What do you do when your search for a unique off-the-shelf item turns up empty?
I was working on a space that required a coat rack for its open concept entry, also the client seating area. As I began the sourcing process, it didn’t take long before I realized this item would be difficult to find, at least to find one ‘off-the-shelf’ that met all the criteria: a wall-mount; the right length; priced within budget; and unique, with visual character. Not only was I now on a full-scale hunt, but Lesley Zurrer, owner of home decor boutique Embellish, just happened to be heading off to a trade show in Vancouver and promised to be on the look-out as well.
So you can imagine, how excited I was when Lesley called to say she had found something ‘that might work’. Lesley had discovered a metal wall-mount shelf, technically a baker’s rack, and wondered if the slatted shelf would work in place of an actual rod for the hangers. A quick demo had me thinking this might just work.
As it turned out, when I held the unit against the wall the depth of the shelf was not quite enough for a hanger to fully clear the wall. However, the scroll detail on the sides of the rack opened up a whole new possibility for creative success. I could envision a rod resting in the scrolls, but would this really work? And how could I mount the rack so that the rod was far enough away from the wall to accommodate the hangers, and at the same time maintain its visual integrity?
Off to see Dad, my resourceful project partner.
After taking into consideration the criteria I mentioned earlier, Dad came up with a mounting solution that not only worked, but that was nearly invisible to the eye, and stayed within the budget!
If you look closely you will see shorter vertical pieces behind the frame the scroll is fastened to. These are pieces of box steel, 1″ in diameter that have been attached to the original frame. The box steel managed to bring the whole unit away from the wall just enough for the hangers to clear. The steel pieces were spray painted to match, and the ends were capped off with standard chair leg caps. A piece of clear Plexiglas was cut to fit on the rack and provide a solid shelf, as well as protection for coats hung below. And the rod, a piece of doweling stained to compliment, was secured into place with screws to keep it from sliding out of the scroll. The screws were camouflaged with wooden buttons stained to match the doweling.
So what do you think? What would you do if you couldn’t find what you’re looking for? I’m dying to know!
Oh, BTW, the rock mat is also a little DIY. I took two prefabricated stone mats, and placed them on a rubber-backed runner with the rubberized side up, and the carpet side down. This way the carpet protected the floor, and the rubber back acted like a vapor barrier between any drips from wet coats and the hardwood beneath. Isn’t it fun to stretch function in this way?
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
Photography: Sheila Zeller