Sunday, August 22, 2010

Making the Most of What We've Got

If I had to name something that I don't like about this house it would have to be the lack of storage. When we bought the house there were no closets on the 2nd floor. There is now a small closet carved out of a corner of our daughter's bedroom, but the two front bedrooms still have only the mid-nineteenth century version of a closet - a strip of wood with hooks on it hung 2/3 of the way up one wall.

My old childhood wardrobe is now in Neil's room and we bought a second wardrobe that is now serving as my closet, but that still left Charles with only the hooks on the wall.
At one point we were planning to have Charles take over the closet in the office downstairs, but then I noticed my mom in the bathroom one day, eyeing the two storage cubbies beside the bathtub. I could tell immediately that whatever she was planning would involve power tools and a lot of dust.

At left is a picture of these cubbies when we bought the house. The shelves to the right are filling an old window opening in one of the stone exterior walls. (It's the "shuttered" window pictured and explained in the second half of this post.) The two areas had a good amount of storage, but it was awkward and difficult to access.

Enter my mom and her power tools.

Mom's idea was to cut out the pillar between the shelves and the tall open cubby. She reasoned that this was safe to do because clearly home was originally built without a load bearing wall/pillar directly in front of a window. That, and there's basically nothing above this except the final few shallow inches of space along the roof behind the knee wall/book nook of the back bedroom.

So out came the pillar. The shelves are now fully accessible, and the formerly too-narrow closet beside them gained enough width to turn it into a useful area. Namely, to turn it into Charles's closet. The two clothes rods provide just enough space to hold his dress shirts and slacks, and the shelves are more than enough room for jeans, sweat shirts and the essential male-elementary-teacher-three-button-polo-shirts. He has a dresser up in our bedroom for the rest.

The access panel for the bathtub's plumbing is just to the left of Charles's pants. So someday down the road (hopefully far down the road!) there will be a plumber who will appreciate the alterations to this closet as well.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I just wrote about my exact same problem - lack of closet space in my old house. We had to steal a bit of room from our front porch to add a utility closet. Good for you for making the most of what you've got.