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Dumpster Diaries: Upstairs Kitchen Into Walk-In Closet for Master Bedroom Redo Ideas

this is the very pale peach color I plan to make from the leftover orange paint I used in the backroom. It will make a nice, soothing color in the closet.

this is the very pale peach color I plan to make from the leftover orange paint I used in the backroom. It will make a nice, soothing color in the closet.

For those just tuning in, my house is 103 yrs. old and was turned from a single family dwelling into a 2 flat in 1929, as the Great Depression hit. We are the first family since then to live on both floors as one house. The master bedroom currently has NO closet space- instead, we have another kitchen off the room (as well as an amazing sleeping porch and back stairway entrance).

As I was laying quietly in bed tonight, waiting for Maisie to fall asleep, my game plan for the upstairs walk in closet came to me. Until now, I just resigned myself to the idea of quickly throwing shelving and hanging systems in there and calling it good, but that no longer suits me.

While I still want to do this on the cheap, I now want to put a BIT of effort into it.

Here’s my current plan:

1. Remove every item from the kitchen. Give the appliances away.
2. Cap off the gas line and water lines
3. Rip out the bottom shelves and sink
4. Use whatever leftover orange Behr paint I have from the downstairs back room and mix it with lighter paint from the storage to make a nice peach colored shade. Why peach? It looks good next to my skin and is a warm, soothing color.
5. Patch the crumbling holes and spackle room; paint the entire thing peach
6. Install all the closet hardware systems
7. Use whatever large area carpet I have left on the floors over the old linoleum-
8. Add a middle of the room table/folding island
9. Make a sewing area
10. Hang a full length mirror on the door
11. Hang clothes-
12. Install makeup vanity and move my makeup into this room (I *NEED* a dedicated makeup place- so that my makeup is no longer in the downstairs ‘public’ bathroom)

similar to the heavy steel framed office desk his parents gave him- but much nicer (the photo).

similar to the heavy steel framed office desk his parents gave him- but much nicer (the photo).

I plan to repurpose an old, HEAVY steel framed office desk into an industrial sized makeup vanity in that room. I have A TON OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS that require storage. The desk will get a thorough cleaning (to remove years of nicotine stains et al, because R’s parents used to smoke like chimneys) and plexiglass will be put over the top, for easier cleanup. If I am feeling ambitious- which I doubt- I may paint it all, too.

The GREAT thing about using an old office desk as a vanity is that the top has ENORMOUS space. I want to buy some nifty clear cosmetics organizers and this thing will be my new ‘countertop’. It doesn’t have to be pretty- I am going for functional and FREE here… which will leave me more $$ to buy the chair I want for the vanity. It’s a reproduction mid-century modern design (I think Eames) and is a steal on Amazon right now-

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I want this to be the chair for my reclaimed steel desk makeup vanity-

I am hoping, hoping, hoping that we will be able to finish all these projects BEFORE the dumpster goes back in 10 days.

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Dumpster Diaries: Turning the upstairs kitchen into a closet room/sewing room

My house is 103 years old. Originally, it was built by a German wagon maker as a single family dwelling. In 1929, with the Great Depression looming, the owners turned it into 2 flats. It spent almost 80 years as apartments.

Instead of having a closet off the master bedroom upstairs, I have an extra kitchen that I don’t need.

My oldest son, S, asked if he could move back home a couple of weeks ago. He’d been living in Chicago for many years (he left home 6 years ago). I was suddenly faced with the dilemma of having a boomerang child who needed his own private space (he works from home) IMMEDIATELY. My red room/office is filling in for his work area now, but that isn’t private enough for his needs.

Luckily, the house has 7 bedrooms (actual and potential). I was planning to use the former servant’s room off the kitchen for a guest room/play room for Maisie, but it would better suit S right now. I’d been using that back room as a hoarder’s paradise clothing room for us.

The back room has it’s pros and cons. It features a built in cedar closet with loads of storage and drawer space, probably circa 1930s-40s. However, the back wall and ceiling have suffered water damage from a previous flood in the upstairs kitchen/bathroom. We will need to drywall over the damaged plaster with thin sheetrock and paint the entire thing. I did the same thing in Maisie’s room upstairs and it turned out great.

In order to turn the small upstairs kitchen QUICKLY into a walk-in closet, I will need to remove all the furniture that’s being stored in there currently AND get rid of the stove/fridge. I don’t plan on any major painting of this room, just clothing storage. After it’s emptied and cleaned, I will be purchasing Rubbermaid Configurations Closet systems in Titanium. Amazon is having a GREAT sale on them right now.

Offhand, I'd say I need at least 2 of these

Offhand, I’d say I need at least 2 of these

We will probably also buy one of these 10 tier shoe organizers.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven't had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

I am hoping I can pare down to under 50 pairs of shoes. I haven’t had less than a 100 pairs of shoes in decades. Wish me luck.

I will add a large metal desk ‘island’ in the middle- if it fits- for my sewing machine(s) and sewing notions. R’s parents are giving him the desk and it’s the right size to store my machines and things underneath. This island thing also takes a page from my aunt, who has a fancy island in her clothing room. She uses it for folding, etc (her washer and dryer are also in her room… I want to do this eventually, too).

I don’t plan on PRETTY for that giant glorified closet, just organized and serviceable- we still have that back room downstairs to redo. Besides, not many people will actually need to go into that closet once my clothes are in there. Eventually, when we have the time and funds, we’ll do something fancier… until then, I just want to get this done.