Thursday, November 3, 2011

master closet: after

Here are the pictures from the finished master closet. This is the "girliest" room in the house, and pretty much the only one I was allowed to make as girly as I wanted.  Which is fine, because though he's greatly outnumbered in terms of gender (by me, Lianna, Sophie-kitty, and Gracie-kitty), Dan is indeed a dude and his interior design concerns need to be heard.  Still! This one's my favorite room yet.  Though it might not be saying much, since only three rooms are really "done."

The master closet sits between the master bedroom and the master bathroom, which was all we could do with the awkward little space there, but is really kind of the perfect location.

Upon entering, Dan's closet is straight ahead, while mine is to the right.  If you walk a few steps forward and take a left, you'll be in the bathroom.  The small, gray cabinet in the photo above with the two black candles on top is our little "bathroom closet," because there wasn't room to put it in the bathroom but we need plenty of room to house extra towels and every cold medicine known to man.

It's super bright in the closet most of the day.

Here's my section of the closet (looking into the closet from inside the bathroom).  I've got hat boxes sitting above the closet itself for extra storage. Behind the curtain, the top shelf is full of hair accessories, hats, and purses.  At the bottom of the closet are shoes and things.  The short little white drawer unit to the left holds gloves, fans, tights, and undergarments.  On top of it is my jewelry box.

And here's a peek inside at the darkness (literally!) within.  Black goes with everything.

Slips and nightgowns live on the back of the closet door for now, as does my laptop bag and current purse.

I love this mirrored jewelry box that I got for Christmas from my mom one year.  Though it contains mostly 1" buttons from various bands and all kinds of other cheap plasticky things, it is pwecious to me.  Oh deary!  Now it's no longer a secret where all my plastic jewelry from Forever 21 lives!

One of the best things about the closet is that we were able to fit a chair in there, so you have somewhere to sit down when you're putting shoes or tights on.

So that's our semi-rococo-style walk-in closet.  If you have some random tiny room in your house that's really too small for any other use, I highly recommend converting it.  The best part is that it was all dirt cheap to configure:
  • Walls: Light blue paint by me and friends, and AMAZING stencil work in light gray by Dan.  This turned out so beautiful, and really makes the room, I think.
  • Closet frameworks: Pax wardrobes (without the fronts, which cost way extra!) from Ikea, that mecca of cheap (but sturdy, if you know what to buy) storage.
  • Closet curtains: Free, from Kristin!  Thanks Kristin! I think they were her grandmother's.
  • Small curtain rods: Simple tension rods for a few dollars each, from Target.
  • Window curtain: $9 from Target (Shabby Chic I think).
  • Bathroom cabinet: about 4 years old, from Ikea.
  • Short, white drawer unit: about 3 years old, from Ikea.
  • Rolly chair: Pottery Barn, free (I think it was bequeathed to me by a moving-out roommate at some point).
  • Hat boxes: Thrift stores and Ikea.
I think we really stretched our resources on this project.  In a perfect world we'd be able to get rid of all new, disposable-type stuff and replace it all with lovely vintage pieces from antique stores, but the budget just plain doesn't exist. This was fast, cheap, and it works. Even though almost nothing in the actual furnishings of this room is vintage, I think the overall feel manages to give an Antoinette-inspired impression, which is what I was going for.  When you're poor, it's possible to make Ikea-heavy rooms not look like something directly ripped from an Ikea catalog (no offense Swedes, we love you dearly).  Kristin's curtains, which appear to be 1950s or 1960s, really helped.

A little chandelier will be added later, but you know.  Not the #1 priority right this instant.

Oh yeah, here's what this room used to look like:

And now it's time for an impromptu lecture on the value of being organized.

My absolute favorite thing about this closet (or probably large storage spaces in general) so far is that it lends a calming effect to the household.  That's particularly valuable to me right now, when the rest of the house is in chaos and I desperately need one not-covered-in-boxes-and-wood-and-sawdust corner of the universe to cling to.  But generally, when you look into your closet and it's simply and cleanly organized, you don't have that feeling of cluttered-closet panic every morning.  Also, instead of having random non-clothes items (like bags, shoes, sportswear, bathroom items, etc.) exploding off of shelves in your bedroom, the hallways, and everywhere else, a big enough closet can keep all of that better contained.  Life is messy, but at least when you're able to keep some of the mess corralled, you can spend your time in the rest of the house relaxing, cooking, working, loving, and doing all the things that are truly important.  I think that catching 43 glimpses of scattered mess everywhere subconsciously erodes your focus day in and day out, and takes your attention away from the people and the conversations you would rather concentrate on.

I know I'm a bit crazier about this stuff than lots of others are, but I'm not saying you should define yourself by whether or not there's a missing sock or whatever.  I just think you do have a responsibility to make your home a comfortable and calming place, where your family and your guests can gather and look forward to being together without distractions.  Better hospitality is something we're really seeking with this house, and I think smart storage is a blessing for us with that goal.  And so for now, I'm grateful for this one little organized corner.