House Tour: Dressing Room

My house was built in 1920.  By a man.  The closets in each room are tiny.  I’m not really a clotheshorse, but closet space is at a premium in my house, so I decided to turn the extra bedroom into a closet/dressing room.  It helped that the previous tenants had already put the bars and shelves up, so I had something to work with.

I’ve painted the walls, painted the trim, painted the shoe racks, caulked everything, made curtains, made an earring holder, fixed the built-in closet in the room, reupholstered the ottoman, installed a chandelier, and assembled some of my favorite things to sit on the dresser.  Walking into that room makes me smile– and at 7AM, I need little things to make me smile.

Source List:

  • Dresser & Mirror: IKEA
  • Curtain Fabric: IKEA
  • Mirrored Boxes: West Elm
  • Necklace Tree: Anthropologie
  • Shoe racks: Home Depot (painted black)
  • Baskets: IKEA
  • Glass beads (holding brushes): similar to THIS
  • Perfume tray: IKEA (for candles)
  • Small ring bowl: Fish Eddy (from my visit to NY)
  • Plant & Pot: IKEA
  • Chandelier: IKEA
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Shelving in my built-in closet

Of all my projects, this might be one of the more mundane, but it was a game changer for me.  Let me set up the scene.

When I moved into my house, the built-in closet doors did not shut and even if the doors weren’t too big for the openings, both of the cabinet latches on them were broken.  So, to keep the doors closed, I would push them in until they wedged themselves shut.  Not to mention that this weirdly-sized closet didn’t really provide good storage.  Two rods ran the width (not the length, like a normal closet) and that was all.  It wasn’t ideal, and I lived with it like that for over a year and a half before one day I woke up and decided to do something about it.

If you look at this picture, you can hopefully see the painted-over cabinet latches (who does that?!) and the doors that don’t quite close.

So one weekend I added shelving.  I used the existing duct work as the distance for my first shelf and then put another shelf to make them fairly equal distance.  I cut the wood, primed it, and installed the shelving.

Then I painted, caulked, and then painted again.  Then I decided to use some MDF trim pieces to edge out the shelves (this makes the shelves look like they’re 2″ thick and minimizes the parts of the brackets you can see).

Then the next weekend I planed down the closet doors (on the hinges), then removed the doors, sanded down the rough spots, spackled holes, sanded the spackle, cleaned the hardware, primed bare spots, reinstalled the doors on their hinges, painted everything (including the backside of the doors), and then installed new cabinet latch hardware on the front.

For the first time since I moved in, this closet is actually functional (in both storage and operation).

It was much longer than I’m used to for my projects– usually a weekend is all it takes, but the difference blows me away.  It still looks pretty similar to what it did before (especially from the outside), but now I’ve gained a ton of useable space.  Now it’s hard to remember back to the wedged doors and wasted space.

Here’s a before and after:

DIY Earring Holder

This is a really fun (and useful!) craft that I whipped up a while ago– I just forgot to share it on here!

I hated having all my earrings mixed up in a box.  Trying to find a match and having to untangle a ball of earrings was never fun.  I saw a picture of something similar, so I gave it a try.  Who knew it would be this easy.

What you need:

  • Frame
  • chicken wire (You can buy this at any hardware store. Choose the width of the wire that works best for you; I liked my slots small enough that I could get many pairs of earrings on, but big enough that I didn’t have to remove the plastic backings on each pair to put them on the grate.)
  • Wire clippers
  • Work gloves
  • Hot glue gun

What to do:

1. Remove the glass from the frame and discard.  To discard broken glass (or panes) put it in a cardboard box, tape it up, and write glass all over the box before dumping it in the trash.

2. Turn the frame over and lay the chicken wire over the back opening to figure out what size you’ll need it to be.  Cut out.  The wire is really sharp, so wear gloves while cutting/handling it.

3. Lay the wire down where the glass used to be and hot glue it to the back of the frame.

Voilá!  Now just hang it on the wall.  It’s a fun way to show off your earrings, keep them untangled, and optimize your work space.

Here is the dresser in my closet with all my jewelry and makeup.  Who knew getting ready in the mornings could be so fun.

Today I’m linking up to Pretty Handy Girl’s DIY Talent Parade Link Party.  Check it out HERE.