Hanging Barn Doors, Closets, and Window Seat DIY Project

If you follow my Instagram www.instagram.com/jodieotte/, you already saw this hanging barn door and closet/window seat project; however, I was refraining from posting it to the blog until I finished, and I didn’t think I would be finished until I put a cushion on top of the bench, but then decided I didn’t want one. So while I may change out the pillows and such later, it’s pretty much complete.

My husband collects shoes and clothes; well, in his defense, he’s quite the big guy and with those broad shoulders comes large clothing. Not to mention, depending on where he is working, he will have to dress business casual, business, or casual. This year alone, he changed from one company to two others, and each came with a different dress code. That said, we spilled our combined clothing into the guest room which we turned into a wall of Ikea Pax wardrobes.

It was time to reclaim the clothing storage!!!

Existing Closet Makeover

before closet makeoverI had to start this project by stepping back a minute and doing a full makeover on the existing closet.  I wish I would have gotten a good before picture but just image one row of clothes hanging on each side and some shelves above – all gross ugly dark wood and sagging and really no good use of space.  This is a shot when I gutted it.

diy closet shelvesI decided since he has a ton of shoes, I may as well make him some shelves – lots of shelves.  I used simple cheap pine boards cut and fit to my liking.  I then was able to give him two hanging racks/poles on one side, and a smaller one on the other, and many shelves.

This is so easy to do and very inexpensive.  Paintable caulk is your friend.  See those gaps?  Easily filled with caulk and then painted.

after closet makeover

Tip:   I don’t know about you, but I love keeping closets painted white.  That way, if you change the room color later, you don’t have to repaint the closets.  Also, when you have a pure white closet, it’s easier to see your clothes.

Here is the after.   I even built shelves above the door behind above camera out of view – when you lack room, build UP.  My husband is 6’2″, he has no problem reaching anything in here.

Closets, Window Seat, Barn Doors

We have a very odd shaped master bedroom.  It is long and has no architectural interest so I always wanted to create a window seat under the window facing the back property (and move the treadmill elsewhere!).  My clothes take up much less space, so my plan was on either side of this window to create a closet and then make shoe storage inside of the window seat.  I still had the wardrobes in the guest room for clothing that I seldom use, but I knew the majority could fit well in here if I utilized the space properly.  Originally, we were going to share his closet and each take one of these smaller closets, but I figured it would be best just to split the clothing up – I don’t always keep my closets as neat as he does, so let’s just let him have his OCD contained.  😉

before windowseat

Have I ever studded out closets?  No.  I haven’t.  But never fear, there are a lot of YouTube videos.   I had no plans, I just did it.  I mean, how hard can it be?  One question I was asked, and I would like to address –  Did I nail/screw the bottom boards into the floor?  Yes, I did.  I could have removed this flooring and replaced, but we are not ready to do that quite yet.  When we do replace this floor, I will have to cut around, and I’m okay with that.   I didn’t want to tear everything up and then not be ready to redo all the hardwood in the house for another few years…

building a closetOne of the reasons I decided on sliding barn doors was because we have a bit of a tight space there next to the vanity.  Having a door pull outward would be way too tight.  The sliding doors were the best choice.

The most important measurement I had to worry about here was for the hanging barn door rail.  the rail would have to go across the bulkhead that I framed.  I also wanted to make sure that the doors hung relatively aligned with the door opening to the left (which goes to the master bathroom which will eventually get an expansion and makeover in the future).

diy window seat

Next was drywalling and then framing out the window seat.   I hate drywall but more so, I had spackling and sanding – that is the worst!   I wasn’t too concerned about tackling the window seat because I already made one in the form of a kitchen banquette. My only concern here was there was an air vent but frankly, that was not difficult to simply frame out and extend to the front.

how to build window seat

Now for the fun part.  I built doors for the front in the same method that I used for the laundry room makeover.  I glued flat pieces of wood to the door fronts with Liquid Nail for paneling/molding, caulked, and painted.   I also built shelves inside to house my shoes.

how to build barn doors

I used the hollow core flat doors that are inexpensive as the base for the hanging doors, and then just like the cabinets, I added moldings, caulked, and painted.  There are so many hanging barn door designs to choose from, I kept it very simple to not clash with the rest of the doors in the room.

This is the hardware I used – one of the more inexpensive types, but I’m about making everything mesh together well, not having too many focal points.  I purchased two of the single door pieces to do this.

drywall closets and window seat

Just as I had suspected, the cats couldn’t wait to hang out at the window.  I found some stair treads in MDF that were on clearance at Home Depot (excellent find) and used them for the top (along with a pine board between those and the wall).  This finished off the edge nicely since the stair treads had a bull-nose edge.  I didn’t have to use the router for the edge.  I added hinges, so the top shelf is accessed by hinge.  It’s nice to put belts and summer sandals in those areas.

window seat with barn doorsI’m extremely happy with this project.  It was a lot of work, but well worth it.  I’m quite a freak about organization, and I love having our clothes finally organized in a way that makes sense.

Don’t laugh – yes, I have a set of steps for my spoiled Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 🙂  If you are a weirdo with your pets like me, check this set of stairs out – not only does it help your pet get up to a high bed, but it also has storage inside – that’s always a plus for me!  And even better, they look nice and like they belong with the furniture.

master bedroom makeover

We still have our little sitting area – but you can see, this is just a long rectangle of a room.  The change has definitely added a little more interest.

hanging barn doors

Ikea Hack Mirror with Jewelry Storage

Speaking of organization, one more thing that I added to the master bedroom.   I hate having necklaces inside of a jewelry box.  They frequently get tangled, and I can’t see them well to decide one which I’d like to wear.  I ended up buying a new mirror for the room (from Ikea), and put it on hinges on the wall and painted the area behind it black (so I could see the jewelry well up against it).  I bought some great little hangers from Amazon, and all my necklaces are now organized, out of the way, but easily accessible.

jewelry storage ikea mirror     jewelry storage behind mirror

Ikea no longer carries this exact mirror; however, I was able to find it here.  (Edited:  I just saw it in Ikea again 2018)  Mine came with hinges but it would be easy to add simple hinges to it.

If you are interested in these jewelry hangers – they are super simple to use, and you can purchase them here