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Best Bedroom Before and Afters 2010

You showed us your cozy and elegant bedrooms. Now see which ones were finalists in our Reader Remodel Contest, as picked by you and the editors of This Old House

Creating Blissful Bedrooms

You've amazed us once again. When we asked you to submit your remodel projects for our third annual Reader Remodel Contest, more than 1,300 of you responded with renovations that showed just how talented and hardworking you all are. Here's a look at 14 of your top picks for bedroom revamps chosen by TOH editors and your fellow readers.

After you've seen these out-of-this-world projects, you can see all the entries at Your Old House.

Hidden Beadboard Bedroom: Before

Who: Kendra B.

Where: Carterville, IL

Dated wallpaper and a tiny closet made our master bedroom seem both tired and dysfunctional.

Hidden Beadboard Bedroom: After

Who: Kendra B.

Where: Carterville, IL

While stripping the walls, we discovered tongue and groove boards underneath and an old window that had once looked out onto a porch. The window's beautiful framework became the inspiration behind the built-in shelves above our bed, which double as a headboard. A coat of cool blue paint complements the wooden walls.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Taking a Gamble on Deep Blue Walls: Before

Who: Jeon F.

Where: Cleveland, OH

Several layers of wall paper and damaged lathe and plaster made this room an eyesore. I knew it would need a lot of TLC—and new wiring, plumbing, insulation, and window and wall repair.

Taking a Gamble on Deep Blue Walls: After

Who: Jeon F.

Where: Cleveland, OH

Crown molding, white trim, and wooden French doors add vintage character to the room, while a sturdy bed dressed in crisp white linens combined with dark blue walls create a soothing mood.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Redo Full of Surprises: Before

Who: Jane S.

Where: Slatington, PA

A lumpy ceiling and walls painted with an odd octopus and bubble border made for an awkward, inhospitable master bedroom.

Redo Full of Surprises: After

Who: Jane S.

Where: Slatington, PA

During demo we found a beautiful stone fireplace hidden behind a cabinet and beaded honey pine boards with beveled edge wood beams above the low ceiling. We refinished the original wide-width pine flooring and created a cozy, rustic room where everyone—including our dog and cat—loves to rest.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

"New" Old Bedroom: Before

Who: Ann W.

Where: San Jose, CA

Smoke damage from the fireplace had ruined the paint job in the back bedroom.

"New" Old Bedroom: After

Who: Ann W.

Where: San Jose, CA

I hired a contractor to add a French door leading out to the backyard, and I coated the walls in a neutral color. I even sanded and stained an oak dresser to give it—and the rest of the bedroom—an updated look.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $5,000 to $10,000

A Historical Beauty: Before

Who: Leslie B.

Where: Charlotte, NC

Armed with a 4-inch scraper, I removed layers of paint and wallpaper in one of the bedrooms in my 1921 Foursquare. Countless hours later, I discovered tons of broken plaster barely hanging onto the lathe!

A Historical Beauty: After

Who: Leslie B.

Where: Charlotte, NC

Using hundreds of plaster washers, I adhered the plaster back to the lathe and patched all the holes with durabond and mesh tape. Finally, I coated the walls in gray and repainted the trim white, accenting with red-toned bedding and carpet and dark wood furniture to pull it all together.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself

Cost: $100 to $500

Bold, Bright Bedroom: Before

Who: Tina B.

Where: Shreve, OH

This green shag carpet was ruining the first floor room we envisioned as a master suite.

Bold, Bright Bedroom: After

Who: Tina B.

Where: Shreve, OH

In tearing down a parlor wall, we found space to put the original French doors back into the room. The lime walls are light and fun and provide a nice contrast to the white woodwork.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

A Week Off from Work and Lots of Love: Before

Who: Paulina T.

Where: Hampstead, NH

Even though my daughter is in college, her room still reflected her middle school days. I wanted to surprise her for Thanksgiving break with something fresh and fun, respecting the unique history of our 1825 brick Federal while still making it livable for today.

