When we moved into our current home, we set up a temporary basket in Zoey’s room for storing books. Two years later, we now have an overflowing basket and two very frustrated little girls, trying to squeeze books in and out of it.
Their room has an awkward little corner, directly behind the door, where we’d previously hung a few hooks for coats and bags. It worked, but it definitely wasn’t making the most of the space. We could do better. I pinned this clever corner bookcase, two years ago, and I’m happy to say that we’ve finally built something similar!
We took some cues from our inspiration, and then put a few twists of our own on it, like the rounded dowel rods vs square, and doubling them up on each shelf. I wanted to make sure it could accommodate smaller books too, since the girls still have a few of those hanging around. Plus, the books will just get smaller again as they grow older. So, the idea is for this to work for many years to come.
Ricky built the entire piece in the garage, and them installed it, fully assembled, which was really gratifying to watch. Blank corner to instant, awesome bookcase corner (why can’t all project be like that?).
After a lot of wood putty, I painted it to match the future trim (ha), Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound, in semi-gloss. Harmony ftw – pretty much my go-to paint for anything inside that can’t be aired out. And if you haven’t already noticed from the taped up rosin paper, I chose to bring out the spray gun on this project, because, you know, tight corners, limited time, (must save all patience for children) type things. We’re fans of the Wagner Flexio 590 (link contains affiliate), in case anyone is interested.
Loading it up with books was definitely my idea of a good time. Very Christmas morning-esque. It’s also been really fun to rediscover many of the forgotten books from the bottom of the pile.
AND, amazing extra bonus – for some reason, the girls are now excellent about putting away their books when they’re finished. We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m really hoping it’s the new norm!
Last November we celebrated Zoey’s third birthday, and naturally, as we now come up on her fourth birthday, I’m finally blogging about. For most holidays we’re pretty low-key on gifts for the kids, nothing overly complicated, but birthdays we try to step it up a notch. (Really, this means I come up with ideas and Ricky kindly builds them, like a play kitchen, train table, play tent, etc.)
With Zoey’s ever-growing collection of dress-up clothes, it couldn’t have been more evident what to make her. Some of you may remember the Ikea Ombre Chest?
Well, the exterior was still in great shape, but we thought the interior could use a fun new makeover. Here she is now!
Ricky removed the interior drawer glides, whipped up a simple cubbie area for baskets, and installed a tiny clothing rod for dresses galore. Wood putty, prime, paint, and we have a whole new look!
As for the door itself, we wanted to the exterior to appear the same, so Ricky separated the drawer fronts and reattached them to one another using a few 1×3′s. Easy peasy. The entire door hangs on a trio of new hinges.
The baskets hold all of the accessories - tiaras, magical wands, jewelry, etc. You know, the necessary princess attire.
While a few packs of small hangers clip up the dresses.
Honestly, I don’t even know how our dress-up collection got to this point. I swear just yesterday I was pregnant with Zoey, and now we have backpacks and sports gear and questions about everything, and it’s all just moving entirely too fast. Anyway. Start to finish.
A year later and the girls are still getting so much use out of this project. Because princess dresses count as normal, everyday clothes, right?
When we first moved into our house, just over a year ago, we knew that all of the bedroom closets needed some work. Custom closet organizers are crazy expensive, so we also knew that it’d likely be something that we’d DIY when it came time. Well, it’s now officially way past time.
All three bedroom closets are in constant state of chaos and bursting at the seams. We’ve done our best to work with what the house came with by keeping things as organized as possible, and purging clothes that the girls have outgrown, but when it came down to it, the current closet systems just weren’t utilizing the space to their best ability. Specifically, Zoey’s closet.
Clothes are piling up, toys are piling up, random things that don’t below are piling up. But, the most obvious problem in Zoey’s closet is the dead space. Talk about a waste. And with Lizzy well on her way to the age at which the girls will begin sharing a room, we have no wasted space to spare.
Not only does this space serve as clothes storage, it also functions as toy storage. The girls will have some toy storage beneath their beds, but the room isn’t huge, so that’s about it. We knew we had to make this closet work hard.
I ran through a few of my favorite inspirational photos and landed on the idea of using the lower portion of the closet for toy bins and the upper sections for clothing. After pricing out a few options, we decided to buy most of the inner workings in-store and to spruce them up with a “custom built-in” feel by framing everything in. We picked up one of Closetmaid’s 9-cube organizers for the bottom half and Ricky worked his magic.
(just ignore the wire rack above it, we hadn’t taken it down yet)
Next up, clothes storage. I always find that a mix of open and closed storage in closets works best, so we opted to use a few sliding wire bins to serve as drawers, with a rod above for hanging shirts. Ikea’s Komplement wire baskets (in 39″x13″) came close enough to the closet size that we could easily build out the sides of the closet to accommodate the drawer slides. The bins are perfect for pants, shorts, pajamas, and the smaller undergarment pieces. One basket really would have been sufficient for Zoey, but we chose to do two so Lizzy would have room down the road.
We topped these pieces with a sheet of wood as well to create a space that would serve as a little tabletop, just beneath the hanging clothes area. A small white trim piece disguises the unfinished edges.
We filled all the nail holes with a little wood putty, gave everything a fresh coat of white paint, and added the hanging rod above, as well as an extra shelf at the very top.
Looking so much better right?
Be still my heart.
