Great Entryway Coat Hooks (Find ‘Em, Install ‘Em, Love ‘Em)

February 04, 2016   //  Posted in: DIY, DIY Network Projects, Entryway, Organized   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2015.

What’s an entryway without great hooks for jackets?

Installing a kid-friendly entryway hook.

In addition to adding concealed hat/glove/scarf storage by way of my floating metal cabinet sideboard, I’ve been on the hunt for great wall hooks to maximize functionality in our main entryway. More so than seeking out a hanger/hanging rod storage system, I desired a place of pure convenience – a “grab your coat and go play” spot, a “here’s a hook for your book bag” spot, a “take off that jacket and make yourself at home” spot.

My #1 pick? It’s Shane the Moose from Brooklyn-based Frank Hooks! Frank products are powder-coated steel (read: durable and long lasting), designed to emulate complete lovable animals, and whether you’re a kid or an adult, I think you’ll like them a lot. Shane’s antler points protrude outwards, making them convenient hooks for up to 6 items.

Choosing a kid-friendly entryway hook.

I anchored Shane the Moose into the wall at kid-height, putting screws straight through his eyeballs using two wall anchors rated to hold 51 lbs each.

Heavy anchors to securely install a kid-friendly entryway hook.

Friendly tip: Make sure the screws paired with your anchor are narrow enough to fit through your product; #8 screws worked well for this specific product.

Heavy anchors to securely install a kid-friendly entryway hook.

To install, level the hook on the wall, and use a pencil to mark where the screws will go.

Leveling entryway storage.

Follow instructions specific to the anchor you’re using – my anchor required me to predrill 1/4″ holes in the wall. I used a hammer to tap-tap-tap the anchors in place, until they were flush with the drywall.

Heavy anchors to securely install a kid-friendly entryway hook.

Use a cordless screw driver to attach the hook to the wall. The heavy-duty anchor I used accordions as you screw into it, to expand itself and lock into the drywall. When the screws are 90% tightened, re-level your hook (you’ll still have a little wiggle room). Tighten the rest of the way.

Heavy anchors to securely install a kid-friendly entryway hook.

Now that’s a happy entryway!

Choosing a fun hook for a child's room or family area.

If you’re in the market, here’s a list of other hook products I considered. Have fun shopping around!

  • Kiel Mead’s another Brooklyn-based designer that I’ve followed for years (his Forget Me Knot ring = a fave). He also manufactures unique driftwood hooks that would look great in any home, treated with a bleach-stain-shellack treatment that makes them one-of-a-kind. (PSST, they’re on sale.)
  • Schönbuch manufactures some really contemporary hooks and accessories. I like Hook 1910Flare, and Circuit (which comes in 3 sizes).
  • London-based Thabto designed its plywood JPEG hook to be multi-functional. Think, a merger of clothespin + coat hook + magnets, to help keep your entryway super organized.
  • The Cliff Coat Hook by REthinkthings adds a little whimsy.
  • MANTOSAURE caught my attention too. A fun statement piece in your home, or in your kid’s bedroom.
  • Get crafty and create larger versions of my faceted push pins. If you pre-drill the drywall with a very small bit, you will have no trouble puncturing the nailhead through, making a permanent hook.
  • Hand gesture inspired hooks are aplenty (I happen to like them all). Check out Hand Hook by Jo Cope airs a little robotic, Thumbs Up (and other gestures, like OK, Shake, and Wave) by Thelermont Hupton, and thesepaper mache hand hooks using materials bought from the craft store.
  • The Five Spot Wall Hook from Aminimal is a modern, creative presentation on roman numerals.

How I Installed That Really Big Mirror

February 04, 2016   //  Posted in: DIY, DIY Network Projects   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2015.

So, you want to install a mirror on the wall? Of course you do – mirrors are magic-makers! A large mirror can do wonders to reflect light and brighten a dreary space, make practical a walk-in closet, and make a tiny space feel twice as big. If you’re installing a piece of mirror glass that isn’t built into a frame, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with this hardware: the tiny, but very strong mirror clip. You can find them at any hardware store.

Installing clips to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Unframed mirrors are my favorite for aesthetic reasons – it’s an easy modern look. The edges are always crisp and even, and they lay flush with the wall, and by lacking a frame, these mirrors feel more “seamless” and expansive in the home. There’s a lot to know about the types of mirrors available – learn more here.

