Under Stair Closet: Final Edition

This is boring, I know. That said, I have found the completion of this project to be pretty high up there on the satisfaction chart, because I actually. got. something. done. 

This year (I measure by school calendar year, September being the start) has been a doozy, actually a real shit show.  While keeping some things private, I'll just say that my younger guy has had a rough go of it and was unable to attend school full time. This has resulted in a lot of commuting and shortened days for me. Read: little time for other pursuits. So actually banging out a project like this in a very short period of time has been, just, yay.

But I digress. 

Here, we have a newly painted under stair closet with shelves! This closet has been a sort of catch all and dumping ground for a lot the detritus of life -backpacks, tools, exuberant Costco overflow, etc. It was always a poorly planned space, a complete afterthought when we built the house. This, I know realize, was a mistake. The hard truth of an open plan house is that no walls make for few closets, which makes for not enough storage. Also add an aversion to upper kitchen cabinets and even the most diligent, clutter free person can run into storage shortage issues.

I built a series of very simple backless shelves out of pre-milled cedar 1x6s. Some of the cases are stand alone, others are attached to each other. I did this because it would have been a Being John Malkovich exercise to build in the closet and I couldn't fit one long unit into the little door.

I removed the baseboard so that I could seat the shelves right up against the wall, other than that, there's no trim or tricks. I know that some would have gone with a true built in look here with trimmed, caulked and painted shelves. That of course would be fine but, imo, generic. I've started to have an aversion to all that perfectly sprayed mdf shelving with false fronts that is in every newly renovated built in closet on the planet.  

Instead I'm into a plain old wood shelves, like the ones that you see in really old garages. Sometimes it is the framing itself that creates the shelves.  This installation by Michael Bargo perfectly captures this aesthetic. And don't think for a minute that this is on the cheap. His is built from 8/4 mahogany and that shit is $$. 
I bought my wood at Boronio Lumber. I like them, they let you pick through the stacks and they don't mansplain. I bought 40 linear feet for 175$ plus tax. So not cheap but no additional paint and primer costs either.

I used the most simple construction method there is. Chop and screw. Clamps help to hold everything together while building. Did you know that you can measure diagonally (corner to corner) to see that your piece is square? Well you can and you should -works like a charm.

I am in love with these screws. No pre-drilling, no counter sinking, no stripping. Like Stefon says, they have it all. It is because these screws are so great that I was able to build these shelves so quickly and without incident. I think they look very delicate and handsome to boot.

After installing the shelves, I cut to size the baseboard to fit in the spaces between the shelves and painted before reinstalling. (paint color is Benjamin Moore Serenity). They fit so well, I haven't even nailed them in. I might go back and liquid nail them permanently in place.

AND,  I painted the door blue to match the closet. I'm not sure about this yet. I used the Advanced line, satin finish. This paint brushes on well -like an oil, only it's not, for people like me who live in CA where oil paint is verboten. I'm going to live with this for the summer and then decide. If not blue, I'll paint it black like the powder room door to the right. The original closet mess and yellow door are here.

As for the amount of things thus far on these new shelves, we've been adding things at our leisure. The little skinny stand alone shelve is going to house sake cups and ceramics, and I built the shelf with the large space to hold those enormous vases.

Unseen in these photos are two hooks on the opposite wall for backpacks and I still need to add a small nail for hanging the broom. 

Thoughts? Do tell. 

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