THE CLOSET

Last progress post we left off with a great big hole in the foyer where the closet used to be.  Oh.  I mean a great big hole combined with a smaller hole where the pantry used to be.  SO.  Now what…..

Hall reno 4

Typically at this point we would move any electrical necessary (there was an outlet inside the pantry closet) then frame, drywall, mud, and paint the interior of the closet.  We’d also frame the opening and add the doors; sliding, bi-fold, accordion, whatever floats your boat.  But we opted for something a bit outside the norm….

Recently we installed the Ikea Pax wardrobe system in the basement.  It runs nearly the length of the space and houses samples, product books, crafting supplies, just loads of STUFF….. It’s great, actually.  Affordable, modular, functional, and looks pretty good.  I say ‘pretty good’ for a few reasons:

  1. It isn’t custom fit, you are limited in height and width when it comes to Ikea storage solutions.  For this space that means there is a 3 inch gap at the ceiling and a 4 inch gap on the left side of the room.  Not so bad for storage in a basement sample room though.
  2. Over time the integrity of the shelves and finish may begin to falter.
  3. Although it’s functional, the modular shelving and multitude of storage options come at a cost: little peg holes all along the edge of each cabinet.

I like Ikea.  It has its place in the design world, a very particular niche.  Most items are meant to be affordable and temporary (think apartment living, and dorm rooms) others are more finely crafted and designed. They create budget friendly Scandinavian styled pieces that work well in minimal spaces.  It is a great product for DIY projects.

We decided on the Pax wardrobe for these reasons and also because the storage options are very cool.  The shelves won’t hold a lot of weight, but you can put so many in, and divide up your load, it works out alright.  The drawers close nicely and keep things organized, and I’ve kinda fallen for the shoe storage options….

ANYWAY, I’m sure it has become clear, we decided to put an Ikea Pax wardrobe in that ‘great big hole’ in the foyer.  After we combined the two closets we realized the opening was just the right size to perfectly fit the width of the double Pax wardrobe.

Because we opted to do this less involved facelift in the foyer, rather than a large renovation, (see our decision process here) I was really looking for some serious organizational magic from this closet.  It had to accommodate the whole family, tall and small, plus any guests, and the dog (yes, he’s got stuff).  It had to be flexible through the seasons (snowpant storage vs. about 100 flip-flops), and reconfigure to accommodate changing needs over the next 5 years.  Oh ya, and it had to be cost effective.  Think temporary maintenance, folks, not long term investment.

So, this is how it looks now:

closet closed 1

There is still trim work to do, but what a difference!  Clean and bright with more height!  We will be building in this closet at the top, I’ve got a little detail idea to address the height difference, and the baseboard is only partially cut and primed right now.  AND its fairly obvious, we have replaced the flooring, but more on that in another post!

Inside the closet we have selected a layout that works on one side for the kids, and on the opposite side for the adults.  On the kids side, closest to the front door, we mounted a typical rail for hanging, and a drawer with two shelves above.  The height of the rail and drawer was ultimately selected based on how high we could place a drawer above the rod and still have it be functional.  We knew the rail would have to be lower on the kids side, but it still needed to be high enough that snow pants can hang in the winter months.  The drawer above would provide a counter like area to drop mail, keys, and other odds and ends we inevitably walk in the door with.  So there needed to be a balance between the two.  We ended up with a shelf and drawer at around 50 inches off the ground (which is the max height for a functional drawer), and the rod mounted just to the underside of that.

closet 9

On the opposite side we have a more typical closet layout.  The rod was mounted at the highest point that was functional.  Any adult can reach to hang their coats, but it is higher than the typical rod mount so we could take advantage of the entire height of the closet.  Beneath we added another drawer, followed by a pull out shoe organizer THAT I LOVE.  The drawer will hold all our winter gloves, hats, scarves, and other accessories and with the pull out shoe storage and the space beneath we have enough room for 16 pairs of adult shoes.  WOWZA.  I am thinking about adding a second pull out shoe rack, however right now the open storage allows for tall boots more easily…

closet 10

The best thing about this closet system is its flexibility.  If I want another shoe rack?  I just add it in.  Need more shelving above?  Well, thank you very much, its as easy as pie.

I will likely be adding some little things to this space, just to increase its functionality and alter it to suit our specific family needs.  So far, though?  We are loving it.

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