Since our house needs some big improvements and we’re saving our pennies for those I’m focused on smaller projects that are both fun and cheap. The results are some dramatic visual changes while we save up for those pesky “not fun, but necessary and have to spend a small fortune on them” improvements.
Over a period of two weeks I’ve been working on my 11 year old’s closet. An odd thing to focus on it seems, but stick with me. I shared our tween bedroom inspiration board last week, and the closet was part one of the makeover.
Closet Paint and Design
I started by pulling everything out of her closet including the wood shelves and wood supports, the clothes bar, and all.the.stuff. In case you didn’t know tweens have a lot of things. Next we went through her clothes, accessories, and doodads, and got rid of some items that ether no longer fit or were worn out.
Then while she was away for the weekend I spent a few hours carefully spackling the walls where the wood supports had been. They were raw drywall and needed something to cover them up before primer went on.
I sanded them down well, then spackled again, then sanded, then spackled. I think I did it a total of 5 times in some areas. It’s still not 100% perfect but in the interest of time and my own sanity I called it good enough. It is a closet after all.
Next I primed the walls twice. The previous owners had everything painted flat white and I think the closets were never painted aside from their first coat 40 some odd years ago and that white.
Next we decided on a concept. We started with the idea of a base coat and adding some fun color to the walls. Somehow we agreed on polka dots, and the idea for giant polka dots in her closet was born.
For the base coat I chose White Dove by Benjamin Moore, color matched in EasyCare platinum for the cost savings at our local True Value. I painted two coats on, and painted the baseboards with a white semigloss that I had on hand. Already it looked brighter and more appealing.
Now we were ready for the fun part. We headed to ACMoore to pick up a polka dot stencil, but while we were in the store Emma floated the idea of stripes. So we left and headed to Home Depot to pick out colors.
After scouring the oops paints (they sell these for $1-10) we decided to go with something a bit more simple. We chose two colors. One was the same color as her walls (we used every drop of paint when we painted her room), Robin’s Egg by Glidden in eggshell, and for contrast Emma picked Youthful Coral from Behr (in eggshell as well). We got quarts of both in Behr based on the recommendation of the guy behind the counter.
We got home and dived into the project. As soon as we started mapping out the stripes I knew I was in trouble. I read a few tutorials online, watched a video, and got my FrogTape. I was determined by the vision I had in my head of varying width stripes for a bold background to her closet. The math, the leveling of the lines in a tight space, and the amount of time it would take didn’t faze me. It wasn’t until the first stripe was up that I realized how hard it would be. It was NOT pretty. Defeated I talked it over with Emma.
We agreed that polka dots would be better than bad stripes. Maybe she agreed because she was pretty ready to have her closet back, but either way back to ACMoore we went to get our polka dot stencil.
Then I went for it. I didn’t measure or plan, I just put a giant dot on the wall in Youthful Coral and showed Emma. We loved it, so I just kept going. There are 3 dots on each side wall and 6 in the center. They are opposite colors, though it’s hard to make out in the picture, it’s basically blue-coral-blue-coral and coral-blue-coral-blue. The sides of the closet have 2 dots across and the same 4 dots up and down.
I managed to fix the stripe at the bottom by turning into one large strip and any imperfections are hidden by the storage we added.
I bought the quarts of paint because stripes would need a lot of paint, but dots only require a small amount so sample sizes would have worked.
Walls: Robin’s Blue from Glidden in a Satin finish.
Baseboards: off the shelf white in semi-gloss.
Base Coat: White Dove in Eggshell finish by Benjamin Moore color matched in EasyCare paint.
Dots: Youthful Coral and the same Robin’s Blue from Glidden color matched to Behr paint from Home Depot in Eggshell.
Fashion Bar and Clothes Storage
I wanted to create clothes storage but also give her room on top for jewelry, lip gloss, and a few trinkets. I envisioned it as a low storage unit that was short enough that she could stand or sit at it. We started calling it her ‘Fashion Bar’ since she is a fashionista and loves to dress up.
After searching online and at several stores we were planning to go with another option from Ikea that would need some adjustments. Then we happened on the Stuva storage collection in the kids section. It was an exact fit! No need to add extra pieces to the side or leave empty space. High fives all around.
While I had plenty of bins on hand Ikea had the perfect fit for the storage container with the Kusiner storage bins. Mesh on the side for breathability, the perfect height and width, and the colors matched her room. We also purchased a Kusiner compartment bin that holds all her rainbow loom bracelets among other things. We used the other storage bins on her bookshelf for things like hats and scarves.
Since it’s a dark closet we added a hanging pendant lamp to brighten up the space. Next we hung a mirror with dots for primping and accessorized with bowls and a jewelry box keep things organized. A plant and a few knick knacks finish off the space.
Here is the closet makeover!
And the before and after.
From another angle:
And one last view.
While this project took a lot of time and labor the cost was reasonable and the results are awesome! Emma uses her desk chair to sit and use the mirror, and has been able to keep her clothes tidy and neat thanks to the storage.
We don’t have much need for hanging space, but I plan to spray paint some hooks that used to be in the closet in similar colors to the dots for hanging coats or the occasional dress or shirt.
- One gallon Easy Care Platinum Paint (White Dove in Eggshell) and paint supplies: $40
- Two quarts dot paint: $28
- Baseboard paint: $0 (already had on hand)
- Stuva frames: $58 ($29/each)
- Stuva shelves: $10 ($5/each)
- Kusiner storage containers: $30.94 ($4.99 for mesh bins, $5.99 for compartment bin)
Total Storage: $98.94
- Ikea Mirror: $19.99
- Target bowls: $0
- Plant and pot: $0
- Jewelry Box: $0
- Light: $0
Total Accessories: $19.99
Total Cost: $186.93
To replicate this project but save more you could save more by using ‘oops’ paints or paint samples, accessories you have on hand already, and finding cheaper storage options. For me it was worth the extra money for the storage pieces that work since they will be used for years to come.