Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Mudroom" closet

We had a large hallway closet with clunky sliding doors that is the first thing you see when you come in the front door. I've tried replacing the sliders, but the doors never quite sat right and always looked horrible. But not as horrible as whatever we'd shoved back there before we closed the doors - a million coats, shirts to iron, stuff for Goodwill, and whatever else we didn't know what to do with. I have no idea why the photo is black and white, I will blame the kids for that....


The thing we hated most about this closet is that we would shove things in there out of convenience, which created a big mess that we'd eventually have to sort through if we wanted to find something. Our idea was to remove the doors and the clothing rod, and make it a mudroom style area. Not that we really need a mudroom, but I just wanted it to look nice and keep everyone from shoving things in there... so, like a mudroom, but just for looks...

Oh and by the way, when we did have guests over, they definitely could not hang up their coats, because there was no room and the closet was too messy to open, anyhow! So if you're wondering if we would "lose" room by eliminating a true closet, the truth is - not really, because it was not really storage space as much as it was a black-hole of junk!

Here is what the closet looked like after I took off the doors, removed all of the hanging coats, etc and the hanging rod, plus a lot of the junk that was piled in the closet (yes, there was more - much more). I also took one of the boards that comprised the two-board deep shelving out (but it got wedged in, as you can see in the photo, and it took me a while to figure out how to get out)


We wanted to add some molding and paneling, and I already had some textured wallpaper that looks like beadboard, so I decided to give that a try. It wasn't hard to put on, but if I ever want to add beadboard anywhere else in the house I will just buy the real thing. This wallpaper looks good, but it dents very easily. I've already spent a lot of time patching it and trying to repair ripples along the edges (I did carefully follow the instructions). Basically if you lean anything on it, or anything is touching it, OR if you slip and fall on it when you're caulking, it will make a dent.

Here I am measuring the wall and marking it with the backside of my wallpaper "beadboard"...



A piece of the wet wallpaper "beadboard" before I applied it to the wall....


After I put the wallpaper up.... (its uneven on the bottoms, but I didn't worry about that part because it was going to be covered by wood). You might also notice that large (and tacky) piece of wood on the bottom left side of the closet. The master bathroom is on the other side of this closet, so I believe that this wall was used to access the plumbing at some point, and this wooden patch was placed over the drywall that was removed. It really is an eyesore (they used really thick wood, so it sticks out about an inch from the wall). I considered replacing it with something less horrible, but then I decided I'd better just leave it alone in case we need to access the plumbing in the future. But I would definitely need a way to hide it...




Next I added the wood trim/molding under the shelf, at the bottom of the "beadboard," etc. and caulked, then painted it all the same white color. I added 5 brushed-nickel hooks (here I am checking the placement of the hooks by attaching them with painters tape before I actually attach them)...


In the photo above, you can also see that I am checking to make sure that the base of my bench will fit. I added 4 "legs" to a piece of wood that I already had (an old shelf piece that I didn't want, that I cut 5" off of to make it the size I wanted and then roughly painted white over the brown). I attached the legs using this hardware that I found at Lowe's. The bench would have been fine without adding the legs, but I needed a few extra inches of height to cover that square wood patch that I mentioned before....




I got these plain wooden crates at Michael's, then sanded & painted them white, then bolted together...


Here is the bench with the top and bottom pieces attached... I painted another piece of wood with what I call "faux-stain" (basically I just water down craft paint and paint on so that you can still see the wood grain and then cover it with a layer or two of polycrylic clear coat). This is the same as I did with the top for our entertainment/media center (see that post for more info). Its a dark brown color with the wood grain showing through for a rustic sort of look. 

I used wood screws to attach the top and bottom to the crates.





And here is the finished project! I think it makes the entry area of our home seem more roomy and bright. And I don't have to worry about people shoving junk in there, because there is no door to close!  

The first thing my kids said was, "can we put our coats and shoes in here now?" Why no, no you can't. We actually have an area in the entryway from the garage (where we actually enter the house) to put shoes, etc. This one is just for looks, people! And guests, too, I suppose. :)






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