closets, closets

i had hoped to have the closets in both bedrooms done before our furniture arrived. i knew that after a couple of weeks without most of our clothing (and no working washer or dryer), i’d be wanting to unpack our wardrobes right away — ideally into closets that had been cleaned and freshly painted with new shelves/rods hung to suit our particular needs.

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ha! this did not happen at all and our clothing has stayed mostly in cardboard boxes on the floors while i’ve worked on things over the past month and a half.

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the closet renovations were simple enough, just really, really tedious. i started in frankie’s room before our moving truck arrived, priming and painting those bifold closet doors. after about 8+ hours, i said screw it and had pierre remove them. he also took down the long shelf and rod that were in her closet and he patched the plaster as best he could. i want to save as many original details in the house as possible, and that means accepting imperfections. hundred-year-old plaster walls are not smooth like new drywall and the baseboard trim that you can see along the inside of her closet is pockmarked and not milled perfectly, but we want to respect what’s been standing here for more than a century.

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the casing around the outside of her closet, the plinths and the baseboard you can see along the floor/walls outside of her closet is all brand new, just milled based on examples of the original trim that have been left in some parts of the house. i’m working on a whole post about trim (exciting!) so i’ll have a lot more to say and some more photos to share shortly, but if you take a quick scroll back up to the top of this post you can see some of our “before” trim and i think you’ll understand why i’m so happy we decided to push trim work right to the very top of our summer to-do list.

the dresser in frankie’s closet used to live in our master bedroom back in toronto and it held socks, underwear, t-shirts and the like for pierre and me. since pierre and i now have ample bedroom storage (more on that below), we didn’t need a dresser in our bedroom at all. we put frankie’s old dresser (which has four drawers) in the hallway outside the bedrooms and it holds all our linens and we gave her this freshly painted three-drawer one, which holds all her clothing — accessories like her sunhat, socks, bathing suit, teething necklace and swim diaper in the top drawer; tops and rompers in the middle drawer and bottoms in the bottom drawer. as she grows and her things get longer, i may add a tension rod on one side of her closet, which i could continue to move higher as she grows taller, but at the moment everything she owns can be folded (no fancy dresses) and fits just fine in three drawers.

we decided not to continue with cloth diapers once we moved, so all her diaper items fit in a little basket on top of her dresser and we’ve just generally been continuing to work on paring down. despite her new bedroom being nearly twice as large as her old one, we have less in it. living in an empty house for two weeks and unpacking really, really slowly (we’re still not done) has shown us that we still own more than we need; we’re working continuously to streamline.

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the master bedroom contains three closets — one for me, one for pierre and one in the middle that we’re using for shoes and laundry. the photo above is from the same angle as the “before” photo at the very top of the post. we got all new trim for the closets and our bedroom, a vast, vast improvement from the oak quarter round that was the “baseboard” before and the ’90s-style trim that was around the closets before. i wish we were able to replace the window trim at this time, too, but we’ve decided to wait to do trim until the windows have been replaced (next year, probably).

then, all the closets got painted. this took me weeks! the insides of all the closets, the ceilings of all the closets, the trim inside of the closets, the trim outside of the closets and all the closet doors. the paint colour is all sherwin-williams extra white, but the ceilings are a flat finish, the walls and doors are an eggshell finish and the trim is a semi-gloss. kill me now. the new hardware is the fåglavik knob from ikea; these will update our oak kitchen and bathroom cabinetry eventually, too. they are great quality — heavyweight and a nice matte finish on them… and so much nicer than the brass-plated globes that were here before!

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we decided to keep the existing shelves in the closets because, even though they’re a little dated-looking, they really were exactly what we needed. i have two shelf/rod combos that hold all my things! all my tops, bottoms, jewelry and other accessories, undergarments and workout clothes, even my make-up and a make-up mirror, which i pinched from the bathroom, are in my closet. getting dressed in the morning feels like shopping at an expensive store — i can see everything and there’s even space between the hangers. baskets on the floor hold the workout gear and sweatpant-type stuff, which is great because i typically ball that stuff up anyways.

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we removed two shelves from the middle closet and patched a big hole that allowed a cable for the television that was in here before. removing the two bottom shelves allowed us to hang our two laundry bags, since the frame that the bags sat in wouldn’t fit. (the frame is now downstairs in the laundry area, where the bags await clean laundry to be carried back upstairs.) the hooks were ones i found in the basement and spray painted black. i bought two wooden shoe racks from canadian tire to make better use of the vertical space between the shelves. it’s not fancy, but now all our shoes, except my rainboots, which are too tall, fit in the middle closet. frankie’s shoes (all two pairs) are kept in her own closet.

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pierre gets the final closet in the bedroom and his set-up is really similar to mine. i haven’t finished painting his closet yet! i still have the inside walls to do and i hope to get to that this week or next. he also has two shelves, but only one of them has a rod, and keeps his workout and sweatpant-type stuff in a basket on the floor. he is even able to keep his duffel bag ready to go on his top shelf, which is just so functional since he travels every other week.

i’ve never had this much closet space to play with in my life! it seems a little excessive, but i’m most definitely loving having my very own and having everything i own in one place, not having to scavenge around the house for all my accessories. also, the trim! but more on that soon.

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