Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

Do you struggle with adequate bedroom closet space in a small home? Finding a way to carve more valuable closet space in our small 1960s master bedroom has been 15-years in the making. It took selling a piece of furniture and staring at the empty void for inspiration to strike. In this post, I'm sharing how to turn a narrow niche into a second master bedroom closet, perfect for folded clothes and bed linens.

How To Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

The small niche to the side of the existing closet (pictured above) is only 12-inches deep, too narrow for a traditional closet to hang clothing. But, not too narrow for floor-to-ceiling shelving that can hold things like folded jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, purses, shoes, and bed linens. That relieves a lot of clutter in the existing closet!

Turn A Narrow Niche Into A Second Master Bedroom Closet

Turn Narrow Niche Into Second Master Bedroom Closet

Our master had one small closet with a traditional single rod running from end to end with one long shelf above it. In dire need to maximize closet space for two people, we installed a double rod system a few years ago. While that helped maximize storage potential in this small space, our clothing was still squished like sardines.

Existing 1960s Master Bedroom Closet Before Expansion

For years we used the hutch pictured below to store sweaters but it was bursting at the seams. I gave the Small Bedroom Hutch a makeover and sold it with plans to replace it with a much larger armoire.

Hutch Before Master Bedroom Closet Expansion

While staring at the empty void after removing the hutch I had a lightbulb moment and by the time Mr. Frugalista got home from work I had a scaled drawing for the potential of this space. Construction began the following weekend.

5-days to turning a narrow 12-inch niche into a second master bedroom closet

Day One - Frame and drywall the new closet

Framing the narrow second master bedroom closet

The hardwood floor is cut to accommodate the bottom plate of the closet frame.

The rough closet door opening and header are framed to match the existing closet because the same size bi-fold doors will be installed.

The frame is recessed 1/2-inch to accommodate wrapping with drywall.

By the end of Day One, the drywall was installed, taped, and patched with drywall putty.

Drywalli Installation On Narrow Second Master Bedroom Closet

Day Two - Prep the drywall for paint

By the end of Day Two, the drywall putty was sanded and the drywall prime and ready for paint. 

Narrow Second Master Bedroom Closet Primed For Paint

Day Three - Paint, trim, and bi-fold door installation

By noon the closet had two coats of fresh paint. If you are wondering about the color it is Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore HC-146.

Note: You'll notice we didn't move the existing plug because that would add to the price tag of the project. In hindsight, I have regrets about that decision and wish we would have moved it to the right of the closet.

By mid-afternoon, the fluted trim and rosettes were installed around the door along with the baseboard installation inside and on the side of the closet. You can see in the photo below that tape is holding them in place while the construction adhesive cures. They were also secured with a brad nailer.

Modifying the bi-fold doors

The matching bi-fold doors required some modifications because having the doors open like a traditional bi-fold door would mean sacrificing some of the 12-inch depth to accommodate the installation hardware.

To remedy this we prevented the doors from folding open where they are joined together with hinges by installing metal brackets in four places (pictured below) to hold them stationary. The doors were hung like regular door hinges onto the inside of the frame.

Narrow Master Bedroom Closet Expansion Bi-fold Door Installation

Day Four - Shelving installation

Metal uprights for adjustable shelving were installed on the back wall of the closet. They were lined up with the wood studs using a stud finder for strong support. Sheets of 12" x 8" white melamine were used for the shelves. They were cut to fit the width of the closet and then ripped on the table saw to 10-inches deep.

Day Five - Moving clothes into the new closet

Despite the shelves being only 10-inches deep, by folding sweaters, jeans, and t-shirts in thirds, they fit perfectly. You could stack plastic shoe boxes three high if using part of it for shoe storage and purses fit perfectly too.

Seriously, I cried when organizing the two closets. I couldn't believe how much room having this narrow second closet opened up in our existing closet. And look, there is still lots of room for more clothing/shoes in this one!

Organizing the new narrow master bedroom closet

This is what the two closets look like side-by-side. One would never know there wasn't always two closets in our master bedroom.

Existing And New Narrow Master Bedroom Second Closet

Turn A Narrow Niche Into Second Master Bedroom Closet Before & After
Considering we were on a roll, I gave Mr. Frugalista another scaled drawing of an idea I had for the master bedroom. You can find it here in my Custom Built-In Window Seat and Bookcase post. We also turned an old 5-panel door into a gorgeous headboard.

You will find this project shared at these inspiring Link Parties.

