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Best Bedroom Before and Afters 2011

You showed us your cozy and elegant bedrooms. Now see which ones were finalists in our annual Reader Remodel Contest

The Ultimate Retreat

The bedroom is the perfect place to express your personal style, whether it's subtle and serene or bright and bold. When we asked you to submit your remodel projects for our fourth annual Reader Remodel Contest, you responded with renovations that showed just how talented and hardworking you all are. Here's a look at your top picks for bedroom designs chosen by TOH editors and your fellow readers.

After you've taken a look at these amazing bedroom remodels, you can see all the entries at Your Old House.

Soothing Master Suite Update: Before

Who: Jenna B.

Where: Wayne, Pa.

In October 2005 my husband and I bought a 60-year-old brick Colonial on a wooded acre just outside of Philadelphia in Wayne, Pa. and have been renovating ever since. Our bedroom was clean but uninspiring before.

Soothing Master Suite Update: After

Who: Jenna B.

Where: Wayne, Pa.

We are on the third phase of our overall house remodel and just recently completed the master suite update, which included refinishing the hardwood floors, demolishing a closet to add space to the master bath, adding wainscoting and all new fixtures, painting, and decorating.

Who did the work: I did most of the work myself.

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Batman-Themed Boy's Room: Before

Who: Jessica B.

Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.

This bedroom was functional yet bland.

Batman-Themed Boy's Room: After

Who: Jessica B.

Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.

I saw a picture in the Pottery Barn catalogue of a boy's Batman room and decided I could copy the project in my son's room. All I did was use painter's tape to outline the cityscape.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: Under $100

New Master Suite: Before

Who: Julie Y.C.

Where: Louisville, Ky.

Our old master bedroom had a vaulted ceiling, an office-over-garage, a small closet, peach walls, and old carpet.

New Master Suite: After

Who: Julie Y.C.

Where: Louisville, Ky.

The new master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling redone with additional trim and molding, plus crown molding around the ceiling. A former bathroom wall was closed in and has an entry for a walk-in closet off the new master bath. An office was made into a master-bath area. A built-in with shelving and a Heat-N-Glo fireplace were added, and a small closet was turned into a laundry. Can lighting and a chandelier were added. Five-inch hardwood flooring replaced the carpet, and new paint on the walls with a slightly darker shade on the ceiling make this master a bit cozier.

Who did the work: A contractor did all the work.

Cost: $10,000 to $25,000

Light and Bright Nursery: Before

Who: Kenneth R.

Where: Panorama City, Calif.

In March 2010 we moved into our new "old" house, and we knew we had just six months to transform a plain white room into a nursery for our baby's arrival in August. I had the idea to do wainscoting, but I wanted it to be a 6-foot plate-rail height so that it would work with the proportions of the room. Luckily my wife trusted my design sense and my DIY ability. Of course since we had just purchased our house we didn't have much left to spend on this project, but I was determined.

Light and Bright Nursery: After

Who: Kenneth R.

Where: Panorama City, Calif.

I built stock moldings from scratch using scraps from a local millwork-yard for $600, tools and materials included. The theme my wife came up with was travel, and since neither of us is from Los Angeles, we wanted to have representations of the places we'd lived before to share with our baby. So we framed blown-up prints of scanned "Large Letter" or "Greetings From" postcards from the 1940s, the same era in which our home was built.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $500 to $1000

A Souped-Up Master Suite: Before

Who: Lewis S.

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

After buying an 1866 farmhouse, our first project was to remodel the master bedroom. The bedroom was a decent size and had plenty of charm with pine plank floors, original windows, and a great fireplace. But the ceiling height was lower than average, and the wallpaper was pretty awful.

A Souped-Up Master Suite: After

Who: Lewis S.

Where: Rochester, N.Y.

The ceiling was removed and vaulted, making room for a large ceiling fan. Recessed lighting and sconces on each side of the fireplace were installed. The floors were refinished and insulation blown in. After the wallpaper was removed, the walls were painted sage green with off-white trim. Baseboard heaters were removed, central-air ducting was run, and an electric insert was installed in the fireplace.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Victorian Bedroom: Before

Who: Sandra W.

Where: La Fargeville, N.Y.

We own an 1894 Victorian home, and this is the first of two bedroom projects in an attempt to bring the rooms back to a vintage feel. This room had existing insulation, electrical, and other upgrades dating from the '60s and '70s, but we completely gutted the room down to the original subfloor planks and wall studs.

Victorian Bedroom: After

Who: Sandra W.

Where: La Fargeville, N.Y.

We installed upgraded wall and ceiling insulation, designed floor panels, and installed a radiant-floor heat system. We hung Sheetrock, installed Australian Cypress engineered flooring, completed a two-tone paint job, added solid oak trim and baseboard and a detailed ceiling relief representing plaster from the Victorian era, and finished it off with crown molding. The closet is completely finished, including cedar shelving, wood molding, and lighting.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

Cute Cape Bedroom: Before

Who: Stephen C.

Where: Yarmouth Port, Mass.

Winter is usually a quiet time here on the Cape, so we kept busy turning our ideas into our vision of the perfect Cape Cod cottage. Our budget limitations were a challenge, but we were willing to do most of the work ourselves.

Cute Cape Bedroom: After

Who: Stephen C.

Where: Yarmouth Port, Mass.

I looked at decorating as a bit of a treasure hunt, visiting many local estate sales for these great cottage-inspired wardrobes. We are very pleased with the results, and are excited to share the photos with you.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.

Cost: $1,000 to $5,000

A Masterful Bedroom: Before

Who: Susie B.

Where: Columbiana, Ohio

What do you do when you buy a house that has an ugly Smurf-blue master bedroom? You give it a makeover. We had to start from scratch and demolish the existing walls, floors, and ceiling in the bedroom of our 1904 home. Then we were able to creatively restore the room into a stunning, classic beauty.

A Masterful Bedroom: After

Who: Susie B.

Where: Columbiana, Ohio

Key features in the room include a slate wall, an arch that frames a raised floor for the bed and end tables, a coffered ceiling, and built-in dresser. The existing bay window was given a new window seat, which is solid oak and measures 2 feet by 7 feet. A warm, soothing color was painted on the walls, and we are happy to report that the end result is MASTERFUL!

Who did the work: I did some of the work myself, but a contractor did most of it.

Cost: $5,000 to $10,000