...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I mentioned in my latest recent purchases post that we bought a few cabinets – freestanding and wall versions – to use in the mudroom for closed storage. Well, Handy Hubby was busy, busy, busy this weekend assembling and installing them…among other things.

The PAX wardrobes were a two-person job. HH tried assembling them alone but they’re just too big to lift upright during assembly without some help. Luckily, HH’s dad came out to lend a hand the following day so HH could get ‘em done.

The wardrobes will act as much needed closet space for us. And let me tell you, these babies are deep! I have plans to fill them with everything from a steam mop to winter coats to shoe bins.

For now, they’re empty. Once we move in and I get a better feel for what organization we’ll require, I’m heading to IKEA for complementary inserts. I love that we can customize them to suit our needs.

The only problem I see so far is that the doors closest to the walls hit the baseboard and wainscoting trim. I think I can easily remedy this with a few strategically placed rubber bumper pads. You know, the kind you typically use on the inside of cabinet doors to keep them from banging against the frame.

I love how the paneled doors mix well with but don’t perfectly match the horizontal plank wainscoting.

We still need to add handles {in matte black?} to the doors. Down the road we may add some molding around the tops of the wardrobes for a built-in look. We’ll just have to wait and see how the room takes shape. Speaking of which, I finally found a pic of a dining space that better illustrates what kind of setup I’m wanting.

The casual dining area in this house tour features a petite settee, round table and dining chairs. The exact combo I had in mind for our dining room/mudroom!

But, wait a second, we’re talking storage. Oh. Right.

The wall cabinets in the laundry nook are up now, too. But not without a little snafu. HH first hung them about 5″ lower than what you see in the image above. I stopped by with a load of moving boxes afterwards and kindly hinted that I thought they’d look better hung at ceiling height. HH wasn’t happy about rehanging them {love you, HH!} but, once it was said and done, he agreed that they looked better hugging the ceiling. I would have loved open shelving here but, realistically, some closed storage is a necessity. I can still add a shelf or two between the cabinets later if I want.

The wardrobes and wall cabinets are our solution for a house lacking closet space, a separate mudroom and a real laundry room. Continuously editing our belongings will be key in avoiding clutter. But I’m pretty good at setting aside time about twice a year to purge items we no longer use, need or want.

What about you? How do you tackle storage shortcomings in your home?

images: 1-6 & 8) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 7) Janis Nicolay via The Marion House Book

40 Comments

22.May.2012

Your family’s move is getting so close! I will be praying that all goes smoothly, as close to your plan as possible, and that your family settles in quickly!

Many people are quick to overlook the necessity to supply your children with a life above a lifestyle. As a fellow family that is choosing to live ‘small’, I want to encourage you to continue to strive for a life of deep quality over superfluous quantity. I thank you for having the courage to go against the current!

Many blessings to you and yours!

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22.May.2012

Looks great! I used these on some large PAX wardrobes and love them. http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-hardware/22665103.jsp

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

Ooooh, love me some textured handles!

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22.May.2012

I love the storage solutions. I live in a townhouse, so I agree that editing is a must to not get overwhelmed. Whenever it starts to feel clutter, I put on Hoarders and pretty much get rid of everything that isn’t nailed down!

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22.May.2012

We have a serious storage shortcoming in our kitchen, so I store extra necessities in the bedroom closet! You can see pictures of just how small the kitchen is here: http://annabelvita.com/2012/05/10/top-tips-for-tiny-rental-kitchens

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

What a cute, hard working kitchen!! Love all your organizing tips.

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22.May.2012

Everything is coming together so nicely. I can barely wait to see the updates.

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22.May.2012

We have a big house but since it was built in 1880, it doesn’t have any built-in closets (except for closets in the thickness of walls in the hallway and in the great room … http://lecloslafayette.over-blog.com/article-chaque-chose-a-sa-place-74430765.html). So we need furniture ! I like the way your wardrobes look on each side of the window ! How are you going to hide you washer and dryer ? Under countertop behind doors ? curtains ? take care !

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

We’re planning on hiding the washer and dryer under a removable countertop and behind curtain panels. Stay tuned…

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22.May.2012

My husband and I bought some IKEA shelving units for our TV room a while back and had a similar problem with the way they looked next to the trim on the walls. We cut the baseboards so that the shelving was flush with the walls and it looked so much cleaner. I hate to suggest more work for you all, but have you thought of removing the trim where the wardrobes abut the wall?

