Can you believe this day has finally come? It's only been in the works since oh... May. The worst part about it? 95% of the project was complete in May, and it took us over 7 months to finish the last 5%... sheesh! (To refresh your memory, click here to see the design plan.)
So, without further ado, our brand new master closet! (Caution: Photo Overload!)
First, the befores.
We had the typical wire ClosetMaid shelves, along with a cedar shelving unit, which, while pretty, just didn't make the best use of the space.
Ugh, what a mess! It was stuffed to the brim with loads of stuff. Those cedar shelves were just a catch-all for crap that we didn't necessarily need to store in our closet. I had no place for my shoes. (See the U-Haul box in the corner? Yeah, I had to dig through that every time I needed to find a pair.)
And now (drumroll please), the afters!
Oh my word, how beautiful do my shoes look all lined up in neat rows?
Can you say organized? My little heart goes pitter-pat every time I walk in here.
We have drawers! Hallelujah!
So, I know you guys are just dying to hear the play-by-play, so here it is, as briefly as possible.
(Before I start, please note that we received our closet system on like, a Tuesday or Wednesday, and Steven had to leave to go out of town on Thursday or Friday, and I could. not. wait. so I did all the demolition, painting, etc etc myself and lemme tell ya, I was so proud. Seriously, I gave myself a big pat on the back and could not have been happier at the end of that day. It only took about 12 hours start to finish... no big deal, right? Ha. I was so tired and sore it was crazy, but soo worth it! Okay, on with the show!)
First of all (duh), I had to rid our closet of all the clothes, junk, etc, which lived in the office for the duration of the install.
Ahh, looking better already.
Taking the ClosetMaid shelves out was a breeze, but getting the hardware out of the wall... notsomuch. They were anchored in there, so there was really no easy way to do it other than to rip them out which left me with about 1,242 of these...
The cedar unit was pretty straightforward and came apart piece by piece, and left pretty gnarly holes as well, but not quite as bad as the ClosetMaid ones.
Anywho, I ripped off the drywall that was sticking out, and sanded each hole smooth.
Then, I took some of this (picked up at Lowes)...
...stuck it on...
...gave it a good coat of joint compound, let it dry, and sanded again.
Worst part, by far.
After the holes were patched and sanded, I gave the closet two coats of Valspar Blue Whisper. Love this color.
At this point, I kinda didn't want to put anything back in here. It was so beautiful and felt so spacious that I longed to make it a little sitting area or office or something, but then alas, where would our clothes go?
When the next weekend rolled around, Steven and I took the pieces out of the boxes, read the instructions carefully, and got to work with the install. The hardest part (by far) was hanging the rail on the wall all around the closet. It needed to be perfectly level and at the exact right height, but once it was in, the vertical panels just slipped right on.
We screwed in some shelves and the rods and voila - new closet!
If you notice, this arrangement is different from the "after" pictures, because after living with it like this for a month, I decided to move that lower rod on the left, to the back wall in the middle, so the back wall became all clothes and the middle section on the left became all shelving for shoes. It makes the closet look so much bigger because there are no hangers jutting out into the walkway.
We didn't realize when ordering this Martha Stewart closet that they made no allowance for a top shelf. I mean, who doesn't need a top shelf in their closet to store all their crap? I know we do. Hence the last 5% we just finished last weekend... finally, a shelf! It's not screwed into the wall or the closet system, but instead sits snugly on top. Believe me, it's not going anywhere. Just putting that top shelf in made the closet look twice as tall. It was crazy the first time I walked in there after the shelf was up, I felt about ten times shorter. I wasn't sure whether to paint it or stain it, and if I did paint it, what color I was going to paint it. I ended up pulling a color out of our decorative towels (the same towels that the wall color was pulled from), and at first, I wasn't so sure about it, but now, I kind of like the contrast. I was afraid if I chose a white, it would never match up with the laminate shelving, and I didn't want to go with the wall color for fear that it would just blend in.
Okay, some more pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Can I get an amen?! My shoes now have somewhere to live!
This side is storage for purses and socks.
We have two of these valet rods... one on each side. We both pick out our clothes for the next day at night and it's so convenient to hang them here. No more clothes hanging on the back of the bathroom door! I also love my belt/scarf rack.
Here's a view of the top shelf. In case you can't contain your curiosity about what exactly we store up here, we have duffel bags (left and right), my wedding dress (left corner), a baby basket/carrier thing for a baby we don't have yet... think that was a hint? (right corner), and Steven's cowboy boots and hat (center). That little door in the ceiling grants us access to an attic crawl space.
I think it's about a meeeeeellion times better than it was before. It's still a fairly small closet for two people with fairly large wardrobes, but it works for us, and that makes me happy.