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Hot Beverage Caddy

I just love the interesting trinkets you can find while treasure diving at thrift stores.  During a recent visit I found this wood caddy for under $5.00 and thought it would make a perfect Hot Beverage Caddy for our kitchen coffee station.

Hot Beverage Caddy {from wood tool caddy}

I suspect it was a junior high student's Shop Class project and it made me feel sad that their hard work got tossed into the donation bin.  I'm menopausal, it doesn't take much to pull at my heartstrings!

Hot Beverage Caddy {from wood tool caddy}

Someone's got to appreciate the novice workmanship of this student and so I decided to be the one to rescue it and give it some rustic personality and charm.

Hot Beverage Caddy {from wood tool caddy}

I like having easy access to our hot beverages during the winter months and so this little caddy is perfect for our Coffee Station. Thank you whoever you are!

Hot Beverage Caddy {from wood tool caddy}

The How To's...
  1. I painted the entire caddy with Graphite chalk paint.
  2. I applied self-adhesive letters to spell out the words Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate in French.
  3. I gave the entire caddy (except the inside) a whitewash of  Pure White.
  4. Once the paint was dry to the touch I carefully removed the letters using a small craft knife.
  5. Next I went over to the Graphics Fairy website and found this cute tea time graphic and printed it in black and white on my laser printer.
  6. Carefully I cut around the graphic as close as possible.
  7. Using Modge Podge Photo Transfer Medium (shown later in this post) and a sponge brush I applied a good coat over top the image.
  8. I placed the image photo side onto the caddy and rubbed over it with a squeegee from the Modge Podge Tool Kit (it's a handy tool worth investing in and shown later in this post) but you could also use a brayer roller (shown later in this post) or good old fashion credit card (for obvious reasons, not shown later in this post).
  9. After it was dry I dampened a white cloth and gently rubbed away the layers of paper until the image was clear.  Sometimes its best if you do a layer at a time and let the paper dry in between but that would require P A T I E N C E and that word just isn't a part of my vocabulary!
  10. Once the last layer of paper was removed and the graphic was completely dry I went over the entire caddy with fine sandpaper to distress it.
  11. I applied a coat of clear wax and gave it a good buffing (shown later in this post is my new favorite tool for buffing).
Handy Dandy Tools I Like To Use...
Modge Podge Photo Transfer Medium and Squeegee
Brayer Roller
This is my all time favorite new tool for buffing clear wax over chalk paint.  It cost me under $10.00 in the Shoe Department at Wal-Mart. They have a couple of brands available - both with horse hair bristles.

So next time you see something on the thrift store shelves that looks like a student made it in shop class, rescue it!
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DIY Blog To Watch In 2014 Award

I am so excited and honored to have been chosen as one of the Best DIY/Home Improvement Blogs to Watch in 2014 Award!
Center City Real Estate
Congratulations to the winners and the finalists of the Best DIY/Home Improvement Blogs to Watch in 2014 Award! There is an unexplainable thrill of purchasing a house or renting an apartment.  An empty space, a blank page for you to decorate, create, and make your own.  It’s an exciting time that can help you turn a new house into your home, a chance for you to put your personality on display.  This feeling is not only in new houses either.  Maybe you want to rejuvenate an existing space or finally fill that blank wall in the dining room.  If you’re you’ve been in either or both of these positions before, you know about how expensive it can be to buy all new furniture and décor, and sometimes you don’t want to have that same bookshelf as the last house.

Well, here at CenterCityTeam we feel your excitement and we think you could use a few new ideas to get the house looking fresh!  We’ve received numerous submissions and sought out the best and most relevant websites in the DIY and Home Improvement communities for our clients and readers.  Our goal is to provide a comprehensive list, nominated by readers and staff, which will help our clients and partners glean the best DIY/Home Improvement information and advice on the web.  We’ve made the award for “Blogs to Watch” because we want to give our readers site’s that have made a visible commitment to excellence in 2014!

CenterCityTeam is a group of top Real Estate Agents who have served the Philadelphia community with honesty, integrity, and superior customer service since 2005. The CenterCityTeam real estate agents have received every top agent award that Prudential Fox & Roach offers and have been recognized as elite Real Estate Agents by Philadelphia Magazine. The CenterCityTeam founder Frank L. DeFazio, eats sleeps and breathes Philadelphia real estate and giving the sophisticated buyer or seller of real estate elite service is his passion.

We asked each of our winners to answer a few questions, below are their responses: (Posted after winners are announced)
-          How would you describe your blog to readers of our site?
-          What is your favorite room in your house? Why?
-          How do you stay current and come up with cool projects for your readers?

