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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Pipe Problems

adk0809February 6, 2013
I just purchased a great home, with an attic with a lot of potential. The attic has a large room, that I plan to use for a den, but also has this small room currently used as a guest bedroom. It needs new light fixtures, paint, etc, but I'm not sure how to work around or incorporate this large, bent pipe into the room. Removing it is not an option right now...I have big plans for the rest of the space, but since attic rooms can be so cozy would appreciate any ideas to finish out this room!
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I'd like to see the wall that the lower end of the pipe is near/touches. How does it connect to or interact with the ceiling?
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Here are two more photos, I apologize for the quality!
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Change the pipe to vertical and use it for pole dancing!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:46PM
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That's a toughie. Wow. I'll be curious to see what others come up with. There's not even room to encase it in a temporary partition or put up a screen. Attic rooms can be nice, but they can also be a real pain unless you can do a full-on, thorough reno.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
You seem to have one of those "lemonade" situations where you have to make the most of what's been presented to you. While the bathroom below uses bright colors, you could translate what they did into a pastel and cozy look by using some softly colored pillows at the head of the bed and a colored quilt folded across the foot of the bed.

Paint your stained trim white and paint different parts of the room in the colors of the bedding.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
kids' bath · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
The permanent solution is to have the pipe rerouted to the exterior of the house, up through the soffit. To cover the pipe on the exterior a chase (long metal box) could be used.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:57PM
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I am thinking like Carolyn...make lemonade. How about painting the pipes silver and give it an industrial "loft" feeling? A faux brick wall on the lower walls?
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 7:59PM
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If you are handy you can hide inside a small shelf unit. Have come out almost as far as the bed, and be just wider than the pipe fitting. Then you'll have spot for some of smaller toys that are on the other shelves.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Wow that is a challenge...someone one told me if you make a mistake or run into a problem that you can fix then just make it part of the design and no one will be the wiser. I know that doesn't quite apply here but...(this is a little "out there") put some matching pipe on the other side to balance the room, then cover/wrap with fabric or hang a sheer white fabric. You want to keep it white so that it blends in with the ceiling and doesn't stand out anymore than it already does. Or you could hang several origami paper cranes or some other suspended art spaced along the upper section of pipe at varying lengths. I would use bright colors and/ patterned bedding to create a more interesting focal point in the room. Sometimes you just can't hide the elephant in the room....good luck.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Ironwood Builders
That is a vent pipe for sewer gas and although it needs to be sloped for drainage, there is nothing that says it can't be rerouted from just above the floor back to the rear wall and back up through the roof. At that time it can be changed from cast iron to ABS, a lighter weight material. I don't know how much overall width is available at the existing back wall. But pulling out a platform for a captain's bed (think Carl Larsen) would cover the horizontal run and a false back of studs with bead board disguises the new vertical. The project would require a plumber, possibly a roofer, a carpenter, a drywaller or plasterer and a painter, all being creative as a group led by a designer. If the existing back wall is not long enough for the bed to run lengthwise, bring in a shelf with a box back to the wall to cover the pipe and the head of the bed is pushed out slightly for head room under the eaves. To be more accurate about the layout we need the plan of the room and the pipe location. Since we can see the roof where it will punch back out to the exterior I assume nothing is on the roof to avoid. Hope this helps you all ...
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:27PM
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What will you be doing with this room? I think the best option is to reroute it but a temporary option is to live with by embracing it by decorating it. If it's going to be a guest room or a teens bedroom then you could string some white xmas lights around it and they will serve as a fun mood lighting. I think keeping it painted with crisp clean paint is very effective in helping it blend in and look purposeful as well.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Congratulations for your new home!

Would it work to remove the nightstand and built in that space some shelves creating an illusion that the pipe provides the support for them?

If this works, playing with paint and decorating the bedroom is the easy and fun part.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:06PM
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This is the industrial look ( silver pipe, brick) Darzy was mentioning above.
Market · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:12PM
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Another option would be to start decorating using a shelf like in the pictures below, paint the existing pipe and give the whole bedroom an industrial feeling . Or, given the same photos to create a vintage bedroom.

