Closets are one of those projects that you intend to work on one day, right? Whether it’s completely disorganized and jammed with junk, doesn’t use space efficiently or is in need of a fresh coat of paint, once you shut the door the looming project simply disappears—until you open the door again. Ugh.
Back when we had all our woodwork stripped and refinished, we chose not to have the closet woodwork done. It was costing a big chunk o’ change already and we had to cut costs somewhere. I figured one of these days I’d do it myself and give them a fresh coat of paint too. There are also some cracks in the plaster of most of the closets but Pete is usually able to fix those without much effort.
When I buy or subscribe to magazines I hold onto them for a while and eventually thumb through them, tearing out helpful how-to articles, inspirational photos or products to look up online before I recycle the magazine. I have a file box just for home-related articles that I keep nicely organized. One such article was a front closet makeover from an issue of Real Simple which gave me the idea to add floor-to-ceiling cubbies to our front closet—because see that large gray snake in the back? It’s the cold air return for our central AC which the PO had installed.
When I read the article I thought, “Hey, something like that would hide that ugly duct AND provide storage for hats, gloves and whatever else finds its way into closets.” I tore out the article and set it aside. Occasionally I would look for a cheap shelving unit, but neither IKEA, West Elm nor any other budget resources had what I needed. They were all a bit either too wide or deep.
I thought we might have to build something ourselves, but finally I came across Way Basics. I can’t remember where but it was exactly what I needed, and eco-friendly to boot! Along with a few storage baskets I ordered 2 of their Triple Cube Plus bookcases to stack and place in front of the duct.
They arrived in no time and were easy to put together.
Then they sat in our living room for a while, winter coats strewn across the sofa while I started to strip the woodwork. It was a fairly simple task but I had a few interruptions that took precedence. My simple weekend project turned into a nagging 2+ months-long project.
I finally had the time several weeks ago to finish stripping and varnishing the woodwork and then paint it using colors I have on hand.
Of course the closet rod brackets had been painted white along with everything else in the house (including the closet rod) but the paint didn’t come off the brackets easily when Pete tried to soak it off so we had to replace those. We secured the Way Basics cubbies to the wall with wood screws and cut and attached the closet rod to the cubbies.
The baskets came from WayBasics too and hold hats, scarves, gloves, etc. The extra cubbies can be used to store guests’ purses.
Voilà—pretty, functional closet and no more ugly duct!