Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Closet turned reading nook

H has a very awkward closet in her room that I have struggled with for years. It is 28" wide and 34" deep with an offset 24" doorway.  In one corner is a heat vent that goes into the room that was added onto the house long before we moved in.

Here you can see the vent with a shelf that was installed in one of my attempts at making this into a useful space.

So I came up with the idea of making this into a reading nook. H LOVES books and I want to do anything I can to encourage that love. We began by taking everything out of the closet and relocating those items (which mostly consisted of old toys, dress-up clothes and accessories).

I still want to have some storage available so my plan is to use 2 Closetmaid units with a platform built over them (but not supported by them). Curtains, cushions and some lighting and viola a reading nook.  Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself here. We are on a tight budget so we've collected the pieces we needed over several weeks.  First the storage units.

 Momma's little helper!!

Both pieces are from the ClosetMaid White Laminate Stacking Storage collection.  Bottom Unit
Top Unit 

So we dry fit them into the space, hung some curtains to see how it looks and of course found a slight problems. An electric wire (live) running inside the closet. I really don't want to mess with electric and it's right in the way of my storage units :(  It's just enough that the drawers won't open.

 Hmmmm, going to have to think about this for awhile and find a solution.

Fast forward another couple of weeks. Our work around was to build a small platform which raises the storage pieces above the electric line. This adds about 4 1/2" to the overall height but I believe that was our best option. This puts our overall height at 32". For our platform we recycled the door that we took off of the closet since it was a nice sturdy piece of 3/4" wood (not plywood either, this was an old solid piece of wood!).

After cutting the pieces for the platform and all the support pieces we were ready to go (sorry didn't get any pictures). Since 2 out of the 3 walls are plaster we didn't want to attach supports directly to those walls. The 3rd wall (on the right) is wood so we attached a 2x4 cleat to that wall. The rest of our supports (3 of them) were made by cutting 'legs' 32 1/4" and attaching them to a 20" piece using 3" wood screws and wood glue (again using 2x4's). We also attached a small cleat to the inside of the door frame on the left.

Look closely and you can see the braces.

Once all of the support pieces were in place and the platform was screwed down we set the storage units in place.

We weren't really happy with the lack of support in the front, just above the storage units. It really sagged when hubby climbed up. So we added another piece of board on top of the units for added support.

You can see the added piece here as hubby was taking a break. This will be covered up later with some trim.

Ok, now on to the fun stuff. Making it pretty and comfy!!!

H did not like the original pink curtains that I had previously hung. Instead she selected these shimmery pink and purple ones (because the wall on the left is an outside wall and is not well insulted I hung the pink insulted curtain behind the new ones, shhhhh she'll never know!).

 For now I just threw her old comforter in there as a cushion.

So that's where we're at so far. It's alittle taller than I originally intended so she does need a step stool to climb up. With as fast as she is growing that is only temporary!! We still need to hang the light inside, add some trim and pick out fabric for the cushion. Overall I am very happy with our weekend progress!! I might just sneak in there for some quiet reading time myself!!!

Update: The light has been hung. I just took a light we already had, added some butterflies on fishing line (which were from her birthday party) and viola lighting!

Now my original intention was to just have this sheer curtain at the opening. It would give some privacy but still let in light and air.

But Noooo H doesn't want it that way! Well, it's her room and her reading nook so the solid pink curtain went back up with the sheer over it.

 We just need to find the right fabric for the cushion, add some trim and call it a day!! Baby steps, baby steps. :)