Or, using this idea you could paint the plumbing pipe shelf as well as the existing pipe in a color of your choice to give the bedroom a modern, warm and more inviting feeling.
Industrial Plumbing Pipe Shelf by Vintage Pipe Dreams · More Info
Industrial Pipe Bookshelf with Antique Knob by Dirty Bils · More Info
Picture Frames in Driftwood, Gray Cove Style by DA Custom Frames · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Another idea would be to extend the vertical section upwards as much as possible as long as this adjustment is up to code . Then create drywall encasing around the vertical pipe to make it look more like a pillar.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Oh man, that pipe is quirky and a real challenge. The room looks spacious in the first picture, but you realize it's narrow in the others. You don't have much space to make the bed or walk beside it. But it's a cozy room to retreat and read a book in.

A guest room needs good lighting, a bedside table and a chair to sit down in. The bones of the room are great with the paneling and built in bookshelf. To finish it off, find a great fabric as the inspiration to make a couple of shams (how about something in green and white with lemons as long as we have to make lemonade), and then draw on a color for the wall paint, keeping the wall tone and the main spread a light neutral, like they both are, if you need to change them for the inspiration fabric. Or to reverse that, find a print or two that marry your wall color and bedspread but bring some pattern in . Then paint the brown trim and bookshelf white to remove the brown lines that catch the eye and bisect the space. Find a comfortable upholstered chair in a size appropriate to the corner where the little bench is. Consider using one of the patterns to or perhaps a ticking stripe on an ivory background to upholster or slipcover. For example, if the green wall color stays, consider a green ticking stripe on the chair.

I can't tell if the lighting is spot lighting from the ceiling for uplighting from the buddhas (?) on the ledge. It looks well lit but consider two wall mounted lamps, one on the left as a reading lamp by the chair and one on the right to serve as a bedside lamp. If you mount on the wall or ledge above it, they can be pushed up out of the way so they don't bang someone's head in bed or getting in/out of the chair. Just be careful to install at same high and distance from center if possible to provide some symmetry.

The center section above the window is a bit quirky due to the molding rising above the ledge line. Consider removing the two buddhas and putting one tall vertical print above the window, maybe a black/white print of a local landmark in a white mat and a black frame. If you do and the chair has a wood frame and legs, paint them black as well and if your print for the shams has a bit of black in it, you've spread it around.

For the bedside table, you need something that isn't wedged in too tight as you still need to change sheets and you don't want to be fighting the table. See Jenny Komeda's Little Green Notebook blog post at http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2013/02/bavarian-forest-walls-and-wall-mounted.html for a simple inexpensive wall mounted table that would fit in the narrow space. Her approach of mounting sideways might work well for you Paint it white and put a wall mounted lamp above it.

Finally, it's time to address the pipe. You need every square inch of space to squeeze past it and into bed. How about some paintable bead board wall paper? Wrap the long sections of pipe between the joints with it and paint it and the joints with glossy white trim paint. Since bead board has vertical segments, it should bend around the pipe pretty well and will give it a quirky finished look you can run all the way up. Hopefully that gives you the lemonade you need .
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:29PM
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I'd build a small closet around it. Prettier than what I drew of course ;)
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:32AM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Ironwood is amazing! While most of us are trying to dress up or disguise the problem, he's given a detailed description of a cure! Bravo!
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 6:35AM
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Ironwood Builders
Thanks Carolyn! I try.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Thank you all for your great ideas! I think for now, I will be making 'lemonade', though I do appreciate all the renovation suggestions too, as I'm sure down the road I will be doing that. For now, I love love love the suggestions of ways to incorporate and work around the pipe. I like the industrial looks and the suggestions for color as a way to meld everything together. The idea of adding some shelves may make good sense, especially because the room is so cramped! I have a feeling I may start experimenting with a few things and see what works. Thank you for all the ideas, and once I have something that looks like progress, I will be sure to share!
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:35PM
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