After moving in to our new house and unpacking quickly, we're now at the point that it's time to organize. What works in one house, may not work in another.
The entryway in our new house is bigger, but since it's the only entry (off the garage and the front door) it's the only drop zone. And with three kids in a Pittsburgh winter, it took heavy use. I was tired of coming home to see piles of boots, shoes, jackets - so I decided to makeover the coat closet. I needed this space to work harder for our family.
This is the same coat closet that 80% of homes in the US have - the accordion style doors right off the front door. First things first, I cleaned it all out and took off the doors. I was actually surprised how big the space was.
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They were much less expensive than other basket options I looked at, and they are made of a wipe-able material, so if muddy boots get thrown into the box it can be cleaned.
Find your studs along the wall and mark them. I cut a 2x4 to size and screwed it to the studs along the back wall and each side of the closet.
I used my favorite building screws to attach the 2x4 to the wall.
I cut 1x6 planks for the bench seat to the width of the closet. These sit on the 2x4 cleat we just installed. I then used my brad nailer to secure these planks to the 2x4s underneath.
To give the middle of the bench a little more support, and to give a more cubby like appearance, I cut down some 3/4" plywood pieces as support braces. I nailed these to the bench seat.
*Note: I would have nailed these pieces to the floor too, except that we may get new flooring here so I didn't attach it to the floor in case it's replaced at some point. If you want to anchor them to the floor, do so by toe-nailing them to the floor, or adding braces that attach directly to the floor.
Once the base is secure, I started building upward. The shelves are built with 1x12 pieces. I built smaller cleats with 1x2 pieces anchored to the studs, then added the shelves. I love the locker look this gives it, not to mention adding a ton of storage!
I added the top shelf above - you can see it's about 18" higher than it was, and while it's a little hard to get things up there, it's good to have an extra shelf. Now for the finishing...
I filled holes in the drywall and painted the walls the same color as the entryway (SW Silver Strand). It may have been smarter to paint before building, but I was too excited to get to work!
I wanted a wood stained bench with white trim work, so I stained the bench first (this is GF Espresso Water Based Wood Stain). I just wiped it on with a sponge.
Here's where I made a mistake (learn from me!). I didn't cover the stained bench before I started priming the wood shelves. And oh my did I make a mess. A simple newspaper covering would have saved me the work of sanding the bench down and staining again!
The shelves were all primed with BIN primer, then painted in Behr Alkyd paint (the same color as the white trim through the rest of the house).
Ready to see it all together... ah so much better right?! Good bye 80's oak doors, hello bright, clean, organzied shoe and coat storage!!
I grabbed some great hooks from Hobby Lobby - they are huge and will hold several coats at a time. The smaller ones on the side wall are the perfect size for back packs and purses.
As I was cleaning out the closet, I put several coats upstairs in the bedroom closets - each person gets about two coats down stairs at a time, to keep the chaos to a minimum. The vacuums went in the laundry room, but the shoes are all here. The bottom bins have so much storage, so they hold a lot! The smaller bins hold all of the hats, scarves, mittens we need for this time of year.
Here's a close up of the hooks - aren't they fabulous farm house style hooks? I mounted two of them to a piece of wood, then was able to screw the wood directly to a stud - that way these can hold a lot of weight!!
See how deep these boxes are? They are the whole depth of the bench, so a lot will fit there.
The bench is sturdy enough for sitting or if you are little, to stand on to reach your coat.
One more look - it made the entry way feel so much bigger!!
(See the sneak peak of the "new" floors?? - blog post on that coming soon!)
Grab your wood and build something awesome!
Until next time,