empty-nest makeover: before
Photo: Jim and Diane Dawson
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Empty-Nest Makeover: Before

Who: Jim and Diane Dawson
Where: Newnan, Ga.

We always wanted a larger bedroom, with a new bed and extra storage, in a style that would fit our saltbox house. With the kids grown, we were able to combine two bedrooms. It helped that I studied art and my husband taught shop. For inspiration I save magazine clippings; in fact, I got the idea for the newel-post bed from This Old House. The wall we took down was load-bearing, and the hardest thing we did—and maybe the craziest—was raise two new support beams using ladders and a chain looped over the attic joists.
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