To see the Winners and their answer to the questions above visit:

Thank you so much to the folks at Center City Real Estate for choosing The Interior Frugalista for this award!
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Queen Anne Headboard {thrifty find}

I fell in love with this Queen Anne headboard when I saw it at our local thrift store. I could see her potential for a pretty makeover.

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover After Photo1

Here she is before the makeover. Like what happens far too often, I get so excited to dive into my projects that I forget to take a BEFORE picture! You can sort of see her in the background in the picture below waiting patiently in line for her makeover...

Queen Anne Headboard found at a thrift store Before a makeover.

Here's a close-up of her shabby chicness (is that a word?) goodness...

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover Close Up Picture

I painted her with Annie Sloan Chalkpaint™ in Provençe. I dry brushed Pure White over the trim details and sanded away some of the paint to reveal the pretty color underneath. After a coat of clear wax I gave it a coat of dark wax.  I just love how the dark wax deepens the color of the Provençe!

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover in Provençe and Pure White Chalkpaint.

You can really see the beautiful sheen of the pure wax in this photo.

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover after clear wax.

It can accommodate a Full/Double or Queen size bed frame.  

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover for Double or Queen Size Bed Frame

I wish I could keep her because she'd look amazing in our Guest Room but unfortunately the room is too small for a double bed.

Queen Anne Headboard Makeover After Photo2

Those of you who follow my blog have probably noticed I've been doing a lot of projects these days in Provençe. It's become my new favorite color. However, needing to expand my repertoire, my next project will be a different color - I promise!


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Kids Chalkboard Table {thrift makeover}

Oh my I had so much fun with this little makeover!

Kids chalkboard table with two chairs after makeover

What I would have done with one of these when my kids were little. It's tempting not to keep it for grandchildren but I simply don't have any room to store it until then. Oh well, good excuse to makeover another one down the road.

You may remember seeing this table in my Queen Anne Table post and some of you said you were curious what I was going to do with it.  It was a battered well used kids table in need of some TLC.  You can see the little hands of it's former owner had loads of fun adding graffiti.

Kids table before makeover

Then a wonderful friend pulled these from her storage shed and I was thrilled to receive them.

Kids chairs before makeover

After some painted goodness, how cute are they now!  A perfect compliment to the table.

Kids chairs after makeover (back)

Kids chairs after makeover (front)

As soon as I saw the table at the thrift store I was inspired by the graffiti and knew I wanted to turn it into a fun chalkboard table. Now little hands are encouraged to have loads of fun creating art on it.

Kids chalkboard table

I'm having a tough time letting this one go.  I hope it brings many hours of fun to the little people who get her. Sadly it won't be my future grandchildren.

Kids chalkboard table and two chairs after makeover

Thank you so much to the following for featuring this project:


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Picture Frame Transformed Into A Tray

Let's start the week off with another thrift store find. Mr. Frugalista discovered this ornate picture frame on the thrift store shelf and when he brought it over to me I immediately had a vision of the picture frame transformed into a tray. Then I saw the price tag...sigh...more than I would normally spend. But I had thrift store fever and on a high from all the treasures we found, so before I came to my senses I had the cashier ring it up.

A fresh week...a clean slate...oh my what shall I create!

Picture Frame Tray BeforeOrnate picture frame thrift store find Before

Someone took a lot of time creating that needlepoint. It's cute, a little stained, but no thank you. The oval double matt is a keeper for a future project and perhaps the needlepoint too. I knew with a little chalk paint the lovely details in the frame would pop.  

Ornate DIY Picture Frame Tray

As I mentioned above, I kept the anti-glare glass and slipped a sheet of pretty scrapbook paper underneath. Can't get much easier than that.

DIY Picture Frame Tray Handles

The frame is painted with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Provençe. Once dry I applied clear wax followed by dark wax making sure it rested in all the lovely details and wiped the excess with a lint-free rag. 

The cabinet pulls are ones that I had on hand but were white. I spray painted them in flat black and then rubbed Onyx bronzer to pick up the brown tones in the paper.

Here is a close up of the dark waxed details of the frame...

Picture Frame Tray Provençe chalk paint

I think this scrapbook paper is so pretty and works so well with the Provençe.

Picture Frame Transformed Into A Tray

It would look lovely on a bedroom dresser.

Thrift store picture frame painted and turned into a tray

It was a hard decision parting with it but I was happy to see it sold as a surprise birthday gift from one sister to another.

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