home life – front closet

How many of you remember the front closet door drama that raged on for five months after I moved in? Show of hands. Now let’s review. There’s a coat/utility/storage closet near the front door that was in desperate need of new doors when I bought my apartment. I knew the original doors had to go. I just didn’t know having new doors made would take so freaking long. But they are magnificent. Def worth the wait.

Here’s the front closet before picture:

Front closet before

Those sliding slatted doors were not working for me. The closet space was basically one long hanging rod and two overhead shelves. An outrageous waste of space. I could not start sketching designs fast enough. You’ll also note the second closet on the other side of the front door. At first I was like, “Sweet, two big closets!” But my architect was like, “Um, no, we should take that other closet out to create a grand foyer.” How right he was.

This was the second closet after being ripped out:

Grand foyer before

Then the front closet was gutted:

Front closet during

I worked with the same designer who did the walk-in closet. She determined the best measurements for a coat rod, several shelves for supplies, overhead storage shelves, a cubby for my floor cleaner, and an area with hooks for hanging my gym bag, scarves, and umbrellas.

Here’s the completed front closet and grand foyer:

Front closet and grand foyer

Were we done? No. No, we were not. Because this whole time I thought the custom doors were almost finished, my carpenter was still waiting for special hinges to be made. You know hinges are special when they take two months to make. The closet doors were not going to have a frame. They were going to hang on pivot hinges. They were going to be spray painted glossy white. They were going to be magnificent.

If they ever got here.

This was the front closet situation for five months after I moved in:

Front closet awaiting doors

The funny thing? Is that people who came over didn’t even realize this was supposed to be a closet. I kept insisting that doors were coming. They kept nodding like you do with crazy people who insist their imaginary friend is coming to dinner so you better set an extra place. Some lost hope that the closet doors would ever arrive. But I kept hope alive. First the doors were supposed to be installed, but the carpenter’s assistant put the latch pulls on backwards. Then they were supposed to be installed, but they needed another coat of paint to correct for the latch pull debacle. Then Sandy happened. My carpenter’s studio was flooded. He sent me a photo of the doors to confirm that they existed, but were being held hostage:

Front closet doors being held hostage

Finally the doors were brought over! Were they painted yet? No. No, they were not. They were only visiting for a few hours to make sure they fit:

Front closet doors visit

Saying goodbye was not easy. I couldn’t wait to see them again and welcome the painted doors home for good. They were whisked away to be painted…oh yeah, then the whole latch pull/Sandy/flooding/repainting happened. Sorry, the timeline got a little foggy there. In the end, the front closet doors were installed in their full magnificence.

Finally…the after photo we’ve all been waiting for!

Front closet doors after

The doors are solid maple with a layer of MDF to achieve that glossy shine. Each door is about 150 pounds. The doors pivot on those special hinges so smoothly they don’t even make a sound. My architect wanted me to go with latch pulls instead of doorknobs for a streamlined look. Am I happy with the doors? Hells yeah. Windex is pretty, but I really didn’t need to look at the bottle like it was part of a sculpture called No Closet Doors anymore.

Oh yeah. If you’re wondering why my grand foyer doesn’t look all that grand, allow me to kindly remind you that this is downtown Manhattan. A foyer measuring four square feet is quite grand. Just being able to open the front door all the way is a luxury. Oh, it’s fancy up in here. No doubt.