This Page

has been moved to new address

When is a Closet not a Closet? - When it is a Reading Nook!

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Pretty Handy Girl: When is a Closet not a Closet? - When it is a Reading Nook!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

When is a Closet not a Closet? - When it is a Reading Nook!

This past weekend my husband took the boys camping. A free weekend – by myself – peace and quiet!
(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.


See, perfect fit!

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:
  1. Squeeze out your bead of caulk. 
  2. Run your finger along the bead to smooth it (then wipe your finger off on a rag.)
  3. 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...

 Can't you hear the Symphonic Chords playing?

The copper wall sconce was also from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I scored that gem for  only $5! It has a cord that I snaked around the moulding and then plugged into the outlet just outside the closet. A tutorial on re-wiring the copper sconce with a white cord and adding a switch is poster here.

 Plenty of storage bins for all the toys a three year old can hoard.



Finally, a nook built for reading, sleepovers...


...or just hanging with big brother.



Look at some other closet transformations at Beneath My Heart's Closet Par-tay!



That's all folks! Bye-bye!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

94 Comments:

At June 29, 2010 at 9:14 AM , Blogger Amber said...

WOW!!! I love this! I would so do this if I had an extra closet. I enjoy finding other handy mom's out there in blog land as I'm one who is better with the power tools than my hubby ;)You did a fabulous job.

Amber

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:14 AM , Blogger Megan said...

Wow! What a transformation. All your hard work really paid off...and thanks for taking pictures along the way.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:19 AM , Blogger TidyMom said...

FABULOUS!!!! you did a fantastic job! I LOVE it!!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:53 AM , Blogger Kate said...

What a great idea! Hmmm...I wonder if my daughter could go without her one and only closet. ;) Visiting from CSI!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:58 AM , Blogger Jenglamgirl said...

beautiful amazing I LOVE IT!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 10:32 AM , Blogger Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

This turned out awesome!! Love the colors too.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 10:40 AM , Blogger Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Oh my goodness. This is just too fabulous for words!!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 10:53 AM , Blogger The Two Savvy Sisters said...

WOW will you come and do mine!! I LUV IT!!!I have become a follower and I hope you’ll do the same. Swing on by to join our BUZZ on by Thursday blog hop and Giveaway!! We also have a Party Link up to show off your party side every Wednesday. You can link up any parties, party decor, party printables, party paper items, party ideas, gift ideas, anything PARTY related!! I’d love to feature you and show off your fabulous parties so make sure you linkup!
Nicole @ TheTwoSavvySisters.blogspot.com

Smiles,
Nicole

 
At June 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Incredible! I am going to try to convince the hubs that our guest room NEEDS this! Love it!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 12:07 PM , Blogger Amanda@The Hand Me Down House said...

This is AMAZING! Wonderful job! I just love the transformation -- what a perfect little spot you have now!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 1:24 PM , Anonymous Diane Chamberlain said...

Beautiful, Britt! Having just seen the closet in its "before" glory, I am doubly impressed.

 
At June 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your closet kinda made me emotional! I am so impressed Brittany! Shelley D

 
At June 29, 2010 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous Cara said...

This is such an amazing transformation! I love the color scheme, the bins, the board and batten along the back....everything about it! Your son is so lucky to have such a neat spot for reading. Also, thanks for sharing your "real life" befores....it's so nice to know that I'm not the only one w/ toys all over the place. :)

 
At June 29, 2010 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous kitliz @ DIYdiva said...

That is an absolutely awesome transformation, and a great use of space!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

This is a beautiful project. Turned out amazing!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 5:38 PM , Blogger Mary Jane Maffini said...

Fabulous! I am knocked off my feet. I want one, even if I have to throw out all my clothes. Or my husband's clothes, maybe.

Congrats on a great idea, beautifully executed.

MJ

Closet Confidential: a Charlotte Adams mystery

 
At June 29, 2010 at 6:13 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

OHHH It's FABULOUS! I'm so glad you told me about it! WOW, you rock the tools! I bet BOTH boys love it. ;-)

 
At June 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM , Blogger Madigan at madiganmade said...

This is darling! Great find with the sconce. (looking forward to hearing how-to) Very striking. Good job!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 7:43 PM , Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

WOW!!! You did such a great job. :) I love DIY storage options. I love that you have hooks and cubbies. Very cool! I'm visiting from The CSI Project today. :)

 
At June 29, 2010 at 8:01 PM , Blogger Alanamous said...

I SOOOO need a visit from my sister so we can work on a project together and bond! I have a few in mind. Love you!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 9:58 PM , Blogger Kristy said...

What a great project - absolutely beautiful!

 
At June 29, 2010 at 10:03 PM , Anonymous Lindsay said...

