Master Bedroom

In the beginning

The second room to be attacked was the Master bedroom... it was the only one with rosettes on the window- and door-trim, and the only one with a reasonably-sized closet. There were a number of unique details to this room, not the least of which was the fact that there were six portals and three distinct pairs of rosettes: the main entry matched the side entry (the three rooms on the second floor are all directly connected), the two side-street windows were a pair, as were the closet and back window. Not that you can tell any of that from the deconstruction above.
Repaired Window Repaired, primed, awaiting electrical and finishes
After some time I decided that the matching pairs were the result of remodels: the closet and back window were likely done in the '40s, when the back addition was done [subsequent buried newspapers indicate the addition was done in 1946]. The addition's roofline required that the window be moved from the middle of the wall to the right side. Here, the old patchwork around the moved window is repaired.

Figuring out the closet also took some time. I had noticed the first time I looked at the house that the ceiling by the closet showed that the closet was, at one time, bigger. Now who would make a closet smaller? I also noticed that there was painted beadboard on the inside wall of that closet... how curious.

Finally, with the help of a friend, we put all the clues together: a finished interior to the closet, a hole in the floor by the sidewall, corresponding repaired holes running through the shelves of the kitchen cabinet directly below: this must have been a water closet. Apparently, when they ripped apart the back wall to move the window, it must have been the perfect time to tear out what was left of the water closet and make it into a proper closet. The new wall was made of an early form of wallboard made of gypsum faced with cardboard (shown in this composite photo). That same wallboard helps date the remodel to the 1940s or earlier (http://www.oldhousejournal.com/magazine/2005/jan/wall.shtml).

Closet composite
Stripped North Wall Electrical in
The north wall had significant plaster failure which required repair, as did the ceiling. 40+ cracks and dozens of broken keys made for an extensive repair both of the wall and overhead, including a completely new skim coat. The grey painted floor was about to get a makeover, too.

One mystery I haven't solved yet is what was previously attached to the walls that left that ochre stripe and greyish dado. I can only assume it was some sort of wainscoting, but I have no further clues as to what it might have looked like. Was it wood, plaster, paper? I hope to find out one day.

Every clamp I own Primed Corner Cabinet
This is the door to the cunnin' little corner cabinet by the entry. It was found in pieces in the closet. Some creative trimming created new tongues where the old ones were snapped off, and deeper grooves/stronger shoulders on the rail. A little epoxy didn't hurt, either. It took every clamp we owned to cobble this back together. Yes, we did paint over that ever-so-lovely shade of green inside the cabinet.

Finished Floor Entry
Wallpaper is my favorite part of the process, because it's the last step. It means everything else is done, it's the home stretch, and that light at the end of the tunnel is not a train! You can see here how well both the floor and ceiling came out after protracted effort.
Ah, sweet victory!