We’re experiencing a major switcheroo in rooms around here—primarily to make room for Baby #3. The guest room, now the new nursery, has been re-located to the third floor. There was just one problem with the third floor: it was chockfull of baby gear. We’re talking totes, car seats, strollers, boppys, toys… the list goes on. Not quite the junk-free zone I’d like to give our guests. The third floor is a wide open space too, with zero closed storage, which means there wasn’t a spot to hide our stuff. I’m happy to report we have a solution!
My dad’s Christmas gift to me every year is a DIY build of some kind—like our front porch planters and our basement storage system and this year is the reason for this glorious post: an entire 11′ wall of space to hide the baby gear. *cue the angels singing*
It’s hard to describe which wall we chose, so I’m forced to share with you the hideous picture below. You can see the wall of storage half-done here, but it’s located to the right of the stairs. It’s a good 11′ long. (And if you’re wondering why there is a body bag on the floor, you think too highly of me. I’m told it’s a case for drum stands. Ha!)
There’s one kicker to this project. The majority of stuff I needed to hide were 23″ deep plastic totes. Which meant the shelf itself needed to be at least 24″ deep, therefore requiring it to be the deepest shelf required in all of the world. You know what they don’t make readymade? 24″ deep shelves. Luckily, my dad had a pretty genius extra-deep shelf solution: standard size hollow-core doors. More on that in a minute!
The first thing we did was mark the studs on the wall in preparation for bracket installation. I’m using “we” somewhat loosely here. I was in my first trimester when we did this project and while I tried to help, picture me laying on the floor fully exhausted. I did manage to grab tools as my dad requested them, and carry some stuff around, but beyond that, I wasn’t much help. Bleeeccch. (Love you, Dad.) Anyways, the uneven bracket placement is by design—we had to account not only for the length of the doors, but we also wanted to keep as much height clearance in certain spots for the totes themselves.
With the studs marked, we began to install the brackets. I bought four of these 20″ deep brackets on Amazon to support the weight of the doors. They’re heavyweight, titanium brackets guaranteed to hold 1000 lbs per pair, so our door-shelf-hybrid was child’s play.
The doors are these 24″ x 80″ hollow core doors from Lowe’s. (Ours were a natural finish but the price was the same, about $29 a door.) We went for the cheapest option of the 24″ options, just checking to make sure that no doorknob holes had been pre-drilled. A somewhat related aside—one of the reasons I loved the door idea so much was because it gave the “shelf” some serious thickness, about 1 1/2″, which we would not have been able to achieve with a sheet of plywood.
You’ll notice a 2″ x 4″ along the wall—this was to give our 24″ shelf just a tiny bit more depth, inching it to nearly 25″. I wanted to be sure that the depth of the shelf would cover the totes completely, without any funny corners jutting out.
I wasted no time filling up the storage space underneath. Take a look at how much crap fits under there! We built it high enough so that we could stack two totes without losing clearance.
OK, back to the project. We did end up cutting one of the doors down a bit (in length) to fit the space. Cutting the bottom off a hollow-core door takes away a little bit of its stability (remember, it’s hollow save for a frame around the edges), so once cut we slid a piece of scrap wood inside and glued it all together.
After a little bit of dry time, it was ready to paint! I did two coats of primer, two coats of satin latex, then one coat of satin polyacrylic to seal it all up. I wanted a slightly shiny surface to help with wipeability.
I knew I wanted to do a curtain front all along—it was really the only way to keep the length of storage I needed without getting into the expense and hassle of doors and more building. We installed an IKEA DIGNITET curtain wire, spanning from the far wall to the paneled stair case.
I ordered 3 of these 30″ x 24″ tier curtains from Kohl’s during one of their many big sales. I paid $45, which gave me 6 panels. I could have gone a little longer (tier curtains also come in a 30″ length typically), but I didn’t want to deal with measuring and hemming. I worked hard to keep this project easy. 🙂 Also, at some point, I will address the sag the curtains are causing. It needs just a small eye hook in the middle to run the wire through.
Anyways, we now have a relatively clutter-free guest room in our third floor space, all thanks to the cavernous storage this extra-deep shelf/curtain combo provide. I can’t thank my dad enough for being the brains and the brawn behind this project. My parents are frequent guests at Casa May anyways, and while they’d probably be content sleeping among mountains of baby gear, I feel a little bit better knowing they have a clean space away from home.
Did you all watch the Super Bowl? For the first year ever, Aaron and I tried to get into it. We made these awesome buffalo chicken meatballs, changed into our sweats and were ready to make a night of it. The Fox streaming app on Apple TV pooped out about 15 minutes in and after fighting load times for a few minutes, Aaron looked at me and said, “Soo… you want to watch Gilmore Girls?” HA! One day we’ll be Super Bowl watchers, but not this year!
More coming later this week on the nursery! It’s wallpaper installation week! EEEEEEEEEE.