A Catch-All Bonus Room Gets a Redesign

In Cambridge, an open third floor inspires a new look.


Extra space is a luxury, but when a large bonus room is left undefined, it can become a catch-all for household projects and clutter—open ironing board included.

In this Cambridge home, the open third floor served as a playroom and storage space, and it offered a not-so-private place for guests. It had potential, but the layout and design were largely uninspired. From July-October of 2014, Charlie Allen Renovations, along with designer Jayme Kennerknecht and architect Tom Downer, worked to redefine the space.

Before: The catch-all third floor had a long counter with double desks, track lighting, a center support beam with a geometric cutout, and beige carpeting.

After: New walls and French pocket doors were added to create a guest room separate from the rest of the space. A closet was added, and the existing window was swapped for one that would match the others in the home. The remaining space is a playroom for the family, including a crafting station and a shelf for toys. The owners considered cork flooring, but decided on stained hardwood. The walls are painted with Benjamin Moore’s “Cloud White.”  The door hardware in the guest suite is oil-rubbed bronze.