Monday, December 13, 2010

An Honest Solution

There are very few rooms in my house that haven't gone through some attempt at make-over (essentially the basement and an upstairs walk-in closet.) I started to work in the basement last fall—applying a sealer to the laid stone foundation and a fresh coat of paint to the floor—but had to stop short because of the increasing cold temperatures. You'll see more of that project when spring returns. As for the upstairs closet, I ran out of excuses not to tackle the project this month.

The closet was originally built into a low-sloping, front-facing dormer, giving it a generous foot print (5' X 9') but gradually diminishing height. Among its positive features, the closet was separated from the bedroom by a door and had a double hung window providing daylight and ventilation. The negatives were peeling wallpaper, cracking plaster, and three sliding doors that had become so warped that only one of the doors was able to perform the job for which is was named.

Here is the closet now (right). I hung drywall, taped and plastered the seams, and cut the doors, using the straightest pieces to create a make-shift wood frame to hold a hanging clothes pole. You can still see the brass thumb pulls that served the original doors.

My dream for the space would be to have a modern-day Shaker carpenter build a floor-to-ceiling wall of units with sleek, flat-fronted drawers, storage cabinets and compartments, and a door-fronted hanging closet. Of course, now that I look at the closet in this photo—uncluttered and clean, it already seems to reflect a Shaker-like aesthetic: necessary and useful . . . and in its simple honesty . . . beautiful.

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