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wardrobe closet - feature

How to make a wardrobe closet from scratch

If your home has limited closet space, or even worse, NO closet,  then a DIY Wardrobe closet may be the perfect option for you! A DIY solution is substantially less inexpensive and allows for complete customization of size, look and storage options. It’s also much easier to build than you might think! 

wardrobe closet

It’s week three of the One Room Challenge (aka the ORC), hosted by Calling it Home –  A six-week event that challenges those of us with a love of design to transform a room in just six weeks. It’s a blissfully crazy time but one of my favorite things to do!

ORC-Gold-4oow

Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here! 

Wanna see all the projects? It’s all right here! 

week1 |week2 | week3| week4| week5| week6 |

In week one I shared the plan to transform our daughter’s room into a Glam Bohemian dream, with a slight edge, full of gray and silver tones mixed with soft pastels. You can check out the whole design plan and the rest of the nasty before pictures HERE.

Last week I shared with you the new teeny unuseable closet turned closet bed nook. The bed nook gives us so much more usable space, but we had to lose the closet to gain that space! A teen girl without a closet is a bit like a world without air. But a teen girl with this crazy – that’s just as bad!

wardrobe closet - before 1

wardrobe closet - before 2

 

Coming up with a plan was a bit challenging. I knew all along that I was going to want to add a standalone wardrobe closet, but I didn’t know what that was going to look like.

I explored various options, including the PAX system from IKEA, but they were either too small, too large, or too expensive. I’m starting to sound like Goldilocks and the three bears – Let’s say a DIY wardrobe solution for this room was not too small, too large but just right!
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How to make a wardrobe closet from scratch

Getting Started

Step one was to measure, measure, and measure. We’d talked about the room dimension issues in week one, but the long and short is that I had one location in the room to place the closet – that makes things easy when needing to make decisions!
wardrobe closet - Where to put closet
Once I had my dimensions, I went on to Easyclosets.com to design my solution. They have a great tool that allows you to plan custom closets and it’s free! They aren’t paying me for this promotion, I just use their tool ALL the time (tiny closets are not a yay kinda thing). Once I put in the dimensions, I played around with the design, adding components such as shoe storage and drawers, before I came up with something that fit our needs. I finally decided on a closet with three columns – one with a single rod (for long clothing) and shoe storage, a drawer bank and a third with two rods. Next up, find some building plans!

Building Plans

For the building plans, I visited AnaWhite.com – everyone knows Ana has the BEST ideas for free and of course, she had something on her site that was workable – the Industrial Style Wood Slat closet system.  I pretty much followed her plans verbatim but adapted it to our needs. The main modification I made was adding a center column of drawers. Having a built-in drawer tower means I can remove the existing dresser in the room, hence giving even more usable space. With the plans figured out, it was time to get to work. The other modification I made was to add cross supports to the bottom and top of each support tower. This allowed me to secure the unit to the wall and floor for a built-in look.

rather buy than diy

Using Common Wood

Using common wood helped to keep the costs down to reasonable – was able to build the entire unit for around $150, minus the doors – but meant a little more sanding and prep work. I often use common boards for parts of a piece that isn’t visible, such as the inside of a closet, and splurge on trim work. If you’re using common boards, do your best to check each board for straightness and fill any knotholes with wood filler. I started off giving all of the wood a good sanding, then built the framework for all three columns.

The Drawer Column

wardrobe closet - add slides crate

wardrobe closet - add slides column

wardrobe closet - add drawers

Before securing any of the columns to the wall, I completed the drawer column so I could move the center if needed. I’d decided on a depth of 18″ for my closet and as luck would have it, found wooden crates at Home Depot with the perfect dimension to accommodate that depth – score!

At $11 a piece and ball-bearing drawer slides, using the containers was time-saving, economical and functional. I built the supports from the bottom up, adding cross supports at the location of each drawer.

The closet columns

 

The plans from Easyclosets.com helped to determine the placements for the closet rods in both of the more prominent units.