GREAT JOB! I love when people think "outside the box" in terms of space planning. Great idea and the finished product looks excellent!

Lindsay @ A Design Story

 
At June 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM , Blogger Michelle @ Sweet Something said...

WOW! What a fantastic job! The detail you've put in this: outstanding! I would love to have a nook like this!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 12:22 AM , Blogger Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming said...

Simply fabulous! When the boys are away mom will play! I just adore the color scheme - beautiful. You have done an amazing job! Hope you have a wonderful holiday! ~ Stephanie Lynn

 
At June 30, 2010 at 12:30 AM , Blogger Miranda said...

Wow, I love this!! Beautiful job. I am going to be a follower. Your instructions are really helpful.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM , Blogger Painter's Place said...

Absolutely stunning....luv this!!!!!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Brie said...

Gorgeous! You did a fabulous job. If only I had a closet to make over...

 
At June 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Stephanie@cre8tive said...

Wow, this was the first time to your blog from Centsational Girl... I am so impressed as a fellow woman to see what you did! Even if it took you three days and three nights, you are amazing! Your Dad did a great job raising you and teaching how to do all that stuff. The closet looks fantastic! You deserve a mani and pedi after that!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

It's truly sensational. Lotta work! Thanks for the great pics!

Would love for you to stop by tonite (9 pm PST) and link up to Fab Finds for the 4th!

(would actually love for you to stop by in person & do this in one of my closets! :)

 
At June 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Megan Lee said...

This is so cute! What a great idea. It looks like something from a Pottery Barn catalog! :)

 
At June 30, 2010 at 1:27 PM , Blogger Condo Blues said...

That is an amazing transformation! I only wish my projects like that would take 30 minutes to an hours like they do on TV.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 3:00 PM , Blogger Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

It's fabulous!!!! I'll bet your boy was so excited to have this hideout, I mean nook. I know I would be excited. Thanks for sharing. And I'm so impressed. I could never do this. But my hubby could.

 
At June 30, 2010 at 5:16 PM , OpenID willoughbywhimsy said...

Absolutely stunning! What a fine piece of workwomanship! You should be proud! Maybe sneak in there and savor a cup of coffee some afternoon.:)

 
At June 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

OMG! I'm emailing this to my husband now that has been trying to figure it out on his own for our own house!!!

and i love love love it's a how to from a FEMALE! =) HAHA you go girl!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM , Blogger Serena said...

That's awesome - I wish my kids had 2 closets too so i could transform one of them!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 6:44 PM , Blogger Paula said...

Wow! I am soooo impressed! I like yours better than the one that inspired you! It came out awesome! That's so cool that it can be used for so many purposes! You rocked it, Mom!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM , Blogger Jen @ lil Mop Top said...

That turned out so sweet! I am so impressed that you did all that on your own! Hopefully my next house has a little space I can turn into a cute nook like yours. :)

 
At June 30, 2010 at 10:44 PM , Blogger Emily said...

Wow! That is AMAZING! Definitely scoring some awesome mommy points on that one. :) Happy 4th!

 
At June 30, 2010 at 10:46 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

Boy oh boy, the reading teacher in me thinks this is the most terrific idea I've seen for a child's room in a long time. Kudos to you, mom! Love this idea, but your attention to details has made this little reading nook very attractive and inviting. You are definitely a Handy Girl. This need to be in a magazine! It's more attractive than the one you show in your photo.
Happy 4th of July! ~ Sarah

 
At July 1, 2010 at 2:28 AM , Blogger Emily @ Finding My Aloha said...

This is so gorgeous and inspirational. Ill be filing this away for a project once we move. I'm just finishing up a laundry room redo (so I totally get how time on a project can runaway from you!) and I'm a little burned out now.

 
At July 1, 2010 at 4:15 AM , Blogger Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Great job! I love it!!!!!

 
At July 1, 2010 at 8:29 AM , Blogger Laura's Rose Garden said...

FANTABULOUS!!! You are a ROCKIN Handy Girl!!!

 
At July 1, 2010 at 9:28 AM , Anonymous Lana said...

Great space re-do. Sooooo useful now!!

Hugs, Lana

 
At July 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I adore your patriotic spirit. It is red, white and bluetiful!

I hope you will stop by for a bbq on a white tablecloth. :)

 
At July 1, 2010 at 4:57 PM , Blogger ~~Carol~~ said...

I love how your nook turned out! And the star pillows too. I would love to do this, except we live in a very old house that only has two closets in it!
Happy 4th!
Carol~~Old Glory Cottage
p.s. If this is any indication of the sort of thing that you normally do, I'm going to love looking through your blog some more!

