{coat closet turned built in shelving}

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I did this project a few months ago – i will try to do the best i can to describe how i did it…i get lots of emails about this closet and i am sorry that it has taken me so long to post about it!!  The next thing that i get a billion (yes, that’s a slight exaggeration, but i do get a lot) of emails about is my room – I am making a promise that i will post about that in the next week – ahhhhh…the pressure!!!

OK, so what i had goin on was a space filled with doors – seriously 5 doors!!!  (laundry, coat closet, broom closet, bathroom, and garage).  I never liked looking at all those doors, and new homes are seriously lacking character – so i decided to make a closet a little more functional and cute to boot :)

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I started by removing the door – and there was one shelf in the closet that had to be removed – it was done very, very carefully by my son Kdin (ummmm – he knocked that thing out in about three swings – maybe he was angry that day?)

Maybe i shouldn’t post a picture with such a dorky face?!  He REALLY is a pretty handsome boy – just trust me…

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Then to make the closet look like a built in – instead of just some shelves in a closet, i popped off the door jamb.  Just run a razor down the caulk line and then it will pop off real easy

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Then, i framed in the entire closet so my shelves wouldn’t be so big – make sense?  I just doubled up a couple of 2×4’s and used my framing nailer – cuz I’m a cool like that

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I also dropped the ceiling down because the ceiling in there was 10 feet like the rest of the house – again i wanted to make it look like a built in and didn’t want to look in there and not see a ceiling – am i making sense here?!!

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After everything was framed up, i put bead board sheets up on three sides

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See that stash of crap in that basket thingy?  That’s another reason that i had to do this closet – i was sick of seeing that mess :)

Then i measured where i wanted my shelves to be – and i determined that measurement by my baskets that i had already bought (@ TJ Maxx)

All i did for the cleats (fancy word for shelf supports) is leftover MDF sheeting cut down to size – then i used wood glue and a brad nailer to attach them to the bead board and 2×4 studs

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Next i put in MDF for my shelves

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See those gaps?  Im not picky so those were just filled with putty and sanded down – you would never even know ;)

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Then, i filled all my nail holes, caulked the seams, added some decorative molding on the front of the shelves,  sanded, painted, painted and painted some more – i HATE painting bead board

See the cute molding?  That really finishes it off and makes it BEE-UUU- TIFULLLL

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You can see here that i added a piece of molding on the bottom and raised my bottom shelf to cover the floor – also adds to the “built in” factor

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So now its all done (except for one more little frame that i need to get).  Here are some random pics for your viewing pleasure :)

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By the way – everyone has their own basket for hats, gloves, etc.  The top basket is for the dog – and the bottom basket is for stuff that is to be donated.  And i have to say that i love that bottom basket being there – especially since its so close to the laundry room and usually its outgrown clothes that we are donating :)

I also added a cute little thrift store chandelier in place of the can light – love it

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See how framing in the closet to make it smaller made a difference?  Otherwise the bead board would be way back and you wouldn’t even be able to see its cuteness :)

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Directly across from the built-in closet…another project for another day….. :)

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So, i am sure that i left out a ton of stuff – if you have a question leave it in the comments or send me an email

By the way – i lined all the basket bottoms with felt so they wouldn’t scratch up the shelves – just so you know :)

Anyways, that is my attempt @ making my house have a little more of that “old house charm” that i love – i love the closet and its so much more functional than what we had goin on before.  I have one more closet that is going to get this same treatment…one day :)

I will be linking up to these parties

40 replies
  1. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    Wow, I just love it. You are so clever! I am a bit scared of the compression nail guns but you go girl!!! The bead board and moulding are lovely touches. ;-)

  2. Gifts of Serendipity
    Gifts of Serendipity says:

    Pure unadulterated genius!

    You are way, way more creative and clever than I could ever imagine myself being.

    What I love is that I can show these images to a handyperson in my life and say 'See it's that easy!'.

    Thank you for sharing & inspiring!

    Felicity x

  3. Miranda
    Miranda says:

    Great idea! You did a fantastic job. Even though I know it wasn't easy, you sure made it look simple. It totally looks like an old house built in. Nice work!

  4. Susan
    Susan says:

    You really thought that project through. I never would have guess that it wasn't a built-in. It looks great and gives your home a lot of character.

