My cute l'il attic

Posted by Steve on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 1:09pm

I built and installed the doors for the "attic" over my new closet. This being a row house and all, it's the closest it will ever come to actually having an attic.

These doors were another scrounge job. It's leftover lumber and red oak plywood from the wainscotting and earlier projects. I'm on a kick now to reduce my lumber scrap bin.

I think I did a pretty fair job of matching the pre-fab closet doors below. But I'm really undecided about whether to leave them like this or if it needs some additional trim element to finish them off. I'm undecided.

I'm posting this as a community question. Should the lower closet doors have crown moulding over them like the windows and other doors? Or will this look weird with my "attic" doors above them? Do those "attic" doors need a little more tartin' up or are they fine the way they are? Any other suggestions?

I know I still need to add door knobs to the closet door but I'd love to hear your opinion. So...

Am I finished with these doors or not?

Anyway, this week the work starts inside that closet. The closet's not walk-in size but it's pretty decent: 8'6"W x 36"D x 7'0"H.

Due to the hallway outside, it's actually sort of L-shaped, which you can kinda see on the right in this shot. My neighbor, Betsy, calls the bump out at the rear of the closet my "panic room". It's where I intend to stack a couple of Borg shelf units for dead storage.

I decided to build a raised, angled platform on the floor for shoes. This was inspired mostly by my desire to get rid of a couple of long, narrow pieces of plywood taking up room in my shop. But it should make it easier to keep the closet floor dust-bunny free, and with both a long-haired cat and dog that's kind of important.

I had a quick shock last week when I looked in my current closet and thought I saw a dead cat in the corner. It was a giant ball of dog and cat hair. With all the construction going on I haven't exactly been Martha Stewart here.

I decided to panel the inside of the closet with cedar planking, including the ceiling. I went to Lowes today but they only had about 20s/f of it, in fact the same 20s/f I've seen there for the past month. So I wound up at the Coney Island Home Depot, which had a lot of it. I drove home with 140s/f in my little VW Golf, and with the windows open because of the intense odor of this stuff.

Maybe several years of working with red oak has warped my sense of wood aromas but I don't remember cedar smelling this, well, toxic. Years ago, I finished a recording studio with solid red cedar and remember loving the fragrance. This stuff smells more like insecticide. Yes, I know that cedar is naturally insect-repellant but I don't remember it smelling like DDT.


Nice job on the attic-esque doors! I personally think you're done with them and they don't need anything else.

Dumb question since I have basically never bought lumber before, but is the cedar you bought treated somehow, or is it full on natural?

Posted by Steve on

This cedar is thin (3/16" or so) tongue&groove made for paneling. The stuff I used in the recording studio was full 1" stock. That stuff was red; this stuff looks more like pine. What i'm wondering is if it's some cedar/pine variant that they treated to smell more like cedar. I know you can buy cedar oil to refresh your old cedar drawers and trunks. But this stuff smells weird.

Posted by Paul (not verified) on

Honestly, it feels a little unfinished to me. If the upper "attic" didn't exist I think the lower closet would look fine, but that narrow gap between the two is bothering me. Seems to me that it would look more like a complete unit if you filled the space with crown moulding along the lines of the windows, although maybe not quite as elaborate. Or, as an alternative, I think beefing up the top and bottom trim on the "attic" would help make it feel a little more substantial and in line with the rest of the room.

Posted by Steve on

They look unbalanced to me. I think I need crown over the closet door. But when I asked my neighbor she said, "You're unbelievable! Get this f***ing thing done already!" She said this bedroom would give her nightmares about being on trial for her life. Not a big fan of heavy woodwork, I guess.

Posted by Paul (not verified) on


Seriously, though, the woodwork in the rest of the room is so gorgeous that I think you need to add a little more crown to the closet so it fits better in the room. You'll probably regret it if you don't.

Tell your neighbor that you're going to paint the woodwork bright pink so it doesn't feel as heavy.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I think the closets look good. If you must add more trim, scale it down so it doesn't stick out as much as the trim over the window. You wouldn't want it to break when you used it for a foot rest while trying to get stuff out of the attic space.

Julie in NJ

Posted by Steve on

That was my initial concern with adding crown over that closet door. It wasn't so much using it as a foot rest but pulling something heavy, like a big box of Christmas ornaments, out of that closet while balancing on a ladder.