thinking about turning guest bedroom into walk-in closet

prospect711January 5, 2013

Remodeling of 1970 1200 sq ft raised ranch. House has three small bedrooms. Master BR barely big enough for king size bed and dresser. Closet is reach in, 7 ft by 3 ft.
Considering merging current Master BR with guest BR to get space for walk-in closet. DH and I are empty nesters with no plans to sell/move.
Thoughts?

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Shades_of_idaho

Sure why not? Would be great if you could do it in a way the rooms could be divided again down the road if there was a change of plans. Might as well live in luxury. Doll it up. there are some Beautiful pictures around of walk in closets with chandeliers benches. I think Lavender_Lass has some pretty ones some where. Your taxes might go down too if you only had two bedrooms.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:52PM
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marti8a

Go for it! If I didn't know we would be selling one day (soon I hope), I'd do the same thing. Your master bedroom closet is bigger than mine by a couple of feet, so I know exactly what you are dealing with.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:30PM
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kitykat

Hi prospect. We have an 1100sf ranch, 3 bed, 1 1/2 bath. The closet(s) in the 9x13 Master were 48" and 30". There are just the two of us and we converted the bedroom next to ours into a 10x11 'dressing room'. I designed the area and used a wonderful on-line tool using Easy Closets. They are not cheap, but I cannot say enough about our decision!!! Tons and tons of hanging and shelving... and a bench in the middle for putting on shoes and jeans... yes, we are older! Also a laundry basket as a clothes hamper.

I had thought about removing the connecting wall, re-working the entire area BUT, with all surrounding houses 3 bedroom, it would have lowered the value. (And, good thing as we are now building a tiny 2 bed retirement patio home... had NO intention of moving two years ago)

With just the two of us, we walk next door to the 'closet' and keep the door shut other times. Oh, we did remove the door from that room's closet, but that can be replaced by a new owner if the third bedroom is needed. We use our other room as an office.

This was one of the best moves we made on this 60 yo house. Now we use the original closets for linen storage, hanging robes, hanging tablecloths, whatever we need additional storage for.

My thoughts... go for it, but don't make it permanent.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:50PM
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prospect711

We are just finishing a redo of the main bath that will give us a much larger and more accessible linen closet. Remodeled the kitchen last year and gained space there too. Planning to rework the rest of the house over the next year or so.
We live in a rural area with a wide variety of housing.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:33PM
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kmcg

I wouldn't tear down walls in a way that would legally turn the house into a 2 bedroom, but I'd definitely use the guest room as a dressing room. We did that with a spare room, and it's been morphing over time. It's kind of a combo of office/sewing room/closet that houses my stuff, leaving the smaller closet in the master for DH. I put 2 Ikea Pax wardrobes on one wall, and a long desk on the other. Slowly adding shelving, and trying to figure out how to organize the small reach-in closet. It's nice to have this all to myself, but if we sell, it could easily be turned back into a bedroom.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:12PM
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camlan

Could you cut a door through the connecting wall and make the extra bedroom into a dressing room?

Move the dresser in there, line the walls with elfa shelving or Pax wardrobes, add a bench to sit on for putting on shoes, a full length mirror, the hampers, the ironing board, all the clothes-related stuff in the house.

The doorway could easily be closed up if, down the line, someone wanted a three bedroom house again. Or the connecting door might be useful to future owners, if the little bedroom became a nursery.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:14AM
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prospect711

The MBR and the guest BR share a wall - but that wall contains the existing MBR closet. Like kmcg's idea - will look into that.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Moccasin

What Kitycat says is true, leave the configuration of 3 bedrooms so that future owners can have the option since most families will need that with children around. It would affect the sale of your home.

I say that because 2 bedroom homes are not that sought after. Our little cottage is 2 bedroom and it suits us. I figure the way we have it (planned) setup, it will be possible for this house to become a rental for two single individuals who want separate baths, closets, and some privacy. So each bedroom has its own bath, with the master having a walkin closet. And they do not share the hallway. The front bedroom (we now use it as a study) can be closed off making the hallway part of its suite and only using the bath if there are guests and the door to the hallway is not locked from the bedroom side. Part of my remodel to the kitchen will include closing off the master entry door from the (now shared) hallway, and relocating it to near the back door, as I also add a sitting area to the master. The sitting area COULD be left open to the kitchen area, but I have a nice old cypress door which will be mounted with barndoor hardware to close off the sitting area from the kitchen.....although I doubt we do that often, since we two old folks seldom have overnight guests. But, it is something I feel important for the sake of privacy.