  5. Anna @ Take the Side Street
    Anna @ Take the Side Street says:

    Love it! I've actually been wanting to do something similar to our dumb little 60's hallway linen closet for some time now… perhaps you've inspired me to get my behind in gear? ;)

  6. hcrjfrandall
    hcrjfrandall says:

    Love this idea! I have just the hall closet to do that with! Where did you find the molding to edge the shelves?
    thanks for sharing :0)

  7. Sausha @ {show and tell}
    Sausha @ {show and tell} says:

    Thanks everyone – the molding that i trimmed the closet with was purchased @ lowes – it is their pre-primed stuff. I love it – i use this same molding for all of my bead board trim in my house :)

  8. The Other Me Is Sane
    The Other Me Is Sane says:

    Well done. Looks like it was always there. You are super handy. I'm going to attempt to tackle the laundry room shelves and make them look more built in.

  9. Kim
    Kim says:

    FABULOUS!!!!!! you've inspired to me to tackle the close in my scrapbook room but I need all the space so there won't be any shrinking of the closet, just shelf adding :) THANKS!!!!

  10. Christa @ Stories of a House
    Christa @ Stories of a House says:

    Sausha, you are amazing. I wish you could teach me how to build stuff! I am in love with everything in that space. It looks like you built another riser to use as a bench, with pretty baskets underneath. That's another great use of those risers. I'm so glad you linked up!

  11. Michelle@Somedaycrafts
    Michelle@Somedaycrafts says:

    Loved this when i first saw it. Glad you posted a tutorial. I wish I had a closet in our bathrooms to do this too. (Our house is too old for closets!!!) I featured this tonight at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  12. Kari @ Ucreate
    Kari @ Ucreate says:

    I'm sure you're sick of hearing how amazing you are…but this is jaw-dropping cool!! Love, love, love your blog!!

  13. Shaunna
    Shaunna says:

    Loved this project….I'm all over some coordinating baskets. :) Thanks for your sweet comment about the blog…it has become quite my passion, as writing always has been. So good to "chat" with you!! -shaunna :)

  14. The Painted Rooster
    The Painted Rooster says:

    I love it. I plan to use your instructions to make a laundry area in our master closet. Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

  15. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    Oh! I love it! Just lovely. We have a narrow entryway closet that is non functional and this would be a great solution. I found you through Melissa's link on 320 Sycamore…

    Audrey :-)

  16. Katy @ Riveting Art
    Katy @ Riveting Art says:

    This is absolutely AMAZING! I have a hallway closet that I'd love to try this with. I'm adding you to my tumblr for later! Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. ScoringDeals
    ScoringDeals says:

    I just found you blog and I love it! I love what you did with the closet!

    I just have one question, does the molding (for the trim) have to be the same width as the shelves?

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Seriously!? you are amazing. I would never think to do this. We are looking to buy a new home in the Salt Lake valley and everything looks the same, no character..
    Maybe I'll be able to add more personal touches like this. Thanks for these ideas! So happy I found your site!!

  19. Sarah N
    Sarah N says:

    Sometimes, I wish I had a friend like you to come to my house and inspire me…I can do this, but need someone to tell me what to do. Love!!

  20. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Can you give a quick little explanation on how you “dropped” the ceiling. I have two stupid closets on either side of the fireplace I have wanted to do this to for a long time and need a little advice.

    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      i just attached a wood board around the 3 sides of the closet then i put the piece of wood up to the boards (underneath them) and just attached it that way (doing it that way made the 3 boards disappear, because they were now up inside the closet and i just had a nice flat ceiling) – does that make any sense?!

  21. Kristina
    Kristina says:

    Out of curiosity, how much weight do you think that shelves constructed using this method could hold? I’d love to do something similar for a small built in bookshelf (our old house has weird nooks in the living room!) but worry about the weight issue. The length would be a bit longer too– more like 36″. I’ve never done something like this before, but you make it seem doable

  22. April
    April says:

    I been wanting to paint the bead board in my sons room but when i spoke to the workers at the home repair store they gave me a thousand steps i would have to do before painting since it has a shiny finish. How did u paint yours?

  23. deb
    deb says:

    I cant tell how you dropped the ceiling. Also when you framed it in I guess you just need to add those 2 x 4’s to the back of it? And how do you add that piece in the front on the bottom? Did you add that last after the bottom shelf was on and just nail through that shelf? Is is sturdy? Thanks! Planing on doing this very soon myself!

    • deb
      deb says:

      Oh and those supports you put in to hang the shelves… did you decide to put in a vertical piece in the back to hide the paneling seams?

  24. deb
    deb says:

    Oh and those supports you put in to hang the shelves… did you decide to put in a vertical piece in the back to hide the paneling seams?


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