From Spider Hole to Cedar Closet

Readers,

A carpet remnant and baseboard finished off the cedar closet.

A carpet remnant and baseboard finished off the cedar closet.

For 73 years the space under our porch was a dark, dank, unfinished space.

But our builder, Daniel, had the nerve to enter the spiders’ den. What a huge improvement!

We partially disassembled 36-inch wide shelving to move it in.

We partially disassembled 36-inch wide shelving to move it in.

The finished dimensions are about 29 inches deep by 63 inches wide.

Daniel used an inexpensive carpet remnant to finish the floor, and then mitered and glued in the baseboard.

These boxes store big folders of pattern pieces I've traced onto stiff paper from the original fragile tissue.

These boxes store big folders of pattern pieces I’ve traced onto stiff paper from the original fragile tissue.

I wish you could smell the cedar particle-board ceiling. It smells–well, dry and toasty and clean, if those can be smells.

The shelves, all loaded.

The shelves, all loaded.

Now it was my pleasant task to decide what to store in my new cedar closet.

A cart used for farmers' market shopping now stores rolls of paper and a pad for ironing.

A cart used for farmers’ market shopping now stores rolls of paper and a pad for ironing.

I had originally thought I’d put my fabrics in there. But then I decided to store things that are bulky (my big boxes of patterns traced onto stiff paper), remnants from home decorating, interfacings and muslins, fabrics for wearable tests, and rolls of paper.

This photo from Martha Stewart living gave me the idea for storing my paper in our cart.

This photo from Martha Stewart Living gave me the idea for storing my paper in our little shopping cart.

(If you’re interested in those storage boxes, go to Demco.com and search for “Poster Storage System.”)

These are all useful but either not needed very often or not sources of inspiration.

Jack and I partially disassembled the metal shelves to move them into the closet. That’s the nice thing about these shelves. If necessary, you could take them apart completely and reassemble them in their new location–unlike a wooden bookcase.

This heavy, unwieldy roll of paper for pattern-transferring is out of the way now.

This heavy, unwieldy roll of paper for pattern-transferring is out of the way now.

I had a whole shelf left. I’m putting my buttons there till I have a better idea of how to store and display them easily and cheaply. I haven’t found the perfect button storage solution yet.

The rolls of tracing paper, cellophane and newsprint that had been stowed in a corner are now corralled in a cart I bought at a neighborhood estate sale years ago.  There was a Martha Stewart Living article about organizing your workspace that showed a wire cart for posters or paper rolls, which always struck me as a great idea.

Then I thought of our farmers’ market cart. It’s not very sturdy: a wheel has fallen off several times when we’ve hauled produce back to the car. So the cart has been reassigned to light duty holding my paper rolls and a padded surface for ironing.

Moving the hatboxes here will free up a lot of closet space for me.

Moving the hatboxes here will free up a lot of closet space for me.

There was enough space to store four hatboxes, too, which frees up precious clothing closet space: an unexpected boon.

Jack has moved on to the next phase: painting the main space. It will be easier to explain that process when it’s finished and I have more pictures.

Ten weeks earlier, when we cracked open the two doors.

Ten weeks earlier, when we cracked open the two doors.

The Storage Space Nears Completion

Readers,

The storage space is being insulated, which will help the main space retain heat, too.

The storage space is being insulated, which will help the main space retain heat, too.

A week ago our unfinished storage space under the front entrance was a dark, dank, cobwebby spiders’ den. This afternoon I stepped inside a bright, clean, warm, dry, ventilated, bugproof storage space that smells like cedar chips. I can’t get over the difference!

Daniel installed a cedar particle board, to repel insects.

Daniel installed a cedar particle board, to repel insects.

Tomorrow Daniel will stop back to install a carpet remnant over the concrete floor and finish with a little baseboard.

Then it’s up to me to determine how best to use the space, which, when completely finished  will be about 29 inches deep and about 63 inches wide, so about 12 1/2 square feet.

Now there'll be proper ventilation.

Now there’ll be proper ventilation.

I initially thought I’d store my fabric in the new space. But it’s beautiful and inspiring. I really like being able to see it when I exercise.

A clean, well-lighted place. RIP, spiders!

A clean, well-lighted place. RIP, spiders!

Now my thought is to store stuff that’s not inspiring and isn’t frequently used.  (No, I don’t mean the serger!) This would reduce visual clutter as well as opening up square footage in the main space.

So, in under a week I’ve gotten vastly improved lighting and a new little storage space.

Another view of the cedar particle board. It smells good.

Another view of the cedar particle board. It smells good.

Next time, I hope to show you the totally finished space, with shelves and boxes moved in.

Demystifying the Mystery Spot

Readers,

Before concrete was poured.

Before concrete was poured.

Progress continued yesterday on the sewing space.

The twelve ceiling lights are all installed and on a dimmer.

Then Daniel turned his attention to the space behind the “mystery” door. It’s a mystery no longer.

The concrete is poured.

The concrete is poured.

He used his shop vac to clear out the spiders, which even he described as “nasty.”

He poured a concrete floor, which is drying this weekend.

Work will continue Monday.

Watch this space.