 

wardrobe closet - rod

 

In the closet section with the single rod, I added four half-shelves for shoes, allowing for better viewing of the shoes when stacked.

 

wardrobe closet - shoe shelves

Finishing up

wardrobe closet - kim painting

To help the finished closet blend in with the room I painted the exterior and the columns the same muted gray as the rest of the room, while staining the shelves a warm walnut color. Finally, I secured the entire unit to the back wall, floor and ceiling. 1″x6″ boards act as a kickboard.
wardrobe closet - no clothes

Left to Do

wardrobe closet - trim work

 

Ugh, I hate having to say that this is “mostly” done but I still have to add the trim pieces back in and make mirrored doors – that’s next on my list. Although we could leave the closet open, I want to hide the eventual and inevitable clutter.  Once I’ve got the doors on, I’ll drop by and update this post! Although it’s mostly done and not done, done, I’m going to go ahead and cross the closet off of the TODO list.

TODO:

  • Create space for a larger bed
  • Include additional closet space
  • Provide well-lit make-up vanity
  • Homework desk
  • Add Sitting/hangout area

Still, I’m happy to say that the wardrobe closet is mostly done!

wardrobe closet -closet only

Eeek! There are still more than a few things to get done, and we’re halfway through the challenge! I better get my butt moving! Be sure to pop in next week for hopefully the latest updates on this room. If you are looking for me, you know where I’ll be! In the meantime, be sure to check out the other guest participants in the One Room Challenge and prepared to be wowed! There is much inspiration going on over there!

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closet bed nook - feature

How to Make your Bed Fit in the Closet

Maximize the space in your small bedroom utilizing space you already have in your closet by creating a closet bed nook!

closet bed nook

Welcome back to week two of the One Room Challenge (aka the ORC), hosted by Calling it Home! What’s the ORC? The long and short: A six-week event that challenges those with a love of design to transform a room in just weeks. Crazy, no?

 

ORC-Gold-4oow

 

Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here! 

Wanna catch up on the progress? It’s all right here! 

week1 |week2 | week3| week4| week5| week6 |

Last week we talked about our hopes and dreams for the room of one of our lovely resident teens, which happens to be the smallest and most awkwardly laid-out room in my home!  At nearly 15, she’s into makeup, clothes, her friends, and cheerleading and much less into zebra print, singing, teal, and American Girl dolls. We are hoping to transform the room into a Glam Bohemian dream, with a slight edge, full of gray and silver tones mixed with soft pastels. You can check out the whole design plan and the rest of the nasty before pictures HERE.

before room

Step one of that plan is providing an area for a full-sized bed without breaking the bank; Aka: building an add-on to the house! Here is what we were dealing with as far as space goes:

closet bed nook - before layout

There is literally a door or window on every.single.wall. We could put a full-size bed in the room, perhaps in front of the window, but that blocks opening the closet door. Our only option is to either put in a loft bed or to add on to the room.

Ideally, we’d have a large walk-in closet we could borrow space. Unfortunately, we do not. We had the complete opposite! We had a tiny closet which was nearly unusable. At 48″ wide, with a sloped ceiling over half, the closet could have easily worked as a broom closet – not the closet of a teenage girl! It was, however, relatively deep. Even better, the closet is set up against our pitched roof line which means there is available space behind the wall. Unlike our Game Room attic space, it wasn’t large enough to stand up in, but it was enough that we could borrow a few feet of floor space for a full-size bed. So, that’s precisely what we did!

How to Build a Closet Bed Nook to Increase Space in a Small Room

Get ready to remodel

First, thing; Clean out the closet! Out come the clothes, shoes, American Girl dolls. Now is a great time for purging!

Next, came the closet rods, shelves, etc. You can remove most things with hammers, screwdrivers, and drills, but if you have any questions about how to remove anything tricky, Google can point you in the right direction. Now you’re ready to demo!