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

Great idea! Yes, we have thought of removing the trim next to and behind the wardrobes. But we really want to live with them in their current location for a while to make sure that’s where we want them and where they’ll work best. We’ve also considered placing them against the wall just to the left {in pictures} but are afraid they’ll jut out into the room too much. Who knows? We’ll tweak things as we go…

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22.May.2012

Oh thank you for that photo with the settee- it’s exactly what I’m envisioning for my new apartment. I wonder where that settee is from… I had my eye on the Rennie sofa from MGBW but it seems too bulky. The one bad thing about living in Honolulu is limited furniture selection and it costs sooo much to ship stuff out here :(

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Kids accumulate sooo much crap that I’ve had to calm down my pack rat ways and start to be clutter free. My almost OCD husband is thrilled. Storage is one thing you can never have enough of. When we moved into our new house, we had massive amounts of storage and here, three years and one toddler later, it’s all filled. Crap.

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22.May.2012

You know, if t he handles are a softer material and at the right height, they would probably act as the bumper.

We live in a house fom the 1920s – NO storage. I find it just makes it really easy to keep from hanging on to things you don’t use. If its out in my livng space (in a basket, on a shelf in one of two drawers in the TV) and just in the way, its going to annoy me and end up in the Goodwill bag pretty quickly.

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22.May.2012

We bought some of those PAX wardrobes last summer and turned them into a coat closet/sports storage/launch pad for our house. It works SO well and we are so glad we did it. I have my purse, sunglasses, keys, change, returns, kids coats, jackets, shoes, swimming stuff, out of season hats and mittens, etc. It’s been great! IKEA rocks! LOVING your new home!

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22.May.2012

Looking good………..are you going to build in a bench in the middle? Can’t wait to see more!!

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22.May.2012

Looks great. We built in a wall of ceiling height Pax wardrobes for our closet when we took out our walk in closet and added an ensuite bathroom instead! One thing is that if you are going to use any of the pull out drawers or baskets inside (we love the pull out drawers) the door has to be able to open straight out at a 90 degree angle. When you put handles on the doors make sure you keep that in mind for the ones against the walls. We built the cabinets in using trim around the base and our crown moulding around the top, but we also put a filler piece against the wall so that we had a little extra room for the handles.

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

Good point about being able to access the drawers…we’ll have to keep that in mind!

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replied on May 24th, 2012

You could swap the cabinets, so the doors open away from the walls. Of course, it would depend on your furniture placement. But you wouldn’t need to worry about making marks on the woodwork, and you could use the pull-out drawers.

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replied on May 24th, 2012

The cabinets are the same so I’m not sure that swapping them would do any good. We have messed around with the idea of moving them to the wall to the left of where they are now but we’ll have to see!

22.May.2012

We just sold our first home back in November. It was only 1300 sq ft with no basement or garage, and a very tiny attic. We did have a tiny mini barn out in the backyard. I wrote an entire 31 day series on my blog (http://makingittooperfect.blogspot.com/2011/10/31-days-to-clutter-free-home-day-1.html) back in October on decluttering. It was really a process for us on coming to terms with the size of our home and reducing our belongings to work in that amount of space. Totally doable but did require editing. We found we just didn’t have enough space for the things that went along with some hobbies, etc. Ironically, the family who purchased our home from us were intentionally downsizing…and they have 4 children!!!

Can’t wait to see some of the solutions you will implement in the Underdog!

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replied on May 22nd, 2012

Wow, that was some intense decluttering in such a short time span. You’re right, though, to edit as much as possible when your home is on the market.

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22.May.2012

Love Pax! I got two last fall when my sister moved into our basement – one is her closet, and the other is concealed storage. I’m tempted to get a third, but not until she finds a place of her own (the unfinished area of the basement is starting to get really bad with stuff…)

Good luck with getting the last of your “ready to move in” touches completed – you’re so close!!

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Those Ikea cabinets are awesome! and I LOVE the horizontal paneling… really classy, casual, and polished. Can’t wait to see your home all filled up with life!

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22.May.2012

They look great and very very familiar! I have the exact same set up in our 1920′s house with a desk that doubles as a study area between them under the window.

I have not a single built in cupboard in our home so this setup houses everything from our vacuum and brooms, linen, spare pillows, out of season clothes, computer hardware, craft supplies and shoes. I’m really looking forward to seeing how you organise and arrange the inside – a fresh perspective always helps.

Looking forward to your move in date!

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23.May.2012

Looking good! I think some open shelves in the laundry nook will look great. And I love the flooring in this room. Be sure to anchor the wardrobes at the top. Boys. climb. (Voice of experience speaks.)