We tossed in a few of Closetmaid’s Fabric Drawers (Pink. Red. Yellow. Orange.) in the bottom cubicle for toys and lined the wire baskets above with the same Watercolor Meadow fabric used in other areas of the room. The “liners” are really more of just faux fronts. I used a few leftover cardboard pieces, cut them to size, and wrapped them with spray adhesive and fabric. Voala.
I used the same technique on the bottom of the drawers too, just to give clothes a nice landing spot. Nothing super pretty, but it works, and it’s hidden beneath the clothes anyway
And moving up, we’re still playing around with styling, this isn’t going to cut it, but it’s a cute place for Zoey to display a few of things of her own. A little dish picked up at Target on clearance last year for jewelry (she has her ears pierced and is wildly obsessed with bracelets), a small flower vase that has yet to be filled, a few sentimental snow globes, and some other decorative accessories.
The wooden serving tray is corralling a few pairs of shoes (most live in the mudroom).
And as if this post isn’t long enough, let’s talk about the outside of the closet. I’d always envisioned a curtain to serve as the closet “door”, but the more we lived with the curtains in Lizzy’s nursery I realized how much I missed being able to actually close the doors. I loved the look of Ikea’s Hasvik high gloss white sliding doors, especially up against all the color going on inside.
This way, it can be a nice little surprise when we open the door, or easily hidden away if the color gets overwhelming. Win, win.
Ricky installed the track that came with the door directly to the wall, and it functions just like a barn door. Except, beautiful, beautiful high gloss white. Yum. The door has several safety locking features, so no worries about the door sliding off the rail, or even the kids pulling it off the wall from the bottom. This thing isn’t going anywhere. The door sits out just a tad from the wall, which works out perfectly with the adjacent wall art. The door just slides right over it.
A few other things to note:
- The door can only be purchased in a two pack, so we’re holding on to the other to use in Lizzy’s room some day, we’ll just need to get our hands on another track.
- And one small issue we ran into was the way the door hung. Since it’s meant to slide on a top and bottom rail, and we’re only using a top, the bottom tends to cling to the wall. We’ve since installed a pair of casters to the inside of the door, just at the bottom, that gently glide along the wall and keep the door standing perfectly vertical. I’ll catch you guys up on that as soon as I can photograph it to better explain.
Now, because you guys know I’m a sucker for a good before and after, let’s get these babies side-by-side
Oh yes. Yes, yes, YES.
Please tell me I’m not the only one that gets excited over a organized closet…
Can you believe that we lived in our home for over a year with these ginormous tree-bushes in our front yard. No, wait. As our front yard. They were massive. And I despised them.
So, this past week.. Ricky put an end to the madness.
A little shovel. A little chainsaw. Like how easy I just made that sound?
Also, let me just give my man a little credit for digging up giant tree-bushes while Zoey whips him with a stick and I capture it all on camera. Love this guy.
Oh look, you can see our house. AND it has windows. Wuuuut?
Some other things happened too. Obviously.
We started tilling up the flower beds, and added a few curves around the path from the driveway to the front porch. We’re hoping to make some good progress this weekend by adding a few more curves to the bed that runs the length of the house, add a barrier between the grass and the bed, and start planting! Whoop, whoop!
In other news. A window shutter fell down.
Just kidding, I have much more exciting things to share. Like, our new post light
Now, I had planned to give the driveway a post of it’s own.. but the results were.. meh. Our driveway is dunzo. It needs to be completely redone, which is so far from being in the budget right now. So, we opted to have a local company seal it for the time being. You can still see all the hideous cracks, but the sealant should keep everything held together temporarily. So, if you’re on a budget (we paid about $200 total) and need a quick fix, sealing is the way to go.
What else, what else. Oh yes, you may have spotted a new addition on the front porch. I was having a difficult time finding a bench that would fit the space, so we had planned to build one. Then, I spotted this guy at Homegoods!
It’s exactly the size and style I was hoping for! I paid about $50 for her, which is probably more than we would have spent to build one, but time is crazy sparse lately so we’re happy to cough up a few bucks here and there for the convienience. And it’s aqua, which is super cute. Not sure if it’ll stay this color (nothing is safe around this crazy paint lady) but I’m loving it for now!
I had planned to keep them in their original mustard yellow color and use them as toy storage for Zoey. However, when we got them home they were looking super dingy next to all the other bright yellows in her room. So, we decided to give them a new look!
I picked up a quart of basic latex paint in a coral semigloss, to match her ceiling color (BM-Pink Polka Dot), and painted away!
I completely skipped sanding and priming and did about two and half coats per suitcase. Really, I wouldn’t recommend skipping those steps. The paint seemed to need a bit more to cling to, so if I were to do it again, I’d sand and prime.
Since the suitcases have a texture to them already, using a brush didn’t leave any visible brush strokes.
After leaving them to dry overnight, I attached a few casters to the bottoms. We’re planning to use the luggage as storage for barbies, dolls, etc. under Zoey’s bed, so the casters make it easy for her to pull them out by herself. I suppose you could screw the casters to the bottoms, but I just used a little super glue to keep things simple.
And because I like to make all things pretty, I popped on a few bookplates to label each suitcase.
So much better.
Time to put these babies to work!
The insides of the suitcases were in excellent condition. A little musty, but nothing a little airing out couldn’t handle. I just wiped them down really well. I’m a little smitten with how they look placed under the bed.
And the colors tie in really nicely with the coral shades in Zoey’s pillow and the same shade on the ceiling.
How about you guys? Repurposing anything lately? Giving an old piece a new look? We hit up the antique show again this weekend.. no luck