say so myself. FYI all of the materials I purchased from Tandy Leather and are readily available online or in the store if you’re interested.

DIY hot pink leather drawer pulls

The other dilemma I had was what to do with the bottom of drawers. I knew I was going to have shoes in them and I wanted the shelves to remain in good shape, but I also wanted to do something fun, you know jazz it up a bit! My final solution was vinyl fabric, yes I said vinyl, this hot pink vinyl fabric was less than $8 a yard and I only needed about 3 yards. So not only was it more economical than contact paper, but it feels and looks like leather and lays in such a way that I didn’t even need to attach it in any way to the drawer bottom, it’s just laying in there all nice and purdy…

Dormer window space built in shoe shelves in knee wall

Did I mention that my SAH also added an outlet in the dormer? I’m going to eventually use the space for charging my phone & iPad. I had originally planned for a floating wood shelf here, but when we did a dry fit for it I didn’t like the way the shelf blocked the light from the window. So I found this great glass shelf online, it will hold more weight than I will ever need to have there (over 50lbs.) it really helps complete the space and gives me some room for jewelry, display items and maybe even a plant!

Floating glass shelf in dormer window area

My one and only Derby hat and a sun hat adorn the right side while on the left is a wonderful mushroom watercolor my very talented oldest daughter painted me for Mother’s Day.

hat wall decormushroom watercolor

So these dormer window areas went from bothersome to beauties and I cannot be happier with both the way they look, but also with the way they function!

As always thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear what you think about the spaces!

Until next time!

K

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21 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Dormer Windows

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  1. Nicely done! Wonderful use of space and I love the pink leather handles. I started following your blog right before you moved to Louisville. I live in Madison,Ind,about 45mins away. Nice old historic downtown area. Come visit sometime. Let your followers know when you get back into refinishing some furniture, you do great work.

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    1. Thanks so much Candy! Madison is on my list of places to visit now! Let me know if there are any shops I should visit! I’m hoping to get back into furniture finishing this winter or spring. It really all depends on availability of items and space, but I’ll be sure to shout out when I start back!

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  2. Yeah, I’ll second that…genius! btw for a sinister tone may I suggest a quick “Mwaaahahahaha”? Works for me.

    We love this and would like to share a taste of it over at ours. I’ll drop you a link when its up.

    Jamie

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  3. Susan, I am seriously dying laughing about the dormer windows post. I have been saying and thinking all these things since we basically have the same master bath. Glad to know your bathroom was freezing too. I had to get a space heater just to change in the winter and the closet is always like 8-10 degrees colder than the master bedroom. Drives me nuts. Clearly, these builders needed some smarter people planning out this floor plan when they were building our houses. Loving reading all this and desperately wanting to do the same thing now!

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    1. Our bathroom closet is much warmer now, although because it’s above the garage it will always be slightly cooler. I think if a HVAC return is added to closet end it would help significantly! I use my vanity area everyday for makeup and my built in shoe shelves are fabulous use of that space as well! So nice meeting you today!

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