(insert sound of hammers, jigsaw, table saw, and more hammering)
Well, forget the quiet part, I decided to tackle another DIY project I had been thinking about for almost two years. I first got the idea after seeing this photo in Creative Home Magazine:
Kym, the homeowner, had turned her son’s closet into a private nook. I thought, no problem, I’d complete this project in an easy 2 days. Afterall, how long can renovating one 6′ x 2′ closet take? During stopping points I could squeeze in a pedicure, swim some laps and possibly have a friend over for wine and some chat one evening. Truth be told, it ended up taking a full 3 days (and nights)!
So, here is the abbreviated (press fast forward on the remote) version:
My three year old has two full size closets in his room. And, yet, his toys were always strewn around the room. Here is my “keeping it real” BEFORE picture:
Last year I took the doors off one of the closets and put up some curtains so he could have a little hideaway.
First task (after cleaning up all those toys, of course!) was removing hardware, demolition and patching holes (where I found I didn’t know my own strength.)
Phew, glad that is done. Now comes the fun part, time to build!
First I cut all my wood to size, then built two frames. One for the base and one for the bench.
The base frame only had one center support since it didn’t have to hold much weight. The bench seat frame had two center supports at 2′ intervals.
I bought paint quality (almost smooth) plywood for the tops of the base and seat frames.
Here is a little trick I learned for scribing the profile of trim or other obstacles onto your board. In this instance, I used a compass and set the width to the same distance from the wall to the outside of my door casing. Then drew a line around the casing being careful to keep the compass perpendicular to the casing. Then you can cut out the profile with a jigsaw or coping hand saw.
Next I built the second platform the same way (with the exception of the extra center supports.) I highly recommend priming as much of the wood as you can before nailing it into place. It is easier to prime wood on sawhorses.
I pulled out my levels (both a carpenter’s level and laser level) and carefully leveled my bench platform before nailing it in. Then I used framing nails to nail the platform into the studs in the closet. (I promise to post about finding studs at a later date.)
Seriously, I really did level it! I even have the pictures to prove it! Because, at some point the right hand side of the bench must have shifted while I was nailing, which resulted in a slight slope. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone! My lesson learned is that next time I will either screw the frame in place to hold it or put a brace underneath to keep it from slipping.
Somewhere during the process, I cut the foam cushion for the bench seat. If you haven’t heard, the best way to cut foam is with an electric carving knife! (Huge thank you to my friend and neighbor Karen for the use of her 1970’s electric carving knife.)
Next I installed all the moulding, wainscoting and trim. Did I mention that I bought all my trim and decorative moulding at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore? Super cheap at $.50 (yes, 50 cents!) per linear foot! My total for all the trim was $18, and I still have two 6 ft. pieces left.
Before I could prime I had to caulk all the seams. Did you know that some of the moulding in your home, especially crown moulding, is usually made up of several different pieces and then caulked to hide the edges?
This is the Pretty Handy Girl’s tried-and-true caulking method:
- Squeeze out your bead of caulk.
- Run your finger along the bead to smooth it (then wipe your finger off on a rag.)
- Follow up with a slightly moist paper towel for a super smooth finish!
Once the caulk dried, I primed all the wood and wainscoting.
After trying some Benjamin Moore paint swatches, I settled on a deep navy blue called “Symphony Blue”. I knew I’d need to use some tinted primer before trying to paint such a dark color on the light walls. Unfortunately our Ace Hardware was out of stock. Luckily George, my friendly Ace Hardware paint consultant, told me how to mix my own.
Isn’t the marble effect pretty! I used 1 part paint to 3 parts primer and stirred it up really well.
Once everything is dry, the painting can begin. I always use two coats of paint. The only time I got away with one was by using Benjamin Moore Aura paint in our living room. But, I was going from a medium green to a slightly lighter green. Not a major change in color.
So, are you ready?? The drumroll please…
Wow – I would say that Brittany hit a major home-run with this project. It is just beautiful!
Oh my gosh! That is just so cool! It's hard for me to come up with great looking spaces for boys. This nails it! Perfect in every way. Wow.
Love the transformation! We have a symphony blue accent wall in our kitchen and I absolutely LOVE the color.
I love it! She did an awesome job!
I LOVE this. It makes me wish we had an extra closet around here!
This is such an awesome space! I would love to have one of these of my own lol I remember when I was young, we lived in an apartment house and my closet was a little cubby space along the peak of the roof. My mom put my toys and a desk in there and it was the best space ever. I think because it was quiet in there 😉 I hope your son enjoys his new space.
Great idea, looks as though its always been there, looks good!
What a show-off!!!
I love this! I want one!
Wow, great great project! I'm ready to empty out a closet and make this.
One of the coolest, cutest, and most practical ideas I've seen in a long time!!! Love it!
Wow, this is such an incredible transformation. What a gorgeous space to hang out and read. She did a beautiful job. It's so inspiring.
Whoa! That is amazing!
This is awesome!!
I love the closet! I'm heading over to check out her blog. I look forward to seeing the amazing DIY before-and-afters you post every day. 🙂
I have always loved this idea, and this one is beautifully done!!
Such a great idea! I am really impressed with how hand you were!
WOW, That's amazing! You rock..three days? You really rock! Really cute and soo well done!
Beautiful job! We liked it so much that we just linked to it on Benjamin Moore's Facebook page. — Lisa (at Benjamin Moore)
She did a fantastic job! It looks great. I love the theme and colors.
This is perfection, Brittany! Just beautiful! 🙂
What a GREAT idea! I have a little closet this would work perfectly in. Thanks for inspiring me today!
It looks amazing! this is such a great idea, and Ilove all your directions, so perfect.thanks!
Thank you so much for featuring my son's closet. And a special thank you to your readers for their nice compliments. I hope I've empowered someone today ;-).
Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
I love love love that project! Everything about it is stunning!
That's the coolest thing I've ever seen! Love your Creativity!! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
Wow what a wonderful transformation! What boy wouldn't love that?