May 11, 2010

tuesday tip: think outside the closet

If you're lucky enough to have extra closet space, I envy you! But what I really mean to say is, if you're lucky enough to have extra closet space, try to think outside the box, or closet, for how to use it. Maybe you don't need a place to hang winter coats or stack shoes, or to serve as a pantry. Maybe that space could be used for some entirely different purpose. With a little demo and a little reconstruction, the niche that is your closet can become almost anything you need.

Here's my client's closet before. Previous owners had used it as a wet bar. My client didn't need a bar though; she needed workspace with doors to hide away her computer and important papers from her two curious little girls. She was trying to use this as an office, balancing her laptop precariously over the bar sink.

{before}

So here's what we did, step by step:
  • Tear out old tile counter and sink, faucet, and plumbing. Remove some existing shelf elements to provide more desk space and so shelves are floating.
  • Install new wood desk/shelf. Trim out.
  • Paint it all.
  • Add self-adhesive cork and chalkboard paint to the inside door panels for notes.
  • Decorate and organize with a pretty new lamp and functional trays, boxes, and baskets.
And the end result: a sturdy new desktop, task-height lighting, a softer color palette, boxes and bins for organizing the stuff of life, and corkboards and chalkboards for notes and reminders. Please excuse the lack of styling—we never got to the pretty stuff for the picture-taking!

{after}

And here are some of my other favorite ideas for rethinking your closet.

1. Large office closet. Another way to do what I did for my client. If you've got more space, you can add even more function, as they did here.
Country Living

 
2. Library closet

Real Simple

3. Cafe closet

bhg

4. And my favorite—peek-a-boo! Baby-changing station in a closet. Brilliant and addorable!
Cottage Living

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