When Christina Valencia first met Megan and Christopher Lim, she was impressed with how little storage they needed. “Chris was like, ‘I own two pairs of pants,'” the designer jokingly recalled. “They don’t have much, which is cool that they live like that.” That’s why Valencia and her husband, Kele Dobrinski, who run the company together Colossus Mfg and host the new HGTV show, Mix our house, only needed one wall to create a super-functional closet for the Sacramento, Calif.-based couple. But rather than making a standard folding or sliding door, they built a custom setup with part of an old cabinet at its heart.
“Cabinetwork can be very expensive,” says Dobrinski. When the design duo came across this old Drexel cabinet in their storage warehouse (they originally found it on Craigslist), they knew it could offer a lot of flexibility. “If you’re looking for a vintage chest of drawers, there are a few brands to consider. Drexel is of good quality,” he adds. Behind some of the center doors are pull-out drawers that make it easy to store smaller items like socks and pajamas, so it was easy to get the picture-ready piece into place.
After sawing off the legs and top ledge of the cabinet, the designers built two handy cupboards in their off-site shop to go on either side of the unit, as well as an open shoe rack under the base of the cupboard which actually lifted the whole thing up to the ceiling. “It was a little tricky, because we wanted to make it look like one custom piece, even though it was built in four sections,” Valencia explains.
The hardest part of the installation was transporting the two large boxes for the long hanging objects. “They were probably an inch and a half shorter than the height of the ceiling, so we had to go in at an angle and angle them,” Dobrinski recalls.
Finally, when everything was fixed in place, they sprayed everything (trim bits included) into Sherwin-Williams’s ancient marble, a beige white with hints of sage green, and all the doors have been given fresh hardware from Etsy. File this bright idea under upcycled projects that look like anything but.