My 36″x60″ mirror was the perfect addition to my remodeled closet, and installing it with mirror clips makes it a more permanent fixture.

To hang the mirror, I first measured out its size on the wall. The mirror itself didn’t land centered on studs (if it does, you lucky duck, just screw right into those!), so I knew I would need to use heavy duty anchor bolts to affix the mirror clips to the wall.

  • I used 1/4″ anchor bolts, each of which required a 3/8″ hollow in the drywall. Those are big, scary holes, but don’t fret!
  • The holes for mine are spaced out to be 24″ apart horizontally (top and bottom), and 58″ apart vertically (which is narrower than the 60″ height – this is because the mirror clips have a little wiggle room, and I wanted to be certain that the large holes were fully covered by the height of the mirror itself).
  • I also added two clips on the sides, the holes for which aren’t visible in the below photo, but they are centered between the top and bottom clips, and spaced 35″ apart horizontally, also slightly narrower than total width of the mirror to ensure the holes would be hidden.

Predrilling drywall to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Install each of the mirror clips. Thread the clip onto the bolt first, and then twist the toggle onto the end of the bolt. Twist it on at least a few threads, so that it isn’t likely to pop off the end of the bolt during installation.

Using toggle bolts to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

The anchor bolt is spring-loaded, and folds through the 3/8″ hole. When you push it through the drywall, you’ll feel the hardware pop and spring loose again on the backside of the drywall. If you tug on it lightly, you will be able to feel the toggle catch on the backside of the drywall; you should not be able to pull it back through the hole.

Using toggle bolts to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Using a drill or screw driver, tighten the bolts.

Tip: Pull outward on the bolt and mirror clip, so that the toggle inside of the wall grips on the drywall; this contact will allow the bolt to tighten through the toggle (otherwise, the toggle is just spinning freely behind the wall).

Tighten the lower two toggles completely – these two will support the entire weight of the mirror (no pressure, little guys). Only tighten the upper two toggles (and side bolts, if applicable) to approx. 90%. The bolts will need to be secure enough to hold the mirror clip firmly against the wall, but the clip itself will need to have the wiggle room to slide along the bolt.

Using toggle bolts to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Make sure that your clips on the bottom are secure and level (the photo below was taken at an angle looking into the closet, so it looks wonky).

Using toggle bolts to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

When you’re ready, you’ll lift the mirror, and place the lower edge into those bottom clips. Lean it back against the wall, and check for level – both vertical and horizontal. If your mirror is especially big, once you’re satisfied that it is level, it wouldn’t hurt to take a moment to squeeze some heavy-duty adhesive on the backside of the mirror. Source a mirror-friendly adhesive that won’t damage or deteriorate the finish on the glass over time.

Lean the mirror back against the wall, and adjust the top and side clips so that they are aligned to slide over the edges of the glass.

Mirror clips to hold the mirror against the drywall.

Lower the clips around the mirror. They should fit right into place, locking the mirror into the metal’s grasp. The clips will stay in place – this is easy-to-use hardware.

Installing clips to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Enjoy your new wall-mounted mirror! They’re a great addition to your home – and this one makes my closet makeover complete.

How to install a big wall mirror in your closet.

See how I transformed my bedroom closet from a small reach-in design, to a modest walk-in with lots of storage options.

How to Build A Closet You’ll Love

February 02, 2016   //  Posted in: Bedrooms, Closets, DIY, DIY Network Projects, Organized   //  By: Emily   //  one response

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2015.

I’ve known for awhile that my bedroom closet had a lot of potential, and I knew that scheming a new organizational system in there was a necessity for myself (and really, it’s for no one but myself). In hindsight, especially looking at the before and after pictures in the below post, I can really appreciate how impacting of a change this was overall – I am so incredibly pleased with how I’ve reinvented this small closet space, I want to shout it for all to hear (and then I want to go shopping, because I’ve basically granted myself permission to buy more shirts).

If you’re looking for inspiration for your own easy closet makeover, check out this post first to get a better sense of why I was reinventing my closet space. And then keep on reading below, because I think you’ll be pleased with how simple and low-cost this project can be.

Step 1: Clear house.

Remove all of your clothes and shoes from the closet; hang them temporarily in other parts of the house. Photo evidence not necessary.

Step 2: Eliminate the existing storage.

In my closet, the shelf and the hanging rod would be removed.

A closet that's deep and hard to access through a small doorway.

