Thursday, April 7, 2011

Our Office: Closet Makeover for Under $20

That post title sure got your attention, didn't it?

A couple weeks months ago (yup, it's been awhile!), while painting the office, we decided that we needed to do something with this... uh... closet. If you could call it that. Amidst all the junk, however, was a pretty decently-sized little niche carved into the wall that we thought we could use.

And inspiration struck.

We needed more storage space, but didn't want to spend much money on it. We also wanted someplace to store all our files, our laundry hampers (hey, the laundry room is downstairs and our master bedroom is tiny, so this is very important to us!), random other office supplies, and Barley's k-double-hockey-sticks (otherwise known as his "kennel", or crate).

What better place than the closet?

We took down the doors and assessed our options.

We got to work figuring out a plan. Whatever we did had to be removable, since our attic door is in the closet ceiling (is that unusual?). So - we decided to basically just duplicate the existing shelf for more storage space, and to remove the clothing rod (since we wouldn't be storing our clothes in there anymore - well, unless they're dirty, that is!). We measured the existing shelf and the support beams, and decided to add one more along the back wall of the closet for extra stability.

We took our measurements to our favorite place - Lowe's, and had them cut the boards down to size. I have to say, thank goodness for home improvement stores that will make cuts for you, because it was snowing and about 3 degrees outside at the time!

$12 in wood later and Tom attached supports on the back of the closet, along with a support on both sides, mimicking the original closet shelf. We took out the wooden closet rod since we wouldn't be using it, but decided to leave the indents in the wood that supports the rod. We wanted to leave the closet versatile in the event that, down the road, us or even the next homeowners wanted to convert it back to a regular ole' closet again, all that would need to be done is to slip a rod into the supports and take out the bottom shelf, and bam! You've got an instant closet. Gotta love a quick switcharoo like that.

Anyways, while Tom was busy with the supports, I was gettin' down in the laundry room with painting the wood shelves. We had company coming over for dinner, so I was racing through the painting process - and these little yellow triangle things totally saved me lots of time and backache - literally.

They're called Painter's Pyramids, and I originally bought them for painting our kitchen cabinets, and have used them over and over again, and in times like they're total lifesavers. You just paint one side, carefully flip it over onto the little pointy things, and paint the other side - no time wasted waiting for one side to dry so you can paint the other side. I love them!

Anyways, some wood filling, sanding, and then one coat of oil-based primer and two coats of Valspar's Ultra White paint (our trim color) later, and they were looking like the new wood and old wood were meant to be together, mostly because they looked the same and you can't tell the difference between them anymore - which was totally the goal.

In between coats of paint on the shelves, I tackled spackling, sanding, and priming the wooden support beams.

Then it was time to paint the closet while I had a little free time before our dinner guests arrived. I decided on a $5 Lowe's Ooops battleship gray paint color for the inside of the closet, which would make the white really pop and would also be dark enough to hide any scratches or dings that might occur later down the road.

I finished painting it just in time for our dinner guests' arrival. Score! Nothing like being on a timeline to really get those home improvement projects done fast!

And a few days later, we put up the shelves.

And we sat and stared at our awesome new storage space.

And we were so "wowed" by it, that I completely forgot to take a photo. Oops.

Want to see it now? Currently it houses everything we wanted it to, with ample room to spare.

To say we're loving it would be an understatement. It's awesome! It's functional, simple, easy, we know exactly where everything is if we need it, and it keeps our desks clutter-free.

Oh, and can still access the attic easily by just removing the items and shelves, and Barley's kennel is stored upright most of the time (so it doesn't poke too much out of the opening), since he doesn't really need it much anymore.

Best of all? The whole transformation only ran us the $12 for new wood, plus the $5 can of oops paint that we already had on hand (and we still have tons of paint leftover for another project), so the bottom line was only $17 buckaroos for the makeover (not counting the $$ spent on cheapo Ikea storage boxes). Let's just say that our wallets couldn't be happier!

Next up on the list is figuring out some sort of door or covering for the "niche", because as nice as it is now, we still don't like to see our dirty laundry hanging out for all to see!

Anyone else tackling a trouble spot in their own house? Or catching a bit of that organizing-spring-fever-frenzy that's going around?

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  1. Okay, the closet looks great and fresh. That's a given. What I keep scrolling back to is the flippin' painter's pyramids! You've been holding out on me!

  2. That closet is pimp! I think you've done a great job of putting function back into that space. Yay!

  3. I didn't know about painter's pyramids either! The closet looks fabulous and fresh and organized! We have a closet w/ attic access too. I think it's pretty normal. We did in our last house too.

  4. Well, perhaps a wooden laundry bin painted with an "M" or something? so it just looks like wooden storage. and then perhaps just throw your current mesh baskets inside the wooden one so that they are easily movable if needed.
    The space is really functional and modern and neat. Great to see how you've turned some space that was simply being wasted into something you can use and store items in. Terrific! :)

  5. I had to take off my closet doors, because they were crap. I hung curtains, maybe that's something that would work for yall


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