Like the majority of older homes, our house is closet-deficient. With the exception of the kitchen pantry, there are no closets on the first floor, and just a tiny closet in each of the four bedrooms upstairs. We’re lucky enough to have enough space to spare that we were able to turn the smallest of those bedrooms into a dressing room, but it’s difficult to find hidden storage large enough for things like records, winter coats, and Evan’s guitars and amplifiers.
Next to the dressing room, though, is a roughly 3′x6′ space behind a door that has gone to waste for a very long time. The walls were never finished beyond a thin coat of unpainted plaster, there was no ceiling, and as far as we can tell, it has never served as anything other than an access point to the attic (via ladder). After having our contractor install pull-down stairs in the hallway (a job that we knew was well beyond our level of ability/stamina), we’ve gone ahead with the task of converting the wasted space behind the door into—you guessed it—a closet! A huge closet!
Evan and the Closet Fairy (hmmm…a questionable nickname, perhaps, but let’s go with it) built a framework for the ceiling out in the back yard, then carried it upstairs to fasten it to the walls. So much smarter than building it in place! We can thank the Closet Fairy for that bit of genius. (THANK YOU, CLOSET FAIRY!)
It’s really tricky to take photos of this space (especially since opening the door completely blocks off all natural light from the area), but this is a view of the ceiling with the drywall in place. The electrical box is for a light, obviously!
The never-painted plaster walls are in good enough shape that they only needs some screws for stability and a skim-coat of joint compound. We try to preserve the original plaster in the house wherever possible. We’re not fans of using drywall unless absolutely necessary.
Looking down. The floor is covered with very old, nailed-down sheet linoleum that has seen better days. With old linoleum, there is always a strong likelihood that asbestos is nearby (either in the lino itself, the adhesive, or in the backing paper used between the lino and the wood floor underneath), so we’re going to just leave everything in place and put down FLOR tiles on top. (Asbestos doesn’t pose a risk if you leave it undisturbed and undamaged. Better to contain and cover than to risk improper removal!)
We haven’t decided yet if we’re going to keep this charming bit of graffiti that’s scrawled on one of the closet-to-be’s walls. I’m hoping this was written by an adult with bad handwriting rather than a 6-year-old, but you never know. It’s kind of like “an apple a day” for bad neighborhoods.
Here’s hoping we can finish up this little project by the end of June! In the mean time, shut the door and it all disappears.