Thursday, March 3, 2016

Coat Closet Mudroom

Do you have one space in your house that you're just never satisfied with? For me, it's my coat closet. I have changed this closet more times that I can count!

I thought I had solved it with my first build of a tall, narrow shoe shelf with hooks above and to the sides of it. It worked for a while, but the kids, and so their coats, have grown! And the weather in Northern Virginia this winter has been having an identity crisis and so we need different jackets from one day to the next! Clutter, crowding, ACK!

ANYway, more thinking and staring has been happening, with the vague plan of trying to do something in there but without much of an idea of what I want to do.

Then I saw this pop up on my Pinterest feed and the wheels started turning. What if I modify this to make it fit the coat closet?! I loved that it provides space for shoes without wasting the rest of the depth of the floor space. And I loved that I could stash stuff in the back depending on the season - snow gear, soccer gear, swim gear, whatever!

When I measured and found my space to just be about half the size of Ana's, I was convinced. Easy mods, organized and hopefully more spacious coat closet, and even a place to sit to get shoes on and off!

I had to plan for the doorway opening that is more narrow than the actual closet. I learned from an earlier failed attempt at getting a shelf system in there that a shelf as wide as the actual closet would never actually get into the closet and be able to turn into place. So this build would have to be assembled in place. In the closet. With no closet light. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Empty it, pull off the moulding (not pictured), ready to go!

I started by cutting all of the pieces I would need for the shoe shelves and storage area. I planned to assemble this with Kreg joinery, so I drilled the pocket holes at this point.

Next I stained everything (Varathane Dark Walnut stain to match the stairs) and applied polyurethane to both sides of all of the pieces.

I don't think I have ever said how much I love this poly, but seriously - this stuff rocks. Super thick application, one-and-done on coats, and a smooth finish without all of the pickiness of regular poly. Seriously, I can basically just slap this on, go over sections to smooth when I need to, and it dries quickly and looks great! If you've worked with regular poly with all of it's bubbles and lines and multiple layers, you will understand how awesome this is! Varathane isn't paying me or anything, I just really love this stuff!

Once all of the pieces were dry, I headed into the closet. There aren't any pictures of the construction here - I basically followed Ana's plans and swore a lot at the frustration of building in an area only 1.5" wider than the piece. ;) But it came together!

I put up the coat rack piece next and then on to the top cubbies. Same process, similar swearing. Installation of this part was a bit trickier - this closet is really odd and is lacking in studs. There are only two on the whole back wall and they're both on the right side! And the side walls are basically devoid of studs. So weird. I decided to hang it with L-brackets to make it easiest. Because there are only the two studs, I put L-brackets on the tops and bottoms just to have more attachment in the stronger areas.

When I was antsy during one of the drying stages, I made this little key/glasses/wallet hanger for one of the side walls. We'll try out this prototype for a while and if it works well, I'll add it to my Etsy shop soon!

All done!  (horrible lighting to try to take this pictures! Sorry!)

I'll explain how I did the plank wall later if anyone is interested. I'm planning to do something on the side walls too, mostly to cover all of the anchor holes from previous versions of the closet, and to cover the paint without painting. ;) Any ideas on what I should do on the sides? Plain (stained) plywood sheets? More planks? Something else?

I noticed I ended my last post about this closet with "maybe it will stay like this for a while now" and now I'd like to say it again, but this time it had better because it's built in! These will have to be taken apart to get them out now! ;)

p.s. - Did you notice my girls' cute little purses in the closet? Don't you just them?! They're custom made by my super talented sister-in-law, Amy. You can find her here and custom order your own! :)

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