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Talking Rugs and Lighting (Aren’t I Always?)

The closet is looking good, and it’s so close to being done.

Closet Sneak Peek

The couple of sneak peeks above are on Instagram, and if you follow me on Snapchat, you might have seen the design plan for the closet. I was thinking of using a pink rug and bench. Either something all pink like Pottery Barn’s Leila tufted rug, or in a pattern that features the color prominently like Caitlin Wilson’s Kismet rug. We had an antique/vintage (no details on how old it is) Tibetan meditation rug in the hallway though that’s mostly red with a little pink, and it looks great in the closet. Our hallway is a bit more naked now, but that hallway is in serious need of repair right now anyway after all of the rewiring work on the second floor (another story for another day).

Small Patterned Rugs

I ordered a small tufted ottoman from Target in pink that hasn’t arrived yet. Then I saw the same ottoman in the store in a pretty grayish blue color that hadn’t been listed online. I brought it home yesterday and the other is due to arrive tomorrow, so I’ll keep whichever is better with the rug.

Which means there are only three more things to do, and then the closet is done!

  1. Sew a sink skirt.
    Easy enough, I was just waiting on the rug so I can choose fabric. Moving ahead with that one.

  2. Hem the curtains.
    Easy peasy.

  3. Find a new light.
    Not so easy, but it needs to happen.

Yeah, so the light. I put up one of the fixtures from downstairs because why not? I’ll tell you why not: it’s way to low and I bump into it constantly. I knew that the scale was wrong, but I figured it would be fine and buy some time until I found something else. It wasn’t a visual assault on my eyes or anything, it just looked silly, being to big. I failed to take into account how annoying and potentially dangerous it would be — I’m worried I might break the glass.

I came across this image that I posted here in 2011, before I had ever set foot in our Victorian.

New York Brownstone Entry

Beautiful, right? And I’ve been so drawn to that simple style of lighting lately. I want to replace our foyer pendant and was considering something similar, but now I’m also considering it in a smaller, semi-flush mount version for the closet. I’m still not 100%, but I think it could work.

Protecting Our Upholstery

hr 644

Remember the pair of chairs in our living room? The ones that I mentioned were the recipient once of a nice dousing with orange soda?

Protecting Light-Colored Upholstery #LoveYourThings #Scotchgard

Yep, those are the ones. We usually only eat or drink at the dining room table, but the soda was spilled during a party when we were being more lax (and by an adult, not one of the kids!). We got to it right away and luckily it came up without staining, but it wasn’t a good feeling to worry that the upholstery might have been ruined by one little accident.

I hadn’t taken any steps to protect them, even after that incident, until after I started working with Scotchgard Brand. I’d heard of them before (most of us probably have), but I hadn’t used any of their products or seen them in action so it didn’t cross my mind that it was an option. When I met with their team and was able to see a few demos, I realized how helpful it would have been for my chairs! Scotchgard Protectors don’t change the look or feel of your fabric at all, and you would never know a fabric had been treated unless you were to spill on it. Liquids bead up on the surface, so if something spills you have a little leeway to go get a towel and clean things up before anything soaks through.

Using #Scotchgard Protectors for Light Upholstery #LoveYourThings

#Scotchgard Repels Liquids #LoveYourThings

I used Scotchgard Fabric and Upholstery Protector starting with the front of each chair and moving my way towards the backs with a single can. Come over and spill all over my things! They have magic forcefields now. Or at least it seems like they do.

Protecting Upholstery with #Scotchgard #LoveYourThings

How to Protect Light Upholstery with #Scotchgard #LoveYourThings

hr 644
I am a compensated Scotchgard Brand-sponsored blogger. Opinions are my own and additional products used in the project were selected by me.

Getting the Closet Back in Order

Tiny DIY Assistant

Here’s the work that has been done in the closet since I last shared my ‘to do’ list.

  • Rewire (sconce, ceiling fixture, two switches, two outlets)

  • Patch holes and damage from rewiring

  • Paint prep (mostly cleaning all of the plaster dust everywhere)

  • Prime (walls and ceiling)

  • Paint (walls and ceiling)

  • Rewire antique lights or choose replacements

  • Rehang lights

  • New mirror above the sink

  • Install new closet fittings

And what’s left?

  • Add storage near the sink

  • Put everything away (paring down in the process)

  • Zhush it all up a little

I also need to hang shelves; I forgot to include that in my original list. I’ve ordered a cabinet organizer that will hopefully work for the “storage near the sink” and I’ve started putting things away and zhushing, though I still have more to do.

The Closet, Empty but Almost Ready

I replaced the sconce above the sink with a similar fixture. I wanted something that felt appropriate for the house — nothing to modern, though I do love a lot of modern sconces. It’s polished, unlacquered brass with a milk glass half-dome shade and all of the wires in the fixture and the wall are from this century. Exciting!

Brass and Milk Glass Sconce

I also hung one of the lights from downstairs. The scale of it is all wrong and it makes the closet glow pink, but it will buy me some time until I find the perfect replacement. I hadn’t planned on ordering a new light, but when I had to go with a medallion to cover an access plate from the electricians’ rewiring, the antique flushmount I had planned on reusing no longer fit. (You can see the new and old sconces below too. Very similar.)

Brass and Glass, Old and New

Antique Victorian Lighting with Pink Cranberry Glass Shades

Once I have a new light, I’ll secure the ceiling medallion a little better. The fixture now is hanging from an antique cross bar that I repurposed from elsewhere in the house, and it’s slightly off center. I didn’t want to sink the screws, caulk, and paint the medallion now, only to have a replacement fixture end up looking askew after hanging it with different hardware. Everything I like though seems to have long lead times (6 weeks, on average), so this will do for a while.

I ordered hooks two weeks ago, but they haven’t shipped yet. My shelf brackets haven’t come yet either. I did install the closet system though (c/o Ballard Designs), anchoring it to the wall and getting the front nice and even. It involved removing the closet’s base shoe molding with a pry bar, a lot of pushing and pulling to align the units, finding studs and drilling and what-not, and the artful use of shims. Lots and lots of shims.

Installing the Closet System

In related news, I need perhaps something besides a giant contractor grade drill? Why did I choose this thing? It’s powerful, but overkill for most projects.


I also anchored my garment rack to the wall. This is the one I already had — the one that broke. I was able to fix it but the pipe is bent and wobbly, so what I lose in mobility by anchoring it, I gain in safety. I can’t chance it falling over on one of the kids.

Garment Rack and Shoe Storage

Anchoring a Garment Rack

I used parts from a mirror hanging kit and screwed one of its D-rings to a wall stud. I started out by going perpendicular from the rack, but it was visible and kind of ugly, so I redid it, going at an angle that would be hidden by the hangers. I trimmed the wire, of course.

I’m waiting on the hooks and brackets to arrive, and a few other finishing pieces. Almost there! Eleanor was watching me load the closet up. She asked what I was doing, and I told her I was getting the closet back in order so I can get the bedroom back together too. “I like making it look nice,” I told her. Her response: “You mean you like making it LOVELY.”

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