Friday, February 17, 2017

Master Closet Layout - First Look at Plans

We're moving right along with our winter goals list and have been at work trying to figure out how to maximize the space available to us in our master closet (which used to be the spare "oom" - read more about the renovation here).

It's a good-sized room and we have been using it for six months with some make-shift temporary closet rods and our dressers. I like using a room for awhile to get to know what it needs in order to serve you well.

During our six months of using the closet we have been able to narrow down a design, as well as what we need the room to have; we want to be sure it'll be a functional space for us in many years to come. Here's the priorities we need it to include space for:

- our clothes (duh)
- shoes
- my purses
- my scarves
- hats
- hooks to hang robes
- shelving for sweaters (shelves help lengthen the life of sweaters vs. hanging)
- suitcases/duffels
- extra blankets and sleeping bags
- jewelry
- ironing board that can be tucked away
- a full length mirror
- laundry hampers for whites and colors

That's a lot of unique items! We also have to figure out how best to use the space when we have a floor radiator and two windows to build around. However, a bonus is a small existing closet that's in the room that we can modify.

Karl is a whiz at 3D renderings of rooms, and has been busy at work trying to figure out how to incorporate all these things. Here's a look at the first draft:

When you walk in from the master bedroom, my side of the closet is on the left, Karl's the right.

We're thinking of using the small existing closet for building shelving that would store our shoes and purses, and then laundry hamper baskets below.

The bench along the far left wall below the window would be a hinged top with storage underneath for extra blankets.

The drawers would be for socks, jeans, tshirts, etc., while the hanging rods would be for dress shirts, dresses, pants, and skirts. The upper cabinets above the drawers would hold shelving for sweaters, ties, and jewelry hooks. On the exposed side of the wardrobes would be large hooks for hanging our robes and/or an outfit for the next day. Suitcases would go in the cabinets above the rods.

I'm thinking we could tuck the ironing board into a place between the built-ins and have it slide out when in use, then slide back out of the way when not. We're going to be researching what's possible.

We are calling this a first draft because we still have to figure out how to lengthen the space to hang my long dresses and coats, a place for our hats and the ironing board. We also have a "dead space" between the windows that I want to put to good use. Maybe have hooks to hang hats?

It's a good start! Besides working out the storage needs and ironing board, we'll probably start designing the face of the drawers and cabinets a bit more in-depth too for the next draft so we have something to show the carpenter of our vision.

We'd LOVE your input for how to best use the space - goodness knows we're behind on closet organization technology. Feel free to comment below!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

How To Install A Switch on a Sconce Light

This past summer when Karl and I were renovating our master bedroom, one of the ideas we came up with was to install hardwired sconces on either side of the bed. Sconces in the bedroom save the limited tabletop space side tables provide and are aesthetically pleasing, so it was an easy decision for us.

I began researching sconces that were in the style and budget I wanted, as well as hardwired. For some reason once you filter out all the non-hardwired in an online search, your options become limited. Add in that we wanted switches on the scounces so we could turn them off and on from the bed and we were left with either spending $100 and up per sconce, or some lights that looked as cheaply made as their $20 price tag.


That's when I happened upon these sconces when I was taking advantage of the air conditioning at Home Depot on a very hot summer afternoon 8 months preggo (no a/c except a window unit in our bedroom meant this mama-to-be survived in stores the last month of that hot summer). I liked the look of them a LOT, and for $30 a sconce we were well within budget.

They were perfect except one minor detail: no switches.

In my excitement of finding sconces I didn't think of this until I got home with them. I'd spent more hours than should be humanely necessary trying to find THE sconces, so I was less than willing to take them back.

Thus began my self-inflicted drudgery of looking up anything I could to Macgyver those lights into switch sconces.

The scounces were fitted for candlabra size bulbs. I googled for lightbulb socket adapters that came with switches, but no such thing is made for candlabras...period. No idea why not. I looked for candlabra to regular lightbulb socket adapters, and an hour or two later found none that would fit inside the sconce shade…

I think I was a little obsessed with the idea that there HAD to be a way. We'll blame it on pregnancy hormones and the heat.

It paid off though when I had a lightbulb moment (haha get it?) several evenings later: install a switch directly on the sconce wall plate!

Turning again to searching the web, I had to find something that was thin enough to fit between the plate and the wall, and finally I found success!

Home Depot to the rescue!

They cost approximately $4 each.

All that to say that this is the way that one can Macguyver any wall sconce to have a switch.


First, make sure the toggle switch fits between the plate and wall.

Using a drill press, make the hole for the switch in each plate. You can stick painters tape or duck tape to the area before drilling to ensure it won't split the plate or cause rough edges to the hole.


To figure out which of the wires on the switch are “off” and “on”, use a multimeter that’s set to “ohms” to measure continuity.

0 ohms = “off”, anything else is = “on”

Shut off the breaker power to the room you want to install the sconces.

And since I’m not an electrician and cannot explain the process as well as Karl, here is a video that shows how to attach the rest of the wires so that you can mount the lights.

There you have it! Pretty simple and inexpensive way to modify any sconce light!

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