unfinished business

My closet…where to begin. When we bought our first home in 2001, there was 1 closet in the entire house. It was a cape cod style dating back to 1901 and so very charming. But there was one closet, in the only bedroom. It was very small and I had to get creative. My husband and I shared the closet. I also had things stashed in the 1901 basement in plastic containers, up in the attic on a rolling rack and under the bed to name a few places.

Listen, I’m not saying I spend a lot of money on expensive clothes, shoes etc; quite the opposite. I don’t like to look like everyone else so I don’t buy a lot of “branded or designer” pieces. Also, I’m a somewhat of a bargain hunter and a vintage lover and collector (mostly 40’s-60’s and some 80’s)…BUT I have been working in fashion/ retail for the past 23 years so I have developed quite a collection.

You can imagine my surprise and delight when discovering inside the house we live in today that the previous owners turned an entire bedroom into a closet. When we were deciding whether or not to purchase, the owners brought up the option to have the “closet” disassembled. HELLS NO, (well I didn’t say that but close). In my calculations we were going to have 2 kids at the max, and most of our family and friends live locally (sorry Cali cousins and NC friends :)) and we would figure out sleeping arrangements when the time for visits arose. So that “bedroom”? Mine. Plus I was 4 months pregnant at the time and no one was arguing with me.

So I got my very own room. Fast forward through 5-8 years and 2 kids later, it became a little unorganized and a catch-all for some extraneous things such as my son’s keepsake bin and lots of file containers of old stuff (photos, wedding remnants, things that my mom made me take out of my parents house dating back to high school). I decided to do a thorough reorganizing and ditching of pack ratty things as well as really condensing my clothes to what I truly wear. Side-note from an earlier post: If you haven’t worn it in 2 years. LET IT GO. Unless of course it has real sentimental value. So, after the purge I was left with mint green walls that I thought were too juvenile and wire racks that were boring the hell out of me.


I wanted more for the room. I wanted it to be a space that I could work, read, write, and fool around with creating outfits in (yeah I still do this at 39 years old, it’s part of the job and quite therapeutic.. OK?!). Oh, and I also wanted to be able to take the occasional 7 minute nap in it.

I didn’t want to spend a lot (or any) money and I have like 5 minutes a week to work on it. So I started one day by literally ripping the wire closet racks out of the walls, spackling and then standing back and thinking OK well now I really HAVE to do something. Clothes etc. were strewn on the floor and I worked one night at a time on this for about 3 months. Luckily (for my closet project but not for real life) we had the worst winter in history last year and snow kept us in so I could finish for the most part.

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These were my inspiration pics. (pinterest is the DEVIL)

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I think I got pretty close to my original vision though. The only thing I purchased was paint. I chose dark navy walls, white trim and for the closet inside the closet, a muted lilac. I placed my old haphazard flea market desk, and $1 garage sale curved wood chair (all bought in the 90’s), in the actual “closet” and created a little nook to hold all my business; bills, stationary, to do lists, and some pretty things to look at like my son’s hand print form preschool and gorgeous coffee table books about fashion that no one in this house cares about but me. To the side of the white desk I used an old cd rack to hold books I’ve read and part of my vintage bag collection. I backed that up with the longer hanging garments like maxi skirts and long sundresses.

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A little tip: Use your stuff. Don’t be afraid to move some furniture (like the little stuff- chairs, desks, lamps), around the house from room to room. This is how you get away with re-creating and not spending extra $$. Also, go into that basement, garage or attic. Dig through the crap. You may find a bin or basket or chair that can look great in a new space with or without a new coat of paint. I can’t count the number of times my husband has come home to find that Everything in the house had been repurposed, furniture  been moved and pictures on the wall completely rearranged, with no money spent. It’s called re-merchandising your home. Do it. It’s fun. You can fool all your friends. 

Back to the closet. Next, there’s the racks that I kept for my hanging: shirts, sweaters, jackets, skirts, pants. Of course because I’m a merchandiser, they are left to right, light to dark. Scary I know.


My son’s old changing table and dresser now holds my belts, scarves, wrapping paper, ribbon, boxes and bags in the drawers. Up top are the jewels. I want to be able to see all the sparkle. The whole reason for the room is so I can see everything at once and be more efficient at 5:30 am getting ready for the day. It’s also super fun for my daughter to come in and try stuff on at the ripe old age of 4. Thank God she’s more of a tom boy for now…She’s just interested enough to come in and browse…

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That all took about 2-3 months to finish. Then it got nice outside and we headed for the sun, sand and surf. No time for DIY. Not in the summer. No way. So, here we are in October, I have one problem. The shoe wall. It needs to come out. I’ve purged many pairs that really were hanging on by a thread. I have decided that we need a bed of some sort; just to be fair to those Cali and NC guests :).  My awesome woodworking husband is now handed the challenge of making me some sort of shelving unit to house those shoes; behind the door where this beauty lives currently.




It’s time to finish this project. God help me, I’m still going to be tweaking this during the first (or third) snowfall. But I feel like I’ve achieved what I set out for so far. I didn’t freak out or rush and it was kind of fun. I didn’t really have any help and feel accomplished and proud of the outcome. I hope this inspires you to do something with your snowy days that lie ahead, although Bloody Mary’s while watching the Breakfast Club is just as acceptable.

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xo friends!

Let me know what you think! Shoe wall ideas or any ideas welcome!!

Published by carin

2 kids, husband, dog, house, family, friends, styling, entertaining, decorating, beach, sun, fun.......working, cleaning, scheduling, Soccer and Lax mom, dropping off, picking up, working cleaning, scheduling.....Gorgeous Chaos.

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