I titled this post “The Sixteen Day Master Closet” because, truly, it felt like it might really take that long to finish.
I relate to the Nester‘s post today about her boys’ bathroom: “I’ll do a final post once it’s 100% done (in four years. kidding. kind of. )”
As I was working on finishing this shared space between Fireman and me over the weekend (okay, and all the way into Tuesday as well…), I couldn’t help but reminisce on the way things used to be.
Back when we had our first apartment together and we used a cardboard box for a tv stand.
Oh, don’t worry. It was a reinforced cardboard box, and a very small tv. To make it look pretty, we covered the box with a pretty towel.
One summer night, Fireman invited some friends over to watch a movie on our very small tv. One of the guys was so incredulous at the obscenely small screen size he actually walked out the door and refused to watch the rest of the film.
You find out who your friends are, I guess, when you have a very small tv and a carboard box tv stand.
Which brings me back to today. And our shared closet.
Never, ever did I think we would be blessed with a closet like this. With built-in hanging rods and shelving. Space for a bench. Shelves for holding purses and t-shirts and workout gear.
Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate all we’ve been given. And how far we’ve come from that very small tv.
Here are a few before shots with notes on problems that needed to be fixed:
|Paint wall, cover piano bench, better shoe and bag storage.|
|Clean top shelf, find better solution for purses, find home for boots below.|
|General organizing, paint orangey baskets, rethink use of space|
|Kick Fireman from this space so I can have it for shoes 🙂 Or, ask nicely.|
First I painted every wall, taking things down as I went. This took much longer than I anticipated, even though I realized cutting into all those edges would be time-consuming. Thank goodness for C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters and podcasts by Beth Moore on the Hebrew Names of God. Oh, how I’ve missed my bestie, Beth! We’re tight again.
To paint the baskets on Fireman’s side, I used two different Krylon spray paints that, you guessed it, I already had on hand. A silver color and a taupe.
I sprayed them all over with silver first (gray would have been a better choice but I didn’t have gray on hand), then lightly sprayed random taupe patches here and there to knock down the shine and give a layered look.
Lastly, I dry-brushed white here and there so the baskets appeared whitewashed to match the others in the space.
You can still see some of the original color beneath the paint, but I kind of like that. And the orangey tone had to go.
With Fireman’s permission, and only a little grumping, we moved him from the tall shelving space to the space beside the window. This cubby did not have built-in shelving, only a hanging rod, so we used leftover shelving from a removed laundry room cabinet, cut, primed, and painted them, and then Fireman cut cleats to hold them since the shelving was narrower than the pre-drilled holes. He likes his new space, now, and I like that the shelves are set back a bit…not in his face when he’s leaning in to put on his watch or find his fireman’s badge.
And of course I didn’t hesitate to claim the tall shelf for my shoes, which I’ve longed to do for five years.
Our closet is finally done, organized, and pretty.
By far one of my favorite things is this linen/lace drape I brought home from a visit to Fireman’s family in Idaho this summer. His mom and I went through an entire tote of vintage lace, embroidered napkins, and pickstitch table runners, many very old and handmade from grandmothers on both sides. What a delight to get to bring a few home with me! This drape one was one of my favorites, and I am thrilled to have found a place for it as a window dressing in our closet.
I attached two drapery rod supports to the wall, and ran the ends of this drape (we think it was originally a dresser topper) through the little holds on the supports.
Next, I’ll share Day #2 in which we establish systems for order in the home regarding kids’ cleaning/self-discipline taske, electronics, and school schedule considerations.
Did you notice the hole in the toe of my slipper?
I hope we can still be friends.