Building Closets in a 1900 Home

I don’t usually post twice in one week (because I don’t have two posts’ worth of stuff), but I also don’t want to be recapping this weeks after it happens in order to keep blog posts going, so here! Second post of the week!

When we bought this house in 2012, Peter convinced me to make the room right off our kitchen the bedroom. Then, we moved upstairs, partly because the bedroom upstairs had a closet, and partly because of other reasons I don’t remember.

We moved back downstairs (next to the kitchen) after our son was born because we decided to co-sleep and needed more space for his crib to push up against our bed.

Earlier this year, though, I realized how much better the flow of the house would work if we a) moved to the other large room on the first floor, which was being used as the living room, and b) sealed off the doorway between that room and the dining room. So here’s a quick pictorial rundown of that shift.

Original living room.
Original bedroom, in the middle of the switch.
Bedroom a few days ago, including laundry, Hobbes, Foxy, and the back of the dining room cabinet, which we used to close off the doorway.
Dining room with a mostly finished cabinet blocking the original doorway to the new bedroom.

So, the biggest issue with the new bedroom set-up (and the old one, for that matter) was the lack of closet space. Old homes, as a rule, have very few closets, which makes sense, because people had very few articles of clothing. Neither of the rooms on the first floor were originally bedrooms, so neither of them had closets. We were using the laundry room as a closet, but I wanted to make sure we had closets in the new bedroom for two reasons: I wanted closets, and I wanted to be sure we could call that room a bedroom when we sell the house.

Peter also liked the idea of getting the laundry room as a tiny little in-house shop once the clothes were out. The things I do for that man. Or, let him do, I guess.

Pete and I hemmed and hawed, and eventually, with the help of a little research (which is a fancy word for Pinterest-ing and obsessively reading home blogs and Old House Journal), we settled on something like this to solve the closet problem:


The design called for closets on either side of the (now sealed-off) dining room door, with paneled doors and shelving/storage between the closets. We’d put our queen bed between the two closets, leaving plenty of room for someone to put a king bed there if they wanted to.

We started the project over the holidays, and the closets themselves are now finished. The doors will take a bit of work, as Pete will build them from scratch.

Closets go up…


Peter built a box between the closets. It now has a storage compartment above it and space for lamps or whatever else on either side of the bed.
Pete started adding trim to the top…
Moulding on the tops of the closets and above the shelf.

So, the main structure of the closets is built. I filled nail holes in on Wednesday evening, and the next step is painting. That’ll be another post, because settling on a color for a room with a turquoise milk painted ceiling has taken me literally years.