There is a different mindset when it comes to building a room from scratch, as opposed to painting, papering, or if you’re particularly ambitious—tearing down a wall or two—in an existing room. I most often describe this difference as “there is a lot of drywall dust clogging up my brain” but in reality I just haven’t thought far enough ahead about the cool features you can include in a room when you’re building from the ground up. I mean, you know you’d have a secret door in your bedroom if you thought of it, am I wrong?
I may or may not have a secret door in my bedroom, but obviously I couldn’t admit that to the entire internet or it wouldn’t be a secret, now would it? What I can divulge are a couple of other bedroom features we thought to include in our building plan (or wished we did.)
Light Switches For The Lazy
Listen, some people call it lazy but who really likes getting out from under the covers and running across a frigid room in their skivvies to turn off a light? Those people may exist, but I suspect they’re in little white rooms with padded walls because that’s crazy.
Since there is really only one wall in our bedroom that will fit a bed, we felt secure enough in the furniture layout to put in these…
Light switches and electrical outlets on either side of the bed.
Lamps on the nightstand are good and all, but these switches also control the four can lights that are the main illumination for the room. I'm thrilled about that, but something we would have done differently is put them lower than the standard switch height, since we’re going to have to get creative with the wall art or nightstands to hide them now. I’d put them just lower than standard nightstand height if I was going to do it all over again, which dear god, I hope is not for a very long time.
I’m not the music connoisseur of the house. Computer nerd, yes, but when it comes to “entertainment” the sound of my table saw is music to my ears. I happen to live with a guy who thinks a minute without tunes blasting your eardrums off is a minute wasted, so our last minute sound system installation was for him.
I didn’t even know these things existed, but a whole-house audio system can be installed with all of the components (CD, record, radio, ipod players) in one central and concealed location, and controlled from these nifty little panels that are wired to each room along with in-wall or ceiling speakers.
Some systems will allow multiple sources to be playing in different rooms (or “zones”) at the same time- so he can be listening to the football game in the kitchen while he does the dishes, and I can play some soothing spa tunes in the bathroom while I relax in the tub. What? It could happen.
Since speakers can be installed after the drywall is up, all that needed to be done was put in a few boxes for the controls, and run Cat-5 wire from the central location to the boxes, and from the boxes to the attic. It only took me a couple hours to do the whole house before the drywall was up.
Secret Doors & Safes
Okay, okay, I don’t currently have a secret door in my room, but that’s not to say I won’t at some point in the future. You really have to plan these out ahead of time, particularly if you want to include a niche for a wall safe. Which is where my Makita drill will live because it’s obviously the most treasured item in my possession.
Completely Indulgent Fireplaces
Putting a fireplace in my bedroom was so far down on the list of things I wanted it to have that I didn’t even know it existed. I was more concerned with things like having actual walls, and that they might be far enough apart that I can’t reach out and touch both sides of the room at the same time.
Then we had an architect refine our plan for the new master bedroom and master bath, and she included this little gem in the blueprint
That’s a two-way fireplace between the bathtub and the bedroom, which I didn't even know could be done before the architecht suggested it, but now I had to have it.
Yes it’s indulgent, but I think a modicum of indulgence is okay considering I’ve been living with my dude in a 400 square foot garage for 10 months. And did I mention we’re without power (which means without water for things like bathing and toilet flushing) for the next three days? But there will come a day when I’m lounging in that tub with a fire crackling at my feet and this will all seem like a bad, bad, dream.
But that day is not today.
If you were going to start from scratch, what features would you love to have in your bedroom?