 
At July 1, 2010 at 5:45 PM , Blogger The Writer Chic said...

Jealous of your talent and of the nook itself. I'm bookmarking this post for sure.....granted, I'm not sure I'll be tackling it in this lifetime, but a girl can dream, right?

 
At July 1, 2010 at 10:39 PM , Blogger KatrinkaJane said...

Bookmarking for future use!
((fellow CSI crafter))

 
At July 2, 2010 at 12:14 AM , Blogger ~jan said...

Absolutely an amazing transformation! I think I want one for me and I am an old lady. Hehe.

~jan @thepaisleycupcake.blogspot.com

 
At July 2, 2010 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Jill Nittolo said...

you are not just a "pretty handy girl" you are a truly amazing, fantastically talented woman! Please keep the inspiring posts coming!

I was surprised you didn't have http://www.knock-offwood.com/ on your blog role - you'd really like it!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 8:40 AM , Blogger EBeauty03 said...

WOW! You are so talented! I LOVE IT!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 9:32 AM , Blogger 1 Funky Woman said...

Holy cannoli this is fabulous! I want one for me, so I can get 5 minutes peace from my kiddos, lol! You did an amazing job and I am so going to follow you from now on!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous Eileen Francis said...

Hi Brittany! Imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link from Centsational Girl to say "Hey I know her!". This is a fantastic project - great job!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Patty@www.nuestrasaventurasentexas.com said...

Wow! I wish I wasn't renting! I'd totally do this in my boy's room! Boys don't have a lot of clothes anyways (hee hee)

www.nuestrasaventurasentexas.com

 
At July 2, 2010 at 10:05 AM , Blogger April @ The Painted Cupboard said...

WOW!!!! This is AMAZING!!!!!!!! It looks like it's straight out of a magazine....FANTASTIC job!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 10:35 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Wow!!! I agree with April, looks like it's straight out of a magazine. Very inspiring. Just found your blog and I will definitely be back!

 
At July 2, 2010 at 11:57 AM , Blogger Erin said...

I gave you a shout out on my blog today!

http://leeanderin.blogspot.com/2010/07/america-you-are-very-beautiful.html

 
At July 2, 2010 at 7:00 PM , Anonymous Becky@OrganizingMadeFun said...

This is really neat...I love all the organized cubbies and just the homey-ness of this. I'm sure your boys love this little nook!

 
At July 3, 2010 at 1:01 AM , Blogger From The Heart Crafts said...

You are definitely a handy girl. I reminds me of the day I built an entire closet (with sliding doors) in my 5 yr old son's room...he is still using it 15 yrs later! I loved your reading nook, it is so cute and professional looking. Congrats on being the #1 project!

 
At July 3, 2010 at 6:51 PM , Blogger Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

That is gorgeous! You did such a great job on it! LOVE the blue and white - I'm going to follow so I can see how you did the star pillows. :)

 
At July 4, 2010 at 12:18 AM , Blogger Ali@Honey and Maple Syrup said...

That is so so cute! Seriously, it looks like it came right out of a Pottery Barn catalog!

 
At July 4, 2010 at 11:51 AM , Blogger Sandra {sawdust and paper scraps} said...

Love it! A girl after my own heart, and I make those kinds of mistakes when I'm building stuff too. It's hard to avoid really. I'm convinced that the "pros" also make mistakes all the time too but they just don't announce it like we do. I say, let others learn from our mistakes though so I commend you for pointing out that your work was not perfect. Pretty darn close though. It looks fab and functional.

I'm definitely following cause you're a woman who has power tools and knows how to use them.

 
At July 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Oh WOW! That is awesome! I wish I had an extra closet in my home so I could do this!

 
At July 5, 2010 at 12:20 AM , Blogger CINNIBONBON said...

Okay so you make this look sooo simple! I'm floor girl! Just stunning and equally impressive. This really is just awesome.

 
At July 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM , Blogger Tiina said...

man, this is so fabulous! I love it!!

 
At July 7, 2010 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous RLS said...

WOW! You outdid yourself, what an awesome nook! I thought about it while on vacation and couldn't wait to see what you'd done. I'm impressed!

 
At July 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM , Blogger The Price's said...

This is amazing....and the tutorial is excellent!!! Visiting you from Tatertots and Jello....

 
At July 7, 2010 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Jen said...

Following you over from Tatortots ans Jello! You did such an amazing job! So inspirational! Thanks for sharing! :0)

 
At July 8, 2010 at 12:11 AM , Blogger Good Time Charlie said...

Wow, fantastic! I often see these types of nooks and want to build one. Thank you so much for showing how it is done. It looks completely professional and worthy of any good decorating magazine. I do hope you rewarded yourself with that pedicure when all was said and done!

 
At July 8, 2010 at 7:57 AM , Blogger Allison said...

i am amazed! i never would have thought to do this with a closet. you did such a wonderful job.

 
At July 8, 2010 at 9:56 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Amazing, amazing job - I have seen this in mags, too - and I want one for myself - never mind the kids. ;) Thanks for posting!!

 
At July 13, 2010 at 5:18 PM , Blogger jodi @ back40life said...

so cute! you did a fabulous job!

 
At August 3, 2010 at 8:41 AM , Blogger Higgs Happenin's said...

Amazing. You're a genius.

 
At August 3, 2010 at 9:03 AM , Blogger leafLet said...

Wow!

 
At August 20, 2010 at 6:39 PM , Blogger Angie@Echoes of Laughter said...

You are amazing!! You have handy man skills, decorating skills and the vision to put it all together! You are truly an amazing woman! You should have your own business doing these kinds of projects for people...you are sooo talented!

 
At September 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Ashley @ The Hillside Home said...

I popped over from Remodelaholic just to get another peek. This is one of the most amazing DIY projects I've seen in blogland. amazing job!!!!!

 
At September 21, 2010 at 10:43 PM , Blogger Maggie said...

Wow - that is amazing!!!

We're in the thinking of changing our front closet into a "mini-mudroom." I'm going to be bookmarking this and referencing it often.

 
At September 23, 2010 at 6:12 PM , Blogger Haley said...

A+, girl! This is amazing! I love to tackle stuff like this. You have inspired me for sure.

 
At September 30, 2010 at 9:28 AM , Blogger Tammy said...

WOW! I am so impressed. Your transformed closet is awesome! I bet your son was tickled to see this wonderful space of his own. I love it! You are quite the handy girl aren't you! I bet your husband is jealous of your skills. lol This has inspired me to think of adding a guest bed in the closet with the closet being the headboard and using the sides as shelves for books and a couple of sconces. Kinda cozy. Have to wait until we get our house though. Apartment mgrs might not like the idea. ;)

 
At December 27, 2010 at 10:38 PM , Blogger HMB said...

Wonderful!!!!!! I'm so inspired to find your blog as I'm a do it girl too.... have popped you in my favourite blogs!!!

 
At December 28, 2010 at 10:16 AM , Blogger Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

This is such an amazing project! Love it! So sorry for the confusion but my linky on my blog was just a way for me to organize my year in review. I didn't mean to leave it open. Rhoda is having a top projects of 2010 party starting tomorrow morning so feel free to link up then!

 
At January 7, 2011 at 10:35 AM , Blogger Miss B said...

This is a fantastic remodel! You make it look so easy & the results seem professional!

 
At January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM , Blogger julia said...

that totally awesome beautiful

 
At January 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous Wyokemia at LIVE CREATIVE said...

Wow! I absolutely love this idea! What a fantastic little space! Thanks for sharing the step-by-step process!

 
At January 14, 2011 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Tara said...

very impressive!

 
At January 16, 2011 at 10:31 PM , Blogger Tonya said...

Love this transformation! Gorgeous!

 
At January 17, 2011 at 1:15 AM , Anonymous Becky@OrganizingMadeFun said...

I love this! It's simply an amazing transformation and you must smile everytime you go in there!

Becky B.
www.organizingmadefun.blogspot.com
Organizing Made Fun

 
At January 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Kris Mulkey said...

I wish I had an extra closet so I could make a nook like this for my daughter. She would love it! Great job.

 
At January 19, 2011 at 4:28 AM , Blogger Doda said...

Well done you! I wish my little girls room had a closet!! :-)

 
At January 20, 2011 at 11:40 AM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I admire you for your carpentry skills!

 
At January 20, 2011 at 2:28 PM , Blogger Julie said...

OMG....love it...first time visitor to your site, love it, I will pass your site on at my site.
my site is...
http://lifeatfirelakecamp.blogspot.com

 
At January 21, 2011 at 9:26 AM , Blogger { The Painted Home } said...

I love this! I have the same magazine pages ripped out of that magazine. That house is amazing and if I didn't know it I'd think your house was the magazine. Fab job!
d e n i s e

 
At January 24, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Kira =] said...

Oooh! I can't wait to get in a home with an extra closet so I can do this!! Very awesome and love all the pictures! So glad I'm not the only one that's handier with tools

 
At February 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Blogger The Crafty Side Of Life said...

I am SO jealous!! WOW! Great job!! Love the colors and the stars!

Please come over and enter my giveaway!!
Thanks!
Amy

 
At February 13, 2011 at 8:48 AM , Blogger Libby said...

2 thumbs up and a circle snap!! LOL! That is fabulous!!

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home