Anyway, you will sure get a lot more use from the space being set up to serve as a huge closet, more so than being under-utilized as a spare bedroom. Spare bedrooms or "guest" rooms, are probably the least used space in a home, followed by a formal dining room. In our house, the third least used space was the living room. We use the 2nd bedroom as our study and TV room. I now have my big parrot cages in the living room. We go through the LR to go sit in the sun porch, always a pleasant experience. I have ideas how to make the LR work harder and fit in with our lifestyle. With the return of french doors to the doorway, I now see the LR as our potential guest room. That way, our study stays intact and undisturbed because we use it more hours in the day/night than even the kitchen or the bedroom...or the bath, for that matter.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:46PM
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lavender_lass

I do have some pictures! From Fairy tale cottage

From [Fairy tale cottage](https://picasaweb.google.com/113704953485102437421/FairyTaleCottage?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite) From [Courtyard Garden album](https://picasaweb.google.com/113704953485102437421/CourtyardGardenAlbum?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite)
    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 2:08PM
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marti8a

LL, you're making me drool.

Everyone is probably right about making it possible to turn back into a 3 bedroom for resale. It would be nice if you could do that without having to walk down a hall to get to your new closet.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:21PM
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lavender_lass

How big are the two bedrooms? Could you move the wall over and add a few feet to the master bedroom, without making the other bedroom too small? If possible, I'd do that and add a door from the master bedroom into the other bedroom...making it a fancy walk in closet for now, but possibly a nursery or office later on.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:33PM
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nancyinmich

When my DH was unemployed during the depression of 2009, we dealt with the uncertainty of the future by using the internet to house hunt in each town where he applied for work. It helped us to cope, seeing how we could live in each location.

A few months ago, his current job sent him on a couple of business trips to the Washington DC area, to the US headquarters. The headquarters used to be here, but they moved it to DC some years ago, making everyone move there. We fantasized a bit about that happening to him, so went online to house hunt. The only single family home under $400,000 that was far enough away from Dulles Airport to have good air was a 1962 1200 sq ft ranch with 4 bedrooms and the original kitchen and baths. On a very busy road, across from a sports complex with four baseball fields and a couple of football fields. The only way I could imagine making this house work for us was to use the two bedrooms a the end of the hall as a suite. I would have either put in one of ML's favorite bifold doors or a curtain in the hallway just past the main bath. Then the master bedroom would be the bedroom, with just enough room for the king bed and the attached master bath. The front bedroom would become the dressing room, with dressers and hanging space for clothes. With the hallway cut off from view just past these two doors, the suite effect could have been accomplished. The bedroom door would be needed to remain for true privacy.

Prospect711, I have a tip that may help in setting up your closet room. When we purchased our bedroom furniture, we got two identical dressers. I have them set up in front of our closets, but in a closet-room, I would do this in the center:

I placed the two dressers back-to-back. One person's drawers face one direction, the other person's are on the other side. The top is then a huge expanse of real estate on which you can set empty laundry baskets, or even decorative things. Then the clothing racks along the walls can hold the clothing of the person whose drawers face that wall, giving each partner a separate space to organize and keep as neat or as messy as they like.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:18PM
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prospect711

Master BR is 148" x 128". there is also a 3' deep closet.
Guest BR is 106" by 128". Just not much room. We have a king bed in the master.

The third BR is even slightly smaller. We use it as an office.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Helena2013

I'm going to do this in the small house I just bought. The MBR is only 13x13 and has a sliding-door closet along part of one wall. I'm going to take the doors off and use that recessed area to put my dresser and mirror, which will allow enough space in the room for the other pieces that have to go there.

The bedroom right next to the MBR is 10x12 and the third one is 9x10. After much thought I'm going to convert the 10x12 one into a closet and use the 9x10 one for my desk and (far too many even after weeding out!!) books.

Because I have limited funds I'm going to use the Elfa system for the closet room (and also for the bookshelves). I love the complete flexibility that it offers and that I can purchase the components gradually, as I can afford them, once the top rails are put up. It's not as pretty as the upscale "finished" brand closet systems but IMHO better looking than quite a few others.

Ironically I have a 9x12 walk-in closet in the house I'm leaving, and that was built-in by a carpenter ... the only thing I've never liked about it was the inability to reconfigure the shelves, LOL. They are all fixed, so its been a matter of fitting the items to the spaces rather than the spaces to the items. I had never heard of the Elfa line before reading about it here, and am so glad I found it!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:04PM
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