A New Closet Bench

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Some time ago Luna decided she no longer liked her perch in our closet and proceeded to claw the daylights out of the side of the storage ottoman I had already repaired once.  I guess she knew I’d be switching the style of our Master to more rustic farmhouse and wanted to give me a starting point.  I sold the slightly damaged ottoman and began the hunt for a replacement.  The hunt then drug on for several months and Luna whined that she didn’t have a perch – to which I told her it was her own doing.

I wanted something that she couldn’t damage with her claws so I knew wood was my best option.  I’d considered building a small farmhouse style bench with a plan from Pinterest when I spotted this little distressed piano bench on the local buy/sell page.  It was a little more expensive than I hoped, but the seller offered me a small discount making it cheaper than what she had bought it for so I felt a little better about it.

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It fits perfectly under the mirror and the additional storage where the top lifts up is just enough to hold my work T-Shirts so I don’t have to pull them down from the high top shelf when I need them every few months.  I thought I could add a bit more storage with a basket underneath and I had one that wasn’t fulfilling a purpose at the moment so I did a quick test fit.

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You’d think it was made to fit there!  And it coordinates with the colors quite well.  Luna was quick to show her approval of the new bench, which allows her to admire herself in the mirror once again.

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And more importantly, it provides an optimum ambush location for that crazy younger sister of her’s when she gets a bit too energetic and needs to be reminded of who’s really in charge!

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I wasn’t sure how I’d use the basket at first, but I’ve since started putting the “to be altered or mended” items in there which frees up space on the shelf over the bottom rod on my side.  Perhaps being able to see them in the basket will remind me to take them to be done!

I plan to paint the trim and molding around the mirror cabinet this winter when there’s not so much to do outside, which will start to give this space a more finished look.  I’ve made another small update to this space since taking these pictures and will share that soon as well. Until then I’d love to hear what you think about the new bench and the extra storage it provides!

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Hanging at the Scarf Bar

Although I’m still working scarves into my regular wardrobe, I’ve somehow amassed quite a collection.  I used to have a scarf organizer similar to this that hung from the closet rod, but I found that it was too full and I couldn’t easily find scarves that were buried under those on spots higher up.

My next option was draping them in a row over the closet rod itself since I had extra space to use.  This worked pretty well, but I worried that the wooden rod would snag the scarves as I pulled them off if I was in a hurry.

So when we removed the builder’s towel bar to use hooks in the Master bathroom I had a light bulb moment.  I asked the hubs to hang the bar in the closet below my crown molding shoe racks instead.  He looked at me like I was mad until I explained what I planned to use it for.

A stud finder and a couple screws later, I now have a pretty and functional scarf bar in my closet.  I love the location because it’s right next to my mirrored jewelry cabinet which I stand in front of to decide on accessories for each outfit.  And because it’s right under my shoes I can see how everything will coordinate as I pick out options.

Scarves

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Now my scarves have a place to belong and I have back extra rod space to fill! It’s the simple things in life that make us girls happy isn’t it? 😉

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So I Went a Little Shoe Fanatic..

After the pantry, the Master Closet was the next priority project.  We had a plan all drawn up and ready so the hubs just started cutting and installing.  Unfortunately, he was transferred to an overnight shift just before the move, so this drastically affected how much he could get done in a day.  That meant that the ladders and tools that had cluttered the kitchen for the first few days post move, now resided in our bedroom and closet for approximately a week.

ClosetDuring

ClosetSaws

For those of you who know me personally, you’ll understand that just thinking about that makes me itch because I can’t stand clutter in any sense.  Finding an outfit for work from the wardrobe boxes each morning was wearing thin and I still hadn’t found my office shoes, jewelry or purses.  Although I was trying to keep my side of the room as organized as possible, the hubs had gone the ‘man route’ and had stuff everywhere and anywhere.  I involuntarily twitched every time I walked past his side of the bed.

ClosetHers
My side of the room.
And his side...
And his side…

About the time he’d gotten my side of the closet almost finished, I found the box with my shoes and purses.  I pulled out a few pairs of heels to get me through the upcoming days and put them along the wall in the closet, because well, that’s where shoes belong.   I knew he would be cutting a hole in the wall to flush mount my full length mirror jewelry cabinet soon, so I held off unpacking my wardrobe and spent a half hour covering all of my shoes to protect them from the dust that would be created.  Apparently I didn’t do a good enough job, because I came home to this the next day.

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He’d realized that my shoes had gotten dust on them, so he thought the best option was to move them into the bathroom away from the dust.  So there they were, on my bathroom counter.  Who knows what germs those beauties held on their soles, which were now on my counter!  When I noticed there were also Sasquatch sized “dust” foot prints on the bathroom rug, I asked if Big Foot had broken in to try on my shoes while I was at work!

ClosetFootprints

I began cleaning shoes individually, which resulted in pockets of saw dust being spilled out of the inside of each all over the floor.  It was at this point that I pitched a full on fit, which the hubs believed was fully directed at him and his efforts to install the closet.  Many huffs and puffs from both of us and a long talk later, I was able to explain that it was the feeling of living and unpacking “in construction” that had me irritated rather than him.

