A cold, cramped master suite becomes a comfortable sanctuary.

When these homeowners first came to us in 2011, they had a list of major projects they wanted to complete on their Victorian home to adapt it to the needs of their growing family. The highest priority, and thus the first phase of work, was a basement renovation to provide informal hang out space. The second was a garage. Finally they turned their attention to their master bedroom and bathroom.

At one end of the suite was a cramped and outdated bathroom. At the other end was a leaky old door leading out onto an underutilized, high-maintenance, exterior balcony. That end of the bedroom was very difficult to keep comfortable in the winter, and it wasn’t just because of the leaky old door: inadequate insulation and air-sealing and a poorly designed heating system contributed to the problem.

Next On Their List: The Master Suite

  • Master bath
  • Master bath, view of vanity and shower
  • Master bath, cabinet detail
  • Master bath, cabinet detail
  • Master bedroom
  • Master bedroom, view of stained glass window
  • Plan drawings, before and after

Byggmeister's Solution

Our favorite projects involve taking the weakest part of a house and turning it into the best part of the house. In this case, we chose to capture the old balcony as indoor space and relocate the bathroom to that end of the master suite.
 
This strategy not only gave us the opportunity to install much better insulation and good, tight windows, it created enough new floor area that we were able to include a large walk-in shower, separate vanities, a toilet room, and a make-up counter in the new master bathroom.
 
Other features of the project included making more sense of the second floor closets, updating the kids’ bathroom, adding wainscot paneling in the central stairwell, and finding a prominent place for an old leaded glass window sash that the homeowners had been hanging onto for several years in anticipation of this project.
 
In the end, the flow and layout of the master suite are now much better suited to a 21st century lifestyle. But best of all (to us, anyway), the homeowners report that the bathroom—where the old balcony had been—is now the most comfortable room in the house.

Project Location

Newton, MA