Removing the shelf and rod carefully left me with “brackets,” as I keep referring to them as, a.k.a. the wooden braces that surround the closet.

Removing shelving from a closet and reconfiguring the shelving.

Keep in mind that if you can salvage any of this wood, it’ll save you money along the way. The wood can be repainted and reinstalled in a different layout, and the existing hanging rod could also be reused too.

Regardless of what type of existing system you’re removing, do it all with great care. Work slowly and carefully and avoid damaging the drywall. My shelving “system” was nailed in place, so I used a prybar (and shim), and a hammer to remove all of it.

Removing shelving from a closet and reconfiguring the shelving.

Embrace any surprises that you may find along the demo process; I found two different layers of paint dating back to the 1950′s, and it’s kind of endearing to think about how this little closet has changed over the years. I realized that I was not only going to have to re-paint the closet, but I’d also need to spend some time repairing the walls with joint compound to patch some irregularities in the drywall caused by the nails and the layers of paint.

Old paint in a 1950's bedroom.

Step 3: Make necessary repairs, and repaint your blank slate.

I spent a half an hour patching the wall, a full day letting it dry, and another hour sanding a fresh surface and cleaning up. The result? A nice, smooth base for primer and paint.

Installing new wooden closet shelving.

I do love color in a home, but white has been our go-to when it comes to paint, and I’ve grown to really like it. I used a paint/primer combo product, but white is surprisingly hard to coat evenly, so it still took thee coats over two days to get a nice, consistent finish in the space.

Step 4: Build your shelving.

This is a big step. And because you and I have vastly different closet orientations, what works for me might not also work for you, but it may give you some clever ideas.

On the righthand end of the closet, I planned to use the space for shoe storage and 3 open shelves, which would extend the storage space from floor to ceiling.

Along the lefthand side of my closet, the area that I previously couldn’t reach, I planned to build hanging rods to fit between the short 24″ width of the closet. See below image. The two rods would be hung at 44″ and 76″ which is a little out of the ordinary (36″ and 72″ are more typical), but I’m tall, so I can reach that high, and by raising the lower bar a little higher off the floor, my laundry basket fits nicely, and I have a little extra length to accommodate my smallassortment of dresses.

If you’re doing the math, while my old closet bar was 5′ long, I could really only reach 2′ of it because the closet door opening is only that wide. By stacking two2′ rods and installing them towards the previously unused back of the closet, I’ve created a small walk-in changing area and simultaneously almost doubled my accessible hanging space to 4′ total!

Installing new wooden closet shelving.

Here’s a list of what materials I used to build my closet brackets and shelving:

  • 2  1x3x8′ fine pine boards: cut 4 pieces at 13″ for the hanging rod brackets, cut 6 pieces at 10″ for the open shelving brackets
  • 1  1-5/16″x4′ wooden dowel
  • 2 metal closet flange sets
  • 7  1×6 cedar boards, each 24″ in length
  • 3″ nails with brad heads
  • cordless screw driver
  • polyurethane
  • hammer

The pine boards cut to 13″ in length would be for the hanging rods; I knew that I would need to hang the rod about 11″ out from the wall so that the hangers had enough space behind the rod. The shelves on the opposite wall needed to be a little shallower to avoid bumping into the door trim, so the boards were cut 10″ in length.

I used a palm router with a roundover bit to round one edge of each board, as a finishing detail that makes it look slightly more polished than a perfectly square mounting bracket. I’m leaving my boards natural wood because I really like a light wood on white finish, but I sanded the boards down lightly, and then applied a coat of polyurethane to seal the wood.

Installing new wooden closet shelving.

All of these brackets were nailed into the walls. It makes for a permanent and strong installation that will hold up for a long time (case in point, my old closet braces were as old as my house). Use a level throughout the installation process.

The benefit of installing the board with brad head nails is that they can be countersunk using a nail set, whereas if you used a traditional nail head, the round metal head would still be visible on the surface of the board.

Installing new wooden closet shelving.

Use a stud finder to identify studs; you’ll be best off if you can land at least one of the nails into a stud. If not, you might find that 2-3 nails is enough to make it well-affixed. Consider using heavy-duty adhesive between the wall and bracket for added reinforcement.

Installing new wooden closet shelving.

