Having been inside many old houses in my life, and now that I live in one, I am realizing that very few old homes have coat closets. Did people in the late 1800’s not wear coats? If they did, where were they hung once they stepped indoors? After a little research, I discovered that coat hangers were not invented until the early 1900’s, so that might explain why my old house doesn’t have a designated place to hang outerwear. This small issue was of no concern to me when we purchased the house in the spring, but as the cooler weather is setting in, I have become increasingly perplexed as to where we will hang our jackets. Due to lack of space, installing a coat closet was not possible. Returning to the pre-coat hangers era, I decided to build an area where our coats can hang when the cold weather arrives. I am calling it my coat corner.
Looking at the arrangement of my downstairs, the only space that was logical for coats is in my front hall. The space is tight, but I began to visualize it. Once I get an idea in my head, there is no stopping me. It doesn’t matter what I have going on at the time, I generally put everything else aside and begin to implement my plan.
My Steps to Installing A Coat Corner:
Off to the big box store to purchase wood. I decided to go with tongue and groove panels as my wainscoting. I like the look of that when putting wood more than halfway up the wall as opposed to narrower boards. I would suggest measuring the walls first; I did not do that, because I was so excited to begin! Thankfully, I purchased the correct amount of wood. That was the easy part. It wasn’t until I came home, cut the wood to size, primed it and brought it inside that I realized this would, of course, be a larger job than I anticipated. First, I needed to remove those corner shelves that a previous owner had, at one time, thought was a good idea to put up. With so many coats of paint on these old walls, these shelves were not going to just come down with the tap of a hammer. Thankfully, I own a tool that could cut them out.
The next step was to tackle the baseboard. Because I wanted the wood panels to sit flush to the trim, I needed to take out the top part of the base. This was not difficult with a crowbar; it was simply an extra step in what was now becoming a longer project.
Finally, after gluing and nailing, the wall is installed.
It required a couple coats of paint and a shelf and trim to finish it. Old, twisted wire coat hooks found in an antique store completed the project.
My favorite projects are quick, and this one was. It was completed in a day. This does not include repainting the hallway due to the corner shelf removal, but that was accomplished the next day. I love it and am now prepared for cold weather and guests!