Coat Closet Makeover Plan -

Coat Closet Makeover Plan

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I don’t know, it just seems a little dinky to warrant more than one blog post. And “dinky” is an understatement. Or would it be an overstatement? I think maybe it’s both, because I can’t overstate how undersized our coat closet is.

When my babes told me that we (meaning I) would be giving that dinky closet a makeover, I wholeheartedly agreed. We needed more space, but our coat closet just wasn’t delivering. The South may be a lot of things, but The Land of Big Coat Closets ain’t one of them. Coat closets down here are dainty affairs, more suited to a parakeet than a parka. They’re just not built to serve the needs of displaced Northerners with puffy down jackets, insulated boots, furry hats and fat-fingered gloves.

All that cold-weather claptrap offends a Southern closet’s delicate sensibilities, madam!

So while I agreed that some sort of space optimization was certainly in order, I was a little hesitant about taking three blog posts to do it!

Three, madam!

That means one blog post dedicated to the “before” and the “plan” (it’s a coat closet, fer cryin’ out loud!), one dedicated to the storage shelves I’ll be building, and a final post to show off the glorious wonder of our newly-minted and madeover coat closet.

It probably could be addressed in one blog post, but these are busy times here at The Navage Patch, and miniscule though this project is, I’m having to tackle it in fits and starts.

So without further ado, complaint, or questioning, let’s dive into our Magnificent Southern Coat Closet Makeover Plan!

Got a closet. Gonna change it.

There! That about sums it up! See ya next week, folks!


(i need to say more?)

Ho-kay, I’ll try to explain it a little further…

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So this is what we have. It’s a closet. It holds coats.

messy coat closet

Mind you, the coats you see in there only represent some of Handan’s and my coats (not the big ones) and none of Baris’s. Those baskets up top are filled with some of our hats and gloves and scarves (more reside in the basement).

Astute Astrids may notice that my Pottery Barn inspired rustic wooden keys have curiously taken up residence in the coat closet.

messy coat closet

There are more hats and gloves in the basket on the floor. I know, I know, we live in the South now. We really should throw that stuff away or donate it to Goodwill, right?

Yeah, tried that.

The commandant took a dim view of my desire to toss out perfectly good winter-wear. Remember, this is the woman who wore sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt while lounging on our porch in Doha when the temps were in the triples and the humidity was pegged at 100%.

Some people hoard food, water and ammunition for the impending apocalypse.

My babes hoards mittens, scarves and parkas.

I guess if the End of Days arrives with an ice age, she’ll have the last laugh.

messy coat closet

Pay no heed to the garbage bag – it’s full of crumpled up painter’s tape. I’m still painting the the stair banisters, and it’s a convenient place to keep my garbage. Now, for what’s underneath the garbage bag…well, that’s more interesting.

That, my friends, is The Bissell Barfinator. It’s not really called that, but it should be. In fact, I pitched them on the new name a while back. Oddly, I haven’t heard back.

Anyway, Penny and Pepper, our beloved fur jerks, like to eat. A lot. And sometimes what goes down doesn’t stay down. They don’t always barf, but when they do, you can be sure it’s on the most expensive rug in the house.

Remember those beautiful (and cheap) rugs we bought for the kitchen and a few other rooms in the house?

Yeah, never been barfed on. 

But our exotic silk carpets from Afghanistan and The Middle East?

Barf beacons.

Our Pottery Barn rug in the dining room?

5-star barfatorium.

Our soft and fuzzy living room rug?


The Bissell Barfinator is my number one weapon to combat the random acts of retroperistalsis and unsanctioned urinations that every dog owner must contend with from time to time. It will hold a place of honor in our New and Improved (but still Dinky) Southern Coat Closet.

messy coat closet

So here’s the plan. Since I can’t very well call up the builder who cobbled this place together 23 years ago and demand the other half of my coat closet. I’m going to do my best to squeeze a little more storage from the meager space we have.

But first, I’m going to paint it white. Yeesh, it looks like they let loose a nursery school class in there on National Cookies and Crayons Day! The pics don’t do it justice. I’m really confounded as to how they got so many multicolor scuffs on the walls!

empty closet

And here’s the big idea to maximize space-utilization: I’m going to build some storage shelves. The Bissell Barfinator will be housed on the closet floor, and the two wicker baskets pictured above will go on each of the upper shelves. To either side will be small hanger rods. I figure the shrimp’s my wife’s vests will fit down there. Up top, I’ll be moving the hanging rod higher and building a wood shelf above it.

Here’s a high-resolution artist’s conception of what it might look like.

closet plan

Okay, I didn’t want to wait for the second post, so I ripped out the ubiquitous wire shelving (seriously, have you ever seen a house or apartment without it?) and repaired the walls. Yowza, look at those scuffs!

scuffed closet wall

Then I painted everything white – walls, ceiling, trim, all of it in glorious ultra pure white. What a difference already!

painted closet

And that’s it for the plan! I told you it was pretty much, “got a closet, gonna change it.” I’m now about to get busy on that storage unit, so stay tuned for The-Dinky-Southern-Coat-Closet-with-Delusions-of-Grandeur Makeover Part 2: A Shelf is Born (aka The Scrappening).

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  1. Looking forward to this renovations I have THIS closet only it’s shallower!!! ? plus I live in a Cold state, so there are heavy &long winter coats. I have a full size sweeper/vacuum that must live there too. Mine has 2 shelves overhead. It’s a perpetual frustration. Thanks for sharing your ideas. It’s a fun page, & helpful too!

  2. This is hysterical. My hall closet has the exact same “ingredients” … bag for goodwill, stinky vacuum, baskets of winter (but necessary in Chicago) and wall hooks. I look forward to part 2!!

  3. We did a coat closet conversion. My husband, T., who at one time was cabinet/furniture maker remodeled our kitchen about 20 years ago. More open and more cabinet space BUT there had been no pantry so he constructed an armoire which serves as the pantry. Also built me a large island. Abby here LOVES small kitchen appliances and soon had no space to store them in the lovely kitchen.

    We live in south Louisiana probably about 40 miles as the crow flies from the Gulf of Mexico . This year we had a cold winter but that is not the norm so we wouldn’t miss a coat closet. Besides, T took 2 doors and made a hall tree with several hooks where we hang coats. Anyway, I cleared out the closet which had become a giant junk space. I painted the interior, T built shelves and in went my blender with the gazillion attachments, toaster, pressure cooker, portable grill, etc. So functional now – cannot wait to see your closet remake!

    Oh and our irises are blooming!

  4. Southern Louisiana here also. Coat closets are not used much but yours looks deeper than wide, would it make sense to put rod depthwise

  5. Hello Greg and Handan, hope you had a good Easter. In our little bit of the village we all found the Easter bunny had left a beautifully knitted T.pot containing a Terry’s chocolate orange hanging on our gates and just for a change Wales managed to rustle up some decent Easter weather. I desperately neeeeed a bright white coat closet, it looks fabulous already. I have been very bust in the garden filing two enormous raised beds and planning all sorts of other things to make life easier for this creaky old girl rapidly approaching 60 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine! Happy spring to you! I hope you had an enjoyable Easter holiday. Happy to hear your weather is improving and you’re back out in the garden. 🙂