There was the time I painted it a too-bright “grellow” and then added red storage bins to accidentally give it a hideous Christmas effect. I repainted and added hooks and it looked much better, but then the shelves got cluttered too quickly and the hooks were overloaded.
I’m not surprised I’m still tweaking it, five years into this house, because this closet has a big job to do: holding coats, shoes, mittens, hats, backpacks, purses and miscellany for four people. Thanks to Canada’s unpredictable weather, this means each person often needs three different jackets in a single week — not to mention different footwear, splash pants, snow pants and maybe an umbrella.
The latest installment had me using white laundry baskets on the shelves to hold overflow jackets and shoes, and the adult shoes were jumbled together on the floor. I finally decided enough was enough. The hooks were working, but I needed to drop a bit of cash in order to take it to a more “completed” level.
I took out the hodgepodge of storage baskets and laundry baskets and upgraded to a matching set of dark rattan baskets — one for each family member — that would fit across the main shelf. (I actually used a tape measurer and everything so I could buy the largest possible bins, which is kind of hilarious since I don’t measure anything for woodworking projects.) I also bought a coordinating set of smaller lined baskets for the top shelf.
Our son and daughter each have bins installed on the side walls of the closet for their shoes, as well as a bin each for hats, mittens and sunglasses (and random whistles, I discovered one day). That solution was working perfectly, but there wasn’t a shoe area for me and my husband — other than kicking ’em off and shutting the closet doors. I bought a $20 white shoe rack to give our shoes a resting spot, but this might be a temporary solution. I’m still brainstorming something prettier.
With the inside of the closet taken care of, it was time to jazz up the outside. I’d been dying to paint the inside of our front door (it’s just white metal at the moment) because I think black doors are striking. But with a little puppy scratching at it to be let outside, I figured the paint job would be ruined before anyone could admire it.
Painting the closet doors black was a happy compromise, since they’re directly across from the front door. I lifted them off their tracks, carried them onto the porch, and started painting (“Coal Black” by Fusion Mineral Paint).
I didn’t sand or prime so the first coat was pretty streaky, but the second coat covered beautifully — despite it being a freezing cold day! I carried them back inside a couple of hours later and re-hung them, and let them continue to dry overnight in the warmth.
I couldn’t believe the difference every time I walked by or even just saw the doors out of the corner of my eye. They were so bold! So fancy! I’d swapped out the builder-basic brushed nickel knobs with beautiful white ceramic knobs with brass leafing, and they looked so posh against the matte black.
Full disclosure: I thought I might like the doors a bit distressed, to go with the urban farmhouse feel of our place. But as soon as I tried sanding the edges of one of the panels, I knew the doors were better solid black. They looked like damaged new doors rather than worn old doors, so I repainted that area.
Our entryway doesn’t have any furniture or even much wall space, but the newly painted closet doors add some drama and interest when you walk in. Now I’m itching to paint more doors black! You should totally try it. (Really.)
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