We set a deadline to get the closet done and tidied up what we could for the time being.  Luckily, he finished up a few days later and I was finally able to unpack all of my clothing and organize everything in the new space.

Well worth the wait!  The trim leaning against the mirror will be used to cover the gap between the cabinet and the wall.
Well worth the wait! The trim leaning against the mirror will be used to cover the gap between the cabinet and the wall.
My side!
My side!
My side also has long hanging space and room for my boots!
My side also has long hanging space and room for my boots, which I’d planned to keep by the mirror!
His side
His side

The ottoman under the mirror holds the laundry bags I use for dedicates and at-home dry cleaning, but it also makes for a great spot to sit in the mornings and put on my socks or nylons.  You might have noticed the trim molding on our access panel is missing.  The builder’s foreman said he moved the panel a few times and it “just fell off.”  Sure… whatever, it’s a moot point now.  I’ll eventually get a rug to cover the panel anyway so it’s not a huge deal, and it worked out because that’s right where the laundry baskets sit so it would have actually been in the way.  I also still need to add the crown molding shelves to hold all my heels, but that will come in time.  For now they can live lined up against the wall.

Overall it’s just what I envisioned.  There’s a spot for everything and there’s still room to grow!  Which most women would probably agree is worth the week or two of stress involved to get to say that. 🙂

A Master Closet Case

As promised, here’s my plans for our Master closet.  We decided to forgo having the builder install any shelving in the closets because we didn’t want to have to ‘work around’ the builder basic shelving or worse rip it out to make it functional for us.  So without further a’do here’s the grand plan for our closet!

ClosetFloorplanWe will each get one side of the closet – of course mine is the bigger side – and my full length jewelry cabinet mirror will hang on the back wall.  There is a funny little indent into the closet at the back because of our toilet being in a separate room in our Master Bath which is next door to the closet. At first that made me worry that it would be difficult to design around, but in the end it worked out pretty well for what we needed.

My side will have double bar space, laundry baskets like this, a couple shelves and a tall hanging space.  Here’s the drawing of the layout.  I still need to measure everything out, but since it’s a simple design I figure we can move things to fit the materials and space.

Jenna's SideMatt’s side will be much simpler with just two rods for hanging and a top shelf along the entire space.  We don’t really use the shelving in our rental’s closet so we figure we don’t need much in our house.

MattsSideThe funny little pop out wall will hold my high heel shoes with something like this and my boots will sit in a pretty copper boot tray at the bottom of the wall.  I plan to add some sort of hanging space for my larger costume jewelry that doesn’t fit well in the mirror cabinet above the shoes.

Picture 5Then the back wall will hold the mirror cabinet, which we plan to mount in the wall.  Based on our preliminary measurements of the framing it should fit between the studs with just a slight shaving of the boards.

BackWallThe crawlspace access is almost smack dab in the middle of the floor of our closet so we plan to put down an area rug to cover it.  I figure you usually come into the closet from the bathroom to get dressed and thus want something soft and warm underfoot while choosing an outfit anyway.

Since it’s a fairly simple layout we should be able to get it set up the first day we’re in the house, especially if we measure and purchase the materials before hand, so they’re ready to be installed.  The simple design also means we won’t be spending oodles on some fancy closet kit either!  I think that might just be the best part of the whole project!

So that’s the master plan.  What do you think?

Starting Small


BeforeCloseUpWe are in the process of building a new home in Wasilla, so in the meantime we are renting a 3 bedroom townhouse here in Anchorage.  Because it’s a rental we can’t make any major changes, but I still want it to feel like home and have some of my personality.  So I’m choosing to do small projects that can be reversed and taken with us to our new home when we move in a few months.

My first such project was swapping out the closet door knobs.  Our rental has functional, albeit worn knobs on all of the closets.  They’re not horrible, just a little too plain for me.  So I headed down to Pier One and picked out some pretty bling to gussy things up.And within a few minutes we went from builder basic (left) to oh so purdy (right):
Before After

(No I didn’t move the knob to the other side of the bi-fold door, I just photographed the other door when I did the after and didn’t realize it until just now! LOL!)  And so the trend continued around the house.

CloseUpThree of these lovelies went in the guest bedroom.

PantryAnd this became the pantry pull.

CoatClstAnd the coat closet got a little pizazz too.

BathroomAnd I even found something fitting for the nautical themed guest bathroom, to which I added the adorable little fish I found at Kirklands while in San Diego recently.  I didn’t know where I’d put them, but I knew I just HAD to have them, especially at just $2!  And I was right.  They look perfect here.

I’m still on the hunt for something cute to use in the office, but I did just order some green polka dot knobs online.  They just might fit the bill, although I was hoping to find something in purple.  If I do then the polka dots will be stashed away for a future furniture redo.  Perhaps for a future ‘foster’ room!