I don’t think I can put into words how encouraged and happy I felt reading your comments after yesterday’s post. You took something scary, something I wasn’t sure that I wanted to share and turned it into a positive experience. What a gift you gave to me! Yesterday, I shared the scary before and the dramatic after of my master bedroom closet. Today is the fun part… I get to share how I made the transformation using items I already owned.
My closet has to serve 2 primary purposes. It has to store my clothing, both hanging and folded, and all my accessories (shoes, jewelry, bags and belts); as well as my somewhat massive crafting supply. Mike took over my former crafting nook and turned it into an office, leaving all of my stuff homeless. My challenge was to incorporate all those items without making the closet look cluttered (or like a bomb had gone off again) while using items I owned.
Once I purged and whittled down my wardrobe to what I really wear, I need places to store it all. Hanging stuff was easy to deal with… it went right back onto the rack. Prior to the purge, I had a gorgeous but bulky dresser in my closet. It was moved out and 2 smaller dressers moved in. I bought the dressers and a desk on Craigs List over 2 years ago for my crafting areas. They were made to be baby or children’s furniture and they are inexpensive and made of laminate. But they were the right size for the closet and had the footprint to pass for built-in. Of course, being me, I didn’t want to put them into the closet unless they matched… So I painted them… please tell me you’re not surprised! It’s not a pretty paint job and it’s certainly not exciting, but they look 10 times better than they did. I never cease to be amazed by the power of paint.
Next, I dealt with shoes, belts and other accessories. Shoes were easy… they went back onto one set of the built in shelves. Easy for me to see and easy to access.
Belts, hats and scarves were hung on the wall using an old coat rack that used to house dress up clothes in the playroom. I hijacked one of my bulletin boards that
is was for sale on Etsy, stuck some straight pins in it and used it to store all my special jewelry… not only is it fun to look at when I walk in the closet, it prevents the pieces from tangling and lets me remember their stories every time I walk past. A friend gave me the mirror above the smaller dresser and a simple coat of spray paint was all it needed to fit right in.
The biggest challenge in the closet was the second set of built-ins and figuring out how to incorporate my crafting supplies. I wanted the shelves to be pretty to look at… there were certain items that I wanted to display… but there were a lot of items that I needed hide. I had 2 big weapons in my arsenal to help me get there… paint and a box of vintage mason jars that I unearthed from the back of my closet in the purging process… they were leftover from my brother’s rehearsal dinner this past summer.
I started by painting the back of the shelves with leftover ASCP in Paris Grey…. no real reason for doing it, other than I just don’t know when to stop once I get a paintbrush in hand. I’d never used chalk paint on a wall before and I was impressed! It literally took 20 minutes, only took one coat and dried within the hour! I then started adding the things to the shelves I knew I wanted to see every day… my great-aunt’s sewing basket, my grandmother’s spools of thread that I use for my own sewing and her thimble. All my pins (safety, straight, etc) went into old film tins that I purchased at an estate sale earlier in the summer.
My sewing kit (which may or may not have also gotten a coat or 2 of Annie Sloan… seriously, they don’t lie when they say you can paint ANYTHING!), sits on a shelf above my pared down fabric collection. Mismatched baskets were spray painted and hide odds and ends… everything from floral foam to Modge Podge. More mason jars hold chalk and my Sharpie collection. Once I’d dealt with everything I needed to store, I backfilled the spaces with special photos and a couple of framed pics of my beloved New Bern.
The final touch for the closet was to add back my slipcovered chair. I framed a couple of vintage botantical prints I found in my grandmother’s old teaching supplies and framed them in frames that used to hang in James’ nursery.
I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love new carpet in the closet and a new light fixture for the ceiling. But do I need them? Absolutely not. I’m thrilled with what I have. I love them feminine feeling of the room… I love the organization and knowing where all of my belongings are. And I love not having to crawl of a mountain of mess to get to them!
Thank you again for letting me share this experience with all of you. I’m looking forward to tackling another problem area in my house next month and sharing it again. In the meantime, if you’re tackling your own closet or other problem areas in your own home and are feeling brave, find me on Facebook and let me see your transformation!