Monday, April 15, 2013

Master Closet Makeover

There are a ton of changes going on at our house right now.  It sort of feels like we have hit the home improvement lottery!  We didn't but that doesn't stop me from grinning from ear to ear on the big and small changes.

One area that has proven to be a "big project on a small budget" has been a DIY makeover of our master closet.  I am so excited to finally share it with you.

First off, we are blessed with a nice large walk-in closet.  It is more than adequate to house our clothes.  Yet, it just didn't seem to function for us.  There was an excessive amount of hanging space, inefficient shelves that did not serve our need for folded clothing storage and it was dark and messy. Okay, the messy part is all on us, but that was because it just didn't meet our needs.  Half of our clothes was in the bedroom in dressers and half was located in the closet.  We really needed it all in one space.

So here were our issues:

The end of our closet had a large built in shelving unit.  This unit had deep shelves that were spaced very far apart which made stacking items impossible as they would tumble over if you stacked too high.  We did have 2 large, shallow baskets that were great but there was still a lot of unusable space between the shelves.

Behind the door to the closet was an area over 6' long that offered some additional hanging storage.  The previous owners had placed the shoe rack on the wall as well.  As you can see, we had shoes on the rack, on a rack on the floor and in hanging storage.  We really do not have that many pairs of shoes but they seemed to take up a lot of real estate in the closet.  Actually, after going through the shoes, we have been able to take out nearly half of them that we rarely if ever wear anymore.

The end of the closet opposite the shelving was yet more hanging storage and as you can see, we really didn't use it.  This area is where we tried to create some accessory storage with hats and scarves on hanger and a plastic drawer unit.  Such wasted space.


Area #1:  Hanging Storage

I think we all dream of having the fancy closet systems and while they have become more affordable, they are still crazy expensive.  As we looked at our closet, we determined that the back wall of hanging storage was more than adequate for our hanging clothes.  There was no reason to take out the existing hanging storage, only to replace it with "fancy" hanging storage.

That being said, this area still needed a little work.  The weight of our clothes and the storage up above was causing the shelving to pull away from the wall.  We realized that the supports were not secured into the studs. We fixed this problem by adding screws through the header board into the studs every 16" or so.  Additionally, we added one more bar support to the upper bar since it seemed to be sagging a bit.  The upper bar was a single rod and the supports appeared to be a bit too far apart.  The lower bar is a series of smaller bars so we didn't have the sagging problem.

To improve the aesthetics of the closet, we decided to spray paint the supports using a brushed nickel spray paint. 

Area #2:  Folded Storage

Since we determined that we really did not need any additional hanging storage, we pulled out the hanging rods on the wall behind the closet door.  We also took down the shoe storage from the wall.  This area was just the right size to put 2 Malm dressers from Ikea as well as 2 smaller Closetmaid drawer units I found on clearance at Target.

These two units are perfect for our folded items such as t-shirts, shorts, pajamas and swimwear.  The smaller unit and the small top drawers of the Malm dressers are just right for socks, underwear and other small accessories.

We decided to go with a white laminate finish on these items for two reasons.  First, the white brings some brightness to this small space.  Secondly, we have been able to easily mix and match different storage solutions from Ikea, Target and other big box stores.

Area #3:  Shoe Storage


I am loving our new shoe storage.  I picked up two large Closetmaid Shoe Cubicles from Target.  They are perfect for us.  The individual cubicles work well for our shoes.  Larger shoes and items we don't wear as often are placed on the top and side of the unit.  I like that there is still room on the edge of the dresser if needed.

Area #4:  Dressing Area

We found an awesome long mirror at Home Goods which is great for getting ready in the morning.  I love it's size.  It was hung at the end of the closet where the shelving unit was previously installed.

I would like to add a small bench somewhere in the closet so that we have a place to sit to put on a pair of socks or shoes.  This will likely be placed on the wall opposite the mirror.

Area #5:  Lighting & Flooring

As stated above, our closet is essentially becoming our dressing area.  In order for this to function properly we needed to address the lighting which often felt too dim.  We removed the old dome lights and replaced them with a bright 3-bulb halogen light.  We have a similar fixture in our kitchen.  what we liked about these lights is that it allows us to focus the lights on specific areas within the closet.

As part of our larger flooring project (more information on this will be shared in the weeks to come), we pulled up the dirty old carpet in the closet.  We replaced this with the same wood flooring we are putting throughout our house.  The wood offers a clean and surprisingly soft surface for getting ready. 

Area #6:  Te Be Continued...

Just to the left of the door, opposite the mirror we again removed the hanging storage rods.  Right now this area houses our laundry bin.  Ultimately, this area will become our accessory storage area.  We are still trying to determine what this will be like.  I think we need to live with the space for a while to figure out exactly what our needs are for this area.

We are so happy with this newly remodeled area of our home.  I love when a few simple changes make things so much easier.  The bonus of this project is that in true spring cleaning fashion, we have tried to simplify our wardrobe and what is taking up space in our closet and our life.

linked up at ... skip to my lou, sugar bee crafts, today's creative blog, funky polkadot giraffe, not just a housewife, madigan made,52 mantels, {i love} my disorganized life, house of hepworthschic on a shoestring

Monday, April 8, 2013

Curb Appeal: Outdoor Lights Refreshed

Nothing is better than a fresh coat of paint to bring new life to something that is old and worn.  Last year when  we had the exterior of our house repainted it became evident that our light fixtures were showing the effects the Arizona sun and elements.

Since I have proven to my husband the wonders of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, this was the natural fix to our faded, dirty and tired lights.

This was such a quick and easy fix I often wonder why it took us so long to do it.  As you can see from the before pictures, the metal and paint was faded and starting to get a dirty, uncared for patina.  What you can't really see, is how filthy the glass was.

We simply took down the lights and gave them a quick wipe down with soapy water to get the dirt off.  Then we used some rubbing alcohol to do a final cleaning to remove any oils, etc. My husband taped off the electrical components.  A couple light coats of ORB gave them an instant freshening. 

It immediately looked so much better.  Note:  We have a couple different types of fixtures.  The ones on the garage have 2 smaller lights while the one by the front door has a single, larger bulb.

Here is a side-by-side comparison.  So much better.  I love how the fixtures have a new glow to them and how the glass now sparkles in the sunshine.

While we were at it, we also gave a fresh coat of paint to the doorbell plate which was a horrible gold color and the frame to our house number.  I love how now all of these elements match.

Such a quick and simple project.  It only took a few hours and the house looks so fresh.  I love it!