Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Great Room Makeover: the Closet and Dresser

My child's closet, my friends, was a monstrosity. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a closet as big as that one, but I will tell you right now, 3'x4' is too big for a 9x15' room, especially one with sloped ceilings. There was no way to give her a recessed closet, as the room is surrounded by another bedroom, two exterior walls, and a stairwell, so it had to be built out into the room. It blocked light, wasted space, and just made the whole room feel tiny. Here, let me show you:

See? So big I couldn't even get the whole thing into one picture. (Okay, that part was probably due to my mad photo skillz, but it makes for good drama.)
This thing had to go.
So I got my trusty crowbar and hammer, and out it came. My new plan called for more of a wardrobe-sized closet, 20x24". I left the pink shelving unit you can see peeking out in the corner, with the idea that the shelves and closet would give a built-in, cohesive feel.
It was at this point that I realized I was a moron. I didn't think to account for the cutout in the carpet in the shape of the old closet, so you will see in the "after" pictures that there's a little creative carpet-cutting happening. I'm not entirely pleased with that, but a budget of $100 for an entire room makeover just doesn't allow for new carpeting (or even, as it turned out, a throw rug). If it gets to be a big problem, we can replace the carpet down the road, but for now it's all right.
I made the new closet from the lumber used for the original closet. Everything on the side closest to the shelves was already cut to the right lengths and just had to be moved over a foot to fit the new smaller footprint. I cut the remaining 2x4's and put them in place, then measured for the paneling I planned to use for the exterior. I put up one side and realized the shelf I had intended to put in above the closet rod would be pretty inaccessible inside the closet, but I had everything in place to make a neat cutout for dolls, trinkets, or other small things. It was a way to add a little more light to that corner, as well as a neat feature, so back to the saw I went to make the necessary cuts. I had also intended to leave the front of the closet open, but decided once I began putting things up that a door would look much nicer, so I figured that into my design too. I trimmed out the cutout with morre of the molding to give it a more finished look. A few mis-aligned nails and enough curses to make a sailor blush as I tried to figure out how to get the stupid hinges on, and that project was finished.
Behold, the new closet:

(I did paint it white after this picture was taken, as you can see in other pics, but this was the only one I took without all the other stuff on/around the closet.) I am ridiculously proud of this closet. It took me hours longer than I expected, as these kinda of things always seem to do, but I really like how it came out.

And now, the dresser:

No, I didn't make this. I did, however, turn it from a drab, brown, battered little dresser into this pretty little number. I painted it white, then painted on the frog and added the swirls and polkadots. A hint about polkadots: It's really easy to get the effect without a lot of hassle. I bought a couple of packages of white circular labels from the dollar store and painted them in my chosen colors. Once they dried, it was a simple matter to peel them up and stick them where I wanted. It's a great way to make it look like you spent hours painting polkadots without actually having to do so.
The frog on the dresser matches the one on her desk, which I forgot to post a detailed picture of in the last post (oops). I am such a rebel, I'll post it here to show you instead (shh, don't tell):

My kid is obsessed with frogs, as may become evident as you look at her room, so I wanted to cater to that without the room being completely overrun by little froggies. Since she's not a little kid anymore (so she says), I tried to go with a slightly more realistic and less cutesy-cute feel with the froggy accents. I think I succeeded... she was happy, at any rate, so I'll call it a success. ;)

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