and a flat head screw driver, Phillips screw driver, measuring tape, stud finder, sticky caulk gun, a trusty old paint brush, and a steadfast head strong trip to the hard ware store. Abraham Lincoln, aside from being my all time favorite president afforded me the treasured – coveted – pined after extra day allowing me to make today the grand closet reveal day. I finished it (aside from buying one more fantastic basket that I hope I can still find to match my just purchased set of three).
Last weekend, I decided it was time to bust out my old closet. I was so tired of the poorly used space that I literally gave up on it one day and decided to start throwing my clothing on the floor – that and it also made for a dramatic before shot.
I set aside two days to burn the midnight oil and get my closet put back together by sundown on a Sunday night. That did not happen. I have no idea how I could have planned the timing more poorly because as time ticked by, I knew that was not happening. Each day I came home from work and trudged up the stairs to the waiting crime scene – the mess of clothing that it looked as if we’d been robbed – yet I knew I had caused this mess entirely by myself and everything was still here, right where I had left it.
Here is just one of the surfaces (every single surface) that was covered with stacks of clothing. I knew if I did not finish the job soon, I’d run out of clothing that could be matched into an outfit for work. I started thinking that matching clothing items was completely over rated and that fire engine red stiletto boots absolutely could be worn with chocolate wide wale boot cut corduroy pants – especially when it was 5:30 am and I couldn’t remember where parts of my wardrobe had temporarily been stashed. Luckily by Friday, it was jeans day and I knew I had survived.
The closet was to this point by the time the first weekend ended. I fixed the ceiling (that was one aspect I did need help with – my husband’s best buddy, Mike, came out who brought my girlfriend too for a much-needed break from the back-breaking construction work for some pizza and a lot of beer – not for me – but for Mike and my husband) the attic entry was closed off since we had already installed an alternate entry to eliminate the constant draft. Immediately, the closet was ten degrees warmer which is a much more welcomed way to wake up and get ready on winter mornings.
Slowly but surely, I was rewarded that the hard work was paying off. I painted the closet a completely out of character color – I had ‘the vision’ that would drive the design finally set and knew it would fit. We installed a new lighting fixture – which single-handedly transformed the closet into the designer dressing room it now is.
It took all of the rest of this weekend to get everything finished. My husband’s old shelving was torn out to be replaced with shelving on existing brackets and a side that extended to the roof line ( a tricky thing to cut and determine the angle given my NON math brain, but it worked out great). The shelving was pegged and joined using 1″ by 8″s so they would be deep 16″ shelves to accommodate his clothing and stained American Walnut. I used satin paint on the furniture trims. Here are before and after shots of his side that is now his side shelving (and my side dresses). You know that book The Hundred Dresses? I love it – it’s an old classic – if it was 50 years newer it could have been my closet.
My husband has already picked up on the fact that I am gaining space here…. Here are the before and after pictures of my old side and what is now shared. I got rid of the warped wooden rods and replaced them with emt galvanized metal pipes that come in 10 foot lengths – and added using couplings. They are easy to cut using a small hacksaw, but strong enough to hold a lot of clothing. They are surprisingly inexpensive too – each pipe cost me about $7.00 – I bought four – three for the three lengths of hanging clothing and one to piece additional sections to the two leveled longer side. The couplings are only a couple of dollars too. The ceiling brackets were ordered online for sloped ceiling hanging because the hardware store had nothing like it. Eventually I will add some other hardware fixtures I picked up for my husband’s belts but I just can’t pick the best spot; I am going to live with it for a while and get to know the feeling before I make changes. His tie rack is currently hung on a low rack, but I may move that to an upper rack so he can see it more easily.
The back wall used to be used for hanging, but I wanted the two separate aisles of clothing – but still needing the space, I built a free standing furniture piece that will house accessories like belts, purses, cardigans inside baskets that fit perfectly inside.
I am so happy it is complete – it is without a doubt the largest project I have taken on and I am so proud of the results. Here are before and after pictures again (minus the last basket that I slipped into the above picture at the last minute). I am just a girl with a hammer, an idea, and a rough sketch. You can do it too!