Friday, December 6, 2013
This week I’ve shared the backstory on a recent client project and outlined a few of the systems implemented within (belts, shoes and hats). I’ve either drawn it out so much that you’ve entirely lost interest, or that you’re practically falling off your chairs with intrigue. And now, I present: the real down and dirty before and afters.
Here’s where this closet started:
It was a classic case of limited space-real-old-house-I-give-up. A whole chunk of prime wall space had been sitting vacant, an entire hanging section had been given over to around three belts, and shoes were disguised in cardboard boxes. Perhaps most importantly, the added attempts to make more use of the space were having the opposite affect: they made you feel as though the closet was closing in on you, rather than inviting you in.
I got busy making a big old mess:
I love sharing these in-between photos. People are all “GAHHH!” But in order to Live Simply, you’ve gotta clear out the clutter, see what you’re working with, and uncover what matters.
Hanging that second rod was one of the last things I did on my first day. I almost didn’t–drilling holes always feels like a serious commitment, and my client wasn’t around to give me the official go-ahead–but then I took one last look and thought, “No way can I leave her like this.” So out came the drill and up went the rod.
Shoes are still top-shelf-ers, but they’re vastly more accessible now than they were previously. Each one is clearly labeled (a painstaking task my client’s husband could barely conceive of me undertaking), which makes it easy for her to identify the pair she wants, step up on her handy stool and bring the box down.
It was abundantly clear to me that there could be absolutely no obstructing the space between the wall and the hanging racks; that had clearly led to problems before, as my client then couldn’t really get to or see anything that was happening. So my challenge was to utilize the closet to its maximum capacity, while purposefully neglecting to make use of certain space.
The belt hanger replaced the too-deep shoe cubby in the back/side end. This kept the whole floor area open (allowing my client to access the entire span of hanging rod) while also not letting a perfectly good wall space go to waste.
Recognizing that having hooks hung mid-way up the wall was a trap, I opted to remove those entirely. Instead, I hung more hooks higher up, creating the perfect spot for hats.
Having moved the belts and 2 hooks from the other side of the closet, I was then able to actually utilize the hanging rod for hanging things.
Here are all the products (at least the ones that now occur to me) that I used, because I know some of you will ask.
Thank you so much for following along with this closet transformation this week. (The best part, though, is really yet to come. See all those necklaces hung over every doorknob in the before photos above? Well, you just wait, because my solution for that issue coming at you next week…) It always feels a little more thrilling/scary in a good way to share my own work, but also more honest too. Like, I really do this stuff in real life, guys! Let me know if you’ve enjoyed it, and I’ll try to make sure more client projects get incorporated.
Have a first rate weekend. Send a love letter, take some vitamins, and clean out your sock drawer. You’ll be amazed at what you find.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
In the case of the Madrona Master Closet the verdict was clear: my client needed a system for her belts. Previously they had all been crowded onto two large hooks. The result was a muddle of vertical objects that necessarily inspired a small avalanche of strings whenever one attempted to extract just one band, no es Live Simply-o.
I decided that the best way to keep the belts organized, and allow for maximum flexibility in terms of varying belt sizes and buckles, would be to DIM (that’s do it myself). So off I traipsed to the Home Depot, where I picked up a curtain rod and some shower curtain rings.
The result is a system that’s easy and that caters to belts both large and small.
Being that the curtain rod doesn’t protrude very much at all from the wall, the system feels wholly unobtrusive. Belts (you) do better at retaining orderliness when they’re hung individually (or no more than 2-3 per hook). Slinging the rings onto a rod means that you have only to drill two holes in the wall, rather than twenty, while still gaining the lot of loops.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This week I’m sharing a recent client project–the overhaul of a 100 year old closet (catch up on the backstory in yesterday’s post if you missed it). In order that I not dump on you a post the length of so many elephants, detailing the entirety of the closet’s transformation, I’m going to give it to you in nugget form. Today’s tid bit: hats and shoes.
Accessories are a girl’s friend, and to my client, they’re more like BFF’s or blood buddies, if the latter still sounded cute and youthful, rather than the fast track to disease. Her shoe collection–impressive, well-rounded, above average chic–had formerly been hiding away in their original boxes, if not crammed in a pile on the floor in the back/black.
I took one look at the situation and knew the lady was in need of some clear storage boxes. These would allow her to both make the most of her upper shelf space and provide for maximum visibility.
For her heels and flats I used my go-to shoe boxes (I buy these by the case and definitely recommend going that route because it’s slightly more economical). For slightly chunkier heels and short boots I used the men’s shoe boxes (again, bought the case of 20 or so). Then I slapped some labels on those bad boys and hello, shoes.
The boxes, being uniform, achieve an orderly look (we’ve discussed this, remember?), and she can now clearly see each and every pair.
Because closet space is at a premium (when isn’t it, really?), I relegated all off season shoes to a clear and labeled bin and hauled it down to the basement storage room. Come summer the whole operation can easily be reversed.
Homegirl had a lot of hats. I can’t quite remember where they had once been residing, suffice it to say nowhere legitimate. After considering the options, I ultimately decided to install these Hat Hooks all along the interior walls.
There had formerly been hooks hung mid-way up the wall, and it was a mess. As in, it invited mess, and it made a tight space feel impossible to navigate. It was important, therefore, that the hooks I hung would be high enough up so as to keep the walking space completely open.
Hats are prime candidates for high rise residency, as they can easily be seen and plucked from their perches. Because each one takes up a fair amount of space, hanging them up high is the optimal way to make use of all the vertical space one has, without sacrificing other more accessible wall space.
Just as with the shoes, summer hats deferred to winter, with the former being safely tucked away in the meantime.
I probably almost broke my neck from craning and arms from trying to stretch to uncomfortable lengths in order to make up for my lack of height (I vaguely recall a step stool teeter tottering atop a chair, and even those heights being insufficient) but the hooks done got hung, my client was tre happy, and thus, was I.
Come back tomorrow for more fun in the sun (there won’t be any of that last bit). Bye!