I have officially crossed over the perimeter and am now living and breathing and walking and painting (among other things) in Decatur, GA! For the past few weeks I have given up tiny brushes and beautiful white canvases for cardboard boxes and shelf paper from the 1950's. I'm excited to share one of my first house projects with you and give you a little glimpse into our 1950s bungalow. My first project of choice really chose me. I was not planning on redoing any closet space right away, but the darkness sucked me into the corners and unused space, silently screaming "POTENTIAL" to me as I was downsizing from a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath house into a 2-1, 1,050 square foot home. I love having only one bathroom to clean! Seriously, love it, but with less to clean, comes less space to store objects of life (like pants and measuring cups).
Sometimes art is not just about putting paint on canvas, but seeing everyday things in a different perspective. I think being an artist and decorating can certainly go hand in hand, and I loved creating this project!
Since there are two bedrooms and only two of us, my husband told me to go ahead and take the master closet and he would take the guest closet. The master closet is longer, but not very deep, while the guest closet is nice and deep, but not as long as the master. So, the space contest is about tied (..cough...his is bigger..cough), but my husband gets points for giving me the nice location. ; ) [Disclaimer: after his was determined bigger, he offered it to me.]
Ok, so let's start with my closet "before":
There is a tiny closet door, that hits the bedroom door and makes you feel all cramped like, but still in a cute bungalow way. Then the closet itself looks like this inside:
The shelf on top is wobbly, as it isn't attached to anything, just balancing on two two-by-fours. And it is difficult to locate an item beyond the reach of the door frame. A lot of useful space down there! I just needed to figure out how to use it.
I decided to turn the clothes sideways and make it a walk-in closet. Instead of hanging in front of me, they would hang on both sides of the open door. And now that the back of the closet would be more prominently seen, I thought I would paint it in a chevron pattern. Then, since I'm opening up space, I decided to go ahead and take off the door to de-clutter the area more. Here are the pictures to explain:
Step 1: Take all the stuff out.
Step 2: Take out those two-by-fours holding the wooden bar and shelf. I will need the side walls to be perfectly flat in order to install my new closet.
Step 3: Take off the door and putty up holes where two-by-fours and door hinges were.
Step 4: Paint chevron!! Ok, so I drew it out with a pencil and a level, only later to find out my level was not actually level, but for the purposes of chevron it was close enough. Also, I generally tell people not to tape. I didn't tape in this instance, but it might have been a big enough project to warrant some tape. I think I missed the feel of a nice brush in my hand and wanted to do some edging work. I chose a metallic silver paint (by Martha Stewart) and an off white paint (with a hint of green--just for kicks) and a bright orange/red paint that was left over from my old, old living room (two houses removed).
Step 5: Measure, plan, and put in the shelving/hanging units! I chose Ikea's ALGOT system, because it is cheap and I was able to find a pre-made size that fit my space perfectly. (I admit I left the wall ugly after removing that two by four, but it was flat enough to hang my closet..and who's going to see it? (Haha, I guess you!)
Step 6: Hang up clothes, and fit a lot more stuff in there! To the untrained eye, it looks like there might be a back wall of under-utilized space, but I was able to put in a jewelry armoire, and the shelves on the side hold larger boxes than the previous closet could. I also put in a picture from our wedding to make this new closet look like an extension of the bedroom. Access is so much easier, meaning if I put something up on a shelf, I can actually get it down without having spelunking equipment. With the double hanging closet on the left, I have much more storage space and once again: access!
The before and after shot: