Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Renovation 101

In true European style houses here are traditionally built without closets. How else could those 4 kids get into the land of Narnia?? They needed a wardrobe! (or armoire if you will) Well, we have 3 bedrooms and no armoires built yet, so everything was folded and put back in certain boxes. I have nothing but admiration for the simplicity of an organized life without closets, but I just have to have somewhere to put those Christmas decorations and clothes that will fit the kid next year!

Life in boxes leaves something to be desired, because the item you need right away is inevitably at the bottom of the box! Some friends let us babysit 3 of their bookshelves, which in a matter of minutes were converted into a sort of 'closet' with stacks of shirts and pants for each bedroom.

Meanwhile Kent installed in our bedroom built-in shelving (currently housing my growing collection of cookbooks). With concrete walls it's not too complicated to drill in small supports, measure your boards, finish them and voila! shelving. It's far easier to line something up on the wall than to build a stand-alone piece that can never be exactly square (and may not look square against a slightly crooked wall even if it really is, in fact, square!)

Anna's room is by far the smallest at about 7 ft x 10 ft, and one day a design for built-in shelving across the short side came to me. Kent made it happen. I painted it white... a few times, and ta-da! Anna's closet:

Someday we may put a curtain or door on the front, but we're going for function first and I kind of like this look anyway. There was something really wonderful about hanging her dresses up instead of mashing them into another box! The hanging rod is fashioned of cheap PVC pipe leftover from our plumbing expedition and painted black instead of chalk blue/gray. Kent wondered, "So does getting the FIRST closet make up for getting the LAST bed?"

Yes, Anna is still in her PackNPlay. We've been working with the carpenters every few days for almost 2 months. My design was not as simple as it could have been. We were supposed to pick it up yesterday, but Kent found the unfinished pieces still laying around. We ordered it from one of the most talented woodworkers in town, and he does beautiful work, but he sets his own schedule... because he can.

The bed will happen.


Now I just need to paint her walls...

But I'll save my saga with "blue lagoon" local paint for another post on another day!

1 comment:

Brittany Martin said...

I'm very impressed with your clever "closet"! When you're done maybe you could pass tips on to those with teeny, tiny closets and no storage space (like ourselves). Maybe a Do-It-Yourself IKEA?