A Week Off from Work and Lots of Love: After

Who: Paulina T.

Where: Hampstead, NH

We added a walk-in closet (for which we hired a contractor), reused and relocated the closet door, and covered the plaster walls with a paintable liner for an extra smooth paint finish. I chose a grown-up, more sophisticated navy and white color scheme to replace the babyish pastels.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Total Room Overhaul: Before

Who: Maria K.

Where: Mantua, OH

Our daughter's room had no closet and a 4-foot wall on one side. It was awkward and didn't provide much storage, so we set out to create something with a big closet and built-ins.

Total Room Overhaul: After

Who: Maria K.

Where: Mantua, OH

We finished the interior with an engineered-wood floor and installed built-in cabinets and shelves with rope lighting as well as a deep closet with lots of storage. We saved serious money by reusing materials where possible and by purchasing siding, interior trim, doors, and hardware at auction. We painted the inside of the built-in shelf bookcase blue to make it pop against the peach walls.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself

Cost: $10,000 to $25,000

Master Suite Carved Out of Attic: Before

Who: Lily D.

Where: Portland, OR

The attic space of our 1914 bungalow was dull, dreary, and neglected.

Master Suite Carved Out of Attic: After

Who: Lily D.

Where: Portland, OR

Keeping the history of our house in mind, we created a spacious master suite with a bathroom, walk-in closet/laundry room, and a sitting room, adding 120 square feet with two dormer additions, upgraded windows and insulation for energy efficiency. Contractors put in the stairs and dormers, but we did everything else, including a period-appropriate master bath with clawfoot tub and marble floors.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $25,000 to $50,000

Updating a Victorian Cottage: Before

Who: Cyndi W.

Where: Bolinas, CA

Chartreuse green-colored paint undermined the beauty of our cottage-style paneled walls.

Updating a Victorian Cottage: Before

Who: Cyndi W.

Where: Bolinas, CA

A softer palette of aqua, white, and dark wood complements the texture of the walls.

Who did the work: A contractor did all the work

Cost: More than $100,000

Guest Bedroom Redo: Before

Who: Angela F.

Where: Hudson, WI

Our house was built in 1900, which means there was very little closet space. We were tired of the lack of storage—and the dull green walls and tan carpeting.

Guest Bedroom Redo: After

Who: Angela F.

Where: Hudson, WI

My husband and I created a closet by knocking a door through the adjoining wall between the master bedroom and a child's bedroom. We salvaged the wood paneling we removed from the walls and used it to cover the bedroom's sloped ceiling. Finally, we inserted new flooring and repainted the walls and ceilings in both rooms. Base, trim, and crown molding added the final touch.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Guest Bedroom Redo: Before

Who: Keith C.

Where: Concord, CA

Bare walls and sparse furnishings made this room lack charm and character.

Light and Airy Upgrade: After

Who: Keith C.

Where: Concord, CA

New French doors, moldings, a fresh coat of rich color, and new fixtures makes the bedroom in my 1940s cottage feel both open and cozy.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself

Cost: $500 to $1,000

Opening Up for Better Flow: Before

Who: Marcie R.

Where: Grass Valley, CA

Our original bedroom was too narrow to accommodate a king-sized bed and bedside tables. Combined with an 8-foot ceiling, the room felt closed in.

Opening Up for Better Flow: After

Who: Marcie R.

Where: Grass Valley, CA

Pushing out the south wall 4 feet and using sizzor trusses to open up the ceiling made the room seem larger while a knotty pine wood ceiling, stone fireplace, and hickory engineered flooring make this a room we never want to leave.

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $10,000 to $25,000

Carving Bedrooms from a Basement: Before

Who: Heather T.

Where: Chicago, IL

Demo took forever—we dug out the basement and were sure we could get it all done.

Carving Bedrooms from a Basement: After

Who: Heather T.

Where: Chicago, IL

After all the flooring was laid and drywall was hung and taped, we painted all the rooms, installed the fixtures, and decorated!

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself

Cost: $50,000 to $100,000