Function as a Feature: DIY Your Own Coat Rack!

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.

So you can imagine, how excited I was when I 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!

DIY Coat Rack

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.

DIY Coat Rack

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!

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Take Your Coat Off and Stay A While

Not long ago we had company joining us for a weekend, and with the anticipation of their arrival came the ‘extra’ tidying, tweaking, and putting things in order to welcome them. Our home is compact and its space maximized to the limit, so I decided we needed hooks where our guests could hang their jackets. With a bare wall in the foyer crying out for some attention, I had the perfect spot. Now all I had to do was find the perfect hooks…

This turned out to be easier said than done – yes, there are hooks in all shapes and sizes, but nothing leapt out at me as unique or different; none were really ‘perfect’. Not until I popped into Nancy’s Fashion & Furnishings – a very tiny boutique right here in Ladysmith. Who would have known? Voila! Tucked here and there throughout the store were the perfect decorative hooks, and even better, in a few different shapes and sizes!

Here’s what I chose in the end.

Next… the search for a piece of reclaimed wood to mount them on. And this proved to be more difficult than I anticipated. So, off to see my Dad. He has a little shop with all kinds of odds ‘n ends, and not only is he awesome, he’s also a great project partner. Next question, would he take on this project with me?

The answer. Dad not only took on the project with me, he actually did the project for me! He tore the spruce plank to the thickness needed, set to work lightly distressing it, and then did some stain samples for the colour. I chose red mahogany in the end, because I wanted the hooks to stand out, but I also wanted the look to work with the hall table.

Here is the finished masterpiece!

I would love to do a full-scale make-over in the foyer, but this is a rental home, so I shall save that for another time. In the mean time… welcome to our home. Take your coat off and stay a while!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!