We have no air-conditioning and my husband works the night shift.

If you are wondering why those two seemingly unrelated facts have anything to do with our bedroom arrangement, let me explain. It gets hot upstairs in the summer. And my husband–who would probably choose to sleep in a refrigerator if given the option–works the night shift and sleeps during the hottest part of the day.

This room gets very warm. The basement is significantly cooler than any room upstairs and is a better place to sleep on hot summer days: sometimes Rodney sleeps his whole 7-8 hours on the couch downstairs, or in the guestroom. I have heard that it may also be a SIDS risk for babies to sleep in rooms which are too warm, so it would also be a better arrangement for our new baby if she slept downstairs (She will be at the prime age for SIDS deaths during the hottest part of this coming summer). Since we plan on having her sleep in our bedroom…it would make a lot more sense for the whole family if the master bedroom were downstairs instead of here.

When I shared our concerns about the current use of our basement bedroom a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the closet/storage space issue. (It hasn’t worked out to use the basement bedroom closet for sewing stuff, because the closet in the “master bedroom” upstairs was not big enough for my husband’s clothes AND mine.) See:

There is simply no way to expand the closet of an already small room, especially one in which the only adjacent room is even smaller. Yes, we could get rid of some clothes. But it would still be tight.

The rest of the room has always been a bit cramped, too. When we first moved in, the room was arranged like this:

I liked it…but when Josiah arrived we set up the pack-and-play as a bassinet in the corner and it was REALLY cramped. As soon as we began bringing him to bed with us, we got rid of our big comforter and top sheet and started using separate blankets. (This was for safety, and I’ll be discussing this decision in greater detail this Saturday in my “How We Got our Baby to Sleep Through the Night” Series). My point in bringing this up now is to say that it was not pretty! Our bed was “made” with mismatched throw blankets and sheets. And another blanket was usually draped over the window to make the room dark for my husband to sleep during the day. For a long time, this bedroom looked like this:

Eventually, I made some black-out curtains so that we could get rid of the ugly blanket over the window look.

I also made matching blankets by cutting a really big throw blanket and our (until then, unused) top sheet in half…

I made an extra long “his” blanket for the daddy (he hates short blankets), a “hers” one for me that was normal length, and a baby blanket for Josiah which claimed him as “ours.”

I have loved the matching throw blankets.

And this made for a substantial improvement on the room, but as you can see we still have a bit of a mismatched look (for some reason that red pillowcase always makes its way in…and that gray “pillowcase” you can also see tucked back there, ya, that’s a T-shirt…we are classy like that.):

We have played around with various furniture in the room…although not much really even fits. At first we had a big trunk at the foot of the bed and a little table in the corner. But the big old dresser which we originally purchased in order to convert to a bathroom vanity has been in there for a while (you can read about why we didn’t end up using it for the bathroom here). It was similar enough to a nightstand we got from Rod’s mom that it almost looked like a bedroom set…but the dresser has always been in such bad shape that it is really just a bit of an eyesore (you can’t tell from the picture how damaged the top surface is, but you can see that some of the framing around the drawers has fallen off).

As you can tell, we have tried several room arrangements (more than we have photographic proof of), and each have had their advantages and disadvantages. The bed just takes up so much of the total amount of floor space! We have thrown around the idea of a bigger bed…and that would definitely not work in this space.

So we are saying goodbye to our little master/family bedroom with its itty bitty closet and hot summer temperatures.

What about YOU? Have you neglected your master bedroom? Has it ever been the calming, comfortable haven you wish it were?


If you are new to my “Big Bedroom Swap Around” series, check out this post for an overview of our project.

Check out this post about the ways we determined bedroom #1 was not really meeting our needs as our guestroom/sewing room.

Check out this post about the ways we determined bedroom #2 was not really meeting our needs as a nursery.

For a continuation of the series beyond this post,

Click here to find out how and why we decided to make bedroom #1 our new Master Bedroom.



  1. Lindsay says:

    We haven’t paid any attention to our master, but I guess that goes for every room since we’re in an apartment. That’s definitely something I want to make sure we do well on when we find a house to buy. I cannot wait to see this when you’re all done!

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