I have done something similar beside my front door. My little 1920s Craftsman bungalow has no hall/coat closet, so I have an antique wardrobe next to the door for coats, mittens/scarves, etc.

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replied on May 23rd, 2012

We’ll be sure to anchor the wardrobes to the wall once we’re certain of their placement. Until then, adult supervision is required!!!

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23.May.2012

Question – What are your plans for the slight bit of deadspace between the cabinets and walls (created by the baseboard & wainscoting trim)? Just curious. Looks great!!!

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replied on May 23rd, 2012

Once we decide on a definitive layout for the room, we’ll probably build the wardrobes in with trim and molding.

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23.May.2012

I love that banquette seating! I have been planning on doing the same thing with my tiny dining room. I’m going to recover the seating with water proof exterior upholstry, and pray to the house keeping gods that it keeps my kids from totally ruining it.
This is the photo I’m using for inspiration. http://www.housetweaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/dining-room-banquet-love-seat-bertoia-chairs-metal-mesh-collection-of-art-on-wall-fish-bowl-glass-pendant-light-chandelier-madeline-weinrib-rug.jpg

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23.May.2012

They look great! This is going to be such a great/functional space! I too was going to mention that if you want to use pull-out drawers, etc.. you will need those doors to open to at least 90 degrees. Once the handles are on, that might get tricky. Here is a link to another Pax wardrobe where they added trim to allow space on the sides to accommodate that http://roncesrenodiary.blogspot.com/2010/10/ikea-lovehate.html. Good luck. If you leave them as is, would you consider a bench (with shoe storage underneath) in between? Just wondering!

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replied on May 23rd, 2012

Beautiful! We’re definitely going to live with them as is for a while to see how the room and layout work before we’ll consider building them in. A bench between the two wardrobes is definitely an option!

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We’re constantly hunting for storage locations in our house. I don’t think we’re pack rats, but it always seems like we need more storage. I think the key is to keep the stuff you use on a regular basis close and accessible and then move the items you rarely use to a more remote location. I love those wardrobes. They’ll look great with matte black handles. You may also be able to add a string or a cord inside the cabinet that connects to the door to prevent it from opening all the way instead of adding bumpers. You can size it so it’s just short of your wall treatment.

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23.May.2012

Love our Pax too! It’s in a closet so it doesn’t have doors, but I love the drawer and shelve options you can get for it. Lots of fun.

It’ll be interesting to see whether you end up liking them there. I think they would look great “built-in” with trim and such.

In your dining picture, I think I recognize and ikea expandable kitchen table and ikea chairs, but where did they source that cute bench?

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You talk a lot about how the under dog was a cheap buy, do you ever plan to do a budget breakdown on what you’ve put into the house? I think it would be interesting to see how much it cost to do all the upgrades. I think they look amazing but it would interesting to see what it all has costed to get it from drab to fab.

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replied on May 23rd, 2012

Yes, our budget and renovation costs will be addressed in an upcoming post!

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23.May.2012

Love the Pax! I’m going to check them out at Ikea this weekend. Can you share the color of paint on the wall? Thanks much!

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replied on May 23rd, 2012

Benjamin Moore’s Camouflage color matched at Home Depot in Behr’s primer + paint in one.

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25.May.2012

Dana, I don’t believe you ever sleep!! Please tell me how on earth you are surviving with being a mom, having a new baby, renovating a house, moving, designing the reno yourself, and blogging about it to boot… all while making raw smoothies!!

I love the Underdog, it’s been fascinating watching it come together; and you are such an inspiration to me. I have three kids – my youngest is 8 months – and I can barely get through the basics of feeding, cleaning, and clothing everybody without losing my mind. I am absolutely baffled as to how you are doing this! But I applaud you, and I thank you for the ongoing inspiration and the smile I always have after reading H*T!

Thanks,

Sarah

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11.October.2012

Hi Dana
I am in dire need of storage space for our 1950′s house…two closets in the entire place which are crammed full of clothes and “stuff” in the bedrooms. I am in love with these wardrobes and I think that two would look perfect for my mudroom..which is just shy of only 9 feet wide. Do you know of any other options that have the same look but are not as wide as the pax so they can still be used as a pair??
Oh ya, I live in the sticks in Canada so shipping is a must…gorgeous but shopping is limited. Any ideas would be huuuge.
Thanks for all the awesome tweaks and inspirations, I stumbled across your site when I googled “painting oak cabinets white” and have been coming back ever since.
Take it easy, Terri

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