Monday, October 23, 2006

Closet challenges

I live in the lower unit of a "Milwaukee-style" bungalow duplex (scroll down for the description: except that ours is an upper/lower duplex, and the bottom half is sided, it fits the description perfectly). It was built sometime in the early thirties, with generous living spaces, and tiny bedrooms.

The closets, however, are...challenging. The big closet in the foyer currently looks something like this:

The vacuum is out, but you get the idea. It's full of seasonal stuff and folding chairs.

The other closet with a door is in the smaller bedroom. It's stacked with well-organized sewing supplies, as due to the design of the closet, hanging clothes is a little...problematic.

That leaves the closet in the larger bedroom. I use the term "closet" loosely, as this is really the area under the stairs to the upper unit. It's quite nice - fully plastered, painted and carpeted, not to mention sizeable.

This is a view of the closet wall from across the room, with the curtains I usually have covering it pulled partially aside. Note the interesting cutout line along the top of the opening: at the landing level on the right, and a bit higher on the left.

The curtains cover the wall from floor to ceiling, the entire width of the wall. It seemed the best way to deal with the openings.

The task right now is to reorganize the area. I'm about halfway done; where the low dresser and shelves are on the right, the tall chest of drawers used to live. I've swapped those two out in the hope of getting more storage, and so far, it seems to be working.
There is no overhead light in the space, but here is an electrical outlet...on the center post that holds up the corner of the landing. Go figure. Hence, the small table lamp on the dresser. I'm almost 5"4", and get maybe 2" clearance over my head in the under-landing area. Behind the clothes rod in the back the ceiling slopes to within 6" of the floor, but there is room for the suitcases, the big stand fan and (not shown) a very large rubbermaid container of clothes.

The area on the left is today's project. At some point I will get around to putting up a nice closet system on that wall; however, I never seem to have money and ambition at the same time.

If I were the homeowner, I'd frame in that wall, stick a door in it and make that area a funky walk-in, but I'm not going to all that work on a rental. My landlord would do it, if I asked; the length of time it would take him to get around to it, much less to finish it, however, makes me reluctant to ask.

And, yes, since you ask - I'm on vacation this week and I've resorted to cleaning out the closets for fun. Lots of changes and stress going on at work, and one of my reactions to stress is to try to control what parts of my environment I can. So - I clean and reorganize.

Bad picture warning: I'm using my PDA for pictures. Even if I can manage not to blur them, the colors are a bit washed out. The wall in the bedroom is a dark pistachio green, ragged over with purple. You'll have to trust me: if you could see the rest of the room, you'd know it works.

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