I hope through my writing it’s apparent I truly love my apartment. It’s by far the most aesthetically special home I’ve ever lived in. However, with old special apartments come some “special” quirks. For me, it’s the fact that the first thing you see when you walk into my home is my toilet. Granted, it’s a really cool toilet but still, that’s not what I want my guests or myself to see upon arrival. And you’d think it’d be pretty convenient if you needed to rush to the bathroom as soon as you got home but not exactly. My front door needs the deadbolt to stay shut. So if I were to run straight to the bathroom and sit down before locking the front door, there’s a very high chance that my front door would slowly open, exposing me to the building. Like I said, special. But here’s what I’m actually going to talk about today. Before you enter the bathroom from the hallway entrance, there’s a pass-through wide closet that is lacking any kind of “design” and is simply a boring storage space (FYI this is my secondary closet which I’m super grateful for). I think when they were making this single-family home into apartments they had to make interesting choices and this small space/closet was one of them. It’s part dress/occasional clothing closet, part linen closet, part toilet paper storage, part large household necessities storage, etc. And it’s all visible all of the time! So while I love the idea of designing all closets/storage spaces to be really beautiful, it’s almost always been at the bottom of my priority list. Areas like living rooms and kitchens are first:) But my dad was recently in town so I may have accidentally roped him into making my closet situation muuuuuuch better. Let me show you how.
Here is the view from my front door. It’s not horrible but I don’t love it. Likely the door into the bathroom will always need to be open because that’s only one of two dim sources of natural light in the main hallway. At least the tile is awesome!
Here is the view from the inside of my bathroom. It needs some personality, right??
For fun, here’s a better view of the clothes and the storage above. The fact that the only board game I own is Monopoly will forever be a mystery.
But it’s this area here that both bummed me out the most and where I felt had the most potential. You see, I use my drying rack and step ladder (hello, 5’3 3/4″) all of the time. I need easy access to them and there just isn’t anywhere else in the apartment that works as well. I also had a handful of power tools and workout accessories shoved under my clothes on the other side. It has worked out fine but I hate that they are annoying to access and look messy.
So my original thought was to ask my dad to build some kind of built-in sliding door thing. But with all of the crazy mouldings and wildly uneven walls he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the project (aka it was a hard no). That original conversation probably happened 1 year ago if not longer. But while he was in town for work this past week, I mentioned how I hated looking at my drying rack and tried to see if maybe he had softened to my original idea. He had not but also assured me it was going to look bad trying to work with the mouldings. FINE, DAD. Instead, we came up with a plan together that was going to look great and was much much easier.
The Design Plan
New Storage Plans
TADA! It’s a little shelving unit with a cute curtain to hide everything I don’t want to look at daily but still need to access almost daily.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I hadn’t thought about a curtain but I’m annoying and always want to harder to do option. But once I let that go, I was pumped about this plan and knew I wouldn’t need much more help once my dad left. So as you can see there’s a top self that will likely hold art since I want it to look styled since it’s so visible to the front door. Then behind the curtain, the first self is for my small workout accessories and small laundry tools like my steamer and fabric shaver. Lastly, on the bottom shelf, are my power tools. The shelf is much wider than the tools are so I’m not worried about them falling off. Oh and of course, there’s enough room for the larger items below. But wait there’s more:)
This little closet is getting A BIG makeover. Think color and pattern but all done by hand. Painting a pattern has been something I’ve been really wanting to do in this apartment. Watching people like Carmeon Hamilton, Liz Kamarul, and of course, Hopie Stockman Hill has really inspired me. When I was little I wanted to be a painter and a Shamu trainer (back before I knew everything we know now) so that little painter is still in me (or I at least hope so). I want to bust out some brushes, turn on some music, and go for it. I mean what’s the worst that could happen? I have to paint over it because it looks like trash?? I’m willing to take the risk. It’s time I put my time and money where my mouth is. This is the biggest reason for my one-month deadline. I have a *big* tendency to overthink well, everything, and since this doesn’t require any lead times or collaboration negotiations, I’m going to do my best to release it all and have fun, the only thing making me wait is me.
The Color Palette
I don’t have any patterns for you to look at yet but I know it’s going to be more abstract. If you know me at all, you know I can’t get enough of a fun, simple shape:) But what I do have are two color palette worlds I’m playing with.
First up is what I’m calling the warm-toned (or “warmer” toned) palette. I love the sophisticated burgundy, cream, and dark mustard paired with the more playful sienna and light pink. Then to add some contrast and bring in the blue tile from the bathroom, we have a beautiful dark blue. I think these will also blend really nicely with the tones in the living room without being too matchy-matchy.
But on the other hand…
I also love the idea of cooling it down a bit with this palette! I have a soft spot for the right mint tone which could find its way into the bathroom for something. But I mean, adding more blues, in general, will lend itself to the bathroom. I just want it to feel like this closet “belongs” to the house and not just the bathroom.
These palettes will likely get tweaked but this is where my head is at:)
The Flush Mount
Decor! While I love an abstract shape, lighting is another love story. They are such great opportunities to do something unexpected and really fun. But of course, if you have a really loud design (like a colorful handpainted pattern) you don’t want the lighting to compete. So here are some of my initial ideas for the flush mount I want to replace.
Ooof! I would LOVE this vintage Murano glass light but my fear is that it might need to drop down too low and hit the door. I could maybe get it rewired but that might push me over my $250 budget. Then look at how fun this white cutie is. It would totally bring in the theme of circles my “bench” has in my living room and since I’ll probably paint the ceiling a color it will really stand out. But that wood light not only brings in that nice warm wood tone, I love the brass detail. Plus I’m from a town called San Juan Capistrano…it could be a sign.
All three of these are bold, simple, and really chic. The “Cylindus” is vintage so it would add instant soul and looks really cool. The angle on the Cruz flush mount is so good! But at 15″ mint be too big. Then that little modern cutie on the right is sweet, modern, and is only $35 on clearance so…
The French Deco light is absolutely a top contender. I just love the shape, the size would totally work, and that brass tone is perfect. The details in the Givoni are really awesome and unexpected! Ugh, I love them all. And then the final one on the right is also a stunner. The base is wide and pretty flat so it would take up more ceiling space in a great way and it’s also just really pretty! I guess we’ll have to see once I create a pattern and design which one of the 9 lights will look best.
Progress (AKA Proof I’ve Started And Keeping Me Accountable)
We started this project at 6:30 at night so hopefully, the neighbors weren’t too mad. Naturally, we headed to Home Depot, and picked out the wood I liked best from their selection. I’m pretty sure it was red oak but I might end up staining it later. Not sure! Then we came home to our workshop (aka my kitchen), measured again, and started cutting.
We troubleshot a couple of ideas but decided that cutting smaller pieces for the sides was going to act perfectly as brackets and make it easier to secure everything together. He even made a cutout for my lightswitch:) Thanks, dad!
The Current State
So here’s where I am right now. Dad’s work is all done which I am sure is a relief to him. Now, I need to take it apart to sand and maybe stain it all. I also need to come up with some kind of moulding piece to put on the front of the top self so I can make room for a curtain to hang down from it and lay flat. Someone forgot to factor that in when cutting the bottom two shelves…
Ok, so Nov 28, 2022. Let the countdown begin.
Love you, mean it.
Opener Image Credit: Design and Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Sara’s Closet Reveal – The Bold Design Moment She’s Been Craving