Demo is a fabulous word

Remove the door and the door frame. I did not take pictures of this step, but if you need a step-by-step on how to do this, hopefully, this will help!

  1. Close the door.
  2. Place a large nail or small screwdriver through the hole at the bottom of the hinge pin and tap with a hammer, so the nail drives upwards, pushing the hinge pin out.
  3. Swing the door open and pull it to the side, so it falls off the hinges.
  4. Remove the hinges from the doorframe.
  5. Usually, the door frame is made up of multiple layers – you’ll need to remove the outer trim first. Use a prybar with a hammer along the seam to break the caulking line. Then, pry the trim pieces off on either side of the door. This will leave a small space between the frame and the rest of the wall.
  6. Insert your pry bar into the gap between the door jamb and the wall. Pry the jamb off, starting at the bottom of one working upward. Repeat on the other side. You’ll end up with the top of the frame still attached and the sides hanging loosely.
  7. Tilt the sides towards the center, then grab the sides and push and pull the whole door jamb towards you until the top of the frame comes loose from its nails. Remove any remaining nails or screws.

Create your frame

Next, it was time to cut the hole for the bed frame. The standard size of a full-size mattress is 54″ wide, so I decided on a 59″ wide nook to allow for a built-in bedframe.

I worked on the wall outside the closet first. To ensure as little drywall work as possible – it’s not my favorite thing to do – we continued the angle of the existing sloped ceiling. I measured across the floor and marked my completed width, then used painters tape and a speed square t0 draw a line up the length of the wall.  Then starting from the top of the door frame, I measured down the slope, using the existing sloped angle, and marked where the two axes met. Finally, I removed the drywall from inside this area.

closet bed nook - cut wall

Inside the closet, I removed the drywall section below the slope, which opened up the attic area behind the wall. Then removed the existing framing around the door. To create the slope, I measured 2″ above the line and cut the studs at this point.

closet bed nook - behind the wall

3/4″ plywood was put down as a subfloor.

Then, I created a frame around it, on both walls using 2″x4″s.

closet bed nook - frame it all in

As I said, drywall is not my thing, especially over-head in such a small area. To get around this, we used bead-board panels to finish the ceiling in the nook area. You can’t go wrong with decorative and no mudding required!

closet bed nook - install bead board

A little clean-up, some white paint, some trim work – done! In case you’re wondering, I had to take the carpet out of a neighboring linen closet because we didn’t have any extra.

closet bed nook - add trim

 

This faux capiz shell pendant lamp cover had once been the main light for the room, and we still had some love for it. Because it hangs down quite low, it was a much better fit for the nook, so we installed a simple pendant light above where the bed will be, and moved it there.

closet bed nook - full pan

With a built-in bed, there is no room for a side table. A built-in bookcase gives a little more storage and doesn’t take up any floor space. I built the bookcase from 3/4″ MDF and installed it into the open attic space, setting it flush with the wall. My husband helped me install an electrical outlet in the back of the bookcase, as well as a light switch to control the pendant light.

closet bed nook - side shelf

closet bed nook - front view completed

These pictures don’t do the new space justice – I’m holding back, so I don’t give away any of the other projects we’re working on – but trust me when I say creating the nook has made a significant difference to the footprint of this room.

Here is what it looks like from overhead (crudely).

closet bed nook - after layout

I’m pretty confident we can check the first item off of our to-do list:

TODO:

  • Create space for a larger bed
  • Include additional closet space
  • Provide well-lit make-up vanity
  • Homework desk
  • Add Sitting/hangout area

Of course, we haven’t put the new bed in yet, and she doesn’t have a closet – we have to fix that – but a new closet and bed is a story for another day!

 

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Floating Table - feature

How To Make a Floating Table For $64 or Less

If you have a small, awkwardly shaped foyer but still want the functionality of a console table, consider creating a floating table from inexpensive stackable closet shelving. 

floating table

Like many of you, we have a relatively small, and awkwardly shaped,  front door area. When redecorating our foyer during the One Room Challenge, we had the following needs/wants:

  • A place to drop our keys and mail when we came in
  • Seating to rest on while putting on our shoes
  • An eclectic modern solution, leaning toward mid-century modern, preferably for free!

