Saturday, October 15, 2011

Master Bedroom Closet Redo

The master closet in our rental house was completely impractical. It is a "walk in" closet, but it only had one bar to hang clothes, and it was up so high that I had to stand on my tippy toes to reach. It was also so close to the wall that the clothes hanging up couldn't hang straight. Not only that, it was the original baby blue that was in the house when it was built in the 70's and the floor was hideous! But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself. (The lighting isn't great since these pictures were taken during our walk through and there was no electricity. Sorry!)
Left side and shot of nasty flooring.

Right side. The previous renters had a shoe thing hanging on the wall. You can also see the rod at the very top left of the picture.

As I tried to figure out what to do with this closet, I couldn't help but notice all the hardware in the closet from previous renters attempts to make the closet work. (if you click on the pictures and look at an enlarged version, you might see them) I actually went and bought a "closet kit" at Walmart for $38 that I thought would work. (Ironically, I think it was the same kit that the previous renters had tried to make work) Luckily, before I pulled it out of the box I realized WHY it wouldn't work in this closet, or any other kit, for that matter. The hardware needed an area about 12 inches to attach to the wall, but the "wall" next to the door was only about 8 inches.

After looking online for closet ideas, and checking every store for a different kit that would work, I finally decided to build the closet myself! AND I would build it for $60 LESS than the closet kits that MIGHT have worked, AND it would be solid wood, not wire.

First, I had to fill in all the holes, and there were TONS. After that I painted the walls, then painted the trim.After walls and trim painted.

Then I redid the floor. The existing flooring was a snap in place old square wood floor, that looked like it was leftover mismatched pieces put together in a puzzle like pattern. (That's a mouthful!) It also smelled like wet old wasn't pleasant. So I went to Lowe's and found the cheapest stick on tiles that they had, I wasn't necessarily looking for the cheapest, BUT the one I liked the best that was a decent price happened to be the cheapest. Perfect! It is EASY to install and really easy to cut. All you need is scissors, a ruler, and a marker...and maybe some knee pads (ouch).
In progress.

All done.

After the floor sat for a few days, I took some measurements, figured out the placement of everything and went to the store. I bought the wood and had them cut it for me at the store. I got it all cut except for 2 or 3 pieces that were too small for them to cut, so I cut those with my jig saw. I sanded them, made sure they worked in the closet, then I painted them white. After all that, I started putting them up in the closet. It wasn't hard, but it requires patience, a leveler, a stud finder and a good drill. I decided to put up 1X4 supports, and then 1X12 shelves. I located the studs and used my drill to drill a hole through the wood and through the stud for my screw. After I had the holes, I would double check to make sure it was level, and then put them up. It took me a good 3-4 hours to do the whole thing, but I was working alone. After all the supports were up, I put the wood shelves in. The top l shaped shelf, was made by putting two straight pieces together and securing together with a heavy duty mending plate. Then I painted it white, so you couldn't see it.
Got supports and rods up

Shelves are in.

I still had the problem of moving the rod out far enough from the wall that the clothes could hang straight. To fix the problem, I put a piece of wood between the door jam and the wall to make it even with the door jam, and secured it that way. I was reusing the closet rod that was in the closet originally, so I could only secure it on one side, but it still worked beautifully.

Better view
The other rod that I bought for the bottom rack, only used one screw so it was perfect to screw directly into the door molding.

Just goes to show that with a little imagination, some elbow grease and A LOT of incentive (we desperately needed the storage), you can make anything work! The best part, the whole thing cost me, paint, floor, wood and all about $45. Now I have a nice, functioning closet, and more storage!

Lower half finished.

Top half finished.
The whole thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Still Alive

So I apologize, profusely, for taking so long to write again. In the time since I last wrote, I had 2 garage sales, got ride of A LOT of stuff (including a rather impressive pile of scrap wood :-( that I had illusions of grandeur with especially since I don't have a miter saw...yet and a whole lot of paint), packed up our 2000 sq ft house and moved. We also took a nice vacation to see some sights on the way to Utah, where both our families live. We had a wonderful visit, which always goes too fast, with both our families and then headed to Oklahoma. It took us a while to find a place, since we had been promised a comparative place on post to our last place, but then that fell through at the last minute and we had to scramble to find a house off post before my husband had to go back to work. We had to settle for a 1400 sq ft, 3 bed, 1 3/4 bath house that was built in the early 70's.

There is ceramic tile in the kitchen, dining room, both entry ways and the hall way, but the rest of the flooring I think has been here since it was built. Since this is a rental house, I didn't want to do to much, but I have been busy making inexpensive changes here and there. Can't wait to show you all the things that I have been working on. I have already built a closet for $40. That is to say that the closet wasn't functional so I built the insides. It is SOOOO much better now. I painted most of the house. Laid a new floor in the closet that I redid and the front coat closet. Today, I am suppose to redo the flooring and caulking in the master bathroom, and while I am at it, the caulking around the back splash in the kitchen. Then sometime soon (hopefully) I will refinish the existing bathroom vanity and mirror in the main (full) bathroom. Most of the money that I have spent has been to make this smaller house functional for us. When you moved from a 2000 sq ft house with a 1 1/2 car garage, to a 1400 sq ft house that includes the 2 car garage, it makes for some creative thinking!

This house needed a lot of work not just on the inside but the outside as well. As I type this I have guys on top of the house ripping off the old VERY worn roof and replacing it (finally!), the garage door was replaced, and I got a new faucet in the kitchen. I talked the plumber into buying a nicer faucet and letting me pay the difference, since I was planning on a new faucet anyways, it saved me about $30-$40 by having the home owner pay for the cheapest one and then I paid the difference for the nice one. (SO WORTH IT)

On top of all that, we also put our son in football for the first time ever and I am coaching my girls team in volleyball. I played volleyball in High School and I LOVED IT! I am having so much fun coaching and playing again, but once again, it is very time consuming. I don't know how parents with kids can keep sane with kids in different sports.

So that's some of the stuff that I have been doing. Please forgive me for the long absence. I will post tomorrow about my closet and the flooring. Until then enjoy some ugly pictures of our "new" place before all the changes.

These pictures were taken on our walk through before we rented it, so there was no electricity, so some of the pictures are kinda dark.
Nothing says, "I WAS BUILT IN THE 70'S" like wood paneling on the walls!

This is my sweet husband walking on the one good thing in the house, the ceramic tile. I shutter to think what the flooring was like before they put this in! Anyways, this is the dining area looking into the paneled room, aka the TV room. To the right of my husband is the door to the garage, to the left is the backdoor leading to the backyard AND one of the things that sold us to this particular house, the school right outside the back gate!

This is the main bathroom.

This kitchen is among the best kitchens that I saw when looking for a place to rent within our budget. Another house we looked at in the same area had an avocado colored sink with orange counters...ORANGE counters ~shutter~!

This is the master bath. The flooring had holes in it, and it was permanently stained yellow in some areas. That's just gross!

Here is one of the weird things about this house. This was taken while standing in the master bath. My daughter on the other side is in the master bedroom closet. I am very grateful to have the shelf space, but this is just weird!

Here is the before mentioned master bedroom closet. The flooring looked like odd shaped leftover pieces from another project (I'm guessing that this flooring was in the kitchen before the tile!) The walls were baby blue, which I am convinced (with evidence) was the original paint from the 70's. There was ONE closet rod that was hanging so high that I could only reach it by standing on my tipy toes. The rod was also so close to the wall that the hangers could not hang straight. It was the worst designed closet that I have EVER seen!

Thanks for stopping by. Come by tomorrow for the pictures of the refinished closet!