This is the second installment of Quarantine Makeover! A segment where I trick myself into deep cleaning and organizing every room of my house by redecorating it.
Before we get into the projects and what this looks like now. Let's all take a good look at how terribly messy and sad this room was to start.
Project 1: The Closet
The Plan: So there are a few issues with this room right off the bat. The biggest project being my closet. It's just kind of a mess and being at home all the time means I'm really only cycling through 2 different outfits and not even using most of what's in my closet. So my plan for this is to remove everything from the closet, give it a really good vacuum and clean out, a fresh coat of paint, some new organization, and before putting anything back into the closet I need to do the Marie Kondo method and pick up each and every item of clothing I own and decide if it's bringing me joy. There's also the issue of better storing winter items since it's basically already summer here in New Orleans and I won't be needing a jacket again until December.
What happened: Once I started to clear things out of the closet I realized it was in much worse shape than I had realized. There were patches of plaster that had chipped away and it was just generally grimy and gross in there. First I started to sand away some parts of the walls and shelf that were uneven, then I cleaned everything with a surface cleaner and paper towels, then I patched the chipped plaster. But I didn't want to go get specific materials so I just used what I had on hand which ended up being some dried up plastic wood that I added hot water to turn into a workable consistency and then since disposable gloves are now a hot commodity I used a plastic grocery bag to work it into the wall. It looks bananas in the photo but it actually worked and after a coat of paint you can't tell there was anything wrong.
After giving the closet several coats of paint in yellow and then refreshing the baseboard in white it was looking pretty dang good! The next big task was actually going through every piece of clothing I own. This took 3 days. THREE DAYS. But it was worth it because I feel like I've come up with a much better system for myself. First I want to point out two youtube videos that really helped me to figure out how to handle this whole situation. First, was a Sorry Girls video (I think it's this one? I can't remember at this point) where Kelsey organizes and cleans her house and she mentioned when she was going through her clothes that she hangs up all of her t shirts and tanks because she can never find them in a drawer and then never wears them. For me, this was a game changer. My most worn items are definitely t shirts because I have a ton of them but because they're in a drawer it gets messy and unfolded so quickly that I pretty much always end up wearing whatever is at the top. So this changed my perspective to storing bulkier items in my drawers like jeans and sweaters. The second video I watched was a closet editing video and I really loved her method for how to view your wardrobe and part with items. So first you pull out your everyday items, love it or hate it it's honestly what you wear the most. If you have a rolling rack it's super helpful because you can take things out and see them all lumped together instead of in a pile on your bed like this overwhelming mess.
Second step is pulling out all your nevers, same principle love it or hate it it's the things you never wear whatever the reason may be. But this is the good part, you then categorize your nevers into 3 sections: not right now (this could be seasonal, sentimental, etc), get rid of, or style (you use your everyday items to help you style the things you never wear and take photos so you can remember and reference on your phone). This was insanely helpful for me, I styled up accessories and shoes I never wear and made a huge pile of items that just weren't working and then I also made a huge pile of items to alter or mend.
After realizing I was going to be changing the way I store my clothes and changing up whats inside the dresser drawers I decided I needed some storage units inside my closet to help with smaller things. I had this plastic drawer unit in the garage that I took upstairs and made new by using elmers glue to adhere this fancy wrapping paper to the front of each drawer. I added 3 coats of watered down elmers glue as a sealer on top. I even went back and added these labels so it looks extra cute. This now hold all my pajamas, workout clothes, bras, underwear, socks, and the top drawer hold small things like jewelry and hair ties.
I added this old trunk which has been missing the top for a super long time to use for a shoe storage system.
Lastly, I added a tall basket to store small purses. Larger backpacks are stored behind this so they stand upright and are out of the way.
In the hanging section of my closet I organized my clothes from left to right: dresses and jumpers (this hangs in the middle of my closet and over the purse basket), a couple of light jackets I want to keep handy even in the summer, then tops which are organized by color. At first I didn't think this would be practically but for me it's usually how I decide on what I'm going to wear is first by the color.
The top shelf above the hanging section mostly things I don't use on a regular basis. There's a bag with some winter coats and then there are several bags with heavier throw blankets that I washed and folded away since it's too warm for all those layers and they're just getting covered in dog hair being out right now.
Most of my winter items are now stored in an under the bed storage unit. I shoved almost all of my coats, scarves, and heavier pants in there. This unit used to hold linens like spare bed sheets and curtains which I now have in the top dresser drawer. The middle dresser drawer has all of my bottoms (jeans, shorts, and a couple of skirts) and the bottom drawer has sweaters which I'm happy I kept handy because we actually had some chilly mornings after I did this organization.
I'm still tweaking a few things, I'm not a huge fan of how my jewelry is setup inside the closet but I think I'll get it worked out. It's the kind of thing you have to live with for a bit to get all the kinks worked out. Overall I'm loving it!! It brings me so much joy to see the gorgeous floral pattern from the shelves and bright yellow!