With just enough space for a console table (key catcher), there was little room for seating once the table was in place (shoe seat). And, of course, nothing is free!

If you are in the same boat, there is a pretty simple solution! Taking the table off the floor – A DIY floating table – allows for ottomans to slide underneath.

Seating+Keycatcher=Happy Foyer!

 

Three-shelf organizer

We had a three-drawer closet organizer hanging around. Unfortunately, they don’t make the unit any longer, but they make a three-shelf stackable unit that will work just as well or you may be able to pick one up at a thrift store. Mine was about 32″x12″ in dimension. These units are perfect for providing a budget-friendly, clean-lined, modern floating table. All you need is the shelving unit, a 2″x4″ and a 1″x 12″ piece of wood!

For the full list of materials and instructions, click HERE to download the free plans – available to subscribers of my newsletter!

Floating Table Plans - Image

HOW TO MAKE A FLOATING TABLE FOR $64

Find and Mark Wall Studs

floating table - find studs

Determine where your table will go. Then, use a stud finder to find the location of the wall studs behind the wall’s surface. My table sits 34″ up from the floor to allow for ottomans to fit underneath. 

Assemble Shelving Unit

Attach long side panels to the top and bottom panels, using screws and wood glue, skipping the shelves and back panel. Measure the length and width of the inside of your unit from top to bottom and side to side. You will use these measurements in the next steps. 

Add Brace

floating table - brace

Turn the unit on its side. Attach a 2″x4″ brace to the inside lip of the shelving unit. This support will hold the table on the wall and attach to the studs.

Create Doors

floating table - measure inside

Use a 1″x12″ piece of wood to create doors. To determine the dimensions of the door, you’ll need to do some simple math – or use a carpenter’s calculator, which is what I do because math and I do not get along!

Determine the dimensions of each door by using the following calculations:

For the width of each door:

The width of the unit – 1/8″ = The door width

Door-stop length (using the leftover edge from the width of the door):

The width of the unit = the door-stop

For the length of each door:

(Length measurement of the unit – 3/4″) / 2 = The length of each door.

floating table - doors

Cut your doors and the door-stop using the calculated dimensions. Sand, and stain or paint your doors, add a finishing wax or Polycrylic coating for protection. Let dry.

Mount the Shelving Unit

floating table - mount on wall

 

With the help of a friend, turn the floating table on its side, and hold against the wall. Level. Once placed, use 3″ wood screws to secure the brace directly into the previously marked stud to secure.

floating table - doorstop

Add doorstop

On the bottom of the floating table, place the door-stop 1″ in from the front edge, securing with wood glue and screws.

Attach Doors

floating table - add hinges

Using a drill, attach one end of the hinge to the backside of the door front, and the other to the interior of the floating table. To confirm that these are correctly placed, close the door and make sure it stays closed tightly.

Add Door Hardware

floating table - roller

Add a double roller cabinet catch at the top inside corner of each door and mount door pulls to the top of each door.

floating table - handles

To cut costs, I used door jamb strike plates positioned as door pulls – 2 @ $5 – as opposed to rather than actual door pulls. They gave the same look at half the cost!

Style as Desired

Add a lamp, a plant and a key-catcher, then slide a few ottomans underneath for seating.

Once mounted on the wall, the floating table, with its clean lines and added doors, gives a nod to mid-century modern, and is just perfect as the base for a floating table, especially in a small space. The doors provide closed storage fabulous for hiding winter hats, gloves and handy dog walking accessories.

floating table - storage

 

Finally, we have a place to drop our keys and put our shoes on in the morning, with a fun design that easily transitions between traditional and contemporary decor!

floating table top

floating table - after

 

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