Large closets are a luxury of modern homes. When you live in an old house that hasn’t been updated, chances are your closets are small if not non-existent which means finding the space and then updating it to our modern needs can be quite challenging.
After the holidays were over, I mentioned to B that we should really consider a quick update to our closet to make better use of the space. The closet was horrible to say the least. (The photos above were taken in 2010 when we were moving in.) I was seriously picturing the diy metal shelves from the home improvement store and maybe some fresh paint. We were in serious talks about FINALLY starting our kitchen renovation so I never dreamed of doing anything major. Below are a few photos of the closet as we began to clear it out.
Once we decided to hold off on the kitchen until warmer weather arrived B seemed pretty anxious to dive into the closet project. He really felt like if we were going to go to the trouble of clearing out the room and make some updates, we might as well do it right. Some of the ceiling tiles were starting to fall down, there were exposed electrical wires, nasty paneling and old carpet. We didn’t really have a clear plan set in stone, which is maybe not the smartest thing when you start a project but B dove in anyway.
I think B was itching for a project again and he really went to work in a hurry. It’s always fun to uncover a house’s story when you start tearing things out. What we always thought was a weird jack-and-jill closet between our bedroom and the other front bedroom was actually originally two small closets and a hallway to the center window! We decided the window must have been left open for light to the second floor landing but we really don’t know what the purpose was. All we know is that at some point someone tore out the dividing walls and closed in the two closets to become one and it wasn’t done well.
Brad worked hard on the entire project only bringing me in to help with design decisions. My biggest goal was to make better use of the space and add in a high shelf for seasonal items that didn’t need to be accessed all the time. We opened the dropped ceiling back up to the original height and Brad added a high shelf along two walls.
We decided on real wood shiplap for the ceiling which we both really love. After going back and forth on the actual rods to hang clothes on, Brad asked that he be left to design that part himself. My only input was two rows with one section higher for dresses. I also asked that the bottom row of shelves be kept high enough so that a low shelf could be added on the floor for shoes and purses.
I didn’t photograph any of the drywall work that B did. He added extra framing where the pipes connect to the walls and added more support where needed. He did the same around the room where the shelf above the hanging clothes is. He lined the underside of of the shelf with the same shiplap as the ceiling and then installed a trim piece to finish it off. You will also see in some photos below that he trimmed out the ceiling with small crown molding which really finishes things off beautifully.
After what seemed like 10 trips to the hardware store, Brad finished the hanging rods and I have to say he did an amazing job! I’m kind of over the whole piping furniture trend but I was thrilled with how it all came together! We painted the walls a clean, creamy white from Benjamin Moore and did the same color on the ceiling. We both just wanted clean!
The room isn’t finished but once the light was installed and the face trim put up on the shelf, we were both beyond anxious to get our clothes hung back up. The next step is adding the shelf along the floor for shoes and bags and in the open corner of the opposite side, we plan to add shelves floor to ceiling for extra folded storage. B will need to finish framing out the window (we are also talking about replacing the window) and door trim and then we need to install a new closet door. The flooring wont come until we are ready to do the floors on the second floor.
I’ll have more updates to this project very soon. It’s amazing how much bigger it feels and B has really done an amazing job every step of the way!
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