Project Spotlight: Master Makeover

Platt Builders reshapes dull master suite to form peaceful retreat.

September 03, 2014
Project Spotlight: Master Makeover

Removing the single-door entry into an adjacent den and erecting a half-wall with a 5-foot opening created new sightlines in the master suite and established the den as the client’s “morning room.”

When a homeowner in Concord, Mass., decided to give her bedroom a facelift, she called on the remodeler she refers to as her “house doctor” to perform the surgery. Platt Builders, a firm based in Groton, previously operated on the kitchen and breakfast room of her Cape Cod-style home as well as the second-floor bedrooms. Now, the longtime client wanted to breathe new life into her drab and disconnected master suite.

“The master suite had never been renovated,” says Halsey Platt, owner of Platt Builders. “The whole space was kind of dreary, and she wanted to make it whiter and brighter and more cheerful.”

The original master bedroom felt boxed in by two small closets, an unsightly sliding glass door, and a pair of window seats. The windows failed to bring in enough natural light and did not offer particularly inviting views of the property, which stretched back more than 1,000 feet into a rear yard. A den adjacent to the bedroom but accessible only through a single door featured wood paneling, a looming stone fireplace, a dropped bluestone floor, and a flat ceiling that isolated the space from the rest of the master suite.

Platt Builders worked with the homeowner and her architect, Leslie Mahoney, to increase the cohesion of the master suite and lengthen sightlines without expanding the footprint of the house.

Creating space

The firm removed the closets and window seat from the wall facing the backyard and constructed a large walk-in closet on the front side of the bedroom. Eliminating the smaller closets allowed Platt Builders to install a triple-hung window so the client could enjoy better views into the private rear yard. The construction of a walk-in closet at the front end of the room also permitted the creation of a vestibule entry into the master suite without extending the remodel into the foyer.

PRODUCT LIST

WINDOWS: Pella
PLUMBING FIXTURES: Kohler; Rohl; Victoria + Albert
LIGHTING: Lightoiler
INSULATION: Demilec
DOOR HARDWARE: Schlage
EXTERIOR TRIM: AZEK
CABINETRY: Custom by Platt Builders

“By putting in the 6-foot-deep walk-in closet, we were able to create a 4-foot-by-6-foot entry space that made a softer transition from the front hallway into the master suite,” Platt says.

The company eliminated an outdated sliding glass door that opened up to a yard on the north side, which faced a vacant house lot. Although the client wanted to install a new window in the wall, she had concerns about her privacy if someone bought the lot and built a home. Mahoney suggested installing transom windows above the client’s bed to increase the brightness of the room yet ensure a sense of solitude. Now, just a few years later, construction has begun on the lot to the north.

Across from the foot of the bed, Platt Builders bumped out a wall in order to enlarge the master bathroom on the other side. The resulting area now allows space for five fixtures, including a freestanding tub, and a new custom corner-vanity that houses two sinks. The firm also sought to create more storage opportunities in the bathroom without changing the overall square footage. “We put a custom cabinet above the toilet that was about 18-inches deep so she could have a linen cabinet there in the bathroom without taking up additional floor space,” Platt says.

The company succeeded in opening up the layout of the bedroom and improving the functionality of the bathroom, but one last hurdle remained.

Opening doors

Perhaps the biggest change occurred in the den, which could be accessed only through a single door from the bedroom and required the client to step down upon entry. Platt Builders tore down the wall between the den and bedroom and erected in its place a half-wall encased in heavy entablature, a separation feature Mahoney prescribed. As a result, the firm created a 5-foot opening where there had been only a 32-inch door and established the den as more of an “L” off the bedroom as opposed to a completely separate space. “Now you can see from the bedroom all the way through to the fireplace,” Platt says.

Concerns about cost prohibited Platt Builders from removing the bluestone floor, so the company put down rigid insulation on top of the existing slab and sprayed closed-cell foam between the floor joists. The firm also insulated the roof with closed-cell spray foam and added a structural ridge to allow for a vaulted ceiling. After stripping the wood paneling, Platt Builders deconstructed the stone facing on the hearth and installed a new gas fireplace with granite surround. “We built in two cabinets to the right and left of the fireplace but then kept a very simple rectangular footprint for the den,” Platt says.

A painting of a ship above the fireplace inspired the interior design for the new den. The client, who grew up near the water and spent her summers in Cape Cod, opted for a nautical theme and selected pastel shades of purple and green for the walls. She now enjoys having coffee in her “morning room” and relishes a new sense of order and peace in her retreat. “Her positive attitude was just pervasive throughout the project,” Platt says.

Establishing trust

The overall square footage never changed during this job, yet Platt Builders still transformed three separate rooms into a bright and spacious master suite. An improved flow in the layout allows the homeowner to circulate seamlessly among her bedroom, the den, and the bathroom. The previously lackluster area now features stylish comfort in every corner that pleases the eye from every angle.

“The opportunity to build beautiful projects and win awards comes once you have built those relationships with clients,” says Platt, who appreciates the number of friends and family referred to his company by this client. “Then we’re able to push the envelope and do these nicer projects because they have a fundamentally high level of trust with the remodeler.” PR

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