In the Closet

Jennifer Boles of the Peak of Chic did a great post last week on the design equivalent of lipstick.  She’s layering her home with thoughtful touches that are both stylish and budget friendly.  She asked her readers what their “lipstick purchases” have been.

Mine have been paint.  When we bought the dream house we had a little bit of time between closings so we freshened up our new home with paint.  The painters did not think they would have enough time to finish before we moved in so I pleaded, “What if you didn’t do the closets?  Would that save enough time?”  Yes, agreed, no closets.  A happy compromise and, as I like to paint, I thought I’d do them myself.

Nearly nine years later I had completed one.  Five years ago I painted the big boys’ closet while they were skiing with Mr. Blandings.  But right before school let out I took on the front hall closet.  It was supposed to be papered with the same paper as the front hall, but had been forgotten.  Nine years ago.

I don’t usually like pink for myself but I was having a hankering.  The first shade was horrific, but the next, while vibrant, was just what I was after.  Then, just following an exchange with another blogger about the current wave of Draperesque design not holding up, both of us nodding our heads at our computer screens, I Dorothy-ed the ceiling.  I was inspired by a couple of pieces I’d seen in Joe Nye’s showroom in New York.


I’ve been thinking about these butterflies for a while.  Once completed I decided they were too dense, but I suppose my perspective was skewed as I was on a ladder in a very tiny space.  Also, I think a new globe is in order but I’ve been far too busy running my ridiculously-indulged children around to pick one up.  Which will also be the excuse I use for not painting the remaining four un-touched closets for at least three more months.

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35 thoughts on “In the Closet

  1. As I say every time you paint, well done Mrs. B. It's fun, everyone should have closets that make them smile.

    Have you thought about a small chandelier?

  2. What about a small paper Chinese or silk parisol upside down to cover the light Mind you make sure its far enough away to avoid flame up but that could work. Did it in a friends entryway…looked amazing.

  3. Wow — what a great closet — love the whimsy! And how I covet that closet — except for my closet/room, the ones at Linderhof are too small to paint.

  4. Like a wild striped pink silk lining inside a classic jacket — totally unexpected. Or like a secret garden. Patricia, I love getting to see the last view, with the closet in use. And I want to hear how the men reacted!

  5. What fun! Imagine what a conversation piece when your guests go to hang their coats, even if you won't be having any more PRFs (did I get that right?).

    As the mom of three boys, you found a great place to put some girly energy.

    If it will make you feel better, I am writing this just before I run out to take my over-indulged kids to their next summer activity. Sigh.

  6. Another awesome job Mrs. B! I can almost hear Sir David Attenborough commenting excitedly about the long lost rare Frontas Hallas Closet butterflies being found in Kansas City.
    Millie ^_^
    That closet looks to be larger than our current Sitting Room, MOTH & I may need to move in.

  7. David – you would not have applauded the first color – yikes. We'll see on the fixture – as Mr. B says, "People are like deer; they never look up."

  8. Courtney – as expected, it took a little while for them to notice. Since I was working with latex I moved the stuff out and in with each coat. It was not until I was cutting butterflies that anyone bothered to open the door. From there it was "Huh. Cool," which is about as good as it gets. Mr. B is incredulous that the umbrella stand is inside the closet but otherwise is two thumbs up.

  9. Covetable – part of the reason I painted was a party that I had the first of June. Rain was predicted and I couldn't stand the thought of coats and umbrellas being stored in such a dreary spot. It poured, but I must have been distracted and ended up with a dozen umbrellas leaning in the hall. Best laid plans.

    And, no PRF this time, though your shorthand was correct.

  10. I love this closet–what a perfect bedroom for a little girl. The butterflies are great. Can't wait to see the next projects.

  11. What a treat for my eyes! Okay so I get the lipstick splurge, because this indeed falls into that category. But this really reminds me of a beautiful interior lining of a purse. The kind of lining that totally sells you (surprises you) on the bag. I can't believe how gorgeous it is. The scallop trim at the top makes my little heart go pitter patter. I love it!
    My only recent lipstick splurges have been in the nursery… and after each one I tell myself "oh geez, you probably could have bought a month's worth of diapers instead"… but then I think I'll stop the lipstick-splurges after baby arrives… when it feels more 'real'. 😉

  12. Beautiful, light, fresh, Mrs B you are truly an artist. When you open the closet for guests, just sweep your arm in and upwards to that fabulous ceiling!

  13. I think Mr. Blandings is right, but that observation is encoded into the Y chromosome only. I think it is quite charming, love the parasol as light fixture idea and the tented ceiling is perfection. I am in the middle of covering a room in fabric, including the closet. There is something about opening a pretty closet that feels like a gift to yourself. Butterflies may be free, but the inspiration was beyond price. Well done.

  14. Mrs Blandings! just a little closet! and how!
    A dear sweet pink- Me thinks- Darkened and Slight- How I will Shine- When you find the Right Light.

    Your head must be spinning, closets, paint, galas, writing, publishing, No wonder you are in a closet. I eagerly await your Enlightening Book Tales for my Summer Reading Series. LA

  15. I've never seen such a charming closet (definitely not in my house!). Will you come paint — and organize too? Bravo.

  16. Mrs. Blandings,

    I think you should sweep in and out of that closet ala Loretta Young. It simply demands it.

  17. Oh, that came out so pretty!
    How about a iron work-tole chandlier from the 1960-1970's (white with painted flowers and usually were made in Italy?)

  18. that is so not too many butterflies in that closet!

    Want to come work in Santa Barbara? that closet is the closest to perfect I have ever seen!!

    Penelope

  19. Fabulous job Patricia! Well, it's got the tented ceiling thing going so you know I love it. I'm just in awe at what you've done.

  20. Penelope – you have no idea how flattered I am. As the midwest heat is upon us Santa Barbara looks pretty appealing.

  21. The closet and ceiling design is divine!! I've been on the hunt for ideas on how to redo my daughter's closet — thank you for sharing this inspiring idea!
    Jennifer

  22. Love this closet, I just moved into a new house and I am making the closets into pretty places. This post is very inspiring.

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