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Between our dining room and the garage lies the narrow hall with the adjacent laundry alcove. Doors at each end nearly touch when opened, and folding doors hide the washer and dryer. Operation of a combination of these access ports simultaneously requires planning and great skill.

The flooring in that area is the original linoleum worn through in a couple spots by twenty-eight years of traffic, and the wall paint is whatever was left from a redo of some other part of the house. It’s time for a makeover.

I’ll skip the boring details like removing the popcorn from the ceiling, removing baseboards carefully for reuse, pulling up old flooring, and installing new tile flooring. Interested readers can follow this link to find my ordered task list. Having a plan minimizes frustration for me.

We chose Classico Travertine Taupe Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile (# 591535) from Lowe’s for the floor. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams Silver Shimmer (#8771) in Cashmere Low Lustre interior acrylic latex. The paint seemed odorless to me, dried quickly, and covered my newly primed walls in a snap.

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Here’s the finished room with new paint, new tile flooring and the trim sanded, painted, and reinstalled.

But we’re not finished yet. Coats and gloves occupy this space along with miscellaneous odds and ends. We need custom coatracks nestled in the space behind the doors, and a 2-bay shelf between the window and ceiling to provide basket storage for scarves and mittens.

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Every DIY person needs to complete at least one pallet wood project. A pickup load of pallets yielded several board feet of useable lumber as well as a generous contribution to the firewood pile. Harvesting pallet wood is not for those afraid of sweat and hard work. Be advised that hidden nails in the wood can wreck saw blades. Use caution, wear gloves, and always include eye protection.

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We need two coatracks constructed from slats of varying widths. The overall height of each rack is to be 48”.

I sanded the slats before assembly to remove splinters and rough edges. Expect many of those with pallet wood.

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The frame is constructed of 1×2 clear fir. I tacked the first slat in place using a trim gun then countersink two 1” screws on each end. Holes were filled with wood putty and sanded smooth. All slats were installed in a similar fashion but how would I space nine slats of varying widths?

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Rather than measure the span between slats I butted the boards together on one end of the frame, measured the remaining space on the frame and divided by eight to get the space between the nine slats. I then cut a pair of spacing blocks to make assembly a cinch.

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The coatracks were ready to finish by filling any voids, sanding, priming, and then painting.

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Mounting the racks should have been straightforward using a pair of French cleats for each side. A last minute managerial design change forced me to disassemble and shorten both racks. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

The glove, scarf, and mitten collections have always been problematic. Here in the south we don’t need them often, but when we need them we really need them. Past ideas for archiving these clothing items have proven to be tacky, like the clothes pin on a string method or the stuff-them-all-in-a-tote-bag solution. We chose open baskets – easy to load and reload, easy to find articles, and easy for anyone to put the gloves away.

The shelf is made from ¾” maple plywood, usually expensive but free for this project thanks to my dumpster-diving daughter who loves upcycling as much as I do. A friend of a friend was moving out of town and needed someone to cart away a stack of lumber and tile from a garage. She volunteered my truck and split the booty with me. Sweet!

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I joined the box ends with the Kreg jig pocket screw system.

Trim around the bottom covered the plywood edges. Trim around the top coupled the box and ceiling.

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The baskets are wire mesh from Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

The search for moveable coat hooks for the new racks was fruitless. Pot hangers (for hanging pots and pans, not for growing weed) were out of my price range. S-hooks did not work well.

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I harvested coat hangers from the laundry room, grabbed a few tools and set out to solve the problem. My hooks do require some hand strength to assemble, but they work like a Briggs & Stratton engine.

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Cut the hanger hook in two places.

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Cut the resulting piece into two parts with an additional snip.

Bend the curvy part so the legs touch and run parallel to one another.

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I placed the wire in the vise, bent the legs over, and tapped with a hammer to create a defined edge.

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Now using two pairs of pliers bend the closed end of the wire to make the coat loop. This bending can be done over a pipe to create a rounder hook.

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On the open end of the wires make 2 bends to create the square hanger portion which will fit over the top of the coat rack slat.

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To use the hook insert the square hanger behind the slat and pop the coat onto the hook. It’s that easy.

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Make as many hooks as needed. I created a mix of sizes including small ones for hats. Shawn was delighted with the look and the functionality. Elegance and practicality can co-exist. She married me, didn’t she?