Restoring a 1915 Colonial Revival house
Bedroom #3

The third bedroom on the second floor is not quite as large as the master or the second bedroom, but is still decent sized. The bedroom has two windows and a closet and was the room in the best condition on the second floor when we bought the house. The photos above and below show the room in its completed state.

We began working on this room in the Spring of 2010 as we were nearing completion of the master bedroom.
This room needed the basics: floor refinishing, plaster repair, and paint to start with.

We had to remove the baseboards in this room when we were wiring the master, as this room has a small vertical shaft that runs to the basement. We used this shaft to run the new wires down.

When wiring an older house, be on the lookout for vertical shafts in the wall, as these will be your best friend. Shafts were made to house plumbing and ventilation. In the case of our house, every room is equipped with hot water radiators as part of the heating system. As a result, there are two pipes going to each room. Occasionally you will find a shaft that contains multiple pipes and possibly some conduit that fed several rooms. The shafts were usually made much wider than they needed to be, giving a lot of extra room around the pipes. Electrical wiring, telephone wire, and coaxial cable can be snaked down these openings and save you a lot of headache. In the picture above, new wiring was run through existing armored conduit that was present in the shaft that supplied power to this room and the master.

Back to the bedroom. We sanded and refinished the floor at the same time as the master. We then repaired the walls and ceiling, gave the room a fresh coat of paint, and replaced a small 1990s light fixture that put out next to no light. The doors were restored and rehung and this room was complete.

The new light fixture we installed is an Art Deco/Streamline inspired style based on many lights made in the 1930s. Though it is a later style than Colonial Revival, it will still fit the house, provided we don't go overboard with it. We decorated this room in an Asian inspired scheme and this fixture blended better with the decor than a traditional Colonial light. Also, since the house was built in the 1910s, it probably went through its first serious redecoration in the 1930s. This light can be seen as a "homage" paid to the early renovations many homes of the early 20th Century went through as tastes and technology changed, but before styles exhibited the tackiness that evolved as the decades progressed.

Here's a shot of the obligatory pushbutton light switch, complete with a new-old-stock brass plate from the 1920s.

The restored door with restored original hardware.

Back to the rest of the Second Floor