Repurposing a Hall ClosetAugust 5, 2021
When I first started Down in the Hollow, my husband and I had just moved into our second home. Our first home we had custom built and we had worked in tandem to design every detail instead of relying on a designer or decorator. We just happen to like the same things and he tends to be down for all of my wild ideas. Maybe not *all* of them, I’m still battling it out for a cocktail pool on the side of our house. Have you heard of those? Amazing. But, in any case, when we moved out of that house, we purchased an older home from the 1980’s. We bought it because the exterior reminded us of an English garden and the inside was renovated in all of the right places. The kitchen had recently been completely redone and was not only humongous because they extended it, but it was beautiful, modern and fit the color scheme of our last kitchen we had designed. A spare bedroom had been turned into a master closet, there was a master suite upstairs AND downstairs and both had fireplaces. I mean, there were multiple reasons why we chose this house. But one of the biggest ones was that the parts of the home that were not updated and renovated, we were excited to tackle and slowly put our stamp all over the house. As I started blogging, I started sharing “room reveals” as we began designing and executing our vision for the spaces in our home, which we call Maple Hollow Cottage – hence the name of this blog! You can find all of those posts on the “Home” tab on this blog, by the way!
Admittedly, life kinda took over and it has been a while since we’ve worked on the house and thus, it has been a while since I’ve talked about Maple Hollow Cottage on my blog. However, we recently had a leak in one of our walls and had to have a team go in, take drywall out, rip up our floors, fix our pipes and then put it all back together in the downstairs guest suite. The site of the leak was behind one of the two closets in that room. By the way, the two closets in this room are very outdated with shutter style doors and the closet that had to be ripped out and rebuilt is really small; too small to use as a closet currently in our opinion. Not to mention, we use the room as a guest room/library/study so the closet space isn’t really necessary to keep for that function. So my mind immediately started thinking about how I could use that space now that I had a fresh, clean slate to work with. Keep in mind that we didn’t have them build it back as it was; we just had it drywalled, painted and floored but didn’t have any hanging bars or shelves installed so it just became a little nook between the bedroom/library/study and the bathroom. Again, it was previously utilized as a master suite so it’s a pretty big space. It spans the length of the house. So I knew there was an opportunity to do something unique and true to our style instead of making it a closet again.
And what did I come up with? I bet you already guessed it…A BAR! Very on brand, no?
Since we got married, we have had a Target bar cart that resided in the corner of our living room. We love entertaining, hosting and just mixing up ourselves a cocktail or pouring a whiskey at the end of a long day to enjoy together. So the bar cart was an acceptable format. But when I started to envision putting together a classy bar, in a designated area of our home that could easily be closed off from visitors’ children and our future children instead of having liquor bottles stacked on a cart in our living room, I knew immediately this was what we should do with the space and, as per usual, Adam was game. So the planning began.
Other side story, because that’s just my personality: A few years ago, I had been stalking a beautiful chinoiserie cabinet on Chairish but it was pretty pricey. It was all black with mother-of-pearl inlay depicting a traditional chinoiserie scene and lots of beautiful florals. I mean it was literally perfect. I probably looked at it every day. And then one day it sold. And my heart just absolutely broke. I opened the app, went to look at the cabinet and then saw those big, bold, red letters that said SOLD and literally my heart just fell to the floor. When Adam got home, I told him how heartbroken I was and that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t just pulled the trigger and gotten the dang thing because it was an antique and it was one-of-a-kind…I’d never find it again. He was entirely sympathetic and tried to console a (probably overly dramatic) me. And you know what? That’s the day I found out Adam is kind of a good actor. Because shortly after, for my birthday, you know what showed up at my house? THAT CABINET!! Because my absolutely solid gold husband had bought it for me for my birthday and this ambiguous place I’d imagined in my head that the cabinet was going to, lost to the world forever….was my home. LOL! I didn’t know what to do with it just yet because it didn’t really fit anywhere in our house, so I just stuck it in a spare room and there it sat. But when I had the idea of repurposing a spare closet and turning it into a bar, DING immediately I knew I had to use that cabinet. But would it fit? I mean, that’s a very specific sized space. But yep. Literally fits like a glove, like it was destined to be in there. So in it went and then we built everything around that. We found antique chinoiserie panels that complement the cabinet perfectly, we found antique thumbprint goblets in a rich pink color to display (and use) and the most beautiful circular bamboo shelves. I mean, in my humble opinion it pulled together so well with things we had already been collecting over the years from our antiquing adventures and some new things we got for the space as well. But honestly, most everything we already had on hand.
Again, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When you see something you know you love, GET IT! You might not know immediately how and where you’ll use it, but I promise if you love it that much…a place will make itself available eventually.
So, as they say, without further ado…check out our new bar! What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
chinoiserie dry bar hall closet home bar home design home renovation repurposed space
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