If you've been following my ramblings, you might remember that I'm in the midst of renovating
my 100-year-old Brooklyn apartment. (I say "I" but the real home improvements have been done by my super-handy significant other, Charlie. I'm more the one who comes up with ideas, hands the tools, paints, and cleans up at the end.) Anyway, our particular crappy old apartment came with a crappy old closet in the bedroom. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is too shallow to even hold a clothing hanger properly, so, with clothes having to hang at a diagonal, it holds about 1/4 of what noncrappy closets do. And because there are other things falling apart all around us, we knew we had to come up with a clothes storage solution that didn't involve a giant, expensive armoir.
The first thought was Elfa shelving from the The Container Store
. It's modular, practical, and lasting--you can refigure your custom closet to fit other spaces and even take it back to the store to have it cut down to a different size for free! Plus, it's easy to install--everything just hangs a top bar, so you don't have screw holes everywhere. We worked up a design that could fit all of my clothes and his overflow and threw it up on the wall.
But pure function is definitely not attractive. Especially on a wall you stare at while in bed. So I decided we needed to hang a curtain that went from floor-to-ceiling to cover this mess. After spending weeks researching those D-shaped shower curtain rods and getting annoyed that none were a) quite the right size or b) anywhere close to a reasonable price, Charlie came up with the perfect solution: pipes. We went to The Home Depot
and had them cut three pipes to our exact dimensions: one long front piece and two side pieces. Then we picked up two of those elbow joint thingys to join them, two flanges for the wall, and an anchor we could hook into the ceiling to provide support in the middle.
I measured, cut, and sewed four panels of fabric for the curtain. Two narrow solid brown linen pieces for the sides and two larger panels of an almond-colored wood grain pattern by Joel Dewberry
I fell in love with (maybe because I could pretend it was a piece of furniture). Then I paired each of the patterned panels with the solids, so I had two big panels with a 4-inch pocket at the top that could slide back easily. We slid the curtain on, mounted the pipe to the wall and ceiling, and voila! Instant closet!
senior editor, lifestyle