Friday, September 2, 2011

The Closet Pt.1

I seriously suck at BEFORE/ AFTER shots. I think that my DIY stories would hold so much more weight if I could show you the before shot...but alas, this post, which chronicles the adventures of a closet makeover lacks a Before photograph. OK, new resolution: always take a before shot!!

Now that we've got that out of the way- as hinted at yesterday: we reno'd our closet! yay! It's been a looong time coming, and I'm so glad that it's near completion (thus the pt.1 of the post).

So, why the need for a reno, as our building is relatively new and shouldn't need that much fixing up, right? Well.... the space is a walk-in, and it simply was not functional for us at all. It was lined wall to wall with a row of wire shelving, that protruded with long brackets- which got in the way of the bit of bookcases and shelving that we wanted to put in there for storage. The walk-in is our main source of storage for our place, so it had to house a lot more than just clothes, and we needed it to become as functional as possible. Thus, the reno!
The only picture I could find of the closet was a formerly blank wall as Jackie began painting:

 The whole thing started with us viciously tearing out the wire shelving (speaking of which, if you can use an 8' length of wire shelving, you can have it for free!!). The brackets for the shelving weren't screwed in, but rather nailed in... and the only way to remove it (after much research) was to yank out the entire anchor, which left some pretty nasty holes in the wall. We spackled, and Jackie cracked open a can of "Mimosa" by Martha Stewart. I'm going to spare you the details of how long it took to decide upon a color.... We wanted something different, but that felt continous with our room decor or teal and purples. There was a bit of yellow in our bedspread as well, but yellow itself didn't feel right. We ended up with this color because it had a green presence to it, making it bright and fresh, and gr-ellow. We also appreciated the cheeriness of the color and it added a much needed brightness to this dark space (After we were done painting, I noticed that the color looked very similar to our Pale Avacado I fetched the swatch, and sure enough, the color was almost identical!!! I was beside myself that we spent all that time picking a color, when the one we wanted was right in front of our noses. Jackie admitted that she realized this days ago, but decided to keep it a secret. :-P)

After it was all patched and painted, we installed the metal curtain rods- one for each of us. On the left side we also mounted a skinny bookcase, and on the right we affixed another bookcase on top of my dresser- which left us a reasonable amount of space for shelving.

Jackie chillin' out with our new metal closet rods!
The shelving that we needed wasn't standard sizes...and I was shocked at the prices I found as I shopped around. Instead, we opted for the built-in look, and had some pine cut at good ole' Home Depot, and stained it to match the black-brown IKEA furniture. We used Espresso stain from Varathane- and I was genuinely impressed with the product. It was also Jackie's first time staining, and it was a blast. I propped boards up vertically and left them out on the deck to dry over night. The next morning....

...there was a burning smell coming from the deck. And you guessed it- the hot morning sun was making the pine really hot... and to my utter dismay- it warped the boards! I seriously felt as though I'd been kicked in the stomach. Everything seemed to be going right on track with the project, and then this speed bump happened. It really slowed things down from there, as I was frustrated to get more wood and re-stain. Eventually, it happened, and I took my sweet time hanging all the shelves using some really cheap (and slightly ugly) brackets. My theory was that they're cheap and eventually would be covered by all of our stuff.... but, remember kids: once an ugly bracket, always an ugly bracket.

Left side of the closet

I earned the status of "handy hubby" on this one (at least, according to Jackie's Facebook status), and it felt really good to get this project accomplished.

Right side of the closet

Oooo! Look at all those fancy built-ins!
 The newly positioned shelving really makes the most of our space, and while the project took up a bit of time, it really didn't put a financial strain on us. The purchases included pine boards, brackets, stain, and paint- that's it (and a lot of screws and anchors).

The tools that got me through.
 I've heard many people gripe about their own closets and storage spaces over the years, and after taking the time to complete this project, it makes me wonder- what's keeping you from making your own space more functional?

And while we're at it, let's check in on my Get-It-Done-Before-December-To-Do list:

-Finish Closet Renovation
-Make Hazel a play kitchen (in progress)
-Construct a headboard for our bed
-Find a bathroom storage solution
-Paint the front door
-Hang Pictures (Hazel's room, our bedroom, and hallway)
-Finish lining Hazel's toy box, and donate un-used toys
-Cover the dirty Tullsta chair in our living room
or- sell the chair, and find a new seating option
-Sew some throw cushion covers
-Re-secure the Curtain Rod in our bedroom

Yay! I love crossing things off- makes life feel much more accomplished!

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