Installing a hanging rod on a wooden brace like this is simply more secure than installing it directly into the drywall. The flanges for closet rods manufactured these days come in various materials and colors, and you can find them at your local hardware store. One side holds the rod static in place, the other side has an opening at the top so you can slide the rod downward into place – ideal design for an everyday DIYer.

Installing wooden dowel hanger rods in a revamped closet.

When it comes to finding a rod, you might find that you can save some money by purchasing a wooden dowel and cutting it to size. Most stores have them up to 4′ in length. Dowels packaged and marketed specifically as being closet rods tend to be priced higher… just an observation. My 4′ dowel was $6, whereas a 6′ “closet rod” dowel (shortest length in store) was over $20!

For the open shelving, I chose cedar panels for the shelf itself. I love the scent of cedar, and if it helps to keep moths off of my sweaters, I love it even more. For those reasons, I kept the wood natural (no polyurethane) but sanded it down really well to lessen the chance of it snagging any clothing fibers.

The boards themselves, once balanced on the brackets, I nailed into the wall-mounted brackets.

Cedar shelves in an updated bedroom closet.

If you’re keeping tabs on my materials list, note that I cut 7 lengths of cedar. 6 were used for these three open shelves, and the 7th single 1×6 length was placed on top of the higher hanging rod, for a little extra storage that didn’t disrupt the hanging space. You can see this in the lighting photo at the end of Step 6.

Step 5. Create shoe storage.

To maximize footwear storage in my small closet, I ditched the idea of shoe cubbies and opted to purchase and install spring-loaded tension rods.

Use tension rods to store shoes in a closet.

Each rod cost $5 for the size I needed (a 20-28″ spring-span), and I bought 8 rods for a total of $40, figuring it would be enough space to store ~20 pairs of shoes. I think that price is fairly comparable to the cost of most shoe cubbies (whether built or purchased), and the rods gave me the flexibility to install at increments that make sense for what I own.

Use tension rods to store shoes in a closet.

Step 6: New lighting.

The porcelain ceiling light socket is a classic and simple fixture in many homes, but I was clearly not the only one to dabble it with ceiling paint. With the other closet upgrades in the works, I saw it as a good opportunity to update the light.

Updating a boring light in a closet with a vintage flush mount fixture.

I gravitated towards a lot of midcentury inspired fixtures while looking for a new product, which led me to scour local secondhand shops until I found a solution that was appropriate for my space, authentically 1950′s, and in beautiful shape. This flush mount light was less than $50, and with three bulbs instead of one, promises to maximize the lighting potential in my new closet.

Updating a boring light in a closet with a vintage flush mount fixture.

Turn off the power, and replace the ceiling light. Secure the new light in place using the hardware provided (my vintage light had all of the original hardware included – another perk that sold me on the product). On at night, it kind of looks like a full moon, right? Makes me very happy.

Updating a boring light in a closet with a vintage flush mount fixture.

Step 7: Install finishing touches.

Finishing details might include hooks for jewelry and scarves, wall adornments to make your little closet feel like an extension of your decorated bedroom, or a gigantic mirror that just barely fit in the back of your car (seriously, it almost didn’t make it home). If you’re looking for a full-length mirror, you’ll find that costs for custom cut mirror glass can range from $80-150. Save yourself some money and look at secondhand and salvage shops instead – large mirrors (installed most commonly above sink areas, I’m guessing) can cost less than $50 if you get lucky.

Installing clips to hang a heavy mirror on the wall.

Installed vertically using mirror clips and heavy-duty adhesive for good measure, this 36″ x 60″ mirror consumes the wall space on the wall opposite the door and makes for a perfect get-ready spot. Hi!

An ordinary closet, redesigned as a modest, functional walk-in closet.

The Finished Closet

The mirror is probably the most impacting part of the whole closet. Mirrors are used frequently to make a room look bigger, and boy, this big mirror makes my tiny 10 sq. ft. closet feel very grand.

An ordinary closet, redesigned as a modest, functional walk-in closet.

It’s nice to know that I have some closet space to grow into now, whereas before, I felt limited because so much of the space wasn’t easily accessible. I moved some of my jewelry storage onto one shelf, and a few items and a photo that had previously been on a bookshelf in the bedroom.

An ordinary closet, redesigned as a modest, functional walk-in closet.

It’s hard to believe that this is where I was just last week:

A simple closet, before being transformed into a functional, usable space.

The new and improved closet will serve me well for a long time!

An ordinary closet, redesigned as a modest, functional walk-in closet.