I also moved all of my costumes to my studio room and look how beautiful and shiny they are all hanging out together!
Project 2: The Skinny Wall
I have been watching a lot of tiny house videos and what you learn is every nook and cranny and weird skinny wall counts! So the wall that makes up the side of my closet is currently wasted on a hat and a piece of art.
What I decided to put here was these 2 metal sheets I've been using for years as a magnet board! I literally just went to home depot and used magnets to figure out which sheets were magnetic. I'm sure I picked whichever was the biggest but still at a cheapo price. I spray painted them black and they have served me well for 7 years now! Easiest diy project ever lol. Since this is a solid wood wall I just used regular screws and nothing heavy duty. Now it has lots of lovely photos and notes.
Rearrange & Clean:
It started with me taking down the curtains and the flags we had up to wash them because I could see the layer of dust. Then when I was on the ladder taking it down I realized the walls and ceiling were SO DUSTY. So I literally vacuumed the walls and ceiling. I feel like once I looked up and realized the amount of dust above my eye level I can't unsee it and now I'm noticing it in every room of this house. After a couple of days of the curtains being down and the flags off the wall I started to see the room differently and I wondered if I could change the layout of the room. It's pretty small so there's not that many ways we can arrange the bed. But I figured even if I don't like it I'll still be able to clean that wall really well without the bed there and then I can move it back. So one day when Andy was at work I moved all of the furniture, took everything off the walls, and literally washed the walls with soapy water. Now I freaking love this setup. It makes the room feel so different and new which after being home everyday for 2 months is something I definitely needed.
Another change that makes this room feel so open and new now is this little corner. The door used to always be half open because we hid our laundry hamper behind there but I did some swapping and was able to move it on the landing to the stairs to the garage which means we can push it completely open. This green chair is a nice bonus and honestly a place to throw our laundry when we don't feel like folding it. Although I was able to clear out this big basket from my studio and we use it for clean laundry instead of just hoping we can carry it all in one handful up the stairs lol.
The Big White Wall:
Although I am calling this room done because it is organized and clean there are two projects I want to do all revolving around the now entirely blank wall!
So I had a lot of thoughts about this. First I was like oooooh yes I have it. I want to make a big giant installation art piece. How about one of those crazy photo backdrops you see at parties or weddings. A big fringey wall hanging. Or I saw this really cool backdrop someone made for their wedding using chicken wire and then folding pieces of paper and putting it inside. What about a vertical garden with moss and ferns. Giant oversized prints. An entire wall that's a photo. Wallpaper. Fabric as wallpaper. Building a giant frame like 5'x10' and painting some abstract shapes but then encouraging (guests when that's a thing again) to paint their own shapes on it so it could be like an interactive piece of artwork that all of our friends are a part of. And then I was like PUMP THE BRAKES. Any of the things I'm thinking about means more crap I have in my house. A 5'x10' piece of art means I would literally have to destroy it to take it out of this house because that's not fitting past our porch. And even if it would, do I want to make and then carry around something that massive for however long?? None of these ideas felt sustainable so I basically settled on painting something.
After going down a lot of Pinterest rabbit holes I've mostly settled on the idea of painting a paint by number/vintage illustration kind of mural on the wall! My favorite by far is the western cowboy riding to devils tower in that minty color. I like how the illustration is just 3 colors which would make purchasing paint super easy and ensure that this wall isn't too overwhelming if it has too many colors going on. I like how calm this room is so far and don't want the mural to be too loud. I like the western images because they're a little weird and kitschy versus just a regular landscape scene. I think my plan will be to scour Etsy for a vintage postcard or print and then after purchasing that I can project it onto the wall. I'm finding inspiration on Pinterest but not a clear image I can use to project.
The second project is to rig our projector so that it's permanently setup and we can watch movies in bed! I'm going to include a photo below of the rig I'm going to try to recreate. The projector is stored in a box with a latch that you can open and folds out to be a little shelf for the projector to play and then you hide all the cords in a plastic channel that adheres to the wall. Once I have it all figured out and know the setup will work for us I'll start researching some designs on how to paint and decorate the little box shelf but I'm already kind of thinking a vintage folksy design.
I will also have to either make or most likely purchase a pull down projection screen when I paint a mural on the wall so that we can project onto a clean white surface.
Also I need to putty all the nail holes in this room. I don't know if you can see them in the photos but you definitely can tell they're there in real life. I don't have any white wall filler but it will get done!
References and Links:
- My Interior Decorating Pinterest Board
- The Vintage Cowboy Tumblr (vintage western images)
- Tomorrow & Beyond Tumblr (more vintage western images)
- Vintage Revival Paint By Number Mural
- Closet Editing Video
- Sorry Girls cleaning video
- Instructables Hidden Projector Setup
- How to Hide Wires
- Chicken Wire & Paper Back Drop
Thanks for reading! Tell me what you would put on a big blank wall in the comments!