How To Repurpose a Closet

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm a bit of a do-it-yourselfer. When I say "a bit" I mean I am a full fledged card carrying member of the DIY brigade. I love to work on projects (and by projects, I mean at least 9 or 10 at the same time). Oh my sweet husband... he didn't know that I had somehow secretly worked that into our marriage vows, but I now have him hooked. Or at least he loves me enough to pretend like he truly gets the enjoyment out of them that I do.

I get a lot of questions from friends, and now that I'm a blogger I get emails from people asking how to do certain projects. I am so happy to help share the DIY love, so I am thinking about starting a new How To series on Thursdays. It might not always be "house projects," it might also focus on cooking or hobbies or really just about anything. I am also hoping to rope in some guest blogs from those of you who have great wisdom to impart. Please let me know if you would be interested in sharing some of your knowledge or if you have something you want to learn how to do. 

So let's move to our first project... how to repurpose a closet.

Kate had a extra closet in her room which has sat empty for the past 2 years (unless you count random toys littering the floor, which I don't). I wanted to carve out a little reading nook.
I took some extra 1 x4 pieces of wood and screw them into the studs so the top of the wood was 18" high. You can find the studs using a stud finder or just use a compass and watch for the needle to jump. You can see my helper making sure that the pieces of wood are all level before moving on.
I then placed a 3/4 inch piece of plywood on top. To keep the plywood from sagging with the weight of people sitting, I added a 1x12 support in the middle by just screwing it into the plywood. My mom has some mad sewing skills, so I set her to work on a cushion for the top along with a few throw pillows. My father constructed me some wooden  bins for storage underneath. Rather than wheels (which don't tend to work on carpet) I added these to the bottom to help them slide out easily.This weekend I am going to work on book storage for overhead, and Kate's reading nook will be complete. Until then, it's already getting a lot of use from 2 kids who want to feel like they're camping out.

Don't want to add a reading nook? You could follow these same instructions and create a desk area or vanity. Just add baskets or a tailored piece of fabric under the plywood to hide any storage items. Erin is working on making one of her closets into a workspace for herself complete with inspiration board. Check out how she's starting her project here.

What about you? How have you converted a